Starting a career in IT
Why would I want to work in IT?
The IT industry continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors offering a wide range of job divided across many different sections and sub sections. In turn each of these sections & sub sections require an alternative range of skills and strengths making the IT industry suitable for a wide range of people. The options available to those wishing to enter the world of IT are vast, but it is important when considering a role within IT that you are not entering an over saturated market. When starting any new career you should consider a role with a combination core and specialist skills. By choosing a role that offers these elements you are able to take yourself to the job market as unique candidate with added bonus of possessing transferable skills and technologies.
What are the common career paths in IT?
There are an abundance of roles available within the IT industry and there is no definitive point of entry, which is normally found in many other career paths. The IT industry offers roles which require the continual building and learning of skills. The industry is very progressive and it is therefore necessary for its users to learn new skills as technology evolves. Think of the technology available to us 10 years ago and now think how much it has changed, individuals within the IT industry must be able to adapt to the changing technological environment seamlessly in order for their skills to remain relevant.
However, the most common route into IT can be broadly categorized into Web Developers/Designers, Project Managers and Technical Support Engineers. These entry routes offer advancement and specialisation further up the career ladder eventually leading to roles such as Lead PHP or .Net developers, network administrators, analysts and director level roles. If you are interested in the IT industry but do not have the technical skills then you can also go into IT sales.
What qualifications are important in IT?
The qualifications required for a career in IT are dependent upon the job role you wish to pursue. While the most commonly accepted qualifications are University degrees you may choose to gain your qualifications from a professional institution such as the BCS - Chartered Institute of IT.
What makes a good IT CV?
For an IT CV it is paramount to list skills and key technologies used, however do not simply list these technologies, but in addition include the projects they were used on and when. Your CV should inform your potential employer of your areas of expertise that relates to the advertised position. As the IT industry is constantly changing any extra training or learning undertake will show potential employers that you a proactive employee with a genuine passion for the industry.
As with any CV it is crucial that the layout is clear, precise and readable. Presentation is vital as your CV especially if apply for a web design role where you will be expected to produce high quality visuals. Use your CV as an opportunity to showcase your skills and attributes to a potential employer.
What should I expect during the job interview process?
At interview you should expect your potential employer to evaluate you against many criteria depending upon the area of IT you will be working in. Each area will require you to possess certain qualities. For example, your role which requires maybe client facing so a future employer will be evaluating you on how articulate you are not just the technical aspects of you job. You will need to demonstrate your technical capability to your future employer and therefore you should be able to communicate this coherently and accurately. At Yolk we ask our candidates to perform independent testing prior to interview which is general practice across the industry and not a reflection on you.
Accepting the job offer
Before accepting a job offer it is vital to take time to consider your options. You will need to evaluate what the company is offering apart from an annual salary, as there are many factors to consider such as; holidays & sick pay, benefits & bonus' and the overall working environment of the company. Taking too much time though may make you appear uninterested but do rush into any decisions that you could later regret. If you have a doubt then discuss these with you potentially employee.