Getting into IT and Computing

Fancy a career in the ever growing IT or Computing sector? In this blog post Senior Careers Consultant, Caroline Williams explains how to break in to the industry, IT graduate or not! 


Imagine a world without IT?  Most of us probably can’t as it is a massive industry both for personal and businesses use – most organisations nowadays have some sort of IT presence.  Therefore there are many opportunities available within the sector – not just in the big IT companies.  It is predicted that the recruitment of graduates for this sector is due to increase by 15% from 2012 to 2013. 

Bear in mind that not all computing jobs are only for IT graduates.  Computing jobs fall into two main categories: 

  • Category One – Those that require a computing degree/post graduate qualification / other IT qualifications
  • Category Two – Those that you can enter with any degree discipline but with a passion for IT.

Both categories of students can work within the large IT companies (IBM, Logica and Microsoft). Category one graduates would typically work in a more technical role.

The larger the Company the more likely they are to take Category Two graduates as well as Category One as they will provide the training required for the role.

Some IT consultancies are happy to have non-computing graduates as well as computing graduates as long as they can demonstrate their passion for IT.

For example: ‘To join Accenture Technology Solutions, we also take maths, science and engineering graduates who can demonstrate a passion and flair for IT.’

Other industries such as retail, banking, manufacturing and engineering will tend to recruit more Category One graduates as they will be supporting their Companies IT infrastructure.

Case study

On our employer database  IBM were recruiting for  11 different roles :- 8 were for any degree discipline including technology consultant and software developer – they simply asked that they ‘have a passion for IT and an interest in developing and delivering leading edge technologies ‘

Aptitude tests

Nearly all computing roles will require the applicant to take an IT test: either a technical one to test the graduates technical ability in the area they will be working in or a diagrammatical reasoning  test that a graduate of any background can take. This will test their natural ability to use logic and reasoning to solve problems. At the Careers Centre we have books and online links to practise these types of tests.

How to prove your passion for IT

Category One Graduates

If you are doing a course in computing then you have proved you are interested enough to take a course in it which is the first step, however you still need to show you are passionate enough to gain additional experience yourself. You can do this by gaining relevant paid work experience, helping a charity with their IT challenges, helping friends who are not as IT savvy as you. Any of this will impress an employer.

Category Two Graduates

If you are doing a non-IT course then you need to do more in your spare time to show you love IT. You could write your own website, take online courses in different software programmes or help friends as mentioned in the previous category.

Top programming languages in 2013

  1. PHP
  2. Java
  3. Objective C
  4. SQL
  5. Android (Java)
  6. Ruby
  7. Javascript
  8. C#
  9. C++
  10. Actionscript 

(Source – jobstractor  — the programming language trends review)

Lastly don’t forget the other skills you will need:- 

  • Teamworking and interpersonal skills
  • Initiative
  • Analysing and problem solving
  • Verbal Communication
  • Personal Planning and organising
  • Flexibility

(Source – Microsoft)

There is also additional information on this sector available from our website.

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