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techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

Overview of the UK’s IT industryDespite recent challenges posed by COVID-19, the UK’s information technology(IT) sector has shown its resilience through continued growth, with skilledworkers needed to fuel this momentum## What areas of IT can I work in?According to Tech Nation’s UK tech in 2020 review, just under three millionpeople were employed in the UK’s digital tech economy – an increase of 11%within two years.In addition, at the end of 2020, the UK Tech Ecosystem update – a Tech Nationreport supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and theDigital Economy Council – revealed that a tenth of all UK job vacancies aretech roles. They estimated that if the growth continued at the same rate,there would be 100,000 job openings per month before the end of June 2021.So, if you possess the relevant knowledge and technical skills, you could workin: * applications development * computer forensics * content management * cyber security and risk management * data analysis and analytics * game development * geographical information systems (GIS) * hardware engineering * information management * IT consultancy (business and technical) * IT sales * multimedia programming * software engineering (designing, building, developing and testing) * systems/network management * technical support * telecommunications * web design/development.For instance, your job may involve creating applications or systems, solvingproblems with technology or supporting those who use it. Employers in the ITindustry also require graduates to work in their business, marketing, humanresources (HR) and finance functions.Many IT professionals also choose to work outside the sector, such as in theIT departments of retail, finance, manufacturing and public sectororganisations.## Who are the main IT graduate employers?Large and global companies include: * Accenture * Amazon * Apple * Capgemini * Cisco * Cognizant * Facebook * FDM Group * Fujitsu * Google * IBM * Infosys * Intel * Microsoft * Rockstar Games * Samsung * Softcat * Ubisoft.Major telecommunications companies include: * BT Group * EE * Sky UK * TalkTalk * Telefónica UK (O2) * Three * Virgin Media (Virgin Mobile UK) * Vodafone.As the sector is fast-moving and dynamic, there are many smaller businessesand tech start-ups that are worth seeking out for entry-level jobopportunities. For example, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in theIT industry provide a range of specialist services and typically offerconsultancy and technical roles.IT professionals are also employed to work in many other job sectors,including: * Financial services – recruiters such as Barclays, Citigroup, Deloitte, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are looking for IT graduates to work with the latest technologies. These include jobs with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), cloud services, virtual reality software development, robotics process automation, user experience (UX) or analytics. * Manufacturing – multinational engineering companies in the oil, pharmaceuticals, automotive and energy industries need IT specialists to work on the processes and technologies that underpin their operations. For instance, aerospace and defence innovator MBDA requires software engineers with programming language skills. * Public sector – local authorities, central government and the National Health Service (NHS) all recruit IT professionals to keep their systems running smoothly, deliver projects and analyse data efficiently so it can be used to make major decisions. * Retail – major online and high street retailers such as Amazon, Tesco, TJX Europe and John Lewis look to technology graduates to develop new systems and apps, while rolling out technological solutions that satisfy their customers’ needs.Consider what you can do with a degree in computer science or informationsystems.## Where can I find IT jobs?Most employers expect you to have gained some technical knowledge of IT,although any relevant work experience or internship would be beneficial as youseek to land your first role.You can search for graduate jobs in IT or visit the websites of major IT andtelecommunications companies to browse job opportunities. Vacancies for entry-level and graduate jobs can also be found on specialist IT recruitment sitesincluding:IT jobs in the public sector can be found on websites such as:In addition, you can look for IT vacancies on general jobs websites, asemployers across all sectors require graduates to fill IT and computing rolesin their organisations.Another option is to find an IT apprenticeship, as you’ll be able to learn onthe job while studying towards a recognised certification.## How do I apply for IT roles?An IT CV, also known as a technical CV, can be used to apply for roles such asweb developer, IT consultant, software tester or applications developer.Include an introductory paragraph that mentions your technical expertise andexperience and incorporate a ‘key skills’ heading that allows for more detailwhen discussing technical competencies.While you might be tempted to showcase all your technical abilities at once,ensure that you highlight relevant skills first and foremost. You should alsobear in mind that the document will need to be understood by non-technicalpeople such as HR managers.Use this CV template to focus on your: * ability to maintain existing software applications and develop new ones * experience of applying technical standards, theories and techniques * problem-solving capabilities * communication skills.## What about technology graduate schemes?Many major companies run graduate schemes focusing on IT and technology. Theseare structured training programmes for new and recent graduates, usuallylasting between one and two years.Companies offering IT and technology graduate schemes include:Visit the recruitment websites of large businesses to find more opportunities.You can also search for IT graduate schemes.Explore graduate schemes in more detail.## What’s it like working in IT?Graduates entering the IT industry in the UK can expect: * A higher than average starting salary – according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2021 report, starting salaries for technology jobs with organisations featuring in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers are above the national median of £30,000 (which has remained the same since 2015) to £32,000. * Long working hours – employers tend to emphasise completing a task or project over maintaining standard 9am-5pm office hours. * Opportunities to work abroad – many large IT companies have branches or subsidiaries in other countries. * The chance to be self-employed – it’s not unusual for graduates to go freelance, work as a contractor or even start their own companies. * A constantly changing industry – as new technologies and software are developed, it’s important to keep your skills up to date to remain at the top of your profession.To find out more about salaries and working conditions for specific roles,explore our IT job profiles.## What are the IT skills shortages?Representing over 800 member organisations ranging from SMEs to FTSE 100companies, techUK has declared the UK a world leader in technology. However,in order to remain at the forefront of innovation and research and development(R&D), it highlighted the need for the UK’s growing digital skills gaps to beaddressed.Nimmi Patel, techUK’s skills and diversity programme manager, explains, ‘TheUK’s tech sector is growing at 2.5 times the rate of the rest of the economycreating exciting jobs that require a range of skills and talent – but the UKis still facing a major digital skills shortage. In order to effectivelyprepare our workforce in an ever-changing digital economy, we need to inspireand support people into digital roles.’There are a number of vocational and academic pathways that can providepeople with the right technical skills to flourish in the industry, but the ITindustry needs more than developers and programmers,’ adds Nimmi.’It needs people with skills from across the board, such as creativity andcritical thinking, meaning that there’s something for everyone. Often there’sa lack of awareness of the career opportunities in IT that exist and how toget to them, so we must do more to demystify the tech sector to students,teachers and parents.’Find out how you could upgrade your existing skills at IT courses.## What are the IT industry trends?In its IT Leaders 2020 report, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, assessedthe capabilities, skills and ethics required by IT organisations in the near-term future. It showed that business transformation and organisational changewere among the top priorities for these firms.Driven by the advancements in digital technologies, the use of data, and theneed to remain secure, the report revealed how respondents now prioritisedcyber security, cloud, IT governance, automation and the as-a-service model(for example, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) just ahead of Agile methods, mobile/apps, bigdata, AI, the internet of things, machine learning and 5G.The manipulation of data is a skill that cannot be overlooked, especially withthe rise in awareness of the relatively new data scientist role. We’ll also behearing more about roles in blockchain, a system of delivering information ina fully automated and safe manner.There are other considerations too. For example, the effect that current orincoming legislation will have on work, such as GDPR-related roles. This wouldhave an implication for big data professionals, who would require skills inAWS, Python, Hadoop, Spark, Cloudera, MongoDB, Hive, Tableau and Java.With the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) highlighting how, duringlockdown in 2020, Britain turned to digital music, video and games in recordnumbers, careers in the media, music and video gaming industries are alsoroutes available for technology graduates.## Find out moreWritten by Daniel Higginbotham, EditorProspects · February 2021

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