For many of us, the key to a successful career is finding a job doing something we’re passionate about.
However, doing something you love for a living is often seen as a luxury in today’s competitive job market. Many simply feel they can’t afford to find something which both pays the bills and fits their interests. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
If you’re interested in IT and feel most comfortable with a keyboard in your hands, then a career with computers could be the perfect match for you
Want to be part of the ‘IT crowd’, but not sure where to start? Here are some careers to consider in the IT industry:
What they do: Monitor, support and maintain a business’s IT systems. They install computer software/hardware, diagnose faults, solve technical errors and may even manage network administration, depending on the size of the organisation. Can be a great entry-level position to help get your foot in the door.
What you need: An excellent level of computer literacy and general technical know-how. A degree may be preferred by some employers, but is by no means essential.
What you can earn: Entry level is around £14,000. Rising to around £25,000 – £30,000 once fully qualified and experienced.
Perfect for: People who enjoy problem solving.
Our advice: Gain as much experience as you can before you start applying. Try asking a local business for work experience, for example. Even building/rebuilding your own computer at home could help put your passion to the test. Old computers are fairly cheap to pick up and are great for
practice. If all else fails, trying turning it off and on.
What they do: Using internal and external data to gather informed and commercially viable insights in order to assist a business in their decision-making process. They also assess business models and their integration with technology.
What you need: Education to degree level is pretty standard. However, key skills gained from other areas of employment (such as problem solving, analysis etc.) and a more general IT/Business background is usually enough for entry-level positions.
What you can earn: Starting salaries will be around £20,000, but could easily top in excess of £40,000 within a few years.
Perfect for: People with excellent analytical skills.
Our advice: If you’re serious about becoming a BA, the direct route is not the only way to go. Working in other parts of a business and understanding how they function, coupled with some more technical IT experience, can help set you apart when the right position comes up.
What they do: Web Developers perform a range of different tasks depending on the company, but typical duties could vary from planning and designing elements of a website site through to building and coding it and testing/fixing bugs to help improve performance.
What you need: Web Developers are not required to hold a degree for most entry-level positions. Generally speaking, a good quality development-based qualification, preferably paired with some related work experience, are the main credentials needed.
What you can earn: Entry level is around £15,000. Rising to £30,000+ once proven.
Perfect for: People who like to speak in code (HTML mainly)
Our advice: Treat learning web development just as you would learning a new language. There are plenty of coding tutorials and other online guides to help get you started. Set aside some time each day and stick to it.
What they do: The main role of a Web Designer is to create the visual elements of a website, controlling everything from the font to the colour palate and everything in between. It may even include uploading content, depending on the size of the employer.
What you need: A good level of technical ability and advanced design skills are essential. A degree is not a necessity, however, many consider an industry-based qualification (or competency in certain programs, such as Adobe Flash and Dreamweaver, a pre-requisite).
What you can earn: Entry level is around £18,000, but will increase to £25,000+ depending on level of experience.
Perfect for: People who like to make things look pretty.
Our advice: Create your own website and use it to test out your talents. If you’re struggling to think of content, use it to upload your own personal profile and CV.
What they do: Test the latest games for bugs and glitches before they’re released. This involves repeating the same level for hours or even days at a time, playing out every possible scenario and ensuring that all eventualities have been played out.
What you need: A keen interest in the gaming industry and a patient and methodical approach to your work. Degree not essential.
What you can earn: If it’s your first position, around £12,000, increasing to around £20,000 once experienced.
Perfect for: People who like to play their PS3 (and Xbox, obviously).
Our advice: Keep up-to-date with the latest titles and platforms, not to mention any industry news and development. Essentially, play as many games as you can, for as long as you can. Already doing that? Apply now.
Other roles to consider: Network Administrator, Database Developer, Software Developer, Software Engineer….
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