What does a career in IT mean today?

IT today

David Clarke, MBE, Chief Executive Officer, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

The IT profession is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK today with jobs in the industry growing at five times the national average. This year, the average salary of an IT professional has risen by 7.5 per cent to £46,000 per annum [1], making it an attractive prospect for anyone about to embark upon a career. More than just good prospects and a healthy salary, IT touches more areas of business than almost any other discipline with organisations wanting to recruit well-rounded staff that have business focused skills and can demonstrate an understanding of how IT can benefit the business as a whole.

A career in IT

IT professionals can come in many different guises and from a variety of backgrounds; people skills, self management and an ability to see IT as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself are all equally important as traditional core IT skills. There is a range of ways to enter the IT profession that should suit most individuals.

The most direct route into the more traditional "hard" IT roles such as software development, infrastructure and research posts is a degree in computer science followed by an application to a graduate recruitment programme. An accredited degree offers a mix of core studies in the IT profession and specialised content in one or more areas. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, accredits over 6,000 degree courses in computing.

After study, graduate development programmes are available for new graduates aiming to work in IT.  Alternatively, graduates may consider studying for a PhD or moving into industrial research.

A computer science degree is not the only way into an IT career. Many companies now recruit graduates with non IT related subjects who will undertake additional IT specific training through post-graduate or professional certifications such as those offered by the Institute. Individuals can also complete BCS Higher Education Qualifications, a modular qualification which offers a flexible approach to study allowing students to progress at their own pace and study whilst working.

To help anyone considering or embarking upon a job in IT, the Institute has created career paths to show some of the potential job titles within the IT industry and the best routes to achieve these.

For more information on how to get into a career in IT, please visit the BCS website.