What does IT or Computing involve?
IT and computing actually covers a wider range of areas than you may at first think. Whilst you may immediately think of an office full of people sat typing, or a geeky guy sitting up through the night typing out lines and lines of code, there are a lot of ways that IT and computing jobs can be more interesting and diverse than that, such as developing new technologies or the gaming industry. Furthermore, this industry has a direct relevance to every day life. Computers run and control so many things, banking (not only international but personal - i.e. chip and pin), entertainment technology and, of course, the internet, that a wide range of people and roles are required to keep everything going. We rely so much on information technology that whenever a new computer virus appears, there’s panic. Viruses can ruin whole computer systems; cost organisations billions of pounds and cripple entire economies. This is why, at a very extreme level, people are required in computing. But even on a more day to day level in your average company, people are needed in this sector to help design and maintain websites which is where a lot of company's business is transacted. From developers, programmers, and designers, to the people that install and perform routine maintenance, and those people who do just sit in an office on a computer, IT and computing is an integral component of modern life that covers a wide range of things.
Why should I apply for a career in IT or Computing?
As the role of computers continues to grow, not only in our daily lives but also in the business place, it is inevitable that many more companies within this industry will spring up. It is predicted that 2,500 new IT companies will set up shop in the next four years, and they'll need a whole set of new personnel to sort run their systems and to fill the ~80,000 jobs this is expected to provide. Young people who have grown up in this digital age can easily transfer their exisiting knowledge of computers, with some training, to start an exciting new career in an ever expanding industry.
Training and Applicants
A large number of people working in IT, especially those who work for IT companies, have related degrees, and are likely to be highly interested in computing and technology. Some of the more technical disciplines will obviously require a Computer Science degree, but in less technical roles, such academic qualifications aren’t necessarily needed, especially for user support staff roles. Skills in certain computer programs may be needed for some jobs but it’s often more important to be able to learn new things quickly rather than have particular expertise. In many cases, a 2:1 degree will be considered the minimum.
What opportunities are available within the sector?
In the last 3 months, over 6,000 roles within the industry were advertised on Jobcentre Plus, proving that the opportunities in this sector already exist. These opportunities cover a range of employment areas - anything from manufacturing and banking to local government and hospitals. Many opportunities exist in computer companies, of varying in size. Some jobs are technical (such as computer programmers, and software engineers) but others require general business and other skills (such as sales and marketing roles). User support staff, who help workers with computer issues, combine technical knowledge with people skills. Self-employment is possible in some work areas. Unsocial working hours may be necessary for some jobs.
Self employment is also an option, though it is very much a case of needing experience and industry contacts first in order to make a good living.
The Microsoft Partner Apprenticeship Scheme
The Microsoft Partner Apprenticeship Scheme has been set up by Microsoft, e-Skills and other partners, with the aim of finding young people eager to join teh industry, give them the basic skills they will need for an IT role, and then match them to suitable IT jobs in companies across the UK.
To register your interest in the Microsoft Partner Apprenticeship training programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org including your CV, quoting “DWP” in the subject line
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