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Training For A Career In IT

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is, without doubt, the fastest growing industry over the past 20 years. Each and every one of us is touched by its impact every day of our lives, whether we like it or not, from the vast majority of us having mobile phones and many with computers and internet access to even those are unwittingly subject to it in terms of things like sophisticated security cameras keeping watch on us to online billing where some people might have preferred a paper bill. Therefore, with new technological innovations happening in the blink of an eye transforming our lives and that of the world in which we live on a constant basis, there is no doubt that a career in I.T. represents the ability to provide so many opportunities which show no signs of abating.

Appeal Of The Industry

Much of the appeal with a career in the ICT sector lies in the fact that is still an obvious growth area where innovations keep coming thick and fast so there will be a lot of variety in your career with lots of changes and challenges to get used to as well as it being an industry which tends to attract a lot of highly-educated and, perhaps more importantly for staff morale, enthusiastic workers.

Qualifications

There are around 3,000 degree courses covering the entire spectrum of the ICT industry here in the UK alone. From building computers to programming, from software creators to games designers etc., the list is virtually endless. For those who want to aim even higher, you can go on to study more in depth specialisations by pursuing postgraduate qualifications to both Masters and PhD level as well as taking various courses through being a member of a particular Institute. However, you do not necessarily have to go on to university to pursue a career in I.T. There are numerous NVQs, HNDs and BTEC National Vocational Qualifications you can combine with ‘on the job’ training and you can also undertake apprenticeships in the likes of Communication Technology (Telecoms) and I.T. Services and Development to name but two. However, if you really want to pursue some form of career in I.T., you’ll usually at least need to have obtained NVQ to level 2 in an appropriate discipline as any career within I.T. will require some kind of technical ability to one degree or another.

Personal Qualities

Despite the fact that people who work in I.T. have jokingly been stereotyped as computer ‘geeks’ or ‘nerds’, nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst many I.T. professionals are passionate about the exciting developments which continue apace within the industry, to truly get on within the industry you need to have very good interpersonal skills and know the value of good teamwork and you’ll also likely to have excellent problem solving skills. I.T companies are not simply about computer and telecommunications specific skills, however. Many companies have become so big these days and so global in nature that they need all of the other skills and disciplines that you’d find within any large company. So, finance, business, marketing and HR professionals are very much in demand by I.T. companies too.

Typical Jobs

Typical roles within the ICT sector would include:

  • CAD/CAM Programmer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Network Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Database Administrator

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