IT and technology

Ten typical jobs graduates can do in IT

The IT industry is host to a whole raft of job titles. To help you, we've deciphered ten of the top IT job titles you might encounter when searching for graduate jobs.
To make sure you find the right graduate IT job with the right employer, always check job descriptions carefully when applying so that you understand the skills and responsibilities of the role.

Software developer | systems analyst | business analyst | IT support analyst | network engineer | IT consultant | technical sales representative | project manager | web designer | QA analyst

The IT industry is well known for its wide range of job titles which can make it hard for graduates interested in this sector to pin down exactly what people do.

Read our decoded descriptions below, but always pay close attention to the job description of particular positions you apply for. Make note of the key skills and competences wanted, and ask questions at interviews to find out more specific information about what the role will involve day to day. This will ensure that you find the right graduate job in IT with the right employer.

Graduate job 1: Software developer

Similar to: software engineer, software architect, web developer, mobile developer, systems developer, test automation developer.

This job in brief: Software developers implement software solutions by building programs, applications and websites. They write and test code, often using development tools. The work can involve talking to clients and colleagues to assess and define what solution of system is needed, which means there is a lot of interaction as well as technical work. A computing, software engineering or related degree is often needed but a few employers train up other graduates who can demonstrate interest in and aptitude for software development.

Key skills include:

  • analysis
  • logical thinking
  • teamwork
  • attention to detail

Read our full-length software developer job description here.

Graduate job 2: Systems analyst

Similar to: systems developer, systems engineer.

This job in brief: Systems analysts examine existing IT systems and write requirement for new ones. They analyse how well software, hardware and the wider IT system fir the business needs of their employer or of a client and write requirements for new systems. They may also help implement them, train users and monitor their effectiveness. Travel is a key feature of the job as the majority of work is undertaken at clients’ premises. To get a job as a systems analyst you usually need a degree in a technical or IT subject.

Key skills include:

  • ability to extract and analyse information
  • communication
  • analysis
  • persuasion and sensitivity

Read our full-length systems analyst job description here.

Graduate job 3: Business analyst

Similar to: business architect, information specialist.

This job in brief: Business analysts are equally happy talking with technology people, business managers and end users. They identify opportunities for improvement to processes and business operations using information technology. The role is project based and begins with analysing a customer’s needs, gathering and documenting requirements and creating a project plan to design the resulting technology solution. Business analysts need technology understanding, but don’t necessarily need a technical degree.

Key skills include:

  • communication
  • presentation
  • facilitation
  • project management
  • problem solving

Graduate job 4: IT support analyst

Similar to: helpdesk support analyst, technical support analyst.

This job in brief: IT support analysts provide technical set-up, support and advice to IT users via email, phone, social media and in person. They either provide support within a particular organisation or to external businesses, customers of a particular product or on an ad hoc basis. For example, there is a growing market for on-demand services for home and office tech repair, set-up and troubleshooting. While open to graduates of any discipline, technical support employers typically prefer graduates with an IT-related degree.

Key skills include:

  • wide-ranging tech knowledge
  • problem solving
  • communication and listening
  • patience

Read our full-length IT support analyst job description here.

Graduate job 5: Network engineer

Similar to: hardware engineer, network designer.

This job in brief: Network engineering is one of the more technically demanding IT jobs. Broadly speaking the role involves setting up, administering, maintaining and upgrading communication systems, local area networks and wide area networks for an organisation. Network engineers are also responsible for security, data storage and disaster recovery strategies. It is a highly technical role and you’ll gather a hoard of specialist technical certifications as you progress. A telecoms or computer science-related degree is needed.

Key skills include:

  • specialist network knowledge
  • communication
  • planning
  • analysis
  • problem solving

Graduate job 6: IT consultant

Similar to: technical consultant.

This job in brief: The term ‘consultant’ can be a tagline for many IT jobs, but typically technical consultants provide technical expertise to, and develop and implement IT systems for, external clients. They can be involved at any or all stages of the project lifecycle: pitching for a contract; refining a specification with the client team; designing the system; managing part or all of the project; after sales support... or even developing the code. A technical degree is preferred, but not always necessary.

Key skills include:

  • communication
  • presentation
  • technical and business understanding
  • project management
  • teamwork

Read our full-length IT consultant job description here.

Graduate job 7: Technical sales representative

Similar to: account manager, sales executive.

This job in brief: Technical sales may be one of the least hands-on technical roles, but it still requires an understanding of how IT is used in business. You may sell hardware, or extol the business benefits of whole systems or services. Day to day, the job could involve phone calls, meetings, conferences and drafting proposals. There will be targets to meet and commission when you reach them. A technology degree isn’t necessarily essential, but you will need to have a thorough technical understanding of the product you sell.

Key skills include:

  • product knowledge
  • persuasion
  • interpersonal skills
  • drive
  • mobility
  • business awareness

Graduate job 8: Project manager

Similar to: product planner, project leader, master scheduler.

This job in brief: Project managers organise people, time and resources to make sure information technology projects meet stated requirements and are completed on time and on budget. They may manage a whole project from start to finish or manage part of a larger ‘programme’. It isn’t an entry-level role: project managers have to be pretty clued up. This requires experience and a good foundation of technology and soft skills, which are essential for working with tech development teams and higherlevel business managers.

Key skills include:

  • organisation
  • problem solving
  • communication
  • clear thinking
  • ability to stay calm under pressure

Graduate job 9: Web designer

Similar to: multimedia programmer, UX designer, video games designer, web developer.

This job in brief: Web designers create the design and layout of a website or web pages, working with colleagues or clients to meet their requirements. Their role is different to web developers, who specialise in making web designs a reality; however, there can be crossover between the two roles. Employers are likely to seek a degree in digital media design or a related subject but, whether you have a related degree or not, you will need to be able to present a portfolio of your best web design work.

Key skills include:

  • communication
  • attention to detail
  • problem solving
  • creativity

Read our full-length web designer job description here.

Graduate job 10: QA analyst

Similar to: software tester.

This job in brief: QA (quality assurance) analysts test programs, games and any software to make sure it is reliable, fully functional and user-friendly before they are released to the public. They use a test plan to inspect thousands of lines of code to make sure they are entirely error free. Results are fed back to the project leader so that issues can be fixed. QA analysts can be involved in the early stages pf projects in order to anticipate pitfalls before work begins. Employers tend to prefer graduate QA analysts to have a degree in an IT-related subject.

Key skills include:

  • attention to detail
  • creativity
  • analytical and investigative thinking
  • communication

Read our full-length QA analyst job description here.

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