IT and technology
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IT and technology

The Guardian UK 300 asked trendence UK – a partner of TARGETjobs’ parent company, GTI – to conduct a survey of university students’ attitudes towards employers and their job hunts. Overall, 62,814 students took part in the trendence Graduate Study 2017. Find out more about the survey methodology.

On this page, we reveal the thoughts of those students who were interested in IT and technology employers, along with an overview of careers within the sector. You can use this information to help you decide whether the sector is right for you and to create a job-hunting strategy, based on what other students are doing to secure their first graduate job.

Top rated employers

1

Google

Last year: 1

IT and technology

same
2

Apple

Last year: 2

IT and technology

same

Last year: 3

IT and technology

same
4

Rockstar Games

Last year: 4

IT and technology

same
5

IBM

Last year: 7

IT and technology, Management consulting

up
6

Facebook

Last year: 5

IT and technology

down
7

Ubisoft

Last year: 6

IT and technology

down

Last year: 10

IT and technology

up
9

Sony Music

Last year: 8

IT and technology

down
10

Samsung

Last year: 12

Consumer goods and FMCG

up

About graduate careers in IT and technology

Companies that are big in the IT and technology business are considered among the most desirable to work for by graduates, with Google heading not only this sector’s rankings, but topping the entire survey for the second year running. Job-seeking students who would like to explore IT roles within less typical sectors should consider the banking, finance, public and retail sectors, among others.

These employers all invest heavily in their online and technology departments to ensure smooth communication and exchange between employees, clients and users. Smaller niche companies can also offer good entry roles for graduates – in such a fast-moving industry today’s start-up could be tomorrow’s multinational.

It’s not essential to have an IT-related degree to work in this sector and, in turn, a degree in IT doesn’t guarantee a job on graduation, no matter what the mainstream media headlines state about there being too few STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduates to fill the skills gap.

Opportunities for graduates

There are a number of different roles available to graduates in this sector, from the technical, such as IT support, software development and testing, big data analysis, cyber security, infrastructure and telecoms, to business-focused roles including project management, marketing, sales and consulting. The latter in particular require an ability to develop relationships with customers and clients, and to bridge the gap between the technical and the practical.

Graduates with IT-related degrees or those with science- or maths-focused degrees, such as engineering or physics, are welcomed by recruiters for their problem-solving capabilities and practical knowledge, but some employers look at all disciplines and are willing to train up the right applicant, depending on their aptitude. Graduates who have a non-IT degree could sharpen their skills with a conversion course, adding a technical edge to a broader background. Demonstrating a willingness to learn a programming language alongside or after another degree can also open doors.

There are employers who admit they actively seek graduates who see IT as a pastime as well as a day job, but communication skills and a keen interest in developing trends, as well as creativity and enthusiasm, are also seen as necessary attributes, depending on the role.

Students interested in IT and technology...

  • may be among the most entrepreneurial of all students surveyed; 29% agreed with the statement ‘I am thinking about founding my own start-up company during or straight after my studies’ – a figure that is topped only by students interested in retail careers
  • were unsurprisingly most likely to have studied computer science/IT (43%), followed by business/management (14%)
  • preferred to engage with employers through stands at careers fairs (65%) and on-campus careers workshops (61%)
  • mostly used LinkedIn for career purposes (82%), followed by Skype (24%), Twitter (23%), Google+ and YouTube (at 20% each).
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