What can I do with an IT degree?
The majority of IT graduates go on to jobs in IT, for example, as programmers, software developers or web designers. However, some pursue careers in financial services and professional services, and there are opportunities open to them in a broad range of areas including education, retail management and law. Growth areas for employment in IT include cyber security, mobile and cloud computing and new applications of social media.
IT graduates gain a number of different skills from their degrees:
- A capacity to think logically, quantitatively and creatively is probably the single most important skill you can gain.
- Software development: design, engineering and one or more programming language (such as Java or C#).
- An understanding of computer networking, databases, and some level of web development along with a general knowledge of computers.
- Ability to communicate your ideas, both verbally through giving presentations and in the form of written assignments. This is very important since a lot of time is spent presenting ideas and explaining decisions taken.
- Good planning and careful execution of your work; in many IT tasks the planning and design phase is crucial, and this is transferable into the wider world.
- Teamwork is another important addition, since IT graduates will often find themselves working closely with many people on a day-to-day basis.
Many companies hire graduate developers, and some use freelance developers. You may find there are opportunities for you to become self-employed at an early stage in your career.
Work experience and brushing up on skills such as commercial awareness and resilience will boost your employability. IT graduates who are interested in alternative career paths may wish to consider translation. Experienced developers will know many computer languages, and many of the same techniques can be applied to learning a foreign language.
Other obvious careers for IT students include:
- computer sales support
- database admin
- software engineer
- software trainer
- software testing
- IT consultant
- IT support, whether internal or external
- systems designer
- systems programming
- website design.
Many of the most successful modern entrepreneurs came from IT backgrounds. Some were so successful early on that they never got round to graduating. Current students should be advised that they should wait until they make it big before they consider dropping out. Universities may be able to provide help and support for budding IT entrepreneurs.
Find out more about all your IT careers options at TARGETjobs IT & Technology.