Graduate jobs in IT and technology
How to get a job in IT and technology
Start by narrowing down the type of job you want. You can see ten typical jobs graduates do in IT here.
- Get work experience – internships and placements help you explore a career option before committing to it and could open the door to a job
- Apply to graduate schemes, paying attention to the skills the employer asks for
- Check out smaller employers – many graduates find IT jobs with organisations that don't run official graduate schemes
Graduate jobs versus schemes in IT and technology
Graduate schemes are formal work training programmes run by employers, which usually lead to a permanent job at the end. Plenty of IT graduate schemes exist, either with technology companies or with employers in other sectors that hire people into IT functions (such as retail, banking and local or national government). However, many graduates find their first IT or technology role at a smaller organisation, which can mean more variety and responsibility early on.
Find out how to get a graduate IT job at a smaller company.
Top skills to get a job in IT and technology
Graduate recruiters don’t only value technical skills, such as programming languages. They also place heavy emphasis on ‘transferable’ skills, which are skills that have wide application to different jobs and industries. Popular transferable skills in IT include:
- Communication skills – so that you can work successfully with people in your team and explain technical concepts to non-technical colleagues and clients
- Problem-solving skills – many IT roles are about finding solutions or fixing things
- Time management – it’s common to have to work to deadline
What is it like to work in IT and technology?
Roles tend to include a combination of team and individual work, pay is good, and some roles – particularly business-facing ones, such as consulting – involve travel. Join a graduate scheme and you are likely to benefit from perks including work-organised socials and a range of facilities, although some smaller companies offer these benefits too. The pace of change and innovation is fast, making it necessary to be on the pulse and willing to continually develop new skills and learn about new technology.
What degrees do employers in IT and technology look for?
Computer science, other IT-related degrees and business degrees are valued by recruiters, but remember that applicants will be assessed on the essential skills the recruiter is looking for, which include non-technical, transferable skills such as good verbal and written communication. Not all graduate IT roles require an IT or STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) degree. Some employers will train you up if you show aptitude and an interest. This is common for roles that combine business with IT, such as technology consultants and business analysts, but some employers also train up non-IT graduates in software development.
Are there any opportunities for graduates with 2.2s?
Most big graduate employers in IT ask for a 2.1, but not all. The likes of TPP and FactSet accept 2.2s, as do MI5, MI6 and GCHQ for their graduate technology roles. But the reality is you will have less choice with a 2.2, so be prepared to expand your job search beyond the big graduate schemes. Also, be able to demonstrate in your application and at interview that you are hardworking – prepare examples of goals you have set, worked towards and achieved.
Hot IT jobs for 2017
Here are some IT and technology roles that the world is likely to need more of over the next few years.
- Business analysts
- Cloud architects
- Cyber security specialists
- Data scientists
- IT project managers
- Mobile developers