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 and find out about IT career specialisms 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, as well as boost your commercial awareness
- 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
Here are more tips on the basics of getting a graduate job in IT.
Getting an industrial placement for your computing degree
There are many good reasons to spend a year working for an employer in an IT role partway through your degree.
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.
How do I ace my graduate IT application?
Read our advice on online applications for graduate IT jobs and on covering letters.
Here are some typical application questions and our hints and tips on answering them:
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. Find out how much you can earn in IT graduate jobs here.
Can I work in IT without a computer science or related degree?
Yes. While many employers do require graduates with an IT-related or STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) degree, an increasing number of employers are keen to train up graduates with arts and humanities backgrounds in areas such as software development and technology consulting.
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 FDM Group 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.
What happens at an IT interview?
You are likely to face a combination of questions about why you want the job, how you are suitable and how you have demonstrated the desired skills previously.
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
Don't miss our helpful job descriptions. Choose IT and technology from the drop-down list.