How to get a job in IT and technology
The first step in your job hunt is to narrow down the type of job you want. As a starting point, take a look at the top ten typical jobs graduates can do in IT here and find out about the different ways your IT career can specialise 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.
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.
You may also be required to submit a CV as part of your application (particularly with small- and medium-sized employers). Showcase your technical skills and know-how with a technical CV. Read top tips for putting yours together here.
Before you put pen to paper or start typing, make sure you know what the employer does, who its competitors are and what you are applying for. To find this out you need to do your research. Learn more about what you need to know here.
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.
Getting an industrial placement for your computing degree
An IT sandwich (or industrial) placement is a surefire way to boost your chances of securing a graduate job. Spending a year working with an employer is an excellent opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills and to gain first-hand experience of what working life in the sector is like.
IT jobs that are in demand
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.