With the world of business becoming increasingly reliant on computer technology the need for Information Technology (IT) experts is greater than ever. Working in IT or with computers can lead to many different careers such as IT consultant, software developer, hardware designer, technical support, web designer and 3D animation/graphic design. This page will give general information on training in IT but details of more specific routes can be found elsewhere on the site.
It is usual for most IT professionals to hold a university bachelor degree in order to show employers the level of formal training they have received. Most courses will be either three or four years depending on whether or not they offer a year in industry. Finding a course which has British Computer Society Chartered IT Professional (BCSITP) accreditation will give you an extra advantage over other prospective employees in this increasingly competitive line of work.
In order to be accepted onto a university course you should hold at least five GCSEs, graded A*-C, including maths, English and Science. You should also complete A levels or a B-TEC in Information Technology or a related subject. You can then choose which university course is best suited to you; whether it is a general IT course or one that is more specific if you know exactly what you will want to specialise in.
When applying for acceptance onto a university course, or for a job after graduation, it will be of great advantage to have had some work experience in IT. This could be as a part time job or just by helping people with their home computers while at school or college. Showing that you already have practical experience will help make you more attractive to admissions officers and employers when there are many applicants for the same place or job.
Career pathways after graduation
Almost all businesses now rely on at least some IT or computer support and there are many opportunities for someone who holds a degree in this area. You could also become a freelance technician for businesses or home computers where you will be called in for a short amount of time instead of being employed full-time by one company.