At the centre of everyday life and found in almost all industries and businesses, information technology (IT) is a huge driver of growth in the UK
Industries that fall under the IT umbrella include:
Within these industries, there are many spheres of work available to graduates, including:
The IT and computing sector is forecast to continue to expand, and to be a key element of business growth. Employment in the sector over the next decade is projected to grow nearly five times faster than the UK average.
Many of the largest companies in this sector are organisations that play multiple roles. The sector varies immensely in occupational scope and breadth, and so do employers.
In the private sector, big employers are typically international companies such as:
In addition, however, over half of IT professionals find roles outside of the IT industry. Other industries that are big employers of IT professionals include:
Many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industry provide a range of specialist services, particularly in consultancy and technical roles. Common jobs for graduates are software designers and engineers; web developers and producers; computer analysts and programmers; web designers, IT consultants; help desk technicians.
Graduates entering the IT and information services sector can expect:
With the current situation in the global economy, business is operating in a climate of uncertainty, and this makes companies reluctant to make major decisions. Infrastructure and technology upgrades are not always a priority. This is considered by far the biggest pressing issue for UK IT firms.
The sector is highly innovative, but also subject to constant technological development. This can present a significant challenge in ensuring businesses and staff are able to adapt to constantly changing technological requirements.
The fast-moving nature of parts of the industry, and the continuing growth of the sector means that many employers are experiencing significant skills demand. Recruiters reported difficulties recruiting software developers and programmers and web designers, and found the following skills most likely to be in short supply: .NET, ASP.NET, Dynamics, SharePoint, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, C# and PHP. The sector also reported gaps in sales skills, business skills, higher level technical skills and sector knowledge.
Data security, privacy and intellectual property issues are all important in the sector and businesses spend significant resources to deal with current requirements and to be prepared to adapt to a changing legislative landscape.
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