A career as an IT trainer would suit you if you are a computer expert who excels in explaining, teaching and passing on your IT skills and knowledge
As an IT trainer, you will design and deliver training programmes in information and communications technology (ICT). In addition to your training skills, you will need to be an expert in one of two areas:
IT trainers are also responsible for the application of learning technologies to transfer skills, in both IT and non-IT subjects. These include:
You will develop expertise within your specialist areas, although you could cover any content if you choose to focus on the use of learning technologies.
As an IT trainer, you'll need to:
Additional benefits, such as a company car, laptop, phone and bonus, may be available, depending on the employer and the role.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.
Working hours are typically 9am to 5pm, although you may need to carry out staff training outside office hours or at weekends.
Flexible and part-time work is fairly common and career breaks are possible, but it is vital that you keep your skills and knowledge up to date.
Although you can work in this area with any degree or HND subject, the following subjects may increase your chances:
The IT Management for Business (ITMB) degree was established through a collaboration between The Tech Partnership and top employers as a means of addressing the skills gap and shortages in the industry.
For information about where you can study an ITMB, visit The Tech Partnership - Degrees.
As well as an aptitude for IT, you will need well-developed interpersonal and facilitation skills. Some specialised subjects will require more comprehensive computing capabilities.
You can enter this area without a degree or HND, but you will need extensive experience.
The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) or equivalent qualification is useful, as is any experience of working with people.
Technical qualifications and experience are important if you're delivering technical IT training.
It's also useful if you have an understanding of IT accessibility and usability issues.
You will need to show:
A full driving licence and access to a car would be an advantage for travelling to client sites or training centres.
Pre-entry experience is essential but you can enter the profession after gaining experience in either computing or training. For desktop applications, you will need experience of using a range of software packages.
Many employers, particularly end-user organisations, prefer you to have some experience of their sector, as it is essential that you understand the business context for the training you will deliver.
The use of IT is widespread so IT trainers with diverse knowledge and experience are in demand across all industries and environments.
Typical employers include:
Within the IT industry, potential employers can be categorised as:
End-user organisations, companies for whom IT is not the prime business, generally employ trainers to ensure effective deployment of new technologies or the effective use of learning technologies.
You can work on either a self-employed or freelance basis if you have experience. This involves either working alone or in association with one of the trainer resourcing organisations.
Competition is fairly high for entry-level positions. You could write speculatively to training providers, companies in the ICT sector, in-house training teams or educational institutions and keep an eye on the IT specialist press for vacancies.
Look for job vacancies at:
Specialist recruitment agencies, such as Blue Eskimo, commonly handle vacancies.
As an IT trainer, you'll need to have knowledge in the area that you want to teach and the training skills to deliver this knowledge.
Many courses are available for both technical and desktop application trainers and you will need to research which courses are most appropriate for your needs.
Technical trainers will find that relevant technical qualifications are extremely useful and many training providers will encourage you to acquire them early in your career.
If you want to specialise in technical training, you can gain qualifications, such as:
If you are interested in desktop applications training, relevant qualifications include:
You will also need to develop your training delivery skills. Relevant courses in this area include The Training Foundation TAP Training Accreditation Programme.
Some employers provide fully-funded training, while others provide time off for relevant courses or sponsor qualifications taken in your own time.
Some provide no training at all and look for experienced trainers or those who already have training certificates, or for those who are members of a relevant professional body such as the:
You can either undertake a few days' intensive training or longer-term qualifications at a college or university.
When you are choosing a course, you can check the LPI website's database of LPI accredited training providers.
A qualifications framework has been developed by The Tech Partnership in collaboration with employers and the Joint Awarding Body Forum. It features links with qualifications vendors and awarding bodies including BCS, to ensure professional standards and a platform for the recognition of skills.
You could think about joining the BCS, as it provides information and guidance to assist members to develop their expertise and recognise and plan their learning needs.
Further IT trainer training will depend on your employer and your career aims.
IT trainers work in a variety of environments, so your career could develop in different ways.
You could take a post as a senior trainer, with responsibility for a team of trainers and writing materials for other trainers to use.
Training managers take a more strategic responsibility for learning and development within an employer's organisation and/or for clients, or undertake increased account management and marketing responsibility.
You could also move into a number of specialised areas of training that may be either content or deployment driven.
Once you have substantial experience, it may be possible to set up as a freelance trainer or establish your own training company, an attractive option if you have a network of contacts.
Other options include moving into: