With many specialist roles available for those looking for IT graduate jobs, it's advisable to consider the areas where your technical skills and qualifications would be best suited
Also known as a problem analyst, technical adviser and system analyst, you'll maintain IT services and have face-to-face contact with users requiring technical support.
You'll be expected to work on multiple projects at once, so the ability to switch between jobs quickly and stay in control of difficult situations is central to the role. It's also important that you can explain technical information to non-technical users.
Strong technical skills are essential along with the knowledge of, and certification in, the relevant computer language (HMLS, CSS, #C, Microsoft SQL etc.) and its applications.
Find out more about working as an application analyst.
Writing specifications and designing, building, testing, implementing and sometimes supporting applications using programming languages and development tools are all key to the role. You'll likely specialise in an area such as mobile phone applications, accounting software, office suites or graphics software.
A good level of technical knowledge with an in-depth understanding of at least one computer language is important. Most employers also expect a degree in a relevant subject such as computer science or information systems. Ingenuity, a logical approach to problem solving and patience are skills that will come in handy.
Read about the other skills you'll need to become an applications developer.
It's your job to understand an organisation, identify their future needs and come up with solutions to these objectives. You'll need to have a comprehensive understanding of the organisation and the sector it operates in to help them develop.
The role can be rewarding as you can make a huge difference to the success of a company and the satisfaction of its employees. It's no surprise that competition for roles is high. A degree in a relevant subject such as business information systems can help you to stand out, although any degree with an analytical component would be useful.
See what it's like to work as a business analyst.
You'll be responsible for the scientific, technological and artistic side of developing and producing maps. In addition to conventional maps, you'll present complex information as diagrams, charts and spreadsheets.
Careful research and the collection and manipulation of data are a big part of the role so you'll need a keen eye for detail. Spatial awareness, colour vision and an eye for layout and design are also sought-after skills.
There are no specific cartography undergraduate degrees, so you'll need a degree in spatial science. Relevant subjects include earth sciences and geographic information technologies.
Discover more about becoming a cartographer.
Cyber security analyst
Sometimes referred to as an information security analyst or cyber intelligence analyst, you'll protect an organisation by preventing, detecting and managing cyber threats. You could be offering advisory services to clients or working to protect the security of the organisation you work for.
In such a fast growing field, there's currently a skills shortage, which means with the right knowledge and experience you could thrive. You'll usually start in an entry-level or junior cyber security role, but after several years you could become a senior cyber security analyst or consultant.
If you're highly analytical, have strong mathematical skills, and are curious and inquisitive, a career as a data analyst could be for you. As well as understanding the data, you'll provide insight and analysis through clear visual, written and verbal communication.
Entry level salaries start at £24,000 but experienced, high-level, consulting jobs can command £60,000 or more.
An undergraduate degree isn't always required, but a degree in a relevant subject such as business information systems or computer science can help.
Involved in the planning and development of the database, you'll also troubleshoot any issues on behalf of the user. It's your job to ensure the data is consistent, secure and retrievable in an emergency. As companies depend on effective databases, the role can be demanding as there's pressure to keep everything running smoothly.
Familiarity with data manipulation languages, knowledge of database design and business awareness are all skills you'll need. It's worth gaining some experience in programming and familiarising yourself with as many database technologies and operating systems as possible. Most positions require knowledge of structured query language (SQL), Unix and DBMS.
Discover what a database administrator does.
Forensic computer analyst
Working for the police, other law enforcement agencies, or for a specialist computer forensic company or investigative team, it's your job to investigate data breaches, security incidents and criminal activity.
Some organisations require around the clock cover, meaning you could be working on a call-out rota, allowing for fast responses to information and cyber security or criminal incidents.
Due to the sensitive nature of some of the information you encounter, there may be restrictions on how much you can talk about your job. This is the case if you work for the government, the Ministry of Defence or police departments.
Take a look at the skills required to be a forensic computer analyst.
Involved in the creation and production of games for all platforms, roles can vary depending on the size of the company. In a large organisation you may only focus on the programming and have no input in the visuals and story, while smaller independent games might see you work on both programming and design.
To prove your skills, you'll need a working demo with examples of game programming you've created and for design roles a portfolio of your artistic work. The ability to code, experience of scripting and knowledge of specific software is also useful.
Geographical information systems (GIS) officer
As a GIS officer, you'll be involved in the collection of geographical and spatial information and its storage, analysis and presentation. At the start of your career, you're likely to be doing detailed desk-based research as well as liaising with colleagues and contacts outside the organisation.
You'll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject such as computer sciences, geography or maths. In addition, IT skills, including the manipulation of complex databases and spreadsheets, familiarity with Ordnance Survey mapping and digitising techniques, plus the ability to translate client requirements into working solutions are all valuable attributes.
Take a look at the career prospects of a geographical information systems officer.
Information systems manager
Overseeing the technicians, programmers and database administrators, you'll be responsible for managing a company's computer systems. Before becoming a manager, you'll first need to gain experience in areas such as technical support and operations. The salary reflects the value of experience and you can expect to earn between £40,000 and £60,000.
Security maintenance and upgrade work will happen outside of office hours so you should expect to work unsocial hours. You could also be called out at any time to fix a major problem and work longer hours at the critical points of a project.
Find out what skills you'll need to be an information systems manager.
Advising clients on how to use information technology to meet their objectives and overcome problems, graduate IT consultants can expect to earn £20,000 to £30,000. You'll meet with clients to find out their requirements, work with them to define the scope of a project and plan the timescales and the resources needed.
You'll generally work 9am to 5pm but could be expected to work extra hours to meet deadlines. The job is mostly office based but this is often at the clients premises meaning you'll need to mirror their working hours.
Read about the role of an IT consultant.
IT sales professional
You could work in pre-sales giving technical details to customers to show how a piece of hardware or software meets their needs. Then there's the sales part, which involves negotiating an agreement. Finally, there's post-sales support, which involves solving problems and suggesting training.
Technical knowledge can be helpful but it isn't essential and many companies consider candidates with relevant experience or a strong sales background. A related degree isn't always necessary but subjects with a high technical content or a business management component may be useful.
IT technical support officer
Your role is to manage the smooth running of computer systems, making sure users get the maximum benefit from them. This could involve installing and configuring computer systems, diagnosing hardware and software faults and solving technical and applications problems. Immediate results will be expected in most situations and you'll be under pressure to deal with problems quickly to ensure minimum down time for staff and customers.
You may need to work outside the usual 9am to 5pm day and working shifts, being on call and working extra hours to complete a job are all common occurrences.
Discover where IT technical support officer jobs can be found.
Designing and delivering training programmes in information technology, you'll need an aptitude for IT and an up-to-date knowledge of common applications and systems.
Graduate trainees can expect to earn between £18,000 and £25,000 depending on employer and location. You can earn more if you've a specialised or technical area of work, while freelance and self-employed professionals can also earn more.
Experience is a must, whether this is in computing or training. Many employers prefer you to have some sector experience, as it's essential that you understand the business context for the training you'll deliver.
See what skills you need to be a successful IT trainer.
It's your responsibility as an IT engineer to set up, develop and maintain computer networks. You'll also support users and solve any problems that arise. Your role will depend on the sector and size of the company. For example, in a large investment bank, you'll typically have responsibility for one area of the system, whereas in a small company you may need to fix any IT-related problems.
A degree in a related subject such as computer science, computer systems and networks or network security management will usually be required. If you don't have a relevant degree, you'll have to demonstrate significant experience.
Find out what you could earn as a network engineer.
A search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist identifies techniques to increase the number of visitors to a website and make it appear at the top of a search engine results page. You could be writing original content, making technical recommendations and monitoring performance through analytics.
No specific degree is required, but a related subject such as IT, business and technology or marketing may be useful. As the role is varied, you'll need a lot of different skills, one of which is an inquisitive mind, which drives you to understand Google's algorithms and predict what changes might be coming.
Learn about other skills you'll need to be an SEO specialist.
You'll create, maintain, audit and improve systems to meet particular needs, often as advised by a systems analyst or architect, testing both hard and software systems to diagnose and resolve system faults.
Depending on the system you're working on you could also be called a systems/software/database/web programmer, engineer or developer. The programming language you're using could also become part of your title - for example, Java developer.
Aside from technical competency, as an IT engineer you'll also need to demonstrate a meticulous approach to work, commercial awareness and an ability to learn new skills and technologies quickly.
Discover more about the responsibilities of a software engineer.
It's your job to carry out tests to detect bugs and issues with a product before it reaches the user. You might join at the start of a project to assess potential risks or be brought in later when testing becomes necessary.
Software testers generally have a degree in computer science or IT, in addition to problem solving skills, attention to detail and the ability to work towards tight deadlines.
You may start as a software tester on a graduate scheme, but with professional qualifications and technical skills, progression to senior roles can be rapid.
Find out more about life as a software tester.
With the aim of improving efficiency and productivity, you'll design IT solutions, change existing systems and integrate new features or improvements. Liaising with clients and stakeholders, it's your job to work out the cost and how long it'll take you to deliver a solution.
Starting as a junior programmer, you'll build experience before progressing to developer and even consultancy roles. You'll need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date with on-the-job-training and courses covering everything from programming languages to the technical skills required for projects you're working on.
Discover whether life as a systems analyst is for you.
To be successful, you'll need to be a fast learner with an enquiring mind and a feel for words. While you don't always need a degree, subjects including science, engineering, technology and languages can help you to stand out.
You'll use your skills to establish an understanding of the product or applications and then design and write documentation to explain it to users clearly and concisely. Starting at junior technical author level, you can progress from a senior technical author up to project leader or editor.
Take a look at the responsibilities of a technical author.
You'll plan, create and code web pages, using both technical and non-technical skills to produce websites that fit your customers' requirements.
Creativity and experience is often enough to land a job, but a relevant degree with a creative or technical element can be useful - for example, computer science, graphic design, software engineering and web design. Employers will also want to see what you can do, so you'll need a portfolio to show off your work.
Find out more about the role of a web designer.
It's your job to build and maintain reliable and high performing websites and web applications.
Knowledge and experience are what's important. No formal qualifications are needed but some employers look for a technical degree, so courses in computer science, informatics, software engineering or web design and development could be useful.
In addition to technical knowledge, you'll need to have a logical approach to problem solving, experience of development methodologies (like Agile and Waterfall) and the ability to manage a lot of tasks and deliver them on time.
Discover where to look for IT jobs as a web developer.