The UK's IT industry continues to go through major changes in order to remain at the forefront of cutting edge technology, with jobs in tech ranging from software development and technical support to leading the way in cyber security, cloud computing and AI
What areas of IT can I work in?
According to CompTIA's State of the Tech Workforce UK report, the tech sector employed just over two million workers in 2022, with tech employment expected to increase by 1% in 2023.
In addition, the UK Tech Ecosystem update - a Tech Nation report supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Digital Economy Council - revealed that there's been a huge push to encourage talent to enter the industry, with over two million open vacancies.
So, if you possess the relevant knowledge and technical skills, you could work in:
- applications development
- computer forensics
- content management
- cyber security and risk management
- data analysis and analytics
- game development
- geographical information systems (GIS)
- hardware engineering
- information management
- IT consultancy (business and technical)
- IT sales
- multimedia programming
- software engineering (designing, building, developing and testing)
- systems/network management
- technical support
- web design/development.
For instance, your job may involve creating applications or systems, solving problems with technology, or supporting those who use it. Employers in the IT industry also require graduates to work in their business, marketing, human resources (HR) and finance functions.
Many IT professionals also choose to work outside the sector, such as in the IT departments of retail, finance, manufacturing and public sector organisations.
Who are the main IT graduate employers?
Large and global companies include:
- FDM Group
- Meta (Facebook)
- Rockstar Games
Major telecommunications companies include:
- BT Group (EE, Openreach, Plusnet)
- Sky UK
- Telefónica UK (O2)
As the sector is fast-moving and dynamic, there are many smaller businesses and tech start-ups that are worth seeking out for entry-level job opportunities. For example, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the IT industry provide a range of specialist services and typically offer consultancy and technical roles.
IT professionals are also employed to work in many other job sectors, including:
- Financial services - recruiters such as Barclays, Citigroup, Deloitte, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are looking for IT graduates to work with the latest technologies. These include jobs with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), cloud services, virtual reality software development, robotics process automation, user experience (UX) or analytics.
- Manufacturing - multinational engineering companies in the oil, pharmaceuticals, automotive and energy industries need IT specialists to work on the processes and technologies that underpin their operations. For instance, aerospace and defence innovator MBDA requires software engineers with programming language skills.
- Public sector - local authorities, central government and the National Health Service (NHS) all recruit IT professionals to keep their systems running smoothly, deliver projects and analyse data efficiently so it can be used to make major decisions.
- Retail - major online and high street retailers such as Amazon, Tesco, TJX Europe and John Lewis look to technology graduates to develop new systems and apps, while rolling out technological solutions that satisfy their customers' needs.
Explore the range of technical careers on offer at IT graduate jobs.
Where can I find IT jobs in the UK?
Most employers expect you to have gained some technical knowledge of IT, although any relevant work experience or internship would be beneficial as you seek your first role.
Vacancies for entry-level and graduate jobs can also be found on specialist IT recruitment sites, including:
IT jobs in the public sector can be found on websites such as:
In addition, you can look for IT vacancies on general jobs websites, as employers across all sectors require graduates to fill IT and computing roles in their organisations.
Another option is to find an IT apprenticeship, as you'll be able to learn on the job while studying towards a recognised certification.
How do I apply for IT roles?
An IT CV, also known as a technical CV, can be used to apply for roles such as web developer, IT consultant, software tester or applications developer.
Include an introductory paragraph that mentions your technical expertise and experience and incorporate a 'key skills' heading that allows for more detail when discussing technical competencies.
While you might be tempted to showcase all your technical abilities at once, ensure that you highlight relevant skills first and foremost. You should also bear in mind that the document will need to be understood by non-technical people such as HR managers.
Use this CV template to focus on your:
- ability to maintain existing software applications and develop new ones
- experience of applying technical standards, theories and techniques
- problem-solving capabilities
- communication skills.
What's it like working in IT?
Graduates entering the IT industry in the UK can expect:
- An average starting salary - according to High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2023 report, starting salaries for technology jobs with organisations featuring in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers are £27,500.
- Long working hours - employers tend to emphasise completing a task or project over maintaining standard 9am-5pm office hours.
- Opportunities to work abroad - many large IT companies have branches or subsidiaries in other countries.
- The chance to be self-employed - it's not unusual for graduates to go freelance, work as a contractor or even start their own companies.
- A constantly changing industry - as new technologies and software are developed, it's important to keep your skills up to date to remain at the top of your profession.
To find out more about salaries and working conditions for specific roles, explore our IT job profiles.
What are the IT skills shortages?
Representing over 800 member organisations, industry trade association techUK has highlighted the need for the UK's growing digital skills gaps to be addressed to remain at the forefront of innovation and research and development (R&D).
Nimmi Patel, techUK's skills and diversity programme manager, explains, 'The UK's tech sector is growing at 2.5 times the rate of the rest of the economy creating exciting jobs that require a range of skills and talent - but the UK is still facing a major digital skills shortage. To effectively prepare our workforce in an ever-changing digital economy, we need to inspire and support people into digital roles.
'There are a number of vocational and academic pathways that can provide people with the right technical skills to flourish in the industry, but the IT industry needs more than developers and programmers,' adds Nimmi.
Indeed, TechNation's People and Skills Report 2022 showed that while the number of advertised tech jobs had risen to a remarkable two million, higher than any other area of the UK jobs market, many employers are still unable to fill their vacancies.
The top in-demand skills were those associated with data, followed by management, engineering and security.
The top roles employers were looking to fill included:
- software developer
- business analyst
- Java developer
- DevOps engineer
- project manager
- data analyst.
What about trends in the IT industry?
In its Digital in Business Life Report 2023: Security, professionalism and priorities for 2023 report, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, spoke with IT leaders and digital professionals on their confidence in the government's strategy on digital and their priorities for 2023.
Driven by the advancements in digital technologies and the need to remain secure, the report revealed how both sets of respondents had made cyber security their main technological priority.
This was followed by cloud and business process automation for IT leaders, with these two priorities placed the other way round for digital professionals.
While over a tenth (12%) of IT leaders admitted that cyber security was their main concern, only 7% thought that their organisations had enough resources to achieve these technology priorities - 11% of digital professionals thought this goal could be achieved.
Both groups were in agreement regarding the need for enhanced IT capabilities and skills in the existing workforce, with two-thirds of those surveyed highlighting this. To fill these capability gaps, four-fifths (79%) of IT leaders thought this could be done through upskilling/on-the-job training.
Other priorities for everyone included AI, aiming for net zero, the as-a-service model (for example, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, X-aaS), Agile methods, the internet of things and DevOps.
The manipulation of data is a skill that cannot be overlooked, especially with the rise in awareness of the data scientist role. There are other considerations too, such as the effect that current or incoming legislation will have on GDPR-related jobs. This would have an implication for big data professionals who would require skills in AWS, Python, Hadoop, Spark, Cloudera, MongoDB, Hive, Tableau and Java.
The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has highlighted how the entertainment sector, which incorporates, music, video and games, hit £11.08billion in UK sales in 2022 - as it enjoyed its tenth successive year of growth.
Find out more
- Read about diversity in the tech industry.
- Explore how to upgrade your skills with an IT course.
- Discover how to get into digital marketing.