The different roles in the IT sector

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Today, technology and IT governs almost every aspect of day to day life. The growth of the Internet and mobile communications, in particular, have had a massive impact on both the business world and the way you organise your personal activities, from purchasing goods online to staying in touch with friends and family no matter where they may be located. As a result, there is a constant demand for skilled manpower in the IT industry. All companies today either have an in-house IT department or outsource this entire function.

The really interesting news if you are looking to make a career change or seeking your first job is that the IT sector covers a diverse set of skills, some of which can be learnt without a professional degree in the field. If, however, you are using the academic route to enter the IT industry, you should be considering either a BSc or MSc in computer sciences with a specialisation is a specific field, such as hardware, networking or animation. Because technology is advancing at such a rapid pace it is essential that you continue to update your skills by taking training courses related to the sector in which you are working. There are professional training bodies offering internationally recognised courses; all you have to do is be prepared to set aside the time to further your knowledge.

The demand for IT services cuts across functions such as programming, 3-D animation, graphic design, networking and web design and security. Computers rely on programs, which are written in code. There are various codes or computer languages, for example, C++, Python and Java. If you have a flair for languages it is possible to these in a couple of months. Some of the most sought after IT skills are in coding, web design and developing apps for mobile devices. Skills that can be gained by taking a combination of offline and online courses.

Once you have completed your chosen course and acquired the necessary qualifications you might want to consider working as a contractor to companies that rely on freelancers to undertake specific projects. In a recent survey, carried out by a freelancing website, over 80 per cent of the 1,000 respondents said that contracting and freelancing was a ‘highly attractive and lucrative career option’.

If you are a contractor or freelancer and are struggling to maintain a balance between growing your business and day to day administrative tasks it is well worth securing the services of an umbrella company. The services available include taking over responsibility for invoicing, collection of money from the client and ensuring payments and returns to HMRC are made correctly and on time.

A growing number of graduates are increasingly choosing the contracting route as a starting point in their careers. This option allows you to gain experience across a diverse range of functions, with a variety of organisations and cultures, which enhances your employment prospects and earning potential should you decide to take a directly employed position.


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