A professional career in IT range from the highly technical, such as software developer, computer games designer or technical support; to those requiring good business awareness such as systems analyst, database administrator or web author. Job titles can be confusing as they are not consistent across the industry and multiskilling means roles can overlap.

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Jobs and Salaries

Take a look at this outline of the various roles available in the IT sector, and read on about careers within IT.

Take a look at these career paths to see how your career might develop within IT.

Information security is a specialism you can move into.

Find out what it is like to be an IT apprentice. 

  • An average graduate starting salary is £22,311 (2013)

Routes and Qualifications

There are currently several routes to a career in the IT industry in the UK; including full time study, part-time study whilst in employment, and on the job training. The following are just some of the options open to those interested in an IT career:

  • Graduation with a non-IT related subject
  • An accredited degree
  • Training in a specific IT skill which is in demand
  • Transfer to an IT department within a company
  • A year in industry/gap year experience prior to University

The BCS, Chartered Institute for IT offers many qualification options, whether you are a beginner, or already working in the sector. 

Find out about professional qualifications from the Association of Computer Professionals.

Soctim, the membership association for all ICT professionals working in Local Authorities and the Public and Third Sectors also offer courses to help develop your career in IT.

Find out what it’s like to pursue a digital career, including many local opportunities for young people in these vibrant IT sectors.

Kick start your career in IT with an apprenticeship.  

Funding and Support 

Funding for qualifications in IT are dependent on the individual institute. Take a look at the Profession Finder to see what support each professional body provides for training.

If you are considering full time education in this sector, check out the pages on student finance from gov.uk, and/or contact the funding or careers departments of the organisations you are considering training with.

What’s it really like working in this sector?

Nearly all jobs are office based and involve large amounts of time at a desk at a computer screen. However you may well be working face to face with clients too.

Most work a fairly standard day, however the cyclical nature of projects means that extra work may be necessary to meet project deadlines or to provide 24/7 support. In the gaming industry, however, long hours are the norm.

IT offers good promotion opportunities. The fast pace of change in the industry means that career progression depends on keeping up with developments, retraining in new skills and anticipating future trends. Once experienced, many people work on a freelance or contract basis, or set up a consultancy.

How many jobs are there in this sector?

IT & Telecoms is a major employer - One in 20 UK workers is employed in the IT & Telecoms workforce and there are around 144,000 workplaces in the IT and Telecoms industry (2013).

Location, location, location

  • Opportunities exist throughout the UK, although over 40% of UK IT jobs are based in London and the South East.
  • As IT skills are globally needed, opportunities to work abroad are fairly common.

Will a career in this sector suit me?

  • Teamwork skills and good verbal and writing skills are often just as vital as technical knowledge and almost all jobs require the ability to solve complex problems in a logical manner.
  • All computer specialists also require a broad knowledge of internet technologies.
  • There are a number of different qualifications available to gain entry to the IT sector.
  • Some people go in with an IT degree, a HND or BTEC qualification, others with A levels or GCSE grades. It is also possible to take an apprenticeship in IT leading to an NVQ qualification. 
  • Take a further look at skills available in our Employment Sector Update for IT.