Building A Career In The IT Sector: where to start?
26 Jan 2016
Making a break into the IT industry and climbing the career ladder is a realistic prospect for millions of people across the UK, but where exactly do you start? Fortunately, the IT sector is one of the most diverse industries in the country and currently provides jobs to people with a wide range of skills, experience and educational backgrounds in multiple sectors. Data analysts, graphic designers and computer programmers are all part of the thriving IT sector which is behind almost every single business niche in the digital age. This means that the IT roles you want are available in virtually every sector and there are a number of routes people can take to get their dream IT job.
There are many IT roles that do not require a formal qualification path and it is possible to prepare yourself for a career in the industry in a variety of different ways. For example, to become a systems administrator, you could complete a Computer Sciences degree at university or take other computer related courses in order to gain the server management skills and other crucial knowledge and experience you require. You may also opt to begin an internship and focus on becoming certified in a program related to the IT role you wish to fulfil. Another way of boosting your career in IT is by joining a professional trade body, as this will provide you with additional networking opportunities, access to conferences and training and professional qualifications. The great thing about IT is that there are many avenues to success and it is possible to make your break later in life if you want to leave your current job and start an exciting, new career. To find out an ideal route, you should take a closer look at the IT discipline you want to pursue and find out the qualifications and skills required.
Becoming an IT contractor
IT professionals with the relevant skills can either choose to work in-house as a permanent employee or make the switch to becoming a contractor. Many of the most talented digital designers, programmers and developers in the UK now work for themselves on a contract basis. Contractors and freelancers work on their own terms and choose projects they want to work on. Many IT workers aspire to contract work as it offers many perks including being your own boss, more freedom, paying less tax and attaining a better work and life balance.
Becoming a contractor also brings financial responsibilities such as minimising your long-term tax liabilities, which can be a major challenge for first time flexible workers. An umbrella company can help you with these obligations by managing your National Insurance, payroll and tax affairs and it will free you from the costs of setting up and shutting down a limited company.
Building in a career in IT is easier than you think in the modern market due to the growing demand for popular and niche skill sets in industries across the UK and the rest of the world. Starting with a formative education in IT, either through online courses or higher education will provide a foundation from which you will be able to secure the IT role you want.