Whether your university days are coming to an end, or whether you’re a recent graduate actively pursuing a career in IT, you may be wondering how to stand out and get ahead. Where to begin? Careers in IT cannot simply be pigeon-holed into a one-size-fits-all tick list of skills. Some graduates may want to become graphic designers. Others might wish to go into web development, consultancy, or analyst support roles. The important thing is to establish your key areas of interest.

Do you have the correct qualifications?

First, let’s cover a frequently asked question: do you need a computer sciences degree to land a career in IT? The answer depends on the type of job, type of employer, and the work experience required to fulfil a position, you may require very specific qualifications. However, higher education in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), are also typically seen as a good inroads to a career in IT. Learn more about the IT services provided by a leading IT solutions provider and begin to get an idea of the key skills involved within the industry.

Getting started – graduate schemes & entry level roles

Graduate schemes provide on the job learning. This means that graduates can access a structured route towards gaining skills whilst studying up on industry knowledge. Entry level positions are likely to provide a smaller window of opportunity in terms of how varied the workload will be, as instead of studying different aspects of a role, the entry level role will require a certain continued output.

So… which should you choose? A graduate scheme or an entry level role? Perhaps one way to look at the choice is to decide whether you are ready to commit to developing a particular talent. If you’re not sure, perhaps a graduate scheme could open more doors than a dedicated entry level role. In either case, the main advantage of graduate schemes and entry level roles is that you will have direct access to industry specialists in specific sectors. Let’s now look at those sectors.

Career satisfaction – choose a sector

Admittedly, the jobs market can be cruel to first time applicants. Sometimes, there just aren’t enough opportunities to afford to be picky. However, good advice at this early stage is to think about which sector interests you the most – because a job isn’t just a job, it’s something you have to get out of bed and do, Monday to Friday, from now until you retire (isn’t that something worth getting right?). For example, you may wish to pursue a career in network engineering or project management. At their core, both jobs require problem solving, organisation, and a certain amount of creativity. All of your efforts will be tailored towards achieving company goals. You’re going to become invested (whether you like it or not) in the processes and needs of the company.

Think retail, think defence systems, think sports, think technology, or learning, or TV and film. Whatever you choose now could well be the grounds on which you build a long and rewarding career in a sector that means something to you, rather than just your skills meaning something for the sector.