We recruit in the IT industry
The IT industry includes people in IT companies, such as those offering IT services, technology‐orientated consulting, technology development, systems analysis, programming, systems testing and technology sales. It also includes IT professionals working in other sectors, such as people whose primary job role is IT orientated, which includes IT departments and IT support staff in companies. The IT industry together with Telecoms is represented by e‐skills UK Sector Skills Council.
A sector trend is the convergence of telecommunications, computing and networking and the move from hardware intensive to software intensive platforms. Embedded voice communications capability is already part of the internet, which also has to manage voice, data and video and location information.
The social, economic and market forces shaping UK IT skills are evolving as technology continues to progress from the back office to the board room. This is changing the market for IT skills, creating demand for both technology‐oriented business people and business‐oriented technologists – and blurring the lines between traditional business and IT disciplines.
- There is a total IT and Telecoms workforce of 1.5 million of which 890,000 people are in IT and Telecoms products and service 600,000 IT andtelecoms professionals are working in organisations outside of the IT and Telecoms industries
- There are around 105,000 businesses in the UK offering IT and Telecoms products and services.
- IT‐intensive sectors represent 55% of the UK’s total Gross Value Added.
- Less than 1% of those employed in IT and Telecoms occupations are under 18.
- 22% of companies who are trying to recruit IT and Telecoms professionals report difficulties in attracting applicants with the right skills.
- 58% of the workforce has a degree or higher education qualification.
- The IT industry is predicted to grow at a rate of 2.5% per year for the next ten years.
- There are 100,930 IT manufacturing and services establishments in the UK employing 600,000 people.
- The IT workforce accounts for 4% of the UK workforce.
Jobs in the IT industry include: Business analyst; Games developer; CAD/CAM Programmer/Trainer; IT trainer; Service technician; Software engineer/architect; Technology consultant; Web designer; Systems architect; Technical author.
Entry and progression
- IT and Telecoms employers have a strong preference to recruit experienced people and when recruiting from education, preferences are for graduate level and above.
- New entrants into IT and Telecoms professional job roles each year is expected to be:
- 70,900 people from occupations other than IT or Telecoms (i.e. experienced workers who can be re‐trained as IT & Telecoms professionals)
- 26,800 people from education (predominantly graduate level and higher)
- 43,600 people from other sources (e.g. re‐entering the workforce after a career break, early retirement or unemployment)
For entry into most IT professional roles, a degree is still the preferred option. Most employers accept graduates from any degree discipline, but most will require a minimum of a degree classification of a 2.1. There are four IT‐related degree families that are preferred, including: Business Information Technology; Computing; Computer Engineering; and Computer Games and Digital Media.
For mature entrants, the majority of employers still require a degree level education, although relevant work experience will also be taken into consideration. Apprenticeships also provide an alternative route. For those wishing to undertake an apprenticeship, most employers ask for 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above (or equivalent) including Maths and English.
It is possible to enter the IT sector without a degree or apprenticeship although without relevant work experience this will almost certainly be at an IT User level. IT User skills, such as knowledge and experience of word processing, database, presentation and spreadsheet software, will be of value. Softer skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem‐solving, creativity and commercial awareness, are considered just as important as formal qualifications.