Why would I want to work in IT?
In 1975 a new personal computer called the Altair 8800 entered the consumer market. Most people dismissed it at the time as little more than a nonsense idea that would never catch on, but not a certain 19-year old maths wizard and Harvard drop-out.
Bill Gates, along with a small group of fellow amateur computer programmers, saw a world of endless technological opportunity and together they worked tirelessly to exploit the Altair’s potential, setting up a small company of their own which would soon become Microsoft.
Today, the initiative and enthusiasm of these early innovators has sparked the rapid growth of an Information Technology industry that has become arguably the most significant driver for the modern global economy.
It's estimated that the IT sector generates more than over half of the UK's total economic output and is responsible for around 5% of all jobs in the UK - around 1.5 million employees.
With over 20 million British workers using some form of IT every day as part of their job, it comes as no surprise that the IT sector is one of the fastest growing and most in-demand industries in the UK with more than 150,000 new entrants needed each year to satisfy demand.
From retail to sport and music to banking, IT is a vital component of everyday life with opportunities existing across the industrial spectrum and at every level. Just some of the specialist areas include:
- coding and programming
- refining and improving functionality
- providing communication and network support
- diagnosing and resolving faults
- developing and implementing software solutions
- designing and maintaining websites
Regardless of what area you work in, IT offers everyday challenges, variety of work, and often a relaxed working environment. With such high demand for IT skills and a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced personnel, salary levels continue to remain higher than the UK average, rising at around eight times the national rate each year.
New entrants into the IT sector are lured by an industry that provides a good work-life balance. Most roles are performed during normal working hours with little work to take home, however, the cyclical nature of the industry often requires longer hours when project deadline day approaches.
As the growth of e-commerce, mobile telecommunications, networking, and security continues, demand for IT professionals at all levels and across all industry sectors will ensure that the outlook for new entrants remains a positive one.