This sector continues to grow and is always in need of skilled workers. For most IT careers, you will need technical knowledge as well as an eye for detail, communication and problem-solving skills. The technical knowledge and skills required depends on the role, so it isn’t a sector only for computer science, physics and engineering graduates. However, if you know how to code you will be particularly in demand.
You might work in cyber security, data analytics, game development, web design, technical support or IT consultancy.
IT professionals will also work across many sectors, not just the technology industries. For example, finance, retail, health and education.
Career Zone Employability Schemes
To help increase your work experience and networks in this area.
- Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremely useful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.
- Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.
- Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period.
- Professional Pathways: a suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June. Including Pathways to Data Analytics.
Despite forecasts of a recession following the global pandemic, data shows that nearly half (42%) of employers find it difficult to fill IT jobs in programming and coding. Below is a range of resources to introduce you to the digital and coding sector:
- Student Digital Cyber Academy™ powered by Immersive Labs. It's free and easy to sign up, with just a university or college email address. No previous coding or IT experience is needed and at the end of it you will have developed the skills to apply for your first job in cyber security. You can learn on the go, anywhere, anytime with access to the platform used by Goldman Sachs, Deloitte and BAE Systems to train their staff.
- FutureLearn - Explore more about what the Future of Work will look like with our free online course.
- Forage - Gain insights into a range of different tech companies with the Virtual Experience programmes at Forage.
- My Career Zone Digital - Find more resources in relation to digital skills and coding.
Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector.
- Technology Industry Insight – My Career Zone Digital
- Digital and Tech – icould
Here are some of our technology related episodes.
- In Conversation with Sarah Burne James, Solution Architect at IBM.What IBM do, how to work in the tech industry if you don’t have a tech background and the importance of technical curiosity.
- Digital Capabilities and The Digital Skills Gap – explores how the rise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help businesses remove repetitive tasks, and how your skills can fit into this ever-expanding sector.
- In conversation with Tech companies in Cornwall.
- In conversation with Marketing Director and Digital Marketing Specialist from ForgeRock
- In conversation with a Video Games Entrepreneur
If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful.
- Prospects - Overview of the UKs Information Technology Sector – A summary of trends, roles, training and major employers.
- My Career Zone Digital's Digital Telecommunication Industry Report.
- Target Jobs - Career options whatever your degree discipline, employers, and how to gain the skills they are looking for.
- Computing - Sector news, trends and events.
- Inside Careers - Sector news, events and vacancies.
- Bankersbyday - Includes information on FinTech careers.
- techUK - represents the UK technology industry. Its website contains some useful reports and newsletters.
- Gain insights into a range of different tech companies with this Coding and Digital Employers Experiences programme – a virtual experience programme from Forage.
For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit our general job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.
- National newspapers carrying job adverts for this area include Independent (Mondays), Guardian and The Times
- Gradcracker advertises STEM vacancies, including IT.
For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful:
- IT jobs across the UK.
- The IT Job – international job board.
- Bubble Jobs – tech and digital jobs.
- Women in Tech - careers advice, case studies and jobs.
- Public sector IT jobs.
- Digital, Data and Technology – Civil Service Fast Stream.
- Cybersecurity jobs.
- efinancial careers – technology jobs within the finance sector.
- Work in Startups – start-up job board.
- Unicorn – start-up/ tech focused job board. Includes international and remote jobs.
- Datascope – specialist recruitment agency for games, online and mobile technology.
As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.
If you have studied a related degree, check if your course is accredited by one of the professional bodies. Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector.
If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study.
It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". In addition, it’s vital that any course in this sector is up to date. Further tips on finding IT courses can be found on Prospects.
Non-university training courses linked to a placement or employment are available in this sector. These can work well for the providers and some graduates, taking advantage of skills shortages. However, be cautious, agreements can be complex and expensive especially if you wish to change your mind and not complete the contract. So, check the contract extremely carefully and possibly seek expert advice before signing.
FutureLearn is a great resource for courses in this sector, if you’d like to try your hand and test your interest. Kaggle also provide free courses, public data sets and competitions.
Apprenticeships are a common way into this sector, including for graduates from non-technical disciplines.