What is the best way to get into the IT industry?

If you are looking for the secret to find the very best graduate jobs in IT, you might be disappointed to know that there is no one set way to get your first step on the IT career ladder. If you have graduated from an IT-related degree it’s likely that you already have the IT skills necessary, but in fact it takes more than stellar IT skills to secure a brilliant job within the IT sector.

Learning computer skills on your degree course is one thing, but many employers are looking for experience in applying the practical skills you have learned – because theory and practice can be two very different things. So how do you go about finding the work experience that will help you to secure one of those elusive graduate IT jobs?

There are in fact many ways that you can go about it. If you already have a clear idea of the company (or at least the type of company) that you would like to work for, then check out their website for any work experience opportunities. If none are listed, be proactive by writing the company a letter expressing your interest in gaining some work experience with them. Intern placements can often lead to employment within the very same firm, so make sure that you are diligent, enthusiastic and proactive on the job. Even if it doesn’t directly lead to employment within the same company, you will have gained some valuable contacts which could very well be useful in the future.

There are some companies that have more formalised graduate schemes that are often paid. These can be a great option for graduates that don’t have much money but still need that all important leg-up on the IT career ladder. Some of the best graduate schemes last for six months to a year, and they enable a person to explore working in all different departments of the company. During that time, a graduate will be able to build a broad set of skills, and be able to learn for themselves which area of the business they most enjoy working in and which they are most suited to. After the training period is over, the graduate will be incorporated into an appropriate business area, and can expect an attractive starting salary.

You might find when applying for internships and work experience placements that placements are just as difficult to secure as full time IT jobs. If you’re struggling to find yourself a work experience placement then be proactive and try to gain more experience by helping out neighbours with their computer problems, or build an iPhone application off your own back. This is great experience that will impress a new company, and just as importantly, it will show that you have a proactive and tenacious attitude – a quality that every employer wants from its employees.

The road to IT employment might not be a simple one, but with a little tenacity and patience you will certainly be able to secure an IT job that you love. Good luck!

For further information on how to get into the IT job industry and for the latest available vacancies in your area, visit Jobsite.co.uk