Careers Service Occupations

Information Technology

Information Technology

About

IT students and graduates can find work in most sectors - from finance and the public sector to manufacturing, retail and entertainment.

Careers advice (all sectors)

Careers advice (Gaming industry)

Industry news and insights

Sources of news include Computer Weekly.com and Computing.co.uk.

GamesIndustry.biz and MCV are useful for industry news and Edge Magazine displays job vacancies.

Venturi's Voice blogs cover key insights and trends in the technology sector, including cloud, cyber security, data science and software development.

Tech Nation provides analysis of the UK's digital technology sector, including Newcastle.

Sunderland Software City posts regular insights about the tech sector.

Invest North East has information on the North East's IT and digital sector.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them and sector skills bodies on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

Find professional bodies outside of the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides.

Professional associations/institutes

Sector skills councils/industry networks

Making contacts

Talk to people in the sector to get insight into roles. It can be useful for networking and making speculative applications.

You could start with:

  • NCL Spark – our online mentoring platform, with graduates happy to give you advice about the kind of work they do
  • Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice.

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career and subscribe to our IT sector Twitter list.

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insights and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events organised by the Careers Service include Employer Presentations and Recruitment Fairs.

Sunderland Software City hold regular networking events, where you can meet technology companies and recruiters. There are also regular meetups across the region, eg Frontend NE - a free, monthly meetup about frontend web development, based in Newcastle. For a list of tech events in the North East, see Tech Diary

For more events for this sector, see External Events

Related sectors

You can find careers in IT in a range of sectors. See our other Explore Occupations pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

The range of work available is huge and can suit graduates with a variety of skills. There's development and engineering, systems support and management, security and forensics, business consultancy and sales.

There are also opportunities for graduates without a computer science degree. 

Roles

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT also has information on different roles within IT. This includes jobs support, systems and games development. See their Careers and Skills section.

IT consulting / analysis /sales

IT consultant

Application analyst

Business analyst

Data analyst

Data scientist

SEO specialist

Systems analyst

Systems/technical architect

IT project manager

IT sales professional

Games development

Screen Skills: Games - includes routes into the industry. It has job profiles for a range of careers, including in animation, programming and quality assurance (QA).

Games developer

Games designer

Games tester

Software development

Applications developer

E-learning developer

Geographical information systems officer

Multimedia programmer

Multimedia specialist

Software engineer/developer

Software tester

Web design / development 

Web designer

Web developer

Web content manager

Web editor

UX analyst

UX designer

Cyber security

Cyber security

Cyber security analyst

Penetration Tester

Forensic computer analyst

Information security specialist

IT security co-ordinator

Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine learning engineer

Technical support / operations / training

IT technical support officer/support technician

Database administrator

IT trainer

Technical author

Information systems manager

Network development

Network engineer

Network manager

Gaining Experience

Many large recruiters, such as Waterstons, Accenture, IBM and P&G, advertise summer or year-long placements early in the first semester.

These are usually aimed at undergraduate students in and above their second year of study.

Opportunities are available in a wide range of sectors including finance, retail and energy. You can also find internships and placements within government agencies and public bodies, such as GCHQ, on their Cyber Insights Summer Scheme. 

Work experience with smaller companies is not always advertised. You may need to contact the employer with a speculative approach.

Professional bodies and research councils also advertise opportunities. See About for a list of organisations.

Internships and placements

  • Search for vacancies on MyCareer
  • Careers Service: Internships, placements & shadowing - lists sources of opportunities, in the UK and overseas
  • The Careers Service also runs term-time and summer internships which often include IT projects, including programming and web/app development. You can search for these under Vacancies on MyCareer - look under Vacancy Type for Term time or Vacation Work Experience
  • School of Computing Science: Placements and work experience blog
  • Year in Industry (YINI) - UK industrial placement opportunities in technology, science and engineering
  • IAESTE – global work placements, ranging from 8 to 52 weeks. Opportunities for computer and information science students
  • Kupcinet-Getz Program is an eight-week international science summer school in Israel for outstanding science and computing science students. Students will become part of a research group, attached to a laboratory or theoretical research project under the supervision of an experienced scientist. Accommodation and a small weekly stipend is provided. The deadline is in December each year
  • Faculty Data Science & Data Engineering Fellowship - helps STEM PhD graduates, masters graduates and post-doctoral researchers transition into a career in data science. Faculty run three fellowships a year: spring (starting January), summer (starting in May) and autumn (starting in September)The Fellowship programme starts with two weeks of intensive lectures and workshops at Faculty, before being paired with project companies for a paid six-week data science project
  • Turing Talent - internships, primarily aimed at masters/PhD students. Mix of paid and unpaid opportunities in machine learning, data science, data analysis and software engineering

Finding companies

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

In the North East:

UK and worldwide:

Other ways to gain experience

All experience is valuable. If you can't find an IT-related internship or placement, why not try these alternatives:

  • attend events and network to make contacts and connections. For tech events and meetups in the North East, see Tech Diary. Animex, international festival of animation and computer games, runs annually at Teesside University.
  • join a society - Newcastle University Computing and Technology Society (NUCATS) hold various events, some with speakers from the IT industry. They also run an outreach programme in schools, delivering IT training to pupils, eg on coding and basic computing science knowledge
  • enter an IT-related competition - prizes can often include internships. For example, Kaggle run a range of data science and machine learning competitions, some with prizes.
  • volunteer for Code Club, a nationwide network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11
  • see Volunteering for more opportunities
  • develop entrepreneurial skills - see the Work for Yourself tab for more information

Sign up for free online courses to develop new skills, learn new languages and demonstrate an interest in your field, eg in programming, data science and AI. Try UdacityFutureLearnALISON and Codecademy.

Finding Jobs

Many large recruiters offer graduate training programmes in IT roles. These typically open in September and can close as early as December.

You can also find lots of graduate jobs advertised all year round with small and medium-sized companies - see TARGETJobs: A graduate's guide to starting your career with a small employer.

Professional and industry bodies also advertise graduate positions. See About for a list of organisations.

For smaller companies, a speculative approach is common. Research companies that interest you and send them a well-tailored CV and covering letter. Express your enthusiasm for the field and show you have researched the company.

To find opportunities outside the UK, see GoinGlobal.

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and also research employers for speculative applications:

Finding companies

Not all jobs are advertised. You could also approach organisations or find work through networking in the industry.

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

In the North East:

UK and worldwide:

Work for Yourself

Working as self-employed or freelance is common in the IT sector.

For more information and advice on freelancing and self-employment, and to arrange to speak to one of our START UP advisers, visit the Careers Service's Work for Yourself