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A Career in IT - Is it for me

 

Virtually every organisation employs IT graduates, from companies producing hardware and software to hospitals. IT workers can be employees, hired by an organisation; contractors, provided by an agency; or consultants, freelancers providing clients with custom solutions.

Job roles

Many graduates begin as programmers. Applications programmers write programs managing database systems. Systems programmers/developers deal with a computer's internal operations, eg controlling how applications run simultaneously. Proficiency in more than one programming language is essential. Many programmers become analysts or project managers.

Systems and business analysts have similar work, analysing clients' needs to provide programmers with program specifications. Business analysts focus more on the processes within wider business environments, often having a business and IT background

Web developers utilise IT, design and business skills to design websites usually within a team environment. They design, test and maintain sites. Work is available in various organisations and salaries vary accordingly.

Network engineers install, maintain and upgrade network systems necessary for communication in every organisation. Responsibilities depend upon the organisation's size. Entry is often through technical support roles.

Technical support people diagnose and fix technical problems. This may involve telephone helpline work or troubleshooting within an organisation.

Technical sales is the least technical IT position. Understanding clients' needs to meet revenue targets is essential. Sales people often have an IT and business/marketing background (usually involving postgraduate study) but this isn't compulsory.

Software engineers have strong technical backgrounds and write and code highly complex computer software and operating systems.

Project managers lead teams producing new pieces of systems or software. They co-ordinate programmers, analysts and designers and liaise with clients and suppliers. Management skills are more important than technical but many managers find programming or engineering experience helpful. Graduates need at least three years' experience.

 

Is it for me?

Most IT roles require strong technical knowledge with excellent communication and team-working skills. Problem solving is also key.

Trends

Ireland is the world's second largest software producer. A 15 per cent growth rate is predicted for several decades.

The future may also present some challenges, although these are unlikely to stunt overall growth. Current issues include:

A US recession: the USA is our largest export market.

Changes to software localisation: financial incentives encourage international players to operate from Ireland. Increasing use of internet-based services in software localisation may lessen the need to relocate.

Changes in obtaining software: the supply of software in package format may be replaced with an internet-based complete service .

Further information

Irish Computer Society National body for ICT professionals in Ireland. www.ics.ie

 

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Irish Internet Association Professional body for internet businesses. www.iia.ie

 

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Choose IT Irish Computer Society's microsite to help you decide if a career in IT is for you. www.chooseit.ie

 

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ICT Ireland Representative group within IBEC for ICT sector. Information on ICT graduate internship programme. www.ictireland.ie

 

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Irish Software Association An overview of the industry, plus a company database. www.software.ie

 

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Momentum Northern Ireland trade association for the ICT industry. www.momentumni.org

 

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Article Courtesy of Grad Ireland www.gradireland.com

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