Computing & IT is the way of the future, with all elements of our lives now relying on computers and technology to function.
IT salaries increased by 3.6% between 2019 and 2020
A skills deficit of 4.3 million professionals is anticipated by 2030
IT jobs will grow 13% by 2026, translating to 55,100 new jobs in US
Computing salaries are more than twice the national average
About Computing & IT
Computing & IT is a broad term, referring to a huge array of jobs that involve computers and information technology systems. As this broad definition suggests, there’s infinite opportunities and possibilities within the Computing & IT field for those that are passionate about technology and solving problems.
From apps to social media platforms, computing permeates all aspects of our lives. This means that studying Computing & IT can lead the way to a rich career full of exciting challenges and plenty of room for growth!
Is Computing & IT right for me?
To thrive in Computing & IT, you’ll need a technical mindset. This means an ability to understand technical information, multitask and pay attention to details is crucial. While many people think Computing & IT roles are solitary endeavours, you’ll actually need to be a good communicator and team player, as technical issues will need to be tackled from various angles using an entire team’s skills. Computing & IT is particularly well-suited to those who are passionate about learning and want to create change in a rapidly evolving world. Due to how diverse the field is, you’ll also be able to zone into a specialisation. This can include computer science, information systems, software development, AI, and so much more.
In terms of your day-to-day work routine, Computing & IT professionals can expect to work a standard 9-5 day. If working in a cybersecurity role, for example, you might have to work out-of-hours to troubleshoot crucial problems. One misconception is that Computing & IT roles only exist in startup hubs like Silicon Valley. In reality, Computing & IT jobs are some of the most remote-friendly roles out there!
Computing & IT study options and costs
Computing & IT is a flexible and diverse pathway, meaning there’s a variety of study options to consider. Most professionals have a three or four-year Bachelor’s degree, which can cost between £9,000-30,000 a year in the UK, around AUD$30,000 a year in Australia, and between USD$20,000-40,000 a year in the US.
However, it’s also important to know that some roles within the Computing & IT industry don’t necessarily require a degree. Often a certificate or diploma is enough. For example, less than half of IT support workers actually have a Bachelor’s degree! At the same time, higher levels of education can translate to higher salaries - those with a doctoral degree in computer science earn an average of USD$93,050 in the US while those with Bachelor’s degrees only earn USD$50,820.
Finally, remember that even after obtaining a qualification, you might require certifications or security clearances for certain roles. This could be an Amazon Web Services certification, an industry accreditation like CISA or CISSP, or a Google certification, depending on the kinds of roles you’re aiming for.
One of the best things about entering the Computing & IT field is its incredible outlook. By 2030, there is predicted to be a shortage of 4.3 million technology, media and telecommunications professionals, which means prospects are strong for those who are skilled in the area. Of particular note is that soft digital skills are actually more lacking than hard digital skills - this means things like a passion for learning and customer-centricity will be highly valued in the workforce of tomorrow.
For those wanting to get into the most robust areas of Computing & IT, consider cybersecurity and cloud computing. No matter what path you choose within this industry, you’ll be equipped with plenty of transferable skills and have control over your own career trajectory.
Career pathways for Computing & IT graduates
The potential career pathways within Computing & IT are bountiful. Here are some of the most popular roles within the field.
Computer programmers write code for computer programs and update software to ensure everything functions optimally. You’ll typically work in-house at an organisation, writing and updating the programs they use or programming customer-facing products. If you feel confident picking up a few different programming languages, working as a computer programmer could be a good fit for you.
Database administrators are responsible for maintaining the security, integrity and performance of databases. This includes ensuring data is accessible to authorised users and troubleshooting any problems that come up. Database administrators are necessary across a range of organisations including universities, financial institutions, IT firms and government departments.
Information Security Analyst
As an information security analyst, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the security of the information systems at your organisation. This involves analysing, assessing and investigating any vulnerabilities in the organisation’s IT infrastructure (meaning its software, hardware, systems and networks), and protecting this infrastructure from any cyberattacks.
Network administrators keep an eye on computer networks to troubleshoot problems, install hardware and software, and plan future network needs. Another similar role to consider is that of a systems administrator, who is tasked with overseeing computer networks, wireless networks, server systems and more within an organisation.
Web developers are the brains behind websites, working to program and design pages, navigation systems and user interfaces. From optimising page speed to increasing capacity, web developers also keep websites running smoothly once they’re all set up. As you can imagine, web developers can find work across a myriad of organisations or even work on a freelance basis.
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