Getting your foot in the door of an IT career

Associate
Joined
18 Nov 2010
Posts
2,175
Location
Relocated to Northern Sweden
I'm currently studying Computer Science, Sociology, Modern Studies and History at college, and wondering if it's worth going on to university next year? Would it greatly increase my chances within the IT job market? Going by what friends have said is that experience is the main factor in getting the job or not. I'm almost 21 as it is, and if going to university isn't going to be worth my time and money then I'd rather not.
 
Don
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
41,201
Location
Notts
I would try and look for an apprenticeship scheme with one of the big players, getting your foot in the door counts for lots more than a degree will
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Dec 2009
Posts
2,669
Location
Lancashire
I'm currently studying Computer Science, Sociology, Modern Studies and History at college, and wondering if it's worth going on to university next year? Would it greatly increase my chances within the IT job market? Going by what friends have said is that experience is the main factor in getting the job or not. I'm almost 21 as it is, and if going to university isn't going to be worth my time and money then I'd rather not.

That depends on what you want to do within IT. If it's doing IT support, then I wouldn't say a degree would be the most helpful thing to have (and I'd call you crazy for wanting to do it... :p).
 
Associate
Joined
18 Nov 2010
Posts
2,175
Location
Relocated to Northern Sweden
That depends on what you want to do within IT. If it's doing IT support, then I wouldn't say a degree would be the most helpful thing to have (and I'd call you crazy for wanting to do it... :p).

I was thinking of possibly going down the network engineering route.

I would try and look for an apprenticeship scheme with one of the big players, getting your foot in the door counts for lots more than a degree will

I've actually contacted a few companies in terms of apprenticeships, but they all seem to want school leavers up to the age of 19.
 
Soldato
Joined
23 Sep 2005
Posts
5,431
Location
Dundee
I would try and look for an apprenticeship scheme with one of the big players, getting your foot in the door counts for lots more than a degree will

Out of all the people I've worked with in IT over the past 10 years, I don't think any of them ever did an apprenticeship,whereas most have degrees.
 
Associate
Joined
2 Nov 2009
Posts
1,132
Out of all the people I've worked with in IT over the past 10 years, I don't think any of them ever did an apprenticeship,whereas most have degrees.

It really depends what your doing. I'm software developer, and nearly everyone, in nearly every company i've ever worked for had a degree.

Yet if you company that goes around fitting computers, not so much.
 
Don
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
41,201
Location
Notts
Out of all the people I've worked with in IT over the past 10 years, I don't think any of them ever did an apprenticeship,whereas most have degrees.

depeds on th company, apprenticeships tend to be offered by the real big players

very few I have ever worked with have had degrees, admittedly the apprenticeships have only been last few years, most have just worked their way up from entry level roles

we are looking at new folks now and are taking apprentices as opposed to degree level people
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Dec 2009
Posts
2,669
Location
Lancashire
I was thinking of possibly going down the network engineering route.

You may want to look at Cisco certs and similar as an alternative route, but one of the best things to do is look at what current requirements are for those roles (take a look at CW Jobs, Planet Recruit etc. and browse their listings).

I've actually contacted a few companies in terms of apprenticeships, but they all seem to want school leavers up to the age of 19.

That seems to be the case where I work, although it might be that they make exceptions; I just haven't seen any. Whereabouts are you?

Out of all the people I've worked with in IT over the past 10 years, I don't think any of them ever did an apprenticeship,whereas most have degrees.

I did an apprenticeship!

I wonder if that's why I'm still stuck where I am, hating every day... :p
 
Don
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
41,201
Location
Notts
I've actually contacted a few companies in terms of apprenticeships, but they all seem to want school leavers up to the age of 19.

just be aware that some (such as my employer) don't recruit apprentices directly, they are taken from a company which prepares them to a level before we select the ones to take on
 
Soldato
Joined
23 Jul 2007
Posts
2,663
Location
Worcester
I'd say unless you plan to go in as support then a degree is definitely better then an appreticeship .

Having done my degree and now in employment I can say I would have gotten a lot less interviews without the degree.
 
Associate
Joined
18 Nov 2010
Posts
2,175
Location
Relocated to Northern Sweden
You may want to look at Cisco certs and similar as an alternative route, but one of the best things to do is look at what current requirements are for those roles (take a look at CW Jobs, Planet Recruit etc. and browse their listings).

That seems to be the case where I work, although it might be that they make exceptions; I just haven't seen any. Whereabouts are you?

I'll take a look, thanks.

I'm currently living up in Inverness. A bit out of the way I know.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Jun 2012
Posts
3,918
Location
West Yorkshire
I had your same trouble. While im doing my TU100 i was looking for the same but a wage around 15k a year as i wouldnt be able to survive on an apprentice wage. Out of 100s of CVs etc iv have 10 interviews and this is my first call back.

Patience pays off though.
 
Associate
Joined
17 Jun 2005
Posts
1,080
Location
London
I've actually contacted a few companies in terms of apprenticeships, but they all seem to want school leavers up to the age of 19.
I'm currently on a graduate scheme for a large IT consultancy and we also offer apprenticeships. Pretty sure you would get onto the scheme at 21/22 - just for context, I joined the graduate scheme at the age of 25 with a standard Bachelors degree.

As for your original post, I would definitely recommend going for an apprenticeship over university - especially in an industry such as IT. The apprentices we have are getting really good experience, a funded Open University degree, plus a tidy salary for their age. The tuition fees aren't really worth paying unless it's for a "traditional degree" (Law, Medicine, Maths etc.)
 
Soldato
Joined
23 Dec 2009
Posts
18,012
Location
RG8 9
A Computer Science degree is highly thought of. There was some guy on the local radio down here saying they have loads of jobs in the Thames (Silicon) Valley and nobody to fill them. They said they are crying out for Computer Science graduates. Will be able to skip a lot of the lower paid stuff apparently.
 
Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
31,978
I would try and look for an apprenticeship scheme with one of the big players, getting your foot in the door counts for lots more than a degree will

Depends what you mean by IT and what kind of position. In my line of work your CV will ditched if you don't have a Master in CS/Math/Physics from a Russell group and a PhD will put you in much better standing.


A Good CS degree from a good university is one of the most well respected degrees out there along with Maths, physics, Aeronautical engineering etc.
This is a much more theoretical career path which will lead into a variety of interesting jobs. It is certainly not a vocation course, don't even expect to be taught how to program or learn any particular language, you learn fundamental principles, theories, techniques, data structures, algorithms, analysis, complexity theory, computational models, information theory and a load a of maths along with it.


And to echo the above, good computer scientists are in massive demand, there is a very large shortage of suitable candidates. Our company is really struggling to hire sufficient developers- we might have to fold one of the projects as we simply cannot hire enough software engineers!!
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
1 Sep 2011
Posts
955
Location
Peterborough
Start your CCENT...then CCNA then wherever you want to go.

Or do your CCNA first if you pick up stuff quickly. Which is why i'm doing my CCENT fiirst. I want to get the fundamentals 'right'.
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Jun 2005
Posts
5,151
Location
Kent
I was thinking of possibly going down the network engineering route.

That's the route I went down, as I really enjoy networking. I finished my ICT degree last year, this year I've got my CCNA and I've started to work towards windows server 2008 server admin (passed 1 of the 3 exams, close to doing the 2nd soon). And I've still yet to find a job nearby. Some of the advice I've been given is to not expect a great job out of uni, but I have these qualifications and look for any entry level IT job that is not software development and I'm turning up very little results.

My advice would be to look into software development, there are a lot more jobs out there (from my job searching recently) and you can develop some programs in your own time to show examples of your work, where for me to get into networking with no previous experience I can't really show any examples of work relevant to the job.

If I can't get a job even once I've finished my server admin cert (which I got to help get my foot in the door, even though I want to get into networking rather than systems administration) then I'll have to try and look for further ways to broaden my skill set, and have to start looking further away.
 
Top Bottom