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IT Training Tips

Computer Science Careers

Armed with a computer science qualification such as a degree, it would seem the world of IT is at your feet. But times are a changing and a degree isn't considered as a major differentiator as it was several years ago.

Computer Science Graduates

A Computer Science degree was not an option for me, as I left school when I was sixteen and the thought of going to University seemed like a distant dream as I believed at the time I just wasn't smart enough. Anyway, it was a privilege to go to University in those days and only the so called 'smart set' ended up at University.

It's changed dramatically today, especially in the UK, where there are so many students entering University that the whole system seems devalued. The graduates that are churned out at the other end, find it difficult to find work and that includes those with degrees in Computer Science.

There's too many graduates chasing too few graduate opportunities, leaving the best opportunities to those most boldest and brightest amongst the graduates.

Those graduates considered average will enter the extremely competitive world of landing their first job which has the potential to expand their career. Unfortunately when there are too many people striving for a career and not enough well paying entry-level jobs, the result is that salaries start to fall and the entry requirements get tougher. This is because employers can pick and choose only the best candidates, focussing on those with years of experience.

Lucky break

I was lucky when I started my IT journey, as I'd come across a technology well in demand and the IT job market was very different 15 or so years ago, where there just wasn't enough people with IT skills. If I was looking for a job today, without my IT experience, I would find it very difficult, competing with the many very experienced professionals, against who, I wouldn't stand a chance.

This wouldn't necessarily mean someone with no IT experience wouldn't get a job in IT, as the right career strategy can make all the difference.

Career strategy

My strategy if I was new to IT would be to search for a career which had a lot of opportunities, is easy to enter for those with little or no IT experience and could be learned quite easily.

The temptation to jump on to a training course with the hope this will accelerate career opportunities can seem to be a way out of this dilemma but this could make things worse, especially with the financial implications. However, smaller steps are required, more of a learn to walk instead of trying to run first approach, by choosing learning options which gently build up skills with little financial risk.

Many people end up choosing career paths which they are not suited to and which they just don't enjoy but have ended up doing them because of poor advice. This can lead to greater difficulty progressing down the career path and if there is success in attaining work, then the chances of enjoying the work is going to be diminished.

I would therefore look at finding out a lot more about prospective career paths first and do some homework of your own, to see if this path is what you really want. Please keep coming back to this website, as I regularly update information within it, especially as the world of IT keeps on rapidly changing.

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