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Your career in technology

22 Jun 2023, 13:22

Graduate careers in IT and telecoms: what's the outlook?

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A career in IT means working in the fastest growing, fastest changing and possibly most demanding career sector. It rewards innovation and creativity but demands accuracy and massive attention to detail.

If you’re looking for a career in IT, then the good news is, if you have the right qualifications and skills, Ireland is in many ways the heart of the IT sector in Europe, employing over 35,000 people. In terms of exports, the IT
sector accounts for over 40% of total Irish exports. There are over 730 indigenous companies involved in the
industry and the Industrial Development Authority supports over 200 other international companies.

The scale of the industry here means the following are operating in Ireland:

  • 9 of the top 10 global software companies
  • The top 10 ‘born on the internet’ companies
  • 9 of the top 10 US ICT companies
  • Top 3 global enterprise software companies
  • 4 of the top 5 IT services companies.

In Northern Ireland there are over 28,000 people employed in the sector, which contributes more than £1.4 billion to the economy. There are more than 100 international tech investors in Northern Ireland, making it one of the leading investment regions for software and IT in Europe. There are 13 university related ICT related research centres in Northern Ireland, in key technology areas such as telecommunications, IT
security, digital media, wireless technology and

No IT degree?

Don’t worry, you’re still in the right place. IT draws skills from a massive variety of sectors, marketing, sales,finance and HR to name but a few. It you’re looking to work on the technology side of things, this route is also open, many colleges specialise in conversion courses which will allow you to convert your existing academic route into one which will enable you to work in the IT sector. An example would be the Higher Diploma in Applied Computing Technology at University College Cork, or the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing from IT Tallaght, both will enable non-IT graduates to get the theoretical knowledge and practical experience to work in the IT sector. To search for a conversion course that will suit you, visit our further study section .

Some of the in-demand roles include:

  • Systems analysts/engineers
  • Technical architects
  • Test engineers
  • Web developers
  • Applications developers
  • IT security analysts
  • IT technicians
  • Technical support in a foreign language
  • Database administrators
  • Business analysts
  • Technical analysts
  • Client account managers
  • Games testing and design.

What do you need?

IT professionals need the qualifications and certifications that come from both the right undergraduate degree, and or a successful conversion course. However, IT professionals also need to be motivated problem solvers, capable of taking the initiative and working well with and for others. By its nature the tech sector is rapidly changing, so you’ll be expected to change with it.

Salaries in IT and telecoms

Salary is dependent upon the company, location and type of business. Computer hardware manufacturers and software houses, as well as the financial centres of major cities such as London and Dublin, usually pay higher salaries.

The latest gradireland Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey found that the average starting salary for information technology (across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) is €32,665 – higher than many other sectors.

Working life

Working life varies depending on your job, and working hours may include outside hours. In IT, the working environment tends to be informal. It is possible for work to be carried out from home or from other remote locations, depending on the seniority of your role and the company you are employed in. Self-employment or freelance work is sometimes possible after a few years’ experience.

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