It’s been a difficult year for industries all across the world. With face to face sectors like hospitality being hit the hardest, few lines of employment have been left untouched.
But while a recession is almost inevitable, it doesn’t mean there aren’t new job opportunities in some industry’s. In the wake of Covid-19, millions have been working from home – so there’s still a strong demand for IT professionals. With the shift to remote working technologies, IT teams are finally getting the credit they deserve – which means that the teams are valued more, and will be getting the resources they need to continue to deliver.
Now could be the perfect time to start a career in IT. Here’s why.
Employers Still Need IT Skills
After the financial downturn of 2008, the IT industry saw a swift return to a growth in demand for talent. In fact, IT was the fastest growing sector before, during and after 2008’s recession in the US. This is largely due to the increased reliance on IT across all aspects of Business, which has steadily increased the demand for IT specialists.
Additionally, in recent years many have identified a Digital Skills gap – a deficit of job applicants with the right skills. In 2018, Cybersafe predicted a potential shortage of 1.8 million IT security workers by 2020, and with the shift to digital access across industries this year driven by Covid – this will only have increased.
But IT Security isn’t an entry-level career – it requires foundational knowledge in Networking, which is a specialist skill set in itself. This specialist skill gap is the bulk of the problem, and one of the main reasons why an IT career can be such a strong choice. With investment in your chosen pathway, and further development of more specialist skills once you’re working in the industry, you could earn around £57,500 as a Cyber Security Tester.
Cloud support is another area that’s seen a particular surge in demand in recent years. This is part of a boost in spending on infrastructure for increasingly online companies, and the mass adoption of cloud services. What good is an expertly developed platform without a developed support team that can maintain it? But again, Cloud Specialists will need a strong as well as specialist certifications such as AWS in order to thrive – and potentially earn up to £87,500.
It’s not just the Networking professionals that can thrive in IT – developers can earn up to 145% more than the average UK salary, with the right skills and experience. From specialist programming languages for in-house software solutions, to more general languages for website building and editing – there are plenty of opportunities out there.
Training for an IT Career Remotely
Nearly two thirds of the UK workforce (62%) have aspirations to change their career path, according to research by job search engine Jobrapido. But for a successful career change, applicants will need to expand their skill set with a training programme. In the current climate, the focus for any learner or training provider, is making sure that training is delivered safely. For this reason, many training programmes are now being delivered remotely, and to great effect.
Online learning has been on the rise across this year – people who were furloughed, or redundant were making the most of the time available to them by learning new skills. From learning a new language, to developing their future career progression – the resources available online have never been more plentiful.
But online learning is still relevant now, especially with the extension of the furlough scheme. As people are also finding themselves working from home – many have gained hours back each day that they’d previously lost to commuting. While it’s important to make the most of this shift in work life balance, it’s also a great opportunity for some remote learning.
For those that might still find themselves on furlough, seizing the opportunity to change careers could give them more job security in these uncertain times. Some may even have worked in the IT industry previously, before taking a break, or pursuing a career in a different sector.
For career returners, remote learning will give prospective employers something to focus on instead of the gap. Investing in your own future by updating or expanding your skills demonstrates a clear commitment to your chosen profession, and makes you a much stronger applicant.
Entering the IT Industry
One of the most enticing things about a career in IT is the job security it can provide, particularly with the right specialty. While no industry is completely resistant to change or demand, the need for IT professionals has consistently increased in the last decade, with demand across different technologies.
Even this year in the wake of a pandemic, analysis from CompTIA found 166,000 job postings for core IT positions in the last quarter – showing that the demand for IT Support, Networking and Developer positions is still high.
Many of us are working remotely with more time to work new personal projects, including a career change. Online courses can give you all the skills you need to get into the industry – even if you have no experience within IT. When you factor in the ongoing Digital Skills gap, IT continues to look like a promising career choice, due to the ongoing shortage of talent.
Since launching in 2001, we’ve helped thousands of people to start and develop their IT careers, through our training programmes. Could you be part of the next generation of IT professionals?