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Getting in and on

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Ask yourself: do I want a technical ICT career, or do I want to use technology (like computers) as part of a job in another industry? If you decide on a specialist ICT career, there are many different jobs you could do.

It goes without saying that you should enjoy working with computers and other information technology if you want to work in this sector.

You’ll need to be able to communicate, in writing and when you speak, to get on well with other people and be able to work well in a team. You’ll also need to be able to problem solve, thinking up different ways to get to a solution.

Routes into this sector

There are a various types of qualifications available: 

  • At 14 GCSEs (you will need to get good grades in English and maths) . Your school might also offer a vocational qualifications such as BTECs, OCR Nationals, etc.
  • At 16 you have more options – A Levels, Apprenticeships , vocational qualifications , and traineeships have also started in some areas.
  • At 18 or 19 your options open further - you may wish to go to university, with 8 out of 10 A Level students choosing this pathway and half of all BTEC National students. However there are other routes into your chosen career - through apprenticeships and vocational qualifications  

 There is a skills shortage in areas such as software engineers, technical support, programming and design and according to research the region is suffering from the national shortage of higher level ICT skills.  A particular shortage exists in people combining ICT skills with business and/or creative skills.

Universities in the region have good programmes for undergraduates and graduates but this does not have to be the route in.  There are also good ICT Apprenticeship programmes available.

For instance to become a software engineer you normally would have to have a degree, BTEC or HND in a relevant subject such as computing, computer science, information technology, software development or software engineering.  Other routes include graduate training schemes  or post graduate courses.  There are also opportunities to follow the apprenticeship route after gaining a relevant qualification such as a BTEC in ICT at college.

To find out more about the qualifications needed in this sector visit the Sector Skills Council’s website at e-skills careers

Find out what A levels you need to study computer science



View/download a fact sheet about IT, digital and Telecoms

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