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    Sector Overview


    IT, Digital & Telecoms





    • 21% of IT and telecoms professionals are between 16 to 29

    • Only 18% of the telecoms sector is female, meaning there is much call for women in the workplace

    • There are 26,800 graduates and apprentices hired each year

    • The IT and telecoms workforce is around 1,500,000 people

    • Over a third of IT and telecoms employees work in organisations outside of the sector

    IT and telecoms affect almost all of modern business and personal life. The sector is huge and is a very popular area to train in, with graduates and apprentices being highly employable. The sector is one of the fastest changing due to constant updates to technology and software, this also means you will have to quickly get to grips with new equipment and programmes in the workplace.

    Less than 1% of people employed in this sector are under 18, so this isn’t an industry you can expect to start in straight out of school, most companies prefer skilled workers. This is reflected in pay though as employees in IT and telecoms frequently earn over £35,000. In most demand are software programmers and web designers that can keep up with the constant changes to technology.

    Careers


    IT, Digital & Telecoms





    Web designer

    Every web page you visit on the Internet is the product of the creative process a web designer goes through. You’ll need an eye for detail as the page will have to be attractive, user friendly and functional in order to be a success. A lot of web designers work for themselves, but if you are working for a company, you will be heading up a team of programmers and specialists. Starting salaries are between £16,000 and £20,000.

    Software Developer

    Software developers are responsible for designing programmes and applications for people to use. These range from simple programs like word processors and web browsers to more complex stuff like computer games and social media sites. It’s a technical role that requires a lot of knowledge and detail, but the starting salary reflects this and is between £20,000 and £26,000.

    IT Trainer

    If you wish to pass on the knowledge that you have learned, then you could set up your own teaching system to help people of all ability levels get to grips with IT. You could be teaching people anything from basic word processing and spreadsheet use to more technical stuff like networking computer systems and hardware installation. Starting salaries are usually around £18,000.

    Helpdesk Assistant

    This is for people who have good inter-personal skills as well as a solid understanding of IT. You’ll be handling a range of different problems and will require knowledge about both hardware and software to cover all possible problems that might arise. Good customer service is also essential here. You can expect to earn £14,000 to £16,000 as a starting salary.

    Telecoms Technician

    Telecoms cover things like broadband, TV and Satellite, mobile phones and radio. It’s a varied occupation in which you’ll have to specialise. You could be installing satellite television in somebody’s home, or setting up internet access for a large international corporation! Starting salaries are usually between £14,000 and £16,000.

    Qualifications


    IT, Digital & Telecoms





    Apprenticeships

    If you are aged 16 and over you could enter an Apprenticeship, which would teach you the skills you need while you work and earn a salary. You’ll spend half your time in the classroom and half out on the job. Listed below are the apprenticeship frameworks for this sector, which when completed will give you a Level 2 qualification in the form of a BTEC, Diploma or NVQ:
    IT Applications Specialist • IT Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals

    Advanced Apprenticeships

    These are the equivalent to A-Levels and can usually be joined after completing the associated Intermediate Apprenticeship. They are ideal for people who want a practical role as they learn while gaining valuable employment experience. People with Advanced Apprenticeships tend to progress up the ladder a lot quicker than those without, as the skills they learn are more suited to management and supervisory roles. Here are some of the Apprenticeship Frameworks for this sector and all of these will result in a Level 3 qualification such as a BTEC, a Diploma or an NVQ.
    IT Applications Specialist • IT Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals

    A-Levels

    A-Levels are the most popular gateway into university and are sought after by employers. Here are some of the relevant A-Levels for this sector:
    Computing • Design and Technology: Systems and Control • ICT

    Foundation Degrees

    A Foundation Degree combines university lifestyle with practical, hands on work. It’s sort of like a cross between an Apprenticeship and an Honours Degree. They are often used as gateway qualifications to a full time Degree as they count towards the first two years of an Honours Degree. They usually take two years to complete and you’ll be both in the work place and on the university campus. You can study a foundation degree in Information Technology.

    More Info


    IT, Digital & Telecoms





    Case Study


    IT, Digital & Telecoms





    Tobias Miller, QA Apprentice at Resolve IT Solutions

    I made the best decision of my life so far when I chose to join QA Apprenticeships to train and find myself a job in my desired sector, IT.

    After secondary school, where I gained four years of low level experience in ICT, I chose college to gain some more knowledge in IT. After almost a year studying for my A Levels, I decided that it was not right for me and realised I must move on in order to pursue a career.

    After spending some time looking for something new with no success, I was contacted by QA Apprenticeships to attend an interview and to see whether I could be a candidate for their Apprenticeship scheme. I was successful and managed to get an interview with Resolve IT Solutions, an award-winning IT company in my home city of Sheffield. I was again successful in getting a place as an apprentice at their company.

    When I look back to how I was before the Apprenticeship – it’s unbelievable; I am much more mature and knowledgeable, and my ability to communicate with others has vastly improved, so much so that people might struggle to recognise me now!

    I would recommend an Apprenticeship in IT without hesitation because I have gained so much from it. I have made new friends and achieved industry recognised qualifications, which illustrate how much I have learnt. I have now completed my Apprenticeship and have a full-time job, which I love, at an inspiring company with such great prospects; I’m really excited about the future.