IT departments are often a barometer of how well and effectively an organisation operates. They can appear to be invisible until something goes wrong and then they become the go-to problem solvers. The world of IT is rich and varied, comprising of jobs that require a high level of technical skills to administrative and managerial posts.

Job types

Many positions are available including helpdesk or service desk analysts and these can be at junior or senior level. IT support staff have the potential to grow their careers by becoming IT managers, while business analysts can progress by developing their project management skills and becoming IT project managers.

Recruitment agencies such as Randstad Technologies have a wide knowledge of companies and jobs in IT and provide a useful service for jobseekers hoping to find employment at all levels.

Reaching full potential

In a highly competitive industry, those who plan their long-term IT careers have a real opportunity to reach their full potential. First, they need to decide what their ultimate target job is. As there are many different strands to the IT world what may suit one person as a goal may not suit another.

Technical or managerial?

It is perfectly possible to be a highly skilled technician and go on to develop a managerial career, but management is not everyone’s cup of tea. When planning a career it is important to consider what the individual really wants from the job. There is always potential for growth in this particular sector, with so many varied IT jobs being available, but determining which career path to take needs some careful analysis.

Any IT job requires good communication skills, whether on the technical or management side, so it is worth taking time to consider if there is one in particular that will not only provide job satisfaction but also a good salary.

Set some goals

Once the decision has been made it is a good idea to set some goals. Developing a timescale for progression to more senior posts helps provide a real focus; alternatively there may be a specific company that the individual would like to work for.

There is nothing wrong with being ambitious, though it does pay to be realistic when goals are being set. Circumstances may change, as might decisions on career development, so there needs to be an understanding that it may be necessary to be flexible from time to time.

Be methodical

Developing a person’s potential takes time and effort and often it is the slow, methodical approach that pays dividends. Attention to detail, coupled with continuous professional development, can be just as effective, perhaps more so, than trying to achieve goals too quickly. If something goes wrong it should be accepted as a normal part of life, but what happened should be analysed and learnt from.

Develop confidence

It can be a fine line between projecting confidence and coming across as arrogant, so getting it right is important. The company and colleagues need to have confidence in an employee and generally there is a preference for people who are supportive and thoughtful rather than brash and self-centered.