NCVO
Cyber Essentails

A Career in IT

Information technology is a major influence in most of our lives, at work and at home. There are many different careers in computing. Some require good GCSEs or an intermediate GNVQ; others need qualifications of A level standard. Programmers, systems designers, analysts, engineers and managers are likely to have degrees or Higher National Diplomas.

There are so many business and industrial applications for computers and microcomputers, it is almost impossible to imagine a world without them. Common uses include information storage, data processing and statistical analysis, word-processing, accounting and financial forecasting, management information systems, communications, designing and the control and automation of manufacturing processes.

There continue to be tremendous developments in two closely related areas: computing and communications. Computers have become smaller, cheaper, more powerful and more sophisticated. At the same time, a major revolution is taking place in communications (telephone signals, TV transmissions, etc). Telephone networks in all major countries are being converted to digital signals. Because these networks use the same information patterns as computers, the possibilities opened up are almost unimaginable! Computers are used in schools, offices, factories, shops, hospitals, banks, farms, the City – every kind of working environment. Many of us find ourselves having to work with computers whether we want to or not!

Nowadays, most staff in companies that use computer systems have personal computers, or terminals, on their desks and use them to enter data into, and obtain information from, the system. This means that there are few jobs for data-entry specialists and that many people use computers without having a clue how they work.

However, this document is about the more specialised computing and information technology jobs: those which involve deciding how computers can best be used, how they can be programmed, and how communication technology can add to their usefulness.