There will always be demand for IT services
Every business needs some form of IT support, whether it’s an IT department consisting of 50 employees or just one freelance IT contractor. To operate smoothly and maximise their productivity, companies need to have reliable IT systems, which is why the knowledge and skills of IT support is invaluable.
Using a Computer is just as important as knowing how to Read and Write
All businesses need to use computers, and all IT systems require some level of support. As you can imagine, this creates quite a hefty market for IT specialists today.
Unlimited Opportunities for Career advancement
Many people start working as IT assistants before working their way up to IT managers and heads of IT. Others may start working as self-employed IT consultants and gradually expand their client base, periodically raising their fees as their level of experience and expertise increases over time.
Flexible work arrangements
Many companies hire IT support specialists as full-time employees, and larger companies will often employ an IT department with staff specialising in many different areas of IT support such as IT sales, administration or programming. Some IT workers may also work from home if much of their day-to-day support is online-based, while others may only need to venture into the office part-time. Thanks to cloud technology, many IT staff and employees can work remotely and access all of their data and files through the same virtual server.
A Lucrative Industry
According to a sample of 685 jobs on totaljobs.com, the average salary for IT support workers in the UK varies from £23,000 to just under £36,000. While this may not depart far from the average national wage, salary prospects for more experienced IT workers with specialist knowledge in key areas can be much higher at over £40,000. IT managers working for big financial companies in the City of London, meanwhile, can earn in excess of £60,000 with the opportunity to earn generous bonus packages.
A Degree is helpful but not essential
While a Bachelor’s degree can certainly help you get your foot in the door in some of the biggest companies (i.e. FTSE 100 organisations), it is by no means essential. When you consider that the cost of a degree at a university in England is now between £27,000 and £36,000, this may be a welcome relief, especially when you take into account that these figures alone are higher than the average starting salary of IT support employees before tax!
You can consider a specialist IT Qualification as opposed to a Degree
It is still recommended that you study for a specialist IT qualification that is relevant to your career path, particularly if your chosen route has a high number of applicants for each job position. Obviously, the more competitive your CV appears, the more likely you are to be contacted by recruiters and shortlisted for interviews.
Should you be an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
Depending on your work preferences and your lifestyle, you can have an equally successful career as a full-time employee or as a self-employed worker. Full-time staff may benefit from better job security, additional benefits and a more stable income. Contractors, however, have the freedom to charge their own rates and have more flexibility over where they work and who they work with.
Damian Coates is the Commercial Accounts Director of Utilize who are a leading IT support provider in Essex, Kent and London.