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IT Career Pathways

Workforce Reality 2012

Starting a career in the IT industry sometimes seems like a practical example of the causality dilemma, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?". Our research shows that 75% of advertised entry level positions request previous experience. This leaves just 25% as genuine opportunities to enter the market without any experience.

Another telling statistic was that less than 2% of 2200 researched IT job advertisements were entry level positions. That means less than 44 real jobs in total and of those 10 required no experience whatsoever.

Not to despair, however, many graduate jobs are organised privately either in-house, through work experience programs or through tertiary institutions. So actual figures in terms of entry level opportunities will be much higher if you are fortunate enough to have access to one of these graduate placement services.

Searching for Work

One of the first things that you will notice once you begin to search is the vast number of skills, qualifications and fields that exist within IT. As a general rule the industry can be dividied into these major categories;

  • Client Facing Roles - These include help desk, sales, analysts and desktop support. Essentially, any role that spends a significant portion of time liaising with end users or customers. These roles are suited to friendly and sociable people and are very good stepping stones to other fields because of the wide exposure they have to different technologies.
  • Technical Roles - These include networks, servers, database, software development and security roles. They are characterized by the need to acquire technical knowledge in order to support or design technologies.
  • Governance Roles - These roles include architecture, consultants and managers. They involve leadership and guidance for both previous categories.

It is extremely unlikely to find any entry level governance roles, but both technical and client facing roles both provide opportunities. In order to search for such jobs on the web the following keywords will help;

  • Entry Level
  • Level 1
  • Tier 1
  • Graduate
  • Junior

Some examples of the usage of these keywords are; Grad or Junior Java Developer, Junior Service Desk / Support Analyst, Junior Software Presales Consultant, Graduate Network Security Engineer, Junior Oracle DBA, Junior SQL Server DBA, Junior Web Developer, Help Desk Level 1, Systems Administrator - Level 1 and Service Desk Analyst - Entry Level.

As you can see, even during the early stages of an IT Career specialized skills are required. This is one of the conundrums faced by newcomers to the industry.

Rolling the Dice - Selecting a Career Prior to Starting

As previously discussed, the level of specialization in entry level roles is evident by the specific role titles. Inevitably, newcomers to the industry are faced by this challenge, "what training to undertake and in what field?". In essence, this is the problem that this website addresses - attempting to map out the IT industry to help candidates fine tune their skills and experience without wasting time or money.

Our challenge is to provide information based on your motivation. For example here are some pages for different perspectives;

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