Focus on I.T

Today’s BTECs are more focused, more aspirational and more relevant. BTECs are known to increase student engagement, enable students to progress, develop student life skills and add value and variety. Grantham College offer a BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Information & Creative Technology, BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma/90 Credits in IT and BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT which are taught in in dedicated IT rooms with up-to-date software.

A team of five staff, with over 50 years of experience between them, pass on their knowledge, experience and skills to students studying on the BTEC courses. Staff have a wide range of degrees in computer systems and networking having taken jobs within network systems, software design and games development.

Students studying on any of the BTEC IT courses at Grantham College will gain practical and hands-on knowledge of the sector through trips, work experience and class tasks.

Achievement rates on our BTEC courses are higher than the national figures. Success rates on our Level 3 BTEC courses are consistently high with many students completing the Extended Diploma with an overall grade of DDD which is equivalent to 3 A’s at A-Level and 360 UCAS points.

 

Progression to Higher Education……

On successful completion of any of the BTEC IT courses at Grantham College you can progress on to Higher Education, of which you can do with Grantham College on the HNC/ HND Computing & Systems Development course. Previous BTEC IT students have been highly successful in gaining university places going on to study degree courses in Computer Graphics and Web Design, Computer Science and Network Management & Design at the likes of Nottingham Trent University, Sheffield Hallam University, Northumbria University and University of Lincoln.

Independent research on progression and career opportunities for young people in the UK demonstrates how BTECs open doors into Higher Education and beyond.

Figures based on research revealed in January 2011 from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that:

  • More than 100,000 BTEC students apply to Higher Education and make the university grade
  • In 2011, admissions to UK universities by BTEC students had risen 30% year on year
  • Ninety-five per cent of Higher Education Institutions accept BTEC students, including Russell Group universities
  • More than 50% of 20-30-year-olds going on to higher education are BTEC students
  • 20% of level 3 BTEC holders go on to undergraduate degree courses*
  • With a level 3 BTEC you can boost your lifetime’s earnings by up to £92,000.*

* Independent research carried out by London Economics in 2010.

 

The world of work…….

At the centre of everyday life and found in almost all industries and businesses, information technology provides employment for vast numbers of people

 

What areas of IT can I work in?

Types of work that fall under the IT umbrella include:

  • applications developer;
  • computer forensics;
  • content management;
  • cyber security and risk management;
  • data analysis and analytics;
  • games development;
  • geographical information systems (GIS);
  • hardware engineering;
  • information management;
  • IT consultancy – business and technical;
  • IT sales;
  • software engineering – designing, building, developing, testing;
  • systems/network management;
  • technical support;
  • telecommunications;
  • web design.

 

You could be creating technological applications or systems, solving problems using technology or supporting people who use it. Within the IT industry there are also jobs in business, marketing, HR and finance.

More than 40% of IT and telecommunications professionals work outside of the IT industry, in areas such as retail, finance, manufacturing and the public sector.

 

Who are the main graduate employers?

Large companies in the IT industry include:

  • Accenture;
  • Capgemini;
  • CGI;
  • Cisco;
  • Cognizant;
  • FDM;
  • Fujitsu;
  • IBM;
  • Infosys;
  • Microsoft;
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

 

Telecommunications companies include:

  • BT
  • Telefonica (includes O2)
  • EE (includes Orange, T-mobile)

Other industries that employ large numbers of IT professionals include:

  • financial services – companies such as JP Morgan, Barclays, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley;
  • manufacturing – opportunities exist in multinational engineering companies in the oil, pharmaceutical, automotive and energy industries;
  • public sector – which includes local authorities, central government and the NHS;
  • retail – major retailers including Tesco, John Lewis and The Co-operative;
  • games development – many large companies, such as Sony, Rockstar and Square Enix have studios in the UK. Other companies in the games industry include developers such as Codemasters, Rebellion, Sports Interactive and Crytek.

Many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the IT industry provide a range of specialist services, particularly in consultancy and technical roles.

What’s it like working in the sector?

Graduates entering the IT sector can expect:

  • an average starting salary – according to the Graduate Market in 2014 research by High Fliers, graduate starting salaries in IT are expected to be close to the national median of £29,000.
  • typically long working hours – employers emphasise getting the project done rather than maintaining standard 9am-5pm hours;
  • opportunities to work abroad – many IT companies have branches or subsidiaries in other countries
  • self-employment opportunities – it is not unusual for graduates to go freelance at an early stage in their career.

 

What are the key issues in the IT sector?

Employment of IT professionals through to 2020 is forecast to grow at 1.62% per annum – nearly twice as fast as the UK average. Growth is expected to be in more senior roles, such as software professionals, ICT managers and strategy and planning (Technology Insights 2012, e-skills UK).

There is a demand for higher level technical skills, in particular to develop products and services to meet the needs of the fast-moving nature of the industry. This includes knowledge of the most up to date programming languages and systems, such as cloud computing.

Cyber security is a growing field. Currently there are not enough experts to counteract more advanced cyber attacks. There is also an increase in opportunities for information security officers and information risk managers, who manage threats posed to a business. Large organisations, the government and social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, are all keen to employ cyber experts.

Companies are looking for graduates who can combine technical skills with an understanding of broader business objectives, to be able to solve real business issues, particularly for consultancy roles. There is a demand for numerate and IT-literate graduates to work in analytics and solve business problems.

 

Graduate jobs in IT

A vast array of opportunities is on offer for those interested in a career in IT, and some could prove to be a perfect match for your skills and ambitions.