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How to start an IT career as a school or college leaver

As the world of work has become more reliant on IT and technology for day-to-day operations many businesses are now looking to close their digital skills gap and harness the power of technology to grow their business. With the high demand for digital skills in the job market there has never been a better time to start a career in IT.

If you are a school or college leaver who wants to start a career in IT without having to go to university this guide will be able to help you get started.

Explore all the different career paths you can take within IT

The world of IT is incredibly vast, with many different roles to suit many different types of people. If you love maths logic and engineering a career in software development/ engineering might be for you. Do you love tinkering with hardware and exploring the world of emerging technologies you may want to consider a career in tech support or networking. Are you great at diving deep into statistics and using that data to help inform business decisions explore the world of data analysis. If you are a creative mind who loves all things digital, why not give digital marketing a go?

If you have some ideas of the path that you would like to specialise in, make sure to do some research into what is involved in the job role and what your career progression could look like. There is plenty of content online that cover all of the different career paths that you can take in IT such as blog posts and YouTube videos that will explain what a job in your chosen field looks like day to day. You should also talk to any IT professionals you may know (they could be your teachers, family or friends) about what the different disciplines of IT are like so you can find the one that will suit you the best.

Look into what kinds of qualifications and experience you will need

Now that you have decided on the specialisation that you want to have a career in you should take a look at the experience and qualifications that employers are looking for within your chosen field. Simply go over to online job boards like Indeed, Reed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor and search for entry level jobs in the filed you want to start your career in.

You will most likely find that most if not all the jobs you look at will require experience, so how do you get experience when you are starting out? An apprenticeship is a fantastic way to kick start your career as you will be able to gain the valuable experience and knowledge needed to become a professional in your field. You will also gain a recognised qualification that you will be able to show employers in the future to prove that you have all of the skills needed to do the job well.

When looking for an apprenticeship you will need to keep in mind the level of the apprenticeship. If you are a school leaver who has just completed their GCSE’s your next step should be a level 3 apprenticeship which is the equivalent level to A-Levels. If you have completed a level 3 qualification you will be able to do a level 4 apprenticeship or if you think a level 3 apprenticeship is more relevant to the skills, you would like to learn you can do that too.

Writing the perfect CV

A great CV is crucial to landing a job. An employer will usually receive a lot of CV’s for every position that they have available so you need to make sure that you sell yourself and get across why you would be a great addition to the team.

Remember because you are applying for an apprenticeship employers will not expect you to have the knowledge and skills that someone who has been in the field for years. An employer who is looking for an apprentice who will give it their all and have a passion for learning and developing their skills so make sure to highlight your personal qualities that make you the perfect candidate.

If you would like to learn more about how to write a great CV check out our perfect CV guide here.

Landing your first role

At Estio we are committed to helping you find a great job where you will be able to learn and develop your skill set. Our expert resourcing team will be able to place you into a role that will be the perfect start to your career.

If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship, get in contact with us today.

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