10 June 2016

What is the nation's attitude to careers in IT?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what an IT career is all about, and who it’s suitable for. To help dispel some myths, we surveyed 2,000 people from around the UK to help sort out facts from fiction…

A new career in a new industry

It seems plenty of us would quite like to try a new profession – 66% of people said they’d pick a new industry if they were starting their career over from scratch. But only 6% of them would pick Information Technology as their new field. Accountancy, banking and finance, creative arts and design, and healthcare were all more popular options.

So why isn’t IT on more people’s radars? Some of the reasons for not considering a career in technology included:

  • Too boring
  • Too specialist
  • Don’t have the right qualifications
  • Don’t have the right skills.

Myth: you need the right qualifications and experience

55% of people we surveyed thought they’d need specific science, technology, engineering or maths qualifications to have a career in technology. However, 26% felt that having support in retraining would make them consider IT as an option.

Myth: It’s really nerdy!

We asked our survey–takers which words they associated with the IT industry, with 35% saying ‘nerdy’. Although many IT professionals are passionate about what they do, the industry has evolved to embrace lots of personality types. Communication skills and the ability to work with other teams are becoming more vital as technology becomes a bigger part of the business world. Creativity and innovation are important too.

As well as ‘nerdy’, people associated positive words with the technology industry, like ‘cutting edge’ (44% of people chose this description) and ‘innovative’ (42% agreed with this), not to mention ‘highly paid’ (30% thought this).

Myth: banking has nothing to do with IT

67% of people we spoke to said they wouldn’t associate the financial services sector with careers in technology. In fact, there are huge opportunities within the financial sector for cutting–edge work. From the state–of–the–art security systems that protect customers’ data, to the architecture that makes different technologies work together. For example Nationwide online banking and Apple Pay®.

Have we made you think again about a career in IT?

Nationwide’s Technical Development Programme (TDP) is a new way for graduates and non–graduates to get into a career in IT. As one of the UK’s top 25 employers, we’re keen to help you build a career that’s rewarding, challenging and exciting – and yes, IT can be all those things!

The programme is all about finding and nurturing potential. It emphasises qualities like good teamwork skills, the ability to motivate yourself and drive your career forward, and having a structured approach to your day–to–day work. With a supported programme lasting from 1–3 years, you’ll gain the experience and knowledge you need to excel in your new field.

Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc.

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