Career Focus: The most in-demand skills in IT

According to Tech Nation’s 2017 industry survey, job creation in the UK’s technology sector is increasing at twice the rate of the wider economy. But which information technology roles are experiencing the most significant growth? In this article, find out what the five most in-demand roles have to offer you - whether you’re a tech-head with a flair for UX design or looking to make your move into IT management.

1. Software Developer


Software Developer jobs


The developer plays a pivotal role in building programs and applications. Individual developers usually form part of a wider team, incorporating input from the IT department’s architects and analysts, graphic designers and project managers.

It’s the developer’s responsibility to communicate with the client, assess their requirements and design accordingly. They are predominantly focused on the appearance and usability of an application, although some may also oversee the programming team and write, amend or provide feedback on written code.

A largely client-facing role, developers are required to participate in regular progress meetings with clients and project managers, record results and carry out software testing before new programs go live.

Skills and requirements:

  • Excellent communications skills
  • Analysis of end-user requirements
  • Competence with a variety of design tools
  • Problem-solving, troubleshooting and software testing skills
  • Ability to manage diverse teams
  • Understand written code

2. Systems Architect


it jobs


As the systems architect, your role is to ensure that IT systems align with core business functions. You’ll analyse these requirements and identify how to meet them with networks and systems.

The architect is a technically-skilled IT professional with a broad knowledge of hardware, software and systems, but needs the right soft skills to communicate ideas to the wider development team, the IT manager and other stakeholders.

In addition to a comprehensive knowledge of IT systems, the architect must understand the company’s business objectives. They should be familiar with the industry sector they work within and its specific user experience.

Skills and requirements:

  • Understand all components of the IT system
  • Understand business objectives
  • Communication across IT departments
  • Industry experience and user awareness
  • Ability to visualise and overcome complex issues
  • Understand data modelling and frameworks
  • Experience with a variety of design tools


3. Systems Analyst


it jobs


The systems analyst is a key problem solver within the business. You’ll be responsible for assessing how well IT systems are facilitating end users and finding ways to use technology more efficiently. Research carried out by the analyst is used to inform the structure of new systems and to identify areas for improvement. Analysts must be patient and methodical, with a broad working knowledge of IT systems and the ability to solve complex problems.

During early development phases, the systems analyst conducts research into the current system to identify technical issues or shortfalls in user experience. This may involve assessing hardware, identifying inefficiencies and surveying users to assess system usability. In some cases, the analyst will provide the development team with a list of user requirements or make recommendations to the IT manager to improve the efficiency of the existing system.

Skills and requirements:

  • Broad technical knowledge
  • Strong research skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Communication with IT staff with different skillsets and end users
  • Interest in new technologies


4. IT Project Manager


it jobs


The IT project manager is responsible for accurate planning, management and execution of a project from concept to completion. You’ll need to know what your client wants, which skillsets you need on board to achieve this and the financial know-how to bring your projects in on time and within budget. The work you do will have cover a broad scope of business functions and information technologies.

The project manager must understand a range of IT systems and be confident managing in-house teams and external contractors. They will produce progress reports, delegate tasks between skillsets and are responsible for keeping all team members accountable throughout.

Finally, it’s the project manager’s job to manage the changeover period. This can involve producing training materials for new systems, training staff and overseeing installations, and in some cases following up with a performance analysis.

Skills and requirements:

  • Lead internal and external communication
  • Time, resource and people management
  • Financial planning and budgeting
  • Proposal writing and presentation skills
  • A broad scope of IT skills, with at least an understanding of specialisms
  • Strong problem solving and negotiating skills


5. IT Manager


it manager


The IT manager is responsible for the performance of the entire IT system and is the main point of contact both within the IT department and between the team and senior management and stakeholders. Duties include recruiting across IT departments, selecting hardware, implementing systems that best serve the needs of the business, and identifying new areas where IT can support productivity.

As an IT manager, you’ll have experience managing people paired with a broad knowledge of IT systems, including software, hardware and an interest in new technologies. You’ll ensure that individual departments carry out their roles effectively and contribute to the overall functioning of the system. But you’ll also have the final say on network design and be responsible for scheduling regular maintenance and testing, to ensure all components are functioning correctly.

Skills and requirements:

  • Team management and motivation skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Financial, time and resource management
  • Understand software licensing laws
  • Industry awareness
  • Oversee training, testing and maintenance

To find out more about careers at GM&T please visit our homepage. 

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