You Don't Have to Be a Nerd to Work in IT
Schofield, Philip, The Independent (London, England)
When electronic computers were first developed 50 years ago, experts thought there might be work for perhaps six of these machines in the world. Now computers are found in most businesses and schools and in 4 million UK homes. This phenomenal growth is the result of a revolution in the way we process information, combined with an increase in computing capacity, plummeting prices and user-friendliness.
With the increasing range of applications, the information technology industry is seeking a wider range of graduate. There are, of course, still technical posts for computer specialists. Some 5,500 people graduate each year with a degree in computing. One in 10 of these undertakes further study in such areas as neural networks, parallel computing and expert systems. Of those directly entering permanent employment, three-quarters go into areas related to their discipline.
Half the graduates entering the IT industry, however, do not have a related degree. Moreover, graduates of all disciplines and in most areas of work are likely to use IT during their careers. Half the employers listed in Graduate Opportunities 1995 accept any degree for computing and management services vacancies. This can even apply to technical areas. IBM says: "We recruit graduates from all disciplines. For technical posts, degree backgrounds with an element of computing are obviously relevant, but numerate arts graduates have been successful in these areas." Similarly, Unisys says that degrees with a technology or business focus are preferred, "although arts graduates with an interest in IT are encouraged to apply".
The fact that both companies chose to mention "arts" reflects the importance of communications skills. Most IT work is concerned with tailoring services to customerneeds. Much of the time is spent working with non-specialists. Good interpersonal and communication skills are essential. Moreover, most IT work involves teams of people who have to collaborate closely to achieve the desired …
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Publication information: Article title: You Don't Have to Be a Nerd to Work in IT. Contributors: Schofield, Philip - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: June 29, 1995. Page number: 22. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.