Entrants are mostly graduates with technical skills, although you may get in with an HND (SCQF Level 8) and suitable experience. Appropriate subjects include computing systems, information systems or information technology.
Graduates in other subjects may take a postgraduate 'conversion' course (SCQF Level 11) leading to a Diploma or MSc in information technology, computer systems or information systems.
For entry to an HND you normally require 1-2 Highers plus some subjects at National 5. Degree courses (SCQF Levels 9-11) require 4-5 Highers, sometimes including Maths.
You may start as a developer and after 2-3 years' experience move into systems analysis.
Some entrants have IT project management skills.
Jobs are in banks, insurance, construction, utility companies, engineering and manufacturing companies, local and central government, universities, software houses and IT consultants.
This is an expanding job area and there is competition for vacancies.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
a knowledge of software development
knowledge of programming languages and data modelling
excellent analytical skills
a logical approach to problem solving
an understanding of business and business processes
good communication skills
the ability to ask the right questions
good report writing and presentation skills.
You need to be able to:
keep up to date with new developments
manage a project and meet deadlines
work within a budget
explain the systems to staff who may not have technical knowledge
persuade people to adopt new systems
lead and work as part of a team.
Most companies offer ongoing training.
You would probably take short, certified courses run by software manufacturers.
You can study for relevant professional qualifications through professional organisations such as BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, which now also incorporates the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS).
You may study towards qualifications in project management, such as PRINCE2.
You might move on to become a senior analyst or a project manager.
You could become a freelance consultant.
If you are considering a career in IT, take a look at the Tech Future Careers website. You will find the video case studies of workers and general information on the industry useful.