Finding The Right IT Company and Job

Graduate positions in IT and related fields can be found across a variety of industries, including major IT corporations, technology consulting firms, the public sector, and investment banks.
Ivy Simon
Editorial Writer
Graduate positions in IT and related fields can be found across a variety of industries, including major IT corporations, technology consulting firms, the public sector, and investment banks.

The IT industry is more than just a few big names in tech. You can choose from a wider range of employment options if you expand your horizons. Even if you ultimately do apply to the well-known tech company you first considered, you'll make a significantly bigger impression on graduate recruiters if you can demonstrate that you've thought about your possibilities.

Here are some points to consider when it comes to choosing which IT employer to work for.

1. Graduate programmes vs. entry-level jobs

Larger IT employers conduct graduate programmes where they hire a number of graduates each year an onboard them via structured training schemes. These programmes normally last between one and two years and can either be focused on just a specific role, or can include a number of “rotations”: periods of time spent in different departments, teams or job roles.

Programmes like these are great if you’re the type who thrives best in a structured learning environment, or want to explore a wide range of job roles before settling in on a specialisation.

By contrast, smaller businesses (or SMEs) typically hire graduates directly into entry-level positions. Contrary to big IT corporations, smaller businesses may be more focused on a single technological field rather than providing a wide range of services, making them suitable locations to start if you already know the area of IT you'd like to specialise in. 

Though there will be less chances for structured learning with a smaller employer, and you will have to take the initiative on your own upskilling. However, you will likely get opportunities to have more direct control and ownership of the projects you work on in exchange. This differs from larger companies, where multiple teams work on various aspects of complex projects and applications and your work is just one part of a larger whole.

2.Consider employers in the non-IT industry

IT jobs aren’t only just found in tech companies. The finance industry is also heavily reliant on technology. As a result, many banks, insurance companies, and professional service organisations like the Big 4 accounting firms also offer technology graduate programmes designed exclusively for graduates with degrees in IT. 

Other employers with IT jobs outside of the IT industry include the public services sector, media companies, the retail sector, and engineering companies. You may find plenty of hidden opportunities in interesting niches of work if you broaden the scope of your search.

3.What kind of work are you interested in?

Consider the type of work you want your employment to entail to help you narrow down your alternatives. Do you want to focus on coding, or do minimal to no coding at all? Would you rather focus on business side of IT or find a role that straddles  both the commercial and technological side of things? Do you like to work on projects with longer deadlines or would you rather solve problems every day?
Remember that this choice isn’t set in stone, and you can always change career pathways in the future once you gain more work experience. However, if you are really unsure about the type of work you like to do, joining a graduate programme that rotates you across a variety of job areas may be your best bet. 


4.Where (and when) do you want to work?

The type of technology career you choose affects how mobile you need to be.

For instance, if you work as an IT or technical sales consultant, expect to travel a fair bit (whether domestically or internationally) for client meetings or technical consultations. If you are in IT services, you may have to work on-site in a client’s own office for the duration of your project with them – sometimes even on the weekends. 

By contrast, if you take a highly technical position like developer or software tester, you'll probably work primarily from the same office with very few opportunities to step out. Roles which straddle the technical and business side – such as project management – may still require some travel. But that varies employer by employer.  

Try to be honest when evaluating your desired level of mobility. Regular travel may appear quite glamorous at first, but it can be quite physically and mentally taxing  if you have to do it very often.

Another factor to consider is whether you prefer working in an office or at home. Remote working is great if you’re the type who needs complete focus and minimal distractions, but it may cause issues if you’re working on projects that require constant coordination between team members. 

Plenty of international employers now hire for fully-remote IT roles. Though the pay (or company name) may seem attractive, make sure to pay special attention to the working hours. For example, a U.S.-based company may require you to work according to American time. Make sure that’s a lifestyle change you can sustainably commit to before you accept.    

5.Know what the employer wants

Don’t assume that just because you have a degree in IT, you can apply for any graduate position. Although there is admittedly a global IT talent shortage right now, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take job applications and employability seriously, in comparison to graduates applying for jobs in other areas like business or finance.

Considering the demands of the position and what the company expects of you personally will help you decide whether you are really a suitable fit for the job and your chosen employer. It will also highlight the "additional" abilities and qualities you'll need to possess, such as soft skills and programming languages. This will help you figure out what to focus your learning and upskilling on as well.