IT Engineer Careers

Technology is constantly advancing, and as it shows no signs of slowing down just yet, IT engineers are in demand. If you want to become an IT engineer, you’re going to need a university degree that covers all the technical requirements. However, for this educational investment you’ll benefit from access to a plethora of jobs in an industry that’s booming.

What do you need to be good at academically to become an IT engineer?

IT engineers don’t just focus on the software aspects of computers; they need to be adept at working with hardware too. As such, they need to have an aptitude for maths, as well as physics if they plan on pursuing postgraduate qualifications.

Academics aside, you need to have a lot of patience, the knack for paying close attention to detail, and an ability to sniff out problems that others might miss. While many computer faults are common, you’re likely to come across unique scenarios. Everything you gain academically is therefore built on by the experiences you build on the job.

IT Engineer Training

What qualifications do you need to become an IT engineer?

If you are good at solving problems and would like a job that has ongoing prospects, you may want to become an IT engineer. IT engineer training varies according to the field you want to go into. While some work exclusively with software, others also operate with hardware. This can mean gaining university qualifications, but in some cases it’s possible to find work as an IT technician and progress onwards.

it engineer training

Taking the IT support technician route

IT support technicians start out as entry-level IT engineers. While the name suggests you can start from scratch, you do need some computer skills that are advanced beyond the level of your ‘average’ computer user. For example, in addition to being adept at working with Windows packages, you may also need to know Sql, Visual basic programming, and Windows servers. You may therefore need some basic further education qualifications, such as a BTEC, A Level, or an equivalent.

As an IT support technician, you’ll work under more senior technicians. Through them, you’ll pick up advanced skills that allow you to progress through your chosen career paths. While there are some paid positions available, some companies do seek unpaid interns.

Going down the degree route

An increasing number of companies are now seeking IT engineers who already have degrees. This is because they need some flexibility in the tasks their engineers can perform. For example, rather than having an IT engineer who just focuses on software, they may also need one that is able to work with hardware too.

Because of this, you might want to consider choosing a computer science course, electrical engineering, or IT. Before choosing your degree, consider the following:

  • Does the degree have everything I need to progress onto becoming an IT engineer? To find this out, attend open days and ask questions, or contact the admissions team. Make sure you find out what kinds of jobs previous graduates have progressed onto, as this gives you an idea of where you’ll go as well.
  • Can you complete a foundation or HNC degree that gives me everything you need? These degrees are usually a year shorter than standard degrees, and give you a better grounding for finding relevant work than further education qualifications.
  • Would you like a degree that offers a year in the industry? This isn’t essential by any means, but your ‘sandwich year’ does give you a chance to earn money, make connections, and you may have a job waiting for you when you graduate.
  • Would you like a degree that progresses straight onto a masters afterwards? These are becoming increasingly common.

Overall, IT engineering training is an ongoing process. Once you’ve gained your basic qualifications, you’ll find that you constantly train on the job to keep up with the fast moving pace of technology. The good part of this process is that IT engineers are in demand, which means you’re less likely to need to grapple for work. So, if you’re still engaged by the idea of becoming an IT engineer, go get your basic IT foundations and move from there.

IT Engineer Jobs

Where are all the IT engineering jobs?

So you’ve decided you’d like to become an IT engineer, and now you want to know what to expect. Understanding what a job requires, as well as what a day in the life of an IT engineer is like, are good ways to determine whether you have what it takes to become one. Fortunately, an IT engineer’s work is usually varied and interesting.

IT Engineer Jobs

What are an IT engineer’s typical working activities?

What you do as an IT engineer will depend on the size and type of organization you are working for. For example, if you are working for a large organization like Facebook, you might find that it is your job to focus on a particular part of its systems. In contrast, if you work for an agency that outsources IT engineers, your work could vary on a daily basis. Similarly, if you are employed by a small company, you can expect to trouble shoot almost any task on a daily basis.

What you do as in IT engineer is likely to vary according to the area you specialize in too:

Software engineers

As a software engineer, you can expect to design, construct, and test software for your employer. This can mean working on a project on a long-term basis, as well as returning to it to fix glitches.

Computer applications software engineers

After analyzing the needs of the computer user, you will design, construct, and maintain computer applications. This can involve working on pre-designed applications, or customizable ones. In order to do this, you need to understand coding languages, such as Java. Computer systems software engineers Would you like to construct and maintain a company’s computer systems? While smaller companies may rely on small software packages, larger ones need intricate infrastructures. This is your chance to put your creativity to the test, while making the most of the qualifications you can through your IT engineer training. Unlike a lot of other IT positions, you may find yourself working with broader members of the company’s team. For example, taking advice from the marketing team to create sales packages.

Working conditions for IT engineers

As computer systems tend to be indoors, you can at least expect to be warm. Depending on the type of company you work for, you are also highly likely to expect normal hours. However, if you work for an agency, a company that operates around the clock and relies heavily on IT, or you work freelance, you may experience some unsociable hours too. For example, if an airport’s IT system goes down, the bosses can hardly wait until working hours to call someone out.

Teamwork is also likely to be a big part of your role. Although you will be expected to spend a lot of time using your initiative, you should also prepare to support others in their role.

Finally, you need to be aware that this job can be high pressured, particularly when things start to go wrong and data loss is being threatened. However, if you can keep a cool head and get along well with others, you should thrive in this sort of environment.