You will work closely with project managers, software developers and designers to build IT systems. These could be for things like designing the structure of a new health patient record system, or integrating several client websites into one.
Your main duties will be to make sure that each part of the overall IT system:
Your day-to-day duties might include:
You would help people solve problems with their computers and software. You would explain to them how to do different tasks with the computer.
You could work in the IT support department of a large company and help your colleagues with their technical problems. Or you could provide a service for customers after they have bought a computer from a manufacturer or shop.
You would need to be patient with people and be able to explain technical issues to people who may be confused or frustrated.
As well as helping people solve their problems, you would:
Alternatively, customers might have access to an online fault-finding program or you could use the same program to fix their computer problems remotely.
You need an in-depth knowledge of the computer systems and software that your clients use. You would also need to continually update your information technology (IT) skills and knowledge.
You would draw plans and create 3D designs for buildings and machinery so that engineers and technicians can understand their construction.
You would use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create design plans for buildings and machinery.
You could work in a wide range of industries, such as engineering, construction and manufacturing.
The engineering team would meet with you to discuss what they are planning to build. You would then create a clear and detailed drawing or model of the item.
The engineers would use it to test their ideas before they build a prototype. The designs would also be used to help prepare cost estimates for projects.
For some projects - for example, a design for a new car - you would use surface modelling to draw a flat 2D representation.
To create a 3D display of a structure or component you'd use solid modelling. The engineers could then use the model to take a virtual tour. For example, they could ‘go inside’ a new building to decide where to fit electrical cabling or to 'look inside' a piece of manufacturing machinery to see where they could make improvements.
The production staff in the factory would use your detailed diagrams as a guide to make the product; you might need to explain the designs to them.
You would also write and draw the instructions for assembling the product or create guides for the technicians who do the installation, servicing and repairs.
CAD work could have different names depending on the industry, including:
desktop support specialist
You would work across a broad range of technologies and liaises across multiple areas of the business to support incidents, problems and requests. You would be responsible for answering IT requests via phone, email, live chat or instant message and explaining solutions in technical and nontechnical terms.
Desktop Support duties can include:
You would design, set up and run computer systems to help connect people and companies.
You could work for one company as part of their IT team, or become a consultant, helping many different clients.
You would work with four main types of network:
You would work closely with other IT staff and business managers.
It would be important for you to be able to manage a project and negotiate.
You would plan and organise people and resources so a project achieves its aims.
You would get everyone working together effectively so the project is completed on time and on budget. You would spot problems that could arise in the project and work out how to solve them.
You could work in almost any industry on many different types of project. For example, you could oversee the introduction of a new computer system or a large building development. You would need to have technical knowledge relevant to the project.
Whatever the project, you would:
Part of your work would involve using particular project management methods such as PRINCE2 or Agile to break down the project into stages and check its progress.
You would also use specialised software to help with scheduling, costing, and risk analysis.
You would design innovative solutions to real market problems. You will work closely with product and marketing managers, user interaction designers, and other software engineers to develop new product offerings and improve existing ones.
The job of a software architect would include:
You would set up and look after broadband, mobile phone and landline telephone networks. You would also work on satellite, digital TV and fibre optic systems.
You would work with systems such as:
The size of each job would vary. You might set up a large corporate network one day and a home satellite system the next.
This job can be dangerous, and you may sometimes have to work at heights. You would have to follow health and safety guidelines carefully at all times.
You would design, build and look after websites and web applications for clients.
You could work for many different businesses and public sector organisations. Each project is different.
Among other tasks, your clients could ask you to:
Develop a virtual learning environment (VLE) for a college
Set up a company intranet for staff
On a typical project, you would:
Once you have built the site, you may continue to make small changes to make sure it is working properly. Depending on the contract, you could also continue to look after the site once it is up and running.
You would design and build computer programs for organisations. You might work on projects such as databases, robotic systems, mobile applications and more.
You would work closely with project managers, business analysts and clients.
You may write computer programs from scratch or change 'off-the-shelf' programs to meet the needs of the project.
As an experienced developer you may supervise a team and provide feedback on coding work to your colleagues.
You would need good knowledge of programming languages, an understanding of development processes like 'Agile’ and an awareness of confidentiality and data protection issues.
You would plan and build computer systems to hold vital information for organisations and make sure the systems are secure and work properly.
You could work on a variety of databases such as a bank’s customer account networks or hospital’s database of patient records.
You would make sure each database system works properly and is easy for your colleagues to use when they deal with customers or clients.
You would upgrade existing databases and create completely new systems. It’s likely you would also work with web-based technologies and you would need to understand how databases fit in with these systems.
On a new system, you would work with the organisation to:
You would need to understand data protection issues and keep up to date with developments in technology.
You may also supervise technical support staff, train people who will use the system and produce performance reports for managers.
You would work on projects with other information technology (IT) professionals, such as analysts, programmers and IT project managers.
In a senior position you would be responsible for strategic planning, information policy, budgets and managing client relationships.
You would translate software requirements into workable programming code and maintain and develop programs for use in business.
Most specialise in a specific development field, such as mobile phone applications, accounting software, office suites or graphics software, and will have in-depth knowledge of at least one computer language.
Applications, or 'apps', can be written for a particular system, such as Windows or Android, or across numerous platforms, including computers and mobile devices.
The role usually involves writing specifications and designing, building, testing, implementing and sometimes supporting applications using programming languages and development tools.
You can work in a range of business sectors, including finance and the public sector. You will often work as part of a team with other IT professionals, such as software engineers and testers and systems analysts, and write programs according to their specifications.
In general, your responsibilities will include:
data centre engineer
As a Data centre engineer, you would be responsible for designing, setting up, and managing information/network systems at data centres.
The job description entails monitoring systems operations and administering IT solutions to ensure servers, hard drives, and other data centre equipment function efficiently. You may also:
In fulfilling their role, engineers collaborate with the departmental heads of an organization such as the sales and marketing managers to develop and implement strategies for improved data center operations.
Evaluating, designing, and recommending choice network adapters, backup solutions, and network systems are also part of the data center engineer description.
To work as an engineer in a data center requires a degree in computer systems engineering, electronic engineering, or a degree in a related course.
Some of the qualities you need to be effective in this position include analytical, team-work, and time management skills.
IT Support Specialist
You would find and fix problems with people’s computers and IT equipment. You’d set up and test new equipment to make sure it works.
You would help people face to face or over the phone, email or instant messaging.
You would need to have a wide knowledge of operating systems, software and hardware. You would need to be able to explain the problem and the solution clearly to non-technical users.
You may work for a company as part of its information technology team or provide IT support services to one or more companies.
You would also need to be aware of health and safety regulations to guide you when setting up machines or checking equipment.
You will write code to create software programs. Programmers turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. Programmers must debug the programs—that is, test them to ensure that they produce the expected results. If a program does not work correctly, they check the code for mistakes and fix them.
Computer programmers typically do the following:
Programmers work closely with software developers, and in some businesses, their duties overlap. When this happens, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing the program. This entails initially planning the software, creating models and flowcharts detailing how the code is to be written, writing and debugging code, and designing an application or systems interface.
Some programs are relatively simple and usually take a few days to write, such as creating mobile applications for cell phones. Other programs, like computer operating systems, are more complex and can take a year or more to complete.
You can get into this work by training on the job, or with a relevant degree like:
If you are already working in IT, you could use your experience to move into cyber security work in areas like systems analysis, database management or network engineering.
You could get into this job through a software engineering, cyber security or networking degree apprenticeship.
It will help if you have an understanding of:
You should also be familiar with common security standards and regulations, including:
You would be employed by a company to examine their IT systems and processes, and recommend improvements.
Your work could range from integrating the phones and computers in a call centre, to making a bank’s databases safer.
An important part of your job would be to make sure that your designs can adapt as the organisation or business grows.
You would use various computer assisted software engineering (CASE) tools and programming methods in your job.
You would write and publish pages for a website. You’d present the content in the best way for the website’s target audience.
You might train new staff on how to produce and edit content. And you’d be expected to keep up to date with changes in web technology and good practice.
You might work alone or in a team with web developers, designers, and marketing and communications staff.