As the world becomes increasingly connected and dependent on technology, the IT and Telecommunications industries are experiencing significant growth, offering numerous career opportunities for professionals in these fields. Before we dive into the details, we’d like to mention that we’re posting this edition of FutureReady Friday a day early, as tomorrow is a public holiday, Good Friday. We hope this provides valuable insights for those of you planning your career paths during the long weekend. Identifying and developing the in-demand skills for these industries can not only lead to exciting and rewarding career paths but also ensure that you remain competitive in the ever-evolving job market. In this edition, we’ll dive into the most sought-after roles in IT and Telecommunications, based on a list provided by the New Zealand Government’s Careers page, and explore strategies for school leavers to transition into these industries and develop the necessary skills for success.
- Business Analyst: Business Analysts play a crucial role in bridging the gap between technology and business requirements. They help organisations meet their goals by designing or recommending solutions such as computers, computer programs, or system improvements. To excel in this role, you’ll need strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills, as well as a good understanding of both technology and business operations.
- Data Analyst: Data Analysts work with vast amounts of data to identify trends and patterns, using statistical methods and specialised software. They turn raw data into valuable insights to help organisations achieve their business objectives. A strong foundation in statistics, programming, and data visualisation is essential for this role.
- Game Developer: Game Developers bring gaming experiences to life by designing, programming, animating, and testing games across various platforms. This highly creative and technical field requires a solid understanding of programming languages, graphic design, and storytelling, as well as a passion for gaming.
- IT Architect: IT Architects analyse an organisation’s IT needs, recommend solutions, and oversee their delivery and implementation. They play a strategic role in ensuring that technology infrastructure aligns with business goals. To succeed as an IT Architect, you’ll need expertise in system design, network management, and information security, as well as strong communication and leadership skills.
- IT Helpdesk/Support Technician: IT Helpdesk/Support Technicians set up computer equipment and provide troubleshooting assistance for hardware and software issues. They play a crucial role in keeping organisations running smoothly. Strong technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and customer service orientation are essential for this role.
- IT Manager: IT Managers plan and supervise computer and information technology services for organisations or technical teams. They manage budgets, timelines, and resources while ensuring alignment with business objectives. Leadership, communication, and project management skills are crucial for success in this role.
- Network Administrator: Network Administrators design, install, and maintain computer hardware and software networks. They ensure the efficient and secure operation of LANs and WANs. Proficiency in network design, installation, and maintenance, as well as troubleshooting and security, are essential for this role.
- Penetration Tester: Penetration Testers investigate security weaknesses in online systems and databases, helping organisations safeguard their digital assets. Strong ethical hacking, vulnerability assessment, and communication skills are vital in this field.
- Security Analyst: Security Analysts create and monitor security processes and frameworks to protect an organisation’s information systems and computer networks. They help prevent and mitigate cyber threats. To succeed in this role, you’ll need a strong foundation in information security, risk management, and incident response.
- Security Consultant: Security Consultants advise on IT security and design security systems to protect against threats. They identify weaknesses and provide recommendations to improve an organisation’s overall security posture. Expertise in information security, risk management, and system design is essential.
- Software Developer: Software Developers create and maintain computer software, websites, and software applications (apps). They turn ideas into functional products that solve problems or meet user needs. Strong programming, problem-solving, and communication skills are vital in this role.
- Systems Administrator: Systems Administrators develop, maintain, and administer computer operating systems, database management systems, and security policies and procedures. They ensure that systems run efficiently and securely. To excel in this role, you’ll need a solid understanding of operating systems, databases, and information security, as well as strong problem-solving and technical skills.
For school leavers who have a keen interest in the IT and Telecommunications industries, it’s essential to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in these competitive fields. By understanding the in-demand roles and their respective responsibilities, you can better tailor your educational pursuits and practical experiences to prepare for a successful career. In the following section, let’s explore the most effective ways to develop the skills needed for each in-demand role from a school leaver’s perspective.
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Before diving into the specific roles and skillsets, it’s important for school leavers to understand the best approach to enter the IT and Telecommunications industries. Firstly, identify your areas of interest and strengths, as this will guide your decisions about pursuing further education or training. It’s advisable to obtain a diploma or degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, information technology, or software engineering, as it lays a strong foundation for your career. Additionally, engage in internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work to gain practical experience and make valuable industry connections. Continuous learning and obtaining certifications in specific areas can also greatly enhance your employability. With this guidance in mind, let’s explore the in-demand roles and skillsets in these industries.
Developing In-Demand Skills from a School Leaver Perspective:
- Business Analyst: If you’re a school leaver interested in becoming a Business Analyst, consider pursuing a degree in business administration, information systems, or a related field. Participate in internships, projects, or part-time jobs to gain practical experience in both technology and business operations. Additionally, develop strong communication and problem-solving skills, which are critical for this role.
- Data Analyst: To become a Data Analyst, focus on developing your knowledge in statistics, programming, and data visualisation. Pursue a degree in data science, computer science, or a related field, and engage in hands-on projects to hone your skills. Online courses and certifications in popular data analysis tools and programming languages can also be beneficial.
- Game Developer: For aspiring Game Developers, consider studying game design, computer science, or a related field. Join clubs or online communities dedicated to game development and participate in game jams or competitions to build a portfolio showcasing your skills. Additionally, learn popular programming languages, graphic design tools, and storytelling techniques to enhance your creative and technical abilities.
- IT Architect: As a school leaver, if you aspire to become an IT Architect, it’s essential to develop a strong foundation in system design, network management, and information security. Pursue a degree in computer science, information systems, or a related field, and seek out internships or projects to gain practical experience. Strengthen your leadership, communication, and project management skills, as they will be crucial in this role.
- IT Helpdesk/Support Technician: To prepare for a career as an IT Helpdesk/Support Technician, consider obtaining a diploma or degree in IT, computer science, or a related field. Gain practical experience by working part-time or volunteering in IT support roles. Acquire certifications in popular hardware and software products, and develop your customer service and problem-solving skills.
- IT Manager: For those aiming to become an IT Manager, a bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science, or a related field is highly recommended. Gain experience by working in various IT roles, and develop your leadership, communication, and project management skills. Certifications in project management, such as PMP or PRINCE2, can also be advantageous.
- Network Administrator: As a school leaver, if you’re interested in becoming a Network Administrator, consider pursuing a degree in computer science, networking, or a related field. Gain hands-on experience through internships or part-time work and acquire relevant certifications, such as CompTIA Network+ or Cisco CCNA, to demonstrate your expertise.
- Penetration Tester: To become a Penetration Tester, focus on building your knowledge in ethical hacking, vulnerability assessment, and cybersecurity. Pursue a degree in computer science, cybersecurity, or a related field, and engage in practical projects or internships. Acquiring certifications, such as CompTIA Security+ or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), can also help you stand out.
- Security Analyst: For those interested in becoming a Security Analyst, a degree in computer science, information security, or a related field is highly recommended. Gain practical experience through internships, projects, or part-time work, and develop your skills in information security, risk management, and incident response. Obtaining relevant certifications, such as CISSP or CISA, can also be beneficial.
- Security Consultant: As a school leaver, if you aspire to become a Security Consultant, focus on developing your expertise in information security, risk management, and system design. Pursue a degree in computer science, information security, or a related field, and engage in internships or hands-on projects to gain practical experience. Acquiring relevant certifications, such as CISSP, CISM, or CRISC, can further enhance your credibility in the field.
- Software Developer: To become a Software Developer, consider pursuing a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. Engage in personal projects or internships to gain experience in programming and software development. Learn popular programming languages, such as Python, Java, or C++, and explore different development environments to expand your skillset.
- Systems Administrator: For aspiring Systems Administrators, a degree in computer science, information systems, or a related field is recommended. Gain practical experience through internships, part-time work, or volunteer opportunities, and develop your skills in operating systems, databases, and information security. Acquiring relevant certifications, such as CompTIA A+ or Microsoft MCSA, can also help demonstrate your expertise.
As a school leaver, the prospect of entering the IT and Telecommunications industries can be both exciting and daunting. By identifying the in-demand skills and roles that interest you, you can develop a targeted approach to your education and career development. Pursuing relevant degrees, gaining practical experience, and obtaining certifications will help you build a strong foundation and increase your chances of success in these rapidly growing fields.
We hope you found this overview of in-demand IT and Telecommunications roles helpful. Would you like to see an in-depth analysis of these roles, or are you interested in learning about other skill shortages the government has identified on their website for career planning? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be happy to provide more insights to support your career journey.