August 18th marks 'A' level results day. It's a day that fills students and parents alike with an overwhelming sense of dread and anticipation. The lead up is often tense, with the day itself delivering a range of emotions depending on what that envelope holds for you.
However, whether you got the grades you were hoping for or not, a career in IT could be your key to success in the ever evolving digital age.
Perhaps you got the grades you were hoping for? Great! If you're not sure what your next steps are yet then take a look into the lucrative world of IT and see whether an IT related degree could be for you. According to E-Skills UK there are around 16,000 Computer Science graduates in the UK, with a potential demand for in excess of 100,000. Tech city UK states that there are fewer than 2 applications for every graduate tech vacancy. Compare this to the UK average number of applicants to graduate positions of 35, and it is clear there is massive supply-demand imbalance.
IT Graduate vacancies have risen over 50% in the last five years. As these numbers suggest, Computer Science and IT graduates are in significant demand. There will still be many courses available to students via clearing post A Level results.
On the other hand if you didn't do as well as you were expecting or have changed your mind about University, do not despair! Perhaps you want to reconsider your options, gain some work experience, and re-take your exams? If university just isn't for you then there are plenty of opportunities within IT that do not require you to have gone to university. Data from Technojobs.co.uk found that over 50% of IT professionals do not actually have a degree.
With so many courses and free learning resources online it is entirely possible to gain the necessary skills for an entry-level IT position without any formal training or qualifications. Additionally, an IT apprenticeship can be a great starting point for those wanting to work in the technology sector. It means you will still be able to gain many of the key skills and valuable work experience you need for an entry level IT job, alongside getting paid and not racking up massive student debts.
So whether you have the grades or not the channels into IT are varied and the opportunities are significant. For example Technojobs has calculated a 100% rise in cyber security job vacancies, making it one of the UK's most sought after IT skills. The digital and tech revolution has created a massive skills gap that is a massive opportunity for all 'A' level students.
Unfortunately the role of the education sector and student careers service is often uneducated regarding technology opportunities, yet tomorrow, whatever the results, should be a breeding ground for the next tech entrepreneurs.