Showing posts with label IT Jobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IT Jobs. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

How to become a SharePoint Consultant - Industry Interviews


Today we speak to President and Senior SharePoint Consultant at vNext Solutions, Vlad Catrinescu. With more than 5 years experience analysing and deploying SharePoint Infrastructure, Vlad has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for SharePoint Server since 2013. He is currently the youngest SharePoint MVP in the world. 

Vlad is active on the SharePoint speaking circuit and is renowned for his Absolute SharePoint blog. He is the founder of SharePoint Community - the largest and most active SharePoint community on the web.

Find out how to become a SharePoint Consultant with Vlad in today's Industry Interview.


Name: Vlad Catrinescu
Job Title: SharePoint Consultant and President
Employer: vNext Solutions

Personal Blog: Absolute SharePoint
Social Media: LinkedIn | Twitter  
Awards: SharePoint Server MVP, Top 25 Office 365 Influencers 2015

- Microsoft MCSE: SharePoint 2013
- Microsoft MCSA: Office 365
- Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012
- Microsoft MCITP: SharePoint 2010

Summarise your job in a sentence

I help companies get the most business value out of SharePoint by using the platform’s capabilities to the maximum, solving real business problems.

What does an average working day look like?

About 50% meetings where I try to understand the pain points of the business, and the rest where I try to solve them. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with SharePoint is always a challenge since every business has different needs, so every client is unique.  I enjoy meeting new people and by talking to business owners, and people from every department I get to make new connections every day.  

What are the biggest challenges in your current role?

SharePoint is at a big turning point right now, and with Office 365 and Hybrid, a lot of changes are coming. Getting clients used to SharePoint Online and Office 365 with all the new features it brings can be quite a challenge.

What career path did you take to bring you to your current job title?

I started out as a Junior Network Administrator, which allowed me to learn the Microsoft ecosystem.  Since I was working in a pretty small company, within a month I had Domain Admin rights and was playing with Lync, SharePoint, Exchange, AD, DNS , SCCM, SQL and more. 

This allowed me to have a much better understanding of how all the Microsoft Servers work together.  After, working as a SharePoint Consultant for a few companies, I set up my own SharePoint consultancy. 

Do you have/did you require any professional certifications to secure your current job title? If yes, which?

A lot of my clients require me to be certified in SharePoint, and I have my MCITP SharePoint 2010 and MCSE SharePoint 2013. Personally, I enjoy more the learning I have to do to get those certifications, and I think the learning you do to get them is worth a lot more than the title itself. 

What guidance would you give someone wanting to do your job?

Don’t only learn SharePoint, learn SQL, AD, DNS, and everything in the ecosystem, it will help you better understand how everything works together.  Also, be prepared to learn something new every day as Microsoft is pushing new features and changes to the cloud every two weeks, and since clients see you as the “Expert” you need to know what those changes are.

What guidance would you give someone starting their career in IT?

If you can, join a smaller company or a startup. You will be able to do multiple jobs, and see what you really love. In a big company, your roles and responsibilities are locked in. In a smaller company, you can help with Dev, IT, writing proposals, and taking care of the company twitter if you want to.

Has training and/or certification influenced your career? If yes, how?

For sure it did. I think that everyone who is in IT has to go through training a few times per year to learn new best practices and the new tools. Not only did the training help me get to the technical level that I am now, but being certified helped me open more doors. 

If you are certified, Microsoft Gold Partners will be looking for you. They need your certifications to keep their gold status. 

What are your thoughts on the widely reported IT skills gap and its impact on business?

There is a big IT Skills gap, because IT is evolving so fast that most IT Pro’s cannot keep up. However, that opens up a huge market for consultants, and people that are specialised on certain systems. 

What are your opinions on professional training and certification?

Training is very very very important in IT, since it keeps evolving every day. If you don’t keep training and learn new technologies, you will fall behind and your chances at getting a good job will go down.  

Also, let’s face it, new technologies are cool and doing projects on new technologies is a lot more fun than doing COBOL.  

Certification, well, unfortunately the reputation of IT Certification took a hit in the last few years due to the huge amount of illegal material out there. Whether you believe in the certification or not, I highly recommend you do the training as if you were going to do the exam. And in my opinion, paying that extra $150 to take an exam and be certified is worth it in the long run!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Fast track your career into Cyber Security in 2015


Continuing growth in salaries, a shortage of skilled professionals and a rapid increase in available jobs make a career in cyber security a real prospect. Follow this guide to fast track your career into cyber security in 2015...

If you’re considering a career in cyber security then 2015 could be the year for you. The hacking of Sony Pictures is the latest in a string of high profile attacks, which continues to put recruitment of skilled cyber security professionals top of the agenda.

Cyber security vacancies in the UK have doubled in the last year, with demand outstripping supply, according to a recent study by Technojobs. Combine this with of a 10% growth in the average salary for UK cyber security professionals, now £57,000, and increased Government support and it’s easy to see why the current climate is perfect for employment in the field of cyber security.

Follow these tips to fast track your career into cyber security in 2015…

1. Find the right job for you

First things first, work out which job is right for you. Whether you want to become a Computer Forensics Investigator, Information Security Analyst or Penetration Tester, it’s important to know what the job entails.
SANS have compiled a list of the top 20 Information Security and Cyber security jobs which you can use to track down job descriptions on the major job boards.

2. Get certified

Sometimes the quickest way into the cyber security sector is to get certified. In fact the majority of commercial cyber security and defense-related IT Security jobs require security certifications as a prerequisite. So the lack of certification may be the only thing standing between you and your cyber security career. Find out.

If you are looking at entry-level positions then the CompTIA Security+ and Microsoft MTA Security Fundamentals are a great place to start.

Those considering a more advanced position would be well placed to consider EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification or ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification.
Then there is the industry gold standard Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from (ISC)2, for those eyeing up a position in Senior Management.
This is merely scratching the surface, there are a range of security certifications available from other renowned vendors including Cisco, Symantec and GIAC.

3. Make sure you have the right experience

This echoes back to the first point, when you’re looking at job descriptions, scope out the level of experience required for the job in question. You may realise that you don’t have the right experience at this stage, but at least you know what you’ll need to be working towards.
For those looking at starting a career, this may mean taking a non cyber security-related job as a stepping-stone. As pointed out in a fantastic post from Ira Wrinkler in Computerworld:

“You cannot be expected to protect computers if you don’t know how to administer a computer system, you can’t secure a system that you can’t properly configure on your own, you can’t secure a database if you aren’t fluent in the database management system, and you certainly can’t write secure code if you can’t code at all.”

A great way to bridge the experience gap at the entry level is through voluntary work experience or internships. Keep your eyes peeled, they are everywhere.

4. Get your CV in shape

This can be applied to any industry, but always make sure your CV is up to scratch. This will be the first impression you make to a potential employer, get it wrong and it will be the last.
Having past experience in the recruitment sector here’s my top advice:

  • Ensure your CV is tailored to each individual position. This includes a covering letter outlining why you want the job and why they should consider you.
  • You need to make an impact in the first few lines, so highlight relevant experience and achievements from the outset.
  • Don’t waffle, if your CV is more than 2 pages then it’s too long.
  • No spelling mistakes, with modern day spell check it’s unforgivable.

5. Consider signing up with a recruitment agency

This advice is perhaps more for the seasoned professional, but signing up with a specialist recruitment agency can significantly improve your chances of landing that coveted role. Yes you’ll have to go through an interview, but once on the books there are numerous benefits.

A good recruitment consultant will:

  • Have in depth understanding of the industry and some powerful connections
  • Advise you on how to improve your CV and interviewing skills
  • Sell you into employers, even if that employer isn’t currently looking
  • Get the first shot at a high profile position that may never make a job site
So there we have it, five tips to set you on your way to a new cyber security career in 2015. I wish you every success.

Author Profile

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

5 incredible jobs for a Certified Ethical Hacker


EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification opens doors for IT security professionals. Take on the CEH and you’ll get comprehensive ethical hacking and network security training – you’ll learn to think (and hack) like a hacker.

And like most certifications, the CEH is only a stepping stone to your dream career. The experience you’ll get from becoming a CEH can be applied across a huge variety of job roles. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive ones:

1. Penetration Tester 

Average advertised salary - £55,000*

Just like malicious hackers, penetration testers attack IT systems to locate security flaws. But, unlike hackers, penetration testers are White Hats - their aim is to protect systems, not exploit them.

The only difference between penetration testing and hacking is whether you have the system owner’s permission. If you want the thrill of hacking and enjoy the challenge of breaking into networks, penetration testing could be an incredibly rewarding career for you.

"pssst, what's Frank's password?"
If you can find a vulnerability during your simulated real-life cyber-attack, then you’ve earned your wages.

You’ll establish the viability of attack vectors (also known as an ‘attack-surface’), research known vulnerabilities within the client’s hardware and software stacks and identify weaknesses using common hacking tools.

And you might even find yourself using social engineering to legally con client’s employees, e.g. trying to solicit employee passwords from other employees.

2. Forensics Analyst

Average advertised salary - £42,500*

This ultra-modern role involves analysing the way in which intruders breach IT infrastructure. You’ll be assessing the full extent of any malicious breaches in order to identify additional systems / networks that have been compromised.

Investigating the minute traces left by complex Black Hat attacks requires an IT expert proficient in cutting edge forensic and reverse engineering skills. You’ll need to think and act like a hacker in order to identify the ways they breached your client’s system. 

You'll be using a hacker's malware as evidence for his crimes
Image courtesy of Stephen Miles
To be a successful forensic expert you’ll need to master prevention / detection, hacker exploit techniques and reverse engineering of malware.

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to stay at the cutting edge of attack methodologies. Hackers won’t get complacent, so neither can you. If you can keep your security knowledge and skills up-to-date, you’ll find success as a Forensics expert.

And whilst many job postings advertise the CEH certification as a desired qualification, EC-Council also offers a specific digital forensics course. It’s called the Computer Hackings Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and will teach you everything you need to know about investigating, recovering and tracking cybercrime.

3. Internet / Network Security Administrator

Average advertised salary - £47,500*

Internet security administrators are responsible for protecting vulnerable computer systems and networks against attack. Also known as security specialists, the security administrator handles all aspects of information security.

You’ll be the go-to professional for all aspects of an organisation’s information security. As well as teaching your colleagues about computer security, you’ll check for security violations, research and install protection software and defend/take action against cyber-attacks.

If the breach is serious, you may even find yourself providing evidence of cyber-attacks to prosecute individuals for breaching security.

You’ll have a great deal of responsibility and as a result, you’ll need good communication skills and the ability to react exceptionally fast to security problems. You might even be expected to work on-call in case of emergencies. 

Pictured above: a visual metaphor for network security.
sidewinder123 / MorgueFile

4. Application Security Architect

Average advertised salary - £65,000*

Application security architects work with development and computer architecture teams to create security applications.

You’ll likely find yourself testing programs for security weaknesses and performing vulnerability scans. You’ll be responsible for creating effective security applications and will work closely with software development teams, providing security guidance and expertise.

To succeed in this role you’ll need great problem solving skills and the ability to anticipate vulnerabilities in new software. And, as with most security roles, you’ll also need a deep understanding and appreciation of emerging cyber security risks.

5. Computer Network Defense Analyst

Average advertised salary - £40,000**

Computer network defence analysts work with cutting edge cyber-security technologies to provide expert opinions on current and emerging network security threats.

Get it? Program...
DogertonSkillhause / MorgueFile
You’ll create security threat analysis reports and briefs that describe the risks of potential threats and the risks these threats may pose to your organisation networks.

Tasks could include:
  • Analysing network traffic to identify anomalous activity
  • Determining appropriate response to anomalous network activity
  • Studying identified malicious activity to determine weaknesses exploited
  • Examine network topologies to understand data flows through the network
  • Provide daily summaries and news, events and activities and distinguish these incidents and events from benign activities.

Secure your dream security job

The CEH certification is great for any information security professional. Secure it (in only 5 days?) and prove you can defend your organisation from malicious attacks; you’ll be well on your way to your dream job.

*data from
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About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My morning with the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg


On Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 14:39, I received an official invite to attend a speech hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg at Southfields AcademyThe speech would be followed by a 45 minute Q&A and then a careers fair attended by 500 students .

I had made it, it was now simply a matter of time before i'd be part of the inner circle, supping on tea and cakes at 10 Downing Street.  

In the real world (where i'm forced to live), I was there to listen to what the Deputy Prime Minister and his coalition government have planned to improve education, training and job opportunities for young people aged 16-24, ahead of National Apprenticeships Week

The killer question

As a provider of IT apprenticships, this was a fantastic opportunity for me to ask Mr Clegg a question that has been burning away at the heart of Firebrand's Apprenticeship programme. So let me frame the killer question for you:

The technology sector is currently expanding at a rapid pace, demand for skilled IT workers has outpaced supply. The EU now predict that by 2015 there will be a skills gap of 700,000 trained IT professionals. Youth unemployment stands at roughly 900,000, it looks like we have a situation to kill two birds with one stone (excuse the pun). Plug the growing IT skills gap allowing the UK economy to grow, and take a large step towards solving youth unemployment.

Unfortunately the existing national curriculum for Information Technology is simply not fit for purpose. School leavers aren't provided with the necessary skill set to enter into a specialist career in IT. IT Apprenticeships have been introduced as a fantastic solution to bridge the evident skills gap. 

Employers are matched with talented 16-24 year old school leavers, the apprentice receives training funded by the government, on the job experience and mentoring. At the end of the programme, employers have a skilled worker to fill their vacancy, and the apprentice is now on the ladder to a well paid career. 

Problem solved? Not quite, despite the growing availability of IT apprenticeships, and the opportunity for a well paid, life long career in IT, vacancies continue to receive a lack of applications. 

So here comes the killer question....

What is the government going to do to get kids interested in IT apprenticeships?

An answer to my question?

So there I find myself, a stones throw from the Deputy Prime Minister (not that I intended to throw stones, personally I like the man) currently laying out the plan for 16-24 year olds.

During the speech Mr Clegg outlined 3 key initiatives:
  1. Schools will be tasked with providing better careers advice to students, whilst working to build relationships with local employers to give greater work experience opportunities. This is to be enforced by OFSTED, who have already highlighted that 80% of schools fail to give detailed and sufficient careers support.
  2. A UCAS style website is to be created, providing 16-24 year olds with as much information as possible on existing apprenticeship, traineeship and college programs. 
  3. Trials will soon begin at selected Jobcentre Plus locations, where 16-17 year olds will be given detailed advice from a dedicated Careers Advisors.
Unfortunately during the Q&A session I never got to ask my killer question. But upon reflection, it turns out Mr Clegg had already given me an answer during his speech. 

It's all about education

16-24 year olds need to be educated about the employment opportunities available to them. This has to start long before they leave school, at present your average 16-24 year old isn't aware that they can earn £60,000-£70,000 working in the IT sector. They don't know about all of the exciting careers where they can design and build applications, websites and games. And they are a million miles away from learning about the inner workings of a PC or how to code. 

They often have a stereotype built up in there heads that IT is only for "geeks" , when the reality is far different. It's really is up to schools and Apprentice providers like Firebrand to show them what IT is really all about.

Playing my part

Before I knew what was happening, Mr Clegg was gone and I found myself at Firebrand's stand in the careers fair. Joined by a fantastic Firebrand apprentice, Tom Davies who works for Adatis as a Junior Business Intelligence Consultant, we spent the next hour talking to Southfields Academy students about Firebrand IT Apprenticeships. 

The school itself is well respected for its provision of Careers Advice, and the kids showed genuine enthusiasm as they bustled about the stands. It was amazing to see how their attitudes shift once they find out about all of the careers available to them in IT, Flyers were snapped up, animated conversations were had, and all in all it was a fantastic event. I was surprised at how many kids expressed an interest to learn code, all with quickly imagined dreams of creating apps, making £ millions and retiring at the grand old age of 21 in some mansion in the South of France.

So there we have it, that was my morning with Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

About the Author

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint and Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor among others.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Forecasts predict Big Jobs in Big Data


Earlier this year, e-skills UK and SAS (specialists in business analytics software and services) published Big Data Analytics: Anassessment of demand for labour and skills 2012 - 2017, which forecasts a 92% increase in demand for big data professionals between 2012 and 2017.

The report also shows that all together, IT employment is looking to grow by 2.5% a year over the next five years, which is three times the rate predicted for UK employment as a whole.

Apache Hadoop logoDemand for big data staff will rise the fastest - with a growth rate forecast of 18% per year. This means that by 2017, there will be at least 28,000 new jobs for big data in the UK every year!

The report also shows an analysis of recent demand trends for big data staff, while examining the core occupations and skills currently needed by UK employers implementing big data projects. These include:
  • Hadoop
  • NoSQL
  • Oracle
  • Java
  • SQL

CEO of e-skills UK, Karen Price, stated: "There’s huge potential in UK business to develop competitive advantage and new business through exploiting data assets. We need to ensure there’s a pool of high calibre IT specialist with the right skills to make the most of these opportunities."

 She added: "To truly exploit the benefits of big data, the UK needs a new breed of professionals," adds Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director, SAS UK and Ireland. "It's crucial for the industry to work with academic institutions to ensure that today's students are equipped with the skills so clearly in demand by UK businesses."

You can find the report here.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Where to find the best IT internships


It’s tough to find a graduate job in IT at the moment. You’ve probably heard the usual spiel about hundreds of thousands of new grads flooding the job market, so Inspiring Interns are here to help you find the best IT internships available. An internship can help start your career by giving you necessary work experience and develop your technical skills in a professional setting, but before you even start the search you need to make sure you know what you’re looking for. So without further ado…

What kind of internship should you apply for?

Take some time to sit down and browse your CV. Ask yourself about your existing skillset, soft skills and technical skills, and think about the skills you would like to develop or learn about. It’s worth asking yourself the clichéd question, where would you like to be in five or ten years’ time? Laying out a potential career path and selecting the right internship at this stage in your career will set you in good stead to make the most of your internship and using it as a stepping stone towards your career.

Use a recruitment agency

As an internship recruitment agency, we’re bound to put this as the first option, but recruitment agencies can often hold the key to many opportunities you may not have been unable to find or hadn’t even considered. A good recruitment agency will be able to talk you through the state of the graduate job market, help you with your CV if necessary and hopefully land you an interview at a company you’re interested in interning with. Lots of graduates ask why companies bother with recruitment agencies? They save time for their clients (many smaller companies do not have HR departments) and are able to dedicate specialist knowledge and resources to finding the right person for their vacancy, so give them a go!

Search online

Your first stop online? Google. Try a selection of keywords and be specific with your searches – now that you know which skills you’d like to develop you can avoid the generic results for ‘IT internships’ and be precise; think ‘JavaScript internship London’, for example. You should also consider job sites like or job search engines like adzuna that will have hundreds of internship opportunities listed at any one time. 

Lastly, approach companies speculatively. Compile a list of companies you might be interested in interning with, find their HR/hiring manager’s name and email, and drop them a line asking about internship opportunities and stating why you think you would be a brilliant intern for their company. If you have already applied through the regular channels for a role, it does no harm to drop someone within the company an email to highlight your interest and express enthusiasm for a position.

Social media

It’s important that you take advantage of the plethora of possibilities that social media offers in your IT internship-hunt. As a potential IT intern and member of generation Y, you will be expected to be a digital native. Check out LinkedIn and Twitter and use these platforms to get in touch with HR/hiring managers. Make yourself searchable online – list your technical skills in your online profiles and mention the fact that you are looking for an internship. 

As mentioned above, follow up your application with a short message and don’t be anxious to ask about internship vacancies. You never know, you might be saving a company time and money by contacting the right person at the right time and find your perfect internship in the process! 

Author Bio:
This article was provided by Inspiring Interns.  Inspiring specialises in finding graduates internships in London and throughout the UK. Of the graduates they find internships, 66% earn themselves a permanent job with their host company.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Guest Post - 5 reasons why keeping your IT skills current will keep you contracting


Employers look for both recognised, up-to-date qualifications as well as relevant experience from their contractors. However, as many successful contractors will vouch for, taking time off to get training or re-register their qualifications can be the last thing on their to-do list – especially when another contract calls.

Qualifications are becoming increasingly important in the contracting industry. Here are just 5 of the reasons why keeping your IT skills up-to-date is crucial to having a long-lasting contracting career:

1. Increase your potential earnings -  There is a vast discrepancy in the rates attainable for various types of work so whenever possible you should look into training in some of the more highly paid skills so you are able to earn your maximum daily rate. The cost of courses can sometimes be high, but the potential rewards can also be great

2. Open the door to new opportunities - The broader your skill set, the wider the variety of contracting opportunities that will be open to you. Be careful not to get pigeon-holed, if you happen to do a few more contracts of the same type then you might find yourself being limited to one speciality – however unintentionally that may be. Keeping up-to-date with qualifications will prove to employers that although the majority of your experience may have been concentrating on one skill, you are capable of taking on other types of contract roles.

3. Stay ahead of the competition - Unlike permanent employees, contractors are unlikely to receive on-the-job training. Contractors will often have been brought on board specifically because they already have a particular skill which the company needs, therefore are expected to know what they’re doing and add value from the get-go. Where on-the-job training is not available the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual contractor to ensure that they undertake the necessary training in order to keep up with the skills that permanent employees are gaining in the workplace.

4. Avoid early termination in the recruitment process - Employers will often now specify to recruiters that candidates must have the relevant qualification to be suitable for their role, as well as having had experience in the area. You may have had years of experience but if a qualification has been specified as essential, which you do not possess, then your CV won’t even make it past the first screening and you could be missing out on your perfect contract role to someone who has the desired qualification but only half the experience.

5. Keep up with the rate of change in technology - The consistently rapid development of existing technologies and the creation of new technologies mean that IT contractors’ skills, experience and knowledge need to be updated more frequently than perhaps contractors in other industries. This is where re-registration becomes vital; if your qualification is a few years old there may well be gaps in your knowledge. Not only this but re-registering also demonstrates to employers that you are truly committed to keeping your knowledge up to date.

It can be frustrating for experienced contractors who feel that qualifications are simply a badge; and equally for those who find it extremely difficult to get the time off to re-register their existing qualifications or train for a new skill. However, all things considered, if it means that your contracting career is longer and healthier, it could well be worth bumping it up your to-do list! 

For more hits and tips on contracting and how training can ensure you secure your ideal IT Contract job please visit Contractor UK

About the Author: 
Laura Foster writes for ContractorUK on various topical issues surrounding the IT contracting market including new and existing legislations, jobs, interviews, training, money and service providers.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

IT hiring at four times the rate of retail - Online sales boom


There was a 12% rise last year in hiring for IT and web design compared to a 3% rise in retail hiring according to research by specialist technology recruiter Greythorn. It was also found that growth in online retail sales is well above that of traditional retail.

The number of IT and web design roles has gone up by 32,000 over the past year. The largest growth has been in in the number of web designers, which went up by 19.4% (31,000 to 37,000 roles). The number of IT business architects and system designers has risen 18.8% (85,000 to 101,000).

  • 32,000 IT and web design jobs created over the past year – a 12% rise
  • Retail jobs rose only 3% over the same period
  • Online sales growth two and a half times the pace of total retail growth
  • Falls of up to 2.39% in retail pay, and steady increases in IT

Growth of Online Retail

According to the British Retail Consortium, there was a 10.9% increase in online spending in the year to February 2013. That’s over twice of total retail sales (4.4%).

Official statistics are not good for high street stores. The figures show that January had an 8.7% increase in online retail sales, whereas retail sales saw a 0.6% year on year fall in overall, according to ONS.

This is the reason for large online retailers significantly boosting up their IT teams, such as John Lewis who announced they hired 100 new staff in January 2013.

Research from Greythorn also shows a growth of 89% in IT roles placed in online retail over the past year, compared with the previous twelve months.

Mark Baxter stated “The list of high street insolvencies is becoming a roll-call and there appears to be no end of famous names struggling or going under. It is undoubtedly sad news, but there is a silver lining in the growth of IT roles. As online shopping grows, companies are increasingly investing in improving the customer experience and the back office operations supporting online sales. It is a key stage in transferring to a high tech economy. The number of specialised new roles is growing and that is only good news for IT professionals.”

Larger Salaries

IT job vacancies in the UK are at a record high (see our recent blog post), causing IT salaries to be, now in often cases, higher than those in retail. The average salary of an IT system designer is £37,092 whereas the average salary for a Retail Manager is £21,237.

Mark Baxter continued: “A career in IT is potentially very lucrative and the number and diversity of roles is growing rapidly. Obviously, there are specific technical skills that are needed, but it is a candidate’s market for experienced IT professionals who are either already in online retail or those in other sectors with transferrable skills. For people looking to retrain, web design and online retail offer excellent opportunities that will only increase as people vote with their feet and choose to stay at home rather than shop on the high street.”

Reeds 2013 ‘Salary & Market Insight Reports’ has been released and offers great insight into the IT sector. Andrew Gardner, Director at Reed Technology, explains the most in-demand skills for technology professionals this year in this interview.

You can download the Reed report here.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

IT job vacancies in the UK at a record high


In a recent jobs report by REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s), it was found that we are currently seeing more Tech jobs being advertised in the UK than we have ever seen before. And because of the troubling skills shortage in the market, the imbalance is pushing employers to pay top dollar for developers and other technical staff. The average pay is £38,185, a massive 15% higher than the national average.

According to the report, there were 1,196,227 vacancies in 2012 for the IT sector, making it to the UK’s top hiring sector. This is expected to rise in 2013.

REC found that companies are struggling to find permanent staff with the following skills: business intelligence, DBA, developers, digital marketing, Java, .Net, online marketing, PHP, PPC, SEO and SQL server.

Kevin Green, chief executive at REC said that “Recruiters report that businesses are willing to pay better starting salaries to get the right talent but are struggling to find people with the right skills and experience as candidate availability declines”.

The report also revealed that salaries for technology jobs in London have risen by 26% in the last year and that vacancies in the capital are at an all-time high.

But although the skills gap is still worrying, interest in this sector seems to be growing, with an 18% increase in the number of searches for Technical jobs on Adzuna over the past 6 months. There are now 50,715 technology vacancies in the UK, a record level.

The average salary for a vacant technology role in London is now £48,307, compared to £38,274 a year ago and a national average of £38,185, according to figures from job listings service Adzuna. 

Number of available Tech Vacancies:

Job Title
Number of  Vacancies Sept 2012
Number of Current Vacancies
% Change 
(6 months)
Year on Year Growth in Search
Objective C
Python developer
Java developer
Android developer
Ruby developer
Games developer
Perl developer
Javascript Developer
HTML5 jobs

You can find out how much the salary is for a specific job and the amount being advertised in which ever city in the UK you're interested in by going to

The career opportunities for coders is vast, the sector skills council predicts employment growth in IT to grow 1.62 per cent per year till the year 2020. On average that's an expected growth of 129,000 new job opportunities  for the next 7 years. Amazingly this coincides with a fall in the number of students taking IT related GCSE's and A-Levels.

In 2012, IT represented only 0.4 per cent of all A-Levels in the UK, despite providing more than 5 per cent of Jobs. Campaigns like Little Miss Geek and Code Club are fantastic initiatives set up to inspire children at a grass roots level.

But you don't have to be 10 years old to get into coding, with numerous job opportunities and an average salary of £35,500 (*source IT Jobs Watch) why not start today and take a look our range of Microsoft MTA Certifications . For the more advanced programmers out there looking to back their experience with a certification, why not check out the latest range of .Net Courses

You can check out the original video on's YouTube page - What most schools don't teach

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.