Digital, IT and Cyber Security

computer code on a screen

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This sector not for you? Don't worry, there are plenty of others to explore.

Digital, IT and cyber security careers cover a huge range of different roles in IT companies and all other employment sectors, including finance and consultancy, public sector, retail, manufacturing , telecommunications, games and apps development. While some of these roles will demand technical skills, others may not require a technical degree, so you will need to research roles carefully.

Find out about digital, IT and cyber security

Key resources

Research the sector and keep up with current issues by reading:

  • Technology sections of newspapers such as the Guardian and Financial Times
  • Bubble Jobs digital careers portal, with career guides and digital job group guides
  • IT job profiles on Prospects 
  • Use our York Profiles and Mentors database to find York graduates working in this sector (search IT under the Job sector heading). Read their profiles and contact them to get advice and learn more about what they do. You may also want to search by relevant department to find graduates working in IT and digital careers across all job sectors.
  • Nesta reports on the continued growth of this sector, skills analysis and lots more
  • Videos on Gradcracker TV - you can browse sectors, companies and individual profiles
  • Tech Republic for news, articles and industry analysis
  • Computing (free registration required to access articles)
  • Computer Weekly includes IT news specific to different sectors
  • ITs not just for the boys! is an annual autumn term event held in London, for female students who are looking to find out more about technology careers
  • Come to our Technology Fair in the autumn term - you'll have the chance to chat to find out about companies, grad schemes and internships

Umbrella organisations and professional bodies

Media and games industries

Cyber security

What skills do I need?

Key skills for work in this sector are likely to include the following (depending on the role):

Technical skills

  • Knowledge of programming languages (eg C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, HTML)
  • Knowledge of databases (eg SQL, Oracle)
  • Knowledge of operating systems (eg UNIX)

Personal attributes

  • Technical aptitude (ability to learn new programme languages quickly)
  • Communication skills - oral and written
  • Career motivation
  • Commercial awareness
  • Client skills (communication, influence, negotiation)
  • Organisation and planning
  • Adaptability, coping with change
  • self management
  • project management
  • attention to detail
  • methodical approach

TargetJobs has a useful article on demonstrating the soft skills needed for IT jobs

See also, Developing your skills - a career in coding

Work experience

Work experience is invaluable to help you secure your first graduate job (a summer internship may lead to a graduate job with the same employer). Increasingly, employers are offering summer insight programmes and work experience to students after just one year at university, as well as the more traditional summer internships for penultimate year students, so it is never to soon to start looking!

Volunteering can offer you opportunities to develop a range of skills, such as teamwork, communication, project management, and demonstrates your commitment and values.

Finding jobs

Initial roles in the industry may be in software development, but if you can demonstrate that you are quick to learn about service management or cyber security, you will find more highly paid and influential roles opening up to you.

The following sites may be useful in looking for vacancies:

Games development

Cyber security

What can I do at York?

Use your time at York to develop your skills and experience to help you get a job in this sector. You could:

  • Talk to people working in the sector - use York profiles and mentors (search IT and Telecommunications) - and attend our networking and employer events on campus. Make contacts through LinkedIn too
  • Get involved with the tech community - look out for hackathons, competitions and games development, locally or online (eg ludum dare). For game developers, build on your skills by using free frameworks, such as Unity
  • Join a student society, such as HackSoc or ShockSoc or SWEY (Supporting Women in Engineering at York)
  • You could learn coding concepts and techniques or enhance existing skills with Codeacademy or w3schools among others
  • Attend skills sessions, designed to help you develop key skills, such as project management to help you manage time and resources. Consider a MOOC, such as Becoming a digital citizen from FutureLearn and the University of York