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Everything You Need to Know about Working in IT and Computing Courses

By Jon, published on 05/03/2018 Blog > Academia > Information Technology > Working in IT: FAQs on Computer Courses

There’s no shortage of jobs in IT. A quick job search will show plenty of results. The sector is constantly looking out for new people, especially talented people who specialise in certain fields like web design, UI design, and even animation.

Before you become a web application developer, system or network administrator, or embark on any IT project, you’ll need training in the field.

In this article, Superprof is going to give you an overview of everything you should know before you embark on your computing adventure and send your CV to a potential employer.

5 Things You Have to Know About IT

Before you become a programmer and start coding, you’ll have to get the basics of programming down.

Here are 5 things you have to know about working with computers and the web.

1. What is an IP address?

While we often hear about IP addresses, what is an IP address?

IP is short for Internet Protocol. Your IP address is basically like a unique telephone number for your computer. Computers use this address to send information between one another as long as they’re connected to the same network.

An IP address is made up of a series of numbers between 0 and 250. It’s assigned by your router rather than your computer itself.

What does HTML stand for? Computers are great until they stop working! (Source: Gabriel Peter)

2. What’s a server for?

This is one of the first things you’ll learn about the web in an IT tutorial. A server exists to serve. While it’s not a waiter, a server does provide a similar service in the way in serves you data.

Severs are the cornerstone of the internet. When you publish a video on YouTube, you only publish it once. However, it’s relayed between hundreds and thousands of servers so that people all over the world can see it.

A video or app that relies on poor servers won’t go the distance. This happened to the global phenomenon Pokémon Go on its first birthday when too many people connected at the same time from the same place and caused the servers to crash. Servers need to be powerful enough to avoid such bad publicity.

3. What is HTML?

Hypertext Markup Language isn’t a programming language as such. Just like an IP address, HTML is a language for computers. It’s a language that deciphers and should be understood like a foreign language. The latest version is HTML5.

This language tells the computer which fonts to use, the size of the text, and the images to put in. Don’t worry if you haven’t learnt all the elements off by heart, you can easily find them online.

For example, if you want to put some text in bold, you just need to surround the text with the tags <b> and </b>. If you hadn’t guessed, “b” stands for “bold”.

4. What are cookies used for?

Aside from being a popular type of biscuit, cookies are marks left on your computer when you browse the internet. You browser can store a harmless file on your computer which can tell ad servers which adverts to show you based on your search history.

Let me explain…

Imagine you are looking for some shoes online. You close the page without buying anything or even putting anything in your basket. Later on you’re watching a YouTube video. You’ll probably see an ad on the video with the shoes you were looking at a little earlier.

It’s not magic, it’s just cookies.

5. What are the different programming languages?

There are a few of them.

Java, C, and Python are among some of the most popular ones. Be careful about trying to master them all.

  • If you want to make a site on WordPress, you should get to grips with JavaScript and PHP.

  • To work with Windows (the operating system), you should probably master C#.

Start by choosing either Java or C++. Then you can move onto JavaScript. After that, you should choose between PHP, Swift, or Python, depending on what you’re looking to do.

If you want to learn 5 more essential things for your training, check out our article on becoming a real geek!

What IT Degrees, Qualifications, or Certifications Should I Get?

With IT jobs being in abundance, why not go full time and work in IT? However, with so many jobs and so many people wanting to work in IT, you’ll need to have the right training.

How can you become an IT teacher or tutor and meet the growing demands of the sector?

While it’s no longer necessary to have a degree in IT from a top university to become a web developer, project manager, or network administrator, you’ll still have to consider training or education. This is particularly true if you want to give private IT tutorials to beginners or helping IT students with their degrees.

There are plenty of websites offering free lessons and step-by-step guides in IT coursesThere are also IT classes for the elderly and local governments tend to have IT skills classes in a variety of different topics for anyone looking to integrate IT into their lives.

Which programming language should I learn? If you want a job as a programmer, you’re going to have to learn to code. (Source: Lukas)

However, learning to give IT tutorials isn’t for everyone. You need to have teaching skills and patience for effectively transferring your knowledge. You’ll also need to respectful and caring to your students.

3 Jobs You Can Do with IT Training

Even if you already have an A Level in IT, you can still do more training to become a web admin or app developer. There’s no shortage of web developer jobs, either. Here are some great Jobs for those taking IT courses.

1. Become an App or Web Developer

Job Description: Java or PHP web developers are tasked with designing and creating IT programmes and web applications for the client. A software developer will need to be familiar with programming and web technologies as application development is always evolving.

They focus on either web-based app design or software development. In both cases, they’ll need to be driven as they work on improving the usability and functionality of the programmes and web apps they create. There are a lot of companies hiring in this field.

Training required: IT Degree. Of course, equivalent qualifications will also be enough. In some cases, marketing will be useful if they’re designing apps for e-commerce.

Skills required:

  • Knowledge of programming languages

  • Project management

  • IT maintenance

Qualities required:

  • Discipline

  • Analytical skills

  • Diligence

  • Creativity

Average salary: £30,000/year

2. Web Designer

Job Description: a web designer’s job is to create the visual identity and layout of the brand’s website and web pages. In addition to creating the website’s looks, web designers also have to make sure that the website functions well and is responsive both on the front end and back end.

What qualifications does a programmer need? Do you need a master’s degree to be a web designer? (Source: pixabay.com)

Web design is a fascinating field and those who work in it need to be familiar with modern technology and the latest developments. They’ll also need an impressive portfolio of what they’ve been working on and show that they’re passionate about design if they want someone to hire them.

Training: There are two main routes for this. An IT degree with art classes or training or an art degree with IT classes and training. You can also take these extra classes outside of university or even enlist the assistance of a private tutor for this.

Skills required:

  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects).

  • A good knowledge of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Qualities required:

  • Organisation

  • Creativity

  • Autonomy

  • Diplomacy

  • Teamwork

Average salary: £23,000/year.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Expert

Job Description: The main goal of an SEO expert is to ensure that their client’s website appears higher up in search results. They’re an expert in statistical analysis and will give advice and recommendations as well as information on how to implement them.

Training: IT Degree with Marketing or similar.

Skills required:

  • A good knowledge of HTML and CSS.

  • Editing skills

  • Knowledge of analytical tools

Qualities required:

  • Resistant to stress

  • Teaching skills

  • Analytical skills

Average salary: £30,000/year.

For more jobs in IT like app development, project management, or becoming a web master, check out our article dedicated to the subject.

Why Learn IT Skills with a Private Tutor?

While doing a degree in IT can be a good way to get work in the sector, they can sometimes be really difficult. A private IT tutor can be used to help you when you run into trouble or on their own to gain some valuable IT skills.

Where can I find an IT tutor? You should have an informal meeting with your tutor before you start working with them. (Source: burst.shopify.com)

If you choose not to study an IT degree, they can help you get your foot in the door of a career in IT, web development, or cloud computing in a way that traditional courses cannot.

  • A Personalised Approach: Unlike teachers in sixth form or university tutors, when you work with a private tutor, you’re their only student in that class. They can adapt their classes to your level as well as work with your strength and weaknesses. The classes are planned for you and not the tutor themselves. Your tutor, who’ll be an IT expert, will be a great source of motivation for you. With regular private tutorials, you won’t be able to hide behind the best student in class.

  • They can help you get ready for an IT degree or help you brush up on concepts that you haven’t seen since GCSE. A good private tutor can help you get through all the skills you’ve forgotten or haven’t used in years.

  • Go at your own pace: If you always felt classes were too slow or too fast, in-home private tutorials mean that you get the most out of every minute you spend with your tutor. You can even have private tutorials on the weekend or during the evenings. This is great if you have a busy work schedule.

  • The student’s choice: You’re the boss. You can tell your tutor what your objectives are and what you need to learn. You should make sure you choose the right tutor for you. You should be aware of your tutor’s qualifications, their experience, and their teaching style. Qualifications aren’t everything, after all. While they’re a useful example of what they know, they’re only part of the story. On Superprof, students can leave reviews of their tutor so that you can work out which is the best tutor for you.

  • Affordable rates: Unlike what you’d think, private tutorials needn’t cost an arm and a leg. In some cases, tutorials can be cheaper than other types of classes. Some tutors charge very little but may have a lot of experience. Experienced tutors may provide the best education but come at a cost. The rates of tutors can vary wildly between £15 to £60 per hour and change depending on where the tutor is, your level, the tutor’s experience, and the type of IT tutorials that you’re looking for.

In short:

  • Start by getting to grips with the basics of computers and IT.

  • Since the sector is growing, you might be tempted to start teaching IT. Make sure that you’ve got the necessary skills and training. There are plenty of websites with free lessons and valuable resources.

  • In general, you’ll probably need more than A Levels in IT if you want to work in the field or teach it. If you’ve got a degree or even a master’s degree, you’ll be fine.

  • There are in-home IT tutorials available for those needing help with their degrees or just those wanting to learn more IT skills.

Find out more about our cyber security tutorials.

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