Science & Information Technology (IT) Careers Opportunities & Development Advice Guidance - Information & News From Your Career Guide

Your Career In Science and IT


What employers want from you

These days, your academic excellence is almost taken for granted by potential employers. More and more they are looking for hard skills such as writing, literacy and leadership and soft skills such as the ability to communicate effectively.

As well as academic requirements, the jobs mentioned above all emphasise the other skills that the employers want from Science and IT graduates. And time after time, it’s the same ones:

*Good communication and presentation skills, both oral and written
*Self-motivation
*Team worker
*An interest in and an ability to pick up technical concepts quickly and competently
*Analytical mind
*Imagination and inquisitiveness
*Ability to learn new skills and implement them quickly
*Sound decision making and problem solving skills
*Ability to manage own and others’ time


Remember, too, that many employers require quite a high level of mobility today. This is especially true of the larger recruiters who have graduate training programmes that involve extensive national and sometimes international travel.

A typical example of this is pharmaceutical giant GSK, which is a major recruiter of both Science and IT graduates (www.gsk.com/careers/uk-stud-grad-prog.htm).

Science opportunities are offered within analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology and chemometrics. The development programme involves three 12-month placements in at least two business areas, in different sites – mostly within the UK and the Republic of Ireland but occasionally further abroad too. Training and development is divided into four areas: business execution and understanding, technical and specialist expertise, self and high performance behaviours. Note that the latter concerns those all-important soft skills such as working with others and communication skills that every employer is looking for today.

IT graduates at GSK must be prepared to move around, too. Over three years, a series of different IT rotations are conducted, each lasting a year. These can include business analysis, project management, service analysis and systems architecture.

It’s a similar story with BT (www.btplc.com/Careercentre/), whose regime involves IT graduates getting early experience in design and consultancy, software and platform engineering, IT systems engineering, IT technical operations, security and more. As one graduate trainee sums it up on the BT website: “I actually chose BT because it’s so big, and there’s scope to work in so many different areas.”