Common Myths About An IT Career In Financial Services

Common Myths About An IT Career In Financial Services

The financial services industry, like so many business sectors, is becoming more and more reliant on technology. Companies require increasingly sophisticated IT systems to assist with back office administration, accounting, point-of-sale, compliance and data analysis.

Royal Bank of Scotland, the large banking group that includes NatWest, knows this better than most. Because it failed to invest sufficiently in IT in the past, it has suffered a number of technology-related issues. The biggest of these occurred in 2012 and affected their customers’ ability to carry out banking transactions for several weeks. The group was fined £42 million by their industry regulator for its deficiencies.

Because companies’ reliance on technology is increasing all the time, the number of IT professionals that are required to support them is also increasing. It is definitely not the case that the IT job market is ‘saturated’ and that there will be intense competition for every vacancy.

The technology sector is perceived as being dominated by men. However, there is no reason why women cannot succeed in IT – after all they are just as likely to possess the right skills to work in this area. The attributes of a good IT professional might include:

  • A methodical and analytical brain
  • Good attention to detail
  • Ingenuity
  • Project management skills
  • The ability to adapt to changes and learn quickly
  • Communication skills

You may be surprised to see the last entry in this list. The stereotype of the geeky, unsociable, uncommunicative IT professional is often far removed from reality. In IT, you need good verbal communication skills to explain very technical concepts to colleagues and clients who may not be as technologically minded. Good written communication skills are essential if you need to write user guides and the like.

It is not necessary to have gone to university to pursue an IT career, as many successful technology professionals were taken on straight from school under apprenticeship schemes or other training programmes. If you did go to university, your degree doesn’t have to be in information technology or computer science – graduates in mathematics, sciences, economics and other disciplines can also make very good IT professionals.

Because you don’t need a degree, it makes it easier for people from all backgrounds to become IT professionals.

See also:

Search For a Job