What Type of IT Company and Job is the Best Fit For Me?

There’s a range of roles and industries that IT graduates can go into, but which one should you zero in on?
Nurhuda Syed
Editor, gradsingapore

While the sector may be dominated by several tech giants – such as Google, Apple and Microsoft – there are plenty of diverse roles that IT graduates can turn to for job opportunities, including those in non-IT sectors.

To be a prudent job seeker, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons before applying to companies. Not only will it help in your decision-making, you can also make use of your research to impress recruiters and improve your chances at the job.

Consider the following points in your search:

1. Potential employers

Many IT graduates typically find employment with the following type(s) of recruiters:

  • Technology solutions providers – e.g. Hewlett Packard, Cxrus Solutions
  • IT services organisations – e.g. Fujitsu, Infosys
  • Telecommunications companies – e.g. SingTel, StarHub
  • Technology consultancies – e.g. TCS Singapore

IT graduates can also lend their expertise to roles in other sectors, such as finance and professional services:

  • Investment banks – e.g. BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan
  • Retail banks – e.g. Barclays
  • Investment management firms – e.g. Aberdeen Asset Management
  • Insurers – e.g. Aviva Ltd.
  • Accounting firms – e.g. EY, PwC
  • Retailers

Retailers in particular are in great need of talented technologists as they explore ecommerce options, investing heavily in various aspects of online and mobile shopping, e.g. security and digital currency.

IT graduates can also find opportunities in media (e.g. AsiaWorks Singapore), games development (e.g. Ubisoft, Konami Singapore, Touch Dimensions), and public services organisations (e.g. IMDA) alongside smaller employers like specialist software houses and niche consultancies. 

2. Type of work

It is also best to narrow down your career options by considering the scope of responsibilities you’re willing to take on. For instance, how much coding or technical reasoning are you willing to be involved in? Would you prefer to work solely in the technical area or with a mix of commercial functions? If your answer is the latter, then IT consulting might be for you.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in tasks that mostly involve coding or programming, then your best bet will be technology solutions providers. Don’t completely rule out non-IT companies though — some of them may be looking to develop their own software or applications, such as online retailers. These jobs typically fall under IT engineering or software development.

On the other hand, if you have a preference for daily troubleshooting and long-term projects, you may prefer working with an IT services provider or be part of a IT support team in a non-IT firm.

A good way to discover your preference is by exploring the graduate programmes offered by employers as these programmes usually rotate you across different roles and departments. Alternatively, part-time jobs can be helpful too.

3. Mobility

While most technology jobs are deskbound, some may require you to travel far and often – and this can greatly influence your job preference and satisfaction.

If you’re someone who prefers to stay put in the office, then a technical role such as developer or software tester will be right up your alley. On the contrary, IT consultants are almost always on their feet, travelling from one client base to another. Graduates in IT services may also spend the occasional week at their client’s premises.

Business and management roles (such as project management) typically falls somewhere in between the two and will be less hectic. That said, this is highly dependent on your role and the firm’s requirements.

Be sure to consider how you feel about moving around in the long run as well. While it may sound fun to be able to travel and meet new people, you may have to make sacrifices with regards to your free time and personal life.

4. Time and dedication

All employers will ask for hard work and dedication, but you may be required to do more at smaller companies or start-ups due to its leaner workforce. Late nights can become a regular occurrence, especially when faced with many project deadlines. It’s also not uncommon for you to have to engage in tasks that are completely out of your job scope. It is thus crucial that you do your research on the pace of work and culture of each organisation before applying for the job.

Just note that if you’re passionate about your work and think you’ve got what it takes to adapt to the steep learning curve, then a start-up or smaller company may be suitable options for you. Start-ups and smaller companies can be a great training ground for gaining crucial skills and experience, and give you the opportunity for early responsibility.