Following my graduation from York in 1991, I spent three years working on a project to re-vamp the “Time Cars" at Jorvik Viking Centre by designing a microprocessor control system.
I then spent the next three years working as Technical Manager then Technical Director of a PC assembler / direct sales company. After that I spent five years as Technical Infrastructure Manager for a Microsoft Solution Provider Partner, where I gained an MCSE qualification.
Since late 2002 I have worked for York College as a Tutor of IT and Computing
I teach on and manage York College’s Foundation Degree programme, meaning a degree in Computer Science is a basic requirement of my job. I have also found my professional qualifications and practical experience to be very useful throughout my career.
I would advise current students to not to give up; even if you have to switch job several times to find your true vocation then do so. Graduates must always have a positive goal; unless you are heading towards something you really want you'll end up going no-where - as I did for my first six months after graduation! Graduates also need to maintain enthusiasm; it is a very attractive quality in a potential employee.
Despite the doom and gloom, the IT industry is a good place to be. Join the BCS as a student member, make use of the Careers section of their web site, attend branch meetings and network; also, read the industry press – Computer Weekly and Computing.
There are a lot of good jobs out there, although they generally require a lot of experience so don't be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up. A Helpdesk / IT Support role may seem unappealing but if the company offers the opportunity to gain professional qualifications then it's really worthwhile and you'll find you progress rapidly.
If you're thinking about teaching as a career I can't emphasise enough the importance of getting some industrial experience first, five years minimum.
Above all make sure you enjoy what you are doing, it took me over ten years to finally find a job that I genuinely look forward to doing each day; it was well worth the effort.