IT – Which Roles Are Currently Most In Demand?

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Image via Shane Pope on Flickr creative commons

The world of IT recruitment continues to move at a rapid pace as companies look to employ a huge variety of specialists to manage their IT systems and infrastructure. The type of people being sought by large companies changes regularly, but at the moment it appears to be technical roles that are pushing the market forward.

One skill in great demand is knowledge of HTML5, the fifth revision of the html standard code which is used to structure and present data through web pages. According to a recent report published by market research firm Forrester, some of the world’s leading online brands including technology firm Apple and US consumer electronics and technology retailer Best Buy have started to make use of HTML5 on their desktop websites. The aim is to improve the online experience for customers with the latest versions of web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. It is inevitable that more companies will follow suit and the uptake of HTML5 will gather pace as more businesses look to make use of its features. As a result, options for developers with experience of HTML5 have increased considerably.

Demand for people skilled in creating web pages has grown rapidly in recent months. The need for businesses to have clear, well laid out websites is as critical now as it ever has been and yet there are many companies out there that have inferior websites. As an increasing number of businesses recognise the potential for growth online and the possibilities that are out there when it comes to winning new customers, demand for skilled web designers will no doubt continue to grow as more firms look to build and refresh their online presence.

According to e-skills, the British sector skills council for business and information technology, approximately 129,000 people are needed to step into IT roles every year in the UK simply to keep up with growth in the sector. The organisation has said there are roles available across the industry, from positions for web developers to software engineers. Pay scales range considerably from around £350 a week for a database assistant to in excess of £800 a week for ICT managers.

At the start of the year US News published its report on the Best Jobs of 2012 and up there in the top 10 was computer programmer. A year on and this role is one that attracts a large number of people thanks to excellent job prospects, high satisfaction levels and competitive salaries. The February report also had web developer right up there as a top job, along with software developer.

However, despite the prevalence of jobs available via leading IT recruitment agency specialists and the impressive benefits and compensation packages attached to a large number of these roles, the industry continues to be highly competitive and experience is no guarantee of a job for life as a number of top executives have recently discovered. In November 2012, Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft’s Windows division left the company with immediate effect shortly after the launch of Windows 8 – the latest edition of the US company’s flagship product. A shake up at Apple took place shortly before, with Scott Forstall, head of the technology firm’s iOS software division leaving following the disastrous launch of Apple’s own mapping app.

Have You Considered Working In HR?

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Image via net_efekt on Flickr creative commons

Given the generally precarious state of the British jobs market at present, you could be forgiven for wanting to try your hand at something else. Many people are finding their ambitions are being thwarted as a result of the ongoing economic upheaval we’ve seen over the last few years, and so now could be a good time to learn some new skills and try your luck in a different profession altogether. There are of course many different paths you could take, but talented, hardworking human resources – or HR, if you prefer – workers are always in demand. So what is HR, and why should you consider a career in it?

An article from eHow.com points out that most medium or large-scale employers are likely to need an HR professional to help them keep things ticking over. Human resources involves a range of different tasks, mainly centred on staffing, remuneration and training. As an HR professional, you’ll find yourself attending to a number of important function, including but not limited to interviewing and integrating new members of the team, payroll administration and organising the ongoing training of employees. As HR encompasses a fairly diverse range of functions, it’s not hard to see why so many people are attracted to the profession. Workers with particularly outgoing personalities and who relate well to other people are particularly likely to be sought-after in human resources.

Another aspect to remember is that working in HR means you may need to be a Jack – or, of course, Jill – of all trades, so to speak. It helps to be adaptable, as you’re likely to have to keep on top of a wide variety of different tasks. You’ll need to be well organised so that you can keep tabs on all the various roles you’ll have to fulfil. However, not all HR professionals work in this manner. Some work as part of a large team, and so their role is more focused on one or a limited number of areas.

According to Monster.com, another key advantage of working in human resources is that it offers a range of different options for career progression – something which is likely to be music to the ears of anyone who currently finds themselves trapped in a dead-end job. The complex nature of some of the tasks involved means that skilled workers are usually in high demand. Among the other roles you’ll be expected to attend to as an HR professional, you’ll also need to have a reasonably in-depth knowledge of welfare and employment law. It’s not hard to see, then, how you can continue to progress and develop your own skills as an HR worker.

Whether you want to play an integral role in an organisation or you simply enjoy helping your colleagues match their full potential, a career in HR could open up a whole wealth of opportunities for you. If you’re curious about the possibility of embarking on a human resources career, it’s well worth finding out more about how you can go about obtaining the skills you need. HR courses are a great way to take that crucial first step on the road to a rewarding career in human resources.

What To Take With You When Studying Abroad

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Image from yurilong at Flickr Creative commons

Nowadays, many students are deciding to make the move to another country in order to study abroad and the number of people going overseas for their education is constantly rising. It has been estimated that ‘more than 4.1 million tertiary-level students were enrolled outside their country of citizenship in 2010’ (OCED iLibrary).

Studying abroad can provide students with some amazing life experiences and can also teach them about other cultures, which can help them to grow into well-adjusted individuals. It can also provide students with a chance to learn another language, to be truly independent and to make amazing friendships that they value throughout their lives.

However, studying abroad does mean that you have to leave your existing friends and family members behind you, which can be very tough for some people. You will also need to leave a substantial amount of personal belongings in your home country, as getting them overseas can be difficult. You can always use student shipping methods to take more of your belongings overseas with you than the airline baggage allowances let you, but you will still need to sit down and think carefully about what you will take.

Here are some ideas as to what will be vital on your move overseas:

1)      Important documents

The very first thing that you should pack when moving abroad for university is your important documents. You should take your visa, along with any other documentation allowing you to study within the country, as well as your passport, other ID and documents for health care. If you have taken out insurance this will also be vital, and you should take copies of your accommodation to help you in getting to your student halls of residence once you arrive.

The website Diversity Abroad advises overseas students to ‘take copies of important documents in your carry-on luggage, but keep them separate from the originals’.

2)      Clothes

Of course you are going to want to take your best clothes with you, but you should be sensible when packing your wardrobe. Think about what you are likely to need in your new home – if you will be going in the winter and are likely to return home for a break in between, don’t pack your swimsuit!

The blog collegefashion.net has an excellent article on must-take clothes for girls going to study abroad. It advises ladies to take a selection of tops, trousers, skirts, jumpers, dresses and shoes with them in order to cover both casual and formal outings. You will also need to take underwear, socks, pyjamas and other items. The website also advises to never ‘bring anything you have never worn’ to ensure you know how you’ll look in the clothes, and to ‘try to pack lighter pieces that are easy to layer [as they] will take up less space than bulkier items and layering your clothes will give your outfits more diversity’.

3)      Books

You will undoubtedly need to take certain books with you for your studies as they will be on your course’s reading list. However, you will also want to take books that you can read for pleasure with you. This is where you can run into problems though, since books can take up a lot of your airline baggage allowance in one fell swoop.

There is a way around this though – you could use a baggage shipping service to get everything you need for your overseas studies over to your new home, and it wouldn’t cost you that much either.

When studying abroad it can be wise to pack light, although if you do want to take more of your belongings with you using a baggage shipping service may be the best bet.