There are strong signs that the IT industry will continue to grow across a range of industries. IT is the essential component which ensures businesses can run effectively and efficiently. One key growth area is the financial industry where IT opportunities will increase. There will also continue to be opportunities in the creative industries, which are heavily dependent on IT. Here graduates will find roles in the computer games, film special effects and media sectors.
Products that rely on digital technologies will increase and because of this, the industry will need to keep up to speed in terms of digital technologies and innovative advances. And, according to Lord Carter, who chaired the Digital Britain report produced in early 2010:
'The UK’s digital dividend will transform the way business operates, enhance the delivery of public services, stimulate communications infrastructure ready for next generation distribution, and preserve Britain’s status as a global hub for media and entertainment.'
The challenges presented by technology are likely to be driven by the next generation of so called ‘digital natives’ who have grown up with technology, and for whom it holds no fear. They are 'native speakers’ of the digital language of computers, video gaming and the internet.
Social computing powered by web 2.0 technologies and the development of new technologies will shape future IT products, services and skills. Increased concern for the environment will impact on the number of green IT products required.
The rapid expansion of social computing which has seen the development of social media sites such as Facebook, Bebo and Twitter, to name but a few, will continue to be a major factor influencing how the IT sector develops. There is also an increasing desire for people to have more work-life balance and flexible work patterns in their lives. IT has an important part to play in this as we will see more demand for wireless internet access and more technologically advanced communication systems which will enable more people to work from home in virtual work places.
There will be an increasing need for employees to possess higher level IT skills to cope with the demand for producing more innovative IT products. These skills will have to be continually updated if the UK is to remain a significant player in the IT sector in the future.
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