Women in Technology MD says industry needs to raise the bar on making IT attractive to a wider career audience

Information Technology may be a staple feature of most organisations in the UK, but its profile in the career stakes as far as school leavers and graduates are concerned needs to be improved, according to Maggie Berry, the managing director of Women in Technology, the recruitment, jobs and career company Internet resource for women.

Writing in her blog for the 360IT - The IT Infrastructure Event, Maggie observes it has been a busy few weeks for IT-related surveys, with researchers discovering that Microsoft rates the second most ideal potential employer with 69 per cent of respondents giving the thumbs up to the software giant.

Other companies favoured by younger job seekers included Apple and Google yet, she says, if so many people want to work in technology, why is there still a lack of talent in the sector?

Maggie points to a survey that shows a third of graduates are planning to set up their own business, with IT being the most popular option.

Yet, she says, there is still shortage of people - especially of the female persuasion - who are prepared to study computer-related subjects and entering the IT profession.

"Does the geeky stereotype of IT put people off? Or is it the thought of answering those impossible Google interview questions, like how many golf balls can you fit in a school bus? Do people already established in their careers now wish they could move into IT? Or is it something else," she asks in her latest 360IT blog.

According to the Women in Technology managing director, it is great that people realise the advantages of working within the IT sector, since there are few other careers that allow for global travel and the ability to work with cutting edge technology - and make a real impact.

But, she says, the key issue that the surveys highlight is that "it's vital for us to do more to encourage people to take these aspirations further and pursue an IT career."

Information Technology, she argues, is more accessible than ever before, with many big companies embracing flexible working and looking to recruit from the widest pool of talent.

"If we can channel young people's enthusiasm and educate them about the benefits of working in this sector we will be able to develop the IT talent of the future," she says.

Maggie Berry, Managing Director of Women in Technology is speaking on the topic of "IT As A Profession And A Career - How Can You Succeed?" at 360IT.  360IT - The IT Infrastructure Event, takes place on 22-23 September 2010 in Earls Court, London. www.360itevent.com

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