Working in IT, but Not in the IT Industry

Half of Quebec IT workers don’t work in the IT industry but in manufacturing companies, banks or SMEs. What benefits are there to working in IT, but not in the IT industry?

Not all information technology professionals are hired by the video game industry or by computer companies. Far from it. “It is very rare for me to be recruiting for this type of business,” says Eric Turcotte, vice president of the Alteo Agency and IT recruitment specialist. Job offers actually come from all sectors, as management operations become computerized in most companies.

According to the 2018 edition of the Sectoral Analysis of the ICT Workforce in Quebec, prepared by TECHNOCompétences, half of employees working in the computer field or in software publishing are employees for insurance companies, financial institutions, manufacturing companies or even small and medium enterprises operating in a broad range of industries. The situation is similar across the country, Eric Turcotte believes.

Crying needs

“Most companies have to develop their own management software,” the recruiter says. “To have work tools that are really suited to their needs and the specifics of their market, companies hire developers to create software as well as computer scientists to support staff in their daily use of these tools. In these working contexts, a good IT candidate will be able to do development work as well as making it operational.”

The main benefit of working outside large computer companies is the great independence it brings and the wide variety of tasks to be carried out. Many IT specialists like alternating between different types of tasks and the fact of not having to always “begin coding again from zero,” as Eric Turcotte puts it. In the manufacturing world or the banking sector, the employee will also be juggling systems he did not always create himself and having to adapt quickly. The challenge is stimulating!

What about the salary?

Unfortunately, not all industries can compete with the computer companies in terms of salary and benefits. For the boss of a manufacturing company or a SME, unaccustomed to the effervescence of the IT world and its great scarcity of manpower, the average IT salary may appear whopping. But according to Eric Turcotte, most companies are on the verge of acceding to this reality and will be able to offer better conditions in the near future. “They are already not a long way off, and I am confident that wages will rise considerably quite soon.”

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