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Ryan Quinn, VANRATH MD and Head of IT Recruitment speaks about Northern Ireland’s IT industry

  • Publish Date: Posted over 6 years ago
  • Author:by Ryan Quinn

In support of the annual Big Data Belfast conference, our MD and Head of IT Recruitment at VANRATH, Ryan Quinn, gave an interview for the most recent issue of Sync NI. In the article, he gives IT job seekers the answers to some burning questions.

What skills are most in demand in the IT job market currently?

An academic, STEM background will provide candidates with a strong foundation to build on. Employers are particularly looking for candidates who have solid experience of the Python language and Linux platforms. Python is a good starting point as it provides Software / Data Engineers with the data processing functions required for a broad range of roles; it’s also a free open source language, making it extremely accessible. Knowledge of Linux is probably the most in demand tertiary skill, and considered a real asset because of its usage within FinTech, the Security and Web Domains; it can be tweaked according to purpose which allows a greater degree of flexibility.


What tips would you give an IT job seeker?

  1. Showcase your talent: Employers are impressed by demonstrable skills. The easiest way for job seekers to illustrate their ability is by hosting their own GitHub and writing sample code. To be fully prepared at interview, they should pull examples from the likes of Project Euler or Hacker Rank, which they can talk through confidently.

  2. Continual learning is key:The IT industry is innovating and evolving at an unparalleled rate. In turn, employers are essentially looking for their industry’s human counterparts; individuals who possess real agility and adaptability. It’s important that candidates express an interest in continually learning and staying up to date with the latest news and technology. Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are two thought-provoking ideas that candidates can discuss at interview.

  3. Familiarise yourself with the right tools: Businesses are investing in IT tools now more than ever, to incorporate into their larger business strategy. Employers are attracted to candidates with knowledge of these tools, who can implement them from the get go. Two invaluable tools that job seekers should become accustomed to are Tableau and Qlikview.

Where does Big Data sit in the landscape of the NI IT industry?

Big data may be in its infancy, but there’s no doubt that it will rapidly grow to dominate the landscape. Big Data is sector agnostic and interdisciplinary, crossing into Marketing Intelligence, Security, Healthcare, and Utilities to name a few. The scope of big data is undeniably immense, and there’s no doubt that more and more companies will be investing in this field in years to come.


What trends do you forecast for the IT industry in Northern Ireland?

Due to the enormous potential of big data, it will only be a matter of time before we see data centers gaining a larger presence within Northern Ireland. This is especially applicable to Security companies and consultancies, which are becoming increasingly reliant on behaviour analytics to improve cyber security and customer intelligence. Companies can use big data to track user behaviour and identify patterns.

To read more insights on the local IT industry, please visit VANRATH’s Facebook page and Knowledge Centre where we post regularly. If you’re interested in a career change, you can also browse through our latest jobs listed on our live jobs page.