ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology and it is a vast and fast growing sector. In this piece, we reached out to Daniel Kligerman. He works at TELUS and has supported teams in a number of capacities including marketing, product development, operations and management.
He recently participated in our Expert Panel: Careers in ICT for International Students. Understanding your preferred industry and its employers is essential in the planning stage of your career journey. This is why we host monthly Expert Panels; to help you gain insights about a particular sector straight from industry leaders.
Digitalization has led to an increase in the demand for tech experts. A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the IT sector is one of the fastest-growing and high-paying jobs currently (and in the predicted future).
Below we share highlights from an expert in ICT.
Tell us about your career journey in ICT sector and your work with newcomers.
I have been with TELUS for the past 25 years and have moved across a number of departments and roles in my time here. For about 18 years, I have held active leadership roles. I have also worked with a number of international students and newcomers in my time as a professor at Humber College and as a mentor, specifically in their bridging programs.
What are your thoughts on current job opportunities in the ICT sector?
The ICT sector continues to grow, even as we navigate the continued effects of COVID-19. I can speak specifically for TELUS, as I know they are consistently posting jobs on their website (full-time, part-time, contracts).
You also need to consider the experiences that are gained versus just a job title. There are so many transferable skills and knowledge you can learn from any tech position. Even if you don’t see your dream job posted, think of roles that can act as stepping stones towards your career goals. A job like a front-line support worker would not be glamorous but it would definitely help to create connections and improve a lot on your soft skills. Soft skills and networking is key and can be developed at any position.
We know how important employer research is. How does it affect your job search in the ICT sector?
When it comes to employer research, you need to consider their needs and how it relates to your role. At any organization small, medium or large, it’s important to execute your role well and in a way that addresses organizational needs and values. You have to understand what the organization does and what impact your work has on that organization. Start by gaining knowledge about the organization’s value chain ( what is it, how it works, and how you could add value etc.).
Use your employer research to help you better understand the organization and what they deliver to customers. This type of research will help you think creatively, communicate better your experiences, and focus specifically on how you could add value to the organization.
What type of advice would you give students or recent grads about a career in this sector?
When an employer is hiring, they are looking to solve a problem at their organization, through their skills and experiences. Try putting yourself in the position of the recruiter or employer to help prepare your application and interview. HR teams are often looking for potential, commitment, adaptability and other soft skills. Prepare responses for these questions with real-life examples to showcase these skills. Take inventory of your experiences and really think about how you can effectively communicate them to help solve the employers “problems”
Another tip I’d like to share is to do research on the company’s financial reports, which are often available online and to the public. As you meet the management team in the hiring process, they may have different needs than an HR professional. I would encourage you to do thorough research about the company, read their quarterly reports, and speak about how you will contribute to the success and progress of the company/organization. This is a great way to stand out!
Finally, before the interview, do a self-reflection on why the job is posted in the first place. Think in a broad perspective about the role you have to perform in the organization and what likely results you will bring in. Understanding the employer’s perspective is a great place to start.
What are some tips to be successful in an ICT interview?
In any industry both hard and soft skills are mandatory. Hard skills will help you find a solution to a problem and soft skills would help to implement these solutions. In the tech industry, certifications are highly accessible and affordable, which means there could be many other candidates that have similar qualifications to you. This is why developing soft skills is so important because they differentiate you from other applicants. Beyond this, your experience as an international student can help you stand out. Speak to your networking skills, how you handle success and failure, how you manage cultural differences. These are all excellent opportunities to showcase your soft skills.
I would also suggest practicing your presentation skills. Try recording your interview questions on your phone or laptop and give yourself feedback. This is a great way to refine your answers to ensure you are ready.
What are the future trends we should be aware of?
Trends haven’t changed, but have accelerated! As we know, organizational work has become multi-dimensional and digitalized. We are dealing with big chunks of data on a daily basis. There are advancements in artificial intelligence, digital transformation, machine handling, and 5G to name just a few. We are also seeing remarkable advancement in the field of healthcare and agriculture etc. The use of IT is not just limited to technical industries.
If you’re interested in meeting industry leaders like Daniel, register for our Expert Panels on the Events Page.