Brain food: How to get ahead in infomation technology

1. An IT or engineering degree helps. For your first job, target IT giants such as Microsoft and Oracle, or tech-heavy companies, such as banks.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

2. Prove yourself by demonstrating ability and enthusiasm when working on your first live project. It will earn you more responsibility.

3. Communication skills are more important than tech skills. Explain your technical know-how simply and offer creative solutions.

4. Technologies move fast. Keep up by taking professional exams and talking to colleagues. Don't showcase new systems unless fully tested.

5. View your business through your customers' and competitors' eyes, especially when launching new IT products.

6. Today's competitor could be tomorrow's partner. The best people build personal cross-organisational networks.

7. IT isn't always about what's technically possible. Remember the business case should always drive technology. Projects fail because of unrealistic objectives or because management hasn't been won over.

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