Career Advice

IT Webinar

Are you considering an IT career in higher education, but need a little bit more information?

More than ever, universities are looking to technology and information systems to improve the delivery and accessibility of education.

Would you like to discover an IT career with more opportunity for development? Find out what it’s like to work in IT in higher education.

On  Wednesday, 28 October 2020 we hosted a free webinar to hear from  IT professionals who are currently working in universities across the UK. Listen to their stories, discover answers to your questions and find out why they love working in higher education. Innovation is at the forefront of development in IT in higher education, and our panellists will discuss why universities provide a great opportunity to develop your IT career.


Panellist Ketan Parikh from UCL

Ketan Parikh

Head of Technical Specialists, UCL

Ketan has been working in the education sector for the past 15 years. 10 of those have been spent working in hands-on technical roles ranging from the Service Desk to a third line technical support role. In addition, Ketan has over 5 years’ experience in managerial and leadership roles, having managed departments/teams ranging from 10 to 35 staff members and budgets ranging from £750k – £5million.

His current role at UCL is Head of Technical Specialists, managing the Technical Specialists across AV, Desktops and Networks. The purpose of this team is to be the subject matter experts within the IT department and to exceed customer expectations through technical innovation and continuous improvement. He is also the Service Owner for several services, ensuring that all services are performing to expectations.

Panellist Tara Lamplough from University of Birmingham

Tara Lamplough

Head of IT Business Partnering, University of Birmingham

Tara entered a career in IT by accident after starting her career in marketing roles that became increasingly digital focussed. She has worked in various web and digital roles at the University of Birmingham before moving to the new Head of IT Business Partnering post. She is a member of the IT Services Leadership Team with accountability for Business Partnering, Customer Experience and Communications. The Business Partnering team manages the relationship with key stakeholders across the University. The team identifies, shapes and manages the demand for technology related change and services.

She is also the chair of the Women in IT group at the University which aims to support, encourage and promote the achievements of the women already working in IT Services and to encourage more women to consider an IT career at Birmingham.

Claire Henderson

Senior Manager – Project Management Office , Durham University

Claire started her career working for a number of years in Local Government as a Project Manager, focused on projects that spanned a number of areas and departments including Transport, Social Care and Communications. An opportunity to move to the Transformation Delivery Team provided a chance to work in IT and Claire subsequently joined Higher Education in 2016. She has had various roles during her time at Durham University including Senior Project Manager, IT Business Partner and now leading the IT Project Management Office.

Claire manages the IT Project Portfolio and a team of Project Managers who deliver these initiatives. As a team, they are responsible for coordinating and delivering a wide range of business led and IT initiated projects which support the delivery of teaching, learning and research across the University. Claire works closely with colleagues across the University, enabling them to identify, understand and communicate their current and future business requirements. The IT Project Management Office manages a diverse range of projects, working with the department and the wider University to ensure there is clear prioritisation and comprehensive monitoring and reporting on projects.

Sandra Stevenson-Revill

Business Systems Manager, University of Derby

Sandra has worked at the University of Derby for more than 20 years. Having occupied several technical learning roles, she now manages a highly skilled team who support all of the University’s Teaching and Learning Systems, including the Library, the VLE, Lecture Capture, and Sharepoint/Office 365. The team not only perform upgrades and patches, but also ensure the security and accessibility of applications, working with suppliers to achieve this. Core to the team is adding value; this is achieved through customisations which are often demonstrated at conferences.

Robert Pearce

Senior Specialist IT Manager, Nottingham Trent University

Robert’s professional preoccupation is managing the difficult joining point between people and technology. He has spent 35 years using computers and electronics, 25 of those with high technology computing and engineering and 15 of those years with complex applications and web and database technology.

He began his professional career with 5 years in the private sector as an electronics engineer in the telecommunications industry and later with a career change, a commercial web designer. Between these two roles, he was an electronics/computing manager for a research company.

He fell into the HE environment due to needing a job after moving house. It was a change he’s never regretted. Robert has worked for five Universities in 25 years; Loughborough, Liverpool, De Montfort, Leicester and Nottingham Trent. Rob believes that while the private sector can work faster and more efficiently than HE, HE has more space to focus on producing quality, people-centric outcomes, embracing both success and failure as learning processes to build new work on.