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Options with your subject: Computer science/IT

Employers are interested in both the technical and the non-technical skills gained during your computer science/IT degree. See where these multiple skills can lead you…

Job options

Initial jobs often include graduate trainee and entry-level positions as programmers, web developers, help-desk support, consultants and junior members of project teams.

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

There's a wide range of career options open to computing/IT graduates that combine computing with other skills and capabilities. Careers such as teaching IT at secondary school level, accountancy or law require further vocational or professional training. For other careers, such as marketing or human resources, it may be useful to take a postgraduate course to develop specific skills and knowledge.

Photo: Tablet PC with application icons rising from it

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Regardless of the career area, it's always important to get relevant work experience. Talk to professionals in the field and consider work placements, paid evening/weekend work, voluntary work or work shadowing. Companies such as Step  and The Year in Industry  provide placements and internships for students and graduates. This experience shows employers that you are committed and it may give you the edge. It also helps you decide whether a particular career is right for you.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Common employers are IT consultancies and IT service providers. The IT departments of major organisations in the telecommunications, aerospace and defence, financial services, retail, public and third sectors also employ IT graduates. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a wide range of opportunities too.

Find information on employers in IT and information servicesaccountancy, banking and finance, engineering and manufacturing, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Computing degrees combine theoretical study and practical projects, teaching you subject-specific skills including:

  • programming languages;
  • hardware architecture and construction;
  • network design and engineering;
  • software engineering;
  • multimedia design;
  • software tools and packages.

You learn how to specify, design and construct computer-based systems, and evaluate, recognise potential risks and design creative solutions.

You'll also gain skills in:

  • teamwork and leadership;
  • communication;
  • negotiation and persuasion;
  • time management and organisation;
  • report writing;
  • presenting reasoned arguments;
  • retrieval of information;
  • numeracy;
  • coping with rapid technological changes;
  • commercial awareness.

You'll also appreciate the need for continuing professional development (CPD).

Further study

Some graduates choose to study a computer science subject in greater detail via an MSc or PhD. Further study is essential for a career in academia and can be useful for a range of other careers, for example, when considering a career in developing new technologies and products. You can also combine work with further study through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) .

Other graduates take a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Scotland, in order to teach IT in secondary schools.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do computer science/IT graduates do?

Of those working in the UK, seven out of the top ten professions are in IT. Jobs include programmers and software developers, web design and development professionals, IT technicians and IT business analysts, and architects and systems designers.

Graduate destinations for computer science/IT
Destinations Percentage
Employed 71.2%
Further study 7.6%
Working and studying 3.1%
Unemployed 14.8%
Other 3.3%
Types of work entered in the UK
Information technology 57.9%
Retail, catering and bar work 10.5%
Business, HR and financial 4.9%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 4.3%
Other 22.4%

For a detailed breakdown of what computer science and IT graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
January 2012

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