From games developer to manager of IT and communications services, computer science graduates have a range of opportunities open to them
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Database administrator
- Games developer
- Information systems manager
- IT consultant
- Multimedia programmer
- SEO specialist
- Systems analyst
- Systems developer
- Web designer
- Web developer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Digital copywriter
- IT sales professional
- IT trainer
- Network engineer
- Product manager
- Secondary school teacher
- Technical author
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Look for IT-related work placements, internships, voluntary work or shadowing opportunities advertised via your careers service or through companies such as Step and The Year in Industry. Work experience gained in a commercial environment helps show your commercial awareness and client management skills.
Some courses may include an optional year out in industry, where you can continue to develop key skills and build up a network of contacts. Joining a university club or society that gives you the opportunity to develop your computing, web design or multimedia skills also helps when applying for graduate jobs.
It's useful to develop a personal portfolio of your own projects, such as those involving programming, building a website or carrying out tasks online as a moderator. Evidence of, for example, your initiative and ability in fixing bugs, improving functionality or building an app will help show your skills and interest in the subject.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Common employers are IT consultancies and IT service providers. However, as most businesses rely on computers to function effectively, there are also opportunities within the IT departments of major organisations in the telecommunications, aerospace and defence, financial services, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, agricultural, public and third sectors.
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a range of opportunities, too.
It is also possible to set up your own business providing IT services such as web design and consultancy.
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, evaluate and recognise potential risks and design creative solutions.
You also gain skills in:
- teamwork and leadership;
- negotiation and persuasion;
- time management and organisation;
- report writing;
- presenting reasoned arguments;
- retrieval of information;
- coping with rapid technological changes;
- commercial awareness.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is especially important for people working with computers as technology and software develops at such a rapid pace.
Some graduates choose to continue their studies at postgraduate level, studying 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, 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. Find out more about your teacher training options.
What do computer science/IT graduates do?
Almost a third of computer science graduates employed in the UK are working as programmers and software development professionals six months after graduating. More than 500 are working as web design and development professionals.
Seven of the top ten occupations held by graduates are directly related to their degrees.
|Working and studying||2.6|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||9.7|
|Business, HR and financial||4.8|
|Arts, design and media||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.