A software engineering degree sets you up with technical IT skills that can be used in various IT and web-based careers from applications developer to web designer
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Applications developer
- Cyber security analyst
- Game developer
- Information systems manager
- IT consultant
- Multimedia programmer
- Web developer
- Web designer
- Software engineer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Application analyst
- Database administrator
- Forensic computer analyst
- IT technical support officer
- Software tester
- Sound designer
- Systems analyst
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
You may be able to undertake a year in industry as part of your course, typically between the second and third year. This allows you to apply the skills learned on your course, learn new ones and help you to build your network.
A range of experience is useful in areas such as hardware, operating systems, or software and if possible you should tailor your experience to suit the career you'd like. You could create a skills portfolio to showcase your artistic work or your ability to code in programming languages as well as specific software tools you can use.
Becoming a member of a relevant professional body is also helpful. You can join BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT as a student member, which allows you to access networking opportunities, mentoring and industry information.
You could be employed by a company specialising in software engineering/development or other areas of IT, which may be broad in scope or specific to an area, such as app or website development.
You could also be employed in-house in an IT role, such as a software engineer/developer, for companies across a range of sectors. These are just a few examples of the types of organisations you could work for:
- financial services
- information technology
Companies range in size from those with only a few employees to large multinational organisations.
Another option is to set up your own business or work as a freelancer, providing software or other IT-related services.
Skills for your CV
Studying software engineering provides you with specialist knowledge of a variety of programming languages, software design, information systems, databases and software architecture.
You'll also develop more general skills, such as:
- verbal communication, to work as part of a team
- written communication, to write reports and express ideas clearly
- research, using different sources of information
- time management, to manage competing demands and projects
- problem solving
- project management
- information technology across different applications
- attention to detail
- logic and an ability to follow processes and procedures.
You could undertake further study, such as a postgraduate qualification in software engineering, computer security, forensic computing, data science or another IT-related field.
It's not normally a prerequisite to have a Masters qualification to enter software engineering or related fields. However, a specific Masters could be useful if you'd like to move into a different field of IT and need to build up knowledge in this area. Further study, such as a PhD, could be helpful if you want to pursue a research career.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in software engineering.
What do software engineering graduates do?
Just under three fifths (59%) of software engineering graduates become programmers and software development professionals.
Other popular roles include information technology and telecommunications professionals, IT business analysis, architects and systems designers, web designers, development professionals and IT user support technicians.
|Working and studying||6|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar staff||4.5|
|Arts, design and media||2.7|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||1.4|
For a detailed breakdown of what software engineering graduates are doing after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.