A software engineering degree provides not only technical IT skills, but a variety of transferable skills valuable for many job roles
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Applications developer
- Database administrator
- Game developer
- Multimedia programmer
- Web developer
- Web designer
- Software engineer
- Software tester
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Application analyst
- IT consultant
- IT technical support officer
- IT sales professional
- 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 could provide you with the opportunity to apply the skills learnt on your course, learn new ones and help you to build your network.
You could undertake work experience, such as an internship, in vacation periods. Some opportunities may be advertised but you could also apply speculatively to organisations.
Another option is to undertake a period of work shadowing. Shadowing opportunities aren't typically advertised, so you'll have to be proactive in seeking out opportunities.
Contact your university or local volunteering office as there may be opportunities to apply your IT skills and to develop transferable skills. You can also directly offer your skills to a charity or not-for-profit organisation if nothing suitable is being advertised.
Offering your skills to a club or society (e.g. at university) or freelancing are other ways build your experience. It's a good idea to create a portfolio of your projects.
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:
- information technology
- financial services
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 transferable 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
- 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 Masters degree in software engineering (full or part-time) 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 course 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?
Almost three quarters of software engineering graduates are in employment six months after graduation. More than half become programmers and software development professionals.
|Working and studying||2.9|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||6.4|
|Arts, design and media||4.1|
|Business, HR and financial||2.5|
For a detailed breakdown of what software engineering graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.