What next with a Computing degree?

You may be considering applying for a Computing degree, be about to submit that all-important UCAS application, or already be studying.  Whatever your situation, it’s likely you’ve thought about what you want to do after your degree.  How will your course help you in your future?  What sort of job could you get?  What sort of job do you want to do?

To most people, a course in Computing probably leads on to ‘something in IT’.  But what could that ‘something’ be?  The truth is there are huge range of jobs open to Computing graduates.  Just think about the skills you will gain from a Computing degree, such as:

  • A capacity to think logically, quantitatively and creatively.
  • Software development: design, engineering and one or more programming languages.
  • An understanding of computer networking, databases, and web development along with a general knowledge of computers.
  • Ability to communicate your ideas, both verbally through giving presentations and in the form of written assignments. This is very important since a lot of time in the workplace is spent presenting ideas and explaining decisions taken.
  • Good planning and careful execution of your work; in many IT tasks the planning and design phase is crucial, and this is transferable into the wider world.
  • Teamwork is another important addition, since Computing graduates will often find themselves working closely with many people on a day-to-day basis.

A huge range of employers will be interested in these skills.  e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, works on behalf of employers to develop software, internet, computer gaming, IT services and business change expertise.  Their figures show that more than 1.5 million people are employed in these industries, and they estimate that employment in the IT industry will grow at 2.19% per year nearly five times faster than the UK average.

So what types of jobs do graduates from Goldsmiths go on to do?  We know a bit about this because all graduates are surveyed six months after they finish their course.  You can see below what some Goldsmiths Computing graduates (from undergraduate courses in 2012) were doing at this time:

  • IT Consultant
  • Java Developer
  • Programmer and Analyst at a financial services company
  • Studying an MSc in Cognitive Computing
  • Head of Digital Marketing
  • Studying for a PGCE (teacher training) in Computing and ICT

 An important thing to remember is that most employers are interested in three things when recruiting graduates:

1. A good academic record

2. Evidence of your skills

3. Evidence of a strong interest in the job

Most students are aiming to do well academically, that’s why they’re at university after all!  However, it’s also really important show evidence of skills and motivation.  You can do this by taking part in a range of activities that will give you evidence of valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, organising and leading.  To show your motivation for the sector you will also need to research job roles and organisations and to undertake relevant work experience.  This might sound like a lot to do on top of degree-level study.  But don’t worry, help is at hand for Goldsmiths students!  The Careers Service supports students in thinking about and planning for their futures.  You can chat to someone one-to-one, undertake workshops on careers topics, and meet employers who come on to campus.  We also work closely with the Department of Computing to support students who are taking part in the work placement scheme, as well as running workshops specific to the sector.

So, start planning for your future now.  There are a huge range of options out there, and it takes preparation and planning to find the right one for you.  And remember, most importantly, that help is at hand!

Helen Kempster

Careers Consultant

Goldsmiths Careers Service