The digital age has spurred a demand for professionals in the fields of computing and computer science. Based on the findings of recent reports, the demand isn’t slowing down any time soon, which is great for prospective students who are keen to forge a career in this respected discipline.
According to a report from The Complete University Guide, the UK job market is experiencing a shortage of graduates with digital expertise. “In the software industry alone there are 20,000 graduate vacancies a year, and only 7,500 computer science graduates to fill them,” says Hugh Millward, Microsoft’s Director of Corporate Affairs.
Meanwhile, a report by Computer World UK has shown that the most popular jobs of 2017 includes the IT profession, with research by the global IT industry body CompTIA reporting that UK IT staff job postings have increased by 10 percent each year. On top of that, the emerging threats of cyber hacking and identity theft have led to a boost in corporate security measures, with companies worldwide seeking to hire professionals who specialise in cyber security to protect their business assets.
If this field is truly of interest to you, a degree in Computing is exactly what you need. A general degree covers many areas, giving students the chance to explore subject areas before selecting their specialisation. Among the most common higher education pathways are disciplines like Computer Science, Cyber Security, Information Technology and Software Engineering. Courses are known to hold a practical-focus, equipping students with subject-specific and transferable skills that make them highly employable graduates.
Here are 5 UK universities you should consider to kick-start your career in computing…
SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND COMPUTING, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL LANCASHIRE (UCLan)
This School provides an innovative computing degree that promises to equip graduates with the technical skills the industry demands, on top of the entrepreneurial and social expertise that grant a competitive edge. From Computer Games Development, to Computing Network Technology, to Forensic Computing and beyond, UCLan offers a breadth and depth of courses – all of which provide invaluable optional placement years – to produce creative students with the proficiencies to work with rapidly changing technologies.
Students can pursue an accredited BSc (Hons) Computing degree that emphasises practical study through purpose-build laboratories. During your first year, you’ll cover essential computing skills before choosing to hone a specific area in your second year. The School also provides courses in Business Computing, Databases, Multimedia, Software Development and Computer Networks.
And if you’re planning to further specialise later on, you can pursue the IT Security MSc degree which builds on your existing abilities as you develop skills anew. Besides classroom lectures and practical experience, you’ll also have the chance to spend a year pursuing an industry placement, applying what you’ve learnt in theory in a real-world setting. This will give you the chance to learn a new set of skills as you gain invaluable industry insights. With a degree from this institution, you can go on to pursue a range of rewarding careers without any specialist entry requirements.
SCHOOL OF COMPUTING, UNIVERSITY OF KENT
At Kent’s School of Computing, Faculty aim to do more than provide students with a first-rate academic experience. Here, you’ll develop key transferable skills that are considered vital for a successful career. The staff ensure that pupils pursuing a Computing degree are equipped with the knowledge and proficiencies that will make them highly sought-after in the graduate sphere.
The School offers a broad-based computing programme, along with other degrees that allow you to specialise in specific fields. With a general Computing degree from Kent, you’ll study subjects like software applications, object-oriented and web programming, database systems and electronic communication systems. To further enhance your career prospects, the School offers a Year in Industry which takes place after the second year of your degree.
At Kent, you’ll also have the chance to secure placements abroad, with past graduates working jobs in the US, Asia and continental Europe. The School also has regular placements at Cisco Systems in California, with a selected number of individuals participating in a Silicon Valley placement year. Through these valuable positions, students gain experience, a salary and the possibility of a full-time job with the company after graduation.
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTING AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES, OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY
Oxford Brookes University promises a lively, progressive and supportive study environment. At the Department of Computing and Communication Technologies, the Faculty believes in producing well-rounded graduates that develop a wide range of cognitive, practical, analytical, creative and professional expertise.
The Department offers a foundation course in Computing, specifically-designed to improve general skills in computing, mathematics and information technology. The course covers topics like physics and electronics, allowing you to pursue a degree in digital media later on. Aside from classroom lectures, students pursue practical study, laboratory sessions and surgery sessions to help them brush up on mathematics.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can either go on to pursue an undergraduate degree in Computing for Robotic Systems or Network Computing. Additionally, the Department offers an MSc in Computing that’s designed for individuals who may want to pursue a career in computing and IT despite not having any previous experience. The course covers the fundamentals of programming, hardware, networks and software engineering.
FACULTY OF COMPUTING AND ENGINEERING, ULSTER UNIVERSITY
With over 92 percent of graduates in work or further study six months after graduation, it’s clear that a degree from Ulster University can strengthen your future employment opportunities. The Faculty of Computing and Engineering offers industry-led and professionally recognised degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The programmes include a mix of theory and application with a focus on employability. Each teaching course is underpinned by world-class research and established industry links.
The Faculty offers a Bachelor’s in Computing Science or Computing Technologies depending on individual preference. With a degree in Computing Science, students will learn about the systematic study of the theory and principles of programming and software engineering, hardware and software technologies, and the role of computing systems in organisations.
But if you choose to pursue the latter, you’ll learn to address the underlying principles of modern computing technology, its role in solving real-world business problems and critical issues in management. Students will develop the skills to handle the development, maintenance, evaluation and management of computing systems in a range of organisations, usually in the context of IT departments.
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND INFORMATICS, UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
With an excellent record for teaching and research in the Computing field, there’s no better place than Sussex to kick-start your education. The School of Engineering and Informatics offers a rich and stimulating curriculum that connects computer science with a broad range of application areas. Many of its degrees are interdisciplinary, drawing on and contributing to subjects like business and management, media studies and more.
Courses also provide the flexibility to explore particular areas of interest. Pupils can choose from a variety of undergraduate degrees in BSc Computer Science, BSc Computing for Business and Management and BSc Computing for Digital Media. All courses consist of three years of study, unless you include an industrial placement year which is strongly encouraged by the Faculty.
A year working in the industry will boost your chances of finding a permanent job as well as provide you with a set of skills and insights that will help throughout your course and beyond. At the University of Sussex, students have the chance to work with many companies in the software development, digital media and IT sectors.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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