In this increasingly digital age, a degree in computer science provides great opportunity pathways in pretty much every industry. Computers have infiltrated everyday processes meaning prospects for computer science graduates are abundant.
Research in the field seeks to develop and analyse concepts and methods of making software and how we use it to make life more efficient, reliable and convenient.
As a student of computer science, you’ll learn the fundamental principles of programming and algorithms, the function of modern computers; computational theory and how to design programming languages, machine learning and pattern recognition – useful skills for an IT career in innumerable fields.
Check out these three potential career pathways available to computer science graduates:
Job role: Software Tester
Starting salary: £18,000 – £24,000 depending on location and company size
- Roles vary depending on project requirements. You may join a project at the initial implementation stages to assess potential risks, or be brought onto a project midway through when testing becomes a key requirement.
- Large organisations may have software testers dedicated to one project, while smaller companies may have a central team working on multiple projects.
- Your activities could include:
– Meeting with system users to understand the scope of projects
– Working with software developers and project support teams
– Functional and scalability testing
Career progression: With three to five years’ experience, salaries can rise considerably. Software testers earn on average £35,000 to £50,000 per year (potential for up to $104,662 or more per year in the US).
Job role: Data Analyst
Starting salary: £25,000
- Develop records management processes and policies
- Set up and maintain automated data processes
- Design and carry out surveys and analyse survey data
- Manipulate, analyse and interpret complex data sets relating to the employer’s business
- Prepare reports for internal and external audiences using business analytics reporting tools
- Create data dashboards, graphs and visualisations
Career progression: High-level consulting jobs can command £60,000 or more per year (potential for up to $70,202 or more per year in the US).
Job role: IT Sales Professional
Starting salary: £20,000 – £28,000
- Understanding customers’ diverse, specific business needs and applying product knowledge to meet those needs
- Identifying and developing new business through networking, courtesy and follow-up calls
- Preparing and delivering customer presentations and demonstrations of the software, articulately and confidently
- Maintaining awareness and keeping abreast of constantly changing software and hardware systems and peripherals
- Developing and implementing effective sales plans using sales methodology
Career progression: With experience, salaries can progress to between £30,000 and £45,000.
At senior manager level, they can reach £70,000 or more (potential for $84,953 per year in the US).
With these career pathways in mind, we’ve selected four universities offering exciting and inspiring computer science or informatics courses to get you started.
The Department of Computer Science and Media Technology at Malmö University in Sweden is not only at the forefront of the constantly-evolving computer industry, but is in fact leading the change.
Malmö is the youngest University in Sweden, founded only 20 years ago. For the first 20 years it served as a University College and since January this year, has educated students as a fully-fledged university.
The institution’s youth gives it its strength. Not bogged down by years of outdated tradition and bureaucracy, it’s easy for Malmö make quick changes to courses, systems and research processes. This means the university takes a leading role – particularly in the fast-evolving computer science field, ahead of the changing environment of education and employment.
The work of the Faculty of Technology and Society is characterised by the dynamic interaction between technology, industry and society, providing strong, real-world connections to society. This plays a crucial role in the faculty’s courses.
Studying computer science at Malmö gives you a crucial understanding of the technologies and concepts essential to the development of modern information systems, how these technologies can be applied to business systems and other support activities that are critical to a connected, contemporary society.
The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the historic University of Bristol, UK, provides opportunities for students to make an impact through the creation of world-changing technology.
The school’s strengths in connectivity, computation, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, interaction, vision, robotics, energy management and simulation equip Bristol graduates with the necessary tools to create solutions to challenges in health, sustainability and urban life.
Opening up a large number of lucrative career pathways, computer science at Bristol will not only teach you the fundamentals of the subject, but also give you the opportunity to take part in a software group project in which you’ll work in a team to deliver an application to a client with help from an industrial mentor.
This industry experience will be highly valuable during the hunt for your first job. Students have worked for the likes of multinational companies such as Hewlett- Packard, STMicroelectronics, Infineon and Toshiba, alongside start-ups such as Xmos, Clementine and Netsight.
Together with opportunities to work with industrial and research partners, in your final year you’ll specialise in application areas and undertake an individual project, allowing you to pursue your passion in the field.
The School of Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam offers a Minor in Computer Science, so during your economics or business degree, you can gain fundamental knowledge in the field of computation.
This course consists of four modules: Introduction to Programming; Databases; Data Mining and Topics in Business Intelligence.
During the course, you’ll learn the basic concepts of programming, how to design relational databases, how to evaluate data mining techniques, how to apply data mining techniques to a business intelligence-relevant problem, and more.
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to write Java programmes to solve elementary computational issues, be able to draw an entity-relationship diagram (ERD) and be able to apply data mining techniques in a business intelligence case.
If you’re looking to apply your interest in computer science to the field of economics or business, this is the perfect option for you.
The Faculty of Informatics at Università della Svizzera Italiana stands out as a centre of competence in advanced informatics (a synonym for computer science).
In a matter of years, Università della Svizzera Italiana has become one of Switzerland’s major institutions for teaching and research, ranking third in the country after the two Federal Institutes of Technology, Zurich and Lausanne.
The Faculty aims to train informatics experts to adopt an interdisciplinary approach, with abstract thinking and generalisation skills, a sound knowledge in the application fields of information technologies, and strong project-management and teamwork capabilities.
The curriculum of the informatics undergraduate course focuses on the fundamentals of the discipline: software design and architecture, modelling and analysis of complex systems, the theory of the latest technologies, and the development of system thinking.
Theoretical lectures are complemented by complex projects that allow you to practice your programming skills. Students have daily laboratory activities in which you’ll have the chance to apply concepts and principles you’ve learnt during your lectures, to test their capabilities and learn to design and programme from day one.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International