Technology has never been more ingrained in our personal and professional lives, what with the digital world that we live in. New waves of technology such as big data, cybersecurity, software development, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have a wide range of uses in businesses. As they become mainstream and affect just about every industry imaginable, this means demand for computer science professionals who can tackle the challenges that come with the digital transformation is more in-demand than ever.
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics notes that employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. They add that computer scientists are likely to enjoy excellent job prospects as many companies report difficulties in finding highly skilled workers.
This makes it an opportune time for graduates or professionals with a computer science background to look into advancing their skills and knowledge in this exciting field. An undergraduate degree in computer science is a stepping stone for a career in the field, while a postgraduate degree in computer science-related areas has more prestige as it can help you develop specialised skills in one or more areas of technology, which can help improve your job prospects and stay competitive in the workforce.
If you’re looking to become the next generation of computer science professionals, here are four universities worth considering:
Top of the range facilities. Educators and researchers with expertise across a wide range of computer science-related disciplines. Bangor has unrivaled natural beauty because it’s located between the mountains, lakes and forests of the Snowdonia National Park and the dramatic North Wales coastline. These are just some of the hallmarks of Bangor’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering in Wales.
The School is equipped with top facilities, including computer and networking laboratories, a state-of-the art electronic laboratory (one of the few in the UK badged by the leading test and measurement instrument provider Keysight Technologies), extensive research laboratories and a Class 1000 electronics cleanroom.
Students will learn from some of the nations’ best – Bangor’s staff are among the world leaders in a broad range of technologies, from AI and Pattern Recognition to Data Visualisation; Medical Microwave Electronics and Medical Simulation; Optolectronics, Broadband and Optical Communications; and more.
Bangor offers a wide range of programmes in the field; the MSc Broadband and Optical Communication programme gives students an in-depth understanding of the technology, and the drivers for the technology, in the area of Broadband and mobile communications. The course will also provide exposure to current research activity in the field.
The MSc Nanotechnology and Microfabrication programme takes an immersive approach to learning both the principles and practices of nanotechnology and microfabrication with much of the material based around examples and practical exercises. Graduates will have a firm grasp of the current practices and directions in this area, gaining the knowledge to help them design and build microscale devices.
Students can also learn about other facets of computer science, be it AI, robotics, cybersecurity or even Big Data, or huge datasets, and how to extract meaning from random data.
This public university is located in Aberdeen, a city by the sea in Scotland. It was named Scottish University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, in addition to being named within the top 30 universities in the UK according to the Complete University Guide 2020 rankings.
Computing Science at Aberdeen teaches students about the theory and practice of computing, and covers topics such as programming, algorithms, robotics, AI and software engineering, providing a unique skill set for lifelong learning.
The university’s Computing Science undergraduate degrees develop students’ understanding of computational thinking and problem solving, and the ability to communicate solutions to others. Programmes are also accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
Students who are interested in specialising in AI will find Aberdeen ideal, as the university has over 30 years of experience and a global reputation in AI-related research, focusing on areas such as machine learning, data science, natural language generation and multi-agent systems. The MSc Artificial Intelligence programme is a taught postgraduate course that exposes students to all aspects of AI, from its fundamentals to cutting-edge techniques. It can be done full- or part-time.
The school also boasts of strong industry links, so students can apply their skills through training and networking events and industrial placements organised through organisations such as the Data Lab, Intel AI Academy and IBM, to name a few.
Students with or without a computing science background can pursue the MSc Information Technology programme, which allows students to develop skills in web and applications design, including key aspects of security.
In today’s digital age, data privacy is increasingly crucial. For instance, in a period where online banking and shopping is frequently done online, protecting digital information from unauthorised access and use, and ensuring the resilience of supporting network infrastructure and systems, are significant challenges for the continued technological development of our society.
Surrey’s MSc Information Security programme connects various disciplines, from computer science, electronic engineering and mathematics, to design concepts, mechanisms and technologies for effective protection of digital information, communication infrastructures and computing systems.
Meanwhile, Surrey’s MSc Data Science programme combines in-depth study of the theory and practice of data science with an optional year-long placement in industry, where students can apply their knowledge to industry-relevant challenges. A placement will also allow students to discover the business value of data-oriented research and development.
Nottingham’s School of Computer Science is a modern and dynamic, providing students with state-of-the-art facilities, in addition to undertaking internationally leading research.
With computer science being a fast-moving industry, Nottingham prides itself on having its finger on the pulse of the industry. Courses here teach students the latest developments in the sector, while postgraduate programmes include the MSc Computer Science or Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence).
The MSc Data Science provides students with advanced computational and mathematical skills to tackle increasingly complex data analysis tasks and devise methods for analysing, presenting, and deriving insights from large data sets. The programme prepares students to work in industry or research.
Meanwhile, the MSc Human Computer Interaction provides students with the theoretical grounding, practical knowledge and hands on experience needed to shape computing systems for the 21st century. The HCI course is ideal for students from diverse backgrounds, helping them understand the relationship between people and computers, in addition to enabling systems designers and software engineers to develop computing applications that better respond to customers, clients and end-user needs.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International