Nov 01, 2012— read in full
What can I do with a computer science degree?
Software developer / engineer / programmer
Software development is the most common career for computer science graduates. It's a very varied field however, as there are many different kinds of software you could be involved with. As well as widely used software like Photoshop and Microsoft Office, developers work on games or specialist packages for particular organisations.
Developers can be employed by a software company or by an agency which develops software for other organisations.
Web development is similar to conventional software development, but can require different skills. For example, software used online has very different security considerations, because it can potentially be accessed by anyone.
A systems analyst uses a wide range of computer skills to work out the best solution to a problem. This means working with both non-specialists who have a problem in need of solving and IT specialists who can deliver the solution. It involves planning, designing and testing, but does not require as much hands-on coding as software development.
Testers ensure that software - whether it's a text editor or the latest blockbuster FPS (First Person Shooter) game - is as bug-free as possible when it's released. Testers need to be able to work through the features of a piece of software systematically to make sure that nothing is missed, and need to be able to think analytically to work out why particular problems are occurring.
Testing jobs can be easier to get into than development jobs, and can lead to other roles in design and management.
If you want to work for yourself, or to work with lots of different organisations, consultancy - offering your expertise to other organisations on an occasional basis - might be a good option. Find out more about working as an IT consultant.
Computer science hones many transferable skills, such as analytical thinking and mathematics. This means that many non-computing careers are available to computer scientists, such as finance and accountancy. However, the majority of computer science graduates continue to work with computers throughout their careers.