Computer Science

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There are lots of starting points for choosing a career and using your subject is just one of them. You are not restricted to the career ideas below and you may wish to consider additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Remember too that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject and so your options are much broader than the examples given below.

Firstly, have a think about what ‘using your subject’ means to you and what you’re really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it’s a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

Using your subject can help provide you with some focus for your career research, but the broader your interests the more career options you will have open to you. Use our resources below to stimulate your thinking.

Generating career ideas with Computer Science

Using the resources below you can start to create your own list of career ideas to research

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Computer Science graduates on Prospects and TargetJobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject. Our Information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start.

Some career ideas for Computer Science graduates

Web designer

Web designers may use both their technical and graphic skills to carry out design of a website. You will need to consider both how a website looks, as well as the functionality, including how well it works across different platforms, such as mobile technology.

The work would generally be based in an office or at home if working freelance, though you may be required to travel to a client’s office to agree on plans and review progress. When working with a client you may have to consider branding regulations for their organisation, as well as current trends in web design.

Software engineer

In this role you could expect to use your knowledge of programming languages to design, test, and repair or maintain software and systems often in line with a project or client specification and working with a development team.

You will need project management skills and must enjoy working to deadlines and have meticulous attention to detail and a creative methodical approach to your work.

Games developer

Games developers are responsible for the production of games and utilise their design and/or technical skills to ensure games are visually appealing and playable, as well as free from technical issues. You may be producing online games, in addition to those for computer, console, or mobile device.

Work can involve the use of programming and modelling skills and may be home, office, or studio based.

IT consultant

IT consultants work provide advice to clients on how best to use IT within their organisation, which can involve improving on existing systems.

Work will involve meeting with clients, taking into account their business needs and using problem solving skills to provide appropriate solutions in the form of written and verbal reports. You may also be responsible for training team members within a business in how to implement new procedures. A mixture of technical knowledge, time management and communication skills are required.

Web developer

Web developers build and maintain websites and web apps and can be focused on developing the front end, which involves visual design skills or the back end, involving software and databases.

Full stack development is both combined. Higher level technical skills are required to fix bugs, troubleshoot and add new features to a website, where reliability and high performance is a key aim. Work can be freelance, in-house or working with clients through an agency.

Procurement

If you want to apply your understanding of engineering processes, equipment and components within a more commercial role, then procurement may be an option to consider. This can involve purchasing and supply of components or services from second and third tier suppliers, negotiating contracts and quality guidelines.

This role requires communication, negotiation and persuasion skills, numeracy and the ability to build and maintain strong client/customer relationships.

Supply chain management

Similar to the above this requires an understanding of engineering components and processes but involves the planning, design, supply, monitoring and logistics of getting components and services of the right quality to the right place at the right time within budget.

This requires exceptional time management, planning, problem solving and commercial awareness.

Finance

Away from technical roles, you can apply your numeracy, business awareness and analytical skills to a more commercial role in finance. This could vary from investment management and banking to financial management or accounting roles.

Business analyst

This role may suit you if you enjoy evaluating and analysing data, creating solutions and communicating with a variety of people. As a business analyst, you'll work with an organisation to understand their products, services and the industry sector they operate within.

You’ll identify their future needs and challenges and help them to plan for the future and manage change in line with their company goals often in relation to information and software systems.

Subject specific resources