Want to make a strong start to your computer science career? There’s a lot to consider, from choosing a computer science degree that will nurture a range of technical and soft skills, to gaining professional experience and building up your CV. To help you launch your computer science career on a solid foundation, here are seven factors to keep in mind.
1. Choose a degree with a focus on employability
Unless you’re planning to follow an academic career path, you’ll want to seek out computer science degrees with a strong focus on practical and applied approaches to learning. At the UK’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), for example, all computer science students complete a series of practical projects, including opportunities to work on real-life briefs for clients. This focus on applied learning ensures students emerge ready for the workplace, having gained valuable hands-on experience and feedback from employers.
2. Complete placements as part of your studies
As well as completing practical projects, there is no better way to prepare for computer science careers than by undertaking relevant work experience. At UCLan, all computer science students have the chance to complete a one-year paid and assessed work placement as part of their course, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Most placements are with local employers, but there is also the opportunity to complete this year in industry at an English-speaking employer elsewhere in Europe. This immersive period of work experience allows students to further develop their skills and understanding of the sector, while adding significant value to their CVs, and in some cases the placement even leads directly to a job offer.