More broadly, being part of a friendly and supportive community will help you develop and succeed during your studies and beyond. UCLan has a strong focus on ensuring computer science students develop a range of related skillsets, as well as running an award-winning orientation program to ensure new students quickly develop close bonds and social connections.
6. Develop your skills through competitions
Alongside work placements, another way to develop and show off your skills is by entering computer science competitions. These can be fun and rewarding ways to challenge yourself, as well as providing even more impressive material for your CV. For example, UCLan students have entered and won the national ‘Search for a Star’ and ‘Rising Star’ competitions. They also recently won the first Defectives University Challenge, and have achieved a top-three position every time they’ve entered the BBC Technology Challenge.
UCLan students are well prepared to excel in such contests. Indeed, the first year of the undergraduate computer science program kicks off with a four-week challenge, in which students collaborate to design, develop and market new apps. Since this often includes a bit of dressing up, they’re more than ready to present their ideas to others!
7. Consider the local opportunities and competition
When choosing a location for your computer science studies, you may be attracted to cities where high numbers of employers are based. However, it’s also worth considering the level of competition for jobs; studying in an area with fewer universities could mean you have fewer fellow graduates to compete with. UCLan’s location as the only university in Preston, in North West England, means its graduates are in high demand among local employers.
Companies such as IBM regularly visit the university to recruit directly from its pool of computer science students. In turn, UCLan’s strong local alumni community provides an instant professional network for new graduates. This is in stark contrast to many other parts of the country, where the higher density of universities means students and graduates often face fierce competition for roles.