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Careers Centre

Computer Sciences - using your degree

Introduction

Popular career areas for Computer Science students:

A degree from Scotland's first university is an excellent start to any future career. St Andrews has a reputation for excellence and the ability to attract the brightest students world wide. With this as a starting point you are well on the way to impressing future employers.

Modern life depends crucially on computer and information systems, from traffic lights to hospitals to supermarkets. Most companies and organizations have invested heavily in computer systems in recent years and job prospects remain good for graduates in these technologies. Because of the size and complexity of modern computer systems, most software development is now undertaken by multi-disciplinary teams of skilled personnel. This has created demand for many different specializations, along with business managers who are familiar with Information Technology.

Among the sorts of specialized personnel involved with creating and managing modern IT systems are:

The skills required for these different positions can differ greatly. For example, nowadays only programmers typically need to be able to write and read computer code. Business analysts and technical writers usually need a strong ability to empathize with customers and the users of software. System architects often require a strong sense of narrative, in order to design systems to support workflows and business processes. However, all of these positions require an ability to think abstractly and logically, and to work with care and rigour. And, increasingly all require an ability to work well with others, as part of a team.

Review your degree skills

The profile below identifies the skills that can be developed through the study of your discipline based on subject benchmark statements developed by UK higher education academic communities. It may help you to identify the valuable skills that you can offer to potential employers.

Where do our Computer Science graduates go?

Recent Computer Science graduates
Sumdog Ltd - Software Developer      Credit Suisse - Analyst BBC - Software Engineer        
Skyscanner - Programmer     BlackRock - Analyst                Barclays Bank - Technology Analyst
Graduates who are established in their profession

D Young & Co LLP - Patent Attorney

4sight Financial Software - Software Engineer

University of St Andrews - Senior Lecturer

Puppet Labs, Inc - Principal Engineer

BT - Graduate Software Engineer

Zonal Retail Data Systems - Software Developer

Sam McNeilly

Sam graduated in 2013.  He is a Senior Software Developer with BT.

Read Sam's case study.

Alan Boyd

Alan graduated in 2010.  He is a Patent Attorney with D Young & Co LLP.

Read Alan's case study

 Visit the Graduate Destinations page to see what graduates and postgraduates from your School are doing now.

Network with alumni

Many jobs and internships are not advertised.  One of the best ways to find out about these ‘hidden opportunities’ is by networking.  Networking can also help secure a job that is publicised or is part of a training scheme.  Your contacts can open doors, set up meetings, help prepare you for interviews, and provide you with an inside look at a company or industry. 

How to contact alumni

There are two main ways to contact alumni on-line:

  1. Saint Connect - brings together alumni and current students to facilitate networking, enable informal mentoring, provide industry discussion groups, and enable graduates and students to stay up to date with their student societies and sports teams.
  2. LinkedIn - most comprehensive resource to connect with alumni is the University of St Andrews LinkedIn – Alumni Tool. There are also many LinkedIn St Andrews Groups, mainly based on location, which you can join to network with fellow students and alumni, eg St Andrews North America Careers Link.

Postgraduate study/research

In 2014, 20% of Computer Science graduates went on to do further study.  
Advisers are able and willing to discuss postgraduate applications - vocational and academic. 

Popular postgraduate institutions and courses:

See also:

Summer internships/work experience

Campus Opportunities

Work experience is becoming ‘essential’ in the UK when it comes to securing graduate level employment.

During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 90% of the UK’s leading graduate employers offered paid work experience programmes for students and recent graduates. Altogether, 55% of St Andrews finalists had completed some element of work experience with a graduate employer whilst at university – much higher than the survey average. More than two-fifths had a part-time job during term-time and three-fifths had some form of casual vacation work. Source: High Fliers –The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2016.

Case studies

Key links and resources

Career related