What can you do with a computer science degree?

Posted 20 July 2021
Royal Holloway ISC students working together in the library on campus

Computer science is not only a fascinating subject, but a degree in computer science will also open many employment opportunities and pathways to further study.

The recent growth in IT means that computer science professionals are in demand in almost every industry and country around the world. Studying a computer science degree will allow you to enter an exciting, ever-developing career.

Is Computer Science a good degree?

A degree in computer science opens the door to a wide variety of potentially highly paid jobs, including software engineering, information technology, network administration, and web development. There is a huge demand for computer science professionals and companies are struggling to fill their positions. If you're unsure as to whether computer science is for you, check out this article from the Royal Holloway University of London – Should I study computer science?

Skills you will gain from a computer science degree

  • Analytical skills – collecting and analysing information, and making decisions
  • Problem-solving skills – determining why an issue is occurring and knowing how to solve the issue
  • Creativity – the ability to think about a task or problem differently, or use your imagination to generate new ideas
  • Critical-thinking skills – conceptualising, applying, analysing, synthesising, and/or evaluating information
  • Resilience – the ability to move past obstacles and challenges

Computer science careers

1. Computer programmer

Programmers, also known as developers, provide valuable services across many economic sectors, writing code for applications. Professionals work in information technology, government service, academia, and medical fields with other opportunities as contract and freelance workers. The requirements for these positions vary, but with experience and qualifications, programming professionals will inevitably increase their career options and earnings potential.

2. Games developer

A games developer creates, develops and codes computer games. There are many types of games played on a variety of different devices and consoles. As a games developer, you might spend time creating a first-person shooter game for a large corporation, or working on an independent flash game that players will use on Facebook. Game development can take many months or years and there are lots of job roles within the games industry. Some of these include animator, designer, and game programmer.

3. Web designer

Web designers create, building and improve websites – these sites could be anything from an online pet shop to an online learning zone. Day-to-day tasks of a web designer might include talking to customers about their website requirements, creating a website design plan, working the client’s branding, text, and colours into the site, or deciding where to source these from, designing the layout of webpages pages, incorporating multimedia features, and testing and improving the website until it fits the original requirements.

4. IT Consultant

IT consultants advise companies on how to best use technology to achieve their business objectives. There are four main areas to the IT consultancy industry:

  • Professional services that maintain large workforces
  • Agencies that temporarily hire out IT consultants for short term contracts
  • Self-employed, independent consultants who work directly for a number of firms and clients
  • IT security consultants

Other jobs you can get with a computer science degree:

  • data scientist
  • software tester
  • systems analyst
  • business analyst
  • product manager
  • network architect
  • software engineer

Salary potential

Computer scientists can earn very high salaries – there’s demand around the world for qualified professionals. However, as with many professions, salary depends on factors such as your level of education, position, and experience. Software developers, for example, can earn £55,000 or higher, and IT directors can earn more than £80,000 (Prospects).

Where could I work with a computer science degree?

Common computer science employers are IT service providers and consultancies. However, as most organisations use computers to carry out their business, there are many opportunities within IT departments of large companies in sectors including:

  • healthcare
  • retail
  • aerospace and defence
  • telecommunications
  • agricultural
  • manufacturing
  • financial services
  • public and third sectors

You could also choose to launch your own business, offering IT services such as consultancy and web design.

Postgraduate opportunities

Once you graduate with your computer science degree, you could enter the workforce straight away, or you might choose to further hone your skills on a postgraduate course. Master's degrees give students further training in practical and theoretical applications of computer systems and information technology. Although many entry-level jobs only require an undergraduate degree, professionals with postgraduate degrees can often fast track to more senior and managerial roles. If you’d like to take your education even further, you may want to consider a PhD in computer science.

Why study computer science at RHUL?

Royal Holloway, University of London combines a respected British education with tradition, culture, and a global professional and academic network. A computer science degree from Royal Holloway will give you an internationally respected degree that will set you apart from other candidates when you enter the job market.

  • Royal Holloway is a Top 25 UK University
  • It is ranked 7th in the UK for research impact in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014)
  • Have the opportunity to gain work experience on a placement year

Your pathway to computer science

The International Year One in Computer Science at the International Study Centre is designed for international students, and will prepare you to study BSc Computer Science (International) at Royal Holloway, University of London.

This programme will enable you to develop your programming skills and gain practical experience in programming. You’ll also spend the year improving your English language proficiency and learning study skills as you settle into your new life in the UK.


Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.