We spoke to a range of employers at our Meet the Employers: Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology event to find out what skills and experiences they look for in a graduate and some top tips for getting a career in this sector.
Where can students look for jobs in Computing, Maths and Digital Technology?
“Even though it’s a competitive market, students who study in this area already have a head start due to the knowledge they have gained on their course. It’s worth looking at online platforms such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to get a better idea of jobs as well as the company culture itself. From there, you could easily go to the company’s careers page where the jobs are listed. Make sure that you make the most of networking events during your time at university, don’t leave it until your final year, set an impression early.”
“At IBM, all of our jobs are advertised through our website through online applications. Our opportunities are open to students from all degree disciplines as we focus more on a graduate’s personality than their degree. We want you to demonstrate what you can give to the company in terms of the skills you have.”
“Make sure that your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles are immaculate and professional before your job search. Follow companies that you are interested in working for to keep up-to-date with their latest news and achievements. The best way to search for jobs is to make a long list of companies you want to work for and then go through each of their websites.”
“We advertise all of our vacancies on online jobs boards so this is definitely a good place to start. Some of the ones you could look at include Indeed, Reed, Monster and CV Library.”
“We mainly advertise through our website so you should start your job search directly on company websites. The Job Crowd is a good website to search on as you can be more selective with your job search. The Times Top 100 is another good place to look as it will list some of the best graduate employers in this area. Finally, you could perform a quick Google search for the top IT companies in the town or city you wish to work in and start there.”
What can students do now to prepare themselves for a career in Computing, Maths and Digital Technology?
“We would definitely advise you to get support from your Careers Service as we do notice a difference in the quality of CVs from those who do and don’t use the service. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and relevant to the job you wish to apply for. You should also make sure that your CV is tailored to each job you apply for to make sure that you are demonstrating the key skills they are looking for. You can also attend employer open days to find out more about a company.”
“Try to get any experience whether that’s by getting involved in societies or by leading projects. Just make sure that you don’t sit quietly. You need to try and differentiate yourself so try to get involved with as much as possible, it doesn’t have to relate to your course.”
“With computing, it’s easy to give yourself experience. Make your own website or app in your spare time to challenge yourself and put your skills in practice. This is a great way to make your own portfolio.”
“It’s really important to get some experience while you’re still at university. Try and build on your Java experience too as this will benefit you in your career. It’s all adding building up your portfolio before you graduate.”
“Make sure that you keep up-to-date with the latest news in the area you want to go into. Coding and big data are really big hot topics at the moment and something we’re interested in so make sure you are following key companies on Twitter to follow these trends. Sign up for additional courses to help to build your skillset.”
Would you prefer students to have work experience that is relevant to the role they are applying for?
“Having any work experience is better as it says something about the character of the person, that they have demonstrated perseverance in their work, even if it’s flipping burgers – put this on your CV. It also shows us that they can overcome the monotony of some of the work experience students will take while they are university and helps us to gain an insight into a student’s personality.”
“For us, it doesn’t make a difference as we will train you in the skills that you don’t already have. We focus more on a student’s personality rather than the skills they have. If you have relevant work experience then it might put you a couple of weeks ahead but, ultimately, it doesn’t matter.”
“No, it would be useful but we’d be looking more at what they’ve done. We can help students to develop their technological skills but we need students to be able to demonstrate their soft skills and give examples. It’s more important to be able to adapt to a new environment.”
“For us, we’d focus on a relevant degree rather than having relevant work experience. We focus mainly on a student’s personality, especially in this line of work as it’s more about the person than the skills.”
“We focus on the graduate rather than the skills they have. We would help you to develop your skills through training but you need to show your enthusiasm and willingness to learn.”
Find out more about these employers below:
TOPdesk is an award winning service management software provider. They help organisations from all business sectors to streamline their processes and gain valuable insights into their operational activities.
IBM is the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, serving clients in 170 countries. IBM is helping to reshape industries by bringing together our expertise in Cloud, Analytics, Security, Mobile, and the Internet of Things.
A leading global full service digital marketing, technology and commerce consultancy. Born over 20 years ago out of a passion for technology and fascination with human behaviour, we are a full service global consultancy for digital marketing, technology and commerce
QA Consulting is a leading provider of Consulting Services to commercial and financial organisations and Government departments.
Fujitsu is an ICT company offering a rich product and services portfolio with all that is needed to help organisations thrive in a changing world.
How can your Careers and Employability Service help you to prepare?
- Read our Science and Engineering career guides
- Take part in the Futures Skills Award
- Attend our Careers and Employability workshops
- Learn more about finding valuable work experience and volunteering opportunities on our website
- Book an appointment to speak to a Careers Consultant linked to the Faculty of Science and Engineering