Converting to computing
Are you interested in a career in Computing or IT, and do you already have a degree in another subject? If so, you may be able to get the education and skills you need by studying a Generalist MSc Degrees in Computer Science, offered at some British Universities.
Computer systems are massively important to modern business, industry and society - and there is a huge world-wide shortage in the skilled professionals that will be needed in the future. The British Computer Society have estimated that this shortage could be as much as 50% - meaning that those who have these highly-valuable skills will be able to work almost anywhere in the world. It also means that salaries are often high relative to other areas.
There are advantages in getting a first degree in another subject first, and then studying for a Computer Science or Computing Masters degree. This is because Computing is so important to many subjects, and is very widely-used in many areas of business and industry. So as well as leading to a career in Computing, it can also enable you to progress further in the field of your first degree.
What would you actually study on such a Masters degree?
One of the most important skills for a Computing professional is Computer Programming, and you can expect to learn to program early in your degree - most probably in a widely-used language like Java. You can also expect to study a wide range of other subjects - like Databases, Web and Internet systems, Graphics, Software Engineering, User Interfaces, Mobile Computing and Artificial Intelligence. Usually, you would have some choices of exactly what you study, so you can pick the areas of Computing that interest you most, and which best match your planned career path. All MSc degrees include a large project, usually during the final semester. Some include the option to work for a period in the Computing industry, giving you valuable work experience.
What careers in Computing can you follow after a Generalist Computer Science MSc?
There is a huge range of options available. For example, Application Software Development, IT Service provision, and Systems Development. Although there are many large multinational employers of Computing and Computer Science Degree graduates, there are also many small companies – which means you have the opportunity to start your own business.
Many graduates start their career in Software Development - usually Programming, but also systems analysis, testing, design or project management. Most software companies specialize in particular areas - for example, Business, Finance, Law, Media, and Engineering. This is where a first degree in some other subject can be very useful in your career. For example, suppose you have a first degree in Electronics or Aeronautical Engineering: you would be ideally suited to a degree in, say, Avionics software: and an Electronics first degree with a Computing or Computer Science MSc could also lead into Networking and Communications. A first degree in Economics could be very useful for a career in Financial Computing. A first degree in Business might lead to a career in, say, Enterprise Resource Management, or many other business-related software fields. Having a Computing or Computer Science Masters and a first degree in some other subject can therefore put you at an advantage over those who have only studied Computer Science, because it will mean you bring other skills to a business. However, if you want to make a clean break from your first degree subject that is also possible - because there is such a wide degree of career paths and subjects available in Computing. Also, if you want to go further with your education, a Computer Science Masters degree is a recognized path into postgraduate research, for a PhD for example.