This page gives career information of relevance to Imperial students within the Department of Computing (DoC).
You can find out how the Careers Service supports Imperial students on our services for students page, explore our career events, attend one to one appointments and sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent every Thursday (sign up by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive). Whatever stage you are at with your studies, we’re here to help from first year undergraduates right through to PhD studies – you don’t even have to know what you want to do to make use of our services!
What can you do with a Department of Computing (DoC) degree?
A degree from the deparmtnet of computing opens a wide range of career options. Some of our graduates move into a career directly related to their studies while others take alternative routes. Around 83% of Imperial DoC graduates go into employment at the end of their first degree while 12% choose to pursue further study or training options at MSc, PhD or specialist vocational levels. Use the resources below to help you start to explore and understand your options and to begin to develop your career plans.
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Develop your skills
Whatever career you choose, employers will want to see evidence of the skills you have developed in your studies. Your degree programme equips you with essential core skills, but you’ll also learn how to adapt to technological change, with its challenges and opportunities. Your computing degree combines theoretical study and practical project work teaching you subject specific technical skills and coding while also developing ‘soft skills’ in teamwork; communication; problem-solving; negotiation; organisation and report writing. You’ll also have opportunities to develop your commercial awareness and professional networks through industry talks, internships, and placements (MEng).
The skills you’ll develop are highly valued by employers in many sectors which is why the areas our graduates go on to work in is so broad. It’s good to reflect on your abilities and consider what skills you can evidence and which skills you may need to enhance. Use our self reflection webpages to help you understand and document your abilities.
During your degree you will have many opportunities to develop and learn new skills. Employers will want to see what you have been doing to develop your skills and knowledge outside your course while you have been a student. Experiences such as student societies, part-time work, volunteering and sports can develop your skills and will be valuable additions to your CV. Work experience can also help develop skills and help you decide what career direction you want to go in and become more competitive in future job or further study applications.
As an Imperial student you can participate, or take a leadership role, in a wide variety of Students’ Union activities where you’ll develop many skills. You also have free access to LinkedIn Learning and can use this to develop or improve your knowledge and abilities with software tools and skills through instructional videos taught by industry experts skills. You will also have access to several DoC presentations and workshops providing you with advice on career planning and giving you industry insights. Many of the sessions and lecture recordings are held within the DOC Blackboard VLE.
Throughout your DoC degree you can also learn and develop the skills required to be successful in the job or internship market. For example, you will need to know how to create a strong CV, write a good cover letter and perform well in interviews. We can help you to learn these skills. Start with the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops.
Explore career areas
When you understand your skills through self reflection it’s a good idea to then learn about the range of career areas that might be of interest. Having a broad understanding of what you can do with a degree from DoC at Imperial is a great starting point to gain inspiration and deeper insights into career paths. For example you could pursue a career in computer gaming, special effects, machine learning, cyber security, UX or venture into the world of management consultancy or banking and finance. Our what do Imperial Graduates Do? contains our Graduate Outcomes data which gives examples of employers and further study options of previous graduates. You can search the data to find what DoC graduates went on to do immediately after graduation and you may also find it useful to explore Imperial College LinkedIn – “Computing” where you can discover the career paths of our ESE alumni as their careers develop over time. However, don't feel limited by what others have done, but instead, follow your own interests.
It’s helpful to consider whether you want to use your technical knowledge in a job. If so, would you like to be working with other specialists or have more of a client facing role? Our how to research job sectors and occupations resources can help you to learn more about different jobs including desirable skills, responsibilities, professional development and salary expectations across different roles and industries. You can also meet employers from many of these areas through Careers Service events and fairs which are advertised on JobsLive and in our weekly newsletter.
Through your research you’ll see that there’s a very wide range of options open to DoC graduates. Some of these are directly accessible from a first degree while others may require additional further study. This can create many questions that you’ll want to answer and speaking to a Careers Consultant through one of our one to one appointments may help after your initial research.
In addition to our resources you may also find the Options with Computer Science, Options with Information Systems and Options with Web Design and Development from Prospects.ac.uk to give a similar but alternative commentary to the resources we’ve specifically curated here for you. The Career Sector - IT & Technology from TargetJobs may also be a useful additional resource for you.
A professional body, association or society seeks to further a particular profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession. The body maintains an oversight of the knowledge, skills, conduct and practice of that profession and can offer accreditation or chartership. You can often use professional bodies to access training or networking events and explore related career options.
Below are some links to professional bodies that deal with various areas related to DoC. Many offer student memberships which can give you access to job listings and careers information while offering great networking opportunities. Some memberships may even allow you to register your CV to vacancy matching services or to be viewed by other members of the community.
- (BCS) British Computer Society - The Chartered Institute for IT, promotes wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice.
- (IET) Institution of Engineering and Technology - A world leading professional organisation sharing and advancing knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology across the world.
- (IGDA) International Game Developers Association - A non-profit professional association whose stated mission is to "support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers.
- (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - A professional association for educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines. There’s also the IEEE UK and Ireland Section.
- (AISB) Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour - A thriving learned society which invites membership from people with a serious interest in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and related areas.
- (BARA) British Automation and Robot Association - provides a voice for the Robot and Automation Industries, when dealing with government, industry, financial and academic institutions.
Information and advice about how to find employment opportunities can be found on our Jobs and experience webpages, which discusses various strategies and resources. We also host our own jobs board within JobsLive where you can search a database of thousands of organisations and employers by their “business area”. You will also get various emails sent to you during your studies from your department with relevant opportunities for you or inviting you to talks or networking events. These events can be a great way to find out about individuals working in certain industries and are an opportunity to understand the culture of various companies. We’ve created some resources to help with Networking and to improve your skills and confidence.
There are many well-known Multinational Companies (MNCs) offering graduate level jobs but Small or Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), defined as organisations with fewer than 250 employees, also offer a wide range of interesting and unique graduate level roles. Due to a smaller marketing budget SMEs can be harder to find and they often rely on you approaching them speculatively to show motivation and interest. They will sometimes engage with universities through incubation hubs to help them grow skills and expertise. The Imperial Enterprise Lab often run events to help students understand and network with SME and start-up communities.
Below are useful websites to find SMEs relevant to DoC:
- UK Science Park Association - contains a members list of science parks where you can find information on the SMEs based on these specific science parks.
- GamesIndusty.biz - a leading community for news and information about the video games industry.
- Electronics Weekly - at the heart of the electronics industry.
- Computer Weekly - coverage of the issues, challenges and trends facing today’s IT leaders.
- EE Times - news and analysis of the latest technologies and business development in the electronics industry.
SMEs can also be found by doing Google map searches in areas where you would like to work or where you know one organisation is. Often SMEs will cluster together geographically around a larger organisation related to their work (e.g. hospitals) or transport hubs (e.g. airports). LinkedIn is also a good tool to discover SMEs. Explore different people who have roles that you are interested in and scroll down to see where they have worked. You may find SMEs and other interesting organisations that you did not know about. For further support with LinkedIn, attend a Careers Essentials: LinkedIn courses. The Imperial Enterprise Lab also runs events to help students understand and network with SME and start-up communities.
Information and advice about how to find employment opportunities can be found on our Jobs and experience webpages, which discusses various strategies and resources. We also host our own jobs board within JobsLive where you can search a database of thousands of organisations and employers by their “business area”. You will also get various emails sent to you during your studies from your department with relevant opportunities for you or inviting you to talks or networking events. These events can be a great way to find out about individuals working in certain industries and an opportunity to understand the culture of the workplace. We’ve created some resources to help with Networking and to improve your skills and confidence.
There are thousands of recruitment agencies operating in the UK and internationally. Essentially their role is to act as a bridge between a company who have a job vacancy and someone like you who’s looking for a job. Their basic function is to find the most suitable candidate for that job. While an agency can bring many benefits to a job seeker it’s important to remember that the agent is working for their client (that’s the company with the job vacancy) and you are simply a resource they can profit from. While agencies can form part of your job search they shouldn’t be your only strategy as they’re in it for themselves. Additionally, you should remember that the agent is paid by the client so if you’re asked to pay a fee we’d encourage you to stop and think if it’s necessary and what you gain in return!
Here are a few agencies we know work in areas related to DoC:
- CW Jobs - the home for tech jobs
- Datascope - recruitment consultancy for the gaming industry
- IT Jobs Watch - perspectives on the IT labour market
- NetWorkers - connecting technology and talent
- TechnoJobs – IT and technology job site
- Wireless Mobile Jobs - telecoms and IT jobs
To find further agencies operating in the area you may want to explore The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (UK) Membership Directory or speak to people within the industry to see where jobs adverts are placed.
While much of our service provision is focused on the UK we’ve paid a subscription to give you access to the GoinGlobal which provides you with international job listings and employer directories alongside country specific information and application support.
Career planning often takes time and can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s a good idea to set aside a small amount of time on a regular basis to maintain momentum. Below are some things to get you started:
- Sign up to the Imperial Careers Newsletter by checking the relevant box on your personal profile on JobsLive
- Learn about the timescales for applying for further study, work experience and graduate employment
- See our what's on pages to find out about the different types of events that we run, including: workshops, careers fairs, career talks - and hear from alumni and employers about different types of work.
- Explore the Department of Computing’s Corporate Partnership Programme (CPP) which helps connect computing students to employers and placement providers and allows students to share their CV with organisations.
- Join the Department of Computing’s student society (DocSoc) and look out for employer talks and the annual hackathon.
- Learn the skills that will help you succeed on the job market in the applications and interviews section of our website, and by attending our skills training and workshops
If you feel stuck with your career planning, you could book a one to one appointment to talk it through with a careers consultant. Richard Carruthers is the careers consultant for DoC but you can see any of our careers consultants for your first appointment.