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Your computer science student sits in front of you and asks that ominous question – “where next?”.

While some subjects are an unnatural fit for many careers, you’re going to have good news for this particular student.

In short, your answer will be – “the world is your oyster! Your skills are demanded by almost every business imaginable – from web design agencies to SMEs in need of IT support”.

That said, you may still want to whittle down their options from “anything”, to these five particularly relevant possible career paths.

Software application developer

As a software developer, you should specialise in learning coding languages that are specific to your target market. As well as HTML and CSS – Perl, Python, Java, Javascript and PHP are all increasing in popularity for developing apps. 

Ruby on rails and Docker are also often used for app development.

Responsibilities can include:

  • Designing and customising software
  • Improving existing platforms and creating optimised efficiency in the business
  • Assessing software requirements and user needs to analyse feasibility

Median annual salary: £30,682

Computer systems analyst

An in-depth knowledge of current (and future) computer systems is essential for this role. You’ll also need to be able to communicate effectively and make recommendations based on an organisations’ needs and budgetary constraints.

You may be expected to:

  • Analyse existing data processing issues to make business improvements
  • Develop and test existing systems
  • Improve system compatibility for better information sharing company-wide

Median annual salary: £30,186

Web developer

Whilst it’s relatively easy to set up and manage a small corporate website, larger organisations needs websites that scale depending on demand and are optimised for performance across a number of servers and load-balancers.

As well as HTML and CSS, you’ll probably need to be competent in PHP, SQL and Javascript, and may even need to be able to effectively use Ruby on rails, Docker or Apache/Ngnix to set up larger, more dynamic and feature-rich websites.

As a web developer, your responsibilities may include:

  • Coding, designing and editing web page content and creating content
  • Identifying issues through user and systems testing
  • Backing up and maintaining websites for optimal performance

Median annual salary: £24,855

Network systems administrator

A key member of any modern organisation’s structure, you may be expected to help maintain and upgrade a network across a number of sites or even countries. More than just a support function, the role may include:

  • Managing the backup of data and putting a disaster recovery plan in place
  • Installing, supporting and managing a company’s computer network
  • Studying website functions to guarantee performance free from interruption

Median annual salary: £26,070

Database administrator

As data becomes more and more essential to understand customer needs and expectations, and is often the driver for business growth and change, database management roles now involve more than just managing automated stock control and invoicing functions.

Some of the responsibilities will include:

  • Testing, managing and administrating computer databases
  • Planning changes and identifying errors to be fixed
  • Putting security measures in place to protect information

Median annual salary: £42,008 (Oracle)

The future for the computer sciences student is bright – talent is so in demand that the UK is expecting a skills shortage – potentially leading to higher salaries.

Last year, there were 16,440 computer science graduates, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, leaving a shortfall of 120,000 per annum, meaning that the UK industry would be short of 1.2 million IT skilled workers, if they weren’t found from outside the UK.

That said, given the technologically-driven world we live in, the experience and qualifications of a computer sciences student will be appreciated by all businesses.