How to reinvent your career with computer science

There is great news for anyone looking to make a career switch into computer science. So, what does it take to make the leap? Check out three top tips for budding computer scientists, as well as the Computer Science online MSc from the University of Bath.

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These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business not in need of digital expertise. Three quarters of UK-based executives are having trouble recruiting the digital skills their organisations need, and it seems likely that the other 25 per cent will join them in the search when they realise that they’re at risk of being left behind.

The UK digital skills gap predicted last year – a deficit of 500,000 highly-skilled digital workers by 2022 – is continuing to bear out, and it’s a similar picture on the world stage. The World Economic Forum forecasts that, globally, there will be “at least 133 million new roles generated as a result of the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms” – great news for anyone looking to make a career switch into computer science. So, what does it take to make the leap?

Here are three top tips for budding computer scientists:


1. Gain the computer science skills employers are looking for


There is a whole gamut of roles within the booming computer science industry. Of course, individual employers may seek sector-specific digital capabilities, but there are certain emerging areas of computer science that are most commercially desirable.

To use the UK as an example, a government report into employer demand for digital expertise found that at the higher-skilled end of the scale, programming, networking support and data analysis are among the most sought after. The report revealed that the programming and software development skill cluster – including programming languages, NoSQL databases and DevOps skills - contained more desirable capabilities than any other; encompassing more than half of digital demand.

Rapidly-evolving technological areas, such as AI and cybersecurity, are big news too. As the commercial sphere continues to wake up to what’s possible, specialist computer science skills in these areas is likely to open up a multitude of career opportunities.

Knowing the computer science skills that will make you attractive to employers is only half the story though; you also need to understand how to apply them in a real-world setting.


2. Master real world computer science application

One of the things that makes a move into computer science such a rewarding prospect is the sheer versatility of the job market. Since virtually every sector and industry requires the insight and agility computer science enables, becoming a computer scientist means that you can work within any of them.

That’s why application of computer science expertise is so important; you’ll need to know how to turn principles and core theories into practical use cases that solve business problems, whether that’s encrypting sensitive information for a healthcare company, or training a machine-learning algorithm for an online retailer’s chatbot. Preparation for a real-world role in computer science is about implementing the fundamentals of programming, software engineering and the mathematics of computation in ways that add business value.


3. Find a flexible route to computer science know-how

So, if you’re looking to take your career in a new computer science direction, you’ll need a solid command of the underlying principles of computing and the ingenuity to shape them into workable technical solutions.

These interconnected aims are the basis of the Computer Science online MSc offered by the University of Bath, an invaluable and challenging degree delivered entirely online by a practicing group of influential computer scientists. The course curriculum covers both the foundations of programming, software engineering and human computer interaction, and hands-on experimentation in exciting developmental areas, such as AI, cryptography and cognitive systems.

Plus, with the University of Bath who are the founders of the Institute of Coding and have links to major tech corporations, studying online with the University of Bath provides first-rate career building opportunities, as well as the chance to network and collaborate with like-minded professionals from around the world. It’s a powerful qualification to have, one that’s made Bath first for undergraduate employability in computer science and information systems in The Guardian University Guide 2020.

Interested in finding out more? Read more about what you could achieve with the Computer Science online MSc.