Language Matters: How do you talk about your Computing degree or experience to employers?

Steve Norman, Careers Consultant, provides an insight from a recent report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which highlights the challenges of articulating your degree experience to employers.

The main thrust of the report is that sometimes degree titles don’t reflect the knowledge and skills you have developed through your study so don’t assume that employers will know. In particular, the report suggests that some students studying Computer Science don’t realise that their degree could also be preparing them for other IT roles and not just solely programming roles.

Findings also indicate that students applying for IT-related roles are concentrating only on the specific content on their degree course and not on some of the other skills they have developed throughout their studies such as team working, project management and problem solving. These are some of the key skills employers are looking for on top of subject knowledge. So… don’t undersell yourself and remember to highlight the transferable skills you have gained!

Key messages:tin can phone robots

  • It’s important to concentrate both on subject knowledge and skills.
  • Talk about your passion for technology as well as what you have learned.
  • When applying for jobs try to talk to recent alumni to get insights into the recruitment process, what they did in the first year or two of the role and how they apply the knowledge from their degree in their role.
  • Many employers who come on campus bring recent alumni to talk to you and share their experience of the recruitment process and their programme. Talking to alumni can help you decide whether or not to apply and whether the employer is right for you. Search for “Employer Presentations” in the Events tab of MyCareerHub.

The Careers Service is here to help with your job hunting, applications and interview preparation. You’ll find information and advice on our website: www.ed.ac.uk/careers

Image; Tin Can Phone Robot – iStock

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