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Computer science is the study of the theory, experimentation, and engineering that
form the basis for the design and use of computers. It is the scientific and practical
approach to computation and its applications and the systematic study of the feasibility,
structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical procedures (or algorithms)
that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of,
and access to information. An alternate, more succinct definition of computer science is
the study of automating algorithmic processes that scale. A computer
scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational

Its fields can be divided into a variety of theoretical and practical disciplines. Some
fields, such as computational complexity theory (which explores the fundamental
properties of computational and intractable problems), are highly abstract, while fields
such as computer graphics emphasize real-world visual applications. Other fields still
focus on challenges in implementing computation. For example, programming language
theory considers various approaches to the description of computation, while the study
of computer programming itself investigates various aspects of the use of programming
language and complex systems. Humancomputer interaction considers the challenges
in making computers and computations useful, usable, and universally
accessible to humans.
Top 10 computer science careers

1. Software applications developer

Daily duties:
Design or customize computer applications software
Modify existing software to optimize operational efficiency or correct errors
Evaluate software requirements and user needs to determine software feasibility

2. Computer systems analyst

Daily duties:
Analyze data processing problems to improve computer systems
Develop and test system design procedures
Enhance system compatibility so information can be shared easily

3. Computer systems engineer

Daily duties:
Develop solutions to complex applications problems and other network concerns
Provide technical guidance for troubleshooting computer systems
Confirm stability and security of system architecture

4. Network systems administrator

Daily duties:
Install and support an organizations network system
Examine website functions to ensure performance without interruption
Perform data backups and disaster recovery operations

5. Database administrator
Daily duties:
Test and administer computer databases
Coordinate changes and correct errors to computer databases
Apply security measures to safeguard information

6. Business intelligence analyst

Daily duties:
Analyze market strategies through examining competitors and share trends
Collect and compile data from public information, industry reports or purchased sources
Produce business intelligence and trend data to support recommendations for plans of action

7. Web developer
Daily duties:
Write, design or edit web page content, or direct others producing content
Identify and correct problems uncovered by testing or user feedback
Back up website files for immediate recovery in case of problems

8. Computer programmer
Daily duties:
Create and test the code that allows computers to run properly
Analyze user needs and develop software solutions
Write computer programs to store, locate or retrieve data

9. Software systems developer

Daily duties:
Design, develop and test various software for a variety of industries
Alter existing software to correct errors or improve performance
Analyze data to identify, recommend and plan new system installations or modifications

10. Software quality assurance (QA) tester

Daily duties:
Develop test plans to identify software errors
Create and maintain a database to track software defects
Review software documentation to confirm accuracy and mitigate risks

1. The digital age needs computer scientists

Like it or not you're living in it this is the Digital Age. Computer programmes have all but
infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer scientists theorise, design, develop, and apply the
software and hardware for the programmes we use day in day out sounds pretty important to

2. Computer science students have excellent graduate prospects

Check out our Computer Science subject table, look down the Graduate Prospects column and
you'll notice that computer science students stand a pretty good chance of being professionally
employed or in further study within 6 months of leaving uni. And that chance is strengthened if
you go to one of the UK's best unis for the subject the top 10 average a Graduate
Prospects score of 93.6%.

3. Computer scientists earn big bucks

Computer scientists are in demand and their salaries reflects this. Recent graduates in
professional roles earn on average 23,144 a year. Compared to other subjects that's fairly
substantial just take a look at 'What do Graduates Earn?.

According to, systems developers in senior management roles earn

between 45,000 and 70,000 a year.

4. Computer scientists are needed in every type of industry

Every industry uses computers so naturally computer scientists can work in any. Problems in
science, engineering, health care, and so many other areas can be solved by computers. It's up
to the computer scientist to figure out how, and design the software to apply the solution.

Read our Computer Science Careers Guide.

5. Internationally Diverse Cohort

Computer science departments at typically benefit from having one of the more culturally
diverse cohorts at their respective unis. According to HESA data nearly 9,000 computer science
students come from overseas.

A diverse cohort means you'll be exposed to different cultures and potentially finish uni with an
international network of contacts to utilise later in life.

More info on What do International Students Study?.

6. Year abroad opportunities

Computers have gone global, and it would be silly for Computer Science education providers to
not reflect this fact. Check the opportunities for overseas study on the courses that interest you.
A year abroad will provide you with a deeper understanding of how computers are used around
the world, allowing you to experience other cultures, and gain some language skills in the

Here's a list of Computer Science degrees with a year abroad. Click on courses for more details
including contact details and entry requirements.