What could I do with my PhD in Computer Science?
As a Computer Science postgraduate, perhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself at this stage is whether or not you want to use your subject! It's entirely your choice - you will have acquired and developed many skills during your PhD which are complementary to the scientific and technical skills you might think define your career choice.
If you'd like to continue using your Computer Science and
would like some ideas as to how, open
one of the documents below to see details of what previous Bath
Computer Science PhD graduates have gone on to do.
PDF file 19 kb or RTF file 214 kb
(To view the PDF document you need to have Acrobat Reader installed - you can download a free copy from the Adobe site.)
This covers the most obvious choices (academic and commercial IT jobs) but there are many other options.
You might want to continue in IT as a whole, but change focus. There are many occupations in which your PhD would be valuable, including systems/business analyst, IT consultant, quantitative analysis for large financial firms, patent attorney or technical writing. Teaching (of ICT) can also be an attractive option. For more information on Computer-Science-related employment, look at the AGCAS leaflet ‘Options with Computer Science/IT', viewable on the Graduate Prospects website.
What else could I do?
If, having got to this stage, you're not sure that you want to use your Computer Science any more, don't despair! You have many skills and experiences that are highly valuable to employers and you can choose from the huge range of graduate jobs on offer, from structured training with large financial services firms to analysing policy for governmental departments. The key is to think of the skills you have and enjoy using and explore occupations that use them to suggest possible alternatives. Your numerical and problem-solving skills will be popular with many employers. Look at the ‘What career planning should I do during my PhD?' pages to get some ideas on how to do this. For information on different types of jobs, explore the occupational profiles on the Graduate Prospects website.
You may be interested in starting your own business. Becoming a self-employed contractor or consultant is quite common in the IT industry, although a certain amount of experience is typically required prior to taking this step. If this option attracts you, take a look at the self-employment community on the Graduate Prospects website, the ‘Going it alone' page on researchers@bath and the websites for the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship and Business Link.
You might find the AGCAS booklet ‘Your PhD…..what next?' useful in helping you consider your options. Our searchable jobs database within MyFuture should also give you some interesting ideas of jobs open to you if you select 'For PhD students' under the 'Service' option and leave the discipline box blank. And, of course, you are recommended to look at the material in the Student section of our website and make full use of the services available to you.