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Reviewing your options - Informatics year 4. Carol Macdonald Careers Adviser. Session Aim … to help you to:. Think about the year ahead in relation to future career plans Consider your options Take stock - recognise your progress and identify what you need to do next

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Reviewing your options - Informatics year 4

Carol Macdonald

Careers Adviser

Session Aim … to help you to:

  • Think about the year ahead in relation to future career plans

  • Consider your options

  • Take stock - recognise your progress and identify what you need to do next

  • Identify how the Career Service can help you

SAGE Vacancy Stats

Comparison 2009/10 against 2008/09

Graduate +33%

Part Time Semester-11%

Internships & Vacations-3%

Voluntary +43%

Quick Quiz…


What percentage of Informatics graduates

continue in full time study? (PhD, MSc or PGDip?)

  • 5%

  • 9%

  • 25%





Computer Science (Ed, Cambridge & Grenoble)

Machine Learning (Ed)

Energy efficient embedded systems (Ed)

Cognitive Science(Ed)

Masters -

Computer Science (Grenoble)

Human Centred Interactive Technologies (York)

Digital Games* (Brunel)

Neuro-informatics* (Edinburgh)


Maths* (Edinburgh & Strathclyde)

ANSWER 1 – What percentage of Informatics graduates went on to a PhD, MSc or PGDip?


What percentage of Informatics graduates

were in employment 6 months after


  • 58%

  • 63%

  • 82%

ANSWER 2 – What percentage of Informatics graduates were in employment 6 months after graduating?

  • 58%- 2009 Edinburgh

  • 63% 2008 UK Comp Sci & related

  • 82%-2008 Edinburgh


    • Taking time out

    • Seeking employment

    • Not available


  • Which of those jobs could a Informatics Graduate NOT do?

    Commercial Manager Administrator

    Fund Manager Chartered Accountant

    Management Consultant Solicitor

    Police OfficerSurveyor

    None of the above

ANSWER 3. Which of those jobs could a Informatics Graduate NOT do?

Commercial Manager Administrator

Fund Manager Chartered Accountant

Management Consultant Solicitor

Police OfficerSurveyor

None of the above


  • What would you expect a new graduate to earn?

  • £14,000

  • £19,300

  • £22,000

  • £25,000

  • £39,000

ANSWER 4. What would you expect a new graduate to earn?

All are graduate salaries

  • £14,000 –bottom of Prospects range

  • £19,600 - HESA average 2008

  • £22,000– IT Jobs Watch 2010

  • £25,000 - average AGR 2009

  • £39,000 - top of Prospects range

Software developer x9

Software engineer x 3

Applications developer x2

Game developer

Web developer

Product developer


IT Consultant x 3

Technology analyst x3

Project analyst

Project manager

Data developer


Technical Manager

Test engineer

Process control engineer



Freelance designer

TEFL Teacher

Examples of jobs entered by Informatics graduates 2008

Software developer x 3

Software engineer x 7

Analyst x 2

Project manager

Web developer

Broadcast research engineer

Lab support engineer

Quality Assurance tester

Technical support engineer

Computer support officer

Research Assistant x 3

Corporate action processing assistant


Marketing Assistant


Chalet host

Examples of jobs entered by Informatics graduates 2009


JP Morgan

Barclays Capital



Agilent Technologies


McCann Erickson

Foxall Associates

S T Microelectronics



Tierney Strachan Consulting

Rockstar North

Black Company Studios

Edinburgh University

FNZ UK Chambers Dictionaries

Spinsight Scotland


Lab 901


Examples of Employers 2008

Sun Micro Systems, Camberley Amazon, Edinburgh

Thales, Glasgow

Standard Life, Edinburgh

State Street, Edinburgh

Deloitte, London

BBC Research & Development, London

Real Time Worlds, Dundee

4J Studios, East Linton

Truphone, London

MX Telecom, London

Comtemplate, Edinburgh

Iformis, Edinburgh

Syngro, Livingstone

Avenade, Paris

Edinburgh University x2

Glasgow University

Scottish Government

Royal Air Force, Cranwell

John Lewis, Edinburgh

Ski France

Examples of Employers 2009

Career Planning ReviewHow far have you progressed with your career planning?

Strategyfor achieving your goals

  • How will you find out what’s out there?

  • Where would you like to work? (what sector? what organisations? what roles?)

  • How many organisations will you approach?

  • How will you identify their requirements?

  • How will you approach them?

  • When you will approach them/ apply?

  • How can you market yourself effectively?

Case Study Exercise

  • Work with the person next to you and choose one of the scenarios on the handout to look at.

  • You need to discuss

    • What are they key issues for this person?

    • What would you suggest they should do?

Case Studies

ASarah is in her final year of her computer science degree. She is ambitious and is keen to continue her studies as she feels this will help her career to progress. She thinks a PhD would probably be better than a Masters degree but is not 100% sure. She has done well academically and should gain a 2.1 degree. She has not gained any related work experience but has been very involved as a committee member in a student society as well as working part-time and during the summer in the same bar since second year. Prior to university Sarah gained a Duke of Edinburgh Gold award and was captain of her school netball team. She wants to focus on her degree this year and is thinking of leaving applications until after graduation.

BHarry is in his final year of his software engineering degree, he did an internship with IBM which he really enjoyed and he is keen to secure a graduate traineeship for next summer. He hopes to get a 2.1 but this may drop to a 2.2 degree. He wants to take advantage of any opportunities to find out about what’s on offer. He wants to find out more about the range of firms recruiting Informatics grads, the different opportunities they offer, the training provided, & how they recruit. He has already scanned some websites but thinks it would help to talk to people in the field. His current ideas include the banking sector, management consultancies, or possibly accountancy firms for technical audit roles but he has not ruled out other options.

C Alasdair is in his final year of his AI degree and he has no idea whatsoever of what he wants to do when he graduates. His parents are constantly nagging him about his career and getting a good job but he just doesn’t want to think about it. He thinks he is too young to be thinking long term. Ideally, it would be good to stay in Edinburgh for another year as his girlfriend is in the year below. Travel sounds attractive but he isn’t sure about this.


Further Study - will this improve prospects?

PhD vs Masters?

No related work experience - just 1 job

How valuable is her extra curricular stuff?

2.1 degree – is this OK?

When to apply?

Where can she get help?


Careers interview- to discuss ideas, identify priorities, action plan

Research study options- check what’s involved, destinations, funding (UK/ abroad?).

Attend Postgraduate Fair18 Nov& talks, also Careers Fair5/6Oct - find out what’s on offer, what employers value/could offer, consider alternatives (eg KTP, pt study)

Network - talk to PG students, staff, use contacts, ask orgs of interest

Broaden work experience internship, other pt (identify benefits from other exp)

Good 2.1 OK

Watch closing dates - funding & courses

Case Study A – SARAH


Grad Job - but what?

Good work experience

Would 2.2 (or 3rd) impact?

Who is recruiting & what’s on offer?

Finding out what it’s really like - researching employers & talking to ‘insiders’

Recruitment process - when, where, how

How to stand out?


Consider sectors / roles- use Careers Centre,

Check vacanciessee who is advertising

SAGE - watch deadlines

Directories – Prospects, Get, Times top 100

Websites – Prospects, Hobsons, Specialist

Attend employer presentations & ‘insight’ sessions

Attend Careers Fair5 & 6 October

Attend careers sessionseg applications, interviews, psychometric tests and assessment centres

Careers interview

Case Study B – HARRY


No career plans (Why is he avoiding thinking about the future?)

Does not want to think long term

Pressure from parents (& others?)

Staying in Edinburgh for 1 year

Possible travel


Identify what’s holding him back.

Think options & what hewants.

Don’t need to plan whole life BUT… think about the next step.

Think about interests, skills, motivations - what might be fun/interesting/useful.

Set some goals/ priorities.

Aim to build experience, increase skills and move career forward.

Attend Travel & Volunteering Fair 27 October

Consider job in Edinburgh- useSAGE, other grad sites, recruitment agencies, press, creative job search

Careers interview may help

Take some action!

Case Study C – ALASDAIR


  • Identify:

    • What you will do

    • How you will do it

    • By when you will do it

  • Some starting points – use handout!

Some 2010 events!

Careers Fair- 5th & 6th October

Travel & Volunteering Fair- 27th October

Employer presentations

Information sessions

Job hunting sessions

PG sessions

Postgraduate Fair - 18th November

Virtual Careers in Asia Fair - 25th - 29th October

Also check Informatics website

Some 2010 events!

Informatics Careers Seminars:

Graduate Applications Tues 28th Sept 1.10pm AT LT1

Successful Interviews Thurs 14th Oct 1.10pm AT LT1

School Careers Drop-in sessions:

Thurs 28th Oct 1pm - 2pm AT 4.14

Tues 9th Nov 1pm - 2pm AT 4.14

Also check Informatics website

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