How we work with industry to make our graduates more employable

Here in the Department of Computer Science at York, we want to give our graduates the best chance of gaining employment when they graduate. We do this in a number of ways, not least through our principled teaching and mix of theory and practice on the course, which means our graduates can pick up any languages or aspect of computer science when in the workplace. We also work closely with industry, to ensure that what we teach is relevant to today's workplace, and to give students the chance to work on real-world problems.

These initiatives with industry have led to us being in the top ten of all league tables for our employability statistics - typically 95% of students gain employment or go on to further study within six months of graduation.

Teaching industry-led projects

We work with a number of organisations to provide real-world problems from industry for undergraduate group and solo projects. Solutions to these real-world problems are often accepted by the organisation involved, and put in to practice in the real world. The experience of working with a client and with a real brief means that students gain an understanding of the workplace whilst still guided by our teaching staff.

Guest lecturers from industry

If you come to York, you'll benefit from the teaching of speakers from industry. These have included representatives from IBM, consultants, real-time systems experts and many others, to help give our students a picture of what is going on in the world of work, and how it relates to their Computer Science teaching.

Industrial placements

Those students who choose to take a year in industry often find that they get better grades when they come back to study, earn money putting their learning into practice, and often secure a job before graduation. The process is fully supported by our dedicated Industrial Placements Coordinator, who helps students secure a placement and visits them regularly whilst there. Find out more about the year in industry.

Internships

We offer a number of internship opportunities to our students throughout their time on the course. Taking an internship enhances your job prospects and gives you a chance to learn new skills as well as putting into practice what you have learnt in your degree in the workplace.

Here's what an employer had to say about taking one of our students on an internship:

"The Department of Computer Science assisted me in finding a very capable undergraduate who excelled in the project I assigned. They forwarded me a list of candidates who applied and have shown care in their compatibility with the industrial sponsor.  Our student is tasked with extending our automation testing suite, migrating this away from a “code heavy” approach to leverage the UI of the tool we use to record the use cases of our software. 
 
I would certainly recommend a 12 week Internship from the University of York to others running technology companies.” Daniel Woolfson, Mitrefinch

Learning the skills needed to be a successful computer scientist

We encourage our students to develop the skills necessary to increase their employability prospects, and these include offering CV and interview coaching, help with presentation style and an exploration of the professional issues in Computer Science. York also offers a number of extra-curricular activities, including volunteering, clubs and societies and the opportunity to learn a new language (free of charge for first year students). All of these will boost CVs, and give employers more a reason to select our graduates for interview.

Our Industrial Advisory Board

Our Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) meets regularly with the Department, to advise us on our teaching of undergraduate courses. They include representatives from major companies within the industries that value Computer Science graduates. These include BAE Systems, ETAS, IBM, Philips Research, Rolls-Royce and Thales Underwater Systems. Many of these organisations also take students on industrial placements.

The purpose of the Board is to update the Department on any advances or demands for skills within industry, as well as to make sure that what we are teaching is what is required by industry.