Preparing Computer Science students for a bright future
(28 May 2021)
Computer Science students at Durham have a lot to celebrate as we head towards the new academic year, with a range of new and exciting opportunities available to help set them up for success after graduation. From a brand new building with cutting edge facilities to innovative internships and high profile placement opportunities, the future is bright for those with their sights set on a career in the computer science and technology sectors.
£42 million facilities
The University has invested £42 million into a brand new building for the Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science departments, featuring state of the art facilities including the Hazan Venture lab, specialist working areas and a range of teaching and learning facilities. The new building will facilitate closer working between the departments as well as enabling a significant growth in the number of students, researchers and support staff in these areas. It is an exciting new development and one which places Durham at the leading edge of tech and innovation.
Virtual internships creating valuable opportunities
Throughout the pandemic, students and staff have had to adapt quickly to an ever changing work experience landscape. While many in person internships and placements had to be cancelled due to government restrictions, many students have been able to continue with valuable work experience opportunities in a virtual way, and have found the experience incredibly rewarding.
Fourth Year Computer Science student Molly Hayward, began her 12 week remote summer internship with online retail giant Amazon last summer, working on an exciting data storage service project. “I was initially apprehensive when I found out that my internship would be completely virtual and that I would not get the chance to work in one of their offices. However, I had an amazing internship experience and I felt immersed in Amazon’s culture from day one, regardless of the fact that I was working from home. On my first day, I was provided with a virtual onboarding plan which included detailed training videos and introductory calls with the wider team. I felt really supported throughout”.
Molly’s thoughts are echoed by fellow Computer Science student Ollie Hines, who joined Morgan Stanley as a Summer Analyst last summer, working remotely as part of the technology division for a number of weeks. “Onboarding onto the internship remotely from home wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected! The team reached out to me before my start date and we had lots of virtual conversations prior to the internship beginning, which really made me feel comfortable and at ease as I started the programme”.
The adaptability of both students and staff has been impressive and has resulted in valuable experiences for students, as well as lots of opportunities to make connections and build networks.
Strong links with employers
Durham has extremely strong links with employers in the industry and has helped to build the relationships between students and employers through workshops, fairs, talks and special events.
In 2020, the first ‘Fintech Fortnight’ was held, a series of employer-led virtual events, which shone a light on the wide range of technical internships, work experience opportunities and career paths available to students across the Fintech industry. 10 virtual events took place with local and global companies such as Oracle, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Sage and Atom Bank, giving students an opportunity to meet and network with a wide range of employers, ask questions and learn more about career opportunities in the sector.
Expert advice and guidance
The Careers and Employability Service offers free, expert advice to students and graduates to support their career prospects. Offering everything from skills workshops and training, to CV support and interview guidance, there is a wide range of support available to enable Durham graduates to go on to successful employment after graduation.
National and international reputation
Unsurprisingly, Computer Science at Durham was recently named joint no.1 in the UK for Graduate Prospects in The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. Additionally, the University is ranked in the World Top 100 for employer reputation (QS World University rankings 2021), and 89% of 2017/18 EU undergraduate leavers were in work and/or further study 15 months after graduating (Graduate Outcomes data). Following a challenging year, it’s great to see the adaptability and resilience of our students shining through and resulting in them achieving extraordinary success in their chosen careers.