Updating Results

What can I do with my IT and computer science degree?

Ian Cooper

Career Counsellor
To help give you a clearer sense of where you might start looking for your own graduate job, we’ll take you through each of the five most popular sectors for computer science grads.

If you’re studying for a degree in IT and computer science (or have recently graduated), congratulations! You’ve got a useful, in-demand skill set and a clear pathway to employment in the tech sector, which despite its ups and downs remains the lynchpin of the modern economy.

However, working in tech is not your only choice. If you want to branch out and take your career in a different direction, you’ll find open doors elsewhere — including in some areas you may not expect.

In other words, a computer science degree can give you options.

You don’t have to just take us at our word here, either. Our parent company, Prosple, surveyed over 800 recent grads with degrees in IT and computer science to find out where, exactly, they are working in their first graduate jobs. 

We found the results illuminating and think you will too.

While roughly 34 per cent of IT grads work in the tech sector, the remaining 66 per cent are split between areas like banking, industrial research and development, and even accounting. In any of those fields, both your particular knowledge of how computer systems, networks, or software works and your more general ability to solve problems using reason and logic will serve you well — and help you climb the corporate ladder, should you so desire. 

To help give you a clearer sense of where you might start looking for your own graduate job, we’ll take you through each of the five most popular sectors for computer science grads. We’ll also suggest potential roles, share average salaries, and highlight employers in each field from our Top 100 list so you can see who you may wish to apply to work for.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What are the top 5 sectors for Australian IT and computer science grads?

IT grads go on to work in a diverse array of sectors. 

Based on our Prosple survey, here are the most common. This includes the top five, which we’ll go on to explore in greater detail:

Top employment sectors for graduates with degrees in IT and computer science. Source: Prosple survey of over 800 recent IT and computer science grads from Australian universities.

  1. Technology — 34 per cent
  2. Banking and financial services — 13 per cent
  3. R&D and manufacturing — 12 per cent
  4. Accounting and advisory — 10 per cent
  5. Government and public service — 9 per cent

Together, these top five sectors employ 78 per cent of recent computer science grads. We’ll take each in order.

1. Technology

No shocker here. A plurality of IT grads goes on to work in… the tech industry.

It goes without saying that tech is one of the most powerful forces in our society today. For better or worse, the sector influences virtually every aspect of modern life. 

Take a job within tech and you’ll be directly contributing to that influence, even if only as a drop in the bucket.

With your degree, you’ll be well-positioned to tackle a range of roles. If you enjoy software or app design, you’ll be able to work in product development as a coder or UX/UI designer, helping create new business or consumer-facing programs that directly contribute to your firm’s bottom line. Similarly, you could move into a web developer job — or even work freelance in that same role.

However, you can also take on a position that supports the structure of your organization. You could join the IT team and help ensure the smooth integration of technology with business operations or use the logical, systematic thinking you developed in school to become a project manager.

The average starting graduate salary in tech is $65,596. However, keep in mind that this is an average across all roles. If you’re able to score a higher-value job, your compensation may go up considerably.

Top tech employers for IT and computer science grads

Check out these four highly-ranked employers:

Plus, browse open positions in the tech industry that are specifically hiring fresh grads with computer science and IT degrees.

2. Banking and financial services

Modern banking and finance revolve around tech. Everything from your online banking portal to the proprietary trading algorithms that power much of the investing world is the product of software design — and skilled computer science experts are right in the middle of it all.

Working in banking, you can slide right into an in-house IT or software development role. This would be similar to what you’d be doing working for a tech firm, just with a different focus. 

However, if you’re especially talented, hardworking, ambitious, and lucky, you could also pursue a career in trading or investment banking. Those latter jobs increasingly demand the ability to work with vast amounts of data in order to make decisions — so if you’re comfortable doing that, you may have a leg up over even business grads competing for the same openings.

Banking sector starting salaries average just $59,420. Again, though, we should note that this covers a vast range of jobs. If you’re looking to maximize your compensation, you’ll set yourself up to earn a lot more should you be able to land a more investing-focused opportunity.

Top banking and finance employers for IT and computer science grads

Check out these four top-ranked firms:

Then browse these active banking listings that are specifically open to new IT and computer science grads.

3. R&D and manufacturing

If you like the idea of working in product development or design but don’t want to limit yourself to tech, consider a career in R&D and manufacturing. Here, depending on where you end up, you could find yourself helping to create anything from mass-market consumer goods to medical devices to jet engines.

Given that so much of contemporary product design relies on software, your skills will be in demand for developer roles. This would move beyond standard consumer-facing app creation into things like helping to build or maintain simulators used for products like cars, planes, or motorcycles or working on modelling programs that help design next-generation pharmaceuticals 

You’d also be a good fit for more general graduate programs, where your systematic thinking would come in handy in tackling operational or logistical challenges across a variety of departments. 

Entry-level jobs in R&D pay better than those in many other sectors. You could expect to earn an average of $67,867, based on our survey data.

Top R&D and manufacturing employers for IT and computer science grads

From defence heavyweights to healthcare, check out these top R&D and manufacturing employers:

Then see live positions in the sector that are actively hiring IT and computer science grads!

4. Accounting and advisory

Accounting & advisory is no longer the sleepy backwater it once was. A big part of working for a modern-day advisory firm is helping to create complex financial models to help guide clients in their decision-making process — and that task requires people who know their way around coding and data.

As an advisory graduate hire with an IT background, you’d be able to jump right into an IT support role, of course. But you’d also be a good fit for a graduate program in data analysis, say, or risk management, where you would use your experience working with data to help put together all the pieces of the puzzle for client firms who are looking to you and your team to provide additional insight on how to address problems they don’t want to tackle exclusively in-house.

Plus, working in advisory, you’ll gain expertise in understanding how businesses operate. This will give you valuable experience as you move forward in your career and open doors that could lead to executive opportunities down the road.

Don’t expect to cash in (right away, at least), though. Grads working in advisory earn an average of just $59,420 — on the low end for graduate jobs. The payoff comes later: after you’ve learned the ropes.

Top accounting and advisory employers for IT and computer science grads

Take a look at these highly-regarded firms:

Then browse open accounting positions that are specifically recruiting IT and computer science grads!

5. Government and public service

Want to take your career in a different direction and get to work serving your country? Your IT and computer science background will help.

As a computer science grad, you’ll find the doors of public service are wide open. This includes graduate programs in data analysis, information technology, and economic development, as well as more unusual fields like intelligence and cybersecurity — all of which are eager to hire grads with your qualifications.

In any of these areas, your background will give you the chance to contribute through not just your technical abilities but your honed sense of problem-solving. Whether you’re helping harden IT systems against DDOS attacks from overseas or working with the ABS to evaluate giant chunks of data, you’ll be making a contribution to the well-being of your community — and laying the foundations for a long-term career.

Government work pays grads a middle-of-the-pack salary, with average compensation starting at $65,859. However, you won’t have the same opportunities for upward mobility as your friends in the private sector — the trade-off for having greater job security, and likely a better work-life balance.

Top government employers for IT and computer science grads

These departments have an especially good reputation with grads we’ve surveyed:

See who’s hiring IT and computer science grads for government jobs!

Don’t Hesitate to Look Around

Just because you’ve studied computer science doesn’t mean you have to go work for Google or Canva. We highly recommend either, but we also want you to know that you have a wide world of opportunities waiting for you.

Take a look at sectors you may not have considered at first glance. Everybody, everywhere needs people who know how to code, integrate tech into how organizations function, and solve problems in a systematic, logical way. 

If nothing catches your fancy, that’s okay too. Just dive in and take what comes along. You’ll either find something you like doing, or you won’t — and either way, you’ll have greater clarity about where you do want to go in your career.

Good luck with your search!

Who’s looking for IT and computer science grads?

Find out by searching open jobs just for computer science graduates on Prosple Australia! You’ll enjoy:

  • Job listings only for fresh grads and students
  • Unlimited free applications
  • Fresh opportunities posted daily
  • Tailored searches that highlight your chosen sector and qualifications

See what jobs are open right now!