I Want to Work in IT – but I don't have a computing degree!


This is not a problem: there are many one-year “conversion courses” designed to give graduates from any degree subject an intensive grounding in programming and other IT skills. A few of these are listed below. All kinds of first degree disciplines may be combined with these skills to give you an advantage in career areas such as finance, media, library/information work and law.

Now you wear more computing power on your wrist than NASA had available for the whole Apollo project.

If you don't want to do a postgraduate course, there are a few employers who will train you on-the-job, although graduates in business, science, maths and engineering may be most in demand here. There are also opportunities within IT companies in non-technical roles such as sales, marketing and customer service.

Computing Careers Map


Are you suitable for a career in IT?

To test your suitability for a technical role in computing first try our computer programming aptitude test www.kent.ac.uk/careers/tests/computer-test.htm which will give you some idea of whether you might have the aptitude for a career in IT. Other tests which will check your logical and analytical thinking abilities are given below.

You could try teach yourself some Python, Java or JavaScript if you haven't done any programming: it would give you a good idea of your suitability for IT roles and make the first months of an MSc course or IT job much easier.

The Bank of England have a number of IT graduate roles where you don’t necessarily have to have done a computer science degree. In fact they find that those that have done music or geography subjects have the right kind of brain/logic to do programming.

Python (named after Monty!) www.python.org is a modern language which is free and very easy to learn. YouTube was written in Python. You can write your first "Hello World" program in five minutes(!).

Another easy language to learn is JavaScript. A good place to start learning JavaScript is at www.w3schools.com/JS/js_intro.asp.

Java is a harder but more powerful language to learn and again, free. The easiest way to start learning Java is via the BlueJ learning environment which you can download for free www.bluej.org

Another good place for beginners is code.org, which has tutorials and exercises covering the basics, from drag-and-drop programming with the beginners language Blockly to Python, Ruby and Javascript. Codecademy is more advanced and has interactive tutorials for HTML, PHP, Python, Ruby and Javascript.

Also see www.computerscienceonline.org/cs-programs-before-college for some useful resources


Conversion Courses

There are many courses in IT designed for graduates in other subjects: those listed below are a selection, mostly in the south of England , that may be of interest to Kent graduates. This list does not imply any recommendation of these courses. Other courses can be found by searching the postgraduate databases on Prospects www.prospects.ac.uk/links/PGDbase or Hobsons www.postgrad.hobsons.com


Teaching There are a number of “subject knowledge booster courses” and conversion courses for graduates interested in teaching a “shortage subject” (including ICT) but who do not have a relevant degree. See our teaching page

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Debbie, the 11-year-old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked her to come over. Debbie clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As she was walking away, I called after her, "So, what was wrong?"

She replied, "It was an ID- ten -T - error."

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again." Debbie grinned.... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"

"No," I replied.

"Write it down," she said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

So I wrote it down: I D 1 0 T

Useful websites



Last fully updated 2016