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Which College to choose for MSc [Computer Science] ?

By ajitprataps ·
Hi everybody,
I am a student from India. I will complete my Bachelors degree in Computer science in July 2009. I currently have 74% aggregate marks over 7 Semesters with overall 96% score in the 7 University Practical exams so far. I possess detailed knowledge of C, C++, JAVA, Oracle, Pascal Programming, SQL, Visual Basic, Networking, .NET and MS Office

I had applied for a 1yr. MSc in Computer Science & Applications course [Oct. 2009-Oct. 2010] to the University of Warwick & also applied for 1yr. MSc courses to Univ. of York, Durham & Exeter in Oct. 2008.

I have already cleared my IELTS exam with a band score of 8.5 . Since Jan., I have had "Unconditional Acceptance" Offers from Durham, Warwick & York.

Which one should I choose ? Advice from UK-based people would be really helpful as it would give me the insight on which University is the best among these 4 [exeter is still processing my application !] for setting myself up for a good career in the avenue of Technology Consulting in UK ? The only downside is that I have no prior work experience as I am only 20 yrs. old right now & had joined the Bachelors degree when I was just 16 ?

Which among these 4 Universities have the best Employability rate in UK & oversees [maybe USA] ? What is the average starting Salary of a Technology Consultant ? What is the generalized Salary graph in this career after 2,4 or 6 yrs. of experience ?

Please help me out as I have to reply to the Universities within 2 weeks now !

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I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Which College to choose f ...

You've already hit the nail on the head - Consultants require EXPERIENCE out in the real world.

I've never seen a 'starting salary' for any Consultancy Jobs - if you are going to be a good consultant you have to have experienced most of the problems that others will be coming to you to find answers for.

Unless Users are wanting to know how to get a "74% aggregate marks over 7 Semesters with overall 96% score in the 7 University Practical exams" ~ you ain't qualified as a Consultant.

Coming out of University (BSc or MSc) ALL you have proven is that you are of above average intelligence and can regurgitate information that was previously pushed in. You'll find you have to swallow medium-to-large quantities of Humble Pie and start at the bottom like everyone else did.

Your most likely avenue of employment would be to specialise in something that someone else considers you qualified in, or to hold a position in the Support area of the computer business. You may well enter the industry replete with your MSc and find that you have a Boss that 'only' has a BSc or may not even have a degree at all.

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Thank You for the "really helpful" reply...

by ajitprataps In reply to I wouldn't hold my breath ...

With due respect Sir,
All I was enquiring with great humility [a quality that Old Mycroft seemes to lack in his self-obsessed & insignificant world], which University is better & what is the general AVERAGE SALARY for a Technology Consultant fresh out of 1 of England's Top Universities as I have no idea about the general lifestyle in U.K.

All I know is the general salary of post-grad. IT employee & it's about 10k GBP yearly [INR 62500 per month].

Please , could anyone just outline the basic Job Hierarchy [as in Post after Post] for Technology Consultants over a 15-20 yr. Career & the basic Salary for an above Average employee near London for every such job.

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No way you'd ever be paid Ten Million GBP a year ...(Edited)

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Thank You for the "really ...

After all 10000k = 10,000,000 = Ten Million.

I wouldn't expect someone "fresh out of 1 of England's Top Universities" to ever make that mistake.

But I fear you are not understanding my point to you. There is NO WAY that you can walk out of University and simply walk into a Consultant's position - that's not the way it works.

Also, if you are expecting any TR peer to lay out your Career Jobs for the next 20 years, you are blinkered in the extreme.

As I previously posted, all you have proved to date is that you can pass exams. There is yet to be any evidence as to whether you can interact with other professionals, whether you can work to deadlines, whether you can stand the pressures associated with a job that other workers rely upon you to carry out and carry out expediently.

Believe me when I tell you - the very first day that you turn up for work, after having graduated with your MSc from "1 of England's Top Universities" - you will come down to earth with an almighty bump.

The workplace is an entirely different environment to one in which you enjoy commonality with other students. In the workplace it is basically 'dog eat dog' and you will be required to mark your own territory by establishing yourself as worth employing.


No-one can possibly foresee how and where that progress will occur. Only you will be able to 'see' how you have done, in about 20 years when you look back. :)

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Thank you

by ajitprataps In reply to No way you'd ever be paid ...

According to you and I want your concrete perspective on this, is a Consultant's career a gamble or is it generally rewarding enough ? also, as you have a lot of experience in this area, what basic Salary should I strive to attain after my MSc when :- 1)I start out in a junior position in an above-average IT firm, 2)after 3-4yrs. , 3)eventually after 10-15 yrs.

Sir, you have been a great mentor-***-guide to me in these posts so far & I would like to set realistic, attainable standards for myself & I really need your guidance for that to happen.

Is the starting salary around 30-35k GBP in good companies [such as those listed below as per Warwick & Durham Universities' Careers Service webpages] as some job sites list.

The following firms have hired Warwick & Durham postgrads as Technical/IT Consultants in the past 3-4yrs. :-

3M (*), Accenture, Aerosystems, International Alan Wood and Partners,
Allen and Heath, Bank of America, BP, BT (*), Capgemini (*), Data Connection (*), Detica, Logica PLC, DisplayLink (UK) Ltd. (*), Ebac Limited, Google U.K, Hewlett Packard(*), HSBC(*), IBM (*), Keith Borer Consultants(*), Leighton (*), Lockheed Martin, Ninth Wave, Scott Logic, Shell, Test House (Cambridge), Virtual Playground
Waterstons (*), LogicaCMG, SAS Consulting,
Hitachi Consulting, Deloitte, EDS, Gartner.

These firms have been giving Direct Placements to Warwick MSc students since 2004.

So, are these firms good [based on their reputation] to work in [as per your perception] & do they pay adequately ?

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Salary has never been my main guiding light ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Thank you

Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed earning above-average salaries and very much enjoyed the trappings and lifestyle that came from those salaries. BUT I've also taken salary cuts in order to attain the job that I wanted.

On one occasion THAT JOB was geographically relocated (something that I needed to do for personal reasons and was grateful to achieve with relative ease). On another occasion my then current job had deteriorated into a mishmash of ill-tempered newly-appointed colleagues, bad management both above AND below me, and a Company that was slowly but surely heading straight down the toilet - the writing was most definitely on the wall.

In this particular instance it amazed me how stupid some of my co-workers were, in the face of an impending infrastructure collapse. Each one of them was so wrapped up in their present JOB TITLE, their present SALARY, their present false IDENTITY, that they seemed incapable of hunting down any other job positions because it would be something new, something different, they basically had become so entrenched in what they did for a living that it had become a way of life, almost like breathing itself.

Most of these entrenched workers had begun with the self-same attitude as I read in your posts. Their mistake was that they had set out a plan of work, a road-map of where they 'intended' to go and where they 'should be' at any given moment on their path to stardom. ANYTHING that deviated from this supposedly well thought out plan, was alien to them and had to be avoided at all costs, otherwise they would lose sight of where they were going to be 10 years further down the road.

THAT was and still is, all BULLSH!T.

I can detect more than a modicum of this false belief in what you have posted in this thread unfortunately. It has always been a proud boast of Colleges and Universities to **** their own trumpets within the walls of academia, declaring to all the folk they 'think' are interested, as to which seat of learning produces the most successful graduates and the placements they seem to have achieved.

As a student that is due to qualify in the Summer of 2009, you should have already attempted to think like a Non-Student, becoming aware of economic and social factors around you in the real world, but because you are so set on your predetermined Road To Success which now has a further year of mileage to run for the completion of an MSc somewhere on this map, you evidently are totally unaware of the current Credit Crunch and its ramifications across the world.

"The following firms have hired Warwick & Durham postgrads as Technical/IT Consultants in the past 3-4yrs. :- .... Blah, Blah, Blah"

Quite a few of the companies you have cited in your Trumpet of Academia List, have already begun laying workers off in their droves, due to the lack of future orders within their specialised fields.

British companies, principally in the Banking and Legal sectors, but also across the board of British industry, have slashed their graduate intakes for the coming years because of the economic downturn. This is something that you appear blissfully unaware of, continuing to draw comparisons with what these companies have done SINCE 2004, not what they will be doing in 2009/2010.

By the time you qualify with your MSc in 2010, some of the companies that you cite, may well have followed their competitors and gone to the wall.

Whatever students may have done in the past, laying out their careers and paths to glorious success in a foolhardy predetermined way, ANY chance of that working in the present economic climate is gone.

You may just be glad to find a job.

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My reply is a bit late but...

by james.jrg In reply to Which College to choose f ...

1. League tables of universities are produced by various UK newspapers. Lots of people argue against them, but it's often all you have, and anyway employers often refer to them. Some of these league tables are split by subject - see e.g. http://browse.guardian.co.uk/education/2006?SearchBySubject=&FirstRow=&SortOrderDirection=&SortOrderColumn=&Subject=Computer+sciences+and+IT&Institution=

2. Mycroft somewhat exaggerates the case as to the benefit of experience vs qualifications - I guess he has a chip on his shoulder. He's right that someone with several years experience will be earning more than you however lacking they are in fancy degrees.

But standard graduate starting salaries from big employers are generally 25k-30k. Basic starting salaries from IBM, IPL and BA are publicised as being at least 25k, and the big consultancy firms pay a bit more than that. Often these positions expect a little commercial experience, but it's not that hard to put up with doing a more junior role for a year first.

I've heard of particularly amazing candidates (Oxbridge uber geeks) being offered 30k+ without any experience at all.

I can't name any names, but the experience of people I know with comp sci degrees from good universities in the UK (and I know a fair few), merged with my own experience, is generally something like:


Year 1: Do some junior job to get some commercial experience, at maybe 20k-24k

Year 2: Get a job with a big employer, 25-30k

Year 3 and onwards: Salaries continue increasing by several thousand each year, eventually levelling off around 40-50k.

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With most geeks jacket's already on a shaky nail ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to My reply is a bit late bu ...

Odd that you forgot to tell him that.

Perhaps he'll figure it out for himself when he wades through the detritus in the Guardian Tables.

ps Tables from 2006 are hardly just cause upon which to base career decisions in the present economic climate.

pps As for my having a chip on my shoulder, au contraire - I have my degree and my post grad diploma, so the only chips on my shoulders have legs.

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No jobs left in the UK

by Bizzo In reply to Which College to choose f ...

I'd advise getting experience rather than an MSc. Generally to be a good consultant (in my opinion), you'll need good all-round experience in a lot of things, and have excellent knowledge and experience in your field of expertise.

With the way the IT jobs are at the moment in the UK, coming straight out of University with that kind of "know-it-all" attitude will get you nowhere.

If you want a UK job, then you'd be better of going to India, after all, that's where all the UK jobs are.

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