Engineering and Computer Science

There are many opportunities for Software Engineering and Computer Science graduates in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, AI or mechatronics.

As a Software Engineering and Computer Science graduate, you will learn the building blocks of software development. You will be able to write code, design and use complex algorithms and create software models, user interfaces and web services. You will have also learned to work in teams and apply industry-standard project tools and practices.

You can study Computer Science within a three-year Bachelor of Science degree and as well as learning the fundamentals of programming and algorithms, you can choose to specialise in artificial intelligence or cybersecurity. You can also study an Electronic and Computer SystemsComputer Graphics or Renewable Energy Systems major in the Bachelor of Science.

The other study pathway is a four-year Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree. You can major in Software Engineering, Cybersecurity Engineering, and Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

If you are a Software Engineering graduate, you will have learned to develop and maintain software infrastructures and apply the practices used in industry. You can envision system architectures, produce system specifications, and plan development projects. Within the Software Engineering major you can choose to specialise in Networked Applications or in Artificial Intelligence.

Cybersecurity Engineering graduates have the practical, technical and theoretical knowledge needed to protect computers, data, programs and networks from attack and unauthorized access.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduates will have studied core theories in Maths, Physics and Computer Science plus a specialist area such as systems and signals or robotics and mechatronics.

Roles and career pathways

Engineering and Computer Science graduates have knowledge, theory and practical skills including industry experience from their studies. With further experience and skill development they progress into more senior roles. They may start out with intern, junior or graduate in their job title and be a graduate developer, systems engineer, software engineer, technician, developer, test analyst or business analyst. They may work in a graduate programme or summer internship programme in a wide range of organisations. Areas of specialisation include:

Security intelligence and cybersecurity

Computer Science graduates who also focused on cybersecurity, and Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering graduates who focussed on systems engineering and network engineering may go into the technical graduate roles in New Zealand’s intelligence community or cybersecurity firms.

Artificial intelligence and data science

Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science graduates complete courses such as natural language processing, artificial intelligence, data compression and machine learning. They work with the technologies used in smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and develop and implement systems used in advanced manufacturing, food production, healthcare, and surveillance and security.

Robotics, mechatronics and systems engineering

Mechatronics, electronic and software engineering graduates work as network engineers, broadband and radio developers in specialist fields such as smart technology, ICT engineering, electronics and cybersecurity. They can also progress to roles such as embedded systems engineer, recovery system engineer, a Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) Engineer for organisations such as Rocketlab. A postgraduate qualification in Engineering or Mathematics could also lead to possibilities such as NASA International Internship Programme in NASA, California.

Education

Postgraduate study, normally a PhD, can lead to research and teaching at tertiary level. Students completing postgraduate qualifications can often tutor or work as session assistants, gaining experience and understanding in teaching and learning.

Completing a postgraduate qualification in secondary teaching may lead to roles teaching Computer Science, Maths and other sciences. See Teaching and check with the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Education for entry requirements.

Where Software Engineering and Computer Science graduates work

Software Engineering and Computer Science graduates work in all sectors, including film, media and entertainment, education, quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, nanotechnology, sustainable energy systems, smart materials, wearable technology, immersive realities, medicine and health care, food production, the built environment, travel and space exploration, and the creative arts.

The skills of Software and Computer Science graduates are highly valued with all kinds of employers from private enterprises and government agencies to not-for-profits. Software computing graduates work in technical roles helping organisations deliver services and products to their customers or developing new business for their own or others’ entrepreneurial projects.

Recent Software and Computer Science graduates work in organisations such as:

Build relevant skills and experience

Bachelor of Engineering students complete 800 hours of industry experience as a course requirement to meet the requirements of Engineering NZ. Many Engineering students may even begin working part-time before completing their degrees and secure a graduate job offer as a direct result of their work experience and networks.

While many employers in the sector recruit students directly for their own internships, there are also large, established programmes. Victoria University of Wellington Summer Research Programme is available in all faculties and students work alongside an academic on a research project.

The Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Internships allow employers to recruit students to work within their business on research or development projects. Summer of Tech matches employers in need of talent with students seeking summer or part-time work.

Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience.

Make career connections

Engineering and Computer Science students have access to mentoring, employer-led workshops, boot-camps, and technical competitions that provide opportunities to connect with employers and prepare for different workplaces. They can also engage with industry leaders in national events such as Techweek.

The Engineering Club offers opportunities to build networks and people skills through gaming marathons, tech-related competitions, and exam tutorials.

VUW Women in Tech run events and opportunities for networking for STEM students across the University.

The Alumni as Mentors programme for final-year students also enhances your connections and employability in a range of fields while studying.

IT Professionals of New Zealand offers student membership, with opportunities for networking, making professional contacts and increasing your employability.