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Geoff Watson

MSc Computer Science

The MSc in Computer Science has allowed me to change the direction of my career, from an accountant to a software developer!

Before Birkbeck: I qualified as an accountant while working in New York for a commercial real estate company. I later moved back to England and started at a non-profit in London. More recently, I’ve been working for a few businesses in the Oxford area.

After Birkbeck: I’ll be starting a new job as a software developer for Capgemini, working at HMRC Digital Delivery Centre in Worthing. I’ll be programming in Scala using the Play framework.

What made you decide to study for a qualification in computing? I wanted to broaden my technical knowledge and learn how to write software code. I knew that if I tried self-study, I wouldn’t learn as much and I wouldn’t have achieved a respected qualification.

Why did you choose Birkbeck? Birkbeck offered a teaching schedule that was delivered after normal working hours and I was working nearby. I believed the standard would be sufficiently high to attract employers after graduating

How did your qualification help you in your career? The MSc in Computer Science has allowed me to change the direction of my career, from an accountant to a software developer! This is a very exciting change and one which I’m sure will offer many interesting opportunities.

Did your time at Birkbeck help you in other ways? My colleagues, friends and family were all impressed by the commitment I made to study for an MSc while working full time. Somehow, I managed to start a family at the same time. Having many concerns going on at once helped me to focus my attention and be more productive.

Which parts of your course were particularly enjoyable or useful? After what seemed like a long stretch studying mostly theoretical subjects in the first year, I was delighted when the focus had shifted more towards the application of technology in the second year. Overall, the course seemed well constructed. I really enjoyed learning about databases, network security and Scala. The most useful for me was Scala.