Three alternate Career options for Computer Science graduates

I keep getting this question from fresh engineering graduates, especially those from Computer Science that – “I’m not interested in core software development job. What should I do”.

Few years ago I didn’t have answer to that question. But, now I can give you 3-4 options which doesn’t involve software development but may or may not include coding, depending on type of job.

No, I’m not talking about Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence. You would already know about it and may have done few courses on it.

Let’s Start.

Web Analytics

Web analytics involves analysing the website data. I was part of a large media corporation which had 100s of website, apps, social media profiles and youtube channels. We were supposed collect the data at regular intervals like monthly, weekly, daily and analyse them and provide insights on them.

For example, from one of your monthly report on a website you notice that, number of users visiting your website has gone down. So, you need to investigate why it has gone down. You’ll probably check different reports that will help you get answer to this.

You’ll first check if the users have gone down from any particular device. You’ll then check different traffic sources and see if any particular channel is responsible. Then there are other reports like network, operating system, landing pages, site sections etc. By analysing through different reports you’ll come up with reasons for drop in users. This is just an example. There are many such use cases where you need to go deep into one particular problem. But you’ll be analysing overall traffic to the website.

Tools You need : Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint Skills.

How can I use my coding skills ?

Well, it is not necessary to have coding skills to be a web Analyst. However if you have coding skills you can always differentiate yourself. For example, each analysis requires you to go to some tool and pull some data which is time consuming. If you know coding, you can automate the process of data pulling and impress everyone. That being said, not every analyst will be a coder. So, if there’s a requirement of huge data pulling you can always take help from someone else.

Conversion Rate Optimization

This is relatively unknown field and not many are aware of it. It is not a new field but an extended version of web analytics.

As the name suggests, your focus is to increase the conversion rate of the website you’re analyzing.

What is Conversion Rate ?

You would have seen some kind of forms on websites you visit. Education website will have forms for students to fill. Real Estate website will have forms meant for Home buyers.

Every website will have some purpose. It can be either selling a product ( E-Commerce), Increasing reach (Marketing, Media, Entertainment) or Lead Generation (website with forms). Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO is more suitable for 1st and third category of websites.

So, Conversion rate is simply number of users you are able to convert in your website/app etc. If 1000 users come to the website and 100 people fill the form then Conversion rate is 10%.

What is Optimization ?

Optimization in general means increasing or decreasing some function. In the case of lead generation, we should increase number of leads or in case of e-commerce you need to increase the purchases.

What is CRO

CRO is a process where you study the behaviour of individual users on website, analyze them and optimise their path so that they will fill the form (Or convert based in website’s requirement)

In a typical website environment, path to conversion will be this:

Home Page ā†’ Listing Page ā†’ Description Page ā†’ Form fill (Conversion)

As a CRO expert you’ll study how many users are taking this path and how many are taking different path to conversion. You then analyse in which stage users are dropping off the most. For example from the data if you notice that people are not moving from Listing Page to Description page and you also deduce that a button which takes users across this path is very dull in colour. Hence users are not noticing it.

After the analysis you come with a recommendation to change the colour of the button from grey to blue so that more people will recognise it. Stakeholders or Clients will test this new idea using AB testing and if it performs well during the test, then change will be implemented on website.

Implementation Engineer

Implementation Engineer is someone who implements the stuff required for Conversion Rate Optimisation.

This is a coding job but not a pure software / app development.

For example, if a website wants to track activity of users then there has to be some tracking code that needs to be placed on website. Who’ll do this work ? An Implementation Engineer. There are two popular Analytics service provider: 1. Google Analytics and 2. Adobe Analytics. Both have their own tracking codes and nomenclature in terms of metrics that are tracked.

Once tracking code is placed on website, you’ll start getting the data about user behaviour on website. A CRO expert will study this and come up with some recommendation to change an element on website (For example, colour of a button). An Implementation engineer would make the changes to the button and would also add a small tracking code for that button. This is essential because you need to know if the change is working as expected. This means it should ultimately help in conversion. If it doesn’t, then change needs to be rolled back.

Conclusion

We have seen three alternative career options for Engineering graduates. Well, two of them don’t require coding skill while the third one requires that.

Bonus

There’s one more profile which is gaining popularity in recent years is Business Intelligence Analyst. Role involves developing dashboards using tools like Tableau. If you are a visual person or like designing stuffs, then you could consider this as a career option.

The advantage with all the jobs mentioned above is that, you could join as a fresher. However if you want to differentiate yourself, then you could research a bit and do some courses related to them.