Every generation sees its parents pushing it to follow a handful of career paths that “make the most money.” For some generations it was the standard: doctor or lawyer. Other generations’ parents added nurse and pharmacist to the list. The latest generations have had parents add computer science to the list. It begs the question, then, if hundreds of thousands of kids are pushed to become computer scientists, just how difficult will it be to find a job?
According to Network World, a computer science degree held a tremendous amount of weight just 15 years ago. Today, not so much. Computer scientists are becoming a dime a dozen and, without hard work and additional blurbs on a resume, there isn’t much chance of beating the competition when it comes to finding a job. Here’s how to make yourself stand out from the crowd, according to experts in the field.
1.Get to Know You
Start searching for your soul before you start searching for a job. Know what you want out of your career. Would you prefer to work solo or do you shine as part of a team? Do you want to design software or keep a company’s computers running? When you know what you want to do with your life, you have a better chance of succeeding in college and graduating with a degree.
The average college student attends job fairs when he is a senior and graduation is looming. Don’t be average. Start attending job fairs during your freshman year. When you get to know employers early, you build your career network. These fairs also give you an idea of what jobs are out there and what you may like to do. Although the field is expected to grow through 2020, some jobs are outsourced overseas. Don’t find this out when it is too late to change your path.
3.Learn the Hot Skills
Don’t rely on your university to teach you all of the skills you need to make yourself marketable. Stay abreast of the newest trends in computer science and, if necessary, teach yourself. As technology changes, so does the list of things employers want you to know. What you learn your freshman and sophomore year may be passé by the time you graduate. Stay on top of system integration, mobile languages, Java, and business intelligence.
Whether your school requires it or not, find an intern position and find it quickly. Because you’ll be competing with thousands of people for a position, experience will put you ahead of the game. Don’t relegate yourself to a position in the career that you think you want. Take any internship that comes along and fits with your schedule. Look at interning as a way to not only get your foot in the door with a company, but experience to add to your resume.
5.Stick With It
The average computer science student graduates in six years, not four. An above average number of students drop out of programming and engineering courses finding them too difficult. These same students pick the classes up later and find success. Resist the urge to drop out of any courses. If you need help, get a tutor or find someone in the field to bounce ideas off of. Not only will sticking with it save you time, but it will save you money.
If you want to find a job in the tech field, you’ve got to make yourself a stand out. Competing with anyone for the same job means that you have to have an edge. Follow these tips to climb over the heads of the crowd.