Justine Clan 2016-08-29 16:00:00
According to the research by Burning Glass, a labour market analytics and consulting firm, students majoring in STEM courses (science, tech, engineering, and math), the future is bright. STEM grads have access to twice as many jobs as those in other areas, and the pay is better, too. If you’re still in college, or fresh out of college and looking for a position in a technology career, there are plenty of things you can do to position yourself above other applicants.
Know your strengths. See what you’re good at and choose early on if you ant to specialize or be more of a generalist. If you want to end up in management, go the generalist route. You can also express your interest in management during an interview. No matter your interests, learn about your options and career paths available and see which ones are best-suited to your talents and interests.
Learn everything you possibly can about the company and the position for which you are applying. Find out about the company before you even apply, and definitely before you go of ran interview. In your cover letter or interview, talk about some of the things the company is doing and how it interests you and/or how they would benefit from your skills. Show them you’re well-versed about their company; this shows you care and put some time and thought into preparing.
Learn the right technical skills. Concentrate on current and marketable skills like programming in PhP, Python, Java, C, and Ruby. Understand databases based on different platforms like NoSQL and SQL. If you have a combination of software development skills and graphical user design, you will be more desirable to employers. It may also be advantageous to read the case studies and e-books offered by various IT businesses to understand the ins and outs of the industry.
Hone your non-technical skills. Being great at your area won’t help if you have a terrible personality and don’t know how to work with others. Work on your interpersonal skills: leadership, effective communication, teamwork, negotiation, and problem solving. These make you a well-rounded prospect and more employable. Employers will know that if you’re coming out of college you might not have a lot of experience, so they look for attitude and intellect.
Get practical experience in your area of discipline. One of the best ways to do this is with an internship. These will help you develop and demonstrate the skills employers want, and can work as a stepping stone to a full-time job. Another way to gain experience is through community service projects. Look for organizations that need help creating an app, designing a web page, or setting up a network, and offer to help.
Showcase your knowledge and work. Show a sample of your work, from a class project or internship in the form of a YouTube video, blog post, or slideshow. Show how it would be relevant to the position you want. If you maintain a YouTube channel or blog post, even better. Recruiters can get to know you and see the things you have done.
Also, it is important to become part of a tech community or find a mentor. People in your network can be faculty members, professionals in your area of discipline, and classmates. Go to meetings held by professional organizations. Go to industry events and network some more. Connect to people on LinkedIn and hold on to their email addresses. You never know how these connections can work for you in the future. A mentor can be an advisor, professor, or other student with experience.