So what did college do for me?
I'm in my last month of college, and I'm completely puzzled by my motivations for what I've done these past three years. (Graduated a year early) Everyone told me, do what you love and it will all fall in place. *laugh* Wish some one would have told me that was a bunch of you know what! I decided I loved art, became an art major, with a Computer Information Systems minor. Believe it or not, folks, I'm more qualified for the CIS jobs now. So, now I've decided to go job searching for CIS jobs, I'm falling more in love with that anyway. But, I'm struggling to make myself look qualified... I have no experience, and I wasn't even a major in the computer area - doesn't matter if that's the subject I know things about. Eh - so that's my rant about college, and my advice to you is to do something you can make a living off of! Any suggestions for me to make myself more marketable?
Go back and get the major in CIS. That may help your chances. If you graduated a year early, you'll be right on track by the time you finish.
Use personal experience as business experience. If you did stuff for friends, family, etc. then use them as references, if applicable.
Maybe a certification or two might be the way to get your foot in the door with a good company. BUT, from my experience, as a fresh college graduate, look at the company more so than the job. Get your foot in the door doing whatever you can do. Once you've got your foot lodged securely in the door, getting all the way through and finding the career path you want is much easier. Most companies try to hire from within before going outside.
Also, if you happen to live in the DFW area, Cisco is opening up a new HUGE office here and they are hiring like 4000 people.
I'll take two... CPU's
I agree on the college aspect. I never finished my AS in Nuclear engeneering...just seemed like I was not interested in it, and this job in IT is absolutely the best I could have ever asked for!
As for getting the door open to IT jobs...don't even pretend you know everything on the interview. Be straight up and let them know you are capable and learning. ( and have a smiling attitude )
For some reasons, the really experienced ones seem to be big dissapointments to the managers of corporate IT staff, so they actually like the person who honestly wants to learn from them.
I can tell you, if you actually go into the IT world ( as opposed to art ), you will NOT be starving at any time, lol.
Now, no rumors here , but I know how you feel.
After all, I just graduated with a CPSC degree (Well, almost... got two projects unfinished) after three years of schooling... as did my roommate. While I enjoy working for SysOpt, it's not something I see myself doing beyond the next several years. My roommate is also experiencing difficulties deciding a job (typically the harder part of the job hunting in the IT market ), but part of that is my fault: I told him not to sign the bottom line if the line above it didn't say at least $40k. While it can happen (and I know he deserves it), it's not the most common thing in the midwest US.
Basically, certifications are important and you should start working to get them, but what you need is some sort of marketable experience. You'll probably have to take a low-end, boring job for the first year or two to get the experience under your belt, unless you're lucky like I was (partially due to my hunger to push myself... reviewing hardware was that stretch I yearned for, and I found myself good at writing).
Straight out of college, I'm sure I could easily make $50k+/year in a corporate job, partially due to my versatility, self-teachability, and the fact that I have 2 years experience working with hardware for reviews and another 2 summers of IT-related work, plus all the system builds and networks I have set up (and exposed security vulnerabilities of (shhhhhh )) along the way.
BTW, do you see how I described myself above? While I don't think most people would see that as bragging or overconfident (at least I hope not ), it does show my confidence in my capabilities. As a potential job applicant, you need to be able to talk about yourself in the same manner... not giving in on the "you don't have enough experience" mantra, but playing to your strengths.
And most of all, do everything you can to learn everything you possibly can about computers. The more you know, the more valuable you are, and the more you can select exactly what you want to do and get paid a bundle to do it. That's the good life.
I like the above post. 100% accurate! Don't lie or make things up, but definitely exploit your strengths and qualities before someone else supresses them. Make sure prospective employers know that you are eager. I don't know why people seem to think that's not how they should act on an interview, but interviewers love it! Show enthusiasm for the job you're applying for, even if you have no intention of taking it. The interviewer may like you enough to keep you in mind for something else, or know someone else in the company who needs someone.
Also, on your resume, don't just list what you've done at other jobs. Instead, list what you did that sets you apart from the average employee in the position. Use good $5 phrases like "instrumental in..." or, for your experience in the IT industry, use "progressive knowedgle in..."
If you lack relevant experience in the IT industry, make up for it with personality. I've become awesome at interviewing and job hunting because I'm constantly doing it. I just started the best job I've ever had and I spent half the evening last night searching and submitting my resume to other companies.
That's my $.02
An option you may not have considered at all (and this is what I am doing) is taking that B.S. degree and applying for the United States Air Force
Officer Training School
College is not a necessity, nor is having "the right degree". You have a degree (or are about to) and that is a good start though: now you need something to prove to employers that you know your stuff.
Certifications are one way to go: check out http://www.gocertify.com and http://www.measureup.com.
Given your art interest, and computer skills, perhaps you would like to get involved in graphics design. Most web sites lack creativity in design and look just plain drab. By partnering with an HTML expert, or doing all the work yourself, you could create sample site templates as part of your portfolio. Or, design several title graphics: such as on our front page, the IEEE-1394 graphic, or (http://sysopt.earthweb.com/articles/broadband2/index.html) broadband in the SOHO graphic. The more examples you have to show a potential employer, the better.
I went the route of creating a web site. After running it for 4 years and amassing several million page views/month in traffic, it was acquired last year by EarthWeb, and I was hired as Editor-in-Chief. The proof that I could do the job was demonstrated by the site itself.
Last, don't exclude being your own boss. It has its rewards, not the least of which is sharing your profits with no one but those who you choose to hire, if anyone. Flexible hours, the ability to call your own shots, and the ability to work from home, are all benefits.
[This message has been edited by SysOpt (edited 06-26-2000).]
Thank you everyone for your outstanding replies! I'm definitely taking all the advice to heart.
I'll take two... CPU's
I beg to differ...My boss routinely turns down those who come in throwing the 'I am Mr. almighty impressive as I was instrumental and blah blah blah....' people.
Might be good if you already have a 100K/yr position with established credentials in the industry, but for starters, it get's a lot of people annoyed right away. ( That means they never call you back. )
[This message has been edited by BBA (edited 06-26-2000).]
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."
1. Don't BS anyone. BS detectors given to management types are VERY sensitive indeed. If you come off as "Ms Know-It-All", you'll see the backs of lots of doors.
2. Accurately describe the experience that you have. A good and accurate and not overly prosaic resume is your best job search tool. Put a lot of work into it as it is a 2D representation of a multidimensional YOU! If you saved the world, put it down. If you didn't, then don't go there!! Most people put more thought into what their going to wear to an interview over the content of their resume. It's **** sad.
3. Never use the phrase "I possess a fine mind" on your resume. I swear as God is my witness, I had a resume cross my desk a few years back and the young person actually had this phrase IN QUOTATIONS at the top of their resume! I'm sure they have a fine mind...I'd like to see it studied by professionals!!
4. Be confident. In his post, Joel exudes confidence. BECAUSE he feels comfortable with the subject matter. It's obvious he "walks the walk and talks the talk". Do the same. Confidence but not cockiness.
5. Do your homework. Hiring managers like to hear a candidate that has done some simple homework like going to the company's web site and reviewing what kind of widgets that they make and their present and projected financials. A simple thing like this gives you a common ground from whence to start a friendly dialog. It can really disarm an interviewer.
6. Listen and be attentive to the interviewer. Ask questions and if you don't understand something, then say that you don't. It makes the person look like a mentor and it will never, ever make you look foolish.
Very few people are "qualified" right out of school. In industry, school is looked at as a conforming process that makes the prospective job candidate more putty-like for their prospective employer. No matter what you think, you won't be expected to cure cancer or split-the-atom (in deference to BBA) for at least 9 months after you get your first job. It will take time to learn "the system". Where the supply cabinet is, where the rest rooms are and how the documentation and ECO processes work. I'm not being funny here!
Your first employer is looking for adaptability, learning potential and versatility from you. These are the aspects of your person that you should really stress. I have interviewed hundreds of "new-outs" and have hired 30+ engineer- and technician-level people right out of school. I've actually interviewed brand-new engineers with more composure and poise during the interview process than some 10+ year seasoned veterans.
I guess what I've been trying to say is that it's up to you. If you want a good job, the onus is on you. And you alone. Right now, from the information in your first post, there's no reason that you can't find a $45K+ job right now!
And for those that have seen these words before from me, EXCUSE ME, but...
GO GET 'EM.
Best wishes in your search...
My hobby is Sound.
One day I walked out of a Graduation in Westwood and into a Vacation Relief job in Network TV. I expected my B.S. in General Engineering, to find me in Aerospace when that job ended in November.
35 years later I've mixed sound on every kind of TV show there is, and developed the facilities and techniques that are used there today. My writings are published and some would call me an authority in my field.
I never understood the politics in the work place, so I'm not wealthy ~ at least not in dollars. Instead, my life has been more of a fairy tale ~ a little hard to believe.
So, I took what I liked to do, added a measure of learning about how to think, and parlayed the mix into a somewhat charmed career. I've never practiced in my degreed field, but the education has been invaluable.
Find out what is needed by the employers who have the jobs you would enjoy the most. Bring them those qualifications and a good sense of humor and humility. Wear fall-pads and expect to be knocked around. Keep your perspective and don't whine when the real world doesn't match your fantasies. Be prepared to cut your losses and run, if necessary. Sometimes the grass really is greener somewhere else, but make sure it's not through tinted glasses.
Oh, one last little thing. Tithe unto thyself, too!
You're gonna get a life! Don't miss it!
I'll take two... CPU's
gg...If you take heed to what he says here...your gonna be 'da-bomb'
Ooohh, da' bomb! Sounds great.
All ya really gotta do in this world is figure out what you wanna do, figure out the route that you need to get you there, and your there! Its not that hard once you think about it, if you set your mind to it. Get the correct education and your set.
geekgrl, I graduated my university with a communication degree and an MIS minor. Guess what I'm doing for a living? Not Communications! If you are really motivated about something... do your best to get experience first and develop your skills. I truthfully learn something new everyday... if you desire it, then make it happen. You are young and you have that on your side. I started computers as a hobby 3 years ago and I've learned so much since then.
Bottom line, get experience in the field, even if it's for $6/hr. Help desk is a great place to start especially for learning. Internships... invaluable (perhaps sorta late now though eh)... get everything and anything under your belt and you will apply for that real job a few years from now with little hesitation and reservation.
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