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Saturday, June 26, 2004

I found this posting on Slashdot to be interesting:

"I'm a recent college grad (B.S. in C.S.) and have been on the job hunt for about 6 months. I've been playing around with tech toys as long as I can remember, but it all focuses around the desktop environment. Desktop-grade routers, switches and wireless as well as any/all desktop PC (and some Mac) hardware is what I could get my hands on with my limited budget. After looking through hundreds if not thousands of job postings, everyone is looking for 3+ years of network admin experience or 5+ years of C++ experience even for an entry level position. How is one expected to gain that kind of experience when no one will hire you without the experience? What kind of (part-time) work can you get as a college student to gain experience (Cisco, Exchange, SQL, etc) that will be marketable in the real world? Any suggestions from the Slashdot community will be of great benefit to myself and thousands of others who will enter the 'real world' in the next few years."

My answer: before you go into a CS or MIS program, be prepared to sacrifice your summers as a co-op/intern somewhere. Anywhere. As long as the company has a good reputation, and the experience is relevant. In the "real" world (at least in the one in which I work), experience counts for most everything. Academic credentials count for pay (i.e., MS means a bump in pay grade over a BS).

However, if a group needs a C++ coder, and you can come in and say that you developed a C++ app for {insert your Fortune 500 company here}, and you have the references to prove it, you're 90% in the door. Now, if you're a total dweeb, and can't make eye contact with the manager, don't even bother. Make sure you polish your personality as much as you do your experience. And ALWAYS show the potential boss why hiring you will save them money.


.: posted by Dave 8:27 PM

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