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Recent Grads and Experience Beyond the Desktop?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the college-and-preparation-for-a-real-world-job dept.

Education 574

over_exposed asks: "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."

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LUGs (5, Insightful)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9537990)

What kind of (part-time) work can you get as a college student to gain experience

Aside from simply applying for such positions, I would suggest you attend a Linux User's Group [] in your area. Along with expanding your knowlege and skills, a LUG connects you with relationships that might be helpful in finding part-time work. You'll also get a better feel for the local job market.

Re:LUGs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538010)

I bet just because you said that, now all the LUGs will fill up overnight. Not an inch to move at any of the meetings, and a room full of newbies.

Re:LUGs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538108)

Yeah, because really what the world needs is more elitism and exclusivity. That's really what open source is about. Bravo.

Worried that someone bright is going to kick you out of your coveted position of local LUG know-it-all?

Re:LUGs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538035)

Exactly - I realised something the other day. Linux geeks aren't the hollywood-stereotypical geeks. Linux users tend to be social, gregarious folk, and a raucous LUG meet in a pub in Manchester contrasts sharply with the Rain Man Microsofties I encounter here in England, anyway. Linux folk are Social Geeks, a group that has yet to be widely recognised, but holds an amazing amount of latent potential - MBAs can control the Rain Man Geeks, but Social Geeks have the same networking skills as MBAs. Microsoft makes its money by acting as a bridge between the Rain Men and the MBAs. Social Geeks render them irrelevant, not just economically, but societally.

Re:LUGs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538054)

Well said. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:LUGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538137)

Well, it's more of a mailing list - see our LUG pages.

JOIN TEH MILITRY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538151)

Newcomer Lynndie England in the sequel to Lynndie Does Baghdad:

Iraqui Investigations (2004)


Lynndie England as Private Plowme

Dick "Head" Cheyney as General Boner
Filthy towelheads as gay niggers

DVD-Rip [ed2k]


Comments about Lynndie's performance:

Abu Ghraib "victim" Lynndie England's defense is getting shaky. Congress just saw a bunch of photos of Private England, ass-naked, having sex with a wide assortment of unusually desperate or possibly blind GI's. Guess we can dismiss her wide-eyed "I was forced to pose" exclamations. Congress may be stupid enough to believe your superiors forced you to humiliate Iraqis. I doubt they will believe you if you claim you were ordered to pose cracking for your coworkers.

Call me cynical, Private England, but a critical person could conceivably conclude that you're a disgusting piece of white trash with the morals of a goat in heat.

In fact, Private England's new photos cast doubt on claims that her intentions toward the Iraqi prisoners were always hostile. The new material shows her making the beast with two backs (or in her case, the beast with one and a half brains) in front of her charges. It's starting to look like at least part of the time, this little slut was trying to entertain the prisoners. So maybe we shouldn't think of Private England as a sadist. Maybe, in her own little way, she thought of herself as a humanitarian. While the rest of the military went after the Iraqis' hearts and minds, Private England made a play for their willies.

I really don't get it. Generally, it's not hard for women--even homely ones--to get laid. Ordinarily, they don't have to join the Army and fly to Iraq to get action. It's a simple matter of walking from your trailer to the nearest roadhouse. Or in the case of people with Private England's level of class, to your brother's bedroom.

What a funny time we live in, when skeezes have such power over international affairs. Supposedly, the fat, vacuous Monica Lewinsky was indirectly responsible for a bombing campaign. Now a uniformed tramp threatens to take down the Secretary of Defense and give the Muslim world an excuse to unleash its poorly concealed hatred of the West.

Neither one of these women have the brains God gave a goose, but look at their influence on the world. I suppose in a way, it's a lesson for people who say the sexual morality of public servants is irrelevant to their fitness for duty.

This pig needs a stretch in Leavenworth, and so do the men who posed with her. And just to be safe, they should put a combination lock on her pants so she can't do for Leavenworth what she did for Abu Ghraib.

I could tell you... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9537995)

But then you'd take my job.

All joking aside, those of us with IT jobs are becoming more and more protective of them. The sad truth is that helping you (and "thousands of others") out with advice is, in my opinion, just as bad as training my replacement.

Good luck.

Re:I could tell you... (5, Insightful)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538053)

helping you (and "thousands of others") out with advice is, in my opinion, just as bad

Your attitude displays an astonishing lack of maturity--if you are good at your job, you will want mentor others and pass along your knowledge and skills.

If you are weak, perhaps that explains your concern about being replaced?

Re:I could tell you... (3, Interesting)

sloanster (213766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538199)

But then you'd take my job.

Ha, I wish - I'd welcome the help - it seems impossible to find quality unix admins who know linux well - usually we get some joker in here who plasters his resume with buzzwords, but in reality never uses anything but windows - we quickly find out he's a phony and show him the door. There are some real linux savvy folks out there, but they are hard to find among all the posers...

Network! Not data-networking, social networking. (4, Informative) (745257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538002)

The best way to do it is an internship. The best way to get a job is NETWORK, NETWORK, and NETWORK. All the jobs I've gotten has always been through someone I knew, who knew someone. So work your friends, friend of friends, and socialize more. Best advice.

Re:Network! Not data-networking, social networking (4, Insightful)

Grant29 (701796) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538187)

Yep, I can't find the article now, but I read that most job openings are filled by referrals from existing employees. You might be able to find openings online or in the paper, but they will give you a tougher interview process. A recommendation from a friend on the inside will get you a step ahead of the other random applicants.

11 Gmail invitations availiable []

Internships (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538008)

Internships are a great way to get practical work experience while you're still in school. They look great on a resume, and they can also be an excellent venue for you to get practical work experience after you get your degree. The theory being, you're already a known quantity to them and so they'd be much more willing to bring you on full-time after school.

Lie (5, Funny)

chaffed (672859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538009)


That's what I was going to say (3, Interesting)

Atroxodisse (307053) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538030)

Basically, people are looking for someone with the confidence to say they have five years experience and be able to show you that they can do what they were trained to do.

Re:Lie (2, Informative)

AgntOrnge (718563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538039)

While this used to work many moons ago for most positions now, no way. To combat this exact behavior a company I recently interviewed with had two different system engineers grill me followed by the a director. They were very prepared and all asked different questions. Unless you KNOW you can fake it, don't.

Re:Lie (2, Interesting)

chaffed (672859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538136)

What I meant was; Personally I have the proficiency in network administration. Equal to someone who has been working "professionally" for 5 years or more. However I do not have 5+ years "professional" experience.

So if you can answer the questions then what difference does it make whether you have 3 or 10 years under your belt.

Re:Lie (1)

SoKrA-BTS (745392) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538177)

That worked very well for one of my Maths teachers. When he was travelling around Europe, in France we went to get a job and he said he was a geologist.
They sent him to Egypt and spent a couple of years secretly copying off the other geologist's journal. They agreed on everything ;-)

Design and build a project of your own (4, Insightful)

kalpol (714519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538012)

I've taught myself quite a bit working with my own Linux server, writing web pages and databases for my music and pictures using PHP/MySQL, and playing with new technology. If you create something you can show a prospective employer, not only are you gaining experience but it goes a long way towards showing you're a self-starter and eager to learn.

Too high too fast (3, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538014)

You will never get the job you want right after you leave University, you need to look for lower-position that do not require experience and then get your self moved up internally.

Once you get promoted you can then use that as leverage for external promotion. Remember all promotion is essentially internal in one way or another, it just seems like it is external because people change jobs so often.

Two best ways right now to get a CS job.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538015)

The two best ways are to apply everywhere imaginable for a job, and to ask every single person you personaly know who might work someplace where there might be a job available. Don't be afraid of temporary contract work, becuase it is never truly temporary. There will always be more work to do after you finish with the first contract.

It is more about who you know in this industry than what you know.

Re:Two best ways right now to get a CS job.. (1)

I Love Soup (655061) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538106)

I worked at my university's UNIX lab for minimum wage wihle I was still in school. It was for the engineering school, so they had money to buy lots of equipment and upgrades. The student "admins" had to do a variety of tasks, from helpdesking to installing new hardware or even coding. It was also fun to work with people arond your own age and in a non-corporate drone environment.

Back in 1999.... (0, Troll)

masonbrown (208074) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538016)

If you go back in time to 1999, companies will pay you a nice salary to come in, be a warm body in a chair, and go to lots and lots of training.

Nowadays I'm surprised you can find even 100 job postings nationwide.

Welcome to the present (5, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538017)

I think it is time we all faced the facts. The times when one could walk out of University with nothing more than a shiny new diploma and into a well paying job are gone. They probably aren't comming back. I particularily don't understand this mentality in CS when there are so many ways to get involved. Open Source software is more than a great way to use great software for free, it is also a great way to get your name out there. Attach it to some projects, big or small and actually contribute. No it isnt regular office experiance, but it is coding, and will seperate you from the rest of your classmates who have dont nothing more than school projects. Pick any project you use, phpBB, Apache, PHP, *nuke, whatever and get involved and get noticed. Even helping out with documentation shows some initive, and can help you stand out from the crowd.

Stop with the dot com expectations (3, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538018)

Get a crappy help desk job and work your way up. Or do phone support. Or be a telemarketer for a computer company if that's all you can get.

You need to work to succeed. No one is going to hand you an IT job based on certifications or college. Well, they might, but you'll be working for an idiot, and probably not for long.

Re:Stop with the dot com expectations (2, Interesting)

c0bw3b (530842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538131)

Ugh. Don't do phone support. At least not for a major ISP. I answer phones for Comcast, have done so for a year and a half and now hate my life. My girlfriend has a Linguistics degree and now has a job way cooler and geekier than mine. And really, it's not a Linguistics job. Having a degree can open doors to you that are closed to those of us without.

Start low, study hard (2, Insightful)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538019)

Be prepared to start from lightly lower levels and work your way up. Try and find a company that deals with both small and medium sized customers and you'll soon find that you'll be getting the exposure to higher end technologies hopefully with the guidance of a colleague who's got the experience. That's the way it's worked for me.

Buy some good books and keep yourself studying and learning. At least you'll be able to tell a potential employee that you've studied the theory and are eager to get experience even if you don't already have any.

Co-op... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538020)

...or Internship in the States. That's why universities have it. You get experience and a reference while getting paid. If you are taking Computer Science without co-op (internship), you are wasting your time and money.

Fedex (3, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538022)

When I went to some "back of the kitchen" job fair, I met a Fedex recruiter there. Obviously, they were looking for someone who would be happy spending the next twenty years delivering potential terrorist packages, but I was there looking for a job programming.

Turns out that Fedex only hires within its ranks. So there is essentially no way to get into the Fedex programming core without spending a year delivering packages. After that year, you would be free to transfer to a group that more naturally fit your skills.

Now back to your problem. What exactly, have you looked at? Software Developer postions? Well, no shit, it's fucking hard, asshole. There are a million of us, and a billion of you-unlearned, untrained, unskilled, greenthumbs who think they know what's what but couldn't tell their ass from a hole in the ground. Frankly, it's no wonder you didn't get a job. There's simply too many skilled engineers who are unemployed to waste any spare minutes on someone straight out of school.

My advice is to join ANY company and see where it takes you. Hell, even McD's needs engineers. Who do you think writes the software to calculate "hamburger+softdrink=happymeal"?

There are a million positions wide open and just because you closed your eyes to them doesn't mean they don't exist. Go out and get them, you budding programmer.

Re:Fedex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538201)

Who do you think writes the software to calculate "hamburger+softdrink=happymeal"?
Ronald McPointofsale, Mayor McC, and the Codeburglar

web scripting and deployment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538024)

Market yourself as someone who can develop web applications using HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Flash, etc. for the client side and/or IIS/ASP, Perl, Apache/PHP etc. on the server side. Companies are looking for "junior" developers here. Once inside the door, look for opportunities to help out another part of the team with C++, Java or whatever.

Get out and network!!! (1)

Sloh_One (756526) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538027)

My suggestion which is starting to work for me is ... Network Network Network Network Network. Attend User groups, attend shows, get to know people in the field. Ive seen it plenty of times where someone who isnt exactly the best fit for the job but gets the position anyways because that person knew the person hiring beforehand. It goes a long way in this industry.

advice (1)

aggieben (620937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538031)

Everyone has this problem coming out of school. My suggestion is to get experience with the necessary technologies/skills on your own time (you've had 6 months of your own time, right?) by working on projects. If it's c++ you're after, then write a killer app in c++. If it's OS experience you need or experience developing a particular kind of application or system, then find one that already exists and try to get a patch accepted.

People in the art wold have to have a portfolio of their work to get jobs and academic positions. There is no reason why a CS person couldn't have a portfolio of past projects and accomplishments. Wouldn't it look cool to hand a potential employer a stack patches that you wrote and have been accepted into FreeBSD/Linux/your-favorite-app?

Go ahead and apply (5, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538032)

Seriously. Many of those requirements are written by people who have no idea what they're talking about. Now, in many companies, your resume will just get thrown out because you don't match some HR monkey's checklist -- but with luck, at a few places, your resume will get to someone with some technical knowledge who is willing to at least give you a chance in an interview.

I mean, apply everywhere. Any job you think you might possibly be able to do. If you get one nibble for every hundred resumes -- well, these days, in the post-.bomb world, that's not bad.

Also, I don't know if you're still eligible for this since you've graduated, but most schools' CS departments do have lists of available interniships. The money usually isn't great, but it's real experience, and can lead to a full-time position. (Mine did, though I didn't get it through the school.) They may have some formal job placement services for grads, too.

Re:Go ahead and apply (2, Informative)

nwf (25607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538093)

I mean, apply everywhere.

As someone who hires, I see people applying to every position we have, and I just ignore it. Submitting a resume for a computer scientist to a chemistry lab position or a system admin to a developer position (without any development experience) will get you removed from ALL positions in my world. I'm not looking for mindless and/or desperate people.

Re:Go ahead and apply (1)

2sleep2type (652900) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538183)

I think this is very true. On a couple of occasions I've seen adverts for jobs asking for more experience than it is possible to have in new technologies.

Going back some years when Java was new there where a lot of ads for developers in the Uk where if you worked at Sun on oak [] then you might have been able to qualify.

It is defiantly the case that what ever job spec is originally written by the time it's been mangled by HR and an agency the requirements will be stupid.

The first job I had was advertised as needing 4 years 'C' programming. I was a glorified tech support monkey and only wrote a few hundred lines of code in a couple of years. I got the job as I had applied for 3 other jobs at the company and someone in HR gave me an interview during which I got in front of my boss to be who liked me and thought the job spec he had been forced to use by marketing was way over the top.

The magic word is "intern" (5, Insightful)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538033)

You're looking for an internship. Preferably paid.

Lots of companies have internships available because it's a good way for them to get cheap labor that will do grunt work and for the intern to get their foot in the door. After so much time if they like you they hire you.

Find a company you want to work for and call them up and ask if they have internships availablable. These are the kinds of jobs that college students are expected to take as a way to get started in their career.


experience needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538036)

Think about enlisting in the Military. Experience and a Security Clearance are pluses that will help you get a job. Having military service on a resume is a good indication that you know how to take orders and can perform an entry level position.

Re:experience needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538050)

Reminds me of the long running recruitment ad from the '80s:

Middle-aged suit: "I'm sorry son, but you don't have any experience."
Clean-cut forlorn youngster: "But where do I get experience?"

One solution... (4, Informative)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538041)

I recently graduated with a Masters in Information Systems and experienced the same exact problem. One particularly annoying thing is that many of the jobs I was close to being able to perform asked for skills in an enterprise application that I simply couldn't afford to have learned in person, aside from books about them. That brings up a good question - does learning from a book but not performing hands on count as experience these days?

My answer was, I took a job with a smaller company where they understood my position but gave me responsibility and room to grow. Of course.. less salary, but it is a good starting position. I once met the "first CIO" in the United States, Duwayne Peterson [] - his advice was simply to "get your foot in the door" somewhere!

Good luck to you! -6d

Re:One solution... (1)

f0rtytw0 (446153) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538135)

"his advice was simply to "get your foot in the door" somewhere!"

Really good advice. I also recently graduated with a BS in CS and Math. Where I went to school we had co-ops (taking time of from school, 6 months usually, and working in the industry) which gave me some experience. Even with this experience, which most places don't think too much of, there were no job offers coming in. Finally I was able to get a job at where I had done my co-ops. Now I have my foot in the door and room to grow. Once you get your foot in the door you have leverage and can use that to move up.

Re:One solution... (5, Insightful)

DissidentHere (750394) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538173)

Mod parent up, this is very true. Take a job at a small company for less money; you get:
1) opportunity to grow - at a small company everyone does some of everything. You get network, DBA, desktop and coding experience all rolled in to one.
2) you're efforts get noticed and you see results.
3) small companies tend to have close relationships with a few customers. You can get to know and impress your customers and maybe create a new opportunity with one of them.
4) small company may be purchased and you get to join a large company (or lose your job).

Also think about jobs that might not be tech specific. For example, did you minor in econ? Maybe look at business analyst positions or marketing for a tech company. Are you really good at explaining technology to non-tech people? Think about technical sales rep jobs.

If you have any skills and experience outside of the technology world leverage that to find positions you didn't consider before. I'd much rather have a software sales rep that knows technology than one who doesn't.

Best of luck to OP and everyone else looking.

Re:One solution... (1)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538181)

It would have been super beneficial to begin this type of work while still in school. I've got one year to go on my BS in CS, but have been administering a computer network for an accounting firm here in Vegas for two years and now have plenty of real world experience.

You want a Windows domain? Covered. You need a strong custom firewall? Check. Strong management practices? Bingo! Routers, switches..? Oh yeah..

Too bad I've grown to dislike working in the IT industry. :-\

"Over exposed" indeed... :-) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538043)

I'm a recent college grad (B.S. in C.S.)

Yeah, that just about sums up my college experience as well...

Volunteer (1)

Todrael (601100) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538051)

Volunteer work might not pay as much, but it does give you experience, and usually has very flexible hours. Over 90 million people are volunteers of some sort or another, and every organization can use extra hands, if they're from a skilled and intelligent person. Offer to write something for a few small local places, get in touch with volunteer groups in your area (there's usually a listing of organizations), and suddenly you have a work history, instead of paying for all that hardware and tinkering at home yourself.

Re:Volunteer (1)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538165)

I'm not trying to say that volunteering is worthless by any means, but when you're fresh out of school, with bills and loans to pay, is working for free really a viable option?

Maybe if you've got some decent savings stashed away, but otherwise I can't really see it at that point in someone's life.

Typical Response (0, Troll)

AgntOrnge (718563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538056)

Move to India! Or Russia, or Singapore, or the Phillipines, etc...

Open source projects? (1)

sstewart (791822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538060)

Perhaps you could try contributing to some open source development projects if its development experience you're looking for.

You're confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538062)

Which is it you want - a programming job or an admin job? You do realize that Cisco administration is a pretty different world than Exchange admin? It's practically a different career path.

If you want to be a programmer, contribute to or start an open source programming project. I don't mean some toy, I mean a serious desktop or server app - something someone else would actually want to download and run. Ta da, now you have soem code to show and your experience to state.

If you want to be a sysadmin, then do the mailroom route. Get a job working at a help desk or something and study your cajones off in the off-hours. It is trivially cheap to set up a network on Linux machines at home, break them repeatedly, and fix them. Go bug the sysadmins in your company and plead, cajole, and otherwise make a pest of yourself to help, shoulder surf, and otherwise learn off-hours, for free, volunteering to get experience. Do this for a few years.

After that it's easy. Get a job as a Junior admin. Get promoted to sys admin. Work for more years. Eventually make senior admin. Realize that system administration is a job for a masochist. Get promoted to management or drop out to become a beautician.

The cutting edge (1)

cookie_cutter (533841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538064)

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?

I graduated April 2003 and I was able to find a fantastic job in what could be termed "corpademia"(half academic/half corporate).

I didn't really study the things mentioned above, so I can't comment on their usefulness. What gave me the experience which got me this job was working part time in a research lab for a professor, in some cases doing research myself, in others in a support capacity, developing the computational tools which facilitated the research by other members of the lab.

Much is said about inovative companies, but University research labs are places where a lot of cutting edge technologies are developed and first applied. This makes sense because researchers have to be innovative to stand out from their peers, and they also generally are given the freedom to try out new, untested technologies/techniques, because the profit concerns aren't as great.

I myself, with little experience in hardware or software beyond my coursework, was given the task of designing, building and administering a linux cluster with a dozen processors, got to attend workshops on HPC and parallel processing, and then got to adapt the lab's in house bioinformatics software to work on parallel High Performance Computing systems, experience I can't imagine getting anywhere else. These things got me my current job.

So that's my experience, YMMV, but best of luck to you!

If you're purely into computer science, remember! (4, Informative)

stroustrup (712004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538065)

You should either be a GOD in CS with a PhD or too many impressive qualifications to find a 'good job' in CS these days.
If you have only minimum quals, you might end up as a sysadmin somewhere for a small network.

If you're not a GOD, and want a good job, then try not to be a pure CS guy. Take up a minor that you like while you're still in school and try to think about how your CS skills can be used in that minor. Eg Civil engineering needs lot of programmers who know some civil engineering. There is a surfiet of programmers in the market who know nothing other than programming lanugages.

Hey Bjarne! (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538120)

We met at SD99 back a few years ago. Good times back then.

But I don't think it's necessary to be a god at programming (though you are, don't get me wrong). Rather, I think it's a problem of developing the analytical skills necessary to figure out the right way to design a program. Foreign, cheap engineers exist for the rest of us highly skilled engineer/architects to implement our hare-brained ideas (who knows where C++ would be now if it weren't for USENET fanatics??).

The recommendation to take other classes is well-taken, however wouldn't you think that a business background would be more appropriate than something like civil (dirt) engineering? Business is the core concept of (ahem) business. Understanding that makes an employee much more valuable. In addition, learning about the manner in which to go about seeking additional funding and justifying a business plan in front of investors seems to be more useful than learning about how precise pi needs to be before massive failure of physical systems.

God knows I love driving my Ford Fiesta around cloverleafs, but when it all boils down to it, the real money is made in architecting the next generation software.

two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538066)

master's degree. It's one-two years.

Everyone and their uncle has a shitty 4 year
degree in CS now. And if there's a simple
coding job, the kids with VoTech degrees
(2 year, or DeVry) are happy to work for
half of what you'd make.

A master's might help you get a job. Might.
But there's a bigger pay off.

At least when you land a job, if you have a
master's degree, you'll be the first one out
of the shit hole cubes. Unless working
for some frat boy with a business degree
is your goal in life. Seriously, a CS
degree gets you in the door. A master's
even more so. But what the fuck do you
want to do TEN years out?

But perhaps you only live your life by
making short term plans. Honestly, can you
say CONCRETELY what you plan to do in 10
to 15 years. Nothing vague now, like
own a house and have some kids. I mean
CONCRETE goals, like run a team of 10-15
people doing XYZ technology, speaking at
conferences, holding patents, etc.
You need CONCRETE goals in life: always
planning just 2-3 years for the future,
is just what those corporate fucks with
MBAs want you to do.

Here's what management is saying to people
in your position: "Go to sleep, America.
Do not worry about social security,
retirement, terrorism 10 years out, or
anything else. Buy a big car. Fund
an expensive life style."

Don't listen to the siren call. PLAN
for what you want to do.

Open source (2, Interesting)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538067)

Work on open source projects as if it were a job. It shows initiative and you learn far more than you ever could in school about software engineering and design. Of course, realize that your code is going to speak for itself, so you might not want to do a sloppy job. ;)

Apply anyway. Do it a lot. (1)

FeriteCore (25122) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538072)

I was looking at a similar situation a while ago. All advertisements were for experienced applicants. I wasn't an experianced applicant. My father gave me some good advice, reply to each advertisement anyway. You are hoping for one of two circumstances. They may not bother advertising the entry level positions. They may not get what they are asking for and settle for you.

It worked for me. 200+ resumes, about 5 interviews, one job.

Fun with your resume + good references (1)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538073)

from what i've experienced, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Ask your friends if there are any openings were they are, and if you could fit in.

Also, on your resume, stretch the truth as far as you can, without lying. You know that job where once and a while you did a ipconfig /renew * instead of rebooting? that sounds like "Network administrator" to me, just make sure your refrences know what's up.

Re:Fun with your resume + good references (4, Interesting)

Kope (11702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538128)

I'm currently hiring about a dozen high level network security engineers. One of the biggest headaches I've had to deal with in the last month has been people who think "resume true" is what I care about.

When I schedule a technical interview for a candidate, and they arrive, and two minutes into the interview session I realize that this candidate has never done half of the items on their resume (heck, some haven't even bothered to read their resume) I do three things.

1) I end the interview abruptly, inform the candidate that I'm sorry for wasting his time, and send them packing.

2) I throw out every resume I received from whatever source provided me with that resume, call that head-hunter, and let them know that they wasted my time, and the time of my team members who I pulled in for the interview. I not-so-politely let them know that they are black-listed from my group and that I really would appreciate them never contacting me again.

3) I let the other managers I work with in the international, 200k employee company I am part of know both the name of the recruiter and the name of the lying applicant so that they won't be bothered wasting their time in the near future either.

So .. take this guy's advice if you want to. But don't end up on my doorstep.

For real advice I'd do the following -- by your junior year, find a part-time job someplace doing anything related to your field. Work your ass off, get good grades, apply for a fellowship or research position and get it. Find local contractors who do short-term and part-time work for large companies. Get on a team and get some experience. It really doesn't matter what you do -- make connections with people of influence in your field. Those connections will be your lifeline to meaningful positions as you advance.

Temp Agencies (3, Interesting)

Discopete (316823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538077)

Register with your local temp or employment agencies and take whatever they have.

Once you're in the door start looking around for positions inside the company you're working at.

You're in, you can prove that you have the ability and not just the shiny new piece of paper that says you sat through 4 years of classes which probably taught you nothing that you didn't already know, and then you can see about moving up in the world.

Just go (1)

Bloemkoolvreter (643107) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538078)

Don't care 'bout the ad, just go to the interview and say what you are saying now. They'll appreciate for one that you're honest and for two that you have the guts to come there.

Pick a specialty and pseudo-apprentice (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538082)

First of all, SQL databases can be installed and played with on your PC. Its close enough to the "big" databases to get your foot in the door. No one expects a new grad to have mastered the latest vedrsion of Oracle.

As for Cisco equipment...well, first of all you mention SQL and Cisco in the same sentence...what is it you really want to do? Databases or networking? If you want ot do networking, numerous training firms will cert you on high end networking will have to pay to play but you will make it back on wages, assuming you get trained on the right equipment from the right vendor.

Re:Pick a specialty and pseudo-apprentice (1)

kunudo (773239) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538188)

You can download Oracle for free [] to 'develop' for it. It's when you start using it in a production server you have to pay.

Work for an ISP/Hosting company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538084)

I run an ISP/Hosting company and we are always looking for smart, honest people who are programmers. Experience means little to us because nothing stays the same more than a few months. However, note carefully that I say PROGRAMMERS. There's a big difference between an appliance operator, desktop button pusher and a PROGRAMMER. Even if all you know is BASIC, you need to cross this crucial line. If you don't know what programming a computer is, you'll have trouble working on anything other than sugared desktop stuff.

Make sure that's what you want to do. (5, Insightful)

Corf (145778) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538086)

When I graduated from college, there was no way I'd get a job in my particular field. Competition was on the lines of one opening for every 40-50 applicants, and if I had to put in the effort it would've taken to land that job, it would've made my life suck completely. So I did something else. I kept working at a bicycle shop and was fortunate to get enough of a raise to keep going... and earlier this year I got a career started with a distributor. Result? I make a bit less money than I would otherwise, but weekends piss me off because I like being at work so much. I've got an IRA, good health/dental/vision, and I pay about a third to half of what folks on the street do for bike parts, which makes me grin. Expand your horizons a bit, maybe make a hobby into a career - it worked for me!

Oh, and everyone else will say this, but most of the jobs I've gotten (from ice cream scooper at Baskin' Robbins to the current one), it wasn't what I knew but who I knew. The right references, and the right person speaking up for you when someone mentions an opening, make all the difference. If you aren't outgoing, then at least be pleasant towards those around you whenever possible.

What kind of job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538090)

Internship during school.
Computer lab at school.
Homemade projects at the dorm.

For any man with half an eye... (3, Insightful)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538095)

One bit of good advice I've heard is to look at companies that aren't focused on what you're doing. Every graduate with a CS degree is going to apply to work at IBM and Microsoft, but other industries need software too! Send your resume to companies that specialize in automobiles, food service, medical equipment, name it, they'll probably need software.

Go to grad school (1)

GraWil (571101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538096)

Surely a masters or a PhD [] will make you more employable.

You're right (1)

orpheus2000 (166384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538098)

You're not going to get in on the enterprise computing space with your B.S./C.S. alone. If you can, try to get hired by your university IT department. In anything, yes, even tech support... you can move up once you show your skills. Speaking of..

Split your time into working, studying/taking classes and learning on your own. Spend time getting to know open source technologies that have enterprise level analogs so that you start to learn fundamentals. If you have multiple switches and PC's, make multiple networks and play with routing between them. Set up VPN or SSH tunnels. Snoop around the university surplus and see if you can get an old Cisco catalyst so you can monkey with IOS. That's if you want to go networking.

I can't speak to programming, because although I did graduate with B.S./C.S. I knew within the first two years of that track that I didn't want to program for a living. I wanted to do systems admin and management. So I sacrificed grades for experience and worked and learned on my own. My first admin job was also a programming job, but that helped my resume so that I got a real admin job with a university department a few months later.

It'll take a lot of discipline and maybe a lower GPA, but a CS student has most of the resources needed to learn and grow to be a marketable hire in real companies. Good Luck.

The dot-com era was an aberration (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538105)

Hiring for software developers etc. as far as I can see has returned to the state it was when I graduated from university, before the dot-com thing. The dot-com hiring scene was a large deviation from the norm.

What helped me was being on a 'sandwich-degree' - which includes a year of employed work as part of the degree. Many companies took students on for a year of "industrial training" (internship, co-ops, the name varies by nation) - I worked for IBM. After that year, I went back to university and finished my degree. Since I had already proved myself with IBM, they had a job waiting for me when I came back as a graduate - at a significantly higher rate of pay than the graduates who had not had this experience because I was already proven - I had got essentially a year-long practical interview from them. I'm very grateful that IBM did this kind of thing (and still does) - the 7 years I spent with them after graduation were very good, and they treat their employees well. I only left because I moved back home where there's no IBM facilities, otherwise I'd have been happy to stay with them until the bitter end :-)

Get rid of the H1-B's (1, Insightful)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538107)

Unfortunately after years of tech down turn and the mass shipment of jobs overseas, your Federal government still thinks its a great idea to give what few jobs remain to foriegners. Write your congress critters and express your outrage. Why give job to Americans when you can give to foriegners, all so a few CEO's can get even richer. Use your un-employed time to help stop this crap. Also be sure to vote this next election, find out where your candidates stand on critical issues such as H1-B and outsourcing. I wish I has some actual advice for getting a job, but the current goverment policies seemed to aimed at asuuring that no qulaified American can get a job, the current administration thinks the more jobs that go to foriegers the better, abd will bo rest ubtil every last US job is gone. Write and vote! Mark

Co-ops? (1)

miketang16 (585602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538110)

I will be attending RIT this fall, and my major(CE) requires a full year of co-op on the job experience. Will this be enough experience to give me an edge when I enter the job market?

I can empathize (3, Insightful)

raistphrk (203742) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538115)

I can really empathize with you. I'm about to finish my undergrad, and I've been having trouble finding a full-time job. I've worked part-time in a netadmin position for several years, but whenever I call or email an employer, they want someone with 2-3+ years experience in a full-time job. It's such a pain.

However, I suspect the way I got this job will end up being the same way I get my next one. I started in this position six years ago. I was in high school at the time. I did some tech work for one of my teachers, and he knew the person running the network here, and hooked me up. Networking is the key. It's not even a bad idea to pass up internship-style jobs. In those jobs, you'll get an incredible amount of experience, though pay is a bit lower than you might like.

Being qualified is equally as important as being known, but being known is what gets you a job. So, while you're waiting for a good job, do some work for people you know. Install cable modems and DSL service. Run antivirus scans. Do small little jobs like that. If you do some work for a small business owner, you might take a look at the systems they're running and say "ya know, I can write an application for you that will do that better." Give them some details, and quote them a price. If you impress them enough, they'll take you up on your offer. You'll find, after a while, that the people you help will say "Wow, you're really bright and talented. I should introduce you to some people." Then they'll point you in the direction of a job.

And in the meantime, you can charge them $30-60 an hour for your regular tech work, even more for your programming work (if you don't just hammer out a contract for the whole job), and have enough money to pay the bills.

Re:I can empathize (1)

raistphrk (203742) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538129)

Typo. I should've said "It's not a bad idea to take up internship-style jobs." My bad.

Start as a Hobby... (1)

ottergoose (770022) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538119)

I started taking a programming class in high-school in 10th grade, where I learned basic C style syntax, as well as "how to think like a programmer," I really enjoyed it, so I started to teach myself new things. By the time I graduated high school, I was highly capable with PHP/MySQL. After seeing a website I developed with PHP/MySQL, I was offered a job at the college I was attending, where I do work with VBScript/Oracle. Additionally, I started playing with Linux on my own time, and now I'm starting to get interested in C++ again. I'll be a sophomore in college this fall.

If you start early, get a project you can focus your energy towards (mine was weather information [] ), the rest comes naturally.

By the time I graduate I think I should be in pretty good shape.

Lot's of ways to get experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538121)

My expereince is somewhat dated (almost 30 years ago), but I think most of it still applys.

First, check around your school for professor or other departments who need computer help. Other departments may have work for you programming or system admin or some such.

Also, check with your professors. When I was in colleage they got me several part-time jobs with local comapnies doing programming. Again, they're tied into the local community and have friends in private industry.

Check the on-campus job center, sometimes things show up there.

Do volunteer work for local charities doing computer service. You'll meet people who know of jobs for you.

The more you network, the better chance you have of finding someone who needs somebody with your skills and doesn't require 5 years of experience.

By the time I graduated from collage I had almost 2 years of experience programming, and this was back in the late 70's when computers were much harder to find.

internships!!! (2, Insightful)

tomphaedrus (661561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538122)

The best thing you can do as a student to make yourself more appealing to potential employers is to take a part time job or paid internship as a student.

I interned at a software company for three years during college, which I believe put me on a completely different level than my peers who had no work experience - even though many of them had better grades

You mentioned "Cisco, Exchange, SQL, etc", IT type jobs are the ones getting washed out by grads. If you are serious about becoming a developer, you need to get experience - try making significant contributions to an open source project or going to grad school and landing some sort of internship like I just mentioned.

Around here there are tons of companies that hire CS students, many times with the hope of grooming them into a full time employee.

Help the engineers! (1)

meganthom (259885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538123)

I'm a mech. eng., and I know that as technology advances and we work more with computational models, the comp. sci. aspect of our work is becoming more and more of a challenge. I think you would have great luck looking for positions in engineering grad. school programs, especially if you're a fan of parallel processing. My research group, for example, is currently finishing a proposal for a new Beowulf cluster, and we could certainly use someone willing to help us choose the components, set it up, keep it running, and help us with our parallel models.

Also, don't ignore the internship and co-op suggestions. Co-oping definitely helped me out.

Some places to start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538124)

Try some small businesses in your area, some may want help with networking. It won't be the big stuff but it can make you some money and build some references.

You can also volunteer your time, find a charity or non-profit that needs some help with their networks and help them out. Again it builds experience and references.

I have seen some people buy old cisco routers off ebay for cheap and set them up at home to gain experience with them.


Take anything (1) (203483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538125)

School does not count for much.

Pay your dues.

Take anything that has to do with computers, for whatever they will pay.

I started as a pc tech, learned everything I could, took any job and worked my way up to network security.

If you love the biz, you will take what you can get and mess with anything you can get your hands on.

Learn UNIX inside and out, linux, solaris, the BSDs, learn IP inside and out, mess with routers, script, build machines, code, support users, design, implement, learn to communicate and be humble.


Work for your college (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538130)

While it may be too late for you, colleges often hire students for system administration jobs. The pay is peanuts, but you will gain real world experience and come out of college with more than a piece of paper.

Experience before graduating is best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538139)

I agree with the other posts about internships. My program [] at RIT [] requires a year's worth of interships before graduating. That makes a B.S. take about 5 years, but I think it's well worth it to have the real-world job experience (and industry contacts) when you graduate. Tons of students get hired once they graduate by companies they've done internships or senior projects with. Other tech schools have the same idea; I think Northeastern does this as well.

Pirate Software (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538141)

Yes thats right. How else do you expect me to learn photoshop. I have over 6 years experience in it which I never would have gotten without pirating it. Spare me your gimp stories because photoshop!=GIMP. I also have a great knowledge in MSSQL server and I would setup servers at home and play around with them, buy books and create replication sets and fool around with advanced things. I would setup active directory domains on my pirated windows 2000 server box so I could learn it. And you know what, I dont feel one bit ashamed of what I did because I cannot afford these software peices just to learn them. And one day I will be able to actually pay for them with my knowledge of using the programs themselves. Sure I could have gone the open source route but hey I am a windows person , Linux is not for me so dont try arguing with me that I should have been using Linux. Without ever pirating any software I would be left with no knowledge of MSSQL, PHotoshop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, 2000 Server, dreamweaver, flash and so on. I have been able to dabble with programs , learn them and then I decided if I liked them or not, and no a 30 day trial is not long enough because no one can always spend every day playing with the program. It would be nice if the 30 day trial actually counted down 30 days worth of program usage. Everytime I opened it , it would begin a timer.

Re:Pirate Software (1)

verittaas (774774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538179)

And what would you put in your resume, that I have pirated these softwares for 3 years and I have good working knowledge of them?

You have a problem ... and some solutions (1)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538142)

The bottom line is that you are facing what's called an "inefficient market", one that is not good at matching supply to demand (i.e. people to positions). But for people at the entry level, there are solutions.

Part of the problem is that serious experience is needed to do a number of difficult jobs. In some cases, you won't be "good enough" until you've worked for a decade (at which time you'll be 35 or so and finding a job will be truly challenging...).

Another problem is the over-specification of positions; the best explanation I've heard for this (beside HR only being able to match words and not concepts) is that technically weak managers have to hire specific skill sets because they are not capable of mentoring and otherwise growing "merely" talented people.

This essay [] is where I got that concept, and the entire site is highly recommended for its advice in finding a job.

To try to answer your questions, what I've gathered is that you simply have to get the experience: for you, stay in your current job for a couple of years, or jump now, since leaving after six months doesn't look too bad. But you want your first or second job to be a minimum two years in duration.

And get experience in the specific areas you're interested in (hopefully your company actually does some of them :-). For people who are still in school, be sure to get some industry experience before you graduate; if it's not on your resume as such you have some fast talking/networking to do....

Don't panic, but do realize this "market" of people and jobs is really messed up right now, and you're going to have to work hard to keep a career (unless you want to become a manager, and then you're still going to have to work hard since good management is just as hard in its own ways).

Good luck!

Chicken and Egg (2, Interesting)

ari_j (90255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538153)

It's a chicken-and-the-egg problem. The real problem, though, is that for a few years in the late 90's companies were handing out eggs left and right to everyone they could. When the floor fell out in the early 2000's, everyone got laid off, including people with 10+ years of experience with very specific technologies that are in demand now. What this means is that those people will be hired back first as the market recovers and, if there are any jobs left, you'll have a chance at that time. Find what work you can, keep your skills up, and keep applying for jobs.

I and many of my colleagues had predicted the storm would pass by the end of 2003. It's still here, and I'm revising my prediction: without knowing the right people (of which there are few), an entry-level programmer will not be able to get a job that matters (i.e., gives him experience that is at all pertinent to his dream job) until 2010 or later.

Testing (2, Insightful)

dten (448141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538159)

Seems to me that most people don't start as developers, they start as testers or call center reps, and work their way up internally. That's if you're going for larger companies. If you want to get into smaller companies or consulting, it's all about networking.

What they want, what they get. (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538163)

Face it, everyone wants to hire an experienced proven employee, but then not have to pay them much.

Realistically the 'requirements' are more of a wishlist. For full time employees they want someone with the basic skills with a personality to handle the job. (smart, fast learner, plays well with others ....

I'd apply to these jobs, point out any experience, if you get an interview tell them what you know, and where you want to go.
Nobody ever gets the perfect candidate, just show that you are a good choice.

Get a job before you're 30!!! (1)

Univac_1004 (643570) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538167)

It works this way: >20 && =30 && =40 = employable as CTO iff previous supervisor >=45 = retired on all the $$$ you've made in this high-paying industry.

It's simple... (2, Informative)

ValourX (677178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538184)

Lie. Corporate America is all about lying; how it's done, when it's done, and whom to lie to.

Or just twist the facts a little. Doctor your resume. Cook your C.V. Overstate your importance [] .

Or work on Free Software projects and list them all in your resume.


Charity or non-profits (1)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538185)

Find a cool project with a charity or non-profit, they usually have some money, maybe not a lot. If you can find a project you like its a good place to start. A couple of years ago I was in the process of leaving the IT industry, I took on a PDA project for a non-profit, probably didn't make minimum wage on it, but I gained valuable experience and exposure, today I'm fully booked for PDA projects, and making good money. Point is if you can get a project up and running for someone, it will get you experience and exposure. Also non-profits usually can't pay ASP rates for their projects, so the're more likely to hire an individual developer who can work self contained for low cost. Also charities will hire someone they know personally and trust, and usually won't nitpick on whether you have n years experience with C++. A good place to start are any orgainzations you or your friends and family work with, ie churches, community groups, etc. Also working for non-proits can be very rewarding, and a lot more fun than dealing with the corporate world. Good luck. Mark

you will not like this but (0)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538186)

look to become a field engineer for a telecom company..

Does nto matter if tis landline or Moblei operastor both kids of compneis are problably hiring again for field engineers..

Landline companeis will call it a cusomer engineeer...

soem might refer to it as lienman..

My Advice (1)

krisamico (452786) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538190)

You can go for all the schooling and internships you want, but good jobs are still gotten the hard way -- with people skills. You need to be able to communicate well and convey a very positive self image. Your degree should at least get your foot in the door for an entry level interview. From there, it is all up to you. As far as giving a good interview goes, there is a plethora of decent advice to be found, though my most commonly given advice is this: Nothing sells like honesty.

To sum up, ignore what the want ads say. Just go in and make them give you the job. You must have many bad interviews before you begin to have good ones. Many of the senior and even higher level engineers I have worked with never even had college degrees. What they did have is a lot of ability and good people skills.

No such thing as an entry-level job (4, Interesting)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538191)

How is one expected to gain that kind of experience when no one will hire you without the experience?

Because companies don't want to hire people unless they absolutely have to. HR departments are in the business of disqualifying people, not hiring people.

Most of it is due to middle management's inability to understand the concept of hiring entry-level employees and then teaching them the business so they can become valuable members of the company.

Entry-level means:






Advertising for an entry-level employee with five years experience is an exercise in flagrant cynicism. It is part of an overall goal of making the workplace a joyless shithole.

Don't bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538192)

Get a job. Any job. Go to work. Live.

Work with your college (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538195)

Work closely with your college's alumni association and with the CS department's industry liason. Both of them are excellent resources for job placement assistance.

Don't forget the power of social networking, either. I was lucky enough to get my "dream job" before I graduated (BSEE) because a friend of a friend was a manager at the company. In fact, that may be the best way to get the job, regardless of your experience.

Thirdly, consider joining the Computer Society of the IEEE and attend the functions, email with the members and even consider volunteering for some of the tasks that come with the Society. The membership dues are significantly reduced for recent graduates. Also, the IEEE's GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) organization can help as well.

And don't hesitate to apply for a job, even if you don't think that you meet the experience criteria. Even though many of the resumes are screened by HR and you may not get past them, many are not. Something in your resume may stick out and get you an interview - and that's what you're really after.

Good Luck!


re: job search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538200)

Good luck on your job search- you should be able to find a good job.

However, just have to ask. You have a C.S. B.S and never had an opportunity to use a Cisco router? Never had access to SQL? Hmm.

SQL is just a free download of a database - MS SQL should be in any college for free, not to mention routers in labs.

We might want to re-evaluate just how qualified these C.S. graduates really are.

If you are interested in programming - program. Plenty of free projects out there.

If you are interested in networking - do networking. Grab and old PC, install BSD and learn how to configure a router.

Linux, too.

Grab a cheap old Cisco router off of Ebay, if you have a few hundred bucks.

Why not work as a lab tech at your old Alma Mater, get some exposure to equipment.

I sometimes have to ask "what did you study?" - if you need to study more, definitely consider an MS in CS

- George

Take the Job you don't want. (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538204)

The plain truth is that everyone wants those great and glorious jobs, but with no experience you aren't going to get them. So get some experience in the market doing the job you don't want. I just went through a process of interviewing several "just out of high school" kids for a deployment/upgrade job. We offered one a base entry level position because he had education but zero experience. The rate was $10/hr. Not great, but beats the $7.50 he would get bagging groceries. And if he turned out to be solid, he could quickly rise up. Instead, he wanted to haggle on price because he thought he was worth more. Guess what? there were three other people in line just hoping for anything and now one of them works for us and the whiz kid is still looking. Take the job you don't want and work your way up to the job you do want.

Network through students and open-source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9538206)

I was fortunate to have a fellow classmate remember me a year down the road...landing me my first job in the industry. I did the same for my old classmate also, giving him a job in my company. That's one of the easiest way to network, is through your other classmates, so while you are in school take the time to meet and know'll never know what happens years down the road.

Also I've always suggested friends of mine to start or help out in open-source projects. Great way to get experience and network. Plus it helps you to stay sharp.

Sign up (2, Interesting)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538208)

The army's always recruiting, and if you join the Royal Signals (or whatever your local army calls 'em) you'll get plenty of training and experience in IT and Comms.

B.S. or BSc? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538212)

Is a B.S. degree the same as a B.Sc.? I have to ask because that's not normally what springs to mind when someone says they have a B.S. degree.....

IF you can ignore the hazards.. (1)

Wildkat (774137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9538213)

The Army is hiring and requires no expirence. Believe it or not, there are LOTS of SysAdmin jobs in the military. If you are a US citizen and your family are all US born, try NSA. The hiring process is a real pain but its one of the more exciting networking jobs out there. Good luck!!
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