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After College, What Type of Jobs Should One Seek?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the first-steps-in-a-career dept.

Businesses 628

Sushant Bhatia asks: "I'm coming to the end of my Masters degree, and I'm on the prowl for jobs. However, there are so many types out there it's just overwhelming for someone who's never had to go through the job-hunting process before. So, what should I do? Should I go for a full-time, contract, half-time, or something else? Also, what kind of position should a person with a Master's in Computer Science be looking for (other than dish washer)? I've been looking at senior software developer positions, but is that too high up the ladder for someone 'fresh' to cope with? My current manager (research lab) says that 'You should always find a job that is above your skill level so that you can learn and be challenged.' I think he's right, but is that something Slashdot readers agree with? What was your job coming out of university?"

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Master's in Computer Science, eh? (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852185)

I hear Wal-Mart is always looking for shelf stockers

Re:Master's in Computer Science, eh? (0, Redundant)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852219)


Where oh where are my mod points when I need them.

Cupstacker (1)

missing000 (602285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852227)

Whatever you do, you need a cupstacker biz card before you die.

Also, piloting those forklifts at Home Depot that make that nice beeping sound gets you bonus points.

Re:Master's in Computer Science, eh? (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852241)

Also, it may be helpful to memorize this phrase:

"Do you want fries with that?"

Re:Master's in Computer Science, eh? (4, Funny)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852283)

/me coughs

It's "Hi. I have a BS in Liberal Arts. Would you like Fries with that?"

Oh, and before you try it: Wrong kind of BS.


Are you a NIGGER (850302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852358)

Ever since the NASDAQ crash the housing market has been ON FIRE. It has been going up 20% -- OR MORE -- every year.

Better yet, you don't even need an income to get a mortgage loan!

What you do is buy into new development, and before the house is even built (and before you even have to make one mortgage payment) the house or condo will often have gone up OVER $100,000 DOLLARS! This is a can't lose proposition. Everybody who is anybody is in real estate these days. Every day you wait is a day you're missing the boat on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Have you seen the story of a TWENTY TWO YEAR OLD who owns over 10 houses! He's rich, and you can be too! Don't be another sucker wasting his time for $5.15 an hour asking if people would like fries with that. Get into real estate, the wealth building technique of the twenty-first century!

P.S. the best places to do this right now are Florida (especially near the coast), Phoenix, Vegas, the D.C. area, San Diego, and Boston.

Learn people skills (2, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852187)

Or learn "would you like fries with that?"

Re:Learn people skills (4, Funny)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852259)

And don't forget that most people want extra ketchup packets. I hate it when I order fries and they put two dinky ketchup packets in the bag. It makes me wonder just what is going on in our colleges these days.

Re:Learn people skills (1)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852314)

Or learn "would you like fries with that?"

I have been to a wide variety of fast food joints in my day and have never once ever been asked "would you like fries with that". Ever. Where does this myth come from?

holy shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852188)

I'm trolling. Use your imagination for christ sakes.

Sit over here, sonny. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852189)

Straight goods:

There's always a need for network people and sysadmins. With the shift from Windows/Proprietary Unix to Linux/*BSD you should concentrate on jobs in those areas, they're booming (I get at least 2 offers a month). If you stick to the Windows side of things you're going to be in a rut of helping users reboot and install patches. If you stick to proprietary Unix you can still do well in some high end research or data center work but cheap clusters are eating the bottom end out of some of that market.

Don't expect a senior position. Frankly too many hot-shot grads think they're The Goods; NONE are. If you can't translate your book smarts to real world work then you're destined to a life at a help desk.

That's how it is around here (I'm based in SoCal with work in 8 data centers around the country and 4 internationally) and I've been in the field since 1988.

Well.... (1)

theJerk242 (778433) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852193)

After College, What Type of Jobs Should One Seek?

One that pays money.

Start with CEO (3, Funny)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852195)

I think CEO is a nice place to start. If you can't get that then maybe settle for COO or Vice President. You've spent too long in school to settle for anything less. Remember always get a job that is above your skill level, it makes life more fun!

Re:Start with CEO (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852216)

Heh, no kidding. Does anybody believe in starting at the bottom and working their way up anymore? Self-importance is a career killer.

Re:Start with CEO (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852359)

I need a girl who's name doesn't end with ".jpg"

English is not my first language, but shouldn't that be "whose" instead of "who's"?

Anyway, nice quote :D

Re:Start with CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852366)

Yes, it should.

Re:Start with CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852228)

above your skill level with CEO? oh you mean trying to get below par at the local country club?

Shoot high (2, Insightful)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852196)

Don't worry if your competent or not, your boss will be the judge of that.

However if you would like to be not in an uncertain position you better find out your interest and competents.
Perhaps getting in contact with a good headhunter is not that bad of an idea, but hey who am I telling if get a Msc. CS you could figure that out by yourself.

Re:Shoot high (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852271)

Shoot high? Isn't that something a male gigolo would be told to do?

PS: MS in Computer Sciences would limit his ability in this case.

Can you say... (-1, Redundant)

AccUser (191555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852197)

Would you like fries with that?

You qualify! (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852200)

Sorry, but the only thing that can "challenge" you now is a PHD.

If you are looking for a job (and were not handed one before graduation due to being brilliant) then prepare for a world of boring sub-par social hierarchies where your Master's degree is just a poster on your wall and who you know is all that matters.

*yawn* -1 Redundant (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852277)

You must think you're original or something.

-1 Redundancy loop. (2, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852328)

The parent is a redundant unoriginal comment about redundancy, as is this one.

Why enter the real world? (4, Insightful)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852201)

I hear a P.h.D is nice this time of year. Put off entering the "real world" as long as possible.

Job? (1)

senocular (519317) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852206)

Stay in school. It's much nicer there.

entry level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852207)

you need to start entry level. otherwise how do you know what the folks you're managing are supposed to be doing?

Always remember the #1 rule of business: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852208)

The less you actually DO to get product out the door, the more they pay you ....


Self-employment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852209)

Go self-employed! It's the best. :) All you need is a great idea and motivation.

I've never worked for anyone in my life. Got a flexible schedule and can do whatever I want.

Re:Self-employment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852290)

I'll second that. And add that fear is a great motivator.

Jobs that pay in real money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852210)

not stock options

Something's Wrong Here (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852212)

You just got a Master's degree, and you come to slashdot for career advice?

Most people here are kids working at McDonald's or aging, overweight geeks living in their parents basement.

My advice, listen to all the +5 comments, and do the exact opposite.

Re:Something's Wrong Here (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852232)

My advice, listen to all the +5 comments, and do the exact opposite.

I really hope your comment gets to +5. The connundrum of doing the opposite of the opposite will make his head explode.

...probably the moderation system... (5, Funny)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852250)

My advice, listen to all the +5 comments, and do the exact opposite.

Of course, Slashdot moderation being what it is, the parent will probably end up with a +5 moderation, and then what do you do?

Re:...probably the moderation system... (0, Troll)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852303)

Listen to the gears in your head grind themselves into nothingness as they try to divide by zero?

See, here, listen, I'll just run this little program I have here so you can hear the sound that a computer makes when it divides by ze1p2984h5t03849tNO CARRIER

Re:...probably the moderation system... (1)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852368)

Then my friend, you do it like the Soviet Russians.

Re:Something's Wrong Here (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852299)

I'd mod you up, but then he/she wouldn't listen to you.

But now that I've commented, I can't mod you down.


Re:Something's Wrong Here (2, Interesting)

hype7 (239530) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852313)

very amusing, but not very helpful.

in terms of IT people giving you advice, Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech at Stanford this past week. I had a very high opinion of Jobs before this, but after reading the text here I think he's in exalted territory. Maybe something he says might be able to help you. jobs-061505.html [] :
'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky - I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

It's great advice.

-- james

Re:Something's Wrong Here (1)

hype7 (239530) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852335)

I guess I just want to emphasise this paragraph.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

-- james

Re:Something's Wrong Here (0, Troll)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852322)

I recommend we make manditory for /. readership, in addition to a Geek Card, a roll of duct tape to be wrapped around one's head to prevent sudden 'sploding when one finds this sort of thing and thinks about it's repeFDGFQ#%$35@#%$rfNO CARRIER

Re:Something's Wrong Here (1)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852334)

You just got a Master's degree, and you come to slashdot for career advice?

How do I add that to the list of sayings in fortune?

This man giveth high wisdom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852344)

Amen to that!

If you actually want to find a wife that doesn't look like she could tie for second at the Maryland Ox and Hefer road show I suggest getting out the the industry entirely.

Learning how to carve bongs out of common household appliances on your "time off" is about as constructive as actually using them.
-John Tesh

Re:Something's Wrong Here (1)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852357)

My advice, listen to all the +5 comments, and do the exact opposite.

+5s? Including this one?

Apparently one... (3, Insightful)

Lucid Interval (861321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852213)

Apparently one which does not require much decision making.

MODE PARENT UP!! Re:Apparently one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852306)


Re:Apparently one... (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852372)

Gaining information is an important step in making a decision. Asking Slashdot is an easy way to do that.

What to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852214)

Shotgun mouthwash.

hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852220)

you think slashdot readers have degrees?
you think slashdot readers have interesting jobs?!
why do you think they're reading slashdot?
[10 marks]

One step at a time! (4, Insightful)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852222)

I think you should be very careful - I can't imagine many companies wanting to hire a fresh graduate into a Senior position, there are a lot of experienced professionals out there looking for work, and all the graduates are generally looking to step into a junior software developer positions.

If you aim for unrealistic goals, then you must be prepared to fail, if you do want to go for the senior positions on the off-chance you hit lucky, make sure you also apply for the junior positions elsewhere.

To be honest, just working in a corporate environment should be a challenging learning experience for most graduates, it's completely different to how you will have worked in college. Once you have mastered the basic work-place skills and proven your worth then you will be in a position to move on to more challenging roles.

I would agree that it is best to find a job that you will learn in and be challenged, but the way to do this is to have a lot of applications out there, a number of offers in the bag after interviews, then you choose the most interesting/challenging one. Don't be afraid of accepting positions as they come in, and then "resigning" them before starting if you get a better offer from another company. the companies are pretty strict on making sure they have the right candidate out of many, and if you get the opportunity then you should make sure you pick the best company out of many.

Get your first foot on the ladder, then set your own pace for progression - be on the lookout for stagnation though, if you find yourself getting bogged down in a position, bored and unchallenged, go shopping for a new job.

Hope that helps!

-- Pete.

Stay away from games... (2, Informative)

Pete Brubaker (35550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852223)

From someone who is in the industry, stay away from games. You are only signing yourself up for long hours for lackluster compensation.


Be agressive. (1)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852224)

Find a job you think sounds interesting. If they don't want you there, tell them you can work for free for a while. That way you can show you can handle it and if they like your skills you might aswell get a job with a real salary. It also shows you really want the job, and that's a motivator for them to hire you.

Be ready to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852225)

Perhaps it's just recent, but I was willing to do just about anything when I left school. I certainly wasn't going to be aiming upward at something beyond my skills. I knew that was a cheat for me (more work; less pay) and my employer, who would get someone with the barest competence.

Your diploma means little; you've proved you can learn. You have yet to prove you can work.

My real advice... (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852226)

Make sure you don't undersell yourself. I came out of University with a couple of degrees and three years research, but thought that everyone in the real world was much more experienced than me. I took a job with a small company for around £20K pa, but soon realised that I was carrying the company as I had more experience and better practice. I left there, and two years and three jobs later I was in a senior post with more than twice the salary.

What skills can you prove you have? (4, Insightful)

26199 (577806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852233)

That's the key, and a degree doesn't help you much. A degree gives an employer a fair indication that you have a decent level of knowledge and can work reasonably hard. But it doesn't tell them that you'll be able to plan a software project or write code that's easy to maintain.

If you apply for a job and they have a choice between you and someone with more real world experience, odds are pretty good they won't choose you. So, fresh out of college, your choices are limited. Basically, check the job listings and apply for anything which isn't asking for more experience than you've got. There are other things to consider, of course, but that's the major one. They pretty much have to be looking for a fresh graduate.

Learn to spell and punctuate, for one thing (5, Insightful)

ky11x (668132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852235)

It's "Master's," not "Masters." See wikipedia entry [] .

It doesn't look particularly impressive on a resume if you can't even write your educational credentials correctly. Yes, these are small things, but we are nerds, and for nerds small things like this matter. If we weren't obsessive about details, our programs wouldn't compile, and we wouldn't be who we are.

Re:Learn to spell and punctuate, for one thing (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852332)

Spelling mistakes on a resume are not a small thing, it's stupid to complain about it on Slashdot but not on a resume. You're attempting to make a good enough impression with a piece of paper so that someone who has never met you will consider wanting to know more. Presentation is everything.

Re:Learn to spell and punctuate, for one thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852363)

Your programs compile?

kill yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852236)

suicide is an option

Discouraging competition? (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852304)

My /. is such a nice place, isn't it? I'm guessing you'd start jumping for joy if India fell into the ocean or something like that.

Experience (1)

Skuggamara (853341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852240)

You may be lucky to find a company that is willing to hire you into a more senior position simply on the merits of your Masters degree, but I wouldn't count on it.

You are probably going to have to develop some experience and workplace accomplishments in your field to be able to move up into the more senior development positions. Your Masters should help you from being brought in at the lowest of development positions, though.

Hope this helps.

I must say (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852242)

Our soon-to-be ex-student friend here is very naive. I should know, I was the same when I left university, proud and all, with my degree and a nice letter from the school stating that I had the best grades in the region.

But there's a big difference between him and me: I started working during the bubble, and I had the luxury of actually shopping for a job. That is over now, as he'll soon realize.

Good luck buddy, you'll need it. Trust me...

I guess I'm doing it backwards (1)

andcal (196136) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852244)

This December will be my 7-year mark at the Fortune 500 company I work for.
Eight months after that, I should finish my bachelor's degree. I guess I will tell you then.

Easy one. (1)

nurhussein (864532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852245)

Also, what kind of position should a person with a Master's in Computer Science be looking for (other than dish washer)?

Burger flipper.

At least if you live in a place unappreciative of academic achievement.

McDonalds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852246)

Start working at McDo, sell burgers!

Wow... (1)

nettdata (88196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852251)

It never ceases to amaze me that people try and figure out what job they should look for AFTER they've done their years of schooling.

Personally, I always looked at school as a means to an end... I want this kind of a job, so I'll take this in school.

Re:Wow... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852341)

Personally, I always looked at school as a means to an end... I want this kind of a job, so I'll take this in school.

And some of us study what we're actually interested in. It's foolish to assume that at 18, you know what all jobs are like and what you want to do.

serious reply (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852254)

Get a job for a company that does something you are interested in. Don't aim too high. The biggest mistake grads make when they come for interviews where I work is they are too cocky, they think they know it all when they don't. Most CS grads know the theory but can't actually use anything they know in a real world situation. Also they can't handle not having loads of time to plan and having to get it done by the dead line. In the real world you don't get extensions to when your work is due in (well you do but then you don't get any more work!).

Get a job as just a general worker in an IT company. Don't be too cocky, listen and learn. Suggest ideas and if they are not the right idea ask why not. Try not to piss too many people off who don't have a degree or masters, etc. If they have been at the company/industry longer than you chances are they know shit loads more than you and you can learn a great deal from them.

An education is a great thing but it isn't the only thing you need to survive in life. Don't become a victim to the cocky graduate stereotype that all IT companies have these days.

Best of luck to you!

My advice, and I haven't graduated. (1)

tevenson (625386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852256)

If it were me I'd make sure, no matter how "high up" the position was, that it was something I found interesting and fufilling. Even if the job is less than challenging, but is part of a field you find interesting and enjoy, I think you will have a better chance of sticking with it. You will, most likely, have the ability to work up to something better (aka more challenging) in that field once you're already there.

What I'm saying is, don't go for a harder job just because its harder. Choose something that you can see yourself doing 5-10 years from now and begin where you have to.

Of course, I've yet to even graduate with my B.S. in computer science :)

My only job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852260)

Pimpin da ho's.

I just got my PHD, will that be for here or to go? (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852262)

Good luck in the real world! =)

Full time for at least a few years (2, Insightful)

cdavies (769941) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852263)

If you're coming straight from university, you can do much worse than a few years of full time employment. Pay off those depts, gain some valuable experience so that people will take you seriously, it'll help you with what ever you may want to do later in life.

As for what sort of employment, I'm biased because I work in it, but I think the Mobile Phone software industry is very up and coming right now, its where all the excitment is going to be in the next few years.

Healthcare IT if you can ... (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852264)

It's a bit tougher to get your foot in the door now then when I started, but there are a lot of high paying gigs out there in health IT (at least in the US anyway). Learning the workflow of the various clinical departments balanced with a solid tech background is a very valuable skill set at this time.

My advice would be to try and go that route if you are looking for steady employment. If you do go that route and happen to get hired by a hospital or company specializing in health IT, then I would recommend some side courses at the local community college to learn medicare/medicaid processing, HIPAA, patient management and patient accounting overview classes.

Maintenance Engineer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852266)

4 years of college, and I'm now sweeping floors there.

In General (1)

Crapshoot (880704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852289)

If you're interested in branching out of CS, look into finance- they will pay very well for quantitative analyists, and if you have any economics background - all the better (but not neccessary). Most of the big one's prefer Phd's, but they will hire Masters at 6 figures or close to it (at least).

keep it real (1)

virgil2795 (222273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852272)

Since you won't have much(if any) experience, you need to shoot for the 'I am enthusiastic and very willing to learn' angle. I am an IT manager in the financial industry(not help house dev), and I am constantly looking for good people, with little luck. I would rather hire someone that can pick things up and have some 'fire in the belly' then someone that thinks he knows everything. It is amazing how many people put 'Java'(or other 'skills') on their resume because they took one Java class but only remember how to do the 'hello world'. I think the best thing I learned in college was how to solve problems. Make sure you send along a cover letter. If you have any personal side projects you are working on,put those down. Recruiters are ok, but they don't give that personal touch. I worked in dot coms for 4 years before going to the financial industry, and surprisingly, I like it. It is much more stable(if you are looking for that). Best of luck.

Job after Masters (1)

nihilonian (732362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852273)

One thing I have learnt after my MS is that "One Size Does Not Fit All". What kind of a job you search for is completely upto you, as it takes into account lot of variables specific to you.

List down a set of choices:
1 - What are your strong points? Agreed, you can do whatever you have to. But, what are you best at?
2 - Search for the jobs that interest you, or as your Research Lab professor said, challenge you.
3 - Make sure that you specify whether you are willing to relocate
4 - Highlight your Masters degree in your resume. No matter what anyone tells you, an advanced / graduate degree will still land you a better job
5 - Be Patient. Shoot for a challenging job (either in a Senior or Entry-level position). When you land the job you "WANTED", you'll be glad for your patience.

Finally, remember that with your Masters, the job opportunities available have reduced due to your qualifications. So, be flexible without compromising on your interests.

doesn't apply to everyone here... (1)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852275)

I'm still in high school you insensitive clod!

Re:doesn't apply to everyone here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852321)

I'm still in high school you insensitive clod!
We could tell by your disgustingly high UID.

two words: self employment (2, Informative)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852278)

That's one way to prove yourself and learn all the parts of a business directly. Or rotate through divisions of a larger company that involve marketing, product design, business development, channel relations, advertising, tech support, etc. If you take this approach, one thing is for sure: you won't wind up a tax-and-spend Democrat. (!)

to state the obvious (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852280)

One you think you can manage/are skilled for..
One where the people are friendly( managment and co-workers)
One with good benefits .
One with prospects.
All else failing , take what's going and find your head as you go .

You are askign the worng question (5, Insightful)

pointyhairedmba (698579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852282)

You're asking the wrong question. You should first sit down and ask yourself what interests you and what you would enjoy doing for a living. Maybe you dig airplanes so you want to get a job working on the computer systems on new planes from Boeing. Or maybe you like security software so go find a job at Symantec. You get the point.

After you've figured out what interests you, go talk to alumni from your school who work in the industry you're heading into. Ask them how they like their job, what salary expectatios you should have with your experience etc.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure you enjoy it. Good luck job hunting! I hope you land somewhere interesting and enjoyable.

IT job suck (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852284)

I got a good Bsc Comp Sci from a good university, and couldnt get a IT job for a year, bare in mind this was just before 9/11 when I graduated I guess which might alter things..

I then went back and got an MSc in Internet Systems Development but when I was 'learning' I landed a part time development roll where I was hideously over worked and under paid, now 12 months after graduating I've packed in that job and as well as a BSc and an MSc (that noone cares about) I have 3 years of industry experience that counts.

At the moment I'm unemployed but job seeking and am getting interviews left right and center. Noone cares about my degrees, it's all do you have x years commercial experience in y language and z environment, which I do \o/

I guess IT positions are now like the media industry nowadays, where you have to start working for peanuts to get that much needed commercial experience and go on to better things later. Sucks.

Practically impossible (1)

FullMetalAlchemist (811118) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852293)

Practically impossible to get that that kind of job unless you get into politics, law or economics; and you probably end up beeing to good at it right at the start :)

How about the Supreme Court? Bush needs help, and those Enron lads too... then you to be in all positions at once.

Beware PHBs & laundry-list skillsets (1)

sfled (231432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852294)

'nuff said.

sucker (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852297)

I got out of school just after the dot com bust and 9/11... it took me the better part of 3 years to find a job (my area is extremely depressed -- coudln't afford to move anywhere).

You take any job you can get and look what for you want later :)

I guess I'm mean but... (1)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852298)

If you have masters and are asking those questions you might want to get some common sense and some drive and motivation while you are at it. Seriously, if you got a Masters, you surely had a concentration and would have had contacts through your research?

zerg (2, Insightful)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852301)

Don't you kids have guidance counselors or advisors or anything? Find a job you think would be fun! Or find a job that will allow you to save up to switching to something fun.

In my experience... (2, Insightful)

twofidyKidd (615722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852302)

Senior level positions are reserved for individuals who have commensurate experience and education, only one of which you have (and, even though you say you have a masters degree, I don't know if its a masters in culinary arts from the Wassamatta U, or a Comp Sci degree from MIT.)
If you shoot for a Senior level anything position, you better know, and I mean KNOW your shit, because by that point, they are looking for people to get things done, rather than learning things. You might do well to start at a I or II level position, and work (and I do mean WORK) your way up. I started at a I and in less than a year, got promoted (with a consider raise) to a II level by proving myself beyond just doing what was necessary.

For starters... (1)

non0score (890022) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852308)

I think the key point to remember is that you may not find the job that you want right away (if you do find one you want, then all the power to you!). The following suggestion assumes that you actually want to be challenged in your job, not just being complacent.

I personally think the best way is to find a set of jobs that you may qualify for (say, if a job requires 7 years of experience and you have 5, then go for it...but if you only have 2, then forget it) and in a field you wouldn't mind being in, from both online and offline sources (especially online, since you're a CS person). Then look at the companies these jobs fall under and pick the ones you think has potential for you and the company to grow. Go for those positions.

Remember that a lot of the "juicier" jobs come from internal postings. Those are the ones that you don't see unless you have connections. So the point is to get yourself in the door, and then consider transferring after a few months or so.

As for the senior position, I think you can probably forget about it. No one will hire a fresh Master's student for that position. Of course, if you're someone who's been developing for some large corporation or open source project, then you might land the job.

Please, not IT... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852312)

Nothing to see here. We're all fine and there aren't any spare jobs. Move along please...

Seriously though, I would never hire a newbie graduate (well, not never). From past experience, I've tended to find that the best IT people are those who love what they do and drop out because they see the weaknesses in the learning system associated with IT or spend so much time actually doing it, rather than people who view IT as a 'here and now' easy money route that it just like any other profession.

The latter I despise, and you can usually catch them out simply by asking why they're in IT. Normally you get a very honest "I thought there was money in it" answer. Normally they're of the opinion "I've been trained in it, so I must be good" and fail to realise that some of the key qualities come simply through a love of the subject.

Harsh I know, but graduates nowadays expect it on a plate as soon as they're out.

How about an exciting career with the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852316)

I hear these folks are hiring:
[] []

You are guarenteed international responsibility and incredible excitement.

My story (1)

HillaryWBush (882804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852318)

I was hired by a very large but not too conservative software company when I was 19. I didn't have any college but I had released a series of Mac software applications that were very popular and polished. I found that, after the initial awkwardness of going from potsmoking teen to highly paid programmer, which lasted about a month and nearly got me fired, that my real experience designing software was about twenty times more valuable than the "degrees" of my coworkers. I outlasted quite a few team members there who just couldn't deal with new things.

If you want my advice, you should immediately get a computer of your own and start hacking. Write something. Anything. Just code code code. Release something and provide support. Doesn't matter what! Write a checkers program, or a web browser from scratch. Or implement a garbage collector for C++, we could use one of those. Anything that challenges you.

well (1)

Sase (311326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852319)

well the thing is that long term it jobs are hard to come by. your best bet for that is in fortune 500 companies it teams... but don't expect autonomy. while looking I suggest doing some consulting jobs and side programming projects. that willl keep you busy and xashflow positive while you look. fyi I staryed my own consulting firm and that has dine well but the competition is fierce. as a result I'm here at a recital but I have to be accessible 24 7... hencw the treo 650 which is awesome btw

don't panic (1)

bratboy (649043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852329)

now is a GREAT time to take a chance - you're (probably) young, don't have a lot of money (i.e., you don't have to worry about screwing up your finances too badly - you don't have any), no commitments... go to hyderabad and get experience on that side of outsourcing. or join/start an internet startup in your parents' basement. or go work for nintendo - in japan. one day you're going to look back on this time and think, "man, i really played it safe," or "i can't believe i actually did that."

what type of person do you want to be? what type of person do you think will have better job prospects in the future? what do you think will make you a more interesting candidate in a future job hunt? these are serious questions, and i obviously have my own opinions, but you've got to figure out what your personal tolerance for risk is, and how far outside the box you're willing to think.


Research (1)

jgold03 (811521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852330)

By working on a Master's, you've obviously had to do research in some specific field. That should be the first clue to where you want to work. If you are doing graphics research, don't go work for Symantec. Your research should get you good work, and then just let them decide what position you are.

what a Master's buys you (1)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852337)

I don't think most MSCS graduates are ready for a senior software engineer position. To be a competent senior software engineer, one of the things you need is experience at completing projects. You need to be able to plan your time, estimate how long programming tasks will take, determine when things are going wrong and what to do about it (what things to cut, whether to ditch some of your code and take a different tack). You may have gotten some experience at this in school, but honestly it's hard to get really good at this stuff without having been involved in some projects that failed and some that succeeded. And that kind of experience is what makes someone valuable enough to be a senior software engineer, in most cases. (The other thing that makes a senior software engineer is an expert level of knowledge with some of the specific industry tools that the project is using. For instance, if you are doing J2EE stuff, the senior engineer is going to know the Java development environment and all the server support stuff like the back of his hand and will be highly productive in that particular environment.)

So, what does your Master's degree buy you if it doesn't qualify you to be a senior engineer? It basically buys you the ability to start out at the same level (organizationally) as someone with a BSCS, but working on some kind of project that's more technical and more fun. When a company has a task that requires an extra level of technical skill, like working on a compiler, or doing DSP code, or optimizing operating systems, they generally prefer someone who has an MSCS for that kind of thing.

The good news is, I think an MSCS will actually get you a better (more interesting and somewhat high paying) job than a BSCS will. It's not a ticket that enables you to jump past the first few steps. It doesn't substitute for experience. But, it does open up opportunities to be involved with certain technical work that those without an MSCS will have a harder time getting into.

Help with stuff like this by sending me your story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12852342)

I've recently started a website dedicated to people who love their jobs sharing their stories and details of what they do. I don't have many contributions yet, so if anyone out there wants to send me their story, we can get this thing off the ground and help with questions like this. Check it out [] I look forward to hearing about those tech jobs!

Be prepared for a shock... (2, Insightful)

Procrastin8er (791570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852350)

Not trying to be rude, but your academic achievements may not count as much as you think. Practical experience counts far more. My past experience tells me that I cannot judge someone by their education. Many of the best and brightest people I have worked with did not have any, or very little, college education. Also I have worked with many people with Masters degrees who are complete idiots.
And vice-versa.

I am not knocking you or your education, just trying to prepare you for what you may find.

Networking (1)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852356)

Networking is key. The tried and true book Winning Friends and Influencing others completely changed the way I talked to people and I saw an immediate improvement. It basically boils down to just asking people questions and being genuinely interested. Try it sometime.

By the way does anyone have recommendations for books that are similar over even better?

Trust me.... (1)

chriswaclawik (859112) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852361)

The key to finding a good job is finding an hourly wage that fits your needs. Luckily, there is a simple equation for this:

how much money you want to earn / how much time you want to work = hourly wage

senior?? (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12852362)

I've been looking at senior software developer positions, but is that too high up the ladder for someone 'fresh' to cope with?

People starting at my company (defense contractor) with a MSCS start at software engineer level 2. One step above those without the masters. Basically the 2 year masters is the same as 2 years of work. Forget trying to be a senior level.
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