How Computer Science Graduates Can Kickstart Their Careers
Technology and the internet have transformed our society in just about every way, and this has created a whole new employment sector that looks likely to continue growing for years to come. A popular choice of degree for young people looking to enter the sector is computer science as it can lead to a wide range of roles with high earning potential. Of course, while completing a degree in computer science is a good place to start, it is not an automatic pass to a successful career. After you have graduated with a degree in computer science, you need to be proactive about kickstarting and building a successful career. Here are some tips to help you get started with your best foot forward.
Practice your skills
Just because you have graduated and your degree is nicely framed on the wall does not mean that you can rest on your laurels. It is important that you continue to stay sharp and to learn a range of coding languages. There are plenty of practice exercises online that can help you to continue learning and improving, and it is worth doing at leasing some coding every day to keep yourself fresh.
Keep up with industry trends
Technology is changing at an incredible pace, and being out of the loop even for a short period could mean losing track or missing out on big developments. This is why it is vital that you stay on top of the latest trends and emerging technologies in case you need to learn new skills or understand new systems that might make you more employable. It will also ensure that you know which skills you should practice the most and which companies might want to hire more employees.
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One of the most effective ways to find an opportunity and to meet people who could help you begin your career is to network. Internships or networking events are great ways to make connections and get advice from people already succeeding in their careers. In some cases, you might even find a mentor. Consider asking your university tutors or people you worked with during an internship or placement for letters of recommendation.
Research potential career paths
There are numerous career paths to choose from for computer science graduates, so it is worth doing research to ensure you are pursuing the right types of opportunities. Think about which roles would offer you both challenges and rewards and which would involve more independent work or collaboration. You may want to apply your skills in a particular industry, so do some research around which companies are hiring at the moment.
Seek out opportunities
At the start of your career, you will need to do a lot of searching and will need to apply for multiple opportunities. Consider setting yourself a target to apply for a certain number of jobs per day or week to increase your odds but take the time to make each application as bespoke as possible. This means addressing the job specification and the company in detail and not sending off generic resumes for roles you are not qualified for. Your network may be able to let you know of opportunities, and online job boards can be useful. Click here for software developer resume tips.
Be social online – in a professional way
Although it needs to be used with caution and professionalism, social media can be an effective tool when starting your career. Plenty of colleges will have forums and online networking for their alumni, which can uncover opportunities. When employers are considering candidates, they will usually check their social media profiles to see if they would be a good fit for their organization, so be sure to keep your personal and professional social media presence clean and try to highlight your skills and interests.
Contact specialist recruiters
There are plenty of specialist recruiters out there who work with companies to find the best employees. They often attend college events or might even reach out to graduates who look like they could be a good fit. Of course, you should also be proactive and contact recruiters yourself. Sending them your resume, letting them know you are available for work and the skills you have to offer will place you on their radar the next time a new graduate role comes across their desk.
Study for a higher degree
In the early stages of your career, a bachelor’s or associate degree in computer science should be enough to get your foot in the door. However, if you are interested in applying for a role with more seniority that offers higher earning potential, it is worth considering completing a masters computer science online. Completing an online degree enables you to continue to work while studying. This level of education could open a lot more doors, even if you are still in the process of studying for it, as it shows employers that you have ambition and are committed to self-improvement. Some employers might even contribute to your tuition fees. There may also be computer science certifications in particular topics that could help you to continue your development through examinations.
Work on your own projects
In addition to the theoretical study you completed at college, prospective employers would be interested to see more creative and original projects that you have worked on in your spare time. You could include links to your work on your resume and present your work during an interview. For example, if you have a personal interest in something, build an app on the topic that showcases as many of your skills as possible. This will show employers that you are more than a resume and have the determination to see a project through.
Relax and recharge
Looking for a job can be difficult, especially if you end up applying for lots of jobs with no success. Make sure that you take a break in between studying, practicing, and applying for roles to do what you enjoy. Relax and recharge with your friends and family, pursue your hobbies, and keep your motivation levels up. With persistence and the right approach, you will secure a role that will kickstart your career.
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