Being a junior and focusing on IT management as one of my modules, I limited my search to jobs that are within the confines of IT support, administration, relations, database or consulting. Most of the employers require similar pre-requisites such as a couple of years of experience, a degree in the IT field, being skilled in Microsoft Office, and having excellent interpersonal qualities.
Now after browsing through an abundance of job ads in the IT field around N.Y., I’ve come to the conclusion that it is seemingly impossible to get a job right out of City Tech without some sort of external leverage or hands-on experience to even obtain an interview. Firstly, there are a slew of undesirable factors such as competition from your peers, limited positions, experience and unfavorable odds that are stacked against you when you try to apply for these positions.
Secondly, from my experience at City Tech, the programming and computer support/hardware courses that I’ve taken so far has hardly helped me at all with the internship I recently completed this summer. I would estimate that 90% of the time I would refer to Google to try and find solutions for any tasks, questions and problems that I had with my given project. Furthermore, a lot of the programming languages and critical software development tools that are popular in the industry and that I had to use, were not taught in school. Some examples of these are cURL, JSON, Python, noSQL, and GIT.
So how do we remedy some of these problems? Put yourself out there and go the extra mile to gain any sort of hands-on work/experience in the field. Any time you see or feel there is an opportunity that may lead to an internship or job, seize it. Also do research on what skills/software packages companies require and have in common. Afterwards, try to scratch the surface in the basics of these so if/when the time arises where you are required to utilize it, it won’t become foreign and new.
Reflecting back to when I applied for summer internships with only basic programming, troubleshooting skills, and limited job experience, I felt inadequate and feared that I had no chance. Furthermore, when I spoke with an IT specialist recruiter and gave her my resume, she said to me that I was at a disadvantage and didn’t have much hands-on or experience compared to the other applicants. Nonetheless, I didn’t let that stop me. I applied to every summer internship opportunity I saw and eventually got something doing web development. After completing my summer internship, I feel more confident in my ability to land a second internship or a part-time IT position.