6 answers

Besides a computer science degree, what else can I do while in college to make myself more employable after college?

Asked

In addition to working on my college degree in technology, what else should I do while in college to make myself more employable?

#computer-science #degree #technology
#employable #job-application
#personal-development

6 answers

Nicole’s Answer

Updated Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hello Brian,


With Computer Science, you're off to a great start. As someone who already works in the tech industry, here are some ideas for what you can tackle in college that will give companies more incentive to hire you:

  1. Learn a Language - Depending on the industry, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese would be a couple of good picks. Focus on recognizing the business vocabulary and being able to handle a professional conversation. While English still has dominance as a lingua franca for now, there is a high demand for skilled professionals who can speak two or more languages. (As an example, pretty much everything I know about tech was taught to me - for free - by a company that hired me because they needed my language skills.)
  2. Don't Neglect Your Soft Skills - The most in-demand professionals right now are those who can can straddle the divide between the highly-technical world and the general population. Everything from the copy-editing to explaining the function of an application or even a button to someone who writes product documentation or promotional materials can be complicated when someone can't connect with end-users. Even getting the resolution to a technical issue can be delayed simply because the technical engineer and the end-user can't communicate effectively. (Ex. A technical engineer may ask about the kernel when trying to troubleshoot, but 'kernel' means nothing to a typical end-user.)
  3. Read - Technology advances quickly. Keep yourself up-to-date on the latest with both business and technology trends.
  4. Research - Even if you're not looking for jobs now, start doing some job searches to see what kinds of jobs you would be interested in and what they're looking for you to have. This should give you a pretty solid idea of what employers are looking for as well.
  5. Adopt a Growth-Mindset - As I said before, everything advances quickly now. You're going to have to know how to adapt quickly. Be prepared for out-of-the-box thinking or you will be replaced by a machine.

There is plenty more that you can do, but these five tips have helped me immensely.


Please let me know if you have any further questions!


Kind regards,

Nicole

Thai’s Answer

Updated Fairfax, Virginia
  • Study for IT certifications (agile, itil, oracle, java, etc.) during your off time (winter, summer)
  • Join toastmaster to become a good speaker, and leader. They have 2 tracks, communication and leadership.
  • Do Internship, at least summer internship
  • Start networking. You must have heard, "It's not what you know, it's who you know."

My son is in his second year in college and doing CS, and those are the advices I gave him.


Daniel’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Internships, and the ability to actually program correctly. A computer science degree definitely doesn't imply the ability to actually program correctly, unfortunately.


But mostly internships. Undergrad research if you can't find an internship. Open source contributions if you can't find either.

Sherrill’s Answer

Updated Alpharetta, Georgia

Start networking now! You will be amazed at how connected your fellow students are now and how important that can be to your future success. Reach out and volunteer for organizations, attend functions and participate in community events. You will be rewarded richly as the more you give the more you will benefit. I suggest you create your LinkedIn account now and be sure to add connections as you meet new people. Keep active and you will have more opportunities and leads as you continue on your path. Best of luck to you!


Sherrill recommends the following next steps:

  • Create your LinkedIn Account
  • Join an organization
  • Attend an event
  • Meet one person and add to your network

Jordan’s Answer

Updated

Internship are key to getting real world work experience in a fun way. Some of them even pay you for your hard work. This allows you the opportunity to make connections, see what you like and do not like. When you intern, do be scared to be ask to take on more tasks or to ask questions. Volunteer in the community when you have some free time. It does not have to be anything huge. Maybe it is going and serving food a homeless shelter or reading books to kids at a local school. 

Elisa’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

Great question! Internships can be extremely beneficial, but you can also build your resume and make yourself more employable through volunteering efforts that take advantage of your computer science skills, side projects, and other activities that demonstrate leadership skills and initiative.

You should also start networking, attending meet-ups, etc. to create connections with folks that can give you advice and provide connections within the companies where you are interested in working.