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

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

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Subject: Career question for you

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Elisa’s Answer

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.

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DaShena’s Answer

Find a mentor and a career ambassador. If you have to earn money while attending college, work in a field that's related to your degree.
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Nick’s Answer

I'd recommend finding/taking public speaking and negotiation classes. No matter your profession, you will that those two skills will be used to your advantage in your career.
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Pratim’s Answer

Hi Brian,

It's good that you already are preparing for something you want in the future.

1. Look for any work or project that's going on in your college that you can work on. Maybe you can find work by asking your professors.
2. Do self projects and participate in hackathons. This shows your interest in the field besides college-courses.
3. Participate in Open Source Communities and contribute to their projects. This is a great way to showcase your work on your resume. There are plenty of programs online that welcome new open source developers. If Open Source seems difficult which it can be, look for other Internships.
4. Once you have some of the above on your resume, along with good grades, you can aim for an Internship at a reputed company/organization. Doesn't matter if the Company is big or not, what matters is your contribution to it.
5. Participate in College Committees relating to coding and volunteer to take positions of responsibility as companies also look for leadership skills and whether you are able to work in a team.

Look for mentors/connections who can help you with what you want to achieve and how you can polish your resume for that.

All the Best!
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Sherrill’s Answer

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
Thank you comment icon Way to include next steps! Paul Frazier
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Dan’s Answer

Hey Brian

To me, one of the best things a CS undergraduate student can do to distinguish themselves in the job market, is working on one or more large projects outside of your coursework. Working on personal projects both forces you to learn more hands-on practical skills that are not always gained in classes and demonstrates to employers that you are motivated to learn and are genuinely interested in the work. These extra projects could come in the form of an internship, doing an independent research project, building an app or website, or doing research for a professor. Try to build something that will force you to learn more about areas you are not as familiar with and try to use industry standard tools while building your projects. Bonus points for a group project to show how you work well with a team.

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Thai’s Answer

  • 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.


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Nagarjuna’s Answer

I would suggest you to take up freelancing on any technology, it can be like web development or data science or any other things you are interested in. Reach out to local stores, ask their issue and try to think if you can fix that issue with your knowledge and technology you are aware of. This would help you to get to know real world issue, which will be helpful to get new idea and also improve your soft skills like approaching a customer and discussion on solution.
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carrie’s Answer

What a fantastic question! It's wonderful to see your enthusiasm for learning! I would suggest immersing yourself in groups that focus on the realm of computer science. This will give you a great platform for networking! Moreover, explore any volunteer opportunities at your college in diverse fields. This will not only broaden your educational scope but also shape you into a versatile professional! LinkedIn is another valuable resource to consider. There are numerous courses available on LinkedIn that can broaden your perspective and unveil new opportunities. Volunteering is a remarkable way to gain experience and connect with people you might not have encountered otherwise! You're on the path to achieving remarkable things!
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Jordan’s Answer

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. 

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Rahul’s Answer

Hi Brian, Along with your course classes I would you do project, a lot of them. I'd probably say 2 for each subject that you are taking in your course. Everyone would probably suggest you something similar to thing! Because that is important to be relevant and to stay up to date with the latest trends. Make sure the projects that you are doing are in someway related to the problems or the structure that companies actually work like. Ask you professor or reach out to professionals on Linkedin to get more information on what technologies they are using and also know how they are using that technology - because that is what makes you stand apart when you are in an interview pool. Work on projects that replicate the methodology/ complexity with which actual organization work. Team up with a group of people and simulate the kind of work and projects that actually happen in Software companies.
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Theodore’s Answer

Internships. Clubs, Executive Positions, Code Competitions, etc

The best thing you can do is get involved on campus, this can help you stand out as more than just the computer science major, but the computer science major with leadership experience and practical experience. Make a goal to try something new every semester and your progress will snowball from there. good luck!
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Frank’s Answer

Hi Chaitra,
Very good question. Computer Science can be daunting for people not in the field. Technical Professionals can have trouble communicating in layman’s terms with management and rank and file employees. Take some business and management classes with your electives. Public speaking can also help. You will be more valuable if you know where they are coming from and can communicate on their level.
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Chaitra’s Answer

Besides an Engineering degree, research on the kind of job you are looking for. There are some courses that need to be taken to add skill set to the job. So try to find what will add that skill for you to be employable.
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Giselle’s Answer

Practice speaking - public speaking and speaking in small groups. Communication is essential! You may be the brightest bulb in the room, but if you cannot express it, it's hard for people to notice. This skill is also essential for interviews.

Practice summarizing problems - simmering them down into sensible pieces so people can understand the steps involved, can reproduce issues and move forward with solving the problem. I realized pretty quickly that Technical minded folks don't want to read essays; bullet points and problem statements are wonderful! :) As a Technical Support Engineer, I work a lot with Technical folks, including Software Engineers and it is essential that we can get to the facts clearly and efficiently so we can solve the problems together.

Cheers!
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Nicole’s Answer

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

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