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What steps did you take to land your first job in information technology?

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I am currently a senior in high school, wanting to pursue computer science to become a software application developer. What is the best way to get a job during university? I would like a job that will give me experience that university can't give me and help improve my skills. #information-technology

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Ayanna’s Answer

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Hi Savanna - IT is a great field to get into! I currently support the IT organization and we've hired a number of college graduates who started out as summer interns and contingent workers. First, I'd encourage you to have a good relationship with the Career Services office at your college or university. Make sure the counselor is aware of your interests in IT. He or she will be able to let you know what companies may be coming to campus to recruit in this field and what the requirements are.


Another step you can take is to search out companies career websites in early January or early spring. Many companies have a robust summer internship programs. This is around the time they post for their summer internship opportunities. They do it months in advance because there are usually hundreds of students who apply, so make sure you check frequently. Also, make sure you follow all the application instructions closely.


After you graduate, it may be challenging to find a full-time role with little experience. This is where contract agencies can help. Sign up with a contracting agency and they will be able to pair you with short to long term contract jobs. You'll be an employee of the agency and be contracted out to work at a site. These contracts can be anywhere from 30 days to 2 years, depending on the needs of the company. Many times, companies will hire contractors into full-time roles. Especially if you've been there for a while, really know the role, and can add value with your expertise.


In order to really succeed in obtaining a full-time role after you graduate from college, having experiences while you are in school will be key. Think of potentially doing some volunteer IT work as well, that you can add to your resume. Every little bit helps. Including extra-curricular activities: think about joining organizations where you can work on projects, network, be a leader, and more. Work experience is key, but having a well-rounded college experience is important also.


I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!

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Bridget’s Answer

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Absolutely agree with Ayanna. Career services at your university is key for finding a great opportunity as a summer intern.


Additionally, if you are already comfortable programming, you can look for local volunteer opportunities supporting your schools or other organizations that are run w/volunteer support (like sports, fundraisers, etc...). The experience will help you build your resume, while networking and showcasing your skills.

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Vijay’s Answer

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Develop your own portfolio of projects that can be accessed online. You will need this while applying for universities and for jobs. Github and may be a personal blog detailing your journey may be of help.
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Natalie’s Answer

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You can search large companies in your area (for example: Fortune 500 companies, or Fortune 100 companies in your city/State) and look at their Career section for "Students". If the company offers internships, it would be a good way to find those opportunities. Here is the AIG Career section for Students http://www.aig.com/careers/students

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