How To Get A Job In Tech After Graduation: Advice From The Experts

Few industries are as dynamic and appealing to young folks coming out of universities as tech. But embarking upon a career in that sector can feel confusing and perhaps even intimidating.

How do you decide where to apply? How do you research prospective employers? Must software engineers go about their job-searches differently than, say, business development candidates? How do you put your best foot forward in an interview?

We spoke with several hiring managers at growing tech firms about what new graduates should do as they search for their first role in the industry. Here’s what they had to say…

Spurning tech jobs with six-figure salaries

Software developers in their 20s are now treated like celebrities in pop culture. Hit TV shows like HBO’s “Silicon Valley” glamorize geekdom, and the public has never been more fascinated with young founders of billion-dollar tech companies.

Surprisingly, the fame and fortune of internet entrepreneurs has done little to attract more Americans to this field. In fact, there is a critical shortage of talented software developers at a time when the tech industry is booming.

According to jobs website Glassdoor, there are currently more than 2,500 unfilled software jobs in Missouri. These aren’t just traditional tech companies. As we live in an increasingly connected world, all types of industries are using mobile platforms and data to better serve customers. Even though this work is rewarding, it’s a challenge to hire software developers to build out these services. The $97,860 average salary in St. Louis reflects the high demand for these positions. These figures hold up across the state. In Joplin, software developers earn more than $86,000 on average. Still, the hard part is finding people to fill these positions.

Let’s Encourage Diversity in the Tech Industry. Read about Women in Technology: The Challenge and the Responsibility.

Is it almost reverse logic in some ways to call out ‘women in technology’ as an issue that needs addressing? Surely it should just be people in technology, some of whom are women, right? Speaking as a man married to a female professional software application developer who feels exactly this way, it’s kind of tough not to see women coder initiatives as sexist in their own right.

I put this question to a senior technical editor (male) colleague of mine who said, “Yes you’re right, in some ways it becomes a negative — but there is an imbalance in the industry and so its even worse if we don’t do it.”

There’s no invisible hand

Indeed, as tech analyst at Red Monk James Governor wrote this week, “Diversity in tech is an important issue that can’t be left to the ‘invisible hand’. We need to be visible, encouraging diversity, making welcoming spaces. At my events we always offer free tickets for underrepresented groups.”

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