There are few careers that empower you to work for nearly any company in any industry, but computer science does just that. As we move forward into an increasingly digital future, the demand for people who can ensure that technology works as intended (not to mention, create new and exciting innovations) will continue to rise.
Tempus Nova is proud to be on the front lines of digital solutions, and we want to help build up the next generation of computer scientists and IT professionals. To that end, here’s a guide for how to get started in the tech industry:
Earning a Degree
Your first step should be learning as much as you can about technology, programming languages, and digital solutions. There’s a lot out there you can self-teach, but we’d recommend getting a degree in IT or computer science. These degrees take you much deeper into the theories and ideas behind programming and how computers really work. This can help you think of out-of-the-box solutions and come up with even better ways to push the industry forward.
If you’re really interested in creating a better tech tomorrow, consider staying through and earning your master’s degree. This higher level degree gives you the opportunity to take a deep dive into a particular issue or technique in the tech world. You’ll leave an expert, and companies will be excited to bring your knowledge on board. Plus, there are plenty of flexible online programs that allow you to pursue a degree while working a day job.
Finding Internships and Co-Ops
Many tech programs include internships and co-ops as part of their degree requirements. Unfortunately, earning those roles can be pretty stressful if not outright challenging. Not to mention, not all internships are created equal. Here’s how to find an internship that will give your resume the boost it needs:
- Where possible, avoid unpaid internships. These are less common in the tech world, but you may still come across them on your search. Technically unpaid internships can’t give you work that impacts the company, so you’ll either wind up with a resume no more impressive than when you started, or you’ll be taken advantage of.
- Look for an internship that focuses on a language you’re particularly interested in, or on one you don’t quite have a grasp on yet. As Fast Company points out, internships (even paid ones) are learning experiences first, so this is your opportunity to try things out and see what works in the real world.
- Ask internship advisors to write you a letter of recommendation at the end of your internship. Ask permission to keep it on hand and send it out when necessary. This will make applying for jobs or grad school down the line much easier.
Entering the Job Market
Once you’re finished with school, it’s time to find a full-time position and further hone your skills. Start by taking a look at job listings online to get a sense for what’s out there. Forbes suggests using sites like Glassdoor to get a sense for the company’s culture, as well as get an idea of what kind of salary you could expect there. Take time to make any application you send strong and tailored to the rule – casting a wide, generic net isn’t likely to get results.
If it’s taking a while to find a full-time job, look into freelancing. There are a ton of contract roles out there for people in IT and computer science. Gig work like this doesn’t offer benefits like health insurance or PTO, but it can keep you solvent between full-time work. Moreover, some people take to it well enough that their income makes up for the missing benefits, and there’s a lot to be said for self-employment.
The computer science and IT fields offer a world where you can problem solve, think creatively, and see the tangible, everyday results of your work. As technology improves and makes its way into more and more of our lives, we’ll need more people capable of handling it. That might just be you.
Connect with Tempus Nova for Google tech solutions made simple.