Getting your first job in IT industry

Guest post by Ganesh SG, summarized by Rashmi

Today, there are thousands of engineering colleges and merely getting a pass mark in +2 is enough to get an engineering seat .Most colleges don’t have good placements, and even if they do, it is impossible to get all the students placed. Those who don’t get jobs in their city or town, head for Metro cities, mostly to IT companies.

Some students opt for higher studies while others look for alternative jobs and find them. Many keep searching for jobs, failing which they join courses in less-reputed private institutes and waste their parents’ hard-earned money.

Now, if you look at the IT industry, you’ll find a stark contrast: HR managers are interested in recruiting talented fresher because that helps reduce their costs.

However, they are unable to find suitable/qualified candidates for most positions, Specifically, at the entry-level. Unfortunately, most fresher are weak in the fundamentals of computing, such as data structures, algorithms and C programming . Except for some theoretical knowledge, they lack any practical experience whatsoever on writing code or testing. Most fresher also have poor communication skills. Their writing skills are usually bad.

If you’re a student searching for or planning to search for a job, don’t panic. Getting your first job can be easy – you just have to understand what a prospective employer looks for in candidates and make sure you meet those requirements.

So how do you ‘stand out from the crowd’?

Every interviewer has one question in mind when interviewing you:

“Why should I select you and not someone else who is waiting outside to attend this interview for the very same job?”

You need to address this question by differentiating yourself from the rest of the crowd. There are many differentiators, like an exceptional academic performance, the relevant certifications, the niche skills that the employer is specifically looking for or some advanced technical skills that indicate that you’re an expert in a particular field.

There are some common mistakes that fresher make, which I would like to discuss now.

  • Most students think that having ‘good soft skills’ means speaking excellent English. That’s not at all true. What you need is to just be able to express yourself clearly; further, you need to have good writing skills, a pleasing personality, etc.
  • Make sure you’re strong in fundamentals such as data structures & algorithms and C programming ,once you have a reasonably good grounding in the fundamentals, find out what area in computing motivates you and what you should choose an area that you’re passionate about.
  • Most students have a misconception that getting a job in the IT industry means a programming job that involves writing code. It’s not at all true. There area wide range of jobs that you can consider—as a tester, a configuration engineer, a Web designer, a technical writer, or a database administrator.
  • Try doing a project from a reputed organization. Never pay for getting or doing a project. Improve your communication skills, presentation skills, learn foreign languages (Japanese, French, German).Learn new languages (objective-C, Ruby, Python,Scala, Go), Operating Systems (Unix, Linux),applications (Tally), DBMS (MySql, Oracle) etc. Contribute to Open Source. Network with your college seniors, use friends and linkedIN network for job refferal ,Acquire new computing skills and learn few things which are needed for corporate.
  • Take some specialized courses ,Get relevant certifications, Consider joining in advanced courses, Consider doing higher studies, Find an area that interests you and get specialization on that domain Options-getting your first job!

Sometimes, even when you have everything that qualifies you as the ideal candidate for a job, there could be many reasons why you might not get hired. For example, the IT industry might be in recession with all new recruitments frozen (it happened twice in the last decade).

So, don’t limit yourself when exploring the options before you .Searching for a job can be a memorable experience, if done in the right way.

Believe in hard work, be honest, prepare well and give your best, and I am sure you will land a good job.