College students have a lot on their plate: a full course load, maybe a part-time job, clubs, and sports. How can you get the most out of your education and online learning opportunities so that you burst out of college brimming with skills, knowledge, and passion? You may hear that CS grads are not as sexy as coding vigilantes, or American IT employees are being replaced by H1-B Visa holders[willing to work for 36-41% less. So how can you look like a computer science superhero to hiring companies?
Know What You Want
Aside from personality and social skills (that’s on you), more attractive computer science job candidates have researched various computer, game, and app-related industries to learn what’s going on and what interests them. Time is the only cost for reading articles and interviews and watching videos. If you wait til college is about to end to become interested and look around, it’s too late and you are competing against people who know what they like and have dabbled in it a little or a lot. This is true for all fields but particularly for computer science because of the speed of change and growth. Everything is different in computers from 10 years ago. Don’t get stuck as the wandering IT/Help Desk Guy because you were too comfortable to look around and learn about your industry.
Learn More Languages
Work on Projects
A project is the finished thing that demonstrates your abilities to companies. You can find projects to learn on at freeCodeCamp and The Odin Project. Projects teach learning by doing. Both resources are currently FREE.
Use Your Resources
Many libraries and colleges offer free access to Lynda.com courses or other types of online learning. Mulan Lau, aka Perfect Little Miss, recommends Lynda.com computer science courses Agile Project Management, C#, Unity, and Cross Platform Development Tools. “Completed Lynda courses show up on your LinkedIn account and you can add freeCodeCamp certifications there too,” Lau said. When she’s not doing Full Sail University homework or project management for Jodelle Studios, she consumes Lynda.com classes like Halloween candy. At my amazed look she shrugs and says, “What? It’s free! I’m trying to do as much free stuff as I can.” Free for her since Full Sail has a Lynda.com account, offering access to all its students.
If your college program does not cover these topics or tools, fill in the gaps on your own or at least learn about why they might be necessary and whether it is relevant to the kind of job you want. Developing your computing superpowers is in your hands.
Roberts, Jeff J. “This App Guy Thinks Computer Science Degrees Are a Waste of Money.” Fortune, 1 September 2015, http://fortune.com/2015/09/01/computer-science-degree/. Accessed 1 February 2019..
[Khalid, Asma. “H-1B Visas: Stealing American Jobs Or A Solution To A Tech Shortage?” WBUR, 1 March 2017, https://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2017/02/23/h1b-visas-debate. Accessed 1 February 2019.
Lau, Mulan. Interview on 8 January 2019.
Malkin, Michelle and John Miano. Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires and Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best and Brightest Workers. Threshold Editions/Mercury Ink, 2015.
Aobdia, Daniel, A. Srivastava, and E. Wang. “Does the H-1B Visa Program Hurt American Workers?” Kellogg Insight, Sep 7, 2016, https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/does-the-h1-b-visa-program-hurt-american-workers. Accessed 1 February 2019.