The question “After the graduation what do I do?” is commonly raised by many fresh graduates. Graduates who have completed a degree in any computer science related subject often experience difficulties in finding a job in the software industry.
Many of us (including me) failed to understand the industry requirements in the beginning. What I discovered is a huge gap between what I learnt at University and what the industry requires for the job.
What we learn at Uni + X (the variable) = industry requirement ;
Now the question is what is X and how do I find it.
We are being educated with Java Standard Edition (Java SE) related subjects such as OOP, Swing and other DB level programming. But the wider market requires a Java EE level of knowledge that includes Server level architecture (JSF,Struts, Spring), Object relational DBMS (JPA, HIbernate) and Web services support (JAX WS, Restful). You are compelled to update your knowledge in the above technologies if you want decent pay in the industry. (No need to bother of these if you are an exceptional hardcore level programmer).
In my personal experience I recommend you invest some time after the graduation and try to improve you knowledge of the related APIs mentioned above. If you are in doubt on what API you need to study then go through some Java job descriptions (minimum 10-20 is preferred) and try to learn the technologies in high demand.
1. Do not expect to get paid a fortune in your first job:
Many of us compare the salary offered with other classmates and get demotivated from the beginning if the offer is less. It does not matter how much you are offered, just try to get the most out of the experience with your first job.
2. Try to learn Web 2.0 technologies in addition to Java:
Most employers prefer a complete packaged employees.
3. Big Companies Vs Small Companies:
Many of us apply for monsters and awaiting for a ages for reply. It is always best if you get an offer from Big organizations but on the other hand you can also learn and develop yourself in small organizations. The hierarchy may be smaller than a big company buy smaller companies often allows you to try out your own inventions and develop in a more individual way instead of just progress to fill a slot up the ladder.
4. Keep Developing yourself:
Never stop learning once you get a job otherwise you will have a large pile of books to study in order to answer the industry demand if you are unlucky enough to loose the job.
5. Get Hands on and practical:
If possible try out all example code in books you study to polish your experience. Because some codes seems to be easy to pickup but you may discover interesting things if you try by your self. And don’t give up until the desired output is generated.
6. Get Involved:
Try out some projects described on freelancer websites even if you don’t succeed you will get basic knowledge and experience on those projects.
7. Create an online Presence:
If you have time post your project on public repositories such as git-hub or svn and link it in your CVs.
And if none of the above worked. What then … ?
Very simple, invest considerable time in any technology and start your own business.
Hopefully you found this useful and it gives you some idea of what to do after graduation.
Do you have any experiences or advice you would like to offer other fellow programmers who are recent graduates? Let us know…