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25/03/2013

5 Career tips for the IT/Computer degree student.


While it is true that a degree in IT/Computer Science can open many doors, you need to be armed with the right tools in order to make it to the top of your industry. Here are the top five career tips for the budding IT/Computer Science student.

1. Stay at the top of your game.
The programming languages change first, and what you learn today in school might be out of date in the next few years. You must learn to adapt, which means either enrolling in classes as you work, or being informed
about the trends in the software/programming field.

2. Be Practical.
A reputable software company would most likely give you a practical test as your interview. A programmer is very much like a writer, what you see is what you get. Just like writers are asked to submit drafts of articles before they can be hired as a writer, so too must you be prepared to actually code during the interview process.

3. Diversify.
While being great in programming will open many doors, you will also need to diversify. For example, IT and Computer Science blends very well with business and math courses. With your knowledge of IT, and some
statistics/math/business acumen, you will likely take roles as data analyst, financial analyst, business development manager and many roles that span these sectors.

4. Market Yourself.
While geeks-no pun intended- generally have a hard time marketing themselves, you’ll have to figure out how to be noticed. No one is going to come to you; you will have to take yourself out into the market. Remember that IT/Computer Science and business related courses are the most in demand courses in Kenya, and thousands of graduates are churned out in these fields. To get noticed, you have to attend industry events, participate in boot camps. Perhaps, a common place to start is to network in places such as Ihub, and other tech hubs that will give you a head start in the IT employment market.

5. Take it easy.
Most IT/engineering students take life too seriously, but it needn’t be so. Participate in other college activities, attend games and sports, take part in student’s leadership, and participate in activities where your other extracurricular talents will be explored.

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