10 Steps to 100% Clarity on Jobs After MS in Computer Science & Information Technology
The computer and information technology jobs are projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, It’s much faster than the average for all occupations.
With such promising growth, it’s no wonder that many are interested in pursuing MS in Computer Science and IT. So, let’s see 10 steps to attain a clear path to landing a job after MS in CS & IT.
Keep reading to find out.
1. Evaluate Your Skills
According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, 70% of employers prefer candidates with relevant work experience. In contrast, 60% prefer candidates with relevant coursework.
Evaluate your skills and learn new technologies that are in demand. Taking online courses and working on personal projects can help you gain the relevant skills and experience employers seek.
A few excellent examples are
- Introduction to Computer Science by Harvard University (edX), Algorithms, Part I by Princeton University (Coursera),
- Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User by Google (Coursera)
- Introduction to Data Science in Python by University of Michigan (Coursera)
2. Research Job Opportunities
Research the companies you want to work for and learn about their mission, values, and work culture. Then, utilize job search platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor to find job opportunities and read reviews from current and former employees.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center in 2016, 79% of Americans who have looked for work in the last two years utilized online job boards.
Visit companies’ websites that interest you and check their career sections for job postings. It is a good way to learn about the company’s mission, values, and job openings.
According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee referrals are the most popular source for new hires, with 30% of hires coming from referrals.
Networking with professors, attending career fairs, and joining online communities can help MS students build their professional network and increase their chances of finding a job through referrals.
Attending industry conferences and events to keep up with your field’s latest IT trends and technologies is a good way to stay relevant with industry demands.
4. Update Your Resume
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 54% of employers have rejected a job applicant because of a resume not tailored to the position. MS students should tailor their resumes to the job they are applying for and highlight relevant skills and experience.
Include skills relevant to the job you are applying for, such as programming languages, software development tools, and data analysis techniques. Showcase your MS in Computer Science and Information Technology prominently on your resume, along with any relevant coursework, research, or projects.
Pro tip: Use action verbs such as “developed,” “designed,” and “implemented” to describe your experience and accomplishments clearly and concisely.
5. Build Your Portfolio
A study by Upwork found that 59% of hiring managers consider a candidate’s portfolio when making a hiring decision. Building a portfolio of relevant projects and research can help MS students showcase their skills and knowledge to potential employers.
Projects like developing and training AI models, creating chatbots or recommendation systems, and exploring natural language processing are prominent. They are relevant to CS & IT trends.
Pro tip: Tailor your portfolio to your audience to increase the chances of making a strong and memorable impression.
6. Practice Interviewing
According to a survey by Robert Half, 63% of employers say that candidates who ask thoughtful questions during interviews are more likely to receive a job offer.
MS students should research the company and prepare responses to common interview questions. Then, begin by asking thoughtful questions to gain knowledge.
Research the company you are interviewing to learn about its mission, values, and culture. This will help you tailor your answers to their specific needs.
Focus on your strengths and how they align with the job requirements during the interview. Be prepared to give specific examples of your skills and experience.
Pro tip: Prepare responses to common interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you want to work for us?” Practice these responses with friends or family to gain confidence.
7. Apply for Jobs
A report by Indeed found that the average job posting receives 250 resumes, but only 4-6 candidates are called for an interview. Therefore, MS students should apply to various jobs that match their skills. It increases their chances of being selected for an interview.
Research companies you are interested in to learn about their job openings and application requirements. Tailor your application materials to their specific needs. Some computer science and Information technology career opportunities are:
- Software Developer
- Data Scientist
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Engineer
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Database Administrator
- IT Consultant
- Network Administrator
- Technical Support Engineer
- Systems Administrator
- Information Security Analyst
- IT Project Manager
Apply to various jobs that match your skills and interests, even if they are not your dream job. This will increase your chances of getting hired.
8. Follow Up
Wait a week or two after applying to follow up with a company. Then, be patient and respectful of their hiring process. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate who does not send a thank-you note after an interview.
Following up with a thank-you note and asking for feedback. It will show employers that you are professional and interested in the job.
9. Attend Interviews
According to a study by The Ladders, interviewers decide on a candidate’s fit within the first 90 seconds. Therefore, MS students should dress professionally, arrive early, and ask thoughtful questions to make a good first impression.
Utilize career services offered by your university or college. These services include resume reviews, mock interviews, and job search advice.
10. Evaluate Offers
According to a report by Glassdoor, the average job seeker spends 33 days searching for a job but only 10 days evaluating a job offer. Therefore, MS students should carefully evaluate job offers based on salary, benefits, job responsibilities, and company culture.
Consider the salary and benefits offered by the company, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and vacation time. Evaluate the job responsibilities to ensure they match your skills and interests.
Make sure they align with your career goals. Then, assess the company culture to determine if it fits you well.
So, for a head start, remember…
While technical skills are important, developing your soft skills is equally essential for the computer science and IT sector. Seek out internships or part-time work, stay up to date with industry trends, and keep upskilling.