Many jobs exist within the computer programming industry, but the field is also full of highly qualified job candidates, making it a very competitive arena. Obtaining a computer programming job is especially difficult for recent graduates with little or no work experience. If you're fresh out of school and ready to start your programming career, but you don't know where to begin, follow these tips to help you get started.
Network With IT Professionals
Having a degree and a vast amount of computer programming knowledge is not enough to get your foot in the door. Networking with professionals in the information technology industry is critical. The personal relationships you build through networking allow you to establish a list of business contacts, learn the dynamics of the computer programming industry, learn about new career opportunities and build mutually beneficial relationships. Attend industry events, post helpful and thought-provoking comments on industry-related blogs, and lend your programming talents to various IT organizations for free. Let the individuals in your network know you're seeking a career opportunity, and they'll likely keep you in mind when new programming opportunities arise.
Consider Living in a High-Tech City
Computer programmers are in demand throughout the United States, but it's no secret that the demand is stronger in some regions than others. To increase your chance of landing a job in the computer programming industry, consider moving to a high-tech city with ample programming jobs. Silicon Valley typically comes to mind when people discuss high-tech cities, as it is home to most of the world's largest high-tech companies. Countless IT graduates visit the area in search of career opportunities, but there are also many other cities worth considering, including Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. These growing technology hubs have countless entry-level positions available to individuals in the information technology industry. Government agencies as well as companies such as Amazon.com and Lockheed Martin offer competitive salaries to newly hired information technology workers.
Start Your Own Business
As a computer programming professional, you have the skills to start your own potentially lucrative business. Consider developing applications or creating websites for local and international businesses. You can also create mobile games and other fun applications and sell them in a mobile app store. The possibilities are endless, especially if you know multiple programming languages. Take your business seriously, and you might eventually need to hire a few programmers to keep up with growing demand.
Projections show continued growth in the demand for computer programmers as technology continues to expand, and the industry is filled with smart, eager self-starters ready to lend their talents to the right companies. Make it your goal to stand out among competitors. Place yourself in an environment that makes it easy to network with IT professionals. Build relationships, and share your portfolio with the influential people in the computer programming industry.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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