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Unfortunate new graduates

rick collette
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 208
I am browsing through some job boards, and found that nobody, nobody wants new graduates (entry-level applicats) any more. It is very unfortunate lots of new graduates who know Java will be staying at home for a long long time. Who killed this IT business? God.
Michael Morris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
Hi Rick,
If you're not already proficient in J2EE (ie EJB's Servlets, etc.) then you should probably start doing some serious study in that area. If you don't already have a Programmer or Developer certification (better yet an Architect Certification) get to work on that. Server side Enterprise Java developers are going to be in high demand once Web services move from rhetoric to reality. Tech jobs will pick back up when all the hirers stop smarting from .com bubble-burst, so don't give up hope.
Hope this helps
Michael Morris
SCJP2


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Hi,
I have this theory that its recruitment consultants are partly to blame.
A lot of recruitment consultants are on commission. The more job postings they fill, the more commission they make. At the same time theyre in competition with a lot of other recruiters to fill the same job postings.
To increase their chances of filling the position, they really want to put the creme de la creme forward for the job posting. So they'll advertise for people with plenty experience.
Some recruiters will even advertise requesting for experience of a period longer than a particular language has been around. For example dont be surprised if you see some recruiters advertising for C# programmers this summer who "must have two years experience". Idiots!
The company I work for takes on a lot of fresh graduates. Why? Because graduates are capable people, and they're looking for people that they can mold with good skills and development habits. Also the company doesnt have to pay as much!
Ive got a couple of years experience in development under my belt, and I am impressed at how quickly graduates can get to grips with the job and hand and learn skills quickly when they have to. I wish a lot more people in recruitment fields would recognise this.
At the same time Rick, it doesnt hurt to get some certification under your belt...
Cheers,
Mark


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
David Duran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 11, 2002
Posts: 122
Actually that's not totally true. As a new graduate it seems next to impossible to find a job because a lot of the postings you come across require some sort of industry experience or experience in an area that you weren't exposed to in college.
But the fact of the matter is that new graduates equals cheaper labor and for many established companies, graduates are what they seek. It costs them less and many of them offer on-site training classes for the inexperienced to become familiarized with the system. Not to diss on experienced people but new graduates tend to bring a "freshness" with themselves, enthusiasm, and motivation.
The point is, don't lose heart. It might take awhile to get the job you want and you may have to settle for something temporarily, but they're out there!
Ida Vedros
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 3
Have you tried looking for intern jobs? Looks like it might be a god way to get started, though you probably won't get paid much.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Moved to Jobs Discussion forum.
Jim Baiter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2001
Posts: 532
I've posted this before but nowadays unfortunately it seems smart to have a trade and a career. If you know some trade you can fall back on like electronics or something it really helps.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Hi,
I have this theory that its recruitment consultants are partly to blame.
...
To increase their chances of filling the position, they really want to put the creme de la creme forward for the job posting. So they'll advertise for people with plenty experience.

Very few companies only advertise through recruiters, the usually post their jobs directly, too, with the desired level of experience.
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Some recruiters will even advertise requesting for experience of a period longer than a particular language has been around. For example dont be surprised if you see some recruiters advertising for C# programmers this summer who "must have two years experience". Idiots!

Yeah, well, that's because anyone can get a phone number and claim to be a recruiter. There are a lot of stupid and sleezy people in that business. I encourage everyone to make the industry a better place by not using these types of recruiters and spreading the word on who they are.

Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
The company I work for takes on a lot of fresh graduates. Why? Because graduates are capable people, and they're looking for people that they can mold with good skills and development habits. Also the company doesnt have to pay as much!

Originally posted by David Duran:
But the fact of the matter is that new graduates equals cheaper labor and for many established companies, graduates are what they seek. It costs them less and many of them offer on-site training classes for the inexperienced to become familiarized with the system. Not to diss on experienced people but new graduates tend to bring a "freshness" with themselves, enthusiasm, and motivation.

I disagree 99%! That's not to say recent grad shouldn't be hired, but they are far from cheap labor. It's well estbalished that there is an order of magnitude difference between the best programmers and worst programmers. While most studies looked at programmers in general, my hiring experience has shown recent grads have quite a lot to learn in their first few years, so they are not as productive as exerpeinced programmers, easily by a factor of 2 or 3. That's not to say they can't be, they just need the experience. So strictly from an efficency standpoint, I'd take a $120,000 senior programmer over a entry level $60,000 programmer any day, or even 2 entry level programmers. Of course there are other reasons to hire entry level people, so I still do. I just want to dispell any misconceptions.

--Mark
[ March 29, 2002: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Joseph Hammerman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2002
Posts: 76
A lot of people feel that new computer science graduates are not ready to be very productive, but this is a generalization. The current market is so bad that there are many skilled experienced software people unemployed. I believe Marcus Green, who wrote the tutorial and mock exams was layed off in England. I have been a contract programmer for 12 years, and I have not had an interview since November. I would assume that it would be very difficult for new graduates to get employment at this time.
John Dale
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 399
It is my impression that larger companies have an ongoing need for fresh CS grads, although I don't know how the current demand compares to normal demand. I'm not sure how they advertise these positions. But if you haven't done so already, it may be worth checking the web pages of some large companies, including computer, software, and financial companies, and checking with the placement office of your college or university. I suspect that for fresh grads, there is less justification for paying outside recruiters or advertising fees than there would be for more experienced developers. As someone else suggested, watch for intern positions, too.
Garann Means
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2002
Posts: 214
If you're not commited to the private industry, you might try local, regional, or federal government offices. I graduated in June with a BS and 2 short months of real-world VB (ick) experience and found a state job, despite the economic climate and a budget crisis in state government, by November.


Washington State has a special hiring process for college students and recent graduates, allowing those who hold untested degrees to apply for governmental jobs through a special process aimed at cementing the knowledge a graduate takes from school and putting it to use before it's forgotten. There are probably at least a few states who do something similar.


I hear that this isn't a good strategy in Canada, and may only apply to the US, where our governmental agenies are bloated by definition. My hypothesis is that this bloat is a good thing for recent graduates, as few experienced IT professionals seem willing to consider public service, and these agencies seem susceptible to tremendously high turnover rates. At the same time, several agencies I know of have never heard of "The Mythical Man Month" or anything similar and appear firmly convinced that the best way to complete an important project, with budget dollars wasting away and a surly legislature breathing down the necks of agency biwigs, is to throw more programmers at the project.


I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but desperation makes people do funny things. I should know.


g.
Jim Baiter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2001
Posts: 532
What about the Microsoft approach of having a few real top notch gurus with a bunch of newbies?
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

I disagree 99%! That's not to say recent grad shouldn't be hired, but they are far from cheap labor. It's well estbalished that there is an order of magnitude difference between the best programmers and worst programmers. While most studies looked at programmers in general, my hiring experience has shown recent grads have quite a lot to learn in their first few years, so they are not as productive as exerpeinced programmers, easily by a factor of 2 or 3. That's not to say they can't be, they just need the experience. So strictly from an efficency standpoint, I'd take a $120,000 senior programmer over a entry level $60,000 programmer any day, or even 2 entry level programmers. Of course there are other reasons to hire entry level people, so I still do. I just want to dispell any misconceptions.

--Mark
[ March 29, 2002: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Jim Baiter:
What about the Microsoft approach of having a few real top notch gurus with a bunch of newbies?

I think that would work in some situations. Depending on the abilities and experience of the gurus and newbies I suspect you will reach breakeven point anywhere from 1.5-4 years from starting.
Having worked and trained many junior developers (many of them smart ones, from MIT), I have some experience here. It does take non-trivial amounts of time to teach them. The long term benefits of more training experienced programmers do pay off. Unfortunately, most companies don't recognize the value of such a long term ROI.

--Mark
 
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
 
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