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I think I know where the entry level jobs are

Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Hey all,
Many people seem to be looking for that first entry level programing position on the job sites and aren't finding any. They are thus assuming that there are no entry level positions out their. I would like to offer the suggestion that these positions are still out there, they are just being advertised someplace else. That place, I belive, is on college campuses.
I was just reading some posts talking about how bad it is for people just getting out of school and how hard it is to find a job. well, being a recent graduate (2 years ago) I talked to some CS Major friends who just graduated this year to find out how bad the market is. Most of them said the same thing, It all came down to how much job searching they did BEFORE they graduated.
The people who started using the university career center early in their Junior year usually had jobs when they graduated. Its the ones that chose to stop by the career center a week before graduation, or worse, started searching on monster and dice after graduation that got screwed.
For entry level jobs, I would bet that most are never placed on dice, rather they are filled through college career centers and career fairs. Where else would you go to find someone who had a solid understanding of programming, and Data Structures & Algorithms, but no experience?
The reason there were entry level java jobs advertised on the web in the late 90's isn't just because of the tech boom. Part of it must be due to the fact that because java was so new a lot of schools hadn't caught on to teaching it yet (at least their graduating seniors hadn't learned it) so employers had to look elseware for entry level programmers who knew java.
Now that most schools either teach it as one of their primary languages or have a class that employs it (plus the economic slowdown), employers can afford to fill their entry level positions with college CS grads.

"I study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting poetry and music."<br />--John Adams
Mark Herschberg

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Well said.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
- This is what we said 2 yrs ago - remember?
- It still holds true today.
- Personally, I would never attend a college (USA) if they did not have some sort of work-coop, internship, or programming proects offered.
Meaning, if the college doesn't offer the above - then spend your money at another college.
Learned my lesson the hard way. Univ of Pgh (1989-1994) did not have such programs for their student(s) - at least not at the branch campuses where I did alot of my initial work.
When I went to a REAL college (Lehigh) for my Master's - I was swamped with all kinds of opportunities - got to T/A, Design & Develop my own Data Sructures w/Java course, and do the Osh-Kosh Project.
Best part of the Master's program - I thought it was fun!!! Could not believe I got a whole lab (air-conditioned too) for myself. Was like 20 feet by 30 feet - and no one ever used it. Got my own key - and a closet to store all my junk.
This is why I say you should do BOTH: get practical experience while in college and get to know the career service folks BIG TIME.
Again - I did not do this in my undergraduate years at Pitt - and thus had rough time entering the market. But when I got to know the folks and the routine with the career services at Lehigh - I was amazed at how many companies wanted to talk to me.
Just my two cents.

John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
stephen Kang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 26, 2002
Posts: 53
your commnets imply i think we(new graduates) should learn C# quikly because it's much more newer than java and similiar to C++, which is most CS people learned from the school. the other good thing about C# is microsoft all the time displaces the developers to migrate or to start with their new stuffs. then, one who needs to catch up with the new tech should learn it again!
my discourse is i don't think engineering school is not for just preparing the job rather have their own academic complexity to develop and design new conceptual meanings so that new engineer can be a good designer whenever new technology comes up. people now talks about xml a lot. When did this idea first come out(i mean ml or sgml)? i cannot remember the right date, but it's not new at all.
These tough days, the new entry level job seeker should be just cleverer to compete with old guys because new technology doesn need to have old guys to deal with old skills. but i don't think generic learning about desiging process from the college doesn need to teach about j2ee, perl, dotnet , whatever stuffs, which is not the core of computer science. Now, one of my friend in the college is developing the algorithm about quantom computing and high scale parallel computing, such as millions of processors, it 's called blue jean project in ibm. are they really old? i don't think so.
learning the conceptual level of java doesn take long time. i bet one semester is enough for the freshman grasp the OO concept, datatypes, and using its function. the matter of training the detail of the language takes a while to memorize and code the sun-designed or microsoft-designed their own library. i think it's just reference you want to look up it when you need to code the machine to learn about CS concepts(systems general,organization,networking). if the school teach those silly stuffs, you would be 'technician'. you never can reach the level of language designer or even just simple designer. the problem of the situation is the school didn care about the market and that's the students' choice to go to the school.
For the new entry level job seeker, it's best to seek for the demand from the market. that's it. Though personally i like the design of java, it seems to me there are much more better alternatives. Xml is one, dotnet is one. maybe, totaly new java language later. With a bit of patience, the new job seeker could compete with old guys. when one think about old languages like Prolog, Scheme, Fortran, Cobol, Pascal, TEX,and C, those can just be exchanged with new one. seems more java jobs than C++ now. it means C++ gets obsolete some reason. i guess so does java, so does C#...
then, why not learn and practice relatively newer one since most techie don't know either?
For the new job seeker, j2ee,websphere,oracle, and dotnet are same in terms of "newness".(maybe one can have a little bit of exposure, which market doesn consider as experience at all)
that's because it's depends on persons' taste about choosing the language and their image.
The reason why i like java personally is the language infrastructure and its community support not because they seem much markettable than other guys like microsoft or ibm. Now new job seeker can choose j2ee or dotnet, which is better for new guys to compete with, only technical direction following the trend and had them to prepare new markettable technology might kill the java. would you be willing to be unexperienced with the facinating "new technology" again?

Stephen Kang
stephen Kang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 26, 2002
Posts: 53
The fact that you could took a lot of job offer after MS is long time ago. That situation doen hold now. Believe me nowadays, new graduates a lot hard trained than one who had job luckily more than 3 years ago thanks to IT booms even i saw many other engineering discipline graduate students migrate to CS. For example, new programm in my college when i started 4 year ago changed drastically compared to old version, freshman learns 'java using OOP'(previously taught by procedural C) directly, sophomore learns "'Data structures and software principal' using C++", funny thing is school just let you know C++ in a MONTH,(of course they provide the url for Bijarn Stroustroup when do you need to consult the syntax) and you should be prepared to do the project and rest of parts goes data structure not C++. and the senior year , for the database systems' project, one learns oracle based embededed SQL using java and XML to post cgi, jsp or asp whatever. those technical stuff you should just figure out by yourself during the semester while you r taking other courses.
I guess new graduates understands the situation better and i see a lot of laid off people who has lots of experience. it seems to me there is some trading between old techie and new techie thanks to the hard situation.
i sort of agree about your comment about technical training. However, those new graduates including me can hardly expect this drastic economic situation. i saw most CS guys from my school(UIUC) had 3-4 job offer even though they don' have any job experience just 2 years ago. It was just matter of betting to choose pick coop and/or intern. many people including me regret decline the 1 year internship offers from the well-known companys.
Now i felt really lucky to have recent chance to have junior level software developer, though it's sort of internship. But the situation is not the same at all.
rick collette
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 208
There are not many entry-level positions avalable now in schools' career centers if you want to check out. I attended several job fairs during my last semester, people only told me "they are collecting resumes", I heard nothing from them afterwards. Why? They were firing people, some companies such as GE cut off their whole IT department and moved it to India. And here is the number: 70% of new graduates I know do not have a job, 30% of them got one which is not really related to what they wanted and with a much lower pay. I am also doing some IT related stuff too, yeah, I am employed as a part-time web developer using HTML, paid $16 an hour. So what? A MS degree can only give me so much now while I have no chance to try my Java, C++, Oracle knowledge. I just think I am wasting my time, and my knowledge is down to the drain.
Ganesh Krishnamurthy-

Joined: Aug 08, 2002
Posts: 7
Couldn't agree more. More and more companies nowadays are reluctant to hire new grad students. I have seen numerous companies come to our university career fair (Texas A&M), but they clearly have no intentions of hiring. They do it just to maintain good university relations(whatever that means). For instance, I know for a fact that IBM had not hired a single grad in the past year, even though they never fail to participate in every career fair, every semester. This seems to be the case with most of the bigger companies. University career centers might be a good place to look for entry level positions, but there are few such positions coveted by too many grad students with near equal qualifications.
stephen Kang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 26, 2002
Posts: 53
i had a good strategy to survive this hard time for new graduates.
just close your eyes and think about which technology is relatively new and have more attractive things than previous one. if you cannot get right away, ask to biz guys you know what they think. That's why i come up with XML to prepare the XML project to compete with old guys who doesn know about the hard situation and not sympathetic at all(i felt they just brag themselves). There is no reason to advocate one company proprietary technology. it could be java, dotnet, or websphere. Each company wants people to believe theirs goes forever. that's their stupid their spell.
As a new developer, you don have to be support old techie. They r not gonna prepare for your job. just pick one is best markettable and relatively new so that old techie couldn catch up with. I found out the good news is there are few XML expert so far than Java fields. you could use any imperative language but don get fooled by their propaganda. If dotnet gets power more, i wouldn mind pick dotnet. They are all the same to me. In my school years, i never used microsoft product, our labs only have new rocking solaris blades machines and at home i used linux. You could use those platform as a fun and voluteer to work. When java first come up, i thought it was poorly designed compared to C++, see what happened nowadays. it's getting robust and gained the market. so does dotnet. but, i am waiting for the completely new java platform since there is no reason to follow old stuffs.(at least, java is much more robust than very proprietary ms products). But who knows? if the market spare more opportunity to deal with, i would go jump in the dotnet. That's why the situation is interesting for new graduates.
Oh one thing i want to say, i recently heard of the fact that one of my friend who is recent graduate from Stanford MSCS, who has MCSD certification couldn get even internships.
Thus, we better prepare the some projects our own ways. it could be intern work, volunteer work, whatever. why don't we make some portfolios, which is pretty robust and cool, with new coming and demanding tech stuffs. They r saying about the stupid "experience" all the time. why don we make it with the completely new stuffs so that they can beg to work.
Look at the below stupid code i wrote down it a year ago.
/* convert double value minBid to Decimalformat */
DecimalFormat dec1 = new DecimalFormat("################.00");
/* convert bid time and submission time from the input into the right format */
String BidTime = "TO_DATE(\'" + newBtime + "\',\' YYYY/MM/DD HH24:MI\')";
String SubTime = "TO_DATE(\'" + newStime + "\',\' YYYY/MM/DD HH24:MI\')";
if ( {
BEmail = rset.getString("Buyer_Email");
BAmount = rset.getString("Bid_Amount");
double a = Double.valueOf(BAmount).doubleValue();
BAmount = dec2.format(a);
it took me a time to figure out which library and which function you need to convert stuffs,which you don need to use ur brain if they provide easily since i had no EXPERIENCE about java. and different lanugage use totally different syntax. it should be no intelligent work to memorize and utilize this code work.
hope that you got the idea.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: I think I know where the entry level jobs are
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