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Have you CS graduates found jobs?

Started by Guest, 2003-07-18T15:04:09-05:00 (Friday)

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If you live here then this is the guy you can email, and tell him to [color=009900]support [/color]legislation like:
[color=009900]"Bill # H.R.2688" (Repeal of H-1B Visas for Temporary Workers)[/color] with a message like this:
As your constituent, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 2688, legislation introduced by Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) that would repeal the H-1B visa program.

H.R. 2688 would eliminate the H-1B visa program used to bring in low-cost foreign high-tech workers at the expense of American workers.  

With the recent economic downturn and the rise in unemployment, there is no worker shortage in the high-tech industry, and the H-1B visa program is harmful competition for American workers.  The H-1B visa program allows employers to displace American workers by failing to enforce the requirement that employers pay H-1B visa holders prevailing U.S. wages.  

H.R. 2688 responds to this problem by eliminating the H-1B visa program.  If enacted into law, this bill will help to stop the displacement of American workers.      

I hope you will cosponsor this important legislation.

And/Or [color=009900]support H.R. 2702 (L-1 Nonimmigrant Reform Act)[/color]
with a message like this:
As your constituent, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 2702, the L-1 Nonimmigrant Reform Act, introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

H.R. 2702 would amend the L-1 visa program to prevent corporations from bringing in cheap labor at the expense of American workers.  This bill would place an annual cap of 35,000 on L-1 visas while denying them to any company that has laid off an American worker within six months of filing an L-1 visa application.  H.R. 2702 would also require that L-1 visa workers be paid prevailing U.S. wages.  

Currently, under the L-1 visa program, multi-national corporations can bring employees from their overseas subsidiaries into the U.S. on an intra-company transfer basis.  There is no cap on the number of L-1 visas, nor are corporations required to pay prevailing U.S. wages.  This results in the displacement of American workers.  

H.R. 2702 responds to this problem by limiting the number of L-1 visas while requiring corporations to pay L-1 workers prevailing U.S. wages.  If enacted into law, this bill will significantly help to protect against the displacement of American workers.
I hope you will cosponsor this important legislation.

Cut, Paste & email legislation - it doesn't get much easier, all you need is your FULL zipcode -  (you can figure it out here by filling in your address, if you don't know it).  I think it's 62025-1267 for Edwardsville residents.

And of course, you should probably be a registered voter , too (but you can't do that online, but you can read the directions).

Stuff like this might not solve the problem, but perhaps its a step in the right direction.

PS: The filesharing people among you might also want to tell him to [color=FF0000]oppose [/color]HR 2752: otherwise known as the Author, Consumer & Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003, would make it a crime to upload even one copyrighted work to a publicly accessible Web site or file-sharing network, since the bill operates under the assumption that each uploaded file gets copied at least 10 times. The penalties for felony copyright violation vary, but offenders could face a five-year prison term and a fine of up to $250,000.

Legislation made easy!


No.  It's a horrible market at the moment.  Good luck.


It must be bad.  I just heard from two former classmates of mine, one with job experience, and neither of them has been hired.  It's depressing.  What if I spend another year here, spend $X,XXX more dollars, and still can't get a job?:-?  This sucks.

By the way, that reminded me.  Did anyone get their tuition bill?  Mine jumped almost 30%.:-(  Part of that (roughly 10%) is because I am now a graduate student.

Greg and I were looking through my and his financial history here at SIU and discovered that tuition doubled in the last 5 years here at SIUE. :-?:censored:
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -James Madison


For those of us (I may be the only one) in the 17th district, contact lane.evans@mail.house.gov.  To see what district you are in, check this map:

Those politicians really carved up the state to maximize thier supporters in their district.:yes:
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -James Madison


Looking back at my last Senior Projects Class (CS 499 Spring 2002), out of 19, 12 have CS related jobs, 2 went back to school, 2 have non-CS related jobs, and 3 are unknown.

More than 2 went back to school, but eventually landed jobs.
"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...

Ryan Lintker

Those figures aren't as depressing as I had imagined that they would be.  Do the numbers include students with a coop job or internship?
"You can't always get what you want,
 but if you try sometime, you just might find,
you get what you need" - The Rolling Stones


No, I did not count coop's or internships.

I don't have a count of how many students start out in a co-op or an internship that turns into a regular job.

I had the impression that over the last few years very few CS students go the co-op route. Of course that percentage changed significantly since 3 of the Dharna's landed co-op's at Monsanto this year.
"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...

William Grim

Well, I do think the market sounds depressing when talking to other CS people across the USA (via IRC).

However, I landed an internship with a REALLY good company three years ago, and they're extending it to a remote internship this fall.  We interns have supposedly given them great results for the past five years, and they like to hire us.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley


any recent grads have updates after about 6 months of looking for a job?


I know that both Jyoti and Nisha Dharna just got jobs at Monsanto.

Liz Weber has a job offer from Boeing.

I also know that a couple of others landed jobs at Jaros (sp?)

Peter Moytowski is working for a computer firm in Denver.

Kristin Caufield, a grad student, recently took a position with a division of Boeing out in Arizona.
"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...

Peter Motyka

Yes, finding a job was not easy... But I must say, all the hard work searching sure did pay off.  I probably submitted resumes to 4-5 job postings a week for 6 months.  I found it was best to write a custom resume tailored toward each open position.  When I stopped sending out generic resumes, I got more responses to my inquiries.  I advise using some sort of version control system (CVS) on a plain text copy of your resume.  This will help you make quick edits and organize the many versions of your resume you may have going at any one time.  Also, sending out plain text copies of your resume is helpful since the employer may not have Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, LaTeX, Ghostview or whatever third party document viewer your resume may require.  Note, if you are applying for a job as a Unix programmer, DO NOT send a Word formatted resume unless asked to (You would think this is common sense!)  However, be carefull formatting a plain text resume...  It is very easy to make mistakes and have them look lousy (Use an advanced text editor, ie not notepad).  It also helps to have plain text resumes around for submitting to web-based employment boards.

I interviewed for two jobs in the Denver, CO area before landing one.  Neither offered to pay my transportation out for the interview.  When you consider the job market, there are plenty of local canidates looking for IT jobs.  Therefore, I was not surprised when not given the offer for airfare etc.  After shelling out $1500 dollars in airfare I found myself a great job in a swank office overlooking the mountains in the northwest Denver area.  Also, do not expect any relocation assistance unless you qualify as someone with a niche skill that cannot be found locally (which is usually not an undergrad right out of college).

Things that I learned from my own job search and from reading a few books on how to conduct an effective job search;

1) Be persistant, if you make contact with someone at a prospective employer, don't wait for them to call you back if communication lapses.  Make follow-up calls!

2) Be prepared for a casual discussion after the formal interview.  In all of my interviews, the employers wanted to get to know me better outside of my IT skills and interests.  Think about what hobbies and interests outside of computers you might want to share with others.

3) Apply to many jobs, but DO NOT SPAM employers with your resume.  A steady rate of resume submissions is effective, not sending out generic resumes to hundreds of employers.  It makes you look desperate.

4) Brainstorm your IT skills and experience to find ways to relate your experience to the position you are applying for.  If you don't have direct experience with a specific programming language try to relate you experience from another.  Don't simply say "I have no experience with that".  For example, if you have experience with Object Oriented Programming, you will most likely pick up Java pretty quickly...  However, don't lie and say you know something assuming you can learn it overnight!

5) Find an internship!  These types of jobs may launch you into a full time job after graduation...  I found a great opportunity by attending the SIUE career fair and it moved into a nicely paying job the day after graduation.  Also, the experience is the real payment.  It sets you up for the next step of your career.

6) If all else fails, don't take any old job.  Even if you have to work for peanuts, take some sort of IT job.  The experience is what matters.  A 6 month lapse in your IT career could set you years behind canidates activly involved in learning new technologies.  Examples of ways to stay active:  Volunteer website development to a non-profit organization.  Try to get a part time help desk job at a non-profit org's office.  Any of these types of activites will help keep the IT brain active.  Working 48 hours a week at Home Depot will not (unless you are doing programming for the PoS systems!)

Sorry if I sound condescending in some of my suggestions, but I feel I completed a pretty successful job search.  Information Tech is an extremely competative job field and we must work that much harder to find secure employment.  Good luck to everyone still out there looking!

SIUE CS Alumni 2002
Grad Student, Regis University
Senior Engineer, Ping Identity

Geoff Schreiber

I'm still IN college but landed a full-time job (now I get to balance schedules also!).  Everything Peter said applied to my search as well.  One thing I also found was that if you have a lot of experience, but are still lacking the degree - dress down the resume a bit on the experience side of things.  Once I did that and tailored resumes to each position I was applying for, calls started coming in.

While taking a job at Home Depot may not be the solution, I was able to edge into a position as a customer service rep., help the office staff out with some Excel and database programming, and edge my way into a managerial position (yes, I still oversee a few labor guys in a shop, but I'm also being paid to write the new inventory control software in addition).

You have to be able to feel the company out for those type of opportunities though - and you won't find them in medium to large businesses in most cases.
Geoff Schreiber
Project Engineer
FASTechnology Group


Pete, great post! Thanks.

I would like to archive your advise in the CS Knowledge Base, if that's ok with you.

"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...


I agree.  Peter has some great advice.  In fact, it helped me get my job.  After three months of searching, I have recently been offered two jobs at Boeing.  If anyone gets the chance to go to one of their Plant Visits, by all means take it!  The Software Engineering Division paid my transportation (offered me a hotel) and gave me an 8 hour tour of the plant, which included breakfast & a $10 lunch with executives.

Anyway, the job market has been quite good since December.  Let's hope it continues.

I think one of the most important of Peter's pieces of advice is #4.  Along those same lines, at the first chance, I like to ask the employer about their company and what I would be doing at the job.  That way it gets them to do a lot of the talking, giving me time to think and chime in with "I was just doing that on Tuesday," or "Oh, really?  I have experience with that.  Do you do it this way?  Or that way?" It shows your knowledge about something if you can ask intelligent questions about it.

Also, you should be WELL PREPARED for the standard interview questions and have an answer ready that is designed to convince them to hire you.  Such questions are:

"Tell me a little about yourself."  Besides your name and where you live, the rest of your answer should be tailored to demonstrate to them that you are perfect for the job.

"Why do you want to work for us?"  This should show that you really want to work for THEIR company rather than just any company.  If you don't have a good answer to this one, they expect you will leave for a higher paying job within 6 months.

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"  (this one got me once).  This should be something about building a career and staying up with technology.  If you are interviewing for a company where there would be a chance to advance your career within the company, mention something about "working your way up" in the organization.

And also be ready to answer any reasonable questions about your skills/work experience

Other bits of advice I have:
1. BE CONFIDENT!  (confident, not conceited) If they don't see strong confidence, they take that as you having a lack of confidence in your abilities.  This is very important.

2. SMILE!  If you smile a lot and maybe attempt a little humor (be careful with humor!) you will seem very pleasant to get along with.

3. Stay on topic and don't be any more negative about anything than you have to.  If they ask if you had any problems working in groups or other problems in Senior Project, understate problems and be sure to have a way you solved or minimized the problem.  This brings me to the next one,

4. Don't make excuses!  Bosses hate that.  Remember, if you screw up, it's OK so long as you fix it and learn from it.  While responding to questions, mentioning screw-ups is OK, so long as you can demonstrate that you've learned.

5. Pick some special quality about yourself that distinguishes yourself from other interviewees that you can somehow work into the conversation at one or two places to answer the question they're thinking in their mind:  "Why should we hire this guy?"

6. Whey they ask about your interests, make sure your answer shows you're interests coincide with several things you would be doing at the job you're interviewing for.

7. Be sure to mention Senior Project and explain to them how it works.  Almost every employer I've talked to was very impressed with the class.

Hope these do as well for others as they did for me. 8-)
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -James Madison


Dale, Congrats!

And thanks for another great post.  I'm going to be sure it is put on the CS Knowledge Base too.

"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...