TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

What College Grads Should Look for in an IT Job

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstar

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The job market is still tough, especially for young graduates just starting out. Breaking into the workforce for the first time is a challenge — employers always seem to want “more experience,” but how can you get experience if no one gives you that first break?

Lots of recent graduates start out working at ho-hum jobs that keep basic bills paid, but don’t really satisfy. However, even though you’re eager to find something, it’s better now and in the long run to find the right fit. Finding the right job could make the difference between a bad year (followed by another job search) and a position at a company you’re happy to work at for years.

WILL THE JOB TURN OUT TO BE "AS ADVERTISED"?
Some companies will lure in recent graduates by highlighting certain aspects of a job, but once you’re signed on, it turns out that the actual position is starkly different from what was advertised. Don’t be distracted by a position’s title. Instead, ask proactive questions in the interview about what the job really entails. Getting a clear picture of the nitty-gritty will help you make the right decision and avoid getting stuck in a job that doesn’t work for you.

DO YOU HAVE ROOM TO ASK QUESTIONS IN THE INTERVIEW?
Nothing makes someone seem more passive and less interested than failing to ask questions during the interview. Sometimes, recent grads think of interviews as a one-way street where they’re on display and have to prove their worth. However, interviews are a chance for candidates to see if a company is really the right fit. If you aren’t given the chance to ask questions, it’s not a good sign.

DOES THE COMPANY HAVE A SOLID MENTORSHIP PROGRAM?
As a graduate, you’re looking for work experience and a paycheck, but great companies offer more. Recent grads are at a key time in their careers when decisions could affect the rest of their career path. A good company will not only provide great work opportunities, but also open doors for you to find a mentor who can help you make great choices and succeed along the way.

WHAT KIND OF ONGOING TRAINING IS OFFERED?
In the tech industry, staying on top of the latest technologies is vital to your success. Ask about how the business trains new employees and what continuing education options are sponsored later on. A company that has great educational benefits is much better than than one that wants to pigeonhole employees without giving them the change to learn and grow.

WILL YOU ACTUALLY BE HAPPY AT THE COMPANY?
For hardworking former students looking to make their way in the world asap — and those with pressing student loans and electricity bills — it’s tempting to leap into the first opportunity that comes along. However, though employment for employment’s sake has the merit of a paycheck, you invested too much in your education to waste away at a company where you’re going to be miserable. You will spend a huge chunk of your life at work, so look for a company that feels like a good fit. If the culture feels off and you get a bad vibe, keep looking until you find a place you’re excited about.

TSP offers a compelling opportunity for recent grads. Want to become one of our #TSProckstars — read more on our Careers page. 

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