Steven Rothberg is the president and founder of College Recruiter, which believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career.
We recently asked Steven for his advice to recent graduates in the IT field on where to start their job search and what tools they should use. Here’s what he had to say:
What advice do you find yourself repeating over and over to graduates about finding the right job?
Very few students and recent graduates understand just how important it is for them to invest time in researching which employer and job opportunities are the best fit for them and then to network themselves into those jobs. The Career Advisory Board, of which I’m a member, recently published a study that demonstrated that the more jobs you apply to the less likely it is that you’ll be hired.
What is the climate for recent college graduates searching for IT jobs today?
The climate for college graduates searching for IT jobs today is excellent. The vast majority of employer who are doing any kind of hiring are looking for IT talent, whether they just want marketing, sales, or administrative candidates with strong technical skills or developers who are bright, ambitious, and have a good grasp of the newest technologies.
What are the biggest challenges facing IT grads today?
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing IT grads today is their lack of career development skills. Few are both able and willing to market themselves well to potential employers and then to demonstrate that they should be promoted after they’ve been hired.
What can these grads do to make themselves more marketable?
Career development skills are typically taught by the college’s career service office. Most offices are woefully underfunded and therefore are able to help only those students who proactively seek out that help such as by setting up an appointment with a career counselor. But some schools are well funded and even require students to pass a career development class in order to graduate. Many and perhaps most students underestimate the value of these classes. That’s unfortunate but hopefully will, over time, change.
What are the most in-demand skill sets tech companies or companies filling IT positions looking for?
Probably the most in-demand skill sets tech and other companies filling IT positions are looking for are those which are related to cyber security. Very, very few computer science and related majors offer more than a few courses related to this booming field.
What advice can you offer students and graduates on determining their ideal salary?
College Recruiter offers one of the most advanced and customizable salary calculators at no charge. Most only allow candidates to select their industry, geographic location, organization size and years of experience. Ours goes well beyond that by also looking at the school you graduated from and other such critical pieces of information.
What do students and grads need to know about salary negotiation?
Salary negotiation should take place after the employer has offered the job to you and before you’ve accepted the offer. At that point, your leverage is as great as it will be. The negotiation power shifts from the employer to you. Be prepared with detailed salary comparables through the use of College Recruiter’s salary calculator tool to convince the employer what would be a fair rate of pay. Few employers want to deliberately pay their employees less than what is fair.
What are the best resources for students and college grads when searching for a job?
Three of the best resources for students and college graduates to use when searching for a job are their career services office, peers who are a year or two ahead of them, and career websites such as College Recruiter.