What’s the secret to a successful IT career? Half (50 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed by Robert Half Technology said their best career advice for new grads entering the tech industry is to keep learning new skills and stay current in their field. Seventeen percent of respondents said they’d tell first-time job seekers to take any opportunity that will help them get a foot in the door with an employer.
The survey is based on more than 2,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees in 24 major metropolitan areas. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.
CIOs were asked, “Which of the following best describes the one piece of career advice you believe is most important for a new graduate entering the technology field?” The top responses:
|Keep learning new skills to stay current||50%|
|Be willing to take any job to get your foot in the door||17%|
|Be ready and willing to work long hours||13%|
|Join industry networking groups||8%|
|Find a mentor||8%|
|*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.|
“Technology professionals who keep their skills up to date are universally in demand,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Employers want to hire people current with the latest software, tools and trends—and these are continually evolving. Employees who can hit the ground running with minimal training are highly sought at any level.”
Robert Half Technology offers four tips for first-time job seekers pursuing full-time employment:
- Find an internship. Check with your alma mater or a local university about post-graduate internship programs. Some employment sites also list these opportunities. Contact potential employers directly to find out if they offer paid or unpaid internships.
- Explore volunteering. Nonprofit organizations, like any business, rely on technology to operate, but don’t always have the resources to hire full-time tech talent. Offering your IT expertise on a pro-bono basis helps you earn real-world experience while doing work that benefits others.
- Earn relevant certifications. Review job descriptions and resources like the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide to find out what certifications are in demand for the technology roles you seek. A simple online search can help you find out how and where to earn those credentials.
- Pursue project work. Consider working with a staffing agency that specializes in placing IT candidates. A reputable firm can help you find part-time or project opportunities while you look for a full-time position. These services also can connect you with training and continuing education that will help improve your marketability.
About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology at twitter.com/RobertHalfTech or visit our technology blog at blog.rht.com.