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Soon to be new Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Software Systems Engineering looking for advice on changing careers following graduation.

Veteran

Scott Hamrick Peru, IN

I am on track to complete my degree on May 16, 2022. I currently work in the automotive production industry, working as a production associate for Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in North central Indiana and do not wish to continue working in that industry. I would like to change over to the IT industry, however after doing various job searches I feel grossly unprepared and or under-qualified for most of the positions that I have found, or find jobs offering significantly less than what I currently earn. Given the need to provide support for my family such a significant decrease in my wages just isn't an option right now. I have been considering acquiring the Oracle certifications such as the Oracle Certified Associate Programmer (OCAP). Frankly I am unsure of what my next steps should be and I believe that my resume is lacking the "umph" that would get recruiters to at least give me a chance. I am fearful of getting into a job that doesn't pan out in the end. One example is Revature, from what I've seen people seem to have nothing but poor experiences with this company and have received near minimum wage for their work. Once again I am looking for any advice on what my next steps should be as I am rapidly approaching my completion date for my degree and would like to leave my current employer for a career field doing something that is more my choice versus just getting a job to make money.

26 April 2022 13 replies Mentoring

Answers

Advisor

John Porell East Hartford, CT

Hello Scott,
I think Joe is spot on with almost all of his feedback. The only thing I would differ with Joe on is that location is not as big an issue as it was two years ago. The job market is so competitive that many positions are now available to fully remote workers. While getting additional certifications are always a positive I would consider either the public cloud (AWS, Azure, Google) certifications or the cyber security certifications which are very hot right now but those by themselves will not result in significantly higher offers as the offers are based on experience as mentioned in Joe's post. I would also suggest posting projects on a public github repository even if they are exercises from school.
Have you considered requesting a Mentor through ACP. They can be helpful in reviewing your resume and giving you additional ideas on having a productive job search.

4 May 2022 Helpful answer

Advisor

Joe Engle Indianapolis, IN

Hello Scott. You have a good degree in Bachelor of Software Systems Engineering. I will presume you want to do programming and software design.

As you say, since you have little actual programming experience, you will have to look for an introductory position. But that is OK as they pay well and pay increases are generally substantial and frequent. Also, you have to start somewhere and two years down the road the experience will then open many doors!

That said, leaving Peru Indiana and moving to a bigger market, like Indianapolis, would open doors to more opportunities there. I don't know if that is an option for you. Junior/Entry level programmers in Indianapolis seem to be starting around $55k. (Indeed.com)

In terms of experience, you can get certifications and/or do your own projects. If you do your own project with diligence, you will learn more than you would from a course. For example a project might be--- pick the language you prefer for your future job, and use your mouse to select sports data from a website, process the info and put it into a database.
As far certs, they help too. Maybe get one or two for the languages you want to work with.

Software engineering is a skill that is in high demand, with the number of available positions difficult to fill, let alone with qualified people. So do not be put off by the seemingly endless list of required qualifications. If you meet the main 70% you have a good shot at the position. I have seen, and experienced, positions posted and only a few (3) totally unqualified resumes submitted.

Remember, employers posting for an entry level position are EXPECTING entry level applicants, NOT senior level! Employers expect entry level programmers will need some mentoring until they get up to speed. The hiring manager does NOT want his new hire to fail, so the manager's job is to make sure the project and the employees are successes!

Finally, put together a good resume for an entry level programmer. Emphasize your related courses, grades, projects, certs, etc. Only mention automotive or military info if it is relevant or is intended to show something particular, like communication skills, or teamwork, etc. Check the internet for examples of good resumes for recent graduates and programmers.

Hope these ideas help and good luck Scott!

28 April 2022 Helpful answer

Advisor

FRANCIS TEPEDINO, ESQ. San Diego, CA

All good advice from the others in the group. Here is an "off the wall' suggestion:
If you really want to break out of the usual restrictive and baby paced pathways: Enroll in evening program Law School. Work days, as I did, and finish up in night program. I found that Law School blew away the competition and put me on a wholly different, professional, senior management track. Law School opens doors that you may not know exist. It is not easy or for the faint of heart. Good luck. contact me (condorgrup@aol.com) if you want more information.
Frank Tepedino

Advisor

Paul Tusting Salt Lake City, UT

Already lots of great advice here, with much of it specific to your desired industrial.
For some general suggestions on changing careers, check out the posting here:
https://acp-advisornet.org/questions/6518#answer-29328

Best of luck, and congratulations on the new degree.
Paul

Advisor

Yann Jugeat Lacey, WA

Hi Scott,
I'm in the Software industry but I'm a project manager, and I could assist you if you're trying to get into something like that. Although, I work with analysts and developers, I don't know all the details they do but I imagine if I wanted to become one I could learn from them......Now that's over with that, you could go into that industry as a PM and than convert to a BA or Dev. There are a significant amount of jobs for PMs to include the IT industry. If you're interested, just reach out. Best of luck,
Yann

Advisor

Joyce Stein Santa Clarita, CA

Is it possible to see if Subaru has an internship program or a program for Veterans that you could apply for at Subaru. This would get you some experience. Also try to volunteer to have some experience in your new skill set. Also check LinkedIn and also speak with a counselor at your current school to see if there are some ideas to bolster your experience.

Veteran

Valentine Ntobo Hinesville, GA

From my experience if you do cloud computing (AWS/Azure) by attending bootcamp and getting certifications, you will be fine. Easy way to get into this career path in less than 6months. Atleast your degree will give you an upper edge over other candidates. Like someone said don't forget to network on LinkedIn and other platforms.

Advisor

Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Greetings fellow Vet! In reading over your query and the valuable responses you have been given, I can offer but one concrete suggestion not mentioned: Step back and IDENTIFY YOUR TALENTS. It is all too easy to pursue a job that seems consistent with your education. And, that can be a trap as my experience as a lifelong vocational counselor had led me to believe that having a good education means that you CAN learn - that's all.

So, take the time and energy to understand just what your TALENTS are and pursue a particular vocation that is consistent with the same. How you ask?

Here is the link to Carl Jung's assessment (MBTI). You are welcome to share with me the letter and percentage associated with each of the 4 dimensions of talent. There is also a kind of vocational interpretation on the site - and it is quite good. However, I have my own and will share that opinion with you (free) if you will, provide me with the letter and number assignment to each dimension.

Leverage Your Personality Type: https://www.humanmetrics.com/personality

Best of luck to you regardless!

Veteran

Thomas Kunich San Leandro, CA

It is perfectly normal to feel unprepared for a job as advertised. They always ask for the stars when they actually need the moon. When you are hired into a position the actual work is often boring and tedious.

But you did the correct thing getting a degree, After 50 years experience designing so many medical instruments that it would be impossible to be admitted to a hospital without them using either my instruments or later versions, (even designing and building a board for the International Space Station) I cannot even be considered for a job because I lack a degree and the Personnel departments now run hiring rather than the project managers who actually use the people hired.

As for your question, it is very likely that your present company has an IT section which would give you experience in using your skills without major changes in your living arrangements and commute. This lessens the stresses and allows you to see just how much easier IT is than most production jobs.

Advisor

Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

First, thank you for your service to our country. Second, talk to the personnel folks at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. where you work now and indicate that you are investigating if a position in Subaru using your new degree could be a viable career path for you. Then if you find a dead end, look at the answers already given prior to mine here. All good ideas.

Veteran

Sandra Centala Edmonds, WA

Scott - congrats on almost achieving your degree - it's a lot of hard work and a big milestone! As someone working software development in a similar industry, and with what you've shared of your current experience and back ground, with your knowledge in the automotive production industry, it may be a good opportunity to check into the IT development that is taking place within your corporation, or in a similar development effort within that industry, so you can also use your experience as you work to move into the IT field and related IT work. Just an idea...I do know how my industrial background helps our aerospace development, so it's another slant where you can maybe take your current experience and future goals and bridge that direction.

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!

Advisor

Gary Rossi Napa, CA

Network - Network - Network - 1st step is to connect with me so you have access to my broad base of contacts - then reach out to anyone in the industry and get their opinion - also check out the Onward to Opportunity which on certification is free - https://www.linkedin.com/in/garyrossibaldrigecoach/

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