My S is finishing his sophomore year in CS. At what point should he start really focusing on job prospects and exactly how important is gpa in the eyes of employers?
Our S treated employment as a process. He stared
his LinkedIn profile in his freshman year and updated every quarter with classes and projects. He used summer internships (again, starting freshman summer) as a way of experiencing interviews and the “notorious” code tests as well as building relevant work experience. He grew his LinkedIn contacts from the numerous poster sessions he attended. Beginning his junior year, recruiters started contacting him and he reached out to a few others after recommendations from classmates. Hope this example helps.
Never too early to start putting up a LinkedIn, go for career counseling, read up on the internet, etc.
Doing it too early just doesn’t cost you anything while being late does.
Thanks. Has the LinkedIn just wasn’t sure when to try and really bear down on looking. He is unable to do summer internships so he’s going to have to maintain a high on gpa I’m guessing.
My son is graduating in May in CS. The GPA depends on the university. Minimum is 3.0. My son attends a local tech university - the employer expectation was a higher GPA coming from there.
He also has a lot of independent projects listed on his LinkedIn profile. If not able to find something or doesn’t know where to start, he suggests signing up for a Coursera course in some CS related stuff and do their end of course project . He thinks the projects helped him land an internship and job offer that followed.
“Yes,definitely” to all the other suggestions already posted.
Internships really are helpful. At some point, it may make sense to prioritize aspects that will have a longer-term impact.
Thanks @PurpleTitan …unfortunately summer internships aren’t an option. His academic resume will be excellent so hopefully that will open some doors for top companies.
If internships are out he should study up on interviewing skills. Also get books on cracking the code tests - preparation is key,
What prevents summer internships? For CS majors, both the experience and the pay are desirable.
In terms of GPA, NACE surveys indicate that about 70% of employers (across many industries) use a GPA cut-off as part of deciding which college applicants to prioritize for interviews, and that about 60% use 3.0 as the cut-off (it is also the median cut-off). Of course, some employers may use a higher or lower cut-off, or not use a cut-off at all as part of the applicant initial screening process.
So the difference between 2.99 and 3.01 may be a bigger difference than between 3.01 and 3.50 in terms of employer interest in interviewing a college applicant.
@ucbalumnus Long time since we’ve chatted but he has football(Go Gators) year round really. He does well $ wise with scholarships and tutoring so it isn’t financial. Currently he’s at a 3.9 and is also minoring in Math and Chemistry so his schedule is completely full.
So you’re back to interview prep and prepping for code tests. Most if not all CS oriented careers have a code test component. Lots of material out there. If you don’t pass the code tests, none of the soft skills will matter.
@Rivet2000 Duly noted thank you.
Do you have a couple of sites you would recommend for code test?
Probably referring to web sites like these:
@ucbalumnus Thanks for the info!
IMO the lack of work experience is going to be a problem. He’s going to need to find a way to compensate for that when interviewing.
He should start prepping with the career center on campus.
I have a friend whose son plays college football and he has made time to work. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.
A D1 Football player can’t be gone during the Summer or really any complete term. It is a full time job in and of itself. It’ll create problems, but also opportunities.
He works during his winter break and whenever he’s home, no matter how short the duration. His employer is happy to get him when they can. He also has a 10 hour a week job on campus. He’s super busy but he makes it work.
100%. He needs to start doing this ASAP if he is aiming for the high paying gigs.
As for the no internships thing, I will speak from my perspective: I rarely tapped candidates for interviews for full-time roles if they had no internships (it’s a de facto disqualifier), but being a D1 athlete for a demanding program would probably be an exception. He can also mitigate the lack of an internship by doing software dev-oriented jobs during the school year/breaks, if possible (like be a research assistant for a lab, and do computing work - stuff like that). Personal projects can also help.: create and publish well-documented projects on GitHub with clean code. If he really wants to hit it out of the park, getting some verified contributions on well-known open source projects would be huge.
I’m not sure what level or college your friend’s son is at but at UF classes ended 4/23—players are to report back for football 5/10. That’s the longest “break” he will have all year. Beyond football and classes he does tutor ACT/SAT, CS and others about 15-20 hours a week but he can set his hours for his schedule.