Just Graduated? What is your Next Step?

28 June 2017

Congratulations to all the graduates who have just received their classifications and final results. All the hard work over the last few years has (hopefully!) all paid off and now begins the process of finding your first role in IT. Your first role is a pretty big deal, and will help you develop a strong base in whatever sector or technology you choose to specialise in. Northern Ireland’s technology industry is thriving, and with so many avenues and routes to take, it can potentially be a bit of a minefield. With that in mind, I have put together some words of advice to help you choose the right role for you.

What do you enjoy?

Most people find they are best at what they love, and find it easier and more fulfilling to put in a working day while working on something they enjoy. Was there a specific university module that you thrived at? Was there a certain programming language that you picked up with ease? What can you see yourself working at daily, that will have you jumping out of bed and skipping to the office? You will spend most of your waking week in work- it’s important to love your job.

What size of company?

This may not sound important but different people work better in different team environments. Did you work well in big project teams of 10? We’re you more of a lone wolf, preferring the peace of working on your own? This can help you to decide whether you would work best in, for example, one of the Big4 or in a start-up software house where you might work more autonomously.

What motivates you?

Money? Progression? Making a difference? Greenfield development? Understanding your motivations and what drives you to succeed is essential. A well-paid position is all well and good but if the work is boring you, you aren’t likely to stick it out. Is it FinTech and the prospect of big, enterprise level applications that floats your boat? Perhaps you like the idea of developing to make a difference, and would thrive in the charitable sector? Or are you a budding ethical hacker? The projects you work on will shape your role. Make sure you love it.

What technologies do you want to explore?

As a graduate, you are in the enviable position of being able to go any direction. This is your chance to explore new technologies. If you spent your degree focusing on .Net, and you know that’s where your passion lies- then focus on that. If you dabbled in a bit of everything, perhaps a consultancy role where you can move between different projects and tech stacks would help you to grow multiple skill sets.

CV quick tips:

  • Does your CV match the roles you are applying for? If you are looking for C# development roles, tailor your cv and show potential employers what you can do and how you have used C# in Uni.
  • Proof-read!!! Spell check can change lists of technologies into lists of random words.  Let your potential employer see your attention to detail from the outset and have a well written, accurate CV!
  • Elaborate on the good stuff! Describe your placement. What did you work on? What was the tech stack? Specific projects? Paint a picture of your commercial experience for the employer.

MCS Group work with numerous software houses, FinTech giants and quirky start-ups who are looking for graduates just like you. Whether you are a Lead QA in the making, or a Principal Java Engineer of the future, these companies want to meet you and help you achieve your potential. For advice, or to talk about potential options, give a member of the IT Team a call on 02890 23 54 56.


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