Computer Science Major? Finding your 1st job

If I were in college again. I’d be sure to intern somewhere every summer. And somewhere different each time. This will help you figure out what you like.

Do you wake up in the morning excited about the work you’re doing that day? If so, keep doing that. If not, try something else! This will change as you get older.

Once you graduate, you’ll probably be looking at large co’s, mid-size tech companies or startups.

Try to get into a mid-size tech company for your 1st job.

Startups = Avoid, you’ll have plenty of time later to join one if you want. But not as your 1st job. They are really hard, often lack structure, best practices, good management. Before joining one you’ll want to have some basis on “how to work”, which you’ll learn at larger companies.

  • Large companies = Can be good. This is how I started. Development tends to move slower though and as a Jr. you’ll be doing a lot of small/maintenance/bug work. It’s a safe choice. But I don’t think its the best choice.
  • Mid size companies = YES. This is what I’d do if I were graduating today. This is where you’re likely to learn the most. Similar culture/speed to a startup, but they have the things you need as a new developer. They should have good structure, practices, experienced managers. You’re more likely to do important / interesting work. You’ll have more access to senior/executive employees (the people you want to learn from).

Work in positions where your job makes the company money
With a CS degree, you’re lucky enough to be in a position where you know how to build things that add value.

If you want to write software. Work for a company that sells software.

If you want to design jet engines, work for a company that sells jet engines.

The closer you are to the $, the better your career will be. More interesting work / money / career advancement.

Finally, don’t worry so much.
Most of all, if you get it wrong and end up somewhere you don’t like. Don’t panic, just start looking again. I got lucky and it only took me 2 years out of college to figure out what I loved. You’ll make mistakes, but eventually you’ll learn what you love doing and find a place to do it.