Next move: Where can I get practical experience?

What is the best way to secure a job in IT? After graduating with a 2:1 degree in computer studies, finding a job has proved...

What is the best way to secure a job in IT? After graduating with a 2:1 degree in computer studies, finding a job has proved unsuccessful.

I am told I do not have commercial experience, but I could not get a job while at university because I did not have a qualification. It feels like I wasted my time. What can I do?



The solution:

You are facing the same Catch 22 situation most graduates face when leaving university.

While continuing your search for full-time employment, you should apply to companies in your local area and offer to work on a volunteer basis. Although this is not ideal financially, it will get you on the first rung and get you that all-important work experience. It also demonstrates your desire to work in IT.

It is not uncommon that after a month or two of working voluntarily the company will offer you paid work - if you have proven a competent worker and able to do the job.

Do your research and identify the larger companies in your area that would offer this sort of opportunity. Draft a letter that outlines your wish to work voluntarily to get work experience, and send it to either the IT director or human resources director.

You certainly have not wasted your time at university, as the majority of job opportunities require a degree of related subject matter to progress your application, and your degree will no doubt be used later on.

While you carry out searches, look for "call logging" or first-line support roles. This is one entry-level position for graduates.

The first step is always the hardest, but a little bit of pain early on will earn you that all important first full-time position.

Solution by Robert Nunn, senior account manager at Plan-Net Services

The panel: Plan-Net Services, Spring Group, E-Skills UK, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Hudson, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology.

E-mail your career questions to [email protected]

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