IT Career Advice For College Students

I recently completed my first term as an Adjunct Professor. It was important to me that I shared some “real-world” advice with the students before the start of their careers. So, I asked some of my colleagues at IGS if they had any words of wisdom to share with my students and I presented their answers on the first day of class. Here are a few of their responses…

  • You should always treat your customers (or people who need your help) as if you’re a customer of theirs; in other words, when you get asked to do something, it may seem insignificant to you compared to other things you’re doing, but your efforts may have downstream impacts that aren’t apparent to you. Your time might translate to something very significant to someone else.
  • Looking back, nothing was more instrumental to my success than an internship. Applying what you learn in class to real world problems takes your learning to the next level. In the three months of my internship, my skills grew at an exponential rate. I made lifelong friends, I learned about new technologies, and I learned how Information Technology can support and even drive the business.
  • “Do not sacrifice theoretical learning for implementation centric learning, and vice versa. They are both duals of each other, and not at odds with each other. If you sacrifice theory, it will deprive you of a much needed analytical framework to rigorously scrutinize the complexity of algorithms. If you sacrifice implementation, you might as well be a math major specializing in discrete math. Likewise, do not sacrifice depth for breadth or vice versa.”
  • Focus on people and learn your business/industry. The technology will come naturally.
  • Always tell the truth. The cover-up is worse than the crime.
  • If you focus on automating yourself out of a job, you’ll never have to look for employment.
  • You’re going to cause an outage. Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them.

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