BY GARFIELD ANDERSON, DEAN OF COMPUTER SCIENCES AT GWINNETT TECHNICAL COLLEGE
Once again, graduation season is upon us. This year, nearly 4 million students in the U.S. will be earning degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. As the next crop of graduates seek to begin their careers, and companies across Alpharetta and beyond look to hire them, I want to share some advice to both the job seekers and employers to make this time of transition a seamless one.
For the recent grads, congratulations on your remarkable accomplishment. Whether you completed your Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate, furthering your education is one of the best personal investments you can make. My advice to you is to never stop learning. Today’s environment is everchanging, stay ahead of the trends and always seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge. This is particularly critical in the computer science and IT fields where the industries are constantly evolving. Continuing education programs are ideal for earning new certifications and staying current with the latest trends.
Additionally, take advantage of every opportunity. Whether it’s an unpaid internship, a position in a different area or even an opportunity in a new field altogether, don’t be afraid to take the leap as it can only broaden your intelligence. And, you may even enjoy it.
To the more than 700 technology companies in the Alpharetta area, you’re in the right place for new talent. Metro Atlanta is home to an impressive list of exceptional schools that cultivate tomorrow’s leaders. As you bring in potential job candidates, I encourage you to be open to all backgrounds and personalities. Experience, involvement and hands-on training outweighs the institution’s name on their diploma.
Keep in mind, beginning your career is a big adjustment for most young adults. Be patient and provide as much hands-on assistance as necessary. Remember, today’s generation is more well versed in technology than ever before. They’re quick learners. Be willing to invest the time up front to teach the proper methodologies and it will pay off in the long run.
My last piece of advice for employers is to get involved in our community’s school. Having an active role in relevant programs in your field is the best recruitment strategy available. At Gwinnett Tech, partnerships with companies such as Dell Secureworks, Fiserv, Assurance Technologies and Tyler Technologies contribute greatly to the success of our school and our students.
Whether you’re embarking your career journey or looking for your next great talent, best of luck to everyone on their search.