Went back to school, visited a career fair. Felt despondent

So I decided to go back to school to get papers, since that seems to be what companies are asking for. The school had the first career fair this week. I felt despondent, a total of 5 companies were slated to turn up. Out of those only 4 actually turned up. 3 of them were explicit that they were only hiring seniors and that they couldn´t afford to bring on interns. The CEOs of 2 of the companies present went to the media a couple of months ago complaining that more seats are needed in education of programmers, yet their companies flat out refuse to hire juniors or even take on interns.

Why even bother comming to a place where you are guaranteed not to find seniors?
Why burn wage expenses on sending representatives to career fairs when it´s obvious that you aren´t interested in the skill set that will be present at said career fair when you margins are stated to be razor-thin?

It’s worth listening to the job section of this podcast Spotify

it starts around 2h 39m through.

Quincy mentions that companies aggresively advertise high level roles, the entry level roles are there but are often less easy to find, because they dont get as much attention from companies. I think its a sad reality, but a reality none the less…

Career fairs are just one of a few ways to get “your foot in the door” with different opportunities that aren’t easily available outside of a higher education setting.

Yes actual classes, and projects you do within classes can teach you things, and that is what most people think of, when thing think of going to higher education, but there are a few other advantages:

Beyond career fairs there’s also:

  • job centers
  • access to faculty
  • networking opportunities with peers, and graduate students
  • research opportunities, with graduate students
  • clubs/organizations that can help

Each of these can help you stand out, or get a better footing with companies out there. Each of them can be helpful beyond just going to a career fair.

I’d see if you can access any of these resources while looking out for more career fairs, that hopefully will be better about providing any opportunities.

Personally, I used career fairs more as a “metric” of seeing who is hiring, what they are looking for and what sort of companies are putting in some effort. I wouldn’t, try to use them directly as a way to get a job, due to very high competition, along with stringent requirements. As you said, these companies are only looking to hire seniors who are about to graduate.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t lookup online to competitor companies, or other jobs within the same company and use whatever information you gathered from the career fair itself to get an idea of how to “stick out” of the application process. It’s not much, but it is something that could help you find, get some internship work.

If anything else, you will get an idea of what they are looking for in a senior, so you can go out and get that knowledge. So when the time comes your much more prepared for the job at hand.

Good luck, keep learning :+1:

No grad students, or research projects here. This program is more similar to community college. It only has 2 year programs with internships. That what infuriated me the most actually. One of the companies at the fair is heavily involved in designing the curiculum and organizes the lectures, yet they can´t be bothered to provided internships.