July 15, 2013

How to Get a Job with a Big Tech Company

Source: Many high school and college students (among others) dream of landing a job with a tech giant. Lauren Varner, Lead Development Representative for IBM, shares some advice on how to make this reality.

Do you dream of working for Google, IBM, Facebook, or one of the many other well known tech or internet companies? If so, you share this goal with millions of other people. Some will eventually turn this dream into reality, while others come up short and move on with a different career path.

This is a great goal to have, however, it can also be one that is difficult to achieve. Competition for each and every one of these jobs is fierce. If you are going to land a position, it will take a lot of hard work and determination – and maybe a little bit of luck.

What it Takes to Land a Position

In general terms, you would think landing a position with a large tech company would be just about the same as every other employer:

  • Go to college
  • Work as in intern to gain experience
  • Apply for as many jobs as possible
  • Wait for the phone to ring

While this basic outline may yield results for some, it takes more than this strategy in most cases.

Varner shared some tips for improving your chance of landing a job, while also discussing other career related details:

1. Do you have any advice for high school and college students who dream of working for a big tech company?

I have three pieces of advice. First, start learning as much as you can about the industry now. Don’t wait until you are hired to try to learn everything, or you might get very overwhelmed with training. Second, you shouldn’t expect to be taught everything you need to know to be successful. Take your education into your own hands and seek out opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. And lastly, technology is all about innovation, so don’t be afraid to have unique ideas. Those will make you the most valuable to a large company.

2. What attracted you to a career with a tech giant, such as IBM?

IBM is a big name, so I was familiar with the company and its work with Smarter Planet and Watson. I liked the idea of working for a company that was doing so much to make the world work smarter.

3. When you were younger did you have aspirations to work in the tech industry? 

I actually did not. My grandpa has worked in the industry my whole life, but it was never something I considered for myself until the end of my college career.  I really wish I had, because I could have taken my own advice and started learning more about the industry earlier.

Final Thoughts

This advice should help you formulate a plan for eventually realizing your dream of working for a big tech company. If you are attracted to this type of employment and career path, take the time to let the above advice sink in. From there, begin devising your own strategy for making your dream come true.

The tech industry is only going to get bigger in the years to come. The opportunity for employment is out there. Whether or not you take advantage is your decision.

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