We are living in a world where everything is digital. These days, you can easily earn a college degree, and a good one at that, from the comfort of your couch. Non-traditional higher education alternatives such as for-profit colleges promise far better opportunities when it comes to employment, which is why many IT students are opting to enroll in for-profit programs.
So does a for-profit IT degree or certification from a for-profit university or college improve your chances of being employed? That depends. A qualification from a for-profit school can open up doors for IT graduates. However, the school in question must be accredited for the degree to count.
It is no secret that employers prefer prospective candidates that have earned degrees from Ivy League Schools and other prestigious higher education institutions. However, for-profit schools have come a long way since their advent. Not only do these institutions offer more flexibility to learners than most traditional institutions, but they also have a wide range of non-traditional IT and tech programs that are more suited to the modern learner.
Earning an IT degree from a for-profit school is not by any means easier than attending a conventional college classroom. However, it is more convenient. That’s why IT degrees from for-profit schools are so appealing to say, students that have other responsibilities such as families to take care of. For-profit degrees are also a great option for individuals that are already employed but would like to venture out to greener pastures.
In the past, employers may have had a negative perception of for-profit graduates. However, this negative attitude has started to shift, especially in the wake of the pandemic. With more and more people opting for remote learning in place of in-person class attendance, enrolment in in-person colleges has gone up considerably.
Even though the world still has some ways to go before the stigma of for-profit learning is lifted, the progress that has been made thus far is more than encouraging. Given the unique nature of the job market in the pandemic, as well as low unemployment rates, employers have been forced to get creative when it comes to the recruitment process and are placing more value on for-profit degrees than ever before.
Plus, even though one’s degree is an important part of securing the right position, in the right company, an IT applicant’s education is only one component of the hiring decision. The best part of earning a degree from a for-profit school is that these schools usually have great relationships with various Fortunate 1000 companies, therefore making it easier for IT graduates to get a foot in the door.
Leaving with a comprehensive resume is one of the biggest perks of attending a for-profit learning institution. A lot of for-profit universities concentrate on career training, which makes students better prepared to join the corporate world. It is therefore quite common for for-profit schools to help students to obtain internships with industry partners. Many of these internship positions often turn into full-time roles after graduation.
As you are well aware, the world of IT is constantly transforming. Thankfully though, for-profits have an uncanny ability to come up with courses relevant to today’s job market. Unlike nonprofit schools that are generally constrained by bureaucracy issues and tenured faculty, for-profit colleges can readily adjust their curricula to meet the demands of both the student body and prospective employers.
Because employers are realizing that for-profit schools offer current courses that capitalize on emerging technologies, many IT companies are now preferring to hire graduates from for-profit institutions. It also helps a great deal that numerous for-profits are more inclined to hire industry practitioners as faculty members, which gives students a better understanding of workplace dynamics.
Tips to help you land your first IT role
Watch your grades
Good grades are important but they aren’t everything. Just because you have good grades doesn’t mean that you will get the IT position that you want. But all the same, good grades can help you beat the competition and give you a better chance of securing the position.
Most employers also have a minimum threshold for grades so you should think of them as a vital baseline to help you get where you want to be.
Prove that you can learn easily
Because the field of IT is constantly changing, one must learn new things easily and quickly. A good IT candidate should understand new concepts ad principles and know how to apply them to various settings.
Sometimes IT graduates also need to unlearn certain things. This is because as technology changes, one needs to discard old practices in favor of newer, more current ways of doing things.
Prove your problem-solving skills
Employers prefer to hire problem solvers. This is a considerable aspect of being an IT expert. There is no step by step guide or textbooks that can teach one to solve all problems that come one’s way. As such, a prospective IT candidate must demonstrate his or her ability to analyze and solve challenges as they come along.
Learn how to network
The ability to effectively network with others is the key to securing one’s first IT job and all other subsequent roles in one’s career. This is because a huge majority of jobs aren’t usually advertised. The only way to get wind of such opportunities is by networking and socializing with the right people.
Given the disparate needs of college graduates today, it is a big mistake for employers to write off for profit IT degrees. More and more employers are recognizing and appreciating the uniqueness and value brought forth by for-profit education.
As the record shows for-profit colleges are necessary for offering poor and minority students opportunities that they would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Denying them employment opportunities simply because they attended for-profit schools is not only unjust but unreasonable.