There was a time, not long ago when the mainstream narrative was inundated by the case for studying computer science at Uni. The allure of stellar salaries in the Big Tech industry dressed with delicious perks attracted the general interest.
A few years later, it seems we are in front of a new bubble gone bust. Reading a piece written by Charlie McCann for The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, we can immerse ourselves in the story of Ayara, a second-year computer science student at Berkeley struggling to even find a summer internship.
McCann reports: “But none of the FAANG firms – the acronym for Facebook (now Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google – was (at the job fair) this time. Neither were Spotify, Salesforce, Uber or Microsoft. In any case, most of those companies and almost 50 others – “all the famous ones” – had already rejected her internship applications a few months earlier. And that was before the latest round of job lay-offs. There were 120,000 tech lay-offs in January and February alone; Alphabet, Google’s parent company, accounted for 10% of those lost jobs. (Meta would announce another 10,000 lay-offs shortly after the fair.) By the time the fair came around in March, Ayara had scaled back her ambitions. “Any company that will hire me is good, at this point,” she told me later.”
The good times seem to be over and it seems to be a bad moment for this butch of students to get into the job market. The thing is it is never the “right” moment. As such, it would be worth adopting an entrepreneurial mindset, one that would help students like Ayara to adapt, spot opportunities, take calculated risks and network above and beyond the job fairs (and as much as they can).
The reason is, at the end of the day, it is not selling your CV at a job fair that will help to make any difference. It will be the personal brand and transferrable skills, especially in a context where the job offer overcomes the demand, that will help to get out of an empty box and make an impact.