Stories about college graduates struggling to find employment are largely overblown. Regardless, almost weekly, these people—most of them master’s students—reach out to me and my company, NewConfig, asking for career advice. “Should I take a class on SAP, big data, Salesforce, or another technology?” or “How do I progress from the ranks of Salesforce newbie, SAP novice, or big data beginner to something more?” Another one I get is, “What degree will make me stand out among job applicants?”
It’s been years since I was in their shoes, but I remember what it was like. I was frantically honing my skills and knowledge while looking toward graduation with a mixture of excitement and dread. I had put so much time and money towards my education: Would it be worth it in the professional sphere? Would my skills translate? Would employers take notice? Would I miss out on the jobs I wanted and be forced into lower-paying, less-fulfilling positions?
So my heart goes out to these students—these Salesforce newbies, SAP novices, and big data beginners—naive as they are. We all start off that way: you have to be a fool before you can become a master. So this post is meant for them, to open their eyes to the world and to recognize two important truths: Employers don’t care about your classes, but they do care about your experience.