/ Asked by Tejas
I have a bachelor's in computer science and a master's in operations management from India. I came to the USA last year. I don't have any experience in programming. I am applying for programming jobs but not getting call backs. Should I pursue a MS in Computer Science to help my chances? Or should I try to get an online certificate? Are internships a better choice?
Answered by Marisella, Hiring Expert at American Express, on Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Hello,

Great question! I would suggest seeking internships or co-op programs that would allow you to gain some programming experience. In the technical industries, it's very important to have the combination of education and technical ability. If you feel you are lacking in experience with programming, it might be helpful to seek an internship that would allow you to gain those skills. I would also suggest networking with alumni and individuals that participate in hackathons. Coding events that allow you to stretch your programming ability and be innovative are great things to add to your "experience" for resumes.

In most larger cities, there are always meetup groups that allow technical individuals to network. This would be a great way to learn from industry and network yourself with individuals that are working for organizations already.

Hope this helps!
 
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Thursday, June 2, 2016
Congrats on your educational degrees! Now, onto getting the experience to round out your resume. If programming is the direction you want to go in, you need to determine what programming languages you want to focus on and then see what roles are looking for that skill. Your best bet is to try and get experience through an internship. Research online to determine what companies have the type of roles you would be interested in, and then see if they offer internship opportunities. Getting that experience often times leads to permanent employment. If not, you will have an opportunity to network with people who are in the field and can provide you with other contacts and/or groups that they would recommend you joining. I wouldn't recommend investing in the MS in Computer Science or an online certificate until you get some experience to confirm the path you want to be on. You can also check out groups on LinkedIn that would correlate with your IT interests. All the best to you!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, June 3, 2016
There are multiple routes that you can go.  Seeking internships is always a good way to gain experience, which will help on your next job search.  Another good path is working with a number of employment agencies/placement firms who provide contingent workers to other companies.  These companies can help by getting your information out to multiple companies at the same time.  If you require any kind of sponsorship to work in the US, these companies are more likely to assist with that also.  Lastly, make sure that you are being flexible with the locations in which you are searching.  The opportunities in some job markets can be limited and if this is the case, you should be casting your net to a wider area.
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