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Career Clusters

Computer, Information Technology & Mathematics

This cluster includes careers relating to computer systems, hardware, software, statistics, programming, video game development, and data analytics. Jobs in this cluster are found at companies in a variety of industries, including internet and software, hardware, healthcare, finance, oil & gas, retail and technology. Find jobs and internships in this cluster on Handshake!


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for workers for computer and information technology occupations is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains a list of Computer and Information Technology Occupations, education requirements, and median pay.


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Recruiting Timelines and Methods


The larger companies in these industries tend to participate in on-campus recruiting. The primary way to secure an internship or full-time position at a large firm with a well-established internship or new hire program is through campus recruiting. Some firms only recruit interns with the intention of converting them to full-time hires, and thus do not return to campus to recruit for full-time positions.


While many of these employers recruit on campus, networking is still a critical component in securing a job or internship in these industries. The recruiting process for a summer internship following junior year actually begins during your sophomore year. Successful candidates invest time in the process by attending on-campus sessions, participating in case competitions, signing up for coffee chats and arranging informal phone calls or meetings. It is crucial to begin this process early before the official recruitment season begins. In addition to reviewing job application materials, many employers will grant interviews to candidates who they’ve connected with earlier on in the process. The interview process will typically consist of a mix of behavioral and technical questions. Formal recruiting starts at the beginning of the fall semester, so make sure you return to campus ready to go with an updated resume and proper attire.

Smaller firms, including start-ups, will often hire on an as-needed basis and therefore do not tend to conduct on-campus interviews. Develop a list of target companies and routinely visit their websites for job posting and other opportunities. Connect regularly with classmates, professors, alumni and personal contacts to develop relationships with individuals who work in these industries.

Whether you are interested in smaller or larger firms, to ensure you do not miss out on any opportunities to connect with an employer or job application deadlines, check Handshake for job and internship postings and networking events.


Resources


Vault Guides provide students access to company profiles, industry profiles, descriptions of professions, salary information, and more. Students can create a customized profile and save favorite searches. You can access Vault through Handshake, under Resources. Vault Guides are available for:

  • Computer and Video Game Design
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Information Technology
  • Internet Content
  • Internet Services and Security
  • Mathematics and Physics


What Can I Do With This Major provides information about your chosen field. You can learn typical career areas and types of employers that hire in these fields, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate. What Can I Do With This Major can be accessed through Handshake, under Resources.

O*NET Information Technology Career Cluster contains information about occupations requiring similar skills. Click Here to access O*NET’s Information Technology Career Cluster.


Technical Interviews


Typical technical interview rounds consist of two parts:

  1. Whiteboarding or coding: In this, the candidate is actually given a problem that they have to whiteboard a solution or code a solution in real time.
  2. Knowledge-based Q&A: In this, the candidate is asked questions about different theories and is more Q&A in which they can dig deeper into the candidates' knowledge.


Be prepared to not only complete questions and provide a solution, but also verbalize the why and how you arrived at your answer.

Before the Interview:

Practice solving problems on non-IDE environment. Use a whiteboard or paper to practice solving a problem or coding a solution in real time. Actually solve the problem beginning to end, not just think through. The interviewer wants you to succeed. Ask questions if anything is unclear or you are stuck while solving a problem.

While many tech companies and startups are known for their casual dress codes, you still want to dress professionally for an interview. At a minimum, iron your shirt and pants and wear closed-toe shoes, rather than sneakers, flip flops, or open-toed sandals. Check out this article by Nerdwallet for more information.

Technical Interview Prep Resources:

  • Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions by Gayle Laakmann
  • Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job by John Mongan and Noah Kindler
  • www.InterviewCake.com - study tool that preps software engineering candidates for programming interviews.
  • HackerRank and LeetCode are widely used in preparation for coding or technical interviews
  • Pramp - a free practice interview site where they get paired with a peer to practice
  • Interviewing.Io - a free practice interview site where they are paired with an employer to practice (have heard ok feedback, but better for Pramp)
  • Career Cup - great place to find questions that have been asked at particular companies or questions for particular fields
  • Google webinars available on Youtube under Google Student or Google University


Common Categories of Interview Questions and topics to review (Google Information Session, September 2016)
90% of interviews-

  • Data Structure
    • Lists
    • Stacks and queues
    • Trees and graphs
    • Sets
    • Hashes and maps
    • Heaps
  • Algorithms
    • Sorting
    • Searching
    • Big-O analysis
    • ~ Graphs ~
  • Coding
    • Java/C++/Python (must know a programming language)
    • Recursion
  • Math
    • Basic probability
    • Powers of 2
    • Div/mod
  • Operating Systems Concepts
    • Threads and processes
    • Memory management
    • Filesystems and networking

A normal technical interview round consists of 2 parts:

  1. Whiteboarding or coding: in this, the candidate is actually given a problem that they have to whiteboard a solution or code a solution in real time.
  2. Knowledge-based Q&A: the candidate is asked questions about different theories and is more Q&A in which they can dig deeper into the candidate’s knowledge

Be prepared not just to complete answers and provide a solution, but also verbalize the whys and why nots to arrive at the answer.

During the Interview:

1. Bring a notebook and write down the question your interviewer asks. That way, you can add it to your arsenal of practice questions.
2. Ask questions. As you summarize your understanding of the problem in your own words, you buy time for your brain to chew on the problem. Your interviewer wants you to succeed. Ask questions if anything is unclear or you are stuck while solving a problem.
3. Take two minutes to make a high-level plan, taking notes on the whiteboard or in your text editor. As you do so, explain your plan to your interviewer, verbalizing any assumptions you are making. Pick your data structures and be specific about what they will hold. Consider edge cases. State the runtime and memory usage in Big O.
4. Verbalize the tradeoffs of your approach. Just like when you were practicing, it is okay if your initial solution is not the most ideal solution. You can demonstrate many important skills this way: translating ideas into code, readability, logical thinking, tradeoff analysis, asymptotic analysis, knowledge of data structures. If you have time later, you can build off of this to work towards a more efficient solution.
5. Code, verbalizing your thought process as you go.
6. Check your work. You should have a list from all of your practicing of common mistakes to watch out for: non-terminating loops, etc.
7. If you have time, make improvements in efficiency, organization, or readability. If you don’t have time, verbally describe what improvements you would make.

After the Interview:

Follow up with a thank you note, provided by the CCD in both Huff House and the library, for interviews there. You may also send a thank you by email.


Helpful websites for finding a job in Tech


While Handshake has hundreds of jobs listed by employers specifically seeking Rice students, you may find other websites helpful.

Dice - the Indeed of tech jobs.

Underdog.io - features exclusively startup jobs in major cities and remote work.

TripleByte - a site for engineers who want to work at startups. You’ll need to complete programming quizzes to see listings.

The Muse - in addition to listings, the Muse offers a behind-the-scenes look at companies. You can filter for tech openings.

Product Hunt - jobs for engineers, developers, designers, project managers, and more, for start-up and tech companies.

AngelList - apply to startup jobs and see salary and equity up front.

Computerjobs.com - technical jobs by region or by skill area.

Gamasutra - jobs in the computer-game industry with employers including Electronic Arts and Nintendo.

Greenlight Jobs - technical jobs in gaming and entertainment.

Software Engineer Insider - Educational information and job listings.
Telecom Careers Net - Job information and listings for those interested in the telecommunications industry. Read relevant articles and check out featured employers.
TryEngineering - Poral about engineering and engineering careers, to help students understand better what engineering means, and how an engineering career can be made a part of their future.
WISE - The Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program sends outstanding engineering students to spend ten weeks in D.C. to learn how government officials make decisions on technological issues.

For the Ladies:

Hire Tech Ladies - connects women with the best jobs and opportunities in tech.

Power to Fly - focuses on connecting companies with talented women in tech.

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Jobs and Internships from Handshake