Written by Haley Penne. Should take about 3 minutes to read.
Shyft has had a busy couple of weeks at a few career fairs around Nebraska. Being able to go to these career fairs is really a highlight of being at Shyft. I have the opportunity to meet several students and get to know what they are looking for in their career and also what passion projects they are working on. An added benefit to the career fairs is getting to know the different tech companies around town. We sure do have a thriving tech scene in Nebraska!
Over the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of attending career and internship fairs for the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) and the Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. These schools provide a plethora of talented students.
Our booth has a few swag items to pass out at each career fair. While a lot of companies hand out all of their swag, Shyft does it a little differently. We thought it would be fun to collect a little data with a quick survey in exchange for a soft Shyft t-shirt. Our goal was to gauge what the students are currently learning and their preferred learning style. And of course, we wanted to know what they are looking for in a future company.
Our 4 survey questions were:
To collect the data, we created a Google form and asked the students to fill it out by scanning a QR code at our booth.The nice thing about Google forms is we can get real time charts and graphs. During this fair season, 36 students participated! Once they completed the survey they received a Shyft t-shirt!
What I found most interesting was that the majority of the students already have a feel of what they are looking for in a company. A company's culture was the most important thing to them. When a company’s culture is positive you will see individuals grow tremendously in situations where they feel respected. The second most important thing for the students was work-life balance. Developers' success depends so much more than just what they do during working hours.
Regarding the questions about their college curriculum, one interesting finding (that kind of confirmed our suspicion) is that students find in-person learning to be the most helpful as well as doing a senior design project. Remote learning appears to be less helpful for most students.
We also noticed that some fairly important topics for software developers may be missing from their college curriculum. Familiarity with Cloud services, DevOps, and Cybersecurity best practices are a huge part of development these days, but students don’t feel that they learned about those topics in their courses. Providing students a solid understanding of those principles throughout their degree would help set them up for success. One caveat is that we surveyed all academic levels of students. So it is possible that the Freshman and Sophomores just haven’t gotten to these courses yet.
Overall, we had a great time at the Fall 2022 Career Fairs and this survey was a fun experiment. What are some things in your developing experience that have helped you in your career? What are some things you would have liked to learn prior to jumping into your career?