Hi. Here’s the situation:
I just finished a BA degree in cognitive science. That major was, in terms of employment, a mistake, and to compensate for this I’ve tried as much as possible to develop some computer-science skills. I minored in CS, and made my honors project a programming project. I had hoped that my cognitive science degree would give me some sort of edge in applying to machine-learning-related positions. I’m pretty much a best-case-scenario in terms of innate problem-solving and learning ability, I’m a pretty amicable person, and, as far as I can tell, my college CS education wasn’t THE SHALLOWEST. Alas, it doesn’t sound like any of these advantages matter much to hiring managers. I can’t escape the mountain of reasons to be highly pessimistic about getting an entry-level job, or even a paid internship, in programming or engineering:
- I don’t know any of the acronyms in the job descriptions that I look at.
- Everywhere I look, I see Quora answers and Youtube rants saying that CS recruiters are swamped with delusional applicants like me, and this is a problem for everyone involved.
- For one of the jobs I applied to, I did the Triplebyte general aptitude quiz, and scored 1/5 in three of the four categories.*
- The only language I’ve worked in is Java/C#.
- My github account only has two projects on it. One is a large group project that I clearly didn’t participate in much, and the other is the above-mentioned honors project: a Unity program (could you guess Unity from the C#?).
Obviously, I’d rather be a programmer or an engineer than work in retail or in a factory, and I’m willing to put in work to find a programming/engineering job. But I read so many narratives from people more qualified than myself, people who drill themselves daily on coding practice questions, job-searching for years unsuccessfully. Past a certain point of hopelessness, shouldn’t I just cut to the chase and go for the retail job?
*Side note: I actually passed this quiz, and was offered fast-track applications. I Googled it, and this is actually not a universal outcome. It is possible to fail the quiz, and it is possible to not be offered fast-track. What happened here?