Albert Wenger is right: we are woefully prepared for internet age job market. The three of us graduated in Computer Science in college, following a solid engineering cursus. But during the numerous courses we took we never heard of Github nor StackOverflow. People attending creative and artistic formation don’t hear of Etsy neither.
You could argue: “What’s the problem with that? You aren’t supposed to learn how to use these platforms in school but core skills in your field!”
But that would be missing a point. The education we all receive has one final goal: be prepared to get the best job as possible. In our current era finding a job doesn’t come down to respond to job offers by sending cover letters and resume nor spam by email all our contacts in the industry to get an interview.
We are lucky to live through the emergence and the expansion of specialized platforms which can help us build our personal and professional identity. With these platforms we can easily have a professional visibility, expose our skills so they can be assessed by everyone and acquire real experience with real work.
The very first recommendation we should receive beginning a course in a topic is registering on all the platforms related to this topic. The professors should foster us to leverage these platform to develop our skills, build our expertise and gain some fame. Such platforms work this way: they play with our ego to encourage us to contribute more and more and make our achievements visible for everyone in return. They are built to be our showcase and we should take advantage of it. We do so many interesting projects in school, sometimes state of the art implementations in CS, that get lost on our machine. They should be public to catch recruiters’ attention on our profile and skills or help us create our future income streams.
So at which level can we improve the promotion of such platforms? At the school’s level? At the professors’ level? They should all keep up with the internet economy like they usually keep up with the real economy. Schools should increase professors’ awareness, who are mainly researchers in engineering schools for example, to this concern but it’s up to the professors to promote personaly the right platforms. Professors do already a great job teaching us their knowledge, they should go further and encourage us to capitalize on their teaching.