The Work Experience

Discrimination and getting your break in IT

I was a little heartbroken this week after meeting a taxi driver and a stage rigger who had both retrained in IT — for no job outcome. The taxi driver, a young immigrant has studied a Masters of IT from Queensland University. He said that course was so general that it left him qualified in nothing.

The stage rigger was originally a book binder and studied Library Management, learning web development and coding skills. He was in his mid to late 40s. He described the web world as a “mafia”. Closed in, secretive and locking job seekers like him out.

Some courses charge plenty but don’t offer much in return. The market demands young faces, probably native English speakers and older people with experience. These courses have the responsibility to prepare their graduates for job seeking, tell them upfront what challenges they will face and perhaps even help them with job placements.  It seems too many people complete these courses optimistically expecting a job at the end in a buoyant market only to be left disappointed and deflated.

I wonder are people like the immigrant taxi driver and older stage rigger victims of shady courses or of discrimination?

My advice, for what its worth, is to ignore mainstream job ads, do whatever work for friends and family and small business that you can to build up a portfolio of work experience and proactively find and contact people on LinkedIn and ask them to meet you for a coffee to offer some career advice. Many people are happy to have a chat and offer advice. They may even see something in you and present you with that all too important first opportunity.

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