Evangelizing Mainframe
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Now that You’ve Graduated, What's Next?

Graduating is a relief in many ways. So, this would be the perfect time to acknowledge what you have achieved. Doing this, in my opinion, is really important. It’s time to appreciate your hard work. You might not realize it, but you have definitely been trained for the next phase of your life. A majority of students skip this moment, as they are simply satisfied to be rid of the arduous schoolwork. While the assignments and tests might be over, it’s time to prepare, because the next phase of your life has assignments in different forms. Let's start with the job search.
In my case, I have been extensively exploring the mainframe job market. The reason is simple. I like mainframes, and I would like to pursue a career in enterprise computing. I would prefer working for a financial institution. Just imagining working at a data center in mainframe systems support brings a smile on my face.
It’s true that mainframe skills are in great demand, and this demand will keep increasing in the years to come. But finding an associate-level position is often difficult; at least for a foreign student like myself who is entitled to work in the U.S. using the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) upon completion of a graduate degree. Often, companies link EAD with sponsorship need, which instantly disqualifies an applicant. So, it has been challenging at times.
I have had interviews for different mainframe positions with some big companies. But because of my aforementioned disadvantage, I end up with a commendable rejection. So, finally I have learnt to deal with this grief with improvisation. An important tip: Don’t waste time with your dream companies if they aren’t interested in your skills and don’t want to bother accessing what you can bring to the table. Before applying, check if the company is e-verified (http://www.numbersusa.org/everify). It would be remiss not to mention www.systemzjobs.com, which encourages companies seeking mainframe skills to post their job openings. These jobs are targeted toward recent graduates.
Overall, the job search has been a learning process. I would be interested in receiving tips from other successful jobseekers.
Niranjan Sharma recently graduated with a master’s degree in information systems from Illinois State University with specialization in enterprise systems. As a research assistant and z/VM infrastructure administrator at ISU, he led and managed projects on virtualization using z/VM and VMware. With diverse experience in operating systems and networks, he looks forward to base his career in cloud computing and virtualization.

Posted: 7/26/2011 7:30:53 AM by Niranjan Sharma

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