I will finish my Masters of Computer Science in May of 2012-- that basically means 12 months from now! Well-- I am wondering when is the best time to begin the job hunt?

  • Wait until I finish the MS
  • Begin searching 6 months prior to finishing the MS
  • Start searching earlier than 6 months?

I hope to find a programmer/developer position. I am willing to move/relocate for the position as well. I will most likely be hunting by distance because I will be looking for positions across the entire USA so my net is pretty wide.

Any thoughts? Thanks. :)

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I wouldn't start looking until you are between 2 months - finishing your Master's. From my experience most managers hire for specific projects, and then you stay or go based upon performance/how much they like your work on that project.

So looking say 5 months ahead is pointless unless you just want to see the situation of the market, because managers generally have no idea what will be going on a month from now, let alone 5.

This will also help you focus on finishing school strongly :)

This is just my opinion, however, and it's entirely possible others have had different experiences. Your mileage may vary!

Depends on the type of job you want -- you could start now applying for jobs that only require a BS or BA degree. That will give you some practicle experience while completing your masters. And that might open more doors for you with the company you are already working for because many companies like to promote from within before looking outside.


I don't think I can begin working as of now. I already have a full-time job and it's not related to programming. Actually, my undergraduate degree is not related to programming or math in any way. It was a language/arts degree.

I am finishing a masters of science in computer science but I barely got in the graduate school because I had to jump through a number of hoops proving my hobby (programming/computer science geeky stuff) enabled me to perform as a MCS graduate student. The MS degree program is heavily geared around programming and software engineering which is exactly what I want.

That leaves me in an odd position-- I have researched interviews/resume techniques for the tech industry and it appears education is looked at last. No one really cares about it-- which is fine by me. I have been tailoring my resume around relevant experience, personal projects and accomplishments (certifications, pending MCS etc).

I am thinking about releasing a few apps on the Android market and drive up some downloads/ratings and hopefully have an app worthy of tossing under personal projects before I finish the MS.. plus a QR code looks pretty nifty on a resume if you ask me!

Anyway, that was a little off topic-- as for when to begin applying.. I have been taking into consideration:

* Leaving my current job, which is located outside the USA. (I am American and the degree is American etc, that isn't a problem.)

* Finding an employer willing to hire by distance. I doubt I could fly around the world for some random interviews.. I would be willing to possibly fly out if they help with it, or if the prospects of nailing the job were good.

I am willing to work anywhere in the USA but mostly looking around the north east and west coast. All in all I think applying before hand seems like the best approach but I am unsure how these employers will view not having finished the MS while applying?

Also-- would it be worth using graduate-studies professors as references? Or, is that pretty pointless? I thought it may be worth it because they could attest to my programming abilities etc.

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