What programming/computer science skills are employers looking for? I want to increase my chances in getting a job.

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I have to answer that learning how to google is ranked highly here. For example https://www.google.com/search?q=usa+programming+jobs+what+language+and+skills finds articles that seem to answer what language and skills are required.

What I often find that right out of college some never learned to research with google and are asking basic questions that a quick google would have given them a lead.

So my answer is "Your research skill."

Whenever I am asked, "what language should I learn first", my answer is always, "English". Being able to communicate effectively is going to be your biggest asset. For example, your thread had the extremely uninformative title of "need help". As an effective communicator you should have taken the time to compose a more useful title. On most forums, a title like "need help" would be lucky to get any response.

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From your other thread, you've just finished CS. Welcome to Daniweb BTW. You leave scant info on your interests. You mention programming - but in which field? Software? Web? etc. Help us to help you - but your first step is to research for yourself and give us something to go on.

The answer to your question depends largely upon what field you would like to get into. Computer science is such a vast category ... are you interested in VR? AI? Robotics? Software development? Web development? Mobile development? Gaming? Do you want to build the next generation of driverless cars? ... the list goes on.

I want to get into software development. It's been a year of job searching and starting to think this masters degree was a waste of time and money.

@Chris. Take a step back and look at your portfolio. Besides all the above and that "title" for the post, do you carry in some example of your own work?

Sometimes you get folk that "want to code" but it's much more than that. You need to listen to the client needs, sketch out the solution, create the proposal, estimate and then get the go ahead before a line of code is created. In fact I think I spent 99% of my time doing other things than coding. All those other things plus coding is software development.

Recap. How's your portfolio looking?

My portfolio? I did small projects in school but I have no professional experience. Maybe, I need to focus on a specific area. However, I am not sure what area is valuable and marketable.

I would start by contributing to some open source projects on Github. Also, reply to questions asked here on DaniWeb, on Stack Overflow, and other tech communities. I know in the past people got jobs as a result of putting on their resume that they are a top poster on DaniWeb. Participating in communities gets you real world experience, hones problem solving skills, demonstrates community involvement in your discipline, and is a resume booster.

@Dani, thank you, that is something I did not realize I can put on my resume. What about an area I can research more deeply that employers will like?

If you want to get into software development, I can't really help you with what employers are looking for. I live in the world of web development. Either way, I would contribute to different Github projects across a variety of popular languages. It will give you something to add to your portfolio, demonstrate community involvement, and help hone your ability to migrate across languages. Plus, by knowing a handful of langages, you'll be able to pick them up quicker and have access to more potential jobs.

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