What stories would you tell about your educational experience  and academic successes

The various roles of information technology (IT) professionals are in  demand and growing in today’s business environment. How will you make  your impact? As you near the achievement of your IT degree, how will you  use your education, experience, and unique abilities to position  yourself for your career? How will you set yourself apart in a  competitive job marketplace? How will you communicate your value?

To answer the questions below, you need to first review 3–5 advertised job descriptions (using a job board such as this one or this one)  for a position that you could realistically get after you graduate with  your current level of experience, skills, and education.

These jobs do not have to be in your geographic area, but make sure  that the descriptions are detailed enough to understand the requirements  (i.e., provide job duties, qualifications) and that they match your  current level of experience. (Note: Most often, few people will have  everything that an employer advertises, so aim to have about 60–70% of  the stated qualifications. If you find that you have less than that, and  you are not qualified for the jobs you identified, then go back again  and search for new jobs for which you do meet a majority of  qualifications.)

Have these job descriptions in front of you as you answer the following questions.

Primary Task Response

Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that address the following:

  1. Look for themes among the job postings you selected. List at  least 3 core competencies that someone needs to possess to do those jobs  effectively. In other words, what are the skills, characteristics, and  abilities that a successful candidate must possess (e.g., analysis and  assessment, systems design, troubleshooting and problem-solving,  communication, specific software knowledge)?
  2. For each of those 3  core competencies, share at least 1 specific story that demonstrates  how you have proven that you possess that competency. In other words,  think about times when you have demonstrated those skills and  characteristics. What did you do? How well did you do it? What was the  result? What specific, detailed, concrete examples can you provide to a  prospective employer that demonstrates your value? Consider these your  “success stories” you can share that prove you possess those abilities.  Your stories can come from your work experience, education, volunteer  work, and even personal life (if those stories are professional and  relevant).
  3. If you had to describe the value that you gained from  your education to your future employer in an interview, how would you  do that? What stories would you tell about your educational experience  and academic successes? Write an answer for how you might communicate  the value of your IT degree on your next interview.

Responses to Other Students

With a 100-word minimum response each, reply to 2 of your fellow classmates about their Primary Task Response.

  1. In your reply, consider the “success stories” they shared, and  ask follow-up questions about what they shared. Ask questions that you  think an interviewer might ask.
  2. In addition, you may want to  consider what they shared about their educational experience and  academic success and ask follow-up questions about that (again,  questions that you think an interviewer might ask).

Next Steps

You have now begun to create the “book of stories” to use in your  career search and advancement. But this is just the start. Where you  will take your stories from here is up to you. It is not enough to just  have experience and education in your field. You need to know how to  communicate your value.

As you move your career forward, consider further how you might use  these stories to demonstrate your value. Find ways to add to your book  of stories. Use them to recognize and appreciate your own value, and  then incorporate them into writing your résumé, networking discussions,  preparing for interviews, and more.

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