How to get a job in San Antonio after graduation
Published: August 29, 2012
San Antonio’s growth in cyber technology has been aided greatly by the military's sizable SA footprint, as the armed forces’ interest in cyber security extends beyond enlisted servicemembers. “The Air Force hires a lot of new graduates. Which is interesting because they do hire private sector students. In fact, the reason that the cyber command for the Air Force, which you’ve heard it referred to as the ‘24th Air Force,’ they are the group that does all of the cyber security for the Air Force. And the [National Security Administration] is also located here, they were here first. They hire college graduates who come out of our local cyber programs,” Becky Bridges of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce said.
Bridges said that these initial government jobs helped the cyber technology grow, and now there are private companies that offer recent San Antonio grads employment opportunities, too. One of these firms is The Denim Group. Headed by a group with close ties to Trinity, Denim specializes in cyber security.
“Most of the folk we hire are coming out of school with computer science degrees, just because that’s what we do,” Dan Cornell, the chief technology officer of The Denim Group, said. “Computer science or computer engineering.” Cornell said that while the degree is essential, more is needed in the cyber technology field.
“When we’re hiring people coming straight out of college, what we’re looking for from them is the ability to learn,” Cornell said. “Really what we are looking for from any hire, but especially hires that are coming from college, is their ability to learn new technologies and learn new things, because that’s really critical to the type of work that we do. The world’s always changing, technology is changing, so we need folk that are going to be able to keep current.”
San Antonio also continues to offer opportunities in medical related fields.
“The other sector that always has steady growth, that is steady and growing, is our health care industry. We add a lot of jobs to health care every year. That’s everything from not just the hospital systems, but also bioscience, research, devices, home healthcare, anything affiliated with medical manufacturing, is all growing and continues to see growth in San Antonio,” Bridges said.
The wheels of all of this employment searching, no matter what kind of job a student is looking for, can always be greased by networking. Businesses often maintain ties with universities to aid in their recruiting process.
“We have relationships with professors at some of the universities, and that can also be helpful for us in the hiring process, to be able to reach out to professors to be able to learn more about the students, because, you know, everybody’s resume is pretty much very similar for new folks,” Cornell said. “For candidates that can come in and say, ‘I come highly recommended from professor XYZ,’ if they’ve built that kind of relationship with professors or other folks at the university, that can translate to us, ‘Hey, I’m talking to a person, and someone is willing to stand up for them. That can be a strong indicator as well.”
Much of what getting a job comes down to is leg work. It is the sort of thing that not only help you open doors, but also makes people remember you.
“Students, they need to understand a little bit better that the responsibility of finding a job is gonna fall on them,” Cornell said. “So they need to be more proactive. We’re in the situation where I’ll speak to a class of students, I’ll hand them a card of mine, and they’ll never bother to call.”