Any advice on applying or being ready for a Software Engineering Job? (I apologize for the long post).

I currently have two certifications in Information Technology Support and Programming I, and one more semester before I graduate with two associate degrees in Cybersecurity and Programming along with three more certifications (Ethical Hacking, Cybersecurity Specialist, and Programming II) a total of two degrees and 5 certifications. This is unfortunately my second time going to school in the same field of study (due to financial and medical issues), so I’ve previously completed courses in Advanced Website Development (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and PHP… I know HTML and CSS don’t count lol) and Python I & Python II. The languages I’ve been focusing on have been C++, Java, and SQL, and I’ve been reviewing JavaScript and Python on my own time between classes because it’s been a while since I’ve worked with those languages. Honestly keeping or attempting to keep up with all or most of these languages have been proven pretty difficult given that I’m still a full-time student. I’ve been using a subscription to Codecademy along with my previous course Textbooks on the languages in my free time and I’ve also paid for courses on Udemy to help. Aside from software engineering I also keep up and am well focused on cybersecurity, but software engineering is where my passion is currently at. I have worked hard for where I am academically and have joined an honor society per request, have maintained a 3.0 – 4.0 GPA, and continue to be top of my classes, this upcoming spring semester I have three classes left before I graduate. Of course, studying this way strongly affects my social life, although I’m not the most social person, I moved three years ago and have yet to make any good friends or good relationships.

My greatest fear is that I will begin searching for a job and won’t be knowledgeable enough to qualify for a solid position, this is why I study so hard and push myself as I do. My roommate just graduated as a lawyer and passes his bar exam and has even made comments that I even study more than him or as much as him. Of course, he doesn’t know what I do but I guess he hears how passionate I am when I talk about my work/studies or tutor/aid classmates. I don’t actually have an official job given that I put so much time into my studies, but I do freelance in developing and maintaining websites for local businesses and local nonprofit organizations. I have classmates and professors who either work or have retired in the field of Cyber Security and Programming who stress to me my potential and encourage me not to settle for less when it comes to looking for a job.

I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, tech is known to pay well where I live and I’ve been previously asked about being referred by a State Farm to apply as a Software Engineer. Looking upon their career page I noticed they have a Software Engineer Intern position only being offered for the Summer 2023 and require you to return to school for at least one semester after the internship, but I have graduated by then. There are other positions in Software Engineering but most are not all require me to know AWS which I honestly haven’t studied yet (but now plan on taking courses on in my personal time). Is there any solid advice that I can be given, I feel like I’m really burning myself out but I am dedicated and I have a goal in mind, and I don’t plan on anything getting in my way of it. So all I’ve come here for was advice.

I greatly appreciate anyone who reads this extremely long post and also appreciates any solid replies or comments.



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