What resources do I have looking for work in NYC's tech field?
August 9, 2013 10:19 AM   Subscribe

I wrapped up graduate school in May, now I don't know where to find a job. My graduate program is a design and technology program located in NYC. I spent a lot of time building web application prototypes and testing them with users. Now what?

Over the past few months I have met with a handful of tech startups here in NYC, where I market myself as a web developer and interaction design specialist. For the most part, these startups sought me out.

Unfortunately, nothing panned out and I don't know what to do next in regards to searching for work.

While I am still open to the idea of working for a startup, it appears working for a more established organization or design shop might be better for me.

Here's what I have been doing:

- Keeping my LinkedIn and portfolio/website up to date
- Keeping an eye on my grad program's jobs board
- Coding new projects to keep me busy/give me something to blog about

Here are my questions:

1. Are there jobs boards for web developers and designers that I should look at?

2. I am looking for a position that pays between $100 to $120k. Is this realistic?

3. There are a lot of recruiters in the industry. Are some more reputable than others and where do I find them?

4. Is there anything else I should know about as far as navigating this industry?
posted by hobodeluxe to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think, without relevant work experience, you're going to be hired in that salary range. Certainly a startup will be giving stock options rather than cash.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:25 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Have you or are you making use of your school's career services and/or alumni networks?
posted by rtha at 10:30 AM on August 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

No, your salary estimate is not reasonable, especially with no relevant work experience or projects to recommend yourself by. I'd argue that you should be targeting 50-80k to start. That's what was reasonable for my friends who are also in your industry.

I'd also move to Boston if I were you. NYC is notoriously difficult for recent grads to find jobs in, but Boston has many more start ups and a burgeoning tech industry that is seeking to rival Silicon Valley.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:32 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

1. Seek out the websites of companies you're interested. Check out the Made in NY program.

2. Nope, your income expectation is absolutely not realistic as ostensibly a junior designer. Generally those filling design jobs care less about your degree than your experience. I agree with Three Birds about the range that would be more reasonable.

4. Internships are good. If you struggle to find job placement in a timely fashion, get an internship. It's not financially enjoyable but I know many people in the industry who have gotten job offers after 3 month internships and then were able to move on the better stuff afterwards.
posted by thirdletter at 10:39 AM on August 9, 2013

1. Sign up for CHI-JOBS@LISTSERV.ACM.ORG - it lists all types of HCI-related positions, including UX / interaction design jobs.

2. A recent CHI-JOBS listing in NYC had a salary range of 110K - 150K, but they also required 6+ years out of design school, and 3+ years of experience. So your salary estimate seems to be a bit off given your experience level. (How did you arrive at this salary estimate, by the way?)

4. Contact your professors to ask if they know anybody looking for somebody with your skillset, especially if the professors both teach and are also practitioners (not strictly academics).
posted by needled at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2013

Have you applied for Jobs on LinkedIn, or Monster or Simply Hired or CareerBuilder? Have you searched out individual companies and looked on their career boards?

The obvious thing is to look for a job where a company is looking for web developer and designer.

A cursory look on LinkedIn revealed about a bazillion jobs for a Web Developer.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:04 AM on August 9, 2013

Authentic Jobs has good listings.
posted by catrae at 11:20 AM on August 9, 2013

Assuming that your degree is from NYU, definitely look to network with alums. Every third information architect I knew in NY was from there, so there should be a robust alumni network.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:37 AM on August 9, 2013

1. Keep an eye on the aforementioned Authentic Jobs board and CHI-JOBS mailing list, along with 37signals, IxDA, Boxes and Arrows, & UX Magazine. For startups in particular: AngelList and VentureLoop.
2. I'm in a similar boat (finished up my master's in May, looking for a UX/IxD position) and I'm getting the sense that 60-80k is reasonable in the SF Bay Area.
4. Attend talks and events. IxDA, Designers + Geeks, and Creative Mornings have NY chapters. I've also been trying to keep in touch with former professors, thesis advisors/committee members, and alumni.
posted by kiripin at 12:33 PM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend going to a firm or perhaps an agency, if you're into agency work. Agencies are always hiring at your level (and I agree with others for their salary ranges of about 65k-80k for your level). There's always work at agencies that do pharma work, but, yeah, there's the pharma thing. Other digital agencies are also usually hiring at the junior level. Finance is also an option, if you're not opposed to it. Many places have solid UX teams with many opportunities to learn. Doing UX work in finance is typically not like working in a "finance company" because you're usually still working with smart/cool/interesting people. My friend got a job out of grad school at IBM in their new design lab and loves it. Overall, I think if you're new to working in the field you will get a lot more good experience and practices when working within a team where there are others like yourself and opportunities for mentorship.

Also, what are you positioning yourself as? While there is certainly good overlap between your two skill sets, the jobs are often leaned towards one or the other. Do you want to go into development or into UX? In most cases, you'd be interviewing with different people and sometimes even different departments.

In addition to the links others have provided, there are plenty of meetups to attend, and almost all of them start or end with a raise of hands by people who are looking to hire.
posted by homesickness at 1:57 PM on August 9, 2013

Have you tried checking out local tech meetups? There are many for all parts of the tech industry in the city and they're generally hosted by companies who are hiring.

Bah...on preview this has been mentioned so I'm seconding! Its how I found my tech job.
posted by musicismath at 12:41 PM on August 10, 2013

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