There are so many different avenues for IT professionals in Sacramento, but many forget about the prospect of working in the public sector. Andrew Silvester, an IT project manager for the State of California, shares his insight on education, job seeking and finding success. Silvester has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a specialization in Systems Analysis and a minor in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Arlington.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Silvester)

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Silvester)

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What is your background?

“I have worked in the information technology field since college as a programmer and project manager for nearly 25 years. I started with programming COBOL on mainframes and also programmed in C++ on PCs and in ABAP on SAP.”

How did you get started in your field?

“My first job was to write COBOL programs for an accounting and order entry system for a small company. I got the job from an interview at the University’s career center.”

How has a degree helped you succeed in IT?

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“My degree has given me a base of knowledge that has allowed me to succeed in my chosen career. Over the years, the laws and technology have changed, but the basic information I learned about accounting, finance, management, marketing and computer science are the same, and I still use that knowledge today.”

What do you think the future of IT is for Sacramento?

“It is my opinion that the future of IT careers within public sector in Sacramento is strong. There will always be a need to support the systems, old and new. The jobs will be mostly supporting and enhancing existing systems.”

Can you offer any advice to graduating students or job seekers?

“As a hiring manager, I find it difficult to hire persons without some programming experience. And for the large-scale systems I hire for, it is difficult to find graduating students with the type of experience I am looking for. This is mostly because they don’t teach mainframe and large systems anymore. So go get some experience.”

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