As an anecdote - I have a friend who graduated with their bachelor's degree when they were 30. I have no doubt it was hard for them at first - they were 7-8 years behind everyone else in terms of career, and often more senior members of their team were younger than them. But they dropped their ego, worked hard and put in the time. Seven or so years later, their career has caught up or even surpassed the people who started before them - they lead a large engineering team responsible for a major product within their organization. I think that part of their success is the emotional maturity that comes with age, so while perhaps their technical skills were the same as a 22 year old out of school, they were able to communicate at a more mature level, and their focus meant that they got up to speed on the technical front more quickly. In some ways, I think they were even at an advantage.
I personally sent a couple of hundreds (some personalized, some bulk shotgun). Don't give up, and don't be discouraged by the stories of "rock-stars" you read about here in HN, keep sending and keep interviewing every day, all day.
some suggestions: build a side project and post it to github. volunteer for some folks. try and land a freelance project or 2, even if its under market rate. build a portfolio from this stuff. start a blog and post about what you're learning. get some inspiration at simpleprogrammer.com
this is a marathon not a sprint, and you are just a kid.
- 38 yr old jaded vet. got into the industry when i was 26.
If you're looking at true entry-level jobs, then having 0 work experience is not a problem. And those jobs do exist, just look for them specifically.
Beyond that, interviewers often make remarks like this, even if it isn't really a big hang up for them. Don't let them see you sweat, that's the only mistake you can make. Just own it, and say ok -- but I have, x, y, z -- and I can do this.
It's like when you try to sell a car. The buyers like to kick the tires and see if they deflate. They aren't trying to disqualify you, they're __already_negotiating__, and trying to bring the price down.
Note that I was an average student, certainly not in the top of my course.
Some times things can be discouraging in this industry, so look at this as training for in the future when you have to get through a discouraging or trying time.
Take some of the cutting edge research in the field that you are familiar with, find companies that need that skillset or technology, find companies on Linkedin and email the CEO/CTO.
That way you could potentially skip the entry level stuff and come in as someone with specialized knowledge from day one and probably get compensated as such.
Stop trying to compete with people in the general arena where your Master's Degree doesn't even have any bearing.
Sample size is far too small, 10X that number-- you'll have broader/deeper feedback. Understand that submitting job board applications is a time suck & energy drain.
Suggest shifting strategy, focus efforts on getting in-person meetings with people you can help (i.e. Managers, Directors, VP's of Engineering, CIO's) Get out of your house. Start attending networking events (Conferences, Meet-ups, Hackathons). Reach out to alumni from your program.
If you're in the Seattle area (or wouldn't mind) moving here we are still hiring. Send me a message at my username at gee mail.
A friend of mine got his MSc in CS with an undergrad education in english and philosophy. He landed a job with little prior experience.
You can do it. You ARE doing it. I think the amount of interviews that you've gotten is a promising start.
write some software/design a network/etc.. whatever you want to do as a job, send that with your resume.
go to some places where people are doing what you want to do for fun, like Longmont has the Tinkermill, Boulder has tech meetups, you can meet people there who are starting companies and see if you can help out, that experience can get you a job quickly if you're a fast learner.
experience is easy to gain, quality experience is harder to come by, but once you know what to look for in the companies/people you're working with, you'll get that as well.
Its worth repeating, this is a marathon not a sprint