Choosing the correct IT Graduate Program

Hi all,

I am currently looking at multiple graduate programs and need advise/suggestions for the recommended ones. In the long run, I want to work in Silicon Valley.

IBM: I am currently working in IBM (GBS) as part of delivery . There is a lack of technical work in the account and I am mainly involved in Microsoft Technology (sharepoint etc) and minor of Frontend development. There are options of switching accounts but I fear that the work may be worse. Additionally, it is hard for me to get out of this role as there is currently no-one present to replace me. There are also a lack of technical developers on the account.

The Advantage of IBM is that it has a very good reputation and I will be able to opt for roles overseas. I will also be able to get promoted to Band 7 in a year.

I am also currently looking into BankWest and Honeywell.

Bankwest: Rotations are present (6 monthly) meaning that I can try out different areas such as Cyber Security, Networking etc. But I fear that BankWest does not have a prestigious name and this could hinder my opportunities overseas.

Honeywell: This is within a very small team of <10 developers. No rotations are present and I will just be working with the team. But Honeywell has a good industry reputation, international company and a strong engineering culture.

Any suggestions on which would be the way to go forward? Stick with IBM or choose BankWest or Honeywell.

I have created a poll.


Poll Options

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  • +7 votes

    You decided the best place to ask this was ozbargain?

    Which company provides free eneloops?

  • +1 vote

    Raise your concerns within IBM and see if there is an opportunity for you to tackle more technical work? The alternative is that you would obviously look for a new job.


      yes, speak up otherwise you'll never be a CEO.


      I have raised a concern with my manager but the issue is that with IBM being huge, I don’t know what is happening in other areas of business. Another issue is whether other projects have space for new members in them etc.

      The area of IBM that I am in (GBS), is more in-line with Accenture, TCS, Wipro etc. A lot of development work is off-shored to India. So I fear that my skills may not be transferable to other tech companies like Microsoft etc.


        Reach out to various contacts in other areas asking them for a coffee, ask them more about what they do and whether there are any opportunities. In big companies, you really have to take ownership of your own career.


    Try sort things out with IBM, your time in Australia might not be as good but it gives you the best chance of achieving your overall goal of gaining a role overseas.


    You're a graduate? Take some time to work around at different places to work out what you really enjoy doing. Keep your options open and don't just beeline towards Silicon Valley because you heard it was good. You might hate it when you get there.

    Also, have some patience - not everyone can be promoted to CEO in a year or two.

  • +1 vote

    Apply for all


    If there are opportunities to switch accounts, you should speak to the people on those accounts to get a feel of the work involved and culture within those teams (assuming u know what those accounts are)

    Otherwise try to have a few interest interviews with other teams, maybe relocating or getting onto a project in one of the bigger cities like melb or syd would open up more exciting work for you (i assume you're in Perth)

    Good luck

  • +1 vote

    Do you have any skills that would be attractive to a Silicon Valley employer?
    None of the things in your message suggest that.
    While it would be nice to get a posting from IBM to America, if you want a job in a start up or one of the big FANGs you are more likely to be successful if you have programming experience, especially contributing to open source projects or other “real world” programming experience.

    SharePoint confit work is the kind of experience that gets a job in a CBD office for a bank or a government department. Good jobs, but probably not what you are after. And even if you end up in a mega-Corp like Alphabet or Microsoft, they have employees doing SharePoint config drone work too, and it isn’t likely your ambition to work in the valley is to be a janitor there, right?


      The above post pretty much sums up my concern. I am trying with IBM to see if I can get some ‘real world’ experience but it seems highly unlikely (unless I join their Australian Development Labs). This experience seems to be the same with my peers across the country.

      Hence my post to see if there is any benefit of sticking around with IBM (for the prestige) or jump ship to the other two options where I am highly likely to get the ‘real world’ software development experience.

  • +2 votes

    Speaking from experience as an IT grad, a lot of companies don't care about the name of your previous employer. This is a common mistake made by grads who think getting in to a big name grad program is the be all and end all. It certainly doesn't hurt, but it doesn't give you that huge advantage you think it does. Future employers want to see experience(achievements) and attitude.

    I also know from my brothers experience in an an IT grad program as well, that some of the bigger names work their grads like utter slaves from 9am to often 10pm or so until they burn out. They do it deliberately to weed out the quitters. Not all big name grad programs are like this but I know of a few that most certainly are. So do your research. Speak to people who have already been through your targeted grad programs. Ask about the work conditions etc.

    My advice is apply for them all if they sound interesting to you. Pick the one that you think will most benefit your skills and make you excited to go to work each day. Do your research and ask current and former grads there what it's like to work there. Don't focus on the name of the company or the prestige, it makes very little difference down the line.

    Good luck!


    Apply to any and every Graduate program. I applied to about 40 different ones, was assessed by 4 and was given offers by 3. Each program has limited spaces and in the program I chose had 8000 applicants and 60 positions. Cast a wide net, get offers and then assess you progression opportunities and exposures you will receive.

    Also don't hold so much weight to where you work, it is all about who and what you know. And remember a graduate role is basically the mail room, you read as though you expect to be highly employable at the end of the program, lower your expectations. You are competing against people who will have infinitely more experience, exposure and knowledge as you. I'm not saying don't have goals (being Silicon Valley) but don't expect doors to open without making your own opportunities. You would need to network your arse off if you wanted to find a decent role within 5 years.


    Which IBM office are you at - I might be able to point you in the right direction.


    Quite a few people have opted for IBM. Any insights as to why so? Would be appreciated!


    "The Advantage of IBM is that it has a very good reputation"

    within IBM yes, try any other company that has had to deal with their penny pinching for years.

    Best of luck in the Institute of Broken Marriages, if i can offer some advice, put a steel plate in the back of your shirt to prevent the back stabbing.


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