I'm in the process of job hunting for something entry level programmer/IT related and I haven't had any luck for a few months now. I had one offer presented via LinkedIn because my skill set happened to fit the contract offered, but since then when applying I've noticed the myriad of programming concepts/languages out of my scope. I fit some qualifications but not all, and this is something that has been baffling me.
I would like to make some projects to bolster my portfolio, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. What I mean is I would like to mess around with some RSA encryption or make a few data models, but then I feel as if I'm fortifying skills for one job skill set and completely closing the doors on say a LAMP stack or mobile development job. I'm here looking for insight from recruiters or experienced workforce members on what they look for when they are considering low level employees. If I focus on something unrelated to the job description, does that disqualify me from applying to those jobs even if I have, say, 60% of the qualifications?
For the record I have an AS in computer science and have taken higher level courses on my own time (proglang, rdbms, basic crypto, basic datasci, taking architecture now and planning on compiler theory), but had to discontinue the pursuit of a bachelor's due to financial reasons. I have a small portfolio with 2 private projects and I really want to get started on expanding it so I can at least show people physical progress. I really just need any job so I can pay off loans and I'd really like it to be field-related. If anyone could offer me more insight to the job process from the recruiter's perspective or a more efficient way to spend my time on projects that'd be great. Thanks a bunch!