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In a few weeks I will finish my internship at a small IT company. The internship has lasted for seven months in which I was trained and worked for the web department, mainly on web applications.

Yesterday the CEO talked to me and told me that they want to hire me, but in the business intelligence department. The reason, he told, is that in that department there's need of work.

I was happy to hear that he wants to keep me, but in some way I'm confused, I was prepared for a type of work and now I was offered another, in which I have no experience at all and of which I think I don't know so many things.

Maybe I might even like the job in the future, but I think that this way of doing things for a company is not the best.

How can I evaluate this opportunity so I can make an informed decision?

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    A breadth of experience is good for your career. Unless it is work you simply are not not interested in then you should take it. They are interested in you and are willing to invest in expanding your skill set. – paparazzo Mar 15 '17 at 16:22
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    Essentially, the CEO is saying that you have something way more important than web skills -- Life/problem solving skills. Take those and you can do anything with them. Take some time in the BI department and see if you enjoy it. If you don't after a year or so, I am sure management will be open to you asking to be moved. – Jeff.Clark Mar 15 '17 at 18:30
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    It's worth to note that there are hundreds of dozens of web developers out there, but there are very few BI pros. Getting to know business intelligence will upgrade your rarity in the job market - or, as my pokemon-addicted HR colleague says, you'll be like a Shiny Developer asking for someone to catch you. – T. Sar Mar 15 '17 at 19:54
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    "But I think that this way of doing things for a company is not the best. " - I disagree. From the company's point of view, giving an unknown student an internship is basically a public service - on average, they don't expect to get much in return for it. But after 7 months they know a lot more about what you can do and about your general attitude to work, and of course they also know what they want to achieve as a company. As others have said, people who are only competent web developers and nothing more are easy to find anywhere. It seems they think you are better than that! – alephzero Mar 15 '17 at 21:01
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    When I was hired out of an internship I was placed in a weird job, because that was what was an open position. They wanted to hire me, budgets were tight, and that's how they managed to make it work with management. – ceejayoz Mar 16 '17 at 1:20
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First off, congrats on getting offered a position after your internship. That means they like what they see. A lot of new grads aren't getting positions these days, so that's awesome!

Second, if you have the skills to thrive on the web team, you'll have the skills to thrive on the BI team. They're the same skills with a different application of the skills. But problem solving, root cause analysis, and out of the box thinking will be useful on both teams, as well as your technical background.

Assuming you're getting a degree in computer science or software engineering, both of those degrees would allow you to be on either team. So really the work isn't much different.

And most importantly, they believe you can handle it! BI is a bit tougher, and you have to think a bit harder to solve the business problems. They have confidence in you.

Looks like you've got quite the opportunity ahead of you. This is very different than applying for a developer and end up working the phone lines on support all day. It's more of an upgrade than a downgrade (although mostly lateral) so I say take full advantage of it.

I would recommend asking to job shadow some people in that department prior to making your decision. You have a great opportunity to know those people and the work prior to making your decision.

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    And BI is a very good field to be in right now. Lots of jobs, lots of room to grow, high salaries once you get some experience. Much more interesting and challenging work than web site dev (of course I am a data person so I think that! YMMV). – HLGEM Mar 15 '17 at 15:44
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    @HLGEM Very true. Also, because a lot of the data in the BI field is so sensitive, it's less likely than your typical web team to get outsourced. – corsiKa Mar 15 '17 at 15:45
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    Not to mention that OP will acquire great deal of knowledge on how a business works, if he works for a BI team. You can learn technologies in mere weeks, but insights on a business is really hard to get. – sampathsris Mar 16 '17 at 7:25
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    Not trying to be picky, but do you have a source for "A lot of new grads aren't getting positions these days"? – Alvaro Montoro Mar 16 '17 at 16:08
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    Important point: They do not expect that you have any previous experience in BI - they are fully aware of the situation, no need to be nervous about that. You can "relax and jump in" basically. They know you have the capabilities that can not be learned on the job. And these are the important part. Learning what BI is about (the part that is new for you) is just nothing to worry about, everybody can do that. It is just part of your job. – Volker Siegel Dec 22 '17 at 23:28
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It's a compliment and you should take it as such.

Some people hire on specific skills and others hire on aptitude. While you don't think it's smart, I completely disagree. The CEO likes your work and believes that you can adapt to the different skillset required. It's a vote of confidence.

In my experience, it's better to hire good people with the ability to learn and adapt and have the right attitude and personality than hold out for only someone with a specific skillset.

The bottom line is that the boss sees something in you and doesn't want to lose you and is willing to put you in a place where they are able to keep you.

  • He may be even hiring based on a skill you are not aware of, like communication. – Volker Siegel Dec 22 '17 at 23:31
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" I think that this way of doing things for a company is not the best" - you might want to consider the possibility that the CEO has some idea about what is best for the company :-)

Then knuckle down and realize that there are no jobs in your current area, so it's BI or walk.

Personally, I would consider “we don’t have an opening where you are, but we do want to keep you” as compliment, and look on the new job as a promotion.

Of course, the usual considerations apply:

  • Do you like the corporate culture?
  • How is the job market in your area, or the area where you would prefer to work?
  • What are the job prospects? BI is likely to pay more than web development, and to lead to management prospects
  • Being more of a niche, BI will allow you to travel more, if you desire. I have contracted at least one year each in 15+ countries, in the Americas, Asia and Europe, on the strength of my niche
  • How is the commute ? (I currently commute 4 to 5 hours per day, because of other factors)
  • Other, personal stuff
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I'd take it and run with it as best you can.

Very few people have experience in these areas and it is a huge vote of confidence that it is being offered to you. It could lead to a very high paying job.

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    This is nice piece of advice, which would benefit from more explanation of "why" given the OP is explicitly curious about this. – enderland Mar 15 '17 at 18:26
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It is not especially uncommon for an offer after an internship to not be in the same position of the internship, and in fact I would consider the offer in another area to be even more of a complement. It mean they saw in you the ability to learn and pick up skills and translate them into an asset for the organization, and do so without pigeon holing you. They want you, and your skills, but do not have the need in the specific area you were interning, but believe you are fully able to pick up new skills and help the company, and are more confident in your ability to do that than trying to go out and find someone who already has direct experience.

This does still leave you with evaluating if you want to do what they are asking, but this will be true with any job offer. You would have the added bonus of being known and presumably respected in the group you have been interning, so in the future there could be the option of moving back if the second department proves not to be a better fit. Though an opening does not exist now, there likely will be in the future, and you could assume they would want you back if they could get you.

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As far as training and experience goes, seven months is hardly worth mentioning. Whatever skills you've gained in seven months are going to be no more than the basics so you can be mostly relied on not to completely break everything you touch, and perhaps can manage a bit of work yourself with regular oversight. (You know nothing, Dygne Snow. ;)

What's more important is them looking at how you've learnt those skills, whether you've had to be told stuff repeatedly or it sunk in first time, whether you have the initiative to look at other ways to approach problems, whether you have the self-restraint to not waste time on interesting-to-you solutions which don't benefit the business, how you work with your colleagues, and so on. An internship isn't really training, it's evaluation of you as a potential employee.

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Being offered a position after the internship is indeed a great sign, and it makes perfect sense for a company to hire an IT guy who is known to lean quickly, instead of a total stranger. However, your decision to accept the offer should really depend on whether you want to work in the business intelligence or not.

I don't want to sound negative, but if your dream is to work on web applications, accepting a business intelligence job just because it's offered to you may hurt your career more than help it. In two years, having 7 months of web development and 2 years of business intelligence on your CV, it may be more difficult to get a web dev job than it is now:

  • your knowledge about web technologies will be 2 years old
  • you will still have as much web development experience as you have now

If I was leading a web app project and looking for junior developers, I'd rather hire someone like you are now rather than someone like you'll be in two years.

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