I got my degree in computer science and began grad school, but dropped out after one quarter. Not having had any real world experience, I felt like I was up a certain creek without a certain instrument.
I began to use a local placement agency (one that specialized in tech jobs) to find a job in the Seattle area, and after a few searches I found one that looked interesting. No, it was not a full-time job, it was an internship, but it was a development position with an up-and-coming company that would, at the very least, get me some real programming experience.
They offered me the job and while I got very few benefits and a fairly low wage, I took it anyway. I worked in my internship for an entire year without being offered a job. However, I made a very good impression with the company (this is important).
After my internship ended, I accepted a QA job contracting at a different company. I did not enjoy this job at all, but stuck with it and kept in touch with my former employers from time to time. Finally, an ideal full-time programming position opened up at the first company, I interviewed, got offered the job, and happily accepted.
It's been over a year since then and while I still have a lot to learn, I have a full-time development job and I love it. At first I did not like the idea of accepting an internship because I already had a bachelor's degree, but in retrospect, it was the best decision I could have possibly made.