In 2019, the tech industry had over 900,000 open IT jobs just in the US. It’s no wonder why people want to change to a tech career. Besides the massive number of job openings, which means they will have plenty of job opportunities, the tech industry has high salaries and crazy benefits. If you belong to this group, here are some tips on rebooting your future with a career change into tech.
Identify your Current Skills
One of the first things you can do is identify the skills you already have and which ones are transferable. Transferable skills are the ones you will be able to use in your new career. They can be interpersonal skills like communication, leadership, and curiosity.
But they can also be other things like foreign languages, math, analytical thinking, and data literacy. There are some things you learn only by working in the real industry. And even though you will be an entry-level professional in your new path, you won’t be a newbie working in an office environment.
You can also identify the things you’ve always been good at but never had the chance to pursue before. If you begin your journey with a clear picture of what abilities you already have, you could make a smoother transition.
Find a Career
After knowing the abilities you have and what you are good at, you can start looking for career options. The ideal path would be to find something that fits these skills. For example, let’s say you’ve always been good with social media, and you have thousands of followers in your profiles. The right choice for a new job could be a social media manager or digital marketing. If you were in a profession related to design and creativity, you could become a UX/UI designer or web designer.
Besides your transferable skills, it will help if you also consider what you expect of your future career when making a decision. If you are changing careers, this is probably because your current one makes you unhappy or doesn’t allow you the lifestyle you want.
When choosing a new one then, consider if you want more money, more free time, or a nomad lifestyle to work from anywhere. Whatever it is, make sure your new career offers it, or you’ll be back here again in a few years.
Earn the Qualifications
More likely than not, you will need to get some kind of qualification to change to a tech career. After deciding which profession you want, you should plan how you will get the education and how you will afford it. Depending on the career, it could take years to get the necessary knowledge. One of the tech industry’s benefits is that not all companies require you to get a bachelor’s degree.
Most companies will hire you if you demonstrate you have the equivalent experience. So, you can become a machine learning engineer, computer scientist, or web developer in a few months with a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps give you all the skills you need as well as mentorships and opportunities with tech companies. These courses are also quite affordable.
Informational interviews are calls or meetings you have with professionals in the career you are interested in or that work for the company you want to work for. In these interviews, you have the chance to ask questions and learn how they started their journey in their career and what they did to be successful.
If you want to do informational interviews, it is up to you to contact people on social media and ask them if they will be willing to talk with you. You can reach out on Linkedin or other social media. Most people will feel flattered and give you at least a few minutes of their time to answer your questions.
Start a Project
As mentioned before, most employers care more about your experience in the tech industry than your actual education. So, one thing you can do to build up your portfolio is to start projects. For example, if you are a web developer, you can start by doing a personal website that showcases your portfolio and previous experience.
Also, offer to help your closest friends or small businesses in your community to build their website. Most of these projects will probably be for free, but you will get the rewards later when you find a high-paying job with your experience.
Another thing many professionals do in the tech industry is to work in open source projects. You collaborate with a team of other tech professionals and put your ideas to improve a real application, program, or software.
When you are ready to start looking for jobs, the first thing you can do is to start attending meetups. It can be different events in the industry like hackathons, conferences, or job fairs. Also, there is a platform called Meetups, where you can find other professionals in your niche and create your events.
Attending events in the industry will help you network and create connections that could lead you to your next job opportunity. It also gives you a chance to let yourself be known and start developing your reputation in the industry.
If you have a hard time finding a job even when you have the right skills, another option is to apply for internships. In the tech industry, most internships are paid anyway, so you will be learning alongside experienced professionals while getting a standard salary. The only downside of internships is that they generally last for a few weeks or months.
Internships are excellent options to build up your experience, use your skills in the real corporate environment, and make connections. And many companies will hire you after if you prove to be a great worker.
For starters, you can identify your transferable skills to make a smoother transition. Then find careers that fit your personality and strengths. Plan how you will get the needed qualifications and learn everything you can by interviewing other people in your niche. Finally, build up your portfolio by starting individual projects, attending meetups, and doing an internship or two.