Starting a new career in technology is so widespread, exciting, and highly lucrative, especially since there have been many genuinely remarkable strides in this field. The IT field is also becoming competitive, and since it has so many areas to dive into, it can also be hard to know where and how to get started with building your tech career to find success. Read on for a few tips for choosing a career path in tech.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some essential leadership skills when starting a career path in tech?
A core leadership skill for an IT career is collaboration and learning agility. Starting a new career path in tech also entails developing your communications skills which will help you properly convey information to your teammates, stakeholders, and managers verbally and non-verbally. These skills will help you during teamwork as you’ll collaborate across various teams in the organization.
Since the tech industry is constantly growing, Learning agility must be another core leadership skill for a career path in tech. This skill puts you in a constant learning mode, to value and seek out the lessons from mistakes, tasks, opportunities, interactions, and experiences. Other essential skills include but aren’t limited to time management, problem-solving, and adapting and responding well to a changing environment.
Is technology a good career path?
Flexibility and work-life balance are among the most common benefits of starting a career in tech. Moreover, choosing a career path in tech opens you up to job security, career advancement or development, higher paycheck, job satisfaction, and valued work.
What are some challenges of transitioning into a tech career?
Experience level is the most significant challenge in starting a new career in tech. Most companies hiring today are typically filling roles of highly skilled professionals retiring or changing organizations; without valid real-time experience, choosing a career path in tech may be a big challenge. Other challenges include fear of starting over, imposter syndrome, ageism, time, and figuring out how to start.
However, getting qualifications and some prior experience through internships, boot camps, or personal projects can pave the way for you during your transition. Also, people with technical skills like project management, digital marketing, and solid and well-rounded communications skills can leap with an easy entry into the technology sector when transitioning from other careers.
7 Tips on Starting your Career Path in Tech
There is no starting stage when considering starting an IT career path. However, here are seven tips to keep in mind when starting a new career in tech.
Do your Research.
Tech is a wide-ranging industry, so jumping into any tech area may not serve you well in the long run. So, it’s usually a good idea to research which areas of tech you would like to explore in your IT career path. Researching will also help you avoid the “fear of missing out” because many people are going into a particular tech area. It’ll also help you evaluate roles that best fit your personality type, work lifestyle, professional background, skills, and experience to help you succeed in the industry.
Network with the right people.
Another way to get a hands-on review about a field in tech is to talk and network with people who work in the roles you wish to pursue. To build a career path in tech, you have to start reaching out to alums, friends, or acquaintances who work in IT to find out what a typical workday on this job looks like, what the challenges are, and which skills to learn in the first place.
You might also want to attend a tech meetup, workshop, or event, where you can meet experienced professionals to learn one or two helpful tips on how you can transition to IT faster. And when networking with professionals in the role you wish to enter, don’t forget to be prepared with questions that will give you more insight into that particular role. Asking questions will help you get an accurate picture of what different careers entail and help you assess the pros and cons of working in that field and whether you should move forward in your pursuit.
Gain the relevant qualification.
While you don’t have to worry about returning to school for a tech degree to start your career path in tech, most recruiters require at least a bachelor’s degree for their hiring process. If you have one, that’s great, but, in most cases, for a career path in tech, you can also learn via online or in-person classes, take training, or get the relevant IT certification for that particular tech role.
Work on your transferable skills.
Before starting a new career in tech, you probably had something you were doing that required you to use specific skills. For instance, someone who knows a lot about statistics, organizing data, and using data to get insights can transfer these skills into data engineering or data science, which might be a good fit for you. The goal here is to connect your current skills to your proposed tech career path and frame your past work experience to be relevant and valuable in this new career path.
Learn basic tech skills.
Whether your target tech job requires coding or you plan on managing people, writing technical manuals, or working with data sets, you can’t go without at least essential tech and data skills like using HTML, CSS, SQL, cloud systems, etc. Even if you don’t plan to enter the programmer or a data analyst career path, the basic tech skills will give an insight into how things work in core technical coworkers.
Although your previous experience is valid, specific tech careers still require you to have some practical knowledge in the field. So starting a new career in tech also means that you’ll need to personally grow your skills through experiences by participating in tech boot camps and community programs. You may need to consider volunteering, internships, or freelance work, which are excellent ways to build a network and gain employment.
Present yourself well professionally.
After doing the proper research, knowing the tech career path you want to venture into, and getting the right skills and experience, it’s essential to make yourself presentable to recruiters. Starting your career in tech entails working on your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile and creating a portfolio to showcase your past projects to hiring managers.
When rewriting your resume, LinkedIn profile, or cover letter for IT, you need to replace irrelevant experience for your completed IT internships, tech certification, newly acquired tech skills, and transferable soft skills. Try to keep your resume and portfolio updated for every IT position you’re applying to, and keep your resume to 1-2 pages so that it doesn’t overwhelm the recruiter.
To sum up,
The tech industry is booming, and it is easy to get decision paralysis when figuring out what kind of tech job you want during your career path. But remember that starting a new career in tech does have to take a single approach. Start by researching the kind of tech role you want, network, meet tech professionals that can put you on the right track, and get qualifications that apply in various positions.
Meanwhile, you must upskill and build out your transferable skills. Doing this will help you strengthen your resume and stand out for employability. After which, you can start researching the organization, applying for job positions, and preparing for your interview.
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