A career in the tech industry can be very rewarding. Employees in this industry work with modern technologies in fun and engaging environments. As a bonus, the technology sector pays some of the highest salaries in the current job market.
Top tech companies are still struggling to find enough skilled workers to fill their open positions. Auditing firm KPMG conducted a survey of over 3,000 CIOs and found that 65 percent of them are facing hiring challenges. Whether you are hoping to find work in the tech sector out of college, or looking to switch to a career in tech, we have a few tips to help you make a successful transition.
Entering From College
Like most professional disciplines, having a specialization will set you apart. Take the time to find a specific area in the tech industry that interests and inspires you. If you love the back end functionality of how websites work, coding might be the way to go. Developers — the largely unsung heroes of tech — are the architects of technology and provide the structure upon which everything else stands.
Establish your company wish list
To vastly increase the odds of working for one of your dream employers, pick those dream employers out prior to entering the job market. As we mentioned before, there is currently a skill gap in the tech sector, so if you have the exact talents a company is looking for, they may go to great lengths to get you working for them. Huge tech giants like Google and Oracle are building massive campuses to attract recent graduates. Do your research, pinpoint where you want to work ahead of time, and enter the application process with clear goals in mind.
Find relevant experience outside of required coursework
Regardless of the industry, no employer wants to hire someone whose record shows they’ve done the bare minimum. Tech is an industry driven by passion, and the best way to show off that passion is to make the most of your downtime. Volunteer your time to developing and updating your school’s website, or start your own blog chronicling your education and experience at school. The goal is to be able to show a prospective employer that the job you’re chasing is more than just a job to you.
Switching From Another Career
Transferring from a different industry into tech can be difficult, but it’s very doable if you truly want it. There are a massive amount of online resources available to help people teach themselves the basics of tech. If analytics piques your interest, Google provides their Analytics Academy as a free resource.
One of the most essential skills to possess, no matter what tech field you hope to work in, is basic coding. There are plenty of paid reference materials on the web, but make sure to research which courses are worth the money.
Utilize social media to follow relevant companies and Influencers in the tech space. These are great platforms to come in contact with recruiters or individuals that hold jobs you’re interested in as well as fellow alumni. These people could offer unique insights as to how your current role can translate to tech.
Gain Relevant Experience
There are plenty of ways to gain experience in your free time. In tech, the best way to learn is to get involved, experiment, and play around with the tools you’ve been learning. A great first step is to create your own website. Don’t take yourself too seriously; keep in mind that this is your playground to try out anything you choose. Don’t worry about the site being an instant success.
Remember, when looking to switch careers, it isn’t always necessary to leave your current company. Regardless of which sector you work in, odds are that your current workplace has web developers, a design team, data analysts, etc. Find out what they are doing and shadow them. If you are teaching yourself the relevant skills outside of work, you might be able to eventually jump in and help out with some tech projects.
Maddie Davis is the Co-founder of Enlightened-Digital and tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. Maddie Davis lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.