The tech industry is very attractive in terms of salaries, benefits, and overall culture and environment. The median tech salary is 90% higher than the median national wages. So, it is no wonder so many are interested in making a career change into tech. Another benefit of the tech industry is that you can find jobs with purpose and many professions allow for a flexible lifestyle. Thus, if you want to know how to change careers and enter the tech industry, continue reading.
Identify Your Options
Making a career change into tech may be intimidating, especially if you’ve never had any experience or contact with the tech industry besides using your devices. Many people think that tech professionals are all little Tony Starks and that they won’t be able to learn what they need. But things are changing. For example, there are many career options if you want something more design related.
You can start your research by identifying your current skills. What skills do you already have that could be applied to the new path you choose? You can use these skills to guide you and help you decide what will make an easier transition. For example, if you are in engineering fields like chemical or mechanical, you can become a data science or machine learning engineer. These careers require the same analytical and critical thinking; you’ll just have to learn the programming languages and other technical knowledge.
If you are still having a hard time deciding, you can also take a career quiz that takes into account your personality traits and to which careers they will adapt best. There are tons of these tests for free on the Internet, and anyone can do them.
When making a final choice, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. That includes knowing the entry-level salary, how hard it is to find a job, how many job openings there are, and if it will allow you to have the lifestyle you desire.
Get the Qualifications
Now, you can start planning how you will get the skills and certifications you need. The first option that many people think of first is that they have to get back to university. But university can take up to four years, and it can cost a lot of money. Not many people have a few hundred thousand dollars to invest in university, and student debt is not an option many people are interested in.
The beauty of the tech industry, though, is that companies aren’t making bachelor’s degrees mandatory, and you can find a job without one. Then, you can build your own path into learning the tech skills you need. The first option is to learn with a coding bootcamp. These schools give you the technical knowledge you need to enter the industry, help you prepare for interviews, and help you connect with potential employers.
The second option is to find free coding courses and learn the skills you’ll need on your own. For example, if you want to be a web developer, you can research which skills are in high demand. Then, you can find courses that teach those individual skills, or, if you are lucky, you’ll find a free web development course that will teach you everything you need. Depending on the skill, you could find many other resources on the Internet to help you on your journey. You can even find online courses that are really cheap.
Document Your Journey
One of the things that employers look at when considering you if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree is your previous experience. But, because you are a career changer, most of your experience will be in another industry and probably something unrelated to tech. When I said to document your journey, it doesn’t mean you have to start vlogging your learning experience.
Instead, what I mean is to document your learning experience by saving every project you ever made. Even the first-ever project you code because it will show how much you’ve progressed since then. You can use common websites like Github to publish the projects you’ve finished.
Even if they are a first very rough version, potential employers could see how you improve your own project later. The only way you can prove that you do have the skills needed is by showing what you can do. You can even receive proposals from people because they saw what you have done so far.
Grow Your Experience
As I just said, your experience is the only thing that will show that you have the tech skills required for the job. So, you should put effort into growing that experience even if you haven’t found a job in tech. There are many opportunities to participate in different projects that will help you put what you learn into practice.
For example, you can start by creating your own projects by developing something you are interested in or an idea you had for an app or program. Because it is something you like, you’ll probably find enough time to put into the task. You can volunteer your services to non-profits; you will be helping them with something they need while sharpening your skills at the same time.
You can also offer to start a project in your current company or offer to help your friends if they have projects of their own. For example, if you are a front end developer, a no-brainer is to create your own website to showcase your skills. You can take advantage of your website and add all the animations and features you think will impress potential employers.
Prepare Your Resume
Finally, you should prepare your resume to help you stand out when finding a new job. Don’t hide the fact that you are a career changer. Instead, use that to your advantage by explaining how your previous career will come in handy in your new position. You can briefly explain what you learnt in your previous career that will make you a better tech professional.
For example, if you were a chemical engineer before, you can highlight skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, and analytical mindset. If you were a designer and are applying for a UX design position, you can mention how your creativity and innovative ideas made you stand out in your previous career.
The first step is to choose which career path you’ll follow depending on what lifestyle you want, the skills you already have, or your personality traits. Then, plan how you will get the qualifications and skills you’ll need. Make sure to document the learning process by publishing every project you’ve done, no matter how rough or simple it is. And last, grow your experience by creating projects or contributing to existing ones, and prepare an outstanding resume.