How to Break Into the Technology Field
If you are hoping to land a tech job–even without a tech background– a quick search online can reveal a number of tech jobs that require skills from all other career fields. Since there is such a wide variety of technology being developed, there is a tech-job for almost everyone. But before you begin searching for your next job, here are a few tips that will help you transition into the tech industry.
Start With The Basics
If you haven’t decided on the area in which you wish to work, go through different job listings and check which skills they are looking for. When you find a skillset that you already have, or are interested in learning, use that as a stepping stone to continue into the next part of your career transition. For the skills that you need to learn, many colleges and technical schools provide certificate programs in the STEM field; all of which are cheaper than going back to school for a bachelor’s degree. Once you are comfortable with these new skills, update your resume to reflect your accomplishments.
Take Advantage of Opportunities
Taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible is especially important when you are working to reinvent yourself professionally. Work with a career counselor to find technology related conferences, meetups, events, networks, and clubs in your region or university; you will find these programs to be very useful. Connecting with people in your new industry is a great way to hear about internships and jobs as well, not to mention that participating in them is a wonderful way to learn new things.
The technology industry has never followed a straight path. Advancements that are made everyday change the course of our society. Our tech products, for instance, need to perform different skills depending on the user’s age, abilities, and needs. Hence technology always has something to match every personality and skill. While you are networking at technology events, try to find local companies that are willing to let you shadow someone for a few days. If this is not possible, many tech nonprofits have volunteer programs that would allow you to learn about technology while helping others. Potential employers will appreciate your willingness to learn and enthusiastic attitude.
Don’t Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There
Unfortunately, women have to work harder than their male counterparts to get equally as far. In 2014, The Harvard Business Review discovered that men will apply for jobs if they meet at least 60% of the criteria, while women wait until they have 100% of the skills required. So, even if a woman is more qualified for the job,has only 70%, she may hold herself back by feeling “not qualified enough,” even if others don’t see her that way.
There is nothing wrong in applying for a job just to see what happens. You have nothing to lose by applying. If you receive the opportunity to have an interview, don’t be afraid of highlighting your talents as well as identifying areas that need improvement. It is very difficult for employers to find someone who can fulfill every job requirement perfectly. In fact, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and a strong work ethic count more than skills and qualifications.
Do Not Give Up
Perseverance is the key to success when you are transitioning professionally. You will inevitably encounter roadblocks, never lose sight of the end goal. Gather as much feedback as you can and learn from it. The lessons you learn along the way will not only lead you to a new job, but they will also propel you forward in life.