By Catherine Adenle
These are 7 ways to seamlessly switch to a tech career. If the pandemic has proven anything, it has highlighted how tech roles will always be in demand. Though we saw massive job cuts, people in tech fared better than most. As you must have noticed, the surge of technology in all areas of our lives has led to new career paths that didn’t exist some years ago. Aside from the fact that tech jobs typically pay better than average, they provide technologists the added flexibility to work from anywhere following their schedules. In addition, tech jobs, unlike others, have seen a surge in demand during the pandemic. These days, acquiring the skills to land a tech job has never been easier.
So, switching your career to a tech one sounds like a solid plan for anyone looking for future job security. Another great thing about tech roles is the sheer number of them. You can be a data analyst, software engineer, UX designer, programmer, data scientist, quality tester, project manager, and more.
So, do you want to seamlessly switch to a Tech Career? If you have been wondering how to change into a tech role, here are 7 ways to get you started.
First things first, do you have a specific role in mind? Why do you want to switch to this tech role? Figure out how your passion translates into the tech world. Do you like playing with numbers? Are you good at solving puzzles? Does creativity matter to you? Do a self-assessment to find what role suits your personality the best. Once you have zeroed in on the role you’d like to switch to, dig deep into the requirements.
What sort of skill set is expected by industry standards? Find out where to get access to training for a particular skill set. There are plenty of online courses, data camps, MOOCs, and certifications right at your fingertips. You can also network online and on key tech discussion boards and ask questions about the role from an experienced person within your network.
Try to find out how good your skills are against what is required of beginners by doing a formal evaluation. Have you got what it takes to apply the initial rigour needed to get you started? Appear in online tests or compare job listings to your resume to find where the skill gap lies. It may be that you have to opt for an additional educational program or formal certifications to be credible enough for such roles. To seamlessly switch careers, you have to do what you need to do so that you can do what you want to do.
Many schools and academies are offering a bunch of certifications, but not all certificates are created equal! It would help if you found out the actual value of courses and accreditation by asking folks already in the industry. One good hack is to search people through LinkedIn for similar roles and go through their education and certification to get a better idea of what’s applicable. The proper certification listed on your resume can give you a huge advantage in front of recruiters, especially if you come from an entirely different educational background. If a role demands an academic degree, you can opt for online classes and a flexible studying pace while retaining your current job. Many tech companies hire based on competencies and not necessarily on educational degrees.
The best way to learn is to try your hands at it. Online information gathering, attending online courses and watching tutorials can quickly become a ‘learn but not apply’ thing. Do not fall into that trap. Whatever you learn, apply your knowledge in terms of actual practice. Build a website, write a query, create a database, test some codes, make an app – the best thing about these is that you can perform all such tech experiments right at home on your PC. You can also freelance to find how your skills hold up in the market. If nothing, you would get good, honest feedback that you can apply to your future work and relearn.
Infographic: 7 Ways to Seamlessly Switch Into Tech Career
Once you start to tinker and practise applying your skills, the next step is to build a portfolio. You can create a website-based portfolio and attach all your completed projects to it. A portfolio is an excellent way to attract potential recruiters and clients. It goes beyond just saying you have skills; it’s proof that you have skills and know what you are doing.
Be curious, stay sharp and follow trends in your chosen tech role. Another option for transitioning is finding companies willing to offer you internships, apprenticeships, or part-time jobs. You can even look into volunteering positions or shadow a mentor at work with their permission. Working in a professional setup will also help you get your name out there. There is no better way to learn than to experience it hands-on.
Connections are gold when you are trying to switch careers. Find an IT mentor, ask them out for a coffee, seek advice on how to better network, and ask if you can get introduced to hiring managers. Another good way to connect with tech professionals is to attend conferences, seminars, and professional events. LinkedIn is a great way to get yourself discovered. Keep your profile up to date and digitally network with folks in the industry. Knowing the right folks is the key to getting your foot in the door of the hiring market.
These are a few ways to switch seamlessly into tech careers. Always remember to be patient and be persistent, and your dream job is a few struggles away.
Video: How to Change Careers Into IT