The advancement of the technology industry in the past few years has been nothing short of amazing. Different innovations and inventions are being created every day and innovative technologies are being introduced.
There are now several digital products that help in carrying out everyday tasks, businesses are also able to reach a wider audience through e-commerce platforms. There is no doubt that the world is currently experiencing the best of technology since the internet was created.
As technology expands, a job in the tech industry is a good consideration. It is an opportunity to be part of something creative. The timing is also perfect; as the tech industry is facing a tech talent shortage problem.
A report by Glassdoor revealed that many tech companies have trouble finding tech talent. The tech talent gap keeps getting wider and this means we will have lots of tech positions that will need to be filled.
So, while it is true that the tech industry is advancing in terms of innovation, there is also a problem of a tech skills gap in the industry. What could be responsible?
A recent study of OECD countries on the usage of technology revealed that 70% of 213, 512 respondents from thirty-three countries think that tech is hard, while 40% struggle with basic digital skills such as deleting an email. This perception that tech is hard is a major cause of the shortage of workers in the tech industry.
Well, an outsider's view might give you the idea that tech is hard. You've watched movies like "The Scorpion" or some tech movies that give you the idea that only intellectuals that are best in their class end up in the tech industry. In the real world, it is not so. You can land a tech job even if you are not the best graduate student in your college.
Oftentimes, you can come across different tech jobs which you may think are too far from your reach, maybe because you have zero experience in those jobs or the skills for them seem unattainable or longer to attain for you. But the truth is a tech career is attainable for people from diverse backgrounds.
In this article, you will learn what it means to have a tech career, the benefits of having a tech career, how you can gain tech skills, and how to break into the tech industry.
What does it mean to have a tech job?
A career in tech has been perceived to be a complex, boring adventure that takes all your playtime away and leaves you with nothing but pounding the keyboard from sunup to sundown every day. While it is true that diligence is a core requirement if you want to work in the technology industry, it is not true that it is all work and no play.
A career in tech can be exciting if you like to solve problems. The technology industry is all about solving problems and reducing complexities into simpler tasks. It is enjoyable if you look at the process.
For example, think about designing a product that helps people book flight tickets as a UX designer. The process of thinking about what their pain points might be, creating solutions for them, and finally the joy of seeing customers use something you create all makes a tech career enjoyable.
Tech jobs are a mix of soft skills and technical skills. Beyond the basic tech skills required for the job, you will need soft skills like communication skills, collaboration skills, empathy, curiosity, creative thinking, decision-making, etc.
How to break into the tech industry
There are several reasons people have for choosing a career or switching from one career to another. For some job seekers willing to break into the tech industry, it is the lucrative salary, for some others, it is the thrill of building a useful product for people.
Whatever your reason is, it is essential that you know the steps to take to break into the tech world so that you do not get stuck in the process.
Here are some tips to guide you in your pursuit
1. Search for an Industry that is related to your passion or your past career experience
It is essential that you do your research well before choosing a career in tech. Even if you already have your tech dream job, you still need to research the requirements you need to get started before making a final decision.
It is advisable to choose an industry that has a semblance with what you have been doing before or one that drives your passion. The transferable skills and your passion for that industry will make it easier for you to understand better the new skills you will learn.
2. Learn relevant tech skills
The next thing is to learn the tech skills related to the industry you have chosen. Do not be afraid to learn new skills. Many times, the bridge between you and your dream job is the skills you need to learn.
At first, it might seem like you are far from reach of the requirements you see in job postings, but with time you can meet those requirements if you give yourself the chance to learn.
According to the World Economic Forum, it takes a minimum of one to six months to develop a level of understanding in new skills, which means it is possible to grow your skillset within a brief period.
Most times, the issue with some job seekers not getting their desired job on time is that they do not have the skills that qualify them for that job.
Many skip the skill acquisition process and just proceed to the job search phase. Therefore, most hiring managers have trouble finding tech talent. Ideally, before searching for a job at all, you should learn the skills that qualify you properly.
There are different ways of learning a new tech skill. Let us check some of them
How to learn tech skills
I. Free online courses
Online courses provide a fast and cost-effective way to gain insight into a new field. They are easily accessible and available in different formats. There are video formats, text formats, podcasts.
The most important thing when you are taking online courses is to follow through. There is always a tendency to stop a course halfway and pick another one. You won't be learning appropriately by doing so, and it can slow you down from being competent.
II. Attending a Bootcamp
Bootcamps are a great option for learning, especially when you are making a career change. Bootcamps offer an intensive, immersive, structured approach to learning. They are mostly between three to six months, so the learning must be immersive so that you can cover the core aspects of the course within that duration.
Also, beyond learning, tech Bootcamps in this context introduce you to the tech world. Not only will you learn new skills, but you will also get to know some tech professionals in your new career.
Some Bootcamps will also help you with your tech resume. They will teach you how to create resumes that can impress hiring managers.
Check out how to get started with our GoCreate USA Bootcamp here
III. Earn a degree
You can also enroll in a tertiary institution for a degree program. Degree awarding institutions provide a structured approach to learning. You will also be taught by learned doctors and professors in the field, so you are sure to get a quality education.
On the other hand, tertiary institutions are quite expensive, and they take a longer time than Bootcamps. They can take two to five years, which might not be a suitable option for someone that wants to learn for the purpose of switching careers.
Therefore, Bootcamps are a better option if you want quality training within a short duration.
IV. Get certified with professional courses
Getting certified is also one of the fastest ways to break into tech. Certifications give you a level of trust from hiring managers. The general opinion is that if you are good enough to pass the exams and get certified, then you should be good for the same role for which you are certified.
So, it is important that you study for the exams. Don't just gloss over the course outline. Take the course and follow through to the end.
3. Do non-profit projects to build your portfolio
It might be a bit hard to land a job in the tech industry if you don't have anything to show to prove your competence. Building free projects is not a waste of your time if you are just starting out in the tech space, especially if you have not worked on any projects or collaborated on any.
It's a solution where everyone benefits you and the client. They get their project, and you have something in your profile to show recruiters, plus you also get better.
4. Build personal projects
You can also do personal projects to rebuild an existing product, or you build something different.
Networking increases your chances of getting a tech position. The more you network, the more you make yourself visible to other experts in the field that you are available for tech jobs.
Attend tech meetups, conferences, career fairs, etc. Be deliberate about meeting new people in your field. Many times, it is about the person who can speak for you in the room. So, make it a duty to connect with people. Build a wide network for yourself.
6. Reach out to Recruiters on social media
There are several stories 0f those who got their first job by reaching out to recruiters on social media. For this to be effective, you must optimize your social media handles to reflect your skills.
Extend your networking to recruiters on social media. Make connections, particularly on LinkedIn. A study revealed that 122 million received an interview through LinkedIn with 35.5 million being hired by a connection on the site.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile and send cold mail to recruiters. There are high chances that you can gain the attention of some recruiters with your optimized profile
7. Apply for internships to get relevant experience
Internships are opportunities to gain experience by working for an established organization. Internships are not primarily a paid endeavor, but some organizations pay a little amount to encourage the intern in the learning process.
However, your primary aim for doing an internship should be to garner enough experience that will help you get into the tech industry properly.
The tech industry is known to have many employment opportunities. But while the demand is high, studies have shown that skilled tech workers are hard to find, leading to a talent gap in the industry. The major reason tech workers are hard to find is because of the perception that tech is hard, and it is just for a select few, so they don't know what to do to get into tech.
If your fear has been how to get into the tech industry, you will find this article helpful.
You should also check the Brave Achievers GoCreate Bootcamp. It is a Bootcamp on product design, project management, and technical writing. The Bootcamp can also be an entry for you into the tech industry.
Have you read UX design careers to pursue in 2022?