The last few decades have been tough for the job market. With recessions, rising inflation, and a pandemic, a lot of people have been left frazzled and desperate for a moment of job security. The tech industry is promising for many people as it is consistently growing, pays well, and offers decent job security.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for computer and technology occupations was $97,430 in 2021, more than doubling the median wage for all other occupations. The BLS also projects jobs in information technology to increase by 15 percent between 2021 and 2031. With these numbers, it is no wonder more people than ever before are looking towards entering the field.
Obtaining the skills needed to transit to a technology-based career may seem daunting, but with the right approach and dedication, it’s entirely achievable. Here is a step-by-step guide for people who intend to transit to a technology-based career successfully:
Self-Assessment and Goal Setting: Start by evaluating your interests, strengths, and passions related to technology. Identify the specific area of technology that excites you most. This could be software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, digital marketing, or any other field. Set clear and achievable goals for your transition, both short-term and long-term, to give yourself direction and motivation.
Research and Education: Once you’ve pinpointed your desired tech field, research the necessary skills and knowledge required to enter that industry. Explore educational resources such as online courses, boot camps, workshops, or degree programs, depending on the depth of knowledge you need. Many online platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and LinkedIn Learning etc offer tech-related courses.
Building Practical Skills and Projects: Theory is essential, but hands-on experience is equally crucial. Start building practical skills by working on personal projects related to your chosen tech domain. For example, if you’re interested in web development, create a personal website, or if you’re into data science, analyse public datasets. These projects will not only enhance your skills but also serve as a portfolio to showcase to potential employers.
Networking and Joining Tech Communities: Establishing connections in the tech industry is invaluable. Attend tech events, conferences, meetups, and workshops to network with professionals already working in the field. Join online communities like GitHub, Stack Overflow, or Reddit where you can ask questions, share knowledge, and learn from experienced individuals.
Seeking Internships or Entry-Level Positions: To gain practical experience and make your transition smoother, consider applying for internships or entry-level positions in technology. While these roles might not be your dream job initially, they will provide valuable experience and open doors for future opportunities.
Showcasing Transferable Skills: Even though you’re transitioning to a tech-based career, you likely have transferable skills from your previous career that can be relevant. Skills like problem-solving, project management, communication, and teamwork are valuable in any industry and can be highlighted in your resume and during interviews.
Continuous Learning and Adaptability: Keep learning and adapt to changes in the field to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies unfolding in the technology industry. Consider participating in hackathons, online challenges, or contributing to open-source projects to sharpen your skills and demonstrate your commitment to learning.
Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter: Customise your resume and cover letter to highlight your tech-related experiences, projects, and skills. Emphasise how your previous experiences make you uniquely suited for a technology role. Address any potential gaps in your tech knowledge and showcase your eagerness to learn and grow in your new career.
Nailing the Interviews: Prepare thoroughly for interviews. Practise common tech interview questions, review technical concepts, and be ready to discuss your projects and experiences in detail. Demonstrate your passion for technology, your problem-solving abilities, and your willingness to tackle new challenges.
It is therefore worthy of note that changing to a technology-based career requires determination, a proactive approach, and a willingness to learn. Embrace the opportunities for growth, and don’t be afraid to take the leap. With dedication, patience and a passion for technology, you can successfully transition and embark on an exciting and fulfilling new career path.