In one of our recent articles, we covered six questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether to stay the course or switch paths in your career. The article aimed to help you explore whether you are going through a temporary phase or truly want or need to switch careers.
But what if you’ve already decided you want to pursue a career in tech? Whether you are just starting out or this decision requires a career switch, you might be asking, “How do I get started?”.
How do I get into tech with no experience?
First off, congratulations! Changing your career is a bold move, and deciding on a path is often challenging. Breaking into the tech industry could lead to a long-term fulfilling and lucrative career. Whether you’re a recent college graduate, someone looking to pivot from a different industry, or just craving a change, the tech world is a vast and exciting place with endless opportunities for those willing to put in the work.
Transitioning into tech may feel daunting, especially if you’re not sure where to start. That’s where we come in. Here we take a deep dive into 6 concrete steps you can take to break into the tech industry. We’ll provide you with practical advice, real-world examples, and actionable tips to help you navigate this exciting new chapter in your professional life.
Step 1: Get Familiar with the Tech Landscape
Before embarking on a career in tech, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the industry landscape. The industry is quite broad, and there are countless opportunities within the field. Invest time into researching the various tech sectors. This will help you determine which ones best align with your interests and skill set. One way to start is by exploring job listings and identifying the positions that match your experience and aspirations. Be sure to look beyond the job titles and descriptions when researching the tech landscape. Take a deeper dive into the job responsibilities and the skills required for each role. Consider the job outlook for each field and examine the trends and projections for future growth.
It can also be helpful to speak with people in various industries so you can gain valuable insight into what the tech world entails. Consider attending industry conferences or networking events such as Jarvis’ Women in Technology Leadership Event Series. Here, you can connect with professionals who are already working in the tech field. This virtual event series offers an opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from some of the most prominent industry professionals. Industry events are also a great opportunity to learn more about the latest trends and technologies, as well as to expand your network. Women in Tech events, for example, offer a networking opportunity for all attendees by connecting them to another random participant and providing time to chat. You never know who you could be connected to, be it your peers or even the event speakers!
Step 2: Develop Key Tech Skills & Lean Into Your Strengths
While many tech jobs require specialized technical knowledge, it’s never too late to start learning. You can develop your skills through structured learning or exploratory and hobby-based projects. A great place to start is by exploring online courses and bootcamps. These allow you to start building the foundation for everything from programming languages to data analysis techniques. You can also pursue personal projects to develop your skills. For example, build a website or create a mobile app “just for fun”. Remember to focus on areas that align with your strengths and interests and be open to continually learning and growing in your new field.
Step 3: Build a Strong Tech Portfolio
To make yourself stand out in the competitive tech job market, it’s important to have a strong portfolio of work to showcase your skills and expertise. Consider building a personal website, contributing to open-source projects, or taking on freelance work. Even if you’re coming from a non-tech background, chances are you have skills that are transferable to a tech career, so leverage them! Highlight your problem-solving abilities, teamwork skills, and ability to learn quickly in your resume and job applications.
Step 4: Build Your Network
In the tech industry, building a strong network is crucial to advancing your career. Not only can it help you stay up to date on the latest industry trends and developments, but it can also open doors to new job opportunities and collaborations. Remember, building a strong network takes time and effort. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight. Stay engaged, be persistent, and always be open to new opportunities and connections. Your efforts will pay off in the long run as you build a strong network of supportive and knowledgeable professionals in the tech industry.
Here are some specific tips on how to build your network in the tech industry:
- Join Online Communities: There are a plethora of online communities dedicated to different areas of the tech industry. Find ones that align with your interests and join them. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and engage with community members. This can help you build relationships with people in the industry and gain valuable insights.
- Leverage Social Media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great tools for building your network. Follow people in the industry who inspire you and engage with their content. Share your work and ideas to help build your brand and attract like-minded professionals.
- Attend Hackathons and Competitions: Hackathons and competitions are a great way to build your skills and make connections in the tech industry. You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects with other professionals and potentially even win prizes or job opportunities.
- Volunteer or Teach: Volunteering or teaching can also be a great way to build your network. Look for opportunities to mentor others or participate in coding camps or workshops. Not only will you be able to share your expertise with others, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet and connect with other professionals in the industry.
Step 5: Consider a Bootcamp or Coding School
For those looking to make a rapid transition into a tech career, a coding bootcamp or school can be a great option. These programs offer intensive training in key tech skills and often come with job placement support. One option you can consider is Jarvis’ Technical Consulting Program. This mentorship program will ensure you gain hands-on experience and skills so you feel confident applying to opportunities in the tech field. How does this comprehensive career development program work? It provides you with hands-on experiential training through a simulation that mirrors real-life projects in a modern workplace setting. After completing the three-month training, our consultants graduate with the skills they need to be top performers in their field and earn placements with some of our well-respected clients. If this sounds interesting, check out the available opportunities in the field here, or reach out directly to us here.
Step 6: Make a Step-by-Step Plan (With a Timeline!)
A solid plan is essential to any life goal. As the saying goes, “A dream without a plan is just a wish.” After you identify that you want to get started in the tech industry, you’ll need to develop a detailed plan that outlines the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Your plan should be tailored to your unique situation, taking your career goals into account. It’s valuable to keep the action steps as specific as possible. This might include enrolling in relevant classes or workshops, getting a certification or degree, or simply networking with people in your desired industry. It’s also important to set specific timelines around each of the steps. This holds you accountable and gives you a benchmark by which you can evaluate your progress. Remember, you can adjust your plan if needed!
With a well-thought-out plan in place, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of a career transition and take the necessary steps to achieve success in a new field.
Transitioning to a career in tech might seem overwhelming at first, but with a methodical and thoughtful approach, you can definitely make it happen. By taking the time to assess your skills, interests, and goals, researching the industry, developing your skills, building your network, and planning, you’ll have a solid foundation to launch your tech career.
Keep in mind that success is not always instantaneous, and it may take time and effort to land your dream job. However, with persistence and dedication, you’ll find your place in the tech world. Remember, the tech industry is constantly evolving, and staying on top of trends, and emerging technologies is key to remaining relevant and competitive. So, keep learning, keep growing, and keep pushing yourself to achieve new heights. With these 6 steps, the possibilities are endless. Take the leap and see where the world of tech can take you!
As a Marketing Lead at Jarvis, Aida works on developing marketing projects with a strong focus on telling Jarvis’ inspiring story. She is passionate about communications in all shapes, forms, and colors.
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Jarvis is a leading IT consulting firm headquartered in Canada that provides total talent solutions with ongoing partnerships across North America’s top financial institutions, cutting-edge startups, and major technology companies.
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