It’s no secret that the tech sector offers record levels of employment opportunities. However, far too many job seekers circumvent the opportunity to jump into this red-hot field. That is, a recent survey found that 86 percent of businesses have trouble finding tech talent. Plus, by 2020, only 400,000 qualified degreed applicants are expected to be available to fill more than a million technical positions. That’s a big gap.
While a tech career is attainable for people from many walks of life, it’s difficult to know where to start or to envision a coherent pathway to a job. Many individuals fall victim to the myth that any path to a tech role must be cumbersome, confusing, or expensive. Despite all the four-year degrees, boot camps, and online learning options that promise education, there are other navigable ways to secure tech jobs, sometimes in as short as six months.
There are many tech careers you can pursue without a degree. Honestly, Information Technology is one of the best ways to bootstrap a career without a diploma. The industry relies on results and the lack of unions and professional associations leave many opportunities opened for people coming from other fields.
There is no best way, it will depend on what you like and what your goals are.
Ok, but you want some examples. Here we go.
– Technical Writer: major skill is excellent writing. You better like writing, because it’s what you will do a lot.
– Software Developer: major skills are, programming and databases, but I’m being very summarized here. Ideally, you need to know how to code and deploy a full application.
– Business Analyst: you need to know how to transform customer needs into requirements. There you’ll need impressive communication skills.
– System Administration: you need to know networks, security and a bunch of operating systems.
– Software Testing and QA: you need great analytical skills to think of test scenarios and test cases.
There are many more:
- Computer and Information Research Scientist.
- Computer Network Architect.
- Computer Support Specialist.
- Computer Systems Analyst.
- Database Administrator.
- Information Security Analyst.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator.
- Data Scientists
- Project manager
- Social Media Manager and many others
You can begin a journey to explore the tech world even if you’ve never written a single line of code. Just follow a few steps to gain traction and information.
Tips on action to take as you start your tech career path
1. Do some reading and listening.
The fastest way to get tech-educated is by learning about the industry from those working in it from day to day. You’ll understand the roles available and the skills needed. Don’t have friends or colleagues in tech? Turn to respected tech publications like newsletters, trade journals, or websites.
2. Head out to tech meetups.
Most jobs are attained by networking; tech is no exception. Integrate yourself into your city’s tech community by uncovering meetups. At each gathering, tech professionals gather to collaborate and network on subjects relevant to their jobs, giving you firsthand information about what individuals in these roles experience. Through these types of get-togethers, you’ll expand your hands-on knowledge and your personal and professional circles.
3. Seek a mentor.
As with any journey, it helps to have a guide. Mentors can be enormous boons to people trying to break into the tech field. Non-judgmental, available mentors provide everything from tighter feedback loops to insider tips. While it might take a little upfront work to find a mentor, when you have one in place, you can lean on his or her expertise and background as your North Star.
4. Find tools online.
This field is amazing because of all the free, self-paced resources available online (seriously, you could learn a programming language in your free time and at no cost to you). Check out for online platforms that offer free resources, advice, tutorials, and more. Platforms like these allow you to get started with no commitments. You’ll be able to learn at your preferred pace and make friends through discussion boards.
5. Make your mark.
Once you have a foundation of knowledge, the best way to market yourself is to simply jump in and make your own project. Coding your own website or app from scratch, for example, has never been easier. You can get started immediately and build an online presence just for fun and exploration. Not only will you get skills and exposure, but you will eventually also wind up with a solid sample of work for your portfolio.
Some social media accounts to build your tech career
- LinkedIn www.linkedln.com
- Twitter http://twitter.com/
- Facebook account & connect with some professional pages http://facebook.com/
- Medium account https://medium.com/
- Email account
Tech is not an unattainable possibility — even without a formal education, it is possible to bootstrap your way to a fulfilling career. And according to the numbers, plenty of opportunities await you.