Changing Careers in a Year

Jul 28, 2023 | Career Advice, Professional Development, Student and Alumni Resources

1 year from now, you could be in a tech career you enjoy, one that brings you personal and professional satisfaction. 1 year from now, your dream career is yours. 

But how? For those who are in current career trajectories they don’t love but seemingly feel it is impossible to leave, the imposter syndrome that comes with feeling equipped enough to change careers can be debilitating.  For those who have been out of the job market for some time, it might feel as though landing a tech career that you love is overwhelming and a failure waiting to happen. However, this isn’t the case at all! In reality, changing careers is doable for anyone if they set themselves up for success and have the motivation to follow through with their goals. With the rise of digitalization due to a pandemic and increased reliance on technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), tech careers continue to be the fastest-growing career sector across the world.

Tech Careers: The Fastest Growing Sector Over the Next Ten Years

In September of 2022, The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that “Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.” This growth is projected to develop close to 683,000 jobs over the next 8 years. With this growth comes more opportunities for those who are changing careers or are thinking about a new direction in their professional lives to consider a path in tech.

When changing careers to the tech world, it is important to consider if the tech world is really where you want to be. While it is the sector that has the most career opportunities, it still might not be the right path for you. The best course of action is to learn about the different careers in the tech world as not everyone who works a tech job is a developer or reading/writing code all day long. There are a wide variety of careers, including project managers and business administrators. Consider some of the current and most in-demand tech skills of the tech world for some of the possible careers from the table below.


changing careers
If one (or a few) of these possible tech careers caught your eye, starting the process of changing careers starts with making sure you have the skills, knowledge, and motivation to upskill if needed. A good starting point is leveraging the knowledge and skills you already have; if you have experience with writing as a journalist, you might have better chances at starting out as a technical writer. If you have a math degree, a career in Data Science could be an interesting path to pursue. If you have a passion for social media content and marketing, going down the path of digital marketing, graphic design, or even project management can be a positive career change. As you weigh your options, one thing remains constant in pursuing a career in tech: the need for lifelong learning.

Lifelong Learning in the Tech Sector 

Lifelong learning, simply put, “is a form of self-initiated education that is focused on personal development,” according to a recent article from Valamis. As humans, we are naturally curious and have a drive to explore, grow, and learn; lifelong learning enables that part of us to really shine through. When in the context of changing careers, lifelong learning can include developing a new skill, engaging in self-taught studies, learning to use a new technology, and acquiring new knowledge. Becoming a lifelong learner takes some time to make into a habit, but when done with the motivation to find a better career, you can have a sense of renewed self-motivation and see improvement of personal and professional skills as well as an increase of self-confidence and reigniting of personal goals.

Becoming a Lifelong Learner in the Tech Sector: 

  • Set aside time each week for learning. Even if it’s just an hour, make sure to set aside some time each week to learn something new about tech.
  • Read tech blogs and magazines. There are many great tech blogs and magazines that can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Check out some of our favorites: Electric, CIO Review, IT Brew, Wired, MIT Technology Review, and Fast Company.
  • Attend tech conferences and meetups. This is a great way to network with other tech professionals and learn about the latest trends. Learn more about how to professionally network by reading one of our recent blog posts: Networking in the Digital Age.
  • Experiment with new technologies. Don’t be afraid to try out new technologies, even if you’re not sure how they work. This is the best way to learn and grow as a tech professional.
  • Find motivation to keep you going. A mentor can help you stay motivated and on track with your learning goals. You can read more about the professional leaders of the tech sector we are currently motivated by through one of our recent blog posts: Professional Leaders to Follow for Motivation. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling with a concept, don’t be afraid to ask for help in an online forum or a mutual connection who is interested in the same things as you. There are plenty of platforms online for people in the tech sector, like Stack Overflow.

At this point, you might be thinking how all of this could be useful if you are changing careers and want to do it in one year. By getting into the habit of lifelong learning, you are motivating yourself to change your professional development.

If by this point you know a career in the tech sector is something that you want to embark on, the next step is to consider how much learning you need to do before you start applying for jobs.

changing careers

Learning a new skill (or a few) in 365 days

You know you want to change careers. You know you want to do so within a year. You know that a tech career is the direction you want to head in. You know the skills you lack and the skills you are confident in; now it’s time to decide on the best way to go about developing those skills that are lacking.

Acknowledging that lifelong learning happens in conjunction with changing careers is another way of acknowledging what you have left to learn. When it comes to changing and securing a career in a years time, there are plenty of ways to go about gaining new skills and knowledge; certificate programs are one of the most accessible ways to do so. Certificate programs are broadly defined as “short-term training programs designed to help you gain a certain skill or better understand a specific topic,” as noted in a recent LinkedIn article. Certificate programs are often on an accelerated timeline, are more cost effective, take less time to complete, and provide industry specific training, knowledge, and credentials. When wanting to change careers in a short amount of time, the traditional route of higher education is automatically not an option as it can take years to complete a degree. You can read more about the difference between choosing a college degree and a specific certificate program in one of our recent blogs: Certificate Programs vs. College Degrees. As a vocational tech school, our instructors for our tech certificate programs are trained with the most current skills, with most working within tech careers themselves. Consider one of our certificate programs and learn more about our instructors here: About our Staff. 

Changing careers in a year is definitely possible with the right mindset, getting into a habit of lifelong learning, and being motivated to develop skills that you are aware is lacking in your professional career. With the tech sector full of opportunities and projected to continue to grow, landing your dream career can become a reality faster than you think.

& when you’re ready to start job searching, we have tips and tricks for you! Head over to our blog page and read Finding Success in Skills-based Job Searches. We believe in you!