How to Start a Career in the Tech Industry
The tech industry is booming and offers many opportunities for rewarding careers. The median wage for tech jobs is nearly double the median national wage. IT professionals had a median annual salary of $88,240 in May 2019; compared to the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have found yourself thinking about starting a career in the tech industry and don’t know where to start, keep on reading.
Five helpful tips to start a career in the tech industry.
1. Develop your knowledge of the tech industry
There’s a lot you can do to learn about the tech industry without ever leaving your home. The internet is a useful resource to learn about the history, current tech trends, and information about specific companies. Getting familiar with what’s happening in the tech industry will help you land a job by showing employers that you are invested in the industry. You should subscribe to tech-focused websites like Forbes Innovation or Techmeme, which offers insight into industry trends and emerging technologies. This is a cost effective way to keep yourself in the loop with the latest tech news.
2. Determine what aspects of tech you’re interested in
Once you have a strong grasp of what’s happening in the industry, it’s time to narrow your focus and pick a career path that matches your skills and interests. There is an abundance of tech related jobs around the country. You could pursue an IT occupation in the IT industry, an IT occupation in another industry, or a non-tech occupation in the IT industry. You can explore all different kinds of careers by reading blogs such as this one on what it’s like to be a graphic designer. Finally it’s important to research what a day-in-the-life will look like for certain positions to help you decide what positions align with your personality, work style, and interests.
3. Boost your skills
Once you’ve decided the types of positions you are interested in then you will need to make sure you have the right skill set. How you prepare for an IT career plays a big role in your success. As with any career, you need to acquire the hard skills that will allow you to do your job. You can look at job postings to find out which skills employers are looking for. If you don’t have one of the skills they list as a requirement, learn how to master it. You don’t have to go to a traditional university to get these skills either.
The Digital Workshop Center offers a variety of certificate programs that help you gain the skills you need in less time. Since certifications serve as proof to employers that you are qualified to perform a particular job, they are pretty valuable in the IT industry. If you spend time learning and practicing new skills, you’re bound to stand out from the other candidates applying for the position.
4. Build your portfolio
If you want to impress potential employers, you have to show them what you can do. Displaying your work on an online portfolio, instead of just talking about your skills will put you ahead of the competition. You can start by contributing to open source projects, building your own projects, or pick up gigs on sites such as UpWork. The projects don’t need to be complicated. For instance, you could build a simple, free mini-app and try to get it on Product Hunt to create a buzz and get it noticed. Having a comprehensive portfolio with examples of your work will definitely help you land a job in tech.
5. Rock your next interview
While a resume or portfolio will bring you to a potential employer’s attention, your performance at a job interview can get you the job you desire. As with any profession, you should always prepare for a job interview and practice how you will respond to their questions. The number one mistake candidates make in a tech interview is relying to much on their technical skills according to Monster.com. So make sure you practice and get comfortable with showing your personality in your answers.
Using these tips for how to start a career in tech, you’ll have the expertise you need to rock your next interview and secure the tech position you want.
The Digital Workshop Center offers a variety of classes and certificate programs to help you land a job in the tech industry. Each certificate includes a track of skills-based classes to launch your career forward in high growth industries. We offer flexible class scheduling, rolling enrollment, and expert instructors. Classes are always taught live. Contact us to learn more!