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Based upon CompTIA’s European tech hiring trend analysis from Q4 2022, 54% of employers are focused on hiring for entry-level positions. That means there’s a huge amount of opportunities available. So, whether you’re interested in cybersecurity, data management, or software development (the most popular sector in IT hiring, according to CompTia), there’ll be something out there for you.

Identifying and Exploring Career Options in Tech

Starting out on the journey can be daunting. There can be a lot to learn before getting started, but that’s where Talent Garden comes into play. If you’re still not sure on what area is right for you, let’s take a look at some of the most common options. Transition to a Tech Career  

Software and app development

If your goal is to become a developer, there are many avenues you can pursue, making this a choice for those who love both continuously learning and working on a diverse range of projects simultaneously. Some possibilities include:
  • Working in design using CSS with HTML
  • Develop web apps using JavaScript
  • Manage software applications in Python or C ++
  • Focus on QA (quality assurance) by focusing on how to do software testing
  Give yourself time to learn the basics, especially the difference between the languages available. Understanding the landscape will not only help you decide what direction to take, as well as figure out how you might fit into a wider team. Whether that’s fintech, healthcare technology or video game development, understanding the wider field as well as the roles you're interested in can ensure you have the right skill set for the job.

Data analytics and data science

Data analysts and scientists play crucial roles in interpreting complex data to help businesses make informed decisions. To excel in these roles, you need strong mathematical skills and knowledge of database languages like SQL and NoSQL. One way to start could be by learning Python for data engineering. Additionally, mastery in data visualization, data cleaning, and critical thinking is important. These roles, though relatively new, have witnessed exponential growth, with a promising salary outlook.

Digital Marketing

Although this may not traditionally be seen as a “tech career”, there can be a lot of overlap, especially when working within technical SEO or analytics. Alternatively, you may opt to be more of a generalist - though a basic knowledge of the technology ‘behind the scenes’ can give you an edge over your peers.

AI and machine learning

AI and Machine Learning specialists program systems to learn, adapt, and act according to data. Python and Torch programming, along with a thorough understanding of algorithms and mathematical concepts, are key skills in this field. The future potential of these roles is undebatable, considering we're seeing AI applications from mobile assistants to self-driving cars.

IoT engineering

IoT engineers connect physical objects to the internet using sensors, software, and technologies. Skills required include computer programming, network security, proficiency in AI, and an understanding of IoT architecture.  

Preparing for a Career Change to Tech

Transition to a Tech Career

Identifying knowledge gaps and building skills

When preparing for a tech career change, ask yourself: What are my knowledge gaps? What are the specific skills I need to get into my chosen niche? If you're considering a career in tech support or service desk management, it's essential to equip yourself with the necessary expertise. One way to gain the skills required is by enrolling in service desk training courses. It's also important to develop a strong understanding of cybersecurity, including areas such as secure data management and how to test vulnerabilities. Once you've got the questions, you can start taking steps to find the answers. Methods may include finding a mentor, joining specialist forums, taking a degree in the subject, online courses, attending a bootcamp (digitally or in-person), and self-learning. Those aspiring to work within cyber security might be starting with the basics, such as “what is secure data?”. Alternatively, they might be looking to improve their knowledge of a particular niche - for instance, running penetration tests. Once you’ve got the questions, you can start taking steps to find the answers. Methods may include:
  • Finding a mentor
  • Joining specialist forums
  • Taking a degree in the subject
  • Online courses
  • Attending a bootcamp (digitally or in-person)

Self-learning vs. bootcamps

You might wonder if self-learning is sufficient, or if enrolling in a bootcamp is necessary. Self-learning provides flexibility, but for some of us, the lack of a structured learning path and regular mentorship can be a challenge. You might find yourself scratching your head when topics such as streaming data processing pop up, but in a bootcamp you’ll have access to practical training, a well-structured curriculum, and the advantage of learning alongside like-minded aspirants. That question you had about data processing? May well be answered in our business data science online program, for example.

Building projects

Once you have the fundamentals down, it's time to start building a portfolio. This might be on GitHub, or through building websites, apps, or databases using your chosen set of languages. Remember, hands-on experience is invaluable and allows you to grow and refine your hard skills.

Leveraging transferable skills

We’ve all heard about transferable skills - often, ‘soft skills’. These skills include communication, leadership, teamwork, presentation, and problem-solving abilities. It’s important not to neglect these when developing your abilities, and it’s well worth spending time working on them alongside the more technical skills.

Learning New Skills

Transition to a Tech Career

Transitioning to tech while remaining in your niche

Let’s take marketing as an example here. A marketing manager working with traditional offline marketing strategies could easily have a future as a digital marketing manager, working on implementing strategies in multiple ways, such as social media, SEO or PPC. This way, you can take on the technical skills required to implement tracking code within websites and apps and then interpret that data to make informed marketing decisions. Technical SEO also requires a knowledge of how to improve site loading speeds and fix broken links and perform technical audits. You can also leverage AI technologies like ChatGPT for social media to enhance customer engagement and provide personalized experiences, interactions, and human-like responses, fostering stronger brand relationships. These are all skills that you can build on top of your existing customer-focused strategies. It’s worth learning about API fundamentals, too, as these can be added to the mix to collect data across multiple touchpoints. According to Invesp, 95% of marketers know how important it is to utilize multiple channels, yet only 73% say they have a strategy in place. This might be one option to really focus on to get a competitive advantage in the job market if you are planning this type of transition.

Learning new skills within digital professions

As technology develops, so too do the jobs involving it. Even if you don’t intend to change your career completely, you can still benefit from learning new skills. For example, aspiring Business analysts might want to upskill and integrate knowledge around SOX software compliance in their search to unify their measurement across an entire organization. Others might seek to work with a focus on a specific aspect of the business, such as:   It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and ensure you have the knowledge needed to keep up - from knowing the latest web development trends, to understanding the basics of how machine learning works.

Building a Strong Network

Transition to a Tech Career We mentioned earlier that soft skills are just as important, and this is why: simply put, people hire people. Whether you are freelance or an employee, there’s always someone responsible for hiring you. Luckily, networking isn’t as scary as it might seem. It really comes down to offering value to people that are in a position to help you secure your dream job. Search LinkedIn for business owners or companies in your chosen field and see how you might offer value by leveraging your transferable skills. Or perhaps, start building on GitHub and make contributions to projects to build your network if you are pursuing software development. Also, don’t forget networking in real life - attending conferences, meet-ups or even in-person classes can help leave an impression, as can participating in online events. Utilizing people search tools can help you identify and connect with professionals in your desired tech industry, expanding your network and opening up potential opportunities.

Now It’s Your Turn…

The journey to a tech career can be challenging - but with the right mindset, skills, and resources, it's entirely achievable. You can self-learn, jump in and get experience while building a portfolio, take a bootcamp, enrol in a degree or take an online course. Just make sure to keep your eye on the newest trends and opportunities in your desired field, and you’ll soon find yourself on the first step to a new career.
Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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