Even if you have no background or experience in tech, it doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your next career move. Maybe you’re in finance but are looking for a new challenge or the hours of being in the medical field are too long. Whatever the reason is, StackCache encourages people to follow their interests and passions. It’s never too late to make a change!
Look for moves into tech within your current industry
Any overlapping industry-specific knowledge will help you land a job. Even if it’s a role or function change, having industry experience gives you a leg up. For example, there may be a candidate for a job who has tech experience but no background within finance. If you come from a finance background and are picking up tech skills, it may be more beneficial to the company to give you a chance. Also, tech skills can be learned on the job so this is a good option for people with no technical background.
Fintech, ed-tech, and health tech are all subsets of the tech world that need experts in traditional finance, education, and healthcare fields to help transition those industries into the modern-day. Many industries have laws that are nuanced which means having people who have navigated these regulations will help tech companies avoid taking missteps as they grow.
Some examples of fintech companies are crypto trading platforms like Coinbase or mobile payments like Venmo and Cash App. Below are additional non-tech to tech fields that could make sense for you.
- Advertising and marketing to ad-tech or mar-tech
- Perhaps you’ve worked in digital marketing but want to go into how new technologies are pushing online advertising forward. You could pick up additional skills in integrations and tracking and go into ad-tech.
- Law to legal-tech
- Whether it’s document signing like DocuSign or companies that help digitize legal documents, having team members who understand the use cases from a lawyer or paralegal’s point of view is invaluable.
- Healthcare worker to health-tech
- There are many companies offering products for video consultations with doctors and also ways for consumers to get their medication without having to go to a retail pharmacy location. Whether you started out as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, many companies are trying to disrupt how people interact with the healthcare system.
These are just a few of the transitions from non-tech fields to tech. If there’s an industry not on this list that you’re a part of and want to stay in, search for the industry and “startups” or “tech companies” to see what’s out there.
Rework your LinkedIn to target tech companies
Even if it’s the same experience and companies from your career, it’s all about positioning to help recruiters identify you as a good fit. Once you’ve found the type of company you want to join, browse through their job descriptions to pick up on keywords to add to your LinkedIn profile.
You can also take this opportunity to figure out what hard skills you should work on while transitioning to another industry. Perhaps you want to go into business intelligence or data analysis which requires knowledge of SQL. Look for resources online or bootcamps to learn and practice so that you can add them to your LinkedIn.
Join a Bootcamp to pick up technical skills and jargon quickly
If you know the role you want to pursue within tech, bootcamps are a structured, intensive way to dive right in. Bootcamps are not inexpensive but there are now companies that offer a learn now, pay later model. These programs don’t charge students the course fees until they’ve landed a job.
Another benefit of bootcamps is that there are usually mentors or support groups so you don’t feel like you’re going through it alone. Learning a new skill set takes a lot of discipline, so getting peers to encourage you will help build accountability. Additionally, bootcamps offer a way for students to get hands-on experience with projects and homework. They typically offer job placement help as well thanks to networks they’ve built with different companies who trust their process.
Take online or accelerated courses from accredited institutions or for free
If you don’t have the liberty to stop working and do a full-time bootcamp or you prefer to self-learn, online courses are another great option. The level of legitimacy and certification from online courses is very broad. Some free resources online have plenty of material to help you learn how to code for example, but there won’t be a certification to show if you are looking for something to prove your level of understanding. Depending on your financial, lifestyle, and time commitment constraints, there is an option for all situations.
- Full-time bachelors or masters degree at a university
- If time and money are not an issue, you could go to school to get a degree in a tech-related major
- Online degrees
- Many universities now offer online degrees and have options for part-time students who work full-time. You would still receive an accredited degree.
- Online courses with certifications
- These are offered through ed-tech sites or schools themselves. They may charge a lower fee for the course but instead of a degree, you would get a certificate.
- Free courses online with no certification
- Sites that promote universal coding and accessibility to tech offer many educational resources for free. If you have the discipline and drive to self-teach, this is a great option. You’ll need to put what you learn to practice in order to prove you can apply the skills you’ve learned though.
Work on a side project
Whether you’re just practicing the new skills you’ve picked up or you’re ready to take on an actual software product, you should put your tech skills to use in order to build a portfolio. If you don’t have working experience in tech, you’ll need to prove yourself in other ways.
Look for projects that people recommend through forums or free coding resources. You can work on something independently or with a group of friends to sharpen your skills. This will come in handy when you’re interviewing for a tech position and recruiters ask why they should hire you if you don’t have full-time working experience in a similar role. Being able to speak to a technical project shows independence, discipline, and an eagerness to learn.
Most people are usually very happy to help others if they can. Try to speak to friends or acquaintances that have been in a similar position as you. Do you know anyone who transitioned into tech but was in the same field as you previously? Are there people on LinkedIn who jumped around different industries but landed where you want to be? There’s nothing to lose in reaching out just to have a brief chat so you can learn from their experience. You might be happily surprised by some of the advice they give!
If you have decided you want to work in tech in a technical role, the road to get there might not be easy. However, it has been done before by others and is not impossible. We hope the suggestions above help get you one step closer to your goals or dream career!