Switching a career is challenging at any point in life, especially in the current dynamic economy. The job market has drastically changed over the last few decades, with the technology sector emerging as one of the biggest job providers in 2023.
Jobs like warehouse and factory workers, cashiers, and accountants are gradually being replaced by automated computer tech. While the demand for manual labor declines, the need for IT professionals grows. However, switching to Tech requires prior preparation to avoid picking a short-term opportunity.
Simultaneously, the demand for professionals in particular tech branches remains high and steady. It opens numerous possibilities to migrate to IT if you know where to start.
Open IT Positions
Many workers started switching to IT during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Sadly, the hype around IT products like NFTs, crypto, and metaverse has evaporated, and thousands of professionals find themselves out of jobs. Identifying long-term opportunities that will remain in demand for the foreseeable future is essential.
According to Tech Target, these are the nine IT professions that are extremely applicable to current employers:
- Software developer;
- Data scientist;
- AI specialist;
- IT manager;
- Information security specialist;
- Computer system analyst;
- Computer network architect;
- Site reliability engineer;
- DevOps engineer.
All of these provide a better-than-average income, starting from $100K yearly. However, only some are suitable for a career switch. Computer network architects require in-depth technical knowledge, which takes years to build. Meanwhile, data scientists, IT managers, or software developers are a good starting point to begin the journey.
What Skills to Develop?
Switching to the Tech industry is highly competitive and requires a specific skill set. It’s common to define the skill set using the T-shape model. The vertical line represents the knowledge in the chosen career branch. Meanwhile, the horizontal line illustrates additional skills for collaboration with other professionals, which is mandatory for most IT business operations.
Workers switching careers have an advantage as the horizontal line competencies are easily transferable. For example, if you already have experience working with multiple teams to deliver a project, you can use this knowledge of coding. Furthermore, Tech companies greatly value soft skills like communication, personal growth, workplace ethics, etc. Excellent interpersonal skills will help you land employment despite lacking technical know-how.
However, choosing a profession early is the best. You should (at least roughly) have an idea of whether you’re into development, project management, or data science. Later on, you can specialize in front-end or back-end development, data aggregation or security, and numerous other opportunities.
Specialization and Courses
Starting a career in Tech is not as hard as it sounds, yet it requires outstanding self-discipline and motivation. At first, you’ll compete with thousands of other enthusiasts with the same basic knowledge. Luckily, you can use the World Wide Web to your advantage.
Finding relevant tutorial content online is effortless. You can watch dozens of free courses on YouTube that fill the gaps on various topics, like basic website-building knowledge or information security introduction. However, once done with the starter material, it’s best to search for professional courses with certificates.
One of the more lucrative starting professions is data analysis, with outstanding online data science courses. This path requires less ‘computer knowledge’ and focuses on statistics and mathematics. Most digitally-adept job-seekers who have at least basic school knowledge and Excel skills aren’t going away anytime soon.
Web design is another option for an easier start. Thousands of new websites appear daily, expected to continue as businesses gradually incorporate e-commerce platforms. A professional website is essential to most business longevity, driving significant revenue without needing physical shops or pricey ad campaigns. If a website ranks high on first Google’s search engine result page, it can expect a high click-through rate and increased conversion.
Learning website design is one of the easiest ways to get into Tech. Designers can use their skills to make it look better. Programming newcomers will make them interactive, mobile-friendly, and fast. Copywriters and SEO specialists will optimize the content to rank well on Google. Future back-end developers will ensure user data safety and accessibility. Almost everyone can participate in building a functional website.
What are the next steps?
Now that you’ve picked your path and started doing courses, it’s best to put the knowledge to practice. Even at the basics, you can build your own simplistic website and learn data-gathering and encryption methods. Even the tiniest achievement will enrich your LinkedIn profile and convey the message of dedication.
It would be best to prepare for lengthy periods of remote WFH, as many Tech starters take freelance opportunities. Participating in a few starter projects will help you network connections and land long-term opportunities with top employers. Lastly, be ready to learn new things on the spot, as the current Tech landscape is speedily evolving at an increasing pace.