Are you stuck in your industry? Do you feel you would be better off serving the technology industry? If you are looking for a mid-career transition to the tech industry, this step by step guide would be a good place to start.
Are you not satisfied with your career?
Do you feel your career is not aligned with your passion?
Are you looking for a career change?
Do you want to be the fast-moving technology industry?
Has the COVID-19 impacted your career?
If the above questions are related to you, the below steps could help you make a mid-career transition to the technology industry.
Have Clear Career goals
This is one of the most important things before you try making a career transition.
Sometimes, one event might trigger a negative feeling against the current job.
The last thing you would want is to move from one mistake to a bigger mistake.
You would first need to be clear on your own goals.
What’s that you want as a short term career goal?
And can you visualise a path to your long term career goals?
Not setting goals can be one of the disastrous career mistakes that you must not make.
So, start now by writing down your career goals.
Do a compatibility check for a Career in Technology
If you want a mid-career change to the technology industry, you must be compatible with the industry.
The grass is greener on the other side.
Don’t make a decision just because the technology industry is trending and looks promising.
Do a compatibility check for your next career move.
You must do this before you resign from your current job.
There are a lot of self-assessment tools to help you decide your perfect career move.
Given in the snapshot below is one such career quiz by Careerkarma website.
The 3 minutes career test can help you decide your next career move in the tech industry.
Have a look!
Revisit your Strengths and Weaknesses
Once you have done the compatibility check for a career in technology, you need to do a self SWOT analysis.
this will help you in understanding if you are made for the technology industry or not.
A Self SWOT analysis is checking your strengths and weaknesses.
Also, it helps you to see the future opportunities and threats.
This is crucial if you are looking at changing industries.
These steps would not be that relevant for freshers. However, these are crucial for mid-career changes. Especially when you are changing industries.
So, it is advisable to revisit your strengths and weaknesses.
This is immensely helpful in proper career planning.
A simple search on Google for ‘self SWOT analysis examples’ will give you a great head start.
We made a query and the results came up with several templates as displayed in the image below.
The above query also will give you access to a lot of free resources to help you perform a self SWOT analysis.
Explore your Network for advice
Has anyone from your network or acquaintances made a career transition to tech?
Explore your organisation to find colleagues you have recently switched career.
They can be a great help in guiding you with next steps.
Also, reach out to your network to get some basic information about the technology industry.
Your queries should help you gather ample information. Questions can be like.
- What are the main career options for non-techies in the technology industry?
- How is the work culture in a typical information technology company?
- Which are the key career options in technology that require less technical knowledge?
- What sort of certifications in technology is in high demand?
There can be a lot of similar questions that you can ask.
This can help immensely in making a smooth mid-career change from your industry to the technology industry.
Gain a Certification in Information Technology
If you are from a different industry and looking for a career change in tech then it is crucial to add skills.
It is highly probable that you have little technical knowledge.
Even if you are going to apply for great jobs in tech that might require minimum coding skills, you should still be looking to learn some IT skills.
Whether it’s a little bit of coding or skilling yourself with basic programming and security skills. Or it can be data analytics, basic of machine learning or the cloud technology, the options are many.
Even before you start planning your career shift, you should start adding certifications from the IT industry to add colours to your resume.
This also helps you explore your compatibility for the industry further.
There are a lot of free and paid online learning platforms to help you in this cause.
Start learning and wherever possible get certified with skills that align with your passion.
Attend Bootcamps, Local events and online technology events
Information Technology Bootcamps have become extremely popular these days.
These Bootcamps both online and offline help you in learning coding skills.
Even if your technology job might not involve coding, you should still be well versed with top programming languages.
So, it’s in your best interest to attend a local Bootcamp or an online one.
This can help you get versed with common programming languages and skillsets. These include PHP, Java, HTML, Python and so on.
Also, it’s extremely useful to attend local technology events.
Platforms like WordPress, Ubuntu etc organise a lot of local and online technology events.
These are great for networking and learning.
So, this is a crucial step before you make a switch in your career to the tech industry.
Do a quick internship or take up some part-time work
You need to get some real work experience before you make a transition to the technology industry.
Here you need to ask yourself the question on the job position you would be looking at.
Some of the popular mid-career technology jobs for non-technology industry people are:
- Copywriter / Content editor
- UX Designer
- Key Account Manager
- Customer Success Lead/ Manager
- Tech Recruiter / Human Resources
- Business Development / Product Marketing
- Strategy Consulting
- Account and Finance roles
These above roles require basic technology and coding skills.
It is important to understand the culture of the technology industry.
An internship or some part-time assignment helps make the transition from non-technology sector to IT sector smooth.
Internships also help in grooming you for interviews for full-time technology jobs.
To look for internships simply look for Google for Jobs. This will compile for you the internships available in your area or the location of your choice.
Google for Jobs will also help you in screening the IT non-technical internship options.
We have reproduced a snapshot of one such search for your reference. Just make your way to the google search page and check from numerous opportunities and apply directly.
Get introduced to recruiters and start applying for Jobs
Having a strong network is crucial to sustaining yourself in the technology industry.
References matter a lot in the IT sector.
Reach out to your contacts and contacts of contacts to get introduced to recruiters and hiring managers.
LinkedIn is an extremely potent platform for professional connection.
Also, it would be useful to reach out to your friends and family.
If some of your relatives are already in the technology sector, they can help you with a reference or in pushing your Cv to the hiring manager.
Extremely useful in getting your introductions would be your alumni network.
Here are the key platforms for networking for technology jobs.
- LinkedIn is the most popular and best platform among recruiters.
- Reach out to colleagues for the introduction.
- Catch up with a relative in the tech industry.
- Reach out to your past institute career team for introductions.
- Explore your University’s alumni network for references and introduction.
- Check upon local networking and job events as well as the online ones.
Once you have done the basic homework, start applying to jobs and giving interviews.
There are also a number of top job portals at your disposal for looking for job opportunities.
Some of the useful job boards for tech jobs are:
- Google for jobs (Use Google search)
- LinkedIn (The job section)
and so on.
Recruitment Agencies can help you as well to locate the right job opportunities for you.
So, it is advisable to reach out to your local IT recruiting agencies.
However, personal referenced and LinkedIn job search should get the lion’s share of the job search time. This is particularly crucial for mid-career transitions to the tech industry.
Simply said, click applications on job boards would not work if you are looking to change industries.
Also, crucial are cover letters and precise resumes while applying for the job.
Try to invest ample time in curating separate resume and cover letter for each job application.
Also, interviews are a lot more casual and technical in IT jobs.
It would be a totally different experience s far as interviews are concerned if you come from industries like hospitality and travel, education industry etc.
Get used to being unapologetically yourself to succeed in IT interviews.
Prepare to Succeed in your new career in Tech
Hope the above tips would help you in making a smooth transition to the technology industry.
A few words of caution- Making the mid-career transition to a different industry is not easy.
A lot of high paying technology jobs like Software Engineer, Data Scientists, Artificial Intelligence Engineer etc. are core technical roles.
So, you would need to settle for medium paying jobs.
Making a transition to the top and high paying jobs in technology would be tough. Not impossible though.
So, prepare yourself to succeed in your new career.
- Improve your network.
- Add new technology skills on a regular basis
- Build a good relationship with hiring managers and head of the departments
- Don’t change jobs too frequently
- Be a great team worker
And most importantly take it easy. Align your work with your passion and keep giving it your best.