For the past twenty years, the tech sector has been one of the most innovative, exciting, and well-paid industries in the world. Not only is there glamour in working with some of the biggest tech brands – like Apple, Google, and Facebook.
But there are also exciting careers that will push you to your limits, require you to work smart, and reimburse you well for your services. If a career in the tech sector interests you, here’s what you’ll need to do to get onto that particular ladder.
Science and Math
Your first port of call is education. And the first place where you’ll define your life’s trajectory isn’t actually at university or college – it’s in high school. It’s here that those children with an interest and aptitude in science and math tend to work their way into the top classes for these subjects. These specific skills are regarded as crucial for a career in tech.
So, what should you do with this information? If you’re still at school, it’s worth taking your homework that bit more seriously and focusing your energy on making the most out of your education and your lessons in math and science.
Emerging with good grades will, of course, set you up for a good university position – where you’ll further hone your skills.
Going to University
A number of the most talented individuals in your high school will progress to college or to university. It’s here, in higher education, that you’ll develop the skills you feel are most important to your future career, for anyone looking to break into the tech sector.
Whether as a software developer or as a manager – it’s very likely that only a high-quality degree, from a high-quality university, will get you there. Tech companies are only interested in hiring the brightest and best.
That said, when it comes to what you choose to study, you’ll have a little more flexibility when it comes to what you major in, and how many minors you decide to pursue.
Competitive hiring agencies and tech companies are more interested in how you performed at university – and what else you did to set yourself apart – rather than the degree specification you achieved. So, while at university, you should study hard, but work hard on other things, too.
There is, of course, a shed-load of knowledge that you can gain without going to university. Getting a degree isn’t everything – it shows you’re able to jump through academic hoops. Still, in a corporate environment, and especially the tech sector in Silicon Valley, you’re going to need more to you than just that.
You’ll need that extra, secondary knowledge that sets you apart from your competitors, and shows that you’re motivated to achieve great things in the companies you apply for.
So, what kind of secondary knowledge do you think you should focus on? The list is endless, but some of the elements of a tech company that you might be able to complement with extra knowledge include:
- An understanding of digital advertising, digital marketing, and digital business models
- A good grasp of data analytics, and what can be done with the data of consumers
- Working knowledge of company structures and how management works
- Interdisciplinary understanding of site and tech maintenance and patches
- A good understanding of the language and jargon used within a tech firm
- Financial knowledge and other economic training
All of the above can only serve to help you achieve your goals, impressing the hiring officials at the likes of Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Keep learning throughout your career to continue to impress your colleagues and managers.
Sometimes, you’ll find job postings that require you to gain qualifications and skills that you don’t yet have. This can be frustrating, exempting you from specific opportunities that you follow on job websites and forums. Of course, there’s an easy solution to this: getting online to get certified in the courses that you see are required in the jobs that you’re looking for.
If you’re interested in working in tech, one of the fundamental qualifications that can help you to succeed will be in computer science – even if you don’t plan to be coding for a large tech corporation.
On the internet, you can find an online masters in computer science for non CS majors to take alongside your regular day job, which will help you to gather the requisite knowledge to make the most of your expertise the next time a job listing emerges that you’d like to apply for.
In the world of technology, there are thousands of people who are looking to apply for jobs that you’re interested in. These individuals might have spent their lives coding and hacking, or learning how to boost revenue for the likes of Google or Amazon.
But what they may not have – and a way that you can set yourself apart – are soft skills. Soft skills are those skills that you might not be able to develop through institution learning and involve:
- Networking and building contacts to help you in your career
- Social skills – being able to communicate comfortably with others in your sector
- Written skills, which will reflect well in emails, resumes and cover letters
- Empathy, which can help you to build strong relationships in the office
- Teamwork, assisting you when it comes to working with other people
- Leadership, vital if you’re looking to assume managerial roles in your professional life
All of these skills represent opportunities for self-betterment and the progression of your career. They’re skills that you might not be able to put on your resume, but they’ll shine through in an interview situation.
Most of all, soft skills have a profound effect on your ability to get noticed in the workplace – which means that you’ll rise through the ranks that bit faster if you’re able to bring positivity and energy into your role in a tech company.
If the tech sector is the industry you’re most interested in entering as a career choice in your life, the above tips will help you to build the skills and experience necessary to get the jobs you’re most keen on securing.