Getting into the Tech Industry
The tech industry can seem like a daunting arena for newcomers who might not have a huge amount of experience in the space. They know tech is something that interests them, it’s the fastest growing industry in terms of jobs and has a bright future. So just how do you get into the industry?
Before we get into the how, let’s look at the why. Why is the tech industry such an attractive prospect? Simply put, the tech industry is growing and there aren’t enough people to fill the jobs available. Growth for tech jobs between now and 2020 is projected to be around 22% versus 14% growth of all other jobs. On top of that, it’s also an incredibly exciting industry that will have you always learning and developing your skills.
What are you passionate about?
The most important thing to know is that you don’t need a tech degree. Don’t feel that as you didn’t study programming in University that you’re too late to the party. A well known example of a successful founder who has no formal education in tech is Instagram’s Kevin Systrom. While working in marketing he studied programming at night. He learned by exploring ideas of interest to him and building prototypes to give to friends. There are a huge amount of ways to dip your toes in the water and build from there.
Whatever field you’re in, there will be a tech equivalent, making the leap more digestible. If you’re already passionate about something, it’ll make it easier to get into the tech industry centered around this area.
Attend Tech Community Meetups
Putting yourself out there and immersing yourself in your local tech community is a great starting point if you’re unsure of what to do. Toronto has a vibrant tech community, you can check out Meetup.com to find meetups that may interest you. These informal settings are perfect for novices who want to get a feel for technology and the industry. My personal favourites would include GirlGeeksTO, Hackernest and our very own Mobile Learning Lab.
There are a huge amount of online resources where you can learn to code in your own time. The best free resource that I’ve come across as a starting point is Codeacademy. This platform gamifies the process of learning to code by rewarding the user with badges and streaks. It brings you from a complete beginner to a solid understanding of coding in a short amount of time. We discussed similar resources in more detail in an earlier blogpost that you can find here. If you’d prefer more structure you can also enroll in a tech education centre such as BrainStation or Bitmaker Labs.
Test yourself at a Hackathon
Once you’re feeling comfortable with tech you can take part in a hackathon and flex your new found tech skills. Techvibes is an excellent resource when you’re looking for local hackathons and tech events to take part in. You can filter results based on your location and events are all brought up in a handy calendar format. Hackathons are often attended by industry professionals who are on the look out for new talent, what better way to showcase your talent than by pitching an idea to them on stage.
Thanks for reading!