Contributed by Ashley Wilson
The tech sector is hot right now. Figures from CompTIA suggest that unemployment in tech-related occupations is just 1.7%.
2022 is a better time than ever to get started in the tech industry. But how should you go about it?
That’s what you’re about to find out. In this post, we take a look at five routes you can take to jumpstart your career in tech and bag some of the most lucrative jobs around.
Explore Emerging Technology Fields
If you think the great technology innovations have already occurred, think again!
Millions of engineers create new technology every day. Innovative companies are paying substantially to hire the talent they need. In fact, many tech companies say they can’t find enough talent to fill their available positions.
As you think about a career in technology, it can be helpful to review the tech that today’s innovative companies are developing. One or more of these innovations is likely going to be a building block of your future tech career.
- Computing power continues to explode as businesses replatform on cloud infrastructure.
- Networking capacity just keeps getting faster. 5G is rolling out. With 6G and beyond, large intelligent surface (LIS) technology will enable lightning fast wireless communication.
- Quantum computing is enabling machine learning. This has the power to create computers that are more than a trillion times more powerful that today’s supercomputers!
- Datafication has become a valued asset, helping businesses understand customers and research industry trends.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning allow computers to see and recognize objects and people in photos and video. These technologies also enable sophisticated voice assistants.
- Augmented reality glasses allow us to interact with our environment and the digital world more seamlessly and simultaneously. Now we can see virtual content right in our natural field of view.
- Virtual reality headsets portend a future where we don’t always have to peer into our phones or laptops. We can meet virtually with friends and colleagues and immerse ourselves more fully into games and digital worlds.
- Blockchain, distributed ledgers, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are creating the foundation for an economy based on digital currency, decentralized ledgers, and digital assets.
- 3D printing is creating new frontiers in manufacturing. People are printing food, houses, metal, and more. Many of us didn’t even imagine this technology, let alone realize it was so close to realization.
- Gene editing and synthetic biology allow us to develop powerful vaccines, grow enough food to feed the world, and produce medical breakthroughs.
- Nanotechnology lets engineers manipulate objects on a subatomic level. This technology is at the heart of extraordinary innovations like bendable screens, water repellent gadgets, and self-cleaning fabrics.
- Sustainable energy systems are critical for meeting the needs of the planet’s population. Solar, nuclear power, green hydrogen, and high-capacity batteries are just a few technologies powering our future.
These technology revolutions are rapidly advancing our world. You too can be part of the revolution!
Figure Out Your Motivations
Before you even begin looking for your dream role in tech, consider your motivations. Ask yourself what you really want from your job and how your current role is letting you down. Do you even need a more fulfilling career or are you happy where you are right now?
Take a look at your situation and ask yourself how you feel in your current position. Make a list of the things that you like about your job, and what you would like to change. Then see whether there are any opportunities available that match your requirements.
For instance, many cloud security jobs now come with hybrid working arrangements, allowing you to spend a portion of your week at home, not in the office. Other roles, such as data science jobs, allow you to work independently on projects, instead of on a team, a working arrangement you might prefer.
There may also be purpose-related reasons for you pursuing a new and better tech career. For instance, you might want to:
- Pursue something that offers you more purpose
- Do something that is more interesting
- Create a new product that will positively impact others’ lives
In some cases, dream job roles aren’t the easiest or most convenient option, but they are the most satisfying. Opting for a harder role could be the best option because of the psychological rewards that come with it.
High pay may not be a permanent feature of technology jobs. In many places around the world, this is already the case. For this reason, you’ll likely have more success if you find a deeper motivation that draws you to a particular field or role.
Study Computer Science in College
Before you even start applying for jobs in the tech sector, you’ll need to make sure you have the right education. Virtually all roles require you to have a relevant degree in computer science, including network engineering jobs.
A variety of majors could be useful to you in a technology job. You could major in:
- Computer engineering
- Software engineering
- Information science
- Information technology and information systems
- Systems and network administration
Get Job-Specific Certifications And Qualifications
Even if you have a background in computer science, you’ll still need to get industry-recognized certifications applicable to the role you want. Here are some examples based on various fields you might want to pursue.
- Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
- Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer
- AWS Certified Security – Specialty
- Azure Security Engineer Associate
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)
- CompTIA Cloud+
- Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
- SAS Certified Data Scientist
- SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional using SAS 9
- Open Certified Data Scientist
- Data Science Council of America Senior Data Scientists (SDS)
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
- Cloudera Data Platform Generalist Certification
- IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
- Tensorflow Developer Certificate
- CompTIA A+ Certification
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MSCE): Core Infrastructure
- Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) (Routing and switching)
- ITIL Foundation Certification
Certification requirements for Python jobs may include:
- Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer
- Certified Associate Python Programmer
- Certified Professional in Python Programming
Certification requirements for .Net jobs may include:
- CompTIA i-Net+ Certification
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
- Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP)
There are many other qualifications besides these. Brainstorm the types of roles you would like to fill, then check which qualifications you’ll need.
Search For Job Opportunities And Apply
While you are obtaining certifications, it’s a good idea to build as much experience in the tech industry as you can. Many roles require 5-10 years of experience in a tech-related capacity.
As you gain experience, you’ll learn about yourself – your skill sets, the types of roles you enjoy, and the way you like to work.
Think about the sort of work you can imagine yourself doing long-term.
At the same, canvas individual companies for job opportunities. Try to figure out whether they are the kind of organizations you could realistically work for. Get a sense of how they operate by reading employee satisfaction surveys and job review websites. A few great websites to check are Glassdoor, CareerBliss, Fairygodboss and Remote Tech Jobs.
While looking for network engineering jobs, python jobs or any other technical role, it can be helpful to speak with industry experts. Having an industry leader as a mentor on your side can help you map out the steps to achieve your goals.
Revamp Your Resumé
The most in-demand soft skills in the tech sectors are:
- Resourcefulness – the ability to leverage limited resources to get the job done
- Curiosity – a genuine desire to learn new things and understand novel technologies
- Problem solving – the ability to enter a non-standard domain and find solutions
- Perseverance – the grit to keep going when things get tough
- Project management – the ability to oversee a team and achieve milestones on time