How to change careers into the tech industry

Would you consider a career change into technology or are you thinking of making a career change? Are you passionate about IT or perhaps you are someone stepping out for the first time into your career and choosing to be in the ‘tech’ industry?

Tech industryThe future for those in tech will certainly be a good one, so to find out how please read on.

After being within one industry for a long time I saw potential in changing careers to tech so took a risk to make that change as am passionate about IT.

If you are looking for a change in career but are not sure what to do or which area of IT to go into there is so much scope, career opportunity and a variety of roles in the sector. A job in tech is dependent on the kind of work you want to do, so after you have assessed your skills to see where you may fit best there is no stopping you!

Consider the following tips if you are thinking of making a change:

1. First be sure of what makes you happy, and know what your skills and interests are to be able to make that successful change. Know what you want and aim for that career goal.

My decision was made based on the realization that I was tired of my work and I did not see myself in the same industry for years to come. This was coupled with boredom and no motivation to continue in my current role, so saw potential in IT for its variety of roles, scope to move around, and the ability to hold my interest long term. The Tech area is always full of change, interesting and of course more earning potential.

2. Do your research.

Depending on what is important to you and your priorities, find out the potential for job growth, future earning and industry growth.

3. Ensure you ‘network’

Talk to those already in the field you wish to be in. This will enable you to gain insight into certain roles and it may open doors. Use your network wisely such as being able to have an introduction to someone who already works in a similar role you wish to go for.

4. With your career goals in mind prepare yourself

Do you need education or practical experience? Perhaps look into taking a course or think about how to gain practical experience, such as voluntary work that gives great learning and better insights. I can speak from experience as when I did some voluntary work in an IT department I learnt a lot about what was right for me. Embrace this preparation and as it is key to making the change.

5. Once you are ready – Sell it!

Prepare your story in advance about why you want to make the change or want to take your first steps into a career in tech. It can be intimidating so prepare well. My backup plan included falling back on my previous experience if all else failed.
I assure you many people do change careers and make that successful change.

We are all aware tech does not have enough women from much discussion on this subject. According to the Huffington Post UK ‘only 17% of people working in IT are women’ and the government is trying to encourage our young girls from school into science and tech related subjects so there is clearly a need to address the Digital Skills Gap.

Recently, there was some recent research in the US that code written by women has a ‘higher approval rating’ than that written by men. This was after analysis of 1.4 million users of open source program sharing service GitHub (a web-based Git repository hosting service where people build software). This research is yet to be peer reviewed and makes interesting reading as this can only mean growth and more opportunities for women in coding and further opportunities within tech. This month Dr Sue Black told the BBC that she ‘thinks we are going to see a resurgence of interest from women in not only coding but all sorts of tech related careers over the next few years’.

IT changes rapidly and tech is a great industry if you like change and variety. Some parts of it can move fast and it keeps you on your toes. ComputerWorld UK reported this month from a study by Robert Half’s Recruitment and said “that security, project management and networking jobs are among those expected to see the biggest increases in salary, while mobile developers will see the biggest gains at 7.4 per cent.”

The report claims that more than four in 10 UK companies plan to increase the number of IT jobs and that this growth in demand was “being fuelled by the need to expand teams to cope with new IT projects and initiatives, moving to cloud-based infrastructure and product or service expansion”.

IT has a variety of roles and as a sector we need to promote soft skills more to encourage more females into the Industry.

For women, I think the increase in flexible working will make it easier for those with family responsibilities to work.

We also need to have more encouragement for school pupils to study computing to make IT careers more attractive to girls.

So if you are contemplating a career change, as the saying goes – will you regret not making the change you wanted in two years, five years or ten years?

So why wait – step out there and GO FOR IT as you will never know until you try this exciting and dynamic industry. It is only set to grow so why not be a part of it to help you grow too!

About Sonal Shah:
Sonal shah 3

Sonal Shah PMO Manager (Programme Management Office) has worked in a range of IT, change and digital security projects for over eleven years. She has been published more than once in ‘Project magazine’ and had a blog published on Association of Project Management website with further blogs published on We Are The City. Sonal is a keen writer and passionate about PMO, project management, women in Tech and women in senior management. This blog is about changing careers and women in Tech.

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