The widely documented skills shortage within tech means that there are opportunities up for grabs at all levels – but it can be tricky to figure out how to break in.
If you are curious about how a career in tech could work for you, or wondering if you have what it takes to maneuver a successful pivot, keep reading.
Suss out your skillset
As with any industry shift, one of the most important things to do is determine your transferable skills. These are non-technical or industry-specific abilities that you apply regardless of the role – think things like project management, leadership, negotiation and communication.
In many cases, you don’t need to have specialized tech skills to work in tech: there are countless opportunities within the sector, regardless of your experience or background. Whether you have spent a decade in field sales, directed patient care at a busy healthcare clinic, worked in hospitality or even run your own small business, soft skills are hugely valuable and sought after within the tech industry.
One study showed that 71% of employees believe soft skills will be just as important in the future, with communication, leadership and analytical and creative thinking being the most valuable.
There’s a good chance you’ve worked with somebody who has already pivoted into the tech industry. This person could be well placed to not only offer you helpful insights but also tell you where your skills could be best put to use or even be in a position to help you get hired.
When reaching out, be strategic and intentional about how you list your skills, making sure to highlight any transferable ones, but also be open to hearing where you might need to level up and learn.
The tech industry is a huge, shape-shifting one that is constantly expanding, and this is reflected in the job market. While some roles are tech roles in tech companies (think software engineer or developer), others are non-tech roles in tech companies (working in human resources at a big software company, for example).
Research shows that 54% of the jobs at tech companies are non-technical ones. These types of roles can be among the easiest routes into the industry.
You will still need to understand the technology and appreciate the company’s mission and values, but your role itself may not be all that tech-driven. Openings for non-tech roles at tech companies predominantly tend to be in sales, marketing, operations, product management, and, increasingly, public policy.
Take the role of senior director for federal sales at creative software company Adobe, where key requirements include experience building and running successful sales teams. To thrive in this role you will have shown success in driving revenue and crucially, have industry experience working with DOD and National Security––get all the details here.
It can also be helpful to define your subject matter expertise, as this can pave the way for a smooth pivot. As legacy industries hustle to adopt more tech-savvy processes and systems, the number of opportunities grows.
For example, a role like DoD and 4th Estate account executive at the cloud-based customer relationship management platform Salesforce requires experience managing teams servicing government accounts. Here, your expertise and network of contacts with leaders in the federal US and Canadian governments would be highly sought after, even if you don’t have deep knowledge of the AI, data and CRM tools and services that Salesforce offers. Find out more about the role here.
Similarly, the opening for an executive director and senior vice president for payments policy at the American Bankers Association requires experience in advocacy at the congressional and administration levels. But, as the go-to source for bankers, policymakers and the media for credible information and insights for the banking industry, the role will also involve becoming part of a team that is a leading advocate for electronic payments innovation. If you want to know more, get all the details here.
Organizations of all sizes are struggling to fill tech roles at the moment. So much so that job site Indeed has launched a new Tech Network, allowing companies to reach passive talent to build in-person or remote teams of developers, engineers, analysts and more.
This means that upskilling and embarking on a whole new career path could be the right move for you. Begin by thoroughly researching the industry you’re thinking of pivoting into to understand its needs and nuances, and in particular where you could level up in terms of experience or knowledge. There are hundreds of trusted resources and courses out there on everything from programming languages to AI and big data.
You will need to be willing to accept that there is a lot to learn and you may even have to start off a few rungs lower down than you were, but strong demand within the tech sector means that opportunities abound for workers at all skill levels, so chances are it won’t be long before you’re climbing that ladder.
Find your next great tech – or non-tech – role by visiting The Hill Job Board today
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