By Ashley Cullins
For over a decade, the red-hot tech sector has offered a vast number of employment opportunities. Tech jobs have routinely provided exciting and creative projects, high salaries, and job security.
But this moment in history might just be the perfect time to start a tech career. Yes, like right now.
Not only do many jobs in this industry allow you to work from home, but you can also learn the relevant skills to do so online. No degree and no experience? No problem. If you have a computer and an Internet connection, you can access all the tools you need to get started today.
So, before you start binge-watching “Schitt’s Creek” for the third time (trust me, I get it), consider taking some steps to jumpstart your tech career right now.
Try Free Coding Classes
Get your feet wet with some free online coding classes. Without spending money or making any commitment, you can get a feel for whether a tech career is right for you.
Sites like Codecademy, Coursera, and Udemy have some free courses which provide solid starting points. You can learn at your own pace, benefit from tutorials and advice at no cost, and even make some new connections on discussion boards.
Read All About It
Check out tech newsletters, websites, and trade journals to learn more about the industry and the skills you’ll need to succeed. You can also find articles and books on topics like programming or networking.
Some good places to start include TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Ars Technica, and free newsletters like The Byte, TLDR, The Download, and Hacker Newsletter. As you find your own niche in tech, you’ll likely come across other resources that appeal to your specific interests and passions.
Find Tech Networking Events
What you know is important, but who you know often helps get your foot in the door. Meeting other tech professionals is also a great way to get advice and knowledge from industry insiders.
Tech networking events and meetups in your area are helpful ways to expand your professional circle. Often, you can find these opportunities simply by Googling “tech meetups in [your city].”
Of course, virtual is the way to go for now. Get active on message boards and forums on popular tech and coding sites. Look into online events, webinars, and meetups. If you have friends or family in tech, ask them how they’re continuing to grow and maintain their networks right now.
In addition to networking, one of the best ways to market yourself is to take some advice from Nike and “just do it.” Write a program, contribute to an open-source project, or build a website or app.
Practice the skills you’ve been reading, learning, and talking about. Start getting your projects and name out there, all while creating a portfolio to impress potential employers.
Discover Your Transferrable Skills
You might worry you don’t have much of a “tech resume” to build on. But have you ever creatively solved a problem? Innovated something in your workplace? We bet you have. Are you open-minded, collaborative, and motivated? We bet you are. Your resume might be more tech-oriented than you think.
Technical skills can be taught, and if you follow the steps described here, you’ll learn them. But in tech, soft skills like creativity, innovative thinking, and passion are just as valuable (and far less teachable). If you’ve got them, don’t let the lack of industry experience shake your confidence.
Attend a Coding Academy or Bootcamp
Finally, armed with some background knowledge and the confidence that tech is right for you, you’re ready to invest in a coding academy or bootcamp. In comparison to degree programs, these are fast, cost-effective ways to receive the training you need to break into the tech field.
At Kenzie Academy, you can become a certified Software or UX Engineer in just 12 months. We offer accessible financing options, guidance from industry practitioners, and all the support you need to build skills and get hired.
Now, while we all wait for Netflix to drop the next binge-able, meme-able series, you’ve got something productive to do. Go forth and get your tech career started, you cool cat!