Working in the city and getting to your retail, food service, or clerical job every day may not be as fulfilling if you have dreams of working in tech. With technological advancements changing the way we live our lives, positions in the industry are becoming more common, particularly in key urban areas. Though many people may feel trapped in a job that they don’t love, a passion for technology can make all the difference in your future.
Even if the bulk of your experience is in customer service or clerical work, there are businesses that care more about finding employees who fit within the tech space than their education or experience. There are also plenty of ways to gain some tech skills without spending a fortune on schooling. Sometimes it’s just about starting at a company from the bottom and addressing your perceived shortcomings along the way.
Tech Is a Growing Field
Technology is a booming field because nearly every industry utilizes technological advancements in some way. Technology is changing the way businesses are run and enabling companies to connect to a much larger customer base. Going further, companies aren’t going to remain profitable if they aren’t utilizing tech advancements applicable to their sector. Though it’s a specialized field, it’s one that has a lot of opportunity. In addition to that, many tech jobs flourish in urban hubs.
Before jumping into the tech world with both feet, it’s important to think about the types of tech
jobs that interest you the most. Some popular tech jobs include computer programming, web development, computer support, information systems, hardware engineering, software systems development, or information security analysis, among others. Some jobs are more specialized and will require more skills and education.
What Companies Care About
If you’re passionate about technology but don’t have the education that you think many companies may be looking for, rest assured that many of these companies are looking at more than your educational background.
Finding an employee who fits within the industry, in the role, and in their company is a high priority for many companies. Tech companies often care more about passion than education, so you might still be a desirable candidate, regardless of your education. Research the organization and make sure you’re a good fit. If you hold many of their values, those similarities will shine.
While some tech companies elect to rely on onshore, offshore, and nearshore outsourcing to fulfill gaps in their workforce, many feel a personal obligation to their local community when it comes to selecting candidates. Not only are tech companies looking for more than just candidates with a degree, they are also making a bigger effort to put their locations in inner cities to support those communities and hire local citizens. While tech positions often require specialized skills, many companies care about supporting their communities by hiring locally.
Obtaining Tech Skills
Education is a pathway to your chosen career. However, the job market can be unpredictable, and will change depending on your industry interests. In a survey, 45% of job seekers said it was harder finding a job this year than last year, even though the economy was better and employment numbers were down. However, 20% said it was easier. Those 20% included individuals who were educated and in industries like technology.
Going from an unskilled position to one that requires specific tech knowledge can be difficult, but the key is in obtaining the skills you need. You can attend a college program and get your degree. You can also obtain tech skills by taking a bootcamp program, which accelerates training into a shorter time period.
Gaining the necessary skills can be done through schooling, but it’s not the only way to do it. You can also search for online courses on certain skills, or you can work on teaching yourself. And those skills won’t be the only thing making your job search easier — your industry matters as well. Some tech companies will provide you with training so you don’t have to pursue additional education before getting employed.
Start at the Bottom
The companies that will hire and train employees will probably not be hiring and training for highly skilled positions within the tech space, but they may do so for entry-level positions and duties that don’t require a long training period or specialized skills. However, if you’re looking to find a tech job you love and you aren’t skilled, this may be the way to do it. Starting from the bottom will allow a company to groom you for their business model and the skill set their company needs, which can be beneficial for the both of you.
Finding a company that will bring employees in who don’t have experience or education will probably be harder to find, but the legwork may be worth it in the end. In many urban areas, tech startups and larger tech companies are more common than they are in rural areas. Keep your eyes open for those companies and be sure to jump on those leads quickly. Network, attend tech events, and keep advancing your skill set.
Address Your Shortcomings
If you want a job in technology but you don’t have experience or education, you know your shortcomings and how a prospective employer might view them. Address them early on in order to sway a hiring manager to look at what you have to offer despite them.
For example, work hard to fill your resume with marketable soft skills where your hard skills lack. Though your current position or previous positions may not have taught you any tech skills, they did provide you with other skills. They may include include problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, negotiation, leadership, and teamwork.
In an interview, work to be the kind of person the employer will want to spend time with every day. Be confident and friendly. Answer their questions honestly. If you have a phone interview, speak clearly and make sure to smile. Even though they can’t see you, they can hear a smile in your voice. Talk about your passion for the industry and your drive to be a part of it. That’ll be one of your biggest assets in a situation where you don’t have as much experience or schooling as other applicants. Make sure you’re researching their company and showing that you’re a good fit within their culture.
Being in the tech space is a smart decision, even if your current position is not related to technology. Technology has effectively changed how we live our lives, and it will continue to change the world in the future. The tech sector is full of innovators and critical thinkers, and if you can show that you belong in that world, you can get a tech job that you will love, regardless of your education level.
Thankfully, as someone who lives in an urban setting, there are more tech jobs available to you than there are for others who live in more rural areas. It may take time and hard work, but finding a job you’re passionate about will be worth it in the end.