The Ultimate Guide to Breaking into Tech with Zero Experience
The number of people who want to break into tech has increased over the last couple of years. This industry is getting more attention than ever because technology has become the fuel of our economy. Most salaries in the tech industry are above $100,000 according to Glassdoor, so it’s not surprising to see that people want to switch to tech careers. But what if you have zero experience in tech?
It’s easier to switch careers when you’re in the same industry, but it’s a little challenging when you come from a totally different sector such as food or health. Yet, it’s not impossible, so you still got a chance. In fact, it could even be beneficial for your career. Having a rich career background could add some value to your profession. Here are some of the ways you can break into tech with zero experience.
Look for a Career Path Related to Your Current Profession
Before you dive into the tech industry in a completely unknown career, it would be a good idea to find a related career to your current profession. There’s nothing more challenging for a career changer than having to start over in a completely new career. But what if you could break into tech without having to start over?
This is actually what most people are doing. With the inevitable fact of technology disruption, many people are worried because they think they could lose their jobs. Automation does just that; they can replace people. But this doesn’t mean that automation doesn’t create more jobs. While millions of jobs will be lost to automation, others will be created for the same reason.
You can start looking for a tech equivalent to your current career and this way you won’t have to start over. Here are some professions and their equivalent in the tech industry.
- Pharmacist → BioTech
Pharmacists can easily dive into the tech industry by learning about BioTech. This career is very related to subjects like machine learning or artificial intelligence. BioTech professionals create innovative solutions for the pharmaceutical industry through technology. One of the best examples of this career is the invention of smart pills which were recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. They work with IoT technology and help doctors have a better view of what happens in our bodies.
- Doctor, Nurse, Dentist → HealthTech
HealthTech professionals develop innovative products for the healthcare industry that are powered by technology. If you already have a background in medicine, you can easily dive into the HealthTech industry. You’ll only need to learn some fundamental tech principles depending on what area you’d like to specialize in.
- Environmentalism, Conservation, Manufacturing → CleanTech or GreenTech
If you’re an eco-friendly professional such as environmentalists or conservation specialists, you could work in CleanTech. GreenTech professionals help companies reduce their waste of pollution and recycle. If you already have some background in environmental topics or manufacturing, you’d only have to learn about tech skills that will help you create eco-friendly products.
- Lawyer, Paralegal, Regulator → RegTech or LegalTech
This is a relatively new term that combines technology and legal affairs. Maybe you think that these two topics are unrelated, but technology is making its way to the legal industry. There are many tasks in the legal industry that are repetitive and have the potential to be automated.
There are companies, such as Atrium, that use machine learning to automate processes in the legal industry. This reduces the time they spend on research and data identification so they can focus on more relevant aspects such as analyzing the information.
- Artist → Graphic Designer
You don’t immediately think of technology when you think of art. However, if you’re an artist that wants to start working in the tech industry, there’s nothing stopping you. Graphic designers create art through technology by using platforms such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
- Journalist → Digital Marketing
Journalists who want to break into tech usually learn digital marketing skills because it’s the most related subject to their trade. Digital marketers should have the ability to create content that attracts customers. Journalists usually have experience in this aspect.
Create Your Own Project
If you want to break into tech with zero experience, you’ll need to start creating your own online portfolio. You may think: “how am I going to create a portfolio if I don’t even have a job?” The best way to start getting experience is by working on your own personal projects. This way, not only you’ll implement everything you learned at college or bootcamp, but you’ll also impress recruiters with your skills.
Remember to always update your profiles and social media with your projects so everyone knows you’re working on this new field.
Build Your Online Presence
Recruiters won’t be able to find you if you’re not “out there.” This means you need to have online visibility. It’s not only about having up-to-date social media; you need to create an only-work-related place where you can post your projects.
Creating your own website will significantly help you gain online visibility, so try to invest in web development. If you have zero web dev skills but you’d still like to be involved in the process, you can try using platforms like Wix or WordPress.
You would also need to optimize your LinkedIn and Indeed profiles. These two platforms have become the main source of talent for most recruiters so try to think about that when you’re working on your profiles. Show up your skills and highlight your achievements.
The tech industry has become very attractive to most professionals. Tech workers have high salaries, great benefits and the ability to work remotely. But, most importantly, tech professionals are the future of our economy. It is very likely that most jobs in the future will be tech-related, so the best thing we can do is to learn new skills and be resilient. Don’t let technology disrupt you, become the disruptor yourself and create innovative solutions.