If you’re reading this, it’s too late…
…is what I’d say if tech had a cutoff, but lucky for you, it doesn’t.
A myth about changing careers or breaking into tech is that you need an IT degree or that the specific tech field you’re interested in is getting too saturated.
I’m here to tell you don’t worry. There’s still space for you - if you’re committed and follow the steps below to break into your dream tech career.
Here’s how to break into tech in 5 simple steps:
Let’s deep-dive into each step!
Note: this article focuses on breaking into tech for non-coders. If you are interested in coding, check out Rocket Academy’s article.
Before you go all-in on a tech career (investing your time and money), you need to know which career you’d like.
Start by taking a career quiz or listening to experts describe a day in their life.
You can also find careers you’re interested in, and highlight the key skills needed. Often, even if you change your mind, your skills will be transferrable.
For example, many of EntryLevel’s students are changing careers to become data analysts, product managers, or startup founders.
However, if you started out with EntryLevel’s Data Analyst program, and later change your mind because you want to be a UX Designer, that’s okay. The Excel data cleaning and Tableau data visualization skills you learned are still valuable. They’ll help you analyze your user research findings.
After narrowing down your potential tech career interests, deep-dive into each role you’re interested in.
Here are some questions:
Hopefully, these career questions help you narrow down what role in what type of company would make you feel happier and more fulfilled.
In the next step of your career research, get in contact with people who are in those roles right now. Ask them what advice they have for their past self.
You can use LinkedIn or ADPList to find these mentors - but remember, be mindful of their time!
P.S. Want more advice? Check out more resources from EntryLevel’s “Break Into Tech” event: https://www.entrylevel.net/events/break-into-tech
By now, you should have a clearer idea of:
This sets the direction for the rest of your career journey.
At this stage, you want to absorb as much as you can from thought leaders. You can do this by taking courses, listening to podcasts, or reading newsletters. It can even be as simple as following accounts in your niche - like following Alexa (a previous EntryLevel student) if you’re interested in Data Analytics.
Take courses - but take them mindfully. Don’t overwhelm yourself with learning too many things at once.
Stay focused, and make sure the courses you take hit these requirements:
EntryLevel’s programs cover all these requirements - check out our course offerings here: https://www.entrylevel.net/
You’ll also want to share everything you learn. Although you can take private notes, try to at least publicly share one insight you gained per week. Here’s why:
In fact, an EntryLevel student once shared his portfolio everywhere online. A company found the website link and hired him.
Listen to his story here: <link>
Would you rather watch an artist paint for hours, or look at the completed artwork in a museum?
Most people would pick the latter - viewing the finished artwork shows off the artist’s skills better than watching hours of footage of the process.
Similarly, let your work speak for itself.
That’s why a portfolio is so important.
You need to apply everything you’re learning - that’s why you need a project you can put in your portfolio.
EntryLevel has a portfolio component built into our 6-week online courses. In fact, it doesn’t really feel like you’re watching a lecture because all our modules are task-based. At the end, each task you do adds up to your final portfolio project, which you can show off to potential employers.
P.S. if you’re wondering how to reframe your previous experience for a new role, check out this article for UX designers.
At this stage, you’ve probably got some amazing skills and a few projects under your belt.
It’s time to make use of it.
After you follow these steps (this could take a few days, weeks, or months), analyze the results of each step and make adjustments to improve.
If you really want to go above and beyond, you can chat with an employee from a company you’re interested in. Find out what their most pressing problem is, and figure out a way to solve it. Then share that solution with the company.
Best case: the company hires you on the spot, because you’ve shown the value you can bring them
Worst case: the company doesn’t hire you - but then you’ve got an amazing portfolio piece to show off to other companies
Here’s how to break into tech - no coding required:
Want more guidance? Start with EntryLevel’s programs: https://www.entrylevel.net/
Coding-specific programs are offered by Rocket Academy: https://rocketacademy.co/
We help you learn and get experience so you can get hired.
To make learning more affordable, we offer a full refund for our programs once you complete them. You’ll also end the program with a portfolio of work that you can show off to recruiters.