Back in October of this year, I attended a virtual event called LTX Fest - a space for Latin@s in the tech space to connect, network, learn, and get inspired. A few of the people I connected with were curious about breaking into the tech industry from a different background and I was happy to share my story and give a few tips on where to get started. Here are a few ideas if you are in a similar space and wondering where to begin.
Do a Bit of Research
Getting a job in tech does not mean you have to be an expert coder. There are a multitude of roles out there besides being a developer – take some time to explore job boards and see what's out there. From copy editing and marketing to recruiting and HR, from sales to graphic design, there is arguably a role out there for everyone. Reflect on what sounds interesting to you! Then, look up that job role on LinkedIn and see what types of skills and experience people in that role tend to have. This is a great place to get started finding what you're interested in and get some ideas on how to get there.
When I was getting started on my career change journey, I reached out to a number of people on LinkedIn and had phone calls with a few to learn about their role and how they got there. I knew I wanted something new, and I knew I wanted to work in tech, but I wasn't sure what role I wanted to pursue. So, I chatted with people in a variety of roles, from nonprofit leadership to educational design to explore what was out there, hear their stories, and see what resonated. Explore mutual connections. Ask friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to introduce you to someone who you'd like to connect with and start connecting!
Once you have an idea of what direction you'd like to explore, start learning some basic skills. There are a plethora of free websites out there where you can start your learning journey whenever and wherever you are – from individual courses to certifications and career pathways, and everything in between.
Coursera, Udacity, Hubspot, Udemy, edX, LinkedIn Learning, and General Assembly are great places to start exploring. If you're interested in learning how to code, FreeCodeCamp, Codecademy, and W3Schools also have some great resources, both free and paid.
Once you've started learning, keep connecting with others! From platforms like Dev.to to nonprofits like Women Who Code and Girls in Tech, there are a seemingly unlimited amount of opportunities out there to connect with other fellow career-changers or like-minded people in the tech space. Stay tuned for my next post for a list of resources.
It can be daunting thinking about pivoting into a new career, but these four tips are a great place to get started, and greatly helped me when I was making my career change.
Have any other helpful ideas? Feel free to share by connecting with me on Twitter and here on DEV!
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