Today, tech skills are in high demand because the world is exhaustively going digital. Every business is trying to digitize and rebrand its products and services to fit this trend. Facebook rebranded itself into Meta to directly bring netizens into virtual reality and the metaverse, while MTN rebranded to extend their digital services. This article examines how you can get a tech job without a tech background.
The progressive improvements brought about by yours truly, “The tech bros”; they can code, design, animate, and innovate. These are highly sought after skills in the world right now, and you want to get into it, no worries, you can.
What are tech skills?
A tech skill is short for technical or technological skill. They are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks that are mechanical, information technology-related, mathematical, or scientific in nature. Some examples include programming languages, design and prototyping, mechanical equipment, or specific enterprise tools.
No matter your current career path, you can easily switch to absorbing tech skills in that specific regard. For instance, if your career path has always been on finance, banking, or accounting, you can switch to technical roles in a FinTech company; likewise, agriculture, woodwork, architecture etc. There is a digital side to everything nowadays –– you only need to find an intersection between your current field and how technology can be applied. This will make your transition to tech smoother.
Tech skills vary by industry; some notable mentions are the following:
Health/BioTech: Doctors use tech tools to create data-harnessing technology for advanced treatment. As an aspiring nurse, doctor or health worker you can analyze and restructure data and lots more. You can also provide valuable insight and consultancy services for the development of tools that enhance your work, for instance, the use of Microsoft HoloLens for treating covid patients in the UK.
EduTech: Education companies now combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology with traditional lesson plans for a more immersive experience.
FashionTech or wearable tech: Fashion advanced to the point of wearing technology such as a fitness wristband and many other conveniences. With the growth of fast fashion comes 3D visualization technologies such as virtual fitting technology that allows shoppers to see how a garment will fit and look on their bodies before buying.
FoodTech: How food is preserved, processed, packaged, sold and distributed, with minimal waste disposal can be achieved using AI. Controlled-environment agriculture like vertical farming is powered by advanced technologies resulting in a 10x harvest compared to traditional farming.
TravelTech: Companies like TripAdvisor, Airbnb helps travellers discover places they can stay instead of a hotel at cheaper rates. Also, they are ongoing developments of autonomous vehicles, flying cars, electric aeroplanes and so on.
There are also general skills like digital marketing, web development, web design, data analysis, full-stack development and so on. It is not compulsory that you must obtain technical skills through formal education. For instance, Google, IBM and Apple no longer require employees to have a college degree. if anything most of these skills are learnt and perfected outside the walls of a classroom. It is never too late to hone them or get a job with them.
How do I get started?
Now that you know some fields where technology is applied. It is important to identify your strong suits and transferrable skills, it is now time to get started on your search for the right tech job, consider the following steps:
1. Network with the tech community
Networking with the tech community gets you jobs, work tools and more knowledge. No man is an island, remember? This phrase is even more imperative to this community because the truth simply remains that technology especially computer technology operates without institutional authority. You need to identify people who can give you the right information to make your transition to tech as seamless as possible.
Developments in this field popup like updates and it is so because individuals learn and advance by themselves. Knowledge can easily become outdated and the universities and colleges only teach the basics. It is just like music and art, new styles come out every day and if you exit the community just for a few months, you might need a refresher or play catchup.
2. Brush up on soft skills
Soft skills are also known as common skills or core skills which are desirable in all professions. These include critical thinking, problem-solving, public speaking, professional writing, teamwork, digital literacy, leadership/management, professional attitude, work ethic, career management and intercultural fluency.
Using soft skills you can land a tech job with a tech company. Though soft skills define personal attributes they can also be used to manage organizations or teams. Most tech jobs have to do with building teams with individuals who have their own brand of specialized skillset. The functionality of a team is dependent on the team head or leader. You provide support and motivation, aiming for roles that do not require technical backgrounds such as product management and project management.
As someone who doesn’t have a specific work team, you can be a team builder and team manager. You know how to source for the right hands to collaborate on tech projects and know how to drive teams towards achieving a set goal.
Your job duties include negotiation, persuasion, presentation, public speaking, social skills, storytelling, verbal and visual communication, report writing and proposal writing skills.
3. Taking online digital courses
There are numerous boot camps and online lessons both free and paid to make up for skills you do not possess. You can choose courses that appeal to you or are in high demand such as software engineering, UX/UI design, or data science. It is possible to complete programs in 10 to 15 weeks depending on your pace.
We suggest you learn tech programs online because it’s just better and easier when doing your practical. If you really want to strike straight into getting a six-digit paid tech job then you need to really learn something about it. Also, if you don’t have enough funds you can go with a free course plan which doesn’t come along with a certificate. Certificates are hardly requested for tech jobs, experience, referrals and work portfolio is what really matters.
If you are determined to learn some fast-paced tech skills click here.
4. Do an internship or volunteer to get relevant experience
Internship and volunteering help you get relevant experience. It is one way to land tech jobs with no experience working in the tech industry. Don’t be discouraged as a newbie in the tech space, you may think you don’t have experience but you actually do. While learning you must have been created some files or projects during practical sessions. This is enough to demonstrate your skills and exhibit your talent, albeit it will be a different ball game when you start working.
It can be a short-term or part-time internship and sometimes it might not be paid (if you are working for a relative or prestigious organization). Garnering these experiences gets you a foot into the door, it breeds referrals and testimonials that can land you your first tech job.
5. Build your own project/start a side gig
If you don’t see any open volunteer positions, you can offer tech-related help or open a small business in your desired (or current) industry. They might appreciate the help and it’ll serve as a great resume booster. For example, if you’re already working in agriculture, you could offer to build a website for a local farm. You could also ask your friends or family if they need tech help (e.g. building a website or inventory system).
If you plan on getting into tech without any background you can start off on your own project. As we mentioned, through networking, you can build or join a team of skilled people to work together to achieve an idea. You can begin a startup, look for ideas that solve human problems and create something out of nothing. Startups have proven to be profitable especially when others like investors key into it.
In this case, you are not just a job seeker but an employer.
6. Create a portfolio
A portfolio is the best thing that can sell you for any job. Referrals can help but glancing through an array of beautiful accomplishments is the final straw that seals the deal.
Your tech portfolio should contain all projects you have been a part of whether personal or team-wise. For this, we recommend you create an online portfolio because nothing beats the arrangement of digital accomplishments on digital devices themselves. It should be online so clients and other well-meaning individuals can gaze upon your work of art.
Be mindful, a portfolio is not your CV. A CV is a summary of your skills, your biodata and work history while a portfolio shows the project or jobs you have done. If you are an app developer, the designs of the apps, who commissioned them and where they can be found on Google Playstore or Apple AppStore.
You can get a lot of nice templates online to create a perfect portfolio. It should contain links to your projects if they are online or vice versa.
For inspiration on what a good good tech portfolio looks, click here.
7. Revamp your CV
Prune and refine your experiences and skills and make them fit for the new industry by focusing on transferable skills. If you choose to hone and rely on soft skills, that is okay too, but you can also choose to add new skills or courses, volunteer experiences etc.
Remove anything that might confuse tech recruiters and employers. Update your LinkedIn profiles and portfolios regularly as your progress.
8. Apply for jobs
Now that you have implemented tips you received from your network, developed and relevant experiencies, you need to start looking for jobs. Some of the the best ways to get tech jobs are through LinkedIn, referral from your network and talking to tech recruiters (in some cases, tech recruiter will reach out to you if your profile fits the bill).
Bonus: In-demand tech jobs
- Product Manager
- Project Management
- Digital Marketer
- Technical Writer
- Web Developer
- Graphic Designer
- UI/UX Designer
- Software Tester
- System Analyst
- Intellectual Property (IP) Councel