Breaking into the tech industry with traditional skills

Students employing traditional skills in tech

You have developed skills in your current workplace and you’re considering taking the plunge and switching mid-career into the growing tech industry. Transitioning into tech does not necessarily mean that you need to start from square one. Similar to other businesses, tech companies require finance, marketing, sales, support, and human resource departments, at their core. The skills you’ve developed in your current workplace can be used as an entry point into those positions at a tech company.

Making a career move into an entirely new industry may seem incredibly daunting, but having a plan and being prepared will set you up for a successful career shift.

Start with introspection. Look at your current job role and understand what you are looking for.

  • Where are your current strengths and weaknesses in your role?
  • What about your current job excites you and where do you excel?
  • What do you value in a company?

Understand the industry.

  • Go online. There are many online resources that can explain the industry and how it works. If you’re looking for a job locally, do your research on local companies, organizations, and key people.
  • What are companies that you desire to work for and why. Understand what they do, what their company culture is like, and if they are the right fit for you and your values.

Determine where there are gaps in your knowledge and do some learning.

  • Now that you know your strengths, weaknesses, and where you excel in your role, determine what jobs are best suited to you and where you want to grow.
  • Do your research on the jobs available in the industry and what the role is asking for. From there, you can determine the gaps in your own knowledge and make a list of what you can learn.
  • Find out where you can learn these skills. Whether there are online courses, night classes, readings, etc.

Expand your network.

  • Use your current business and personal networks to reach out to people who currently work in the tech industry. They can provide advice or guidance on their experiences getting into the industry and what their experience has been.
  • Seek mentorship. Once you know the type of work you would like to be doing, you can seek mentorship from others in your field of interest.
  • Join organizations and become part of the community. Attend meetups and events to help expand your network and establish new relationships. This will give you an opportunity to learn and ask questions.

Get your foot in the door.

  • Update your resume and write cover letters that leverage your skills and explain how it is transferable to the tech industry.
  • Read our blog on getting ready to land an innovation job.