The tech industry is booming. It’s one of the industries hiring right now, especially for project-related roles. Innovative new players and improvements in development that seem to hit the front pages every day: it all adds up to make this an attractive, fast-moving area where you can build a life-long career.
But what if you don’t even know what coding is and couldn’t tell your Java from SQL? Is there still a chance for you to create a successful and fulfilling career in IT?
Yes, you can! Read on for some tips on how to break into IT, even if you aren’t technical.
Research Your Market
Start reading about job opportunities in the tech arena. You’ll see that soft skills and business acumen are highly sought after. If you have the ability to take complex jargon and translate this into something that colleagues in other areas of the business can understand then you’ll be in demand.
Your problem-solving skills, approach to detail, analytical ability, customer-friendly outlook and solid communication skills will all serve you well in a multitude of IT jobs. You’ve also probably got consumer-level digital skills just from navigating your way through social media and using online services. It won’t take a lot to brush these up to show a future employer that you have what it takes to make it in the digital marketplace.
If you have a clear idea about which direction you want to go in, take a look at training courses that will support your goals.
Review the Roles
Let’s not be unrealistic: if you’ve spent 10 years in retail and have never written a line of code, then you’re going to have to retrain to have a chance in a development role. However, there are plenty of roles in IT that allow you to use the skills you have learned in other areas without needing to be able to program or build or CPU from scratch.
Positions in system testing and customer service (think: help desk phone support) offer entry-level opportunities but a good way to transition into IT is to consider project management. This is a great path because it can be seen by hiring managers as a sideways step, especially if you have project management experience outside the industry. A lot of project management skills are transferable, and if you are prepared to quickly gain the domain knowledge from the subject matter experts, you can soon add value to your new team.
If you need more help about what tech roles might be a good fit for you with your current levels of experience, talk to a professional staffing firm about your options.
Prepare a Great Resume
Have you set up a blog, or helped a friend with a website? Do you run the social media pages for your local sports club? Have you helped out in your child’s school with IT lessons or digital literacy? Do you build computers or tinker with mobile apps? All these things (and lots of others) will help show employers that you are keen to learn and that you have a basic awareness of all things tech.
All these should be on your resume. Tailor your resume for the role you are applying for, calling out the projects you have worked on in the past that had an element of IT, or the interpersonal skills you feel would be most relevant to the role.
Think about how best to present your experiences to show potential employers what you can do. Make sure your passion about tech shows through and be willing to talk about why you are interested in a transition to IT at this point in your career. Check out our top 7 tips for a fantastic project management resume.
Be flexible about how you seek out opportunities. A good starting point might be your own internal IT department, for example, or an outsourced third party IT services firm that your business deals with. These would know you (or be able to source reliable references about you quickly) and may be prepared to take a chance on moving you into a more technical role than the one you have now.
Sometimes, though, you’ll need a clean break and a new start to forge a career in a new industry. Look for opportunities with contacts in your network and reach out to professional staffing firms who have contacts you can’t reach personally.
You may have to be flexible with your career aspirations and be prepared to take a sideways move or even a step below where you currently feel you are in order to make the move. However, if you find the right role, the transition should be far easier and with far less risk of losing a chunk of your take home pay.
IT skills are definitely in demand, and while you may be competing for roles alongside recent tech graduates, your experience in other areas brings something to the business that they don’t have. Whether you studied arts and want a tech role as your first step to a long-term career or worked for 20 years in oil and gas, it’s never too late to consider swapping industries.
With skill shortages affecting many areas of IT, hiring managers are open to the idea of candidates with a wide range of diverse experiences, and it isn’t necessary to have a tech degree to open doors in IT any longer. Triumph Strategic Consulting can help you find the right IT job for you, whether you have a background in tech or not. Get in touch and talk to us today.