The tech industry is rife with opportunity but you have zero experience. Luckily, this industry is tailor-made for entry-level career seekers like you. Here are several tips to help you break into tech and find your niche.
With the world of tech only getting stronger, chances are that you've wondered if you have what it takes to be the next Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg.
You've taken courses on coding and programming, you're an expert on cyber security, and you're always the first to know about breaking news in the tech world.
The only thing holding you back?
The fact that you have absolutely no prior experience working within the tech industry. You're afraid that, though you have an awesome skill set, your lack of experience will mean that your dream tech career will end before it ever had a chance to start.
The good news?
There are ways to break into tech industries and job markets that might not be as impossible as you think.
Read on to learn more about how to make getting into the tech industry a reality for you, instead of just a pipe dream.
1. Scour the Startup Market
It's no secret that every entrepreneur in tech wants to make it in Silicon Valley.
However, in order to make that happen, these future tech giants need highly motivated and seriously skilled team members.
The only problem?
They don't exactly have the funding, let alone the revenue stream, to pay salaries that are comparable to some of the biggest names in tech.
When it comes to getting into the tech industry, these startups will serve as your golden opportunity. You know that your lack of experience means you can't command an enormous payday, but you know that you can prove your potential to tech entrepreneurs who are also looking to get their start.
Plus, the fact that you probably have experience with other industries -- and especially if you also have marketing experience -- will make you a competitive and well-rounded candidate.
Finally, the startup atmosphere and working with other entrepreneurs who want success just as much as you do will put you in the perfect environment to keep you motivated and continue to develop your skill set.
2. Reach Out
Sometimes, the truth is that all it takes to break into tech is getting to know the right people.
There are lots of different ways to make this happen.
You can attend tech-focused events, hit up lectures and book tours, head to meet-ups, or enroll in tech classes to strengthen your skill set and meet like-minded people.
Of course, the best -- and boldest -- way to break into tech is to send cold emails to the people that you look up to. You can start on the local or smaller-scale level.
Maybe you loved what a presenter at a tech conference had to say. Email them and let them know, including a link to your website and a couple of questions in the process.
Plus, it's incredibly important within this industry to prove that you're able to market and advocate for yourself. So, even if you feel a little bit shy about reaching out to some of the people you respect in the tech world, you have to force yourself to do it.
After all, cold emails and requests for a quick lunch meeting are how some of the biggest names out there learned how to get into the tech industry.
3. Start Branding Yourself on Social Media
Obviously, much of the tech world lives and dies by social media.
If you're not carving out a name for yourself on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, then you're going to lose opportunities to the people who are.
To get your start, make sure that you post something about three times per day. This won't just help you to add your voice to important industry conversations. It will also help you to build your authority and create your own brand.
This will make it much easier for you to connect with others who share your vision. You'll likely also learn about job opportunities and meetings that you would never have otherwise.
4. Start with Freelance Opportunities
Finally, if you want to learn how to get into the tech field, you need to accept the reality that it's not going to happen overnight.
Not only is it unrealistic to quit your "day job" and strike out in the tech world with little to no experience, it's also financially irresponsible.
Before you leave it all behind, start small.
Take on tech freelance projects that you can do on the weekends. Ask your current employer if they'd sponsor you to go to a tech conference or take a course, convincing them that it would add value to the workplace.
Build your network and list of clients now, slowly and steadily, before you decide to break out on your own.
This will also help to ensure that tech is truly where you want to be, and will help you to discover which specific industries and niche markets appeal to you the most.
Are You Ready to Break into Tech?
From getting active on social media to rubbing elbows with and reaching out to local tech celebrities, we hope that this post has helped you to realize that it's never too late or too difficult to break into tech.
There are also lots of entry-level positions at top tech companies that will allow you to get your foot in the door of your dream workplace.
Looking to connect with those positions?
Check out our job board to make it happen.
And to make sure you completely crush that interview and prove that you're the best possible candidate?
Spend more time on our blog to learn how to beef up your interview skills and refine your resume.