How to Get Into Tech Without a Degree
Imagine landing a job that keeps your stress minimal and also lets you save plenty of money. The tech industry is renowned for having many jobs with great compensation and work-life balance.
It also has plenty of growth opportunities. As you cultivate your skills in the industry, you’ll quickly open doors that lead to better roles. However, it’s no secret there are obstacles you’ll need to overcome to get a job in this space.
The good news is that starting your career with no experience isn’t impossible, and there are certain steps you can take to streamline the process. Getting a job in tech isn’t the same as in industries like healthcare since you don’t always need a degree.
This industry is very skill-based, and it’s possible to get your first role by showcasing your talents. Let’s explore how to get into tech without a degree and take one step closer to getting your dream job.
Determine Your Needs
To establish the right path, you’ll need to figure out your needs. Think of what you want from your job in this industry. Do you want a solid work-life balance?
Are you looking for a substantial income? The answers to questions like these will help you quickly narrow down the ideal options.
Understand the Available Positions
Until you get industry experience, there will only be certain positions available. Fortunately, these can still come with high earning potential and minimal stress. Let’s explore some of the most notable.
As you might assume, web developers are tasked with creating websites. There are two primary types of web development: front-end and back-end.
Front-end development focuses on maximizing the user experience. This is achieved by making the site aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate. Back-end development is more concerned with the code that makes the site function.
The most well-rounded candidates understand both types of web development. However, it’s not uncommon for companies to hire a web developer that focuses only on front-end or back-end development.
These professionals install, configure, and manage multiple types of systems on the networks. These include routers, switches, intranet systems, and local area networks (LANs).
They also provide ongoing technical support. System administrators work alongside application teams to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Many people who don’t have experience in the tech industry break into the space by getting an IT technical support role. This job handles a large number of issues across different priority levels.
For example, your first task of the day might be helping someone format a hard drive. Your next obligation could involve reinstalling an operating system after a cyber attack. People who love technology tend to thrive in this occupation.
You don’t need tech experience to become a software engineer. However, you’ll need to prove you can handle your daily responsibilities. Developers without formal education or industry experience have spent hundreds or even thousands of hours teaching themselves.
To mitigate the chance of experiencing a data breach, organizations often hire a cybersecurity analyst. Virtually every organization is at risk of experiencing a cyber attack. This is especially true for companies in lucrative industries like finance and healthcare.
A cybersecurity analyst assesses an organization’s cyber threats and develops strategies to mitigate them. Depending on the size of the company, they may work alongside a team of other cybersecurity professionals.
Enroll in a Bootcamp
Once you’ve figured out what role to pursue, your next step is to sign up for a bootcamp. This provides access to organized, comprehensive information that will prepare you for a job in the tech industry. Not all bootcamps are created equal, though, and you’ll need to consider their reputation.
Only choose opportunities that have a large amount of positive feedback. Make sure they provide the right subject matter, such as comprehensive info on coding, cybersecurity, and the tech industry as a whole.
The last thing you want is to spend money on a bootcamp and discover it doesn’t cover topics you’re interested in. Avoid the cheapest options you encounter during your search.
Rock-bottom prices are indicative of low-quality companies that won’t meet your needs. Many people overlook the opportunity to enroll in a bootcamp due to the upfront cost.
However, you should consider this an investment in your future. The money you pay now could help you make exponentially more money throughout the rest of your life once you get a job in the tech industry.
It’s essential to network properly when preparing for your first job in the industry. One of the best ways to do so is by attending tech events.
Not only will this help you expand your knowledge, but you can also meet key individuals. In some cases, you might even find a job opportunity. To clarify, it’s not uncommon for startups to visit tech conferences to look for talent.
Since these companies are smaller, they aren’t as strict regarding who they hire. If you convey you’re passionate about developing your skills and creating something great, there’s a good chance you’ll land your first role.
Get Your First Job
After you’ve cultivated your skills and expanded your professional network, you can start looking for your first job. Keep in mind that it’ll likely take you anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to find your first role.
However, the search will become easier as time goes on. The more interviews you have, the more fluidly you’ll navigate them. You’ll begin to learn what qualities you should emphasize to encourage employers to choose you over other applicants.
For example, you might have stellar communication skills that easily make up for your lack of industry experience. It’s only a matter of time until you find someone willing to work with you.
After you secure your first job, you’ll open a large number of opportunities in the industry. People with solid skill sets and at least two years of experience have no shortage of options available.
To clarify, let’s assume you work as a system administrator for two years before deciding it’s time to move on. However, you’ve also developed a strong interest in quality assurance. Having tech industry experience and a decent foundation of software engineering knowledge will help you transition to this role.
Coding Temple proudly offers ongoing support for graduates. Our Career Services include job search support, access to our employer partnership network, and technical interview training. They also include mock interviews and resume recommendations/refinement to help you stand out from other applicants.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
It’s essential to avoid mistakes that people sometimes make when breaking into the tech industry. Understanding these will help ensure your journey goes as smoothly as possible. Listed below are common pitfalls to consider.
Many people avoid trying due to having overwhelming self-doubt. They might feel they aren’t smart enough to work in tech or assume they don’t know enough to get started. This is especially true regarding complicated roles like data analytics.
Don’t entertain these thoughts, as there are plenty of ways to learn new information and improve your skills. As time goes on, your confidence will increase and you won’t struggle with doubts as often.
If you feel yourself getting discouraged, remember that the tech industry is inherently complicated. Very few people can easily break into the industry without plenty of effort. So, you’re not an outlier if you struggle with a project or find it difficult to understand a set of concepts.
Not Networking Once You’re Hired
Don’t make the mistake of getting too comfortable once you get hired. It’s essential to properly network so you can build valuable industry connections.
More often than not, the best way to increase your salary is by applying for a job at a different company. The best way to learn about positions like these is through people you know.
People with extensive lists of industry contacts can easily maneuver through the industry and take their careers to new heights. Don’t neglect this information so you can leverage opportunities that come your way.
Not Honing Your Skills
One of the worst things you can do for your career is not hone your skills once you get hired. Not only will you be less efficient at your job, but you’ll be more likely to get laid off if your company downsizes. The good news is you don’t have to stress yourself out when improving your performance.
Something as simple as reading about industry trends each morning will go a long way. You can also take courses in your free time to improve your knowledge of key concepts.
Understand How to Get Into Tech Without a Degree
Knowing how to get into tech without a degree is much easier than it seems at first. The information in this guide will help you break into the industry as soon as possible and achieve the career shift you’ve been waiting for.
Coding Temple prides itself on helping people change their lives in a matter of months. We allow our students to quickly explore different career paths and determine which avenue is best for them. You’ll learn more about what we can do when you get in touch with us today.