Hilary Thompson

The number of tech jobs is expected to increase by 12 percent by 2024, which means there will be plenty of new opportunities for technical professionals, specifically for women.

Because the technical industry is predominantly male, any woman who applies for a technical job is bound to stand out and be remembered. She also may gain an edge over her male counterparts because of her specific skills and abilities. However, even though there are plenty of new opportunities, you may be worried that the technical skills you’ve been building throughout your career won’t transfer and are strictly tied to the job you currently have. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are several positions within the tech industry where you’ll build and develop skills that are transferable among various job titles.

1. Chatbot Developer

In the tech world, chatbots are all the rage which means chatbot developers are in high demand. As a bot developer, you create an application (or service) that is powered by coded rules and artificial intelligence. The end result is conversation-focused bot that users can interact with via a chat interface. You’ll also prepare chatbot storyboards, user and process flows, and sitemaps that communicate interaction and design ideas. Maybe you’ve already interacted with a Chatbot on Messenger or other apps. In case you were wondering about their longevity, chatbot’s aren’t just some fad--they’re here to stay.  In fact, 35 percent of global consumers want to see more businesses using chatbots. If your career path includes web, app, or mobile development, you should definitely learn to build chatbots. As a bot developer, you’ll gain experience in artificial intelligence and natural language processing, both of which will be useful in any software development career path.

2. IT Security

In 2016, the FBI reported that businesses experience up to 4,000 ransomware attacks every day. And that’s just ransomware attacks. There are thousands of other attacks that a business is vulnerable to, every hour. IT security teams constantly monitor a company’s network(s) s to identify security threats, vulnerabilities, and abnormalities. Working as an IT security professional helps to improve your attention to detail, analytical, and diagnostic skills. This is particularly useful if you take on an analyst, engineer, or administrative role.

3. Front-End Engineer

One of the biggest responsibilities a front-end engineer has is to create the part of the website that a user interacts directly with--knowing all the ins and outs. You’ll create design materials, structures, and systems all while considering the limitations of practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. In the front-end world, you’ll spend a lot of time creating plugins, tools, frameworks, utilities, and methodologies. As a front-end engineer, you’ll develop strong skills in internet coding, software toolkits, web design, and user interactivity. A career in front-end engineering can be taken almost anywhere in the tech world, including software development, IT administration, and UX design.

4. UX Designer

As a UX designer, you’ll spend a lot of your time providing your users with a seamless experience. This involves conducting product research, creating personas, defining the information architecture, creating wireframes, prototyping, and product testing websites and applications. Without UX designers, products or applications might not be super user-friendly, which may lessen customers’ loyalty to your product or brand. Pretty much any company you’re looking to transfer to will have need for a UX designer. In fact, in one study, 63 percent of polled managers reported hiring at least five UX designers in the past 12 months with 40 percent saying they’ll hire even more in the next 12 months.

5. Business Intelligence Analyst

With the competition getting more intense in the business world, companies have never been more reliant on business data. As a business analyst, you’ll spend most of your time analyzing your company’s data to find areas where your company can improve its market position. You’ll take a close look at your company’s processes, systems, and functions and figure out where you can increase both efficiency and profits. This requires strong analytical skills, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. The skills you gather in this role will allow you to pinpoint exactly where problems are happening and what potential solutions are. After a few years as a business analyst, you can move up the ladder to IT analyst, chief technology officer, or consultant.

6. QA Engineer

Thoroughly testing new products or websites to ensure they work correctly is your biggest responsibility as a QA engineer. You’ll work closely with your manager on product goals, anticipate user behaviors, and write software test cases. Implementing automated test scripts, troubleshooting software bugs, and documenting application procedures are a few other things you’ll do as a QA engineer. Each of these responsibilities requires a broad understanding of computer systems and software standards. This role is one that is extremely detail oriented. You’ll gain the ability to anticipate user needs and solve problems efficiently and creatively. Once you’ve spent a few years as a QA engineer, you’ll have the skills necessary to work as a product manager, enterprise architect, or IT Director.

7. App Developer

As an application developer, you’re involved with the entire lifecycle of an application. Businesses need good app developers in order to create, test, and program application software for computers — like those needed to create mobile credit card reader apps, for instance. This is a valuable skill for any company. If you take a job as an app developer, you’ll be responsible for creating, maintaining, and implementing the code that makes up an application or program. This means you’ll ensure that the app works  correctly and doesn’t have any bugs. As an app developer, you’ll build applications on a variety of different platforms which gives you cross-platform experience. And you’ll learn some basic UX/UI skills, which a lot of employees look for when hiring a developer.

8. Product Manager

Product management is all about knowing what your users want (similar to UX designers). In this role, you identify your users’ needs, analyze the market, and develop a solution that satisfies these needs. The ultimate role of a product manager is to create a product that blows away your competition, is loved by users, and increases customer loyalty. This role requires a lot of strategic thinking, detail orientation, and sufficient technical skills. You’ll need to be able to use tools like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Tableau. These transferable skills can be used in project management, web development, and UX/UI design roles.

9. Customer Support Representative

Yes, you read that right. Your customer service skills can transfer to jobs within the tech industry. As a customer service rep, you spend a lot of time talking to customers either online or on the phone about the ins-and-outs of a product. You’ll know both the front and back end of a product or service and exactly how it works through trainings and hands-on experience. With this knowledge, you’ll learn how to anticipate user needs, maintain computer programs or software, and creatively and efficiently solve problems.  Other than the stellar communication skills you learn as a customer service rep, you also gain the basic skills to become a user support specialist, UX designer, or even a product manager.

10. Mobile Engineer

Web browsing is pretty much extinct. In fact, 20 percent of millenials are mobile-only, meaning they do most of their web browsing directly on their phones. As the popularity of mobile applications increases, the demand for mobile engineers will increase as well. Mobile engineers are responsible for designing and creating mobile apps for users and delivering them via iOS and Android. To be a mobile engineer, you need to have experience in Java, Objective-c, and JavaScript. Java and JavaScript are the two most important programming languages to know in order to land any programming job in the tech world. Master these skills as a mobile engineer and you’re ready for almost any programming role.

11. Data Scientist

Harvard calls the role of data scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century. But what do you do as a data scientist? Some of your primary responsibilities include leveraging existing data sources and creating new ones to extract meaningful informational and actionable insights. These insights can then be used to drive business decisions, make beneficial changes, and meet business goals. The primary skills you gain in this role include domain expertise, effective communication, and results interpretation. You’ll need to be able to offer statistical techniques, programming languages, data infrastructure skills, and more. These skills are particularly useful in data engineering, software engineers, and data analyst roles.

12. System Administrator

As a system administrator, you take on the responsibility of managing an all the networks, servers, equipment, and other IT infrastructures in an organization. This means ensuring that systems are maintained, updated, and configured to ensure everything is working properly. Should any problems arise, it’s your job to troubleshoot the issues and identify any problems. Working in this role requires a strong knowledge of operating systems, problem solving abilities, and a strong knowledge of PHP, JavaScript, and other coding languages. These skills can be transferred to the role of an IT security professional, product manager, or QA engineer.

Working in tech allows you to not only hone your skills, but also learn a slew of more advanced  ones that you can put on your resume. One of the best parts about working in tech is that the basic skills you learn can be honed in and expanded upon to advance towards other roles. The specific knowledge and skills you gain as a mobile developer, QA engineer, or product manager can all be used in various tech roles. The skills you gain build upon themselves and help you move up the career ladder.