5 Ways to Switch Tech Jobs and Find a Role You Actually Love

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
Switching careers isn't necessarily an easy move. Rather, it can be a daunting undertaking, especially if you've spent the last decade or more building your career in an industry in which you've since lost interest or have recently learned doesn't boast a promising future.
Rest assured, however, that switching careers in technology — or switching to a technology career — isn't plausible. And people do it all the time.
And the future for technology employment is promising, too, as tech jobs have increased by about 200,000 each year since 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the base of tech occupations will increase by 626,000 jobs by 2026. This means that there are tons of tech jobs out there in which you can utilize the skills you've already developed in a past or current job, so you don't necessarily have to start all over again from the bottom of the totem pole.
While you might need to obtain a certificate and add some more skills to your repertoire, you can make a seamless transition into a tech job you love by following these simple steps.

1. Narrow in on the skills you already have.

You can likely already use some of the skills you have from previous jobs in a technology job — especially if you've already worked in another technology sector.
For example, if you have a background in finance, you might be interested in pursuing a career as a data analyst. You can use your skills to turn data into insights on which businesses act, analyzing trends and working with numbers in general. Likewise, if you've been working as an architect, you might be interested in pursuing a career as a web designer. Your existing design theory will translate across industries.
If you already worked as an engineer, for example, in the tech industry, you already have problem-solving skills that might be applicable to a job as a web developer or another job like it. Because you have experience engineering products or services, you can use that same mentality and those skills to program websites and apps.

2. Obtain a certification if necessary.

If you're switching to a new tech sector or a technology job from a whole other industry, you might need to obtain a certification. Of course, it depends on the job.
While you might not need to go back to school (though for some jobs, further education might be necessary), you might need to master specific skill sets via a shorter-term certification program. Global Knowledge, for example, offers nearly 3,000 courses that span all sorts of specialized training and certifications (think cloud computing to big data), both online and in more than 150 training centers across North America.
Whether or not you need one, many employers value certifications that demonstrate your commitment to learning and mastering specific skills.

3. Consider jobs in high demand.

The good news is that many technology jobs are secure since tech is ever-evolving and more and more tech businesses are opening. 
“Employer demand for tech talent continues to outstrip supply in many markets,” Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence for CompTIA said, according to Business Facilities. “Nationally, the number of job postings associated with emerging technologies increased 27 percent year-over-year – further confirmation employers are ramping up hiring in areas such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, and more.”

4. Negotiate a comfortable salary.

Beyond the fact that there are consistently new tech jobs from which to choose, many of these open positions offer salaries well above those in other industries. 
After all, the tech industry is a top-five economic contributor in 22 states, and it's in the top 10 of 42 states. Technology work is valuable work.
“Tech’s direct contribution to local, state, and national economies is only a part of the story,” Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA president, and CEO told Business Facilities. “Technology is the generator that powers innovation, growth, and breakthroughs in virtually every other sector of the economy; from advanced manufacturing techniques and innovations in transportation to smarter, more livable communities, to advances in education, energy, and healthcare.”
Understand the industry standard and the value of your work so that you can confidently negotiate a comfortable salary that meets (if not exceeds) that standard.

5. Don't settle for a job you don't love.

As mentioned, the field of technology is always consistently growing, and tons of vacancies for tech jobs are emerging. You're presented with a  gamut of opportunities through which to sift, so don't settle for a job that doesn't interest you.
Take your skills and your interests into consideration.
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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for those hoping to switch their job in the tech industry? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!