Considering making a career change into tech and not sure what path to take? There is no one right way to make the transition, but there are a few options that leave you better prepared. Whether you are currently employed or not, moving into tech is a big step. There are many jobs available, but the competition is fierce. The good news is that the interview process allows you to showcase your skills. Showing up prepared allows you to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Prepare for the Transition
When making a big change, the first step is often the most difficult. Doing some prep work can increase your odds of success. If you have existing student loan debt, consider refinancing before you make your career change. Lowering your monthly expenses helps ease the uncertainty of changing careers. Student loan refinancing allows you to free up money each month. Refinancing can mean a lower rate for you as well as a change in the length of your loan. During the early stages of making this transition, take time to read job postings for the type of positions that interest you. You will never be a fit for every available job, but knowing the languages that are in demand allows you to learn the skills needed to be an attractive candidate.
Pick Up the Skills You Need
If you have an unrelated degree, use it to your advantage. There are many paths you can follow when learning to code, there is no need to return to school. There are plenty of free online resources you can use to learn programming skills. These may not be enough to land you a job, but it does allow you to explore coding and decide if it is something you want to continue with. When you are ready to get serious about learning, you may want to explore bootcamp options. Available both online and in-person, bootcamps offer a structured way to learn the skills needed to land a job.
Coding bootcamps can be expensive, but you may find them worthwhile. Many people struggle with self-learning, and the structure of a bootcamp makes it easier to progress. They also provide career coaching as you approach graduation. If you decide to continue on your path with self-learning, it is important to create structure if you want to progress. Decide how much time you will spend studying each day and hold yourself accountable. As soon as you can write the simplest lines of code, start working on projects to reinforce what you know.
Interviewing is a Skill
Landing a job in tech requires more than programming knowledge. Expect to have some sort of technical interview as part of the hiring process. It may be online or on a whiteboard, but you need to get comfortable with solving coding problems on-the-fly and with an audience. This is not something that comes naturally, and you will need to practice it to improve. Expect to fail a few interviews. This doesn’t mean you aren’t cut out for programming, just that you need to sharpen those skills. Online coding practice and applying for positions before you feel ready provides opportunities to strengthen the skills needed to master a technical interview.