Technology has come a long way, and computing is in constant flux. Related to this flux and the constant changes is the need to keep your knowledge and computing know-how up to date. This article will provide some guidance and insight into how you can keep your tech career on track and move in the right direction.
Appreciate your Current Job
The first thing to look at and to do is to genuinely appreciate the job that you have. It is a ‘One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ situation, whereby it will be critical to examine exactly what you currently do and why and how you intend to improve or change this for the better. Enquire internally as to any staff development and training that would upgrade your current skill sets and/or prepare you for a different role in the business.
If you’re not in a tech job at the moment, fear not because the rest of the tips will provide you with a way into the e-sector and specific ideas as to what it is you could be doing. With some impressive growth figures over the last few years, looking towards the tech industry as a sustainable and lucrative career should be an option for anyone considering a change. The technology industry saw a growth rate in employment of 3.6% in 2019, and it is estimated that there have been almost 300,000 new jobs in the tech industry since 2011.
Upgrade your skills and re-train if required
A key step in a process to improve or cement your role or job in a tech field is to establish where your skills can be improved and upgraded. For many, it is about choosing what they like to do, or think that they would like to do. However, it will also be particularly important to determine where the opportunities lie and how to access and take advantage of these. Read tech magazines and websites and ensure that you are aware of the trends in the sector in relation to possible jobs and career opportunities. Some of the most in-demand skills include knowledge of programming language, understanding machine learning, and having strong skills in data science.
If you are moving across from another sector or looking to move into management, then a master of computer science is a great way to gain a professional qualification while you work. This will not only provide a great starting point but put you in excellent standing to land a long-term and in-demand position. Don’t be afraid of commitment and choose the course or training that you do based on the expected and planned long-term outcomes, rather than simply for short-term gains.
Practice as much as possible
Most current tech skills are able to be practically used and improved outside of the workplace. Even those that you learn in a formal setting, as advised above, will need to be practiced. There are YouTube videos teaching tech, webinars, and a wide range of training and practice opportunities to improve tech skills. If you want to take advantage of the current boom in tech jobs, it’s incumbent upon you to ensure that the skills you claim to have or have been trained in can be executed and done well.
There are no shortages of new jobs in the tech industry but being part of the boom requires skills and knowledge. Job-search site Indeed reported that job postings for tech industry jobs had increased by 30% prior to the pandemic, and things don’t look like they are slowing down. However, this means that the pool of people applying for these jobs is growing, and making sure you stand out in the crowd is important.
Choose an appropriate language
There are a number of different trending computing languages that can be used and learned as the basis for the improvement of tech skills. Don’t choose to learn a language based on a great advertisement or a friend’s advice. Choose wisely and choose for as many applications as is possible.
Think about where things are heading in the future and try to future-proof any new skills that you do learn by being adaptable and flexible in the skills you acquire. You should always be open to learning new skills, even if you have mastered one aspect of the tech job you currently do. This is the best way to make sure you are relevant in an ever-changing market.
Network as widely as possible
Your next tech job or career step could simply be a phone call or conversation away. The field is highly integrated, and as such, it is generally known when there is expansion or jobs going in a particular area. Speak to colleagues and others in the tech field, join forums and read reviews and latest tech news to keep abreast of what is available.
This also includes growing your social media presence and using professional social media profiles to get noticed online. Your online and social media profile should be an extension of your CV, so keep things professional and use this as a space to share knowledge, network with like-minded people, and tap into new markets in the industry. It is also a fantastic way to keep up to date on any contemporary trends emerging in the tech industry if you can connect with industry insiders and those innovating in the industry.
Building a career in tech isn’t as simple and seamless as many writers would have you believe. It takes planning and strategy, as well as current market and industry knowledge. Remember that once you have acquired new skills, knowledge, and qualifications, you are in an advantageous position to negotiate with your current employer or think about potential roles that draw on these new skills. This article has provided a few simple steps for consideration if you are thinking of a career in tech or are looking to reinvigorate a stalled tech career.