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How to Get a Tech Job with Zero Experience

With the increase in demand for technology experts, owing to businesses going digital, there has never been a better time to get into tech. Amazon’s recent declaration that they intend to hire from Lagos, Nigeria, has further increased the demand. All these make the tech industry the current most profitable career path to delve into. However, as with other career paths, job seekers are worried about being able to get tech job roles without experience. This article seeks to address that concern.

Examples of Jobs in the Technology Industry Include:

  1. Web Developer
  2. Web Designer
  3. Software Development Engineer
  4. Data Scientist
  5. Data Analyst
  6. UI/UX Designer
  7. Technical Writer
  8. Product Manager

Steps to follow to get into the Tech Industry with Zero Experience Include:

1. Take Online Courses

The most beautiful thing about living in a digital world is that you can learn anything online, and for free even. Running courses while staying committed to a full-time job is now possible. All you have to do is search for tech-related courses on any of the e-learning platforms that offer it, like Udemy or Alison Courses, and start learning. You can start by learning how to use simple digital tools like HTML, Canva, and CSS. As you progress in your learning journey, you can go ahead to learn programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and Ruby, before specializing in the particular niche you desire.

Technical courses can feel overwhelming and difficult to understand for a new beginner but don’t be discouraged, it gets easier as your level of knowledge increases.

2. Join an Online Community

Social media has made it easier to identify people who may be self-training themselves in the same area as you. Being a part of a group of like-minded persons, helps you to stay consistent, and provides you with a community of people that can relate to your struggles. A community also helps you to connect with students turned experts, and build your network for the future. There are lots of tech communities on the Twitter space like HerTechTrail, which is for females training to be tech experts.

3. Take on Side Projects

Online tech courses are equipped with assessment packages that assign tasks to the learner at the end of every module. Some of these tasks may be easy to execute, while some may be projects like building your app or website that could take you weeks to complete.

 Follow through with these tasks and projects diligently, not only are they [part of your training, but they also count as experience and work that you can add to your portfolio. A portfolio is a compilation of all your best works that serve as proof that you can efficiently deliver value in your chosen field.

4. Create an Online Portfolio

As you progress in your learning journey, you should create an online portfolio and professional social media profile like a LinkedIn or GitHub profile. You can link your portfolio to your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles, and your resume. Projects from your online courses could count as part of your portfolio.

5. Apply for Internship Opportunities

Internship opportunities are a great way to get into an industry, fresh after getting certified. Companies that offer internship opportunities are specifically looking for newbie tech graduates to train and work with. Internship opportunities usually last for less than a year, and the company would retain you as an employee if you do great in your internship, after the stipulated time of training is over. Some companies offer paid internships, some do not, however, it is the experience that matters in the end.

6. Freelance and Apply for Contract-based jobs

Freelancing is another great way to ease into the industry. Most freelance projects are gotten as contract gigs and clients do not care about experience, they just want to be sure you can deliver, and your portfolio can prove that. Freelancing allows you to gain the required experience and more completed projects that you can add to your portfolio. Some fully employed tech experts still do some freelancing on the side as well, as a means to get some extra cash. Best freelancing platforms for tech jobs for professionals include Upwork, Freelancer, GitHub, Guru, Fiverr, and so on.

7. Network

Make the most of your online community, and don’t stop networking. Connect with tech experts in your niche and request to collaborate with them to execute a project for free. You would have gained experience, extra work you can add to your portfolio, and already showcased your skill to that professional, which might result in referrals and recommendations.

8. Develop your Soft Skills

It might seem like because your dream office is in a tech firm, soft skills won’t matter, only technical skills. While it is true that technical skills are prioritized over soft skills in the tech industry, communication skills, problem-solving skills, teamwork ability, and other necessary soft skills are also considered in the hiring process.

9. Build an Online Presence aka Personal Brand

Even if you got into tech because you are an introvert and only feel comfortable when you’re writing code, to remain relevant in the tech industry (or any industry at all) you must build a personal brand. Consistently showing up and engaging on social media is the way to go. Most job opportunities are first circulated on social media before they are posted on job boards anyways. Social media is also a great place to connect and network with clients and experts that can bring you recommendations and referrals.

10. Seek Mentorship

The power of mentorship in growth cannot be overly-emphasized. Identify a particular technology expert in your field that inspires you, and pay attention to their brand. Follow them on their social media accounts and subscribe to their newsletters so you can learn from their success stories. You can also ask for mentorship from people you admire in your network.

Pro Tips

  • Prepare an impressive resume for use in your applications to tech job listings on job search sites like HubforJobs. For freelancing platforms like Upwork, you might have to prepare proposals. Whichever one you prepare; resume or proposal, make sure to highlight your relevant soft skills as well.
  • Attend tech-based events online and offline. Online they are more common on Twitter and LinkedIn. You might have to know someone who knows the organizers, to be invited to offline tech events though. However, if you leverage your network properly, you should be able to connect with someone who can get you an invite. Profitable job opportunities are gotten from participating in such events.
  • Be willing to apply to an entry-level tech job when starting. The tech industry gives room to grow very quickly.

Entry-level Tech Jobs Include:

i. Software Engineer

Software engineers often work as computer programmers. This tech job role requires knowledge of several programming languages like Python and JavaScript.

ii. Software Developer

Like software engineers, software developers are required to be skilled in the use of programming languages in coding. However, their area of expertise is in the creation of databases, software, and applications.

iii. Web Developer

The major duty of a web developer is to build websites for brand use. This tech job role also requires knowledge of coding and programming languages.

iv. Web Designer

Web designers update and manage websites built by a web developer. He is responsible for installing and updating necessary software and plugins for the website, to enhance productivity.

v. Cyber Security Analyst

The cyber security analyst is responsible for monitoring the company’s website, preventing security breaches, and protecting the website from cyberattacks by malware.

vi. Product Manager

The Product Manager is responsible for overseeing the whole process of product development, from conceptualization to launch. Product in this context includes but is not limited to software and applications.

vii. Data Analyst

Data analysts collect, analyze and interpret company data for insight to inform the company’s decisions.

viii. Graphic Designer

The graphic designer is responsible for creating designs from visuals for advertisements, to website layouts.

ix. Social Media Strategist

Social media strategists are in demand for developing strategies to build a company’s online presence and boost the brand’s sales. It is a fairly new role, so hiring managers prioritize skill over experience.

Is Getting into Tech a Good Career Choice?

Absolutely. A fat paycheck and never-ending opportunities to grow in your career path are only a few of its perks.

Take-Home

Most tech professionals were self-taught, by running online courses on e-learning platforms, so tech jobs do not commonly require qualifications. The tech industry prioritizes skill over qualifications, and for some companies, over experience.

Tech experts are in demand now because the supply of professionals is low compared to the demand for the roles. So if you are looking to get a tech job, the best time is now.

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