switch career to technology

8 Lessons I’ve Learned from Switching Careers to Technology

A career in technology is a dream come true for so many people. However, many salary earners, students and young graduates think that to switch into a career in technology you have to be a programmer, be good in math, be young, have a degree in data or computer science, learn to code, be of a certain age or be a professor in Mathematics.

These reasons and thoughts have led to discouragement and have delayed various individuals from switching careers to technology. However, most of these reasons are not true.

Here are 8 lessons I have learned from switching careers to Technology

1. You don’t need to learn a programming language.

To have a career in technology, you don’t have to learn a programming language. While there are some careers that require knowledge of programming such as data science, software development, mobile app development and others, there are also various careers in technology that do not require the knowledge of programming such as user research, business analyst, user interface designer, user experience designer, project/product manager and so many more. You can begin your journey into tech with Momentum by WayMaker Digital here.

2. You are not too old for a career in technology

There is no age limit for a career in technology, you don’t have to start at 18, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 before you can have a successful career in tech. You see, I said successful because success doesn’t come with the age, it comes with the skills, experience, knowledge and opportunities presented to you.

Robert Noyce Nicknamed “the mayor of Silicon Valley,” co-founded Intel in 1968 at the age of 41; GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons was 47 when he founded the web hosting company in 1998. Thomas Siebel founded Siebel Systems, a customer relationship management software company acquired by Oracle for more than $5 billion in 2005, Odunayo Eweniyi is 26 and the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of PiggyVest, Iyinoluwa Samuel Aboyeji is 29 and the co-founder of Andela, Africa’s largest engineering organization with over 1,000 software engineers. He’s also the founder of Flutterwave, a business building payments technology and infrastructure.

As you can see it doesn’t matter the age, you can have a successful career in technology at any age.

 3. You don’t need to have a degree in technology – but it is helpful

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one-quarter (26%) of IT workers in the United States do not hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Around two-thirds (69%) of CompTIA certification candidates do not hold a four-year college degree. 

Almost half (49%) of the 2.3 million IT job postings surveyed in 2017 did not list a four-year degree as a minimum requirement for candidates. 

Most people assume there need to have a degree in Computer science, Information Technology, Data Science and any of the other technology courses before they can start a career in tech,  but this isn’t necessary.

I started my career in technology without having a BSc in computer science. Having a career in technology is about intentionally acquiring the hard skills, soft skills and experience required. You will need to have important hard and soft skills depending on the technology career sector you choose. These skills can be learned in various ways, such as:

  • Online Training and Certification: There are various ones out there, one of the best I know of is Momentum by WayMaker Digital. This program provides you with trainings, certifications and an unusual opportunity to shadow work with our digital team members giving you the exposure and experience needed to succeed in your tech career. You can read more about it here.
  • Volunteering and Apprenticeships – Projects and work experience
  • Mentorship
  • Coaching
  • Networking: Join a community with people with similar job roles.

4. You Don’t Need to Have Everything Figured Out

Yes, some people do have everything figured out when they decide to switch careers to technology. However, you don’t need to have everything figured out. For most of us, we don’t even know where to start. I mean I didn’t know where to start too. But you never know until you try it out, right.

I didn’t have everything figured out but I did start with research and this was my stepping stone, a few other decisions and plans I made were along the way. But a few things that helped me along the way was having a community, having to do projects, research research research, learning from industry professionals, and taking effective classes.

5. You don’t need to be a tech nerd, anyone can learn a career in tech

You know I always thought to have a career in technology, I had to learn how to hack computers, write my own programs, build software, have various hardware, learn how to dismantle and build laptops and so on.

But guess what, this isn’t true at all, apparently, not everyone needs to know how to do this before they have a career in technology.

The major thing to know is that the technology industry is very broad, the technology industry varies from game programming to mobile development, user research and user experience design, community development and user engagement, website design, hardware development and so on. So what you have to do is research the technology sector you want to work in, learn the soft skills, hard skills and gain experience and work your way up from there.

6. You don’t need to be good at Mathematics

No! Mathematics is not a major factor to consider when switching careers to technology. If you are good at Mathematics, great! You can select a career in technology that requires you to be good at Mathematics, but if you are not good at Mathematics, then select a career in tech that doesn’t require the advanced knowledge of Mathematics. There are various ones out there. Do your research and select the one you want.

7. Changing careers is only for the rich

While it helps to have money to pay for the skills and knowledge you are going to gain to switch careers in technology, you don’t have to be rich to do it.

If you don’t have enough with you start with free online classes, practice and learn, when you have the funds, move up to paid advanced classes, coaching and start preparing to get a job in the technology sector you have decided on and then learn, earn and learn.

Keep on getting better, keep on learning, keep on gaining experience and be the best in that sector.

8. Embrace reality, every career has its upsides and downsides

Every career has its upsides and its downsides, there will be struggles, challenges, joy and fun along the way, but you have to decide if those challenges are worth it or not.

From my experience, switching a career to technology has been worth it for me. I have had the chance to work with the best companies, build my skill set, learn from industry professionals and let’s not forget the pay. These were a few things I enjoyed from switching careers to technology. There are more things you can enjoy such as career advancement, increase in salary, opportunities to work remotely, enjoy your job, flexibility, career satisfaction and so much more.

So, I hope you have learned from my experience and you are ready to make your own experience as well.

I am ready to take any questions you have, ask questions in the comment section, if you have already switched careers to technology, share your experience and share tips as well

I would love to hear from you.

Esther Ilori is a Digital Sales Analyst working with WayMaker Digital on the Marketing, CRM and Business Development teams. Esther provides unparalleled support to our clients at WayMaker Digital, helping them with their career road maps, scheduling meetings with mentors and ensuring a very smooth onboarding to Momentum. When Esther is not working, she loves to watch movies, dance and hang out with friends and family.

WayMaker Digital provides technology consulting, product design and information products, that enable our clients to consistently thrive and innovate to meet user needs. The quality of our experiences and ideas set us apart when it comes to service delivery, customer experience design and product development. 

Our team of consultants have built digital experiences for leading brands with complex business scenarios ranging from startup companies to public services and from telecoms to e-commerce; no project deliverable is too complex.

Our approach: we adopt human-centred & design thinking models to solve complex business challenges, which ensure our clients are on top of their business.

Do you have a question or an enquiry; are you looking into switching careers into tech or need a free consultation? Give us a shout here.

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