Technology hasn’t only changed how we live, consume and interact — it’s also radically increased the number of career options open to us.  

Up until quite recently, the tech industry was largely regarded as a male domain. And while the stereotype of the young, male coder dies hard, women are now pursuing technology careers in record numbers, encouraged by forward-thinking companies who understand the advantages of building a diverse workforce.  

So much for the barriers to entry. But why would you want a career in tech? Sacha Kalusevic, Senior Director of Technology recruitment in France, lists some of the advantages. “You’ll receive a highly competitive salary and have the opportunity to move quickly and easily between sectors and roles,” he says. “It’s a career defined by constant evolution and progression, and that’s what makes it so exciting.” 

Another reason for moving into tech is that you’ll be picking up skills the market is desperate to access. “There’s a scarcely believable shortage of tech talent right now,” says Michael Andris, Senior Director at Page Personnel Germany. “If you’re an IT professional, there are more than plenty employers out there that want to hire you. The most sought-after positions include entry and mid-level helpdesk consultants and functional administrators.” 

Practical steps for kickstarting your tech career 

Excited by the idea of a tech career but not sure where to start? We have you covered. Here are some actions you can take today to put yourself on the fast track to IT success. 

Sharpen the soft skills you already possess 

Many IT professionals spend more time interacting with people than they do with machines. “Soft skills like emotional intelligence, active listening and good business sense are incredibly valuable for people in tech,” says Minh, an executive manager in Belgium. “You need to be able to see things from both the end user’s and the company’s perspective.” 

To hone soft skills like communication, volunteer for projects that require you to interact with multiple people, from colleagues to customers. Also, try to model your behaviour on successful people you encounter, whether that’s your manager, a mentor or someone else. What makes them an effective communicator? How do they react when put under pressure? 

Earn some entry-level IT certifications 

Not everyone can learn new IT skills on the job. Do not let that be a boundry and instead invest some time and energy in earning an IT certification.  

ITIL is a foundational certificate that can help you establish a career in IT.  It covers a detailed set of practices for IT activities that focus on aligning IT services with the needs of the business. 

Be prepared to start at the bottom (and work your way up) 

With an (entry-level) IT certification under your belt, you can put the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired into practice in an entry-level position. Gaining experience is key here, but don’t worry — if you’re passionate about technology and have the drive and determination to learn new skills every day, you will quickly move up the ladder in your new field.  

Learn some technical skills in your free time 

Nothing impresses a hiring manager more than a candidate who has chosen to upskill themselves outside working hours. There are countless online platforms where you can learn a programming language or the fundamentals of cloud computing at your own speed. Other ways to acquire technical skills outside your regular routine include  shadowing tech professionals in your current organisation. 

Look for IT jobs in your current industry 

Sacha makes the point that while there’s no age barrier to tech careers these days, “recruiters tend to favour candidates who have a background in a digital-first sector, or who have used tools such as customer management software.” So before you jump ship to another industry, search for opportunities in your current organisation or sector, where you can use some of the hard skills you’ve already acquired. 

Michael Andris’s top 5 tips for getting into tech 

  • Sharpen your English language skills, both written and spoken. It’s a must-have for many tech roles. 
  • If you’re interested in tech but also have a passion for customer service, consider applying for Tier 1 helpdesk positions. It’s a great way to establish yourself in the industry and then work your way up. 
  • Temporary or contract work gives you the chance to quickly cycle through different projects and pick up new skills, experience and knowledge in a short space of time. Just as importantly, these roles may enable you to move faster up the salary scale than early-career professionals in permanent positions. 
  • Tech rookies should priorities’ career development opportunities over starting salary. Look for employers with advanced tech stacks and well-organized upskilling programs, so that you can quickly pick up new skills on the job.  
  • Work with a talent solutions firm! The majority of operational IT jobs are placed by recruitment agencies since they cna help you get into the company that you want and will help you with the next step. Look for a trustworthy consultant who can find placements for you. 

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