Steps to Building Your Career in the Technology Industry

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There's no doubt a career in technology is one that provides opportunity, growth, a lot of variety and a stimulating and fast-moving environment. The fact there's generally a skills shortage puts many people in a good position when it comes to getting their first job or advancing their career - but how do you get involved in the first place?

What tech area to move into?

With so many branches of 'tech' the decision is: what area should I go into? Maybe you know already: perhaps the world of artificial intelligence (AI) fascinates and you'd love to be part of it - or maybe web development appeals?

Perhaps developing software and helping people to run their business finances and generally make their lives easier through innovative packages and apps is your thing? Some of what you enjoy now about tech will likely be pointing you in the right direction so don't ignore that 'gut feeling'.

Making the right moves

One concern you may have in moving into a tech career is in making the wrong choice of what field to enter; you may worry about running the risk of taking time consuming and possibly expensive training only to realize it's not right for you.

Explore options by talking to as many people as you can and check out the various job roles and options online. Social media makes it easy to mix with people in the field as opposed to setting up time consuming face-to-face meet ups. Be polite and people might well help you out.

Chances are you have some idea of the general tech area that interests you so start from there.

Learn HTML

A very useful skill to have; programmers and techies of various types need to know HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). It's easy enough to learn 'on the cheap' at home so there's no need to invest in formal training at this stage unless you'd like to.

Learn programming

Many tech people know at least some programming and it's a cornerstone and potential jumping off point for entry into particular fields. Again, training doesn't have to be expensive or even cost anything much at all - many people teach themselves.

Sample career roles

By spending time in a tech environment such as a web design company you'll get a chance to see close at hand what the work entails. See if you can find a company that will allow you to spend some time shadowing people.

Once you have more of a feel for what you'd like to focus on, it's time to research what path to take. It may even be that one of the companies you've spent time in may offer you some sort of internship.

Perhaps you'd like to study abroad in somewhere like the UK or maybe that's where the best training opportunities are? 

Age isn't a barrier

You may assume if you're over 30 you may have 'missed the boat' to get into tech; it's often perceived as a younger person's game, with stories of teenagers developing amazing software, games, digital businesses and more.

The truth can be rather different and many older people have undergone a career change and moved very successfully into tech. You don't necessarily have to go back to university and study computer science to stand a chance of getting in. Freely available resources can get you up to speed.

The 'bottom rung' is fine

For slightly older people retraining and starting a new career, the issue of low pay can prove a barrier. If you have commitments that require a higher salary to meet, then the good news is that even entry level positions in tech can be reasonably well paid.

When you're younger then a larger pay packet - while desirable of course - isn't perhaps essential in the early stages of your career.

In any event, due to the fast moving nature of the tech environment and the speed through which you can build experience and skills, you'll soon be earning more whether younger or older.

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