Women are underrepresented in the tech industry. New data revealed that this demographic holds only a quarter of tech jobs today. Even the richest people in the industry are men.
All these pieces of information do not mean women cannot break into tech and do an amazing job. If you’re one of those who like to venture into this male-dominated industry, here are 11 tips to help you land a job:
1. Know Your Niche
The tech industry is vast, and there are many subfields to specialize in:
- Software engineering
- Systems administration
- Network engineering
- Web development
- Cryptocurrency and NFT
- Mobile app development
- Game development
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Digital marketing, SEO, and web analytics
- Data science or business intelligence analysis
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t even need to have a tech background before you can secure a job here. Tech teams also need accountants, recruiters, lawyers, and other professionals.
You can choose the tech field you like best based on your existing skills, interests, and experiences. If you already have a college degree in another non-tech field, it will be easier to break into tech if you know what niche or subfield suits your background.
For example, if you’re a marketing graduate with years of experience in digital marketing, you may want to explore a career in digital marketing or SEO.
Research on what area of tech you want to work in, and focus your job search around that specialty.
2. Attend Classes and Programs
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition is to constantly learn and update your skills. Luckily, there are many free and low-cost classes and programs available online that can teach you about various aspects of tech. Some notable classes include:
- Coursera’s courses on software engineering, machine learning, website development, and more
- Udacity’s nanodegrees in computer science, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and more
- edX’s courses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency
If you’re interested in a specific area of tech that isn’t part of any free or low-cost courses, you can search for other options. For example, if you’re more interested in mobile app development, there are also online classes and tutorials that can teach you how to make Android apps using Kotlin or SwiftUI.
You may want to invest some money in paid tech courses that can give you an edge in the job market. Look for boot camps or online coding schools that will teach you how to code in a specific language.
Bootcamps usually last around 12 weeks and cost $5,000–$6,000. However, you may qualify for financial aid or even scholarships. Some schools now offer a study-now-pay-later scheme.
3. Ace the Interview
The hiring manager or recruiter will likely ask you a lot of technical questions during the interview. Make sure to brush up on your coding skills and do some research about the job description before going in for an interview.
Here are other ways to ace your tech interviews:
- Prepare answers to common interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “Why are you interested in this position?”
- Come with questions for the interviewer about the company and the team you’ll be working with
- Make sure your resume is up-to-date and typo-free.
- Dress appropriately. One of the amazing things about being in tech is business casual attire. State of Cotton NYC has some great pieces that you can wear to the interview, such as lightweight cardigans that you can match with cotton trousers.
- Be on time and look presentable during your online video conference interviews, especially if it’s a remote position. Make sure there are no background noises or distractions during the call and speak clearly in front of the camera.
4. Build Your Portfolio
You can still potentially secure a tech job even if you don’t have a portfolio. You can always modify your resume to highlight your working experience and skill and then talk about how they align with the needs of the organization.
However, you have a significantly higher chance of clinching the position when you have a portfolio. First, do an internship at a tech company. This will give you the opportunity to work on real-world projects and build your skills.
Build a side project you can work on in your spare time outside of your day job. The best way to do this is by finding a project that interests you and then learning how to code for it. You can also use online resources such as Udacity to learn new coding languages.
Write articles or tutorials on tech topics. Participate in online and offline coding competitions. Attend hackathons.
Breaking into tech can be difficult, but it is not impossible. If you are willing to put in the effort, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of success. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to landing a job in the tech industry!