5 Tips to Launch Your Career in Tech | HCLTech

5 Tips to Launch Your Career in Tech

5 Tips to Launch Your Career in Tech
January 04, 2023

Do you have a passion for computers and technology? Does the idea of building a career around those interests intrigues you? How do you get started, if you’ve already joined the workforce?

Whether you know exactly what you want to do or are still figuring it out, here are five tips to help you get started with a career in tech.

Tip 1: Consider Your Dream Job

The best way to get started in a is to “work backwards,” according to Brooke Goggin, a Solutions Engineer and computer science faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Whether you imagine protecting an organization from cyber-attacks, using a variety of coding languages to create applications, or leading an information technology department, knowing what you want will help set you in the right direction.

“Start with the job you want and see what required and desired qualifications you already have,” Goggin said. “Then make a list of what you need and start working on the list.”

If you’re not sure where in the tech world you belong yet, that’s okay too. You’ll discover what you like as you gain more exposure to the different aspects of the industry.

Tip 2: Gain Experience

Seek out opportunities that allow you to gain valuable experiences in tech. These can take many forms, including:

  • Certifications: The tech industry is rich with certifications that allow you to specialize in a particular topic, process, application and more.
  • Educational Programs: Immerse yourself in both theory and practice with educational options such as bootcamps and college degrees or certificates.
  • Internships: Internships, which can sometimes be completed for course credits, allow you to gain hands-on, industry experience within an organization.
  • Volunteer work: Try reaching out to local nonprofits to see how you might use your growing knowledge of technology to help them and yourself.

Each of these experiences can strengthen your résumé,cover letters, and increase your skills and knowledge that can serve as a point of reference during job interviews. There’s a good chance your experiences will also introduce you to networks of people and open doors to opportunities you may not have had access to before.

Tip 3: Develop Your Skills

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, the ability to exercise technological skills, in addition to social and emotional skills, are of increasing importance in the workforce.

As you research careers, make note of the technical skills you might need. For instance, if you think programming sounds interesting, you may want to familiarize yourself with coding languages such as Python, Java or C++.

Employers will want to know what you know, too, so consider adding your technical skills to your résumé and professional profiles. “This is something you really want to highlight on your resume,” said Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) Faryal Humkar, who is also an SNHU career advisor with eight years of experience supporting STEM students and alumni. Humkar encourages her students to showcase technical skills in the top half of a résumé so hiring managers and HR recruiters can spot them right away.

Do you want to launch your career in technology? Here are 5 tips to supercharge your progress in the field. #HCLTech #SNHU

Exercising your soft skills can also make a difference during the job search. McKinsey Quarterly reported that many candidates lack important soft skills, including:

  • Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Problem-solving

Gaining experience, whether through an educational program or a job, can help you hone skills such as these and may prove to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Tip 4: Build a Portfolio of Work

As you gain experience and skills, develop a portfolio of work that highlights your working knowledge and accomplishments. Your portfolio can be used to show future employers what relevant experiences you’ve had – be it in classes, internships, volunteer work or other professional opportunities.

Just like you’d update your résumé as you gain more experience, you should keep your portfolio up-to-date. If you do well on a class project that involves concepts applicable to the career you want to pursue, you can add it to your portfolio to show employers examples of how you’ve applied your knowledge in the past. Humkar suggests linking to your online portfolio from your résumé. You can place a link to it at the top, near your contact information.

You might also leverage any projects you’ve worked on in your résumé, she said. You should explain the project, the technical skills you gained and any relevant project results. This section could work well before the professional experience you list, especially if you’re trying to break into tech.

Tip 5: Believe in Yourself

Your journey to and through the tech field may not be straightforward. It could look atypical. You might encounter some challenging classes, interviews and tasks along the way. But that’s all normal.

“It takes time to break (into the field), and you might feel at first that you cannot complete all the tasks, but you can,” Goggin said. “You might feel that way at the start of each course, and then at the end, you learn you can do really challenging technical work. Apply that experience to getting and then keeping that job, to work through feeling uncomfortable (until) you get your bearings and can really show your skills.”

What is a Good Career in Tech?

The tech industry is vast – and it’s only growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for computer and information technology jobs will grow 15% between 2021 and 2031. That’s faster than the average for all occupations.

Here are five careers in tech you might consider if you’re getting started in the field:

  • Computer Network Support Specialist
  • Computer User Support Specialist
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Junior Software Developer
  • Project Management Specialist

There is potential for career growth with each of these positions, and you can choose to branch out into different areas of technology as well as management along the way.

“I have seen thousands of students across the years that have gone (in) so many directions and have wonderful careers,” Goggin said.

Rebecca LeBoeuf ’18 ’22G is a writer at Southern New Hampshire University. Connect with her on LinkedIn. SNHU does not endorse or sponsor any commercial product, service, or activity offered on this website.

Learn more about the HCLTech Apprenticeship Program partnership with SNHU.

Get HCLTech Insights and Updates delivered to your inbox