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How To Break Into Tech With No Experience

career change how to tech field tips ux design May 30, 2023

Are you interested in joining the fulfilling and lucrative field of technology but you just don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you’re looking to make a career change but jumping into the tech industry without experience seems intimidating. Don’t worry! Whether you’re just starting your career or looking for a change, there are plenty of options within tech for everyone.

In this article, we’ll help guide you to your new job in the field, utilizing the following steps:

  1. Learn the fundamentals
  2. Get experience
  3. Create a plan for job applications.


What is the Tech Industry? 

In simple terms, the tech field is made up of people who create, improve, and utilize technology. The type of roles you’ll find in tech include designing websites, creating apps, analyzing data, and improving user experiences. These are just a few of the ways to get involved, and new jobs are even being created as technology advances. Further, with technology evolving so quickly, it’s becoming a must to have technical skills to remain competitive in the job market, even in the non-technical industries.


How Do I Know if the Tech Industry is Right for Me?

With the tech industry’s promise of good pay, flexibility, work-life balance, and career growth, it’s no wonder you want to join! But you want to know if it’s the right fit before diving in. To figure out whether tech is the field for you, start by asking yourself a series of reflective questions:

Am I interested in technology and how it works? 

Am I a continuous learner and willing to adapt to new technologies and trends?

Do I enjoy collaborating with others and solving problems?

Do I want to do fulfilling and creative work that makes a real world impact?

What are my goals, values, interests, and salary objectives and do they align with a role in the tech industry?

We also recommend researching current job postings to see what kind of positions are out there, and reaching out to people who currently hold titles in the positions that interest you to get the inside scoop from a real life perspective. Fortunately, there are so many current experts who are more than happy to share their knowledge and help you join the team.


What Tech Jobs Can I Apply for with No Experience?

If you’re entering the tech field without a technical background, worry not, there are plenty of jobs available that you will fit right into! Online job sites provide various postings for entry-level positions and people looking to break into tech. Some professionals have even successfully broken into the field by getting their foot in the door with a non-technical position at a tech company. Oftentimes, people are able to learn new technical skills once they’re working at the company, and some companies will even pay for you to continue your education. Some examples of tech entry level jobs include:

  • Project management
  • Web designer
  • Digital marketer
  • Technical writer
  • Data analyst
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Customer service manager
  • Social media manager
  • Technical recruiter

All these roles offer entry level positions that you can acquire either by using your current skills thanks to your current professional background, or by gaining new skills through online tutorials or a bootcamp.

Additionally, you may have noticed a brief mention of user experiences earlier in the article. What is user experience? UX and UI are about designing websites and apps that are easy, enjoyable, and aesthetically pleasing to use so that users will continue to use them without frustration or dissatisfaction. This is especially critical as we hurl forward into a society that heavily relies on technology. Specific titles you will find in the UX field include:

  • UX Designer
  • UI Designer
  • UX Writer
  • UX Researcher
  • UX Strategist
  • UX Manager
  • Product Designer

Check out this article for more in depth information and comparisons of each role.

UX/UI design is a great field within tech that calls for designers of various professional backgrounds and does not require technical skills like coding. In fact, many successful UX/UI designers entered the field with no technical skills, and share that most companies value the fresh outlook provided by individuals, like you, who adapt their own skills and backgrounds to the field.

So what skills do you need for this role? Essential skills in UX and UI design include communication, problem-solving, empathy, and creativity. This is why so many teachers, nurses, and writers make great UX designers. The more technical skills can be taught through a bootcamp or self-learning.


What Skills do I Need to Break Into Tech?

Breaking into the tech industry is fully possible thanks to the flexibility of skills. While technical skills increase your odds of landing a job in tech, it is not necessary to have them right away. Many employers are ditching formal education, prioritizing fresh perspectives, diverse backgrounds, and real world skills. Further, with willingness to learn, discipline, and dedication to your training, you can pick up the necessary tech skills for your dream job. Let’s review the type of skills you’ll need and benefit from:

  • Technical skills: Your required technical skills will depend on the role you choose with options such as programming languages, design tools, web development, data analysis, and cybersecurity.
  • Soft skills: Communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and empathy.
  • Project management skills: The ability to manage projects, timelines, and resources.
  • Creative and critical thinking: Think outside the box and approach problems from different angles.
  • Continuous learning: With the tech industry constantly evolving, it’s important to have adaptability, initiative, curiosity, the willingness to learn, and be a self-starter.

If you’re a beginner looking to develop or improve any of these skills then you’re in luck! There are so many online tools and resources at your disposal:

  • Online tutorials
  • Bootcamps
  • Tech events
  • Networking
  • Mentorship
  • Job boards
  • Podcasts
  • Blogs (like the one you’re currently reading on Avocademy’s the Guac)

Be sure to utilize these resources throughout your tech journey, but if you’re still worried about your lack of experience, take a breath and remember that we all have to start somewhere.


How Can I Gain Experience in Tech?

Now that we’ve discussed the various options in the tech field and their respective skills, you may be wondering how you can gain experience to land your first job. You may even be questioning, “Do I need a college degree in computer science?” You can, and it could work to your advantage, but you don’t have to. You can absolutely utilize your current skills while learning new technical skills, like coding or user experience, and gain the experience you need to break into tech through the learning route that works best for you. That could be through a university degree, a bootcamp or certificate program, or through self learning. What’s important is that you commit to the work.

A good guide to follow to gain experience in tech includes:

  1. Figure out your current skills, and what you’ll need to learn or improve upon.
  2. Enroll in a bootcamp/certification program, degree course, or online tutorials to learn the foundations.
  3. Practice, practice, and practice! You need to sharpen your skills.
  4. Build a portfolio that will showcase those skills and represent your experience.
  5. Find mentorship.
  6. Consider applying for an internship or completing volunteer projects for businesses and products you’re passionate about. Let your passion shine!
  7. Network, and then network some more.

With an industry like UX design, what you really need is a portfolio to break into the field! A portfolio will showcase examples of your consistent practice to represent real-life experience, without a degree or previous experience in a paid position. Check out this article from the Guac for examples of UX portfolios that will get you hired.

This is something you can learn on your own or through a bootcamp, but a bootcamp will equip you with necessary skills, practice, and a portfolio that shows real-life skills, while providing a supportive network and mentorship. And the news is you don’t need prior experience to join a bootcamp!


How Can I Network in the Tech Industry without Any Connections?

Networking can feel daunting, especially for newcomers, but it’s a crucial part of getting your dream job no matter the industry. When you’re new, it’s especially important to get to know industry professionals. Connecting with people who work in the roles and companies you’re working towards will help to make your transition easier, and your goals more attainable. By networking, you can find a support system, develop knowledge, gain mentorship, obtain insight, and maybe even earn a referral for your next job application.


Is Having Tech Skills Essential in Today's Job Market?

Even if you don't have a technical background, there are many non-technical background tech jobs available. Acquiring tech skills as a beginner can be challenging, but there are many resources available to help. With the right mindset and some guidance, you can successfully start a career in tech, remembering to maintain your motivation and seek out a supportive community. Developing soft skills, networking with industry professionals, and building a strong portfolio will help you successfully break into tech. Connect with a mentor today and see how Avocademy can help you break into tech with no prior experience!


Amanda Molina is an SEO content writer who loves palm trees, books, and glassblowing. She enjoys her avocados diced with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

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