Tech is often seen as a difficult sector to break into, but there are lots of ways to grow your skillset.
THERE’S A COMMON MISCONCEPTION THAT YOU NEED TO BE A MATHS OR SCIENCE WHIZ TO SUCCEED IN THE TECH SECTOR.
However, the reality is the industry is seeking talent with a whole range of skills, including creativity, project management, and strong communication abilities. Here, I’ve shared three core skills that are highly valued by employers, and which will help you flourish in almost any kind of tech role.
Whatever niche you decide to specialise in, it’s likely that your new tech role will involve working on a few different projects at once. So, you’ll really benefit from cultivating strong project management skills.
Effective project management skills include the ability to set achievable goals, meet deadlines, and organise and manage your time effectively. Another crucial aspect of good project management is the ability to report on progress effectively to managers, clients, or shareholders throughout your project, so good communication skills play a role, too.
If multitasking is something you find tough, you can try exploring different organisational styles to find one that suits you. Popular project management styles used by many companies and teams to deliver multiple projects at once include the Kanban method, the Waterfall technique, and the Agile method. You may also benefit from using a project management tool or software to keep on top of all those moving parts.
Project management skills are important if your goal is to work in an agency or website development business, as these roles typically require you to collaborate with other teams to deliver work for several different accounts. But, these skills are even more essential if you’re planning to go freelance at some point, as you’ll need to learn to juggle several clients or projects independently. If you do plan to go solo, I’d recommend getting hands-on experience in an agency or business, so you can hone your project management skills first.
Whatever role you’re going for, it’s likely that strong networking skills will help you get ahead. Networking can help you build new contacts, gain new knowledge and skills from peers in your sector, and learn about new job opportunities.
Additionally, thanks to social media and online initiatives, networking has never been easier, and new opportunities are just a few clicks away. There are also lots of brilliant online collectives created by women in tech, for women in tech, so finding your tribe has never been easier. Take a look at SheCanCode’s round-up to find a group that shares your goals and passions. If good networking skills aren’t something that come naturally to you, then any of these friendly and supportive online communities would be a great place to start building your confidence.
BE A FAST LEARNER — AND NEVER STOP LEARNING
While keeping on top of your skills and training is a desirable quality in any sector, it’s especially important in the fast-paced, always-evolving world of tech and digital. Be prepared to learn quickly, often on the job, and never stop learning.
In my own sector — SEO — new developments are happening all the time: you never know when a Google update, algorithm change, or new ecommerce platform will appear and completely change the game overnight. For example, the release of Google Analytics 4 has shaken up the SEO world in recent months, and even the most knowledgeable and experienced SEOs have had to work hard to ensure their skills are still up to date. So, it’s important not to get complacent with your skills over time.
Updating your skillset doesn’t necessarily require expensive seminars or training workshops (although of course, these certainly don’t hurt). Keep a close eye on the latest news in your sector, and make a point of learning more about the latest trends as they develop. Subscribe to blogs, follow and engage with industry leaders on social media, and sign up to newsletters from companies whose work you admire. All of this will help point you in the right direction.
It’s also important to keep an eye on emergent technologies, so you can identify what’s likely to be the next big thing and start honing your skills early on. For example, there’s a lot of excitement about AI at the moment, with many industry leaders predicting that it could be the future of the tech sector. So, this could be a good place to start!
There are so many opportunities for women in the tech sector at the moment, and by cultivating these sought-after skills, you can give yourself the best chance of success.
Thanks to Bridie Gallagher, Managing Director of digital marketing Glass Digital