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How to navigate a career switch to IT

Two women chatting with Microsoft 365 tablet, diverse women in tech

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Thinking about a career switch to IT? The tech industry has so many opportunities on offer and is currently crying out for new and diverse talent.

In March 2022, the UK tech industry was valued at £764bn – more than double that of Germany and almost five times larger than France and Sweden. And according to a Tech Nation report, a tenth of all UK job vacancies are tech roles.

You also don’t have to be a ‘techie’ to establish a career in the industry. There are a number of non-technical roles in the tech industry, such as product, design, finance and many more.

So, there has never been a better time to career switch to IT. But where to start?

While the idea of a career switch can seem daunting, we’re here to help you pull together a plan of action to ensure your success.

Decide what career path or job role you want

Firstly, it’s important to come to a decision about what you are looking to get out of your new career, where in the tech sector you would be best suited, and what type of role you would ideally like to be in.

When switching careers, it tends to be easier if you are moving into a role where your skills are transferable. For example, if you have experience working in Finance, then a career as in FinTech would probably be well suited.

Think about the skills you already have developed during your career and where you could utilize these skills in the tech industry.

Expand your knowledge

While it’s not imperative to have a technical knowledge for some careers in tech, it can be helpful to gain some new skills.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tech courses available online – both for free or at a cost. Below are just a few handy guides to get your search started:

You can also find more information and resources, such as coding games, in our Resources section on SheCanCode.

If you’re looking for non-coding jobs, we’ve got the perfect guide for you, right here.

Grow your network

Networking can play an important role in growing your career. Through networking, you can make new friends, share your knowledge, and build connections with invaluable people.

SheCanCode recently pulled together 10 fantastic technology networks to give you a head-start in growing your community.

Find a mentor

Along a similar line of growing your network, it could be a good idea to find a mentor to help you through your career transition.

If you’ve already established a network community, you could think of who you already know and have a relationship with, that would be willing to mentor you.

Your mentor should have your best interests in mind and can help you understand what you are looking for in your career. A mentor can also share their knowledge, advice and give you a different point of view. They can also give you positive and constructive feedback and increase your confidence.

Get experience

Getting experience in the field you are hoping to career switch to will not only look good on your CV, but also give you an insight into your new role.

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience – you’ll typically give up a few hours a week. Again, look at the area of tech you’d like to join and seek out volunteering opportunities there. If you’re struggling to find volunteering options, not-for-profits or small start-ups may appreciate you offering to help.

Another option for gaining experience is to freelance. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to put your new-found knowledge and skills to the test. You could build a website, offer your services as a technical writer, or help with tech support. Freelancing also allows you the freedom to work around your schedule.

Internships could also be an option for gaining experience. These are typically low or unpaid roles, so this is worth bearing in mind. You can find lots of internships via job boards or you can again reach out to your network to see if they know of any available opportunities coming up.

Are you looking to make a career switch to IT?

career switch

SheCanCode have just the event for you! Join us on 26th October for our FREE webinar where we’ll be discussing how to navigate a successful career transition.

The tech industry is crying out for new talent, diverse people and different ways of thinking. There has never been a better time to transition into tech.

As a sector, we offer something for everyone – technical and non-technical, experience within a tech company or not, whether you have always worked in the technology sector or are moving in from another industry.

If you’re thinking about making the move into tech, join us for this informative webinar, where we’ll be discussing how you can successfully navigate a career transition.

In this 40-minute session, hosted by SheCanCode, representatives from GSA Capital and Kubrick Group, will discuss the tech talent shortage and what skills are needed to plug the gap, why you don’t have to have technical experience, and how easy it is to transition into other roles

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In case you missed our recent live webinar, you can watch it back here.