The tech sector is a huge contributor to America’s economy, creating thousands of job opportunities annually. Apart from the job opportunities, the tech industry allows you to explore your creativity through innovative projects, enhance your technical skills, and exercise the freedom to work in an industry of your choice.
If you want to know how to get a job in tech, keep reading to learn about the highest-paying tech jobs and the steps to landing one. This detailed guide will walk you through the education requirements, necessary skills, and tips for landing a job.
What Is Tech?
Technology, usually shortened as tech, is an industry sector that uses scientific knowledge, mathematics, research, and practical application of all of these to produce technology-based products and services. It comprises different job sectors including biotechnology, information technology, manufacturing, engineering, and more.
In addition, the industry features a wide range of career paths like data science, software engineering, web development, hardware engineering, and research. A 2020 survey by Statista indicates the tech sector contributed approximately $1.99 trillion to the country’s overall gross domestic product (GDP) from 2017 to 2020, amounting to 10.5 percent of the country’s GDP.
Tech Job Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the job growth rate for computer and information technology occupations will grow by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030. The industry is projected to create over 600,000 new jobs, which is faster than most professions. In addition, the median salary for tech occupations is around $91,250, based on a 2020 BLS survey.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Tech Professional?
Although most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree, the tech industry is flexible, hiring people with education as low as an associate degree. You can also use non-traditional education paths like coding bootcamps, online training, or vocational programs to secure a job in tech. The level of education required for a tech career depends on the job title, responsibilities, and experience in the field required.
Can I Get a Tech Job Without a Degree?
Yes. You don’t need a formal degree to work in tech. Employers prioritize hands-on experience and the technical skills to maneuver the demands of the industry. Nowadays, most aspiring tech professionals explore alternative learning paths like bootcamps, online courses, and other hands-on training programs to gain experience. These are all great for building a solid portfolio, which can impress potential employers.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Tech?
Yes. In fact, attending a coding bootcamp is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to prepare for a job in tech. Coding bootcamps are career-focused and equip you with the skills to thrive in certain fields. Moreover, the best coding bootcamps offer career services and lucrative job placements, facilitating your job search.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Tech?
Depending on your chosen learning path and field of study, it can take anywhere from three months to four years, or possibly longer. Entry-level tech jobs only need an understanding of tech fundamentals and a grasp of essential tech skills, like programming, research, or data analysis.
Short-term courses at a bootcamp, trade schools, and online courses are great ways to gain these skills. However, most job opportunities will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Pursuing a master’s degree or PhD can increase your chances of gaining high-ranking tech jobs.
Common Tech Education Paths
As mentioned above, there are several learning paths you can choose from to launch your career in tech, including trade school, an online course, a bootcamps, and college. All these learning paths cover the basics of technology and prioritize the skills you must possess to launch your tech career. The education paths below are the most common among tech students.
Tech bootcamps are popular because they’re immersive programs that focus on specific tech skills. They are also short-term, meaning you can do more than one bootcamp within a year. Students can attend a software engineering, data science, tech sales, or web development bootcamp, among others.
Community colleges are an excellent alternative for someone seeking short-term or affordable tech programs. They offer certificate programs and two-year associate degree programs in various sectors, including technology. You can also pursue a transfer program that allows you to transfer your college credits to a four-year university and earn a bachelor’s degree.
Tech degrees are four-year bachelor’s degree programs at the university level. Students can pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Software Engineering, or any other related field. Other tech degrees include a master’s degree or doctorate in any tech-related program.
Key Tech Skills to List on Your Resume
Your tech resume plays a significant role during the interview process. The hiring manager will analyze your tech experience and skill level to determine whether or not you fit the role. Although what you include on a tech resume may vary depending on the job title, you should always include your programming skills, software application proficiencies, project management abilities, and relevant soft skills.
Many jobs in the technology industry require programming skills. With technology quickly advancing, employers prioritize applicants who can read, write, and test code. You should understand coding fundamentals and showcase proficiency in at least one popular programming language like Python, Java, C, SQL, or Swift, to increase your likelihood of getting hired.
Software Application Proficiencies
Tech jobs use various software applications to enhance productivity and facilitate communication. Popular software applications include Slack, Google Suite, ClickUp, Word Processing, Zoom, Spreadsheet, and more. List all the software applications you’re proficient in, making sure to include applications listed on the job description.
Project Management Abilities
Project management involves planning, budgeting, managing risk, and leading your team. Listing project management under your skills, as well as examples of projects you’ve managed, demonstrates that you understand task management tools. It also portrays you as an organized person with leadership skills, which is essential in the tech industry.
Where to Find Tech Jobs
The best place to look for tech jobs if you are a veteran, new graduate, or self-taught programmer is on company websites, job posting sites, tech forums, blog posts, or social media platforms. Businesses release millions of job postings throughout the year, offering careers in different industry sectors. Below is an in-depth look at the most popular job search platforms.
Company websites often have a “Careers” page where you can access open job listings. You can visit your dream company’s website and explore the career section to hopefully find your dream job. Some companies also post their job listings on social media and on other third-party sites.
Job posting sites, also known as online job boards, include Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and many others. These sites post legit job postings from various tech companies and add links that direct you to the company website. You can also apply to these companies directly on the online job board.
Tech forums are online communities that facilitate interactions between tech professionals. There are tech forums representing software engineers, data scientists, AI experts, researchers, developers, and more. These platforms allow beginners and professionals to network, exchange ideas, work on projects together, and share open job listings.
How to Prepare for Your Tech Interview
The application process can be intimidating. You’ll have to answer tough tech and personality questions and excel in practical exercises. You must research the company you’re applying for, practice your coding skills, be confident, and polish your communication skills. The average technical interview process features a phone call interview, a technical test, and an on-site interview.
Tech Interview Questions
- How do you set and achieve your goals?
- How many programming languages do you know?
- What unique technical skills will you bring to this position?
- Do you have any technical certifications?
The Five Highest-Paying Tech Jobs
|Tech Jobs||Average Salary||Projected Growth|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$126,830||22%*|
|Computer Network Architects||$116,780||5%*|
|Information Security Analysts||$103,590||33%*|
*All projected growth statistics have been sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
- Salary: $126,830
Computer and information research scientists include data scientists, artificial intelligence engineers, and big data engineers, among others. The role of one of these professionals involves designing and developing new technologies and improving existing ones. To work in computer and research science, you must understand programming fundamentals, algorithms, and different types of technologies.
Computer Network Architects
- Salary: $116,780
Computer network architects or network engineers work with data communication networks. These engineers design layouts for communication networks, present their designs to management, and implement said designs. Network architects also maintain computer hardware and software to ensure productivity and information security.
- Salary: $110,780
Software developers design and develop applications that meet specific user needs. Software developers include application software developers, systems software developers, and software engineers. Developers work on operating systems as well as desktop and mobile applications. Their tasks include maintaining software, creating upgrades, and documenting the progress of their software.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
- Salary: $109,760
Project managers in the tech industry are responsible for overseeing projects. They create budgets, plan projects, and set schedules to ensure their team meets their deadlines. Project managers are at the forefront of tech projects, meaning they must understand the way their industry operates while possessing strong leadership, organizational, and analytical skills.
Information Security Analysts
- Salary: $103,590
An information security analyst is responsible for the overall security of computer networks. They design and install security software, monitor networks for security breaches, incorporate the latest IT security trends, and recommend regular security upgrades.
Tech Career Path
The tech industry is complex, and most tech professionals start with an entry-level tech job to gain skills before advancing within the sector. Each job level requires specific academic qualifications, skills, and industry expertise. Below are some examples of positions at varying professional levels.
Entry-Level Tech Jobs
- Technical Consultant. Although most consulting roles aren’t entry-level, tech companies offer training programs that allow recent graduates to work as tech consultants. You can guide customers and offer technical advice.
- Web Developer. In this position, you’ll get to code, build, and maintain company websites. You need to demonstrate proficiency in coding and present a portfolio of your work to get hired as a web developer.
- Social Media Strategist. This role involves maintaining the online presence of a company. You’ll get to conceptualize ideas and organize social media pages to keep customers updated on the new products and services a company offers.
Mid-Level Tech Jobs
- Customer Success Manager. Customer success managers offer excellent customer service to ensure consumers are satisfied with the products and services the company offers. Their role primarily entails fostering customer loyalty.
- Data Analyst. The role of a data analyst involves doing research, gathering information, and analyzing results to help solve company problems.
- IT Technician. IT technicians install, maintain, and upgrade the hardware and software of a company’s computer system.
Senior-Level Tech Jobs
- Digital Marketing Manager. Digital marketing managers oversee the digital teams that plan marketing campaigns to promote a company’s brands.
- Senior Software Engineer. Senior engineers design and install high-quality software solutions and lead the software development department.
- IT Program Director. IT program directors oversee program planning from start to finish which includes budgeting, setting deadlines, and fixing problems as they arise.
Technical certifications validate your tech knowledge and demonstrate your commitment to growing as a tech professional. Certifications come in handy during the hiring process, allowing you to negotiate for a higher salary while standing out from other applications. Below are three of the best tech certifications you should consider getting.
Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
Google’s platforms are becoming increasingly attractive to tech startups and seasoned organizations, increasing the demand for professionals who are proficient with Google’s software. Pursuing this certification demonstrates your proficiency with Google Cloud’s products and services, as well as your ability to design and manage cloud architecture.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
This certification shows your knowledge of the market in the technology industry, giving you access to more job opportunities. The certification will allow you to gain the necessary skills to design and deploy cloud infrastructures and systems on AWS.
Certified Information Security Manager
The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers this certification to professionals in security technology who want to become IT managers. This certification teaches you how to design and manage a company’s security protocols.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Tech
Although getting a job in tech may seem challenging, there’s always a way to improve your chances during the hiring process. Below are a few tips to consider.
Get an Education
All tech companies require you to have some sort of training. You can pursue a bootcamp program, a college education, or take online tech courses to master essential tech skills and build a solid foundation for your tech career. In fact, once you master the fundamentals, you can apply for entry-level roles and get on-the-job training.
Research Is Crucial
We recommend that you research your prospective employers and stay on top of new tech developments and current industry trends. Hiring managers will gauge your understanding of the company and role to determine your commitment to the role. Research as much as you can and be confident in your answers.
Build Your Portfolio
Project portfolios increase your chances of getting a job as they provide tangible proof of your abilities. Start early and work on projects aligned with your career path, during your free time. You can find a wide selection of tech project templates online. You can also create your own projects. Alternatively, contributing to open source platforms also works for your portfolio.
Should You Get a Job in Tech in 2022?
The high demand for professionals in tech means more job opportunities for recent graduates. Whether you’re applying for an entry-level role at a Silicon Valley tech startup or pursuing a senior role at a big tech corporation, the opportunities are endless. The tech industry is lucrative and offers a comfortable life as you advance in your career.
Tech Professional FAQ
Yes. You don’t need a formal education to work in tech. Employers prioritize tech skills and hands-on experience, which you can acquire from bootcamp programs, vocational schools, or online training courses.
No. Tech accommodates different levels of education, including high school diplomas. Mastering industry fundamentals can give you access to entry-level roles in various tech sectors.
Yes. Technology careers are in high demand, and employers are willing to pay more for skilled professionals. You can start at a well-paying entry-level job and work your way up to a senior role.
Launching a tech career can take anywhere from three months to four years. The time frame depends on your education path and the job requirements of your dream job.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.