The technology industry isn’t going anywhere and is always looking for talent, so if you don’t have a college degree or you do but want to switch career paths without going back to school, this article is for you.
I started college around age 30 pursuing a STEM degree in Aeronautical Science, but I was making money in tech five years before I set foot in university. The lure of a career in tech appealed to my love for travel and ability to work from anywhere. I started off building WordPress websites for small business owners and devoured all the information I could about related niches in my spare time.
All of the career paths mentioned here have six figure salary potential, which can have a life changing impact on your financial future. I suggest starting in tech with an industry that is related to what you are already doing or a hobby you really enjoy. For example, if you are a teacher, you could look into a job developing courses or at a startup like Teachable. The door is open for those who are willing to put in the work, and this article provides you with some starter ideas of how to get going on your career in tech today.
At the heart of every website or app lies the code. One of the huge benefits to learning a coding language is the ability to bring any of your app or website ideas to life. Learning something new that is such a valuable asset to level up your employment options is never a bad idea.
This entry level position can get you set up for a long term career in tech. If you have a background in customer service in any business sector from hospitality to retail, this is a great place to start. Companies need people who can walk their customers through challenges, and by doing so, you will likely become an expert in solving problems specific to the company you work for. When buying software, companies rely on a great customer service experience to navigate the challenges that come with integrating into a new space. Starting in customer service can open the door to moving up in the company. Check out the Built in Colorado job board for opportunities in Colorado and the US.
If you feel you have a natural ability to design and understand people’s needs, consider learning more about a career in design with a focus on User Experience or User Interface. UX and UI make the user’s interaction with a product as simple as possible. Many UX/UI designers come from various backgrounds and those working in the field will tell you there is no one way to describe the career path into this field. While entry level positions are highly competitive, being a lifelong learner with the ability to use your past experiences as an asset will help get you in the door.
Here is a list of recommended reading if you are feeling intrigued.
There are many schools that offer boot camps to beginners to accelerate the learning process and can help you get a job. Flatiron school provides different learning methods, from online only to in person classes around the US.
Meta Blueprint provides free courses for anyone who wants to learn more about marketing in the digital space. This is a great place to start, especially if your interest leans into becoming a Facebook expert. Managing ads on social media for companies can be an entire job description in itself. After you have done the groundwork and learned the basics, there is an option to purchase certification which can help you land your first job. The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and there is so much you will learn working in the field daily. Consider taking a job with an entry level salary that is willing to train you and promotes from within to maximize your long term earning potential.
Design WordPress websites
Every business needs a website. While there are plenty of tools out there to design, WordPress powers a large percent of the websites we visit everyday with good reason- the options to customize are endless. You can get started on your own by building a portfolio and expanding your knowledge by spending less than $5/month on site hosting at Bluehost or HostGator. Domains are usually less than $20/year and can be purchased directly through your hosting company. Once you are set up in WordPress, I recommend starting with the Elementor page builder, which is a free plugin that allows you to use a drag and drop builder to develop the look of your website. The sky’s the limit here and you can get most of the knowledge you need to get started on YouTube.
Start your own business online
E-commerce is a natural fit for anyone that is coming from a retail background with an entrepreneurial spirit. I recommend this option to anyone who wants to get started right away building a portfolio that they can show to clients. Through this process, you will learn some parts of all the above skill sets mentioned. Dropshipping sites like Printful integrated with Woocommerce on WordPress is a great place to start. Shopify is also a popular option and you if you can learn to set up the site correctly and manage incoming orders and marketing, in time you will feel confident doing it for clients as well.
Not only that, but being able to communicate with other business owners and understand their unique needs will be a key soft skill that serve you well through any career path.
Have you considered changing your career path to something in tech? Did you make the switch? Tell us all about it and help other women accomplish their goals in the SheBanks Community!