CAN YOU GET INTO A TECH JOB WITHOUT EXPERIENCE?
Something I am asked time and time again is: ‘Can I get into tech with no experience?’ To be honest, there is no right or wrong answer.
Some companies may take a punt on you if you have the right attitude and a genuine interest in carving out a career in IT, so it is possible to get in there with no formal experience.
However, many companies prefer not to invest too much energy into training someone from scratch given the costs and time involved, preferring to hire experienced candidates instead.
‘So, how do I get experience?’ ‘How do I make myself suitable?’ You may wonder!
There are many things that you can do, but it will completely depend on your personal circumstances as to what route you take and where you get started…and how committed you are to making the move into tech!
The first thing I would always recommend is getting some experience with the technologies you would like to work with. If you are looking to get into an IT support job, for example, it makes sense to really familiarise yourself with Microsoft Windows and Office365. How do I set up new user profiles? How do I install and reinstall software packages? How do I resolve common connectivity, sound, and email problems, for example? Whilst Microsoft is a fantastic starting point, you can always spend some time learning Linux or other open-source operating systems and software, as this will show that you are keen to expand your knowledge.
Get qualified! Go get those certifications! Get yourself to college, get yourself signed up with a training provider, get online and search for tech courses (you can even access free ones, that only take a small amount of time!).
For Tech Support roles, the CompTIA qualifications are a great starting point. If programming is more your thing sign up for bootcamps to learn your favourite language – there are loads out there!
This one may be best for school leavers who want to get started in a new role, get yourself out there, and call around local companies with a service desk, they may just let you jump on board for a few weeks to learn the ropes and you can see if it’s the right thing for you. Another benefit of this is, if you’re a good egg, they might just offer you a permanent role!
At this stage in your tech career, no-one is going to hand you a job on a plate – you have to be super-proactive to get your foot in the door. It might take some time, you will get knockbacks, you will be ignored but you need to keep going and spread your net far and wide.
Another great way to get experience is to implement it into your personal life. Fix tech problems for family and friends. If you’re into the web, build some websites yourself that you can showcase on a portfolio. Try building simple programs to solve problems for people you might know who run small businesses.
You will only be successful in landing a role in tech if you’re genuinely interested, so use your spare time to upskill yourself at home!
YouTube is a great place too, there are lots of tutorials on there to teach you about different systems, you can pick so much up from simply watching someone else.
And finally, ask! Even if you don’t know anyone that works in tech, get networking, join LinkedIn, go to meetups (there are lots of free ones around) find people who work in tech and ask for advice. Basically, the more proactive you are, the better your chances of finally switching over to tech as a career…Good luck!
Written by Jade Fullerton – Tech Recruiter.