October 24, 2023 Pivoting to Tech: How to Transfer Your Skills to a Tech Position
By Baxter Juds
Pivoting to Tech: How to Transfer Your Skills to a Tech Position
The technology sector, one of the most rapidly evolving landscapes, is no longer limited to those who started their journey with a computer in their childhood bedroom. The doors of tech are opening wider, presenting global opportunities for people from diverse professional backgrounds. So, if you're contemplating a career change, the tech world might just be the place for you.
A Myth Dispelled
In the vast expanse of the tech world, a narrative has often been spun, painting a picture that to truly shine in the domain—especially in roles like software engineering—one must either be naturally gifted with numerical aptitude or have embarked on the coding journey as a prodigious child. The prevailing sentiment has been that tech corridors are reserved for those who whispered in binary while the rest of us were grappling with basic arithmetic.
However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Every day, individuals from diverse professional backgrounds shatter this stereotype, proving that passion and dedication are just as pivotal as any early start. One such story is of Janine Luk. Transitioning from the glittering world of luxury marketing to the intricate maze of cybersecurity, Luk's journey is emblematic. She didn’t grow up enamoured by algorithms or calculus. Instead, her experience in marketing, where understanding people is as crucial as understanding numbers, became her unique edge in the tech sphere. Luk's narrative reminds us that there isn't a single 'mould' for tech enthusiasts. Anyone, regardless of their past profession or expertise, can carve a niche in this dynamic domain.
Inclusive Learning Environments
Acknowledging the multiplicity of paths leading into tech, there's a global movement to democratise tech education. With learning institutions strategically situated in various corners of the internet, they champion the idea that a career in tech is not about where you started, but where you're headed.
This eclectic mix ensures a rich exchange of ideas, experiences, and perspectives, replicating the real-world diversity of the tech industry. Such learning environments reiterate the essence that technology is not the preserve of an exclusive club. Instead, it's a burgeoning global community, its doors wide open for anyone with the zest to innovate and contribute.
An Ocean of Opportunities
The tech industry's growth across the globe showcases its massive potential. As tech seeps into sectors like finance, healthcare, sports, and even fields as niche as church tech and cannabis tech, the opportunities are vast and varied. Gretchen Jacobi of Flatiron School aptly puts it, "Add 'tech' to any field you're interested in, and you're bound to find a company in that space." Moreover, with finance and healthcare tech commanding a large share of the global GDP, the tech horizon is expansive and welcoming.
Valuable Transferable Skills
Your previous job has equipped you with skills more relevant to tech than you might realise:
While pop culture often paints the picture of a lone coder working late into the night, the reality of the tech industry is vastly different. Modern technology projects are multifaceted, involving intricate processes from ideation to deployment. This complexity necessitates collaboration. Sharing ideas, brainstorming solutions, and collectively troubleshooting are integral components of a project's life cycle. In dynamic tech teams, fostering a spirit of teamwork ensures that diverse skills and perspectives coalesce into successful outcomes. Luk’s journey from luxury marketing to cybersecurity underscores this point. Marketing campaigns thrive on inter-departmental collaboration, and Luk’s adeptness at this was a valuable asset in the tech environment, where engineers, designers, and product managers constantly intersect.
The essence of effective communication lies in its ability to facilitate understanding. In the tech arena, this skill becomes paramount. As products and services become increasingly sophisticated, conveying complex technicalities to non-technical stakeholders—be it clients, investors, or end-users—becomes a challenge. Luk, with her marketing background, mastered the art of tailoring her message according to her audience. Her ability to vividly communicate the essence and potential impact of tech initiatives is a testament to the power of effective communication. Such prowess isn't region-specific; the necessity to explain tech intricacies holds true in every tech hub and sector.
Technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Behind every innovative solution are teams of individuals interacting, networking, and learning from each other. The proliferation of global tech events— conferences, hackathons, and seminars—highlight the industry's emphasis on networking. Engaging comfortably with a diverse array of professionals, from industry veterans to budding entrepreneurs, is a skill that transcends borders. Whether you've honed your interpersonal skills while handling PR, navigating political landscapes, or managing a business, these experiences can be a formidable asset in the global tech arena.
Challenges are everywhere, regardless of the professional domain. Professionals, whether they are developing curricula or strategising campaigns, frequently confront and resolve issues. In technology, this innate human trait of problem-solving finds profound relevance. The nature of coding is rife with challenges—errors, bugs, or optimising a solution. Those who possess the tenacity to dissect a problem, persist through failures, and innovate solutions are the ones who redefine tech boundaries. It’s not just about having the technical know-how, but also the grit to navigate challenges.
As technology continues to blur geographical boundaries, the industry values professionals who bring a global perspective. The interconnectedness of today’s world means that a tech solution conceived in one corner of the world can find users in another. Professionals who've engaged with diverse cultures collaborated across different regions or simply travelled extensively often bring a broader worldview. This global experience becomes an asset, enabling teams to create solutions that resonate universally.
The Next Step
If the thought of transitioning seems daunting due to a lack of direct tech experience, remember the global resonance of your existing skills. Many skills, be they from marketing or consulting, are transferable to coding. At AES Global, we’re happy to help you find the next step in your career journey. Feel free to reach out to one of our amazing talent consultants, or contact us directly, to start your tech career journey.