You want to know how to break into tech and level up your game in today’s workforce that’s evolving at the speed of light – sounds like a challenge, right? But fear not, girlfriend. I got you.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking for a change or a fresh graduate eager to make your mark, this guide is your roadmap to not just entering but thriving in the dynamic realm of technology.

I’m going to share the steps I took to make the transition as well as steps I’m currently taking to continue to level up. Let’s get into it.

Align your decision with the lifestyle and outcome you desire and be committed to it.

This is the most important step in the process. Think about the lifestyle you envision for yourself and the goals you want to achieve. Don’t think of this journey as just a career transition, think about the impact you want to make holistically.

Making this alignment will serve as the compass to guide your steps during this journey. Making the decision to be committed to this process will make all the difference in your ability to achieve. 

For example, I desperately wanted freedom, professional autonomy, and the ability to stay home and/or travel while making a comfortable living doing work that I enjoy.

I committed to that goal, and I work towards it every day. My commitment to having this lifestyle didn’t allow me to let challenges or setbacks deter my decision. Figure out what your why is and work backwards from there.

Christine J. Marie (@stinesellshomes) • Instagram photos and videos

break into tech

Break into Tech by getting a professional certification and/or college degree.

Some will definitely say that a degree is not necessary, and while I don’t disagree, I believe that a degree in computer science or something similar definitely wouldn’t hurt. You can never go wrong with having a strong foundation to jumpstart your tech career. 

It’s also a good idea to spend some time getting professional certifications. Certs give you a competitive edge and make you a really strong candidate. 

These credentials do more than just enhance your knowledge, they are also a tangible testament to your dedication and ability to start something and finish it. I recommend the following certifications: 

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Google or AWS Cloud
  • Any other specialized technical certificate of interest – at the start of my transition, I got my PMP as well as a certificate in Software Product Management. Knowing the path you want to take is very important.

Not only does getting your credentials open doors to new opportunities, it also instills confidence in your ability to get a technical role and be good at it. 

Linked just recently released a list of the 25 fastest growing careers in the US along with free courses you can take to acquire the skills needed to go after these roles. 

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Join a professional organization to learn more about industry trends and to grow your network.

Breaking into tech requires more than just technical know-how; it requires a keen understanding of industry trends and a robust professional network. 

One effective strategy is to join reputable professional organizations. This is a great way to find mentors or potential job opportunities. It’s also good to be around people who are on the same journey as you, as well as learn from those who have already achieved your professional goal.

Groups that helped me level up in my career are Black Orlando Tech and Women of Project Management. You can easily find an organization to join by doing a simple google search or searching through social media. 

These organizations serve as invaluable hubs of knowledge, providing insights into the latest industry trends, innovations, and best practices. Networking is the name of the game here. It’s a strategic move toward continuous learning and expanding your network for long-term success.

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Complete a few personal projects to practice your technical and problem solving skills.

The last thing you want to do is come to the table with only technical skills, to really level up and win over employers, you must have amazing problem solving skills. 

Getting your first role in tech requires more than theoretical knowledge – hands-on experience and a practical understanding of technical and problem-solving skills comes in clutch!

An effective method to hone these skills is by undertaking personal projects. These projects serve as your personal playground, allowing you to apply theoretical concepts in real-world scenarios. You can develop an app, build a website (that’s literally what I did… didn’t realize I’d still be here.. But.. here we are almost 5 years later… read about me), develop a product or whatever else. It’s a great way to showcase your abilities.  

The process not only sharpens your technical skills but also cultivates a problem-solving mindset crucial in the tech space. So, roll up your sleeves, and get started on some  personal projects.

Hire a professional resume writer and polish your interviewing skills and script.

I don’t care what anybody says… presentation is everything. yourself effectively becomes paramount. Hire a professional resume writer to craft a compelling resume that not only showcases your skills but also aligns seamlessly with the types of roles you’re applying for.

A polished resume is basically your ambassador, highlighting your best work and opening doors to a lot of opportunities. 

You also need to practice and perfect your interviewing techniques by crafting a well-scripted narrative that can make a substantial difference. Practice answering common interview questions for your desired role, refine your answers and make them super personable yet extremely informed. Doing this makes you more confident. 

After a year or two after you break into tech, look for ways to continue your education and skill up.

black woman in tech

You do this to remain relevant and up to date with current trends in the industry. And if you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, become really good at analyzing data, identifying opportunities, and understanding how business decisions are made.

Breaking into the tech industry marks the beginning of a transformative journey, but the pursuit of excellence doesn’t end there. After a year or two of success,  it’s crucial to adopt a mindset of continuous learning. Seek out opportunities to further your education and skill set. 

Whether it’s pursuing advanced certifications or enrolling in specialized courses, the tech industry is ever evolving, and staying ahead requires a commitment to ongoing education. 

Stay curious, and actively seek ways to upskill. This proactive approach not only solidifies your expertise but positions you as a valuable asset in an industry that thrives on innovation and adaptability.

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