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March 15, 2022

Why Now Is A Good Time For A Career Change To Tech

It’s not exactly a little-known secret that the tech industry offers some fantastic opportunities. Computer and information technology operations are predicted to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, which is far above the national average—and the fast growth means that salaries are also rising more quickly than most other industries. No wonder so many people have […]

It’s not exactly a little-known secret that the tech industry offers some fantastic opportunities. Computer and information technology operations are predicted to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, which is far above the national average—and the fast growth means that salaries are also rising more quickly than most other industries. No wonder so many people have decided that now is a good time for a career change to tech.

Yet if you’ve reached a senior position in another industry, you might find the prospect of trying your hand at something new daunting—especially a sector like tech, which outsiders often see as being filled with jargon and requiring lots of specialist knowledge. If this sounds familiar, you might be underestimating yourself. Here’s why a career change could be a great and completely viable option.

Segments Within Tech

Tech isn’t one monolithic industry—it has different segments within it, all with their own growth forecasts and quirks. Depending on your existing experience, you might be a better fit for some than others, so let’s take a look at some of the most promising sectors.

• Fintech. As tech becomes more all-encompassing, it’s started to play a crucial role in other industries, and financial technology (or fintech) is now a huge area in its own right. It’s predicted to grow at a CAGR of 26.87% between 2020 and 2026.

Just look at your own life—if you use a budgeting app, online bank or roboadvisor for investments, you have fintech to thank. Artificial intelligence is likely to keep delivering new solutions to how businesses and individuals use their money, driving further fintech growth. And don’t forget blockchain—cryptocurrency-related job postings on LinkedIn increased 395% in 2021.

• Healthcare Technology. The pandemic has been a tragedy, but if one good thing came out of it, it’s the investment made into healthcare. Many new areas have emerged and thrived, such as remote patient monitoring and telehealth (virtual interactions between patients and healthcare providers).

Healthcare makes up about 18% of GDP in the U.S., so healthcare technology has huge growth potential.

• Cybersecurity. Another area to watch out for is cybersecurity, which focuses on helping organizations to protect their data and computer systems from threats—problems that companies are taking increasingly seriously as threats get more sophisticated.

In the U.S. alone, there were almost 500,000 job postings for cybersecurity roles between April 2020 and May 2021. This is unlikely to slow down any time soon—as businesses become more technological, the demand for cybersecurity services will only increase.

You might be concerned that you know nothing about cybersecurity, but there’s a significant skills gap right now, so even a simple certification will stand you in good stead.

Embrace Your Transferable Skills

If you’ve previously worked in the healthcare or financial services industries, switching over to their high-tech equivalents might not seem so daunting. But if you come from a completely different sector—such as energy or food and beverages—you might doubt that you have what it takes.

Think back to your past in your current role and what led you to success. Chances are that your answer isn’t “being incredibly book smart about the industry.” Even if that played a role to some extent, the biggest factor is more likely to be elements such as:

• Communication

• Leadership

• Grit

• Teamwork

• Sales skills

• Innovation

Guess what? You’ll still have all these things once you start working in tech. Just because a company is tech-focused, it doesn’t mean it only wants to hire coders. It still needs people to work in areas like sales, operations and human resources (to name a few).

Many professionals make the mistake of underestimating their value. At the end of the day, businesses in all sectors need people who are reliable, smart and able to manage a team; these kinds of skills are in shorter supply than you may realize.

Take Advantage Of The Fast Progression

One of the great things about tech is that because it’s such a new area and it’s growing so fast, many companies (especially startups) are shunning traditional career paths and entry requirements.

This is attractive to early-career professionals because it means they can work for a startup fresh out of college and land a leadership role with a six-figure salary after a few years. But it’s also great news for senior professionals considering a career change because it doesn’t take as long to “climb the ranks” as it would if you wanted to become a lawyer or accountant, for instance.

Some professionals who enjoyed a successful career change to tech secured their roles by offering to apply their skills to a problem the company faced as a kind of “test run.” Tech companies are also more likely to be open to less traditional qualifications, such as online courses. You could also consider a coding boot camp, volunteering at a related nonprofit or even just reading up on topics of interest in your own time.

It’s all about demonstrating your interest and knowing how to sell yourself.

There’s No Time Like The Present

If you’re after an intellectual challenge and job security, few things could be a better fit than a career change to tech. With so many opportunities up for grabs right now, there's almost no reason to not give it a go.

However, things may not be this way forever, so take advantage of the fast-paced growth and lack of entry barriers while you can.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.

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