It’s an interesting moment to embark on a career as a technologist. The technology industry unemployment rate stood at 1.5 percent in July—its lowest rate in two years – and demand for skilled technologists is as high, and possibly even higher, than it has ever been before. And that’s not just within the tech vertical. Even companies in the most analog industries need web designers, software engineers, data scientists, and other specialists to do everything from website setup to data analysis.
But it’s important to note that, despite that ultra-low unemployment rate, companies won’t hire just anyone; they want technologists with the right mix of skills and experience. And from the technologist perspective, high demand means you may have more leverage than ever before, so that means you’ll need to understand how to do your research on what makes an organization and role right for you. If you’re brand new to tech, building up the right background might seem like a daunting proposition—where do you even start?
Fortunately, the latest update of the Ultimate Guide to a Successful Technology Career can provide some of the advice you need to not only launch a career in technology, but also advance all the way through to a senior technologist or senior manager position. While every career is unique, there are common things that every technologist can do to get ahead, from improving your soft skills to finding the right mentor to negotiating for the salary you truly deserve.
For example, if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to know the relative advantages of college vs. bootcamps, and whether internships truly make a difference in landing that first role. Even if you don’t have a lot of on-the-job experience, you can still impress hiring managers and recruiters with a portfolio of personal projects and schoolwork, including apps, websites, and services you might have built for fun on your own time.
Once you’ve settled into the start of your career, you’ll want to set some goals, continue your education, and find mentors who can help you advance to the next stage. If you’re wondering about the value of earning certifications, the Guide has some insights that may serve to help you make those decisions. There’s also advice on negotiating compensation, including perks and benefits, and tips on the ever-important skill of “managing up.”
Once you’ve advanced a bit more, you may want to learn more about the nuanced, often complicated art of management (depending on if you’ve chosen a career route in which management is an option). The Guide provides useful information about that, as well—including alternative career tracks if management just isn’t something you want to do.
No two tech careers are exactly alike, and that’s a good thing. Every technologist has a unique take on how to solve problems and generate spectacular results. The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Technology Career can help you shape a tech journey that’s undeniably yours.