If you’ve been thinking about a career in IT and have still not started yet, you might be facing one of many common problems. You see, a lot of people want to get into Tech, but they just can’t seem to make the transition. Some have been trying for years but keep finding themselves in the same old jobs. In this post, I will share 6 problems with starting a Tech career and how you can solve those problems.
Before we get started, let’s see if this post might be for you. Consider these questions.
- Do you want to start a career in Tech?
- Have you been thinking about a Tech career transition for a while (maybe a few months or years)?
- Are you confused about what niche in Tech you need to start with
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, then this post is for you!
Here is a summary of the problems that I will be discussing in this post. They are in no particular order.
- You don’t have a technical degree (or any degree at all)
- Studying takes time (and is hard work)
- Tech courses are expensive
- You’re too Old (Age-ism is real, my friend)
- You don’t fit in (Tech bro-culture is not for everyone)
- You don’t know what part of Tech to start with
Problem #1: You don’t have a technical degree (or any degree at all)
Most people think one of the main problems with starting a Tech career is not having a Tech degree. I understand that the Tech field can be really technical (yes, I used Tech twice), and it would seem that a college degree is needed.
In fact, most people think a college degree in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or other really Tech areas is needed to start a Tech career.
That is actually far from the truth.
There are many jobs in Tech that do not require you to have a Tech degree to begin. In fact, some jobs do not need a degree at all. In this post, I share several high-paying Tech careers that you can begin without having a Tech degree. That list has detailed information on how you can start those careers.
Solution #1: How to Start a Tech Career without a Tech degree
When you don’t have a Tech degree, there are several things that you can do to help your chances of getting a Tech job. Below are 3 simple steps you can take to get started.
- Identify the critical skills needed to get the specific job you are interested in. This should include technical skills, soft skills, and required certifications.
- Acquire skills by completing training on the identified skills. You want to make sure you get practical hands-on training that gives you detailed direction on the job responsibilities.
- Network with others in your target career by joining groups and attending events.
Problem #2: Tech courses are expensive
One of the problems with starting a Tech career is the cost of courses. This problem is probably #1 on many peoples’ lists.
The simple reality is that Tech courses can be pretty expensive. There’s no other way to say it. I have heard of people paying over $10,000 for 6-month courses to get into specific Tech areas.
In many cases, Tech courses can cost between $1,000 – $2,500. I’m not considering courses from marketplaces like Udemy, Coursera, or Skillshare in that estimate because those are not really personalized coaching programs.
However, consider the amount a typical student spends to get a college degree. The average annual college tuition cost in the US is over $10,000. Most times, college degrees may not even provide the level of coaching needed to start a job in a specific Tech field. So, you can see that prices are comparable based on college costs.
Think about the earning potential of a Tech career. The earning potential for Tech careers is pretty high. So, the training cost is an investment to obtain your future career earning.
At the end of the day, you sometimes need to spend money to make money, so we need to find a solution.
Solution #2: Start with Free or Low-Cost Training
I’m all for saving money when you don’t need to spend it. So, if you’re not ready to spend a lot of money on training, you can start with lower-cost options.
For example, in this post, I share a list of 15 places where you can learn to code online for free. You can also visit this page on marketplace training options for various Tech skills.
Please note that some skills are more niche and you will not find low-cost options for them. So, in those cases, you might need to work with your financial advisor to see how you can make it happen.
Problem #3: You’re too Old (Age-ism is real, my friend)
One of the other problems with starting a Tech career might be your age. Whether people admit it or not, there are many types of biases in the workplace, and age-ism can be one of them.
If you have this concern, it is a valid concern. However, you should not be worried about this issue. Yes, I understand that some people might be biased towards older workers in Tech. But that is their problem to focus on.
Your focus should be on making your age a non-issue by showing up as the best candidate for the job. I know so many people that started Tech careers in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. If they could do it, then so can you.
Solution #3: Plan and Prepare Effectively
If you’re an older individual, you will need to consider a few factors when transitioning to Tech. In this post, I share some tips on how to successfully transition into Tech. Your responses to the questions below will help you identify the best solution for your scenario.
Are you able to maintain your current job as you prepare for the career transition?
If you can maintain your current job, then you may have more funds to pay for training. This might take a little longer as you need to juggle both your current job and the training. However, having a job removes the financial stress of transitioning without a job
What timeframe have you set for your career transition?
If you have given yourself a short amount of time, then you will need to spend more time studying and networking to transition into Tech. If you have given yourself more time, then you may have more time to explore options as part of your career transition preparation.
What transferable skills (soft skills or industry skills) do you have?
As an older worker, you probably have soft skills and industry skills from your current job. These transferable skills will be helpful when showing the additional value you bring to the Tech field.
The main point here is that you need to plan and prepare effectively to make the transition more effective.
Problem #4: Studying takes time (and is hard work)
Another one of the problems with starting a Tech career is that there is a lot of information to learn. For example, some Tech training can take months to complete. This means that you will probably need to study a lot over a period of time.
For someone that is already busy, this is especially challenging because it requires more of their time. I mean, there are only 24 hours in the da,y and we’ve all got to sleep, right? So, what do you do when faced with this problem.
Solution #4: Use a study guide
There’s no way around studying, so my recommendation is to use a study guide to prepare. You can download a copy of my study guide and task management guide below to help you with the process.
Once you can set aside some time to truly study, you should be able to slowly get through any required training. As you get through the training and acquire new skills, your concerns about time should naturally reduce.
IT Certification Study Plan Template
Task Management Template
Problem #5: You don’t fit in (bro-culture is not for everyone)
One of the other problems with starting a Tech career is that you may not fit in. The Tech bro-culture is an open secret in Tech. In fact, many companies have had very public issues around the toxicity of this culture.
Personally, I have often been the only female on many Tech projects and it can get uncomfortable at times. I remember asking my husband for sports stats once so that I could chime in on sports conversations the next day (#tryiingtoohard). This was a personal choice at the time, and I’m not suggesting that anyone do this.
To be fair, the guys on most teams I’ve worked on have been great, but it would have been nice to have more representation on the teams.
Solution #5: Join diversity-focused communities
Many companies have implemented or improved diversity communities within their organizations based on the recent spotlight on diversity issues. These communities typically serve various diversity groups and seek to foster diversity and inclusion in organizations.
So, one solution to this problem is joining diversity-focused communities. You can join job boards or forums that are targeted to your specific diversity needs, After getting your Tech job, you can also join an employee diversity-focused community that works for you. Being a member of these groups can make you feel more welcome in the Tech environment.
Some Tech communities for women and people of color include:
- People of Color in Tech
- Women who Code
Problem #6: You don’t know what part to Tech to start with
This is one I hear about all the time. One of the main problems with starting a Tech career is that there are so many options to choose from. The variety of options can make things confusing for those that are new to Tech.
If this is a concern you have, you can check out this post for some important steps that you should follow as you plan your Tech career transition
Solution #6: Research and follow a defined career path
The main solution to this issue is for you to identify and follow a defined career path. In my post about tips on Tech career transitions, I mention that you need to first do some research around Tech career options.
Research is a critical first step because it allows you to navigate the available options and decide which path is a fit for your goals. Then, you use the information from your research to identify the skills needed for your selected career path.
As an example, if you are interested in coding, you can follow the steps outlined in this post to get started with a coding career quickly
There you have it. 6 problems with starting a Tech career and how to solve them. Hope you gained some new insights from this post about the problems with starting a Tech career and how to solve them.
Ultimately, I want you to know that YOU can start a career in Tech. Many people have done it successfully and so can you!
You can also check out these other posts related to Tech careers jobs.