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The rush into the technology space has been quite remarkable. Every day, there’s news of startups raising funds from pre-seed, seed funding, and Series A to others. For most Nigerians, the idea of technology starts and ends with coding so many people think that because of their career background, they have no future in technology. Whether you are in banking, human resources, law, or medicine, you can make a smooth career transition into technology.

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Opportunities abound in areas like product management, data science, advanced data analytics, UI/UX, cloud computing, animation, Cybersecurity, programming and so much more. Switching to a career in tech may appear daunting but it is within reach. Anyone with the desire to get a Tech job can find one that suits their unique skills, talents, and interests. Here are some specific tips you can use to successfully switch careers into Tech.

Choose the position you want to switch: To make a wise choice, you need to know yourself and your capabilities before you choose what aspect of tech you want to work in. This can come from your personality or your career background. For example, if you are in the HR space, you may want to go for Agile HR Analytics. An entrepreneurial person can fit into the product management space. Knowing who you are and/or where you currently are in your career plays a huge role if you plan to transition. When you figure out these things, you will know where you fit in best and how to go about it.

Choose a position that aligns with your hobby or what you like doing: If you love numbers, you most likely would want to be in the data space. If you are the creative type, you may be contemplating UI/UX design. These are things you have to enjoy. You should either have them as a skill or ensure it’s something you will be interested in learning. If you have no idea about which one to go for, you may want to look at the TrinT program or download the Herconomy application if you are a woman. There, these skills are demystified and opportunities are listed so you can easily make a choice.

Estimate Your Odds of Success: This is not meant to put a damper on your ambition, but not everyone is cut out for a tech career. So how do you know if you have what it takes? Think about whether you are truly willing to keep learning and expanding your skillset. Some people are more comfortable in a job where things change at a slower pace. The financial cost of training is another thing to consider. According to Indeed, transitioners who pay to learn new technology skills spend an average of $38,507. However, 81 percent of tech people making a career change recouped their financial investment. There are also a lot of free resources available online, particularly if you’re trying to learn a programming language.

Find a Crossover Position: Take note of your strengths and transferable skills as you explore roles that will let you combine what you know with the new ones you will acquire. Finding an appropriate “bridge position” will help you select the right training courses and build a community of support, mentors, role models, and teachers which is vital to making an effective and smooth transition to the tech industry. For instance, if you have a background in finance, the cross-over position you should consider is that of a data analyst or data scientist. If you have strong administrative and communication skills, your crossover position might be that of a business analyst or project manager.

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Start learning: If you don’t know what you are good at or you need a fresh career from what you know. The only thing you need is an upgrade in learning to scale your skill. You also need a trusted tutor to help you learn these skills. There are a couple of platforms you can learn from e.g Utiva and AltSchool Africa. These are African platforms that teach tech skills with certification at the end of the course. These platforms will not only teach you these skills, but they will also offer after support to help you grow and stay relevant.

After learning, practice: Many people prefer to sit and wait to be served after learning. After learning, you need to go ahead to create projects, which, in turn, will be good for your portfolio. Another thing you can do is to seek internship positions that will help you to get your foot in the door. Get your hands dirty, get real practical experiences, build relationships and get access to mentors.

Build a Portfolio as You Go: Since you have finished learning, build the hands-on skills and experience employers will be looking for by opting for training courses that let you work on real-world problems and projects. Start developing your portfolio of work samples, code, and websites as well as a curriculum vitae that embodies your professional image to impress an employer. Then link your projects/apps to your CV and application materials. 

Talk about your next step: While interning or working on a project, you need to join communities where you find people in that same space as you. Put words out as regards where you are and what you are looking to achieve. You will be so surprised at how people will be excited to work with you. Go online and search for remote jobs. Be persistent and be patient as you build your skill in this space.

Now that you have the tips for transitioning into technology, you need to take action. This is not a motivational article because this process will take time depending on different things, including how committed you are.

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This article was first published on 14th April 2022


I am an accomplished content creator and recently delved into technical writing. I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting technological advances and create awareness of evolving technological trends in Nigeria.

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