If you’re feeling a bit stuck in a career rut and want a change, there are plenty of ways you can go about it. One of the great things about a career in the technology sector is how flexible it is: plenty of opportunities exist to enable non-tech workers to upskill to get into the industry, and once you’re there, given the ever-changing nature of technology itself, it’s possible to apply some flexibility to your own skillset in order to pivot.
With that in mind, we’ve got three ideas below to upskill your tech credentials this year – and if you’re ready to make a job switch now, then check out our Job Board.
Take a course
The upskill: Amazon’s AWS re/Start programme doubled its presence in 2021, and is now available in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.
A free, full-time, 12-week program, it’s designed to prepare unemployed or underemployed individuals for careers in cloud computing. Plus, the scheme will also connect more than 90% of graduates with job interview opportunities. It’s a win-win: AWS customers and partners around the world say there are not enough qualified applicants to meet the growing demand for trained cloud talent.
How to do it: Apply through Amazon’s AWS re/Start portal for a programme in your country.
Not able to take time out of work? No problem - check out suitable courses on Udemy.com which you can do in your spare time.
Best for: For AWS re/Start, those with no prior technology experience, who are over 18 and not working more than 16 hours a week.
Learn to present
The upskill: We get it, presenting a pitch or concept can be – if you haven’t done it before – absolutely terrifying. It’s far easier to sit back and allow another team member to take the stress of presenting at a meeting, conference or town hall.
But an ability to present is a key skill in your arsenal and one you should aim to develop – it will get you noticed, give you a chance to put forward your ideas and concepts, and could help to fast-track you into decision-making roles.
How to do it: The secret to a good presentation is in planning and preparation. Block out your ideas on paper or a whiteboard first, making sure you’re distilling your concepts down to concise, easy-to-deliver nuggets of information. Then, build your deck. It should be clear, uncluttered and visually appealing. Keep it to as few slides as you can, with accompanying notes for each slide allowing you to freely expand on your concepts and ideas.
Best for: Those already in the tech industry, who are seeking recognition and to get ahead.
Learn to code
The upskill: Over 73 million software developers use GitHub, an online software development platform. It’s used for storing, tracking, and collaborating on software projects and it enables developers to upload their own code files and to collaborate with fellow developers on open-source projects.
How to do it: If that sounds a little too advanced for you, no problem: check out GitHub’s Learning Lab, where you can start the process of learning to code through hands-on lessons and the help of a friendly bot that provides instructions and feedback throughout your journey.
If you want to build confidence, go back to basics and try Apple’s Swift Playgrounds, on the App store. Lessons and walkthroughs demonstrate the core concepts of coding and building apps in an interactive environment.
Best for: Coding novices who want to up their earning power.
Bonus tips: More ways to upskill in your tech career include engaging with a great mentor either within your organisation or outside of it who will be a springboard for career development and networking. Further your networking goals by attending industry events and meeting with people from a wide range of backgrounds and businesses. Listen to podcasts and read relevant tech industry publications – keep informed and up to date with what’s going on in your industry and aim to develop a reputation for thought leadership in a key specialism.
Lead image: Dan Taylor