How To Get Into Tech (With Little to No Experience)

Dr. Anneke Schmidt, Contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

So, you’re thinking about making a career switch to technology but aren’t sure how to get into tech with little to no experience? Don’t worry—it’s definitely possible!

With the right attitude, know-how, and resources, you can start your tech journey with confidence and ease.

Tech is a great career choice if you want stability, good pay, and immense growth potential in uncertain times. The industry is a fast-paced, ever-evolving field and you don’t need a degree or years of experience to break into it. 

And what’s even more encouraging to know in economically challenging times is that it counts as a relatively recession-proof sector to enter. 

To help you figure out how to break into tech with minimal experience, we’ve compiled 11 practical tips for you to consider. We’ll cover:

  1. 11 tips on how to get into tech
  2. Key takeaways

Feel free to use the clickable menu to jump to the sections you’re most interested in. With that, let’s get started!

11 tips on how to get into tech

Choosing a new career path like technology is a huge decision that needs careful planning to ensure success. From researching the job market to developing tech skills, there are many components you need to consider before taking a plunge.

You may think that hiring managers won’t give you a chance if you’re lacking practical experience. But there are many ways to demonstrate that you’re a tech-savvy professional eager to learn more and make a mark in the industry. 

Here’s what you can do:

1. Develop relevant tech skills

The first step towards getting into tech is arming yourself with the necessary skills. Whether you’re planning to work in sub-sectors like web development, UX design, or data analytics, you should be well-versed in the basics. 

Web development, for example, requires knowledge of the most popular programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python. 

Similarly, UX designers need to understand web design principles and be adept at using tools like Photoshop, Sketch, and Adobe Creative Suite.

This will help you gain the skills to apply for tech jobs and show hiring managers that even without practical experience, you can pick up new skills quickly and master the tools of the trade.

2. Follow tech experts on social media

Another excellent way to get into tech with little experience is to learn from professionals already in the tech sector. 

Follow and connect with experts on LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media platforms to get an overview of the industry and build your network. This will give you more insight into the job market, upcoming trends, and tech-related career opportunities.

Plus, you may also get a chance to pick up new skills from tech professionals, as many of them offer free or low-cost courses and tutorials online.

3. Use the power of networking

Apart from following tech experts on social media, you should take advantage of professional networking opportunities to break into the sector. Although networking can also be done digitally, attending local industry events and job fairs can go a long way in expanding your connections. 

The advantage of getting face-to-face with professionals is that it will give you a chance to demonstrate your enthusiasm and knowledge about the sector in a more personal setting.

Networking with professionals can also open the doors to potential job opportunities and internships you cannot find online. Look for likely events online and find groups on LinkedIn, there are loads!

4. Shadow someone in the industry

Why not take your networking efforts to the next level and land yourself a mentorship opportunity with someone in the industry?

Shadowing a professional allows you to learn firsthand from their experience and potentially get job referrals. This is a great way to gain first-hand industry knowledge and position yourself for job opportunities.

If you cannot find a mentor in your local network, try looking for one online. Whether on LinkedIn or Google, a quick search will show you plenty of programs that connect aspiring tech professionals with experienced professionals in their desired fields. 

Asking people directly for advice at any networking event is also a great way to find a mentor. You’d be surprised at how much support people are willing to offer if you just put your feelers out!

A person work shadowing to break into tech

5. Volunteer for a tech company

To get hands-on experience in tech, consider applying for short-term volunteering roles. Many tech companies offer volunteer positions that give you the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable insights into their work processes. 

This is a great way to build your resume and demonstrate to hiring managers that you’re committed to furthering your tech career.

Need help finding suitable tech volunteer opportunities? Check out this list of the best tech companies to work for and see if any of them are offering volunteer positions.

6. Get involved in open-source projects

Open-source projects are software development initiatives open to the public for contribution.

Anyone with coding skills can participate in these projects by submitting code changes, reporting bugs, or suggesting new features. This allows aspiring tech professionals to get involved in the development process and learn from more experienced developers.

If you’re looking for beginner-friendly open-source projects to get involved in, this GitHub list for first-timers is a good place to start.

7. Subscribe to industry newsletters

Another possibility to get into tech with minimal experience is to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news. This will give you insight into the trends and topics concerning tech professionals. Top tech newsletters to explore include:

Additionally, many tech companies and organizations publish newsletters with job postings and other training opportunities. Subscribing to these newsletters can help you stay informed of the latest job openings and training programs.

8. Start your own tech blog or podcast

The next tip may take a little bit of effort, but can be incredibly rewarding in the long run. If you want to demonstrate your tech knowledge and create a personal brand, start your own tech blog or podcast

Writing about tech-related topics will help you refine your understanding of the industry and boost your chances of being noticed by potential employers.

This proactive approach is a great way to showcase your knowledge and creativity, build an online presence, and connect with like-minded individuals in the industry. Plus, over time, it enables you to establish yourself as a tech expert, even if you don’t have much work experience in the field.

man recording podcast on how to get into tech

9. Get experience with freelance projects

If you’re looking for an easier way to gain experience in tech than applying for internships or entry-level positions, consider taking on some freelance projects. Freelance work requires no prior experience and allows you to practice your skills and collaborate with more experienced professionals.

Most freelancing platforms today offer various tech projects suitable for beginners, including web development, graphic design, digital marketing, software engineering, and more. 

All you need to do is create a convincing profile on one of these platforms and start applying for gigs.

10. Build a strong portfolio

No matter which option you choose to gain practical experience—freelancing, volunteering, or open-source projects—make sure you build a strong portfolio. Your portfolio should contain examples of your best work and showcase your skills in the tech industry.

A well-crafted portfolio showcasing your tech abilities and industry knowledge will also give you an edge when applying for full-time positions, as it demonstrates your expertise in the field, even if you lack work experience. 

To get an idea of what we’re talking about, take a look at our guide to creating the best UX portfolio, which has a lot of cross-over with other disciples. 

11. Invest in an online course

And finally, the most effective way to break into the tech sector is through certification. 

Even though formal education isn’t always necessary to get a job in tech, having an industry-recognized qualification can be very beneficial for your career. Not only will it give you the skills required to perform well in a tech job, but it will also help you stand out from other applicants with similar backgrounds.

Curious to learn more? Here are some of our overviews of the best online tech courses out there—with a focus on:

Key takeaways

The tech industry is one of the most sought-after and fastest-growing industries today. 

If you’re looking at how to get into tech with little or no experience, you’ll need to prepare yourself to stand out from the competition.

While there are no hard and fast rules in terms of how to get into tech, the tips we’ve shared will help you develop a well-rounded understanding of the industry and demonstrate your tech knowledge to potential employers.

For a detailed guide on tech jobs in 2023, we recommend giving this article a read.

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