How can I start working toward a career, in the tech field, without a degree?
Anyone have any advice that could be helpful to getting started?
Rui recommends the following next steps:
For basic knowledge, I would suggest CompTIA certifications. Then you can decide where you want to go from there.
Some companies/organizations also provide specialized certifications. However, you probably want to take some time to understand what path you want to take before investing in something more focused.
1. Cisco - networking
2. Agile, Scrum, Safe - Agile methodology and roles
3. PMI - project management
… and there are many more for Web programming, security, Linux, etc
So definitely get started, see what really interests you, then pursue additional certifications that take you down that path.
Valarie recommends the following next steps:
Technology is an amazing field and with so much growth out there, it’s hard to focus on just one specific technology. Luckily, many companies not only look for degrees but also certifications. Valarie’s answer was right on the money with CompTia if you want to learn about IT Fundamentals. CompTia is a great resource and if you go to their website, they have a lot of different professional groups that range from Artificial Intelligence, Big Data to Drones and my personal favorite Cybersecurity. Start by checking out their articles and maybe join their mailing list.
Another great resource is EDX (and Coursera) which are massive online course providers with many free intro courses. It’s a good way to get your IT knowledge up to speed without committing to one technology.
Lastly, I would say, if you’re interested in something specific, let’s say Cybersecurity. Research the certifications for Cybersecurity for industry jobs and you will get a list of the certifications that industries want from entry-level applicants.
I’ve included a link for the best IT Certifications in 2020!
Best of luck!
All of the advice given is good advice depending on what you want to do. However, the first step is narrowing down what you want to do in the tech field. There are many different kinds of programmers (front vs back end developers, mobile vs PC, etc). But there are also HR, customer service, Finance, Marketing, and other roles in technology that can get you into the field. You have to figure out where you want to go before setting a path forward. A great way to figure out what you want to do is to connect with people in jobs that interest you. I've found that people tend to be willing to help! Send someone a message on LinkedIn asking to learn about their job and life experience for 30 minutes. This will also help grow your network for later when you are looking for the job!
John recommends the following next steps:
I post graduated in Human Resources , have 6 years of experience and the firm with which i am at the moment is my 3rd. All throughout my tenure i have only worked in out and out HR intensive roles and in my current role i am an HR Project Manager who implements systems. How i accidentally started exploring IT/Technology was, i would volunteer to test/ understand the back ends of systems that i used (can be something as simple as your phone too) whenever there was an issue. Gradually i realized, i was learning more than others and eventually became the person who would be approached within teams for any system related issues.
Then came my break, when for all employees there was a system to be launched, that although would be spearheaded by IT, but they needed someone from HR who could give requirements, and there i was deep diving into all system conversations day in day out. After a point my understanding was at par with the IT folks, and although i did not have in depth technical expertise but i knew what needed applying when. Thus, i moved into an HR Project Manager role, where i get HR systems implemented, and now i am privy to even the coding that goes into making a system what it is.. and hence i believe you can imagine what i can do next.. :)
Hope this helps.
In technology, the two biggest fields are sales and product development. From there, I'd consider which field you find most interesting then consider what experience do you need to be considered for a role in these areas.
For sales - retail experience can be a plus especially for entry-level sales roles.
For product development - there are many different boot camps and certification courses you could consider taking to get engineering or design experience.
I'd encourage exploring more on CodeAcademy, General Assembly, Flatiron, or even your local community or state colleges. These options are far less expensive than a college degree and you can usually find a loan provider very easily.
It's also fun and provides instant gratification... your program either works and does what you wanted it to do, or it doesn't.
Depending on your interests there are a number of courses that you can take. Check out Codeacademy.com for ideas and a place to start.
Even there are some online communities like Kaggle, Analyticsvidhya, where can learn and earn data Analytics as my domian. You can see something like this for other domains also.
And if you feel you are more strong in your domain. You can look for a startup with some new ideas. Because big companies are supporting startups as their CSR activities.
In my suggestion, working in the field of tech without any college degree is mostly driven by interest. There are people out there who have done bachelor's in mechanical engineering but are working in tech side, to be specific in software engineering. It's more about how you build your profile matching the market demands.
Okay, given that we assume you find software development as an intriguing task, you can always start by learning one programming language (there are plenty of online FREE and PAID resources), then build something that adds to your profile. You can also start your career in remote, work from home jobs, or in freelancing (obviously once you get proficient).
Having said that, all the best!! Explore the enormous opportunities in tech!!
You can start by getting certifications in skills with high demand right now like:
1. Microsoft Azure
2. Amazon Web Services
The learning materials are typically free or at a low cost, and you just need to pay for the fees to take the certification exams (usually under $1000).
If you have some more money, you can think about taking a short career course like General Assembly or Dev Mountain if they're available in your region, or you can take them online ($5500-$15000)
A degree isn't required for many entry-level jobs in tech! If programming isn't for you, some fields that you can start looking into are IT, recruiting, and tech sales. These roles however, do require a lot of persistence, perseverance, and openness to feedback. You'll have to be a strong speaker and doer.
A program like YearUp (https://www.yearup.org/) which provides job training and internship placement, is also a great start.
Entry-level jobs you can look into: Sales Development Representative (SDR), Recruiting Coordinator, IT Specialist.