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How do I get started in the tech industry coming from an unrelated field Are there any real pay to learn opportunities??

For the better part of a year I have been learning HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, and Swift. I am still relatively novice but Im learning quickly. The trouble is that I cant dedicate enough time to truly practice my skills because I am too busy at my other job. I am in a position in my life to be able to make the jump into tech at an entry level or lower job position if need be. Meaning I dont need a high paying position, I just need something to get my resume started and allow me to focus more time on building my portfolio. I have a background in Construction management and experience in industry standard computer programs like Excel, Word, Outlook, and various CRM tools. Are there any job titles that I can look for that will allow me to get my tech career started with what experience I have?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Billy’s Answer

Hi Eric, It is awesome that you are choosing to pursue a career in technology. It is a very fulfilling endeavor. Since you are starting your career, I would recommend a position that combines learning with production so that you can ease into the industry form academics. Two ideas come to mind.

1. Internships: These offer professionals a mix of learning with production responsibilities. You will get an opportunity to be mentored by an experienced professional and see how the tech industry works and if you want to continue on this track. Usually it is a limited duration opportunity. Good news is that companies tend to hire their start interns into permanent positions.
2. Tech Development Programs: These programs recruit graduates to build future tech leaders. Programs will offer a rotational opportunity in different business units helping such employees understand different roles. Also helpful to build your network. Many such employees take up leadership positions after their 2-3 years rotation. Off course selection is tough with a lot of competition to get into such programs. Larger companies tend to have more of these programs.
3. Entry level position: These are also good positions to start with. Although leaning more towards productions. Mentors could help shape new engineers.

Hope this helps you see some ways to get your Tech Career started. Competition for jobs is world wide these days. Educational credentials are critical and help you build a solid career. Always good to balance education with real world experience. Wish you much luck as you start your tech career.
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Jacob’s Answer

Getting started in the tech industry from an unrelated field is possible with dedication and the right approach. Here's some thought-out advice on how to make the transition and find real pay-to-learn opportunities:

1. Leverage Your Current Skills: Your background in construction management and proficiency in industry-standard computer programs can be valuable assets in the tech industry. Look for roles that require both technical and managerial skills, such as project coordination or technical support.

2. Target Entry-Level Positions: Focus on entry-level positions like IT support, technical assistant, or junior developer roles. These positions are often more open to candidates with diverse backgrounds and a willingness to learn.

3. Showcase Your Projects: While you're still learning tech skills, work on personal projects to build your portfolio. This demonstrates your passion and dedication to the field, even if you haven't yet gained extensive professional experience.

4. Consider Freelancing or Internships: Look for freelance opportunities or internships in tech-related projects. These experiences allow you to gain hands-on experience, expand your network, and build your resume.

5. Attend Networking Events: Engage with tech professionals through networking events, meetups, or online forums. Building connections can lead to job opportunities and provide insights into the industry.

6. Online Learning Platforms: Continue your self-learning journey through online platforms that offer tech-related courses and certifications. Some platforms even offer job placement assistance after completing certain programs.

7. Volunteer for Tech Projects: Offer your tech skills for volunteer work, whether for nonprofit organizations or local community initiatives. This provides practical experience while contributing to a meaningful cause.

8. Tailor Your Resume: Highlight your relevant tech-related coursework, projects, and skills on your resume. Emphasize your willingness to transition into the tech industry and learn new technologies.

9. Show Enthusiasm in Interviews: During interviews, showcase your passion for tech and your eagerness to learn and grow within the industry. Employers value candidates who demonstrate a strong drive to succeed.

10. Be Open to Learning Opportunities: Be open to taking on roles with a lower salary initially, as long as they provide valuable learning experiences and opportunities to build your tech career.

Remember, transitioning into the tech industry may take time and effort, but with persistence, your passion for learning, and leveraging your existing skills, you can make a successful entry into this dynamic and growing field. Stay focused on your goals and keep building your portfolio and expertise to stand out in the competitive job market.
Thank you comment icon This is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much. I will heed your advice and tailor what I have to make the change as soon as possible. Eric
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Atul’s Answer

Here's a friendly suggestion for you! Why not consider enrolling in some computer language courses at your local community or state college? It's a great way to demonstrate your skills. As you're aiming for an entry-level position, it might be best to focus more on your tech-related skills rather than non-tech ones.

And don't forget, your past experiences can open new doors for you! For example, if you've worked in the construction or home building industry, why not consider a corporate IT job at places like Toll Bros or similar? It could be a great opportunity to combine your past experience with new tech skills. Good luck!
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Todd’s Answer

Other responses provided valuable suggestions. I'd like to stress that you should actively seek out paid internships, engage in online programming projects, and explore large corporations or consulting firms that offer on-the-job training programs (these are usually location-dependent).
Best of luck in your endeavors!
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Kara’s Answer

Research open source codebases! An amazing way to get into the industry & get hands-on, completely free experience without depending on anyone else is to start taking tickets for open source projects. Start small, find a community of other beginners, and don't get discouraged if it's difficult.

My other recommendation would be a part time bootcamp that can be done at night, weekends, or async. I have friends who went this route very successfully from completely unrelated careers. I myself transitioned directly from line cook to software engineer through a bootcamp, although I did 80 hour weeks for 7 months which doesn't sound like the right fit for you.

Check out meetups in your area too! I've found lots of dev friends through meetups, and have gotten a ton of valuable advice, coaching, job referrals, etc from them. Plus it's a really fun and exciting experience to be involved with your community & hear their stories.
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Mark’s Answer

You're in a fantastic spot because businesses are actively seeking entry-level individuals like you. If you're truly committed to making this transition, ensure you carve out time for continuous learning. Given that you have some financial resources, consider reducing your work hours to 30 or 35 per week. Dedicate at least 5 hours weekly to building connections. Seek out entry-level positions - companies are hungry for fresh talent. Explore job boards and local universities for opportunities. Secure a position, give it your all, and you'll be on the path to success. Remember, networking is a powerful tool in landing that job.

Mark recommends the following next steps:

Continue to study.
Network
Look for Entry level opportunities
Look at local job boards and university postings
Of course, have a decent resume (but it is the networking that will get you the job)
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Roberto’s Answer

It is important to have a view of the big picture across IT technology. Expand your knowledge also beyond specific technical skills.

Here you can learn about AI, cloud, and more: https://skillsbuild.org/
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