Think about how much everyday technology has changed in the last 20 years. We’ve gone from palm-pilots being amazing and impressive to smartphones in every pocket and tablets quickly replacing notebooks even in traditional school environments. It’s no wonder there are more tech jobs than there used to be, and a quickly shrinking pool of computer-free positions. Whatever your original calling, if you’re looking for a job, tech jobs are constantly looking for new skilled professionals. And before you argue that you’re not a “tech”, stop and think about all the different jobs that are done almost 100% on computers now. Everyone is a tech in the information age, and so are you! You just don’t know it yet. The first step is to figure out what in tech you might like to do, the next is to familiarize yourself with the relevant software. With only this under your belt, you are already well on your way to a junior tech position and your introduction into the high-paying world of tech jobs.
1. Art and Graphic Design
If you like to draw and have an eye for composition, a graphic designer is a great bridge-position for an artist in the digital world. These talented professionals are needed in every corner of the tech industry, by big corporations and startups alike, and often make the most money as in-house artists for online marketing agencies. As a graphic artist, you will create concept art, promotional images, and think of ways to make websites prettier. To get started, start trying out digital art programs like Adobe Photoshop. Inkscape and Gimp are great free alternates for job seekers on a budget. Practice theoretical promotional art and UI designs for good measure and read up on software graphic design methods.
2. Game Design and 3D Modeling
With the constant growth of the gaming industry and the introduction of new studios and games every week, there is a constant need for people who can design logical 3D game levels and create life-like characters and monster models. This may sound daunting, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Get started with a free game engine or rendering program like Unity3D or Blender. Even listing experience with these programs will look amazing on a resume and gaming/rendering companies will seek you out for as little as 2 months experience practicing at home.
3. Websites and Mobile Apps
If you have an eye for website design dig yourself into HTML and CSS, two of the oldest and easiest to learn programming/markup languages. These are what almost all websites are made of under the surface and experts at these languages are highly valued because every single company in the world now needs a shiny website and an app to go with it. That said, if you like and feel you understand apps, there are dozens of app-maker programs and languages to choose from, including the aforementioned Unity engine and the Google App Engine. Good old HTML is still useful here, because of the need for mobile-friendly websites.
4. Scripting and Programming
People who can read and write in scripting and programming languages are invaluable to the tech industry. Before you write yourself off, try it. Being good at coding is less about what you already know and more about how you think. Many people, even ones who don’t seem serious or analytical, have the right kind of logical thought patterns to understand and adapt quickly to programming. Any programming language looks good on a resume, but some of the currently popular languages include PHP, Ruby, C# (c-sharp) and Java. If looking up tutorials seems overwhelming, try running a few starter lessons on Codecademy, a free and interactive code teaching website.
Whether you’re 18 or 80, it’s never too early or too late to join the tech industry. Don’t keep sending in the same resume expecting new results, add to your skills instead! From digital artists to code-happy programmers, there is always a need for skilled technical professionals, and most companies are willing to train them from the barest of qualifications. Open up a training program and start practicing today. When you’re confident enough to list your skills as ‘beginner’, you are ready to start your new career as a tech professional. For more tips building your career, contact us today!