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How to Get a Tech Job and Start Moving Up, Plus a Free Ebook!

The Anatomy of a Tech Career
Get Our FREE Anatomy of a Tech Career Guide

Get Our FREE Anatomy of a Tech Career Guide

Find out how to go from Step Zero to getting hired and moving up in a tech career.

A decade or so ago, I was working in sales at a publishing company. The most technical thing I did at work was deal with the horrible CRM (customer relationship management) software we used. Before long, we decided we wanted to customize that software so it worked better for us. For some reason, I volunteered to figure it out. It was the first tech “job” I ever had, and it soon turned into me taking on other tech responsibilities.

If you’ve ever been the person at work who gets thrown into “fixing the website,” you can relate.

From there, I moved into design, development, blogging, and other related areas of tech, until I found a career path I love—content creation and marketing. Really, it only took about three years to from my first tech projects to the tech career path I’m on now. That’s less than the time it would take to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Let that one sink in!

I love the career in tech I have now, but when I first started out, I had no idea what that even meant. I sort of (thankfully!) fell into it.

If I had known what I know now, I would have made the conscious decision to get into tech. And if that’s what you’re considering, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find out how to get your first job in tech (and why you’d want to!):

Your First Tech Job

When a lot of people think of “entry level” jobs, they think of low-level, unsatisfying, low-paying jobs. And in a lot of industries, that’s exactly true.

But not so in tech. Entry-level tech jobs are good jobs that pay well. A “junior” web developer, for example, can start with a salary of $40,000 or more. And a lot of companies pay more than that. I don’t know about you, but for an entry-level, little-to-no-experience job, $40k isn’t bad.

From your first day at your first tech job, you’ll be doing important and valuable work. You won’t spend all day every day doing grunt work. Instead, you’ll be designing, coding, writing, and otherwise doing your job, not fetching the boss’s coffee.

How to Find Your First Tech Job

One quick way to find entry-level tech jobs is to tack “junior” or “assistant” to the job title you’re after and search job boards. Junior developer or content marketing assistant or assistant designer, for example.

BUT! Those are not the only ways to find jobs suited to someone who’s new to tech, and if you’re only searching for those job titles, you’re missing out on a TON of possible job openings.

Instead, search for the job title you want (web developer or content marketer or app designer, etc.) and then try to narrow it down based on the experience they “require”. Now, it’s rare to find a tech job listing that says “no experience”. A lot of this is because even as you’re learning, you’ll be gaining experience. You’ll be working on actual projects, either for yourself or for clients (or just for practice), while you learn.

The sweet spot for entry-level jobs is looking for employers who want 1-3 years of experience. In reality, if you have a solid portfolio with some good projects, they won’t care if you only have 3-6 months of experience. They’re much more concerned with your skills than how long you’ve been working in tech.

Make sure that your resume lists the skills you have (be specific! Recruiters often search all the resumes they receive by very specific keywords, so instead of saying you’re familiar with “JavaScript”, for example, list the exact frameworks and libraries you’ve used). And don’t forget that you’ll need a stellar tech portfolio to stand out among all the other potential hires.

Your Next Steps

Getting your first tech job is an awesome accomplishment. But you might be wondering where you can go from there. No one wants to stay in an entry-level position forever.

To that end, check out our Anatomy of a Tech Career guide, which breaks down the entire tech career trajectory you can expect. In the guide, you’ll get:

  • The kinds of tech careers that are out there
  • Exactly what you need to learn when you’re starting out
  • What employers look for when hiring
  • What you need to do to keep advancing (and making more money!) in your career
  • How to plan out your ultimate career goals

There’s even a worksheet for planning out your dream career!

Get the free guide now to start figuring out what your dream tech career really looks like!

Get Our FREE Anatomy of a Tech Career Guide

Get Our FREE Anatomy of a Tech Career Guide

Find out how to go from Step Zero to getting hired and moving up in a tech career.

Cameron Chapman

Cameron is a staff writer here at Skillcrush, and spends most of her time writing and editing blog posts and Ultimate Guides. She's been a freelance writer, editor, and author for going on a decade, writing for some of the world's leading web design and tech blogs. When she's not writing about design, she spends her time writing screenplays and making films (and music videos for rock and metal bands!) in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.