Five steps to getting a role in tech

Ruby Kolesky & Laura-Jane Booker
Ruby Kolesky & Laura-Jane Booker

3: Five steps to getting a role in tech

This guide includes a lot of information to support you through each step towards getting a role in tech. Below is a brief overview of each.

You can expect this process to take between six months to a year – the precise pace is up to you.

Fig 2 Five steps.png Figure 2 - Five steps to getting a role in tech

1 - Explore your options

Exploring your options involves forming a clear picture of the different types of roles on offer in technology. The first step is deciding which role is best for you.

The next section – Which roles to go for - will help you understand the different roles on offer.

2 - Do a short course

Once you’ve decided which role you are going for, the next step is to do an online or on-site course. Ideally, choose a non-university institution that is also good at helping to place its graduates into internships and junior roles.

Courses will vary in length from a few months to a year. Some can be done part-time or after hours. This book lists a number of course options for various roles.

Many people don’t have funds available to pay for courses, so we have also included a comprehensive list of funding options.

3 - Build relationships

Before you finish studying it’s a good idea to start building a network within the industry. Matchstiq.io has a good overview of the earlier stage organisations in software tech.

Use LinkedIn to create a profile that clearly indicates your desire to find a role in technology. Make connections with people in organisations you are interested in by adding them to your LinkedIn network.

This book also lists a number of Slack groups you can join for free. Within these groups, they often mention events that anyone is welcome to attend. You can also ask questions, and get to know people.

4 - Get an internship

Try to get an internship once you are finished your short course. Most internships are at least three months long and they are also paid.

Getting an internship ahead of a junior role is an additional way to bolster your training. Internships receive the most mentoring and it’s well understood that the purpose of the role is to help train you.

Getting an internship starts with applying online to employers. A good looking CV and cover letter can help you to stand out. Many will ask you to attend a few interviews. Some will ask you to do a simple exercise to test your skills.

If you have responsibilities at home, don’t be afraid to ask for flexible working arrangements. Most organisations would be accommodating.

This book lists a number of sites that collate internship opportunities. Don’t limit yourself! Reach out to employers directly, even if they don’t list an internship program, you have nothing to lose.

5 - Get an entry level role

Many internships lead to a permanent entry level role, if you are fortunate enough to have this experience then: mission accomplished!

Other internships are a good way in to gain enough experience to land a role in another organisation. In this case, you will once again find yourself applying for a job, this time as a junior.

Depending on the type of role you are applying for, taking on a small personal project and showcasing it on-line is another great way to show your potential.

The most important thing is to be good at showcasing both your skills and who you are. Thereby showing how you might be an asset to someone’s team.

Aside from skills, a positive attitude is often the key differentiator in choosing who to hire, so bear that in mind!

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Next: Which roles to go for

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Pathways is designed to help women, Māori, and Pasifika people into a paid software technology role in six months to a year - without needing a degree first.