How to Get Into the Tech Industry With No Experience (Yes, It’s Possible)
Feel like your earnings and work-life balance aren’t where you want them to be? You might fee envious of a group that seems to have it all: Tech workers. If only it wasn’t too late to change industries, right? Well, it’s not — as long as you’re ready to learn.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that the tech industry is full of opportunities. “Big tech” and FAANG are known to offer some of the highest salaries going, with the average Google, Facebook, and Twitter employee earning an eye-watering $230,000. No wonder that, when it comes to how to get into the tech industry with no experience, most people feel less than hopeful.
We can’t all work for Google, but if you’ve ever written yourself off for a lack of coding knowledge, it’s time to listen up. Technical skills are no longer a prerequisite — absolutely anyone can break into the tech industry. Here’s how you can do it.
How Easy Is It for Non-tech Folks to Break Into Tech Roles?
Everyone has a different resume and skill set (not to mention location), so it’s impossible to give a generic answer about how easy it is to break into tech roles. But we can practically guarantee it’s not as hard as you think.
As long as you have:
A willingness to learn
Some form of experience working for an organization
Confidence using basic computer programs
You stand a good chance of landing a good tech role.
Still, that’s not to say that it will be easy — you need to take the right approach in your job search, and you may encounter some hurdles along the way.
Potential Obstacles Non-tech Candidates Face When Entering Tech Industry
Yes, it’s possible for anyone to get into the tech industry — whether your background is bookkeeping, retail management, or anything in between. But there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some challenges along the way. Here are a few things to look out for.
Struggles to prove your skills and interest. We’ve already emphasized that you don’t need technical skills to work in tech. Still, companies may prefer candidates who can at least prove their interest in the industry over someone with a blank resume. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to demonstrate this.
Confusing roles. The tech world isn’t always outsider-friendly. For instance, no-code developer jobs may be advertised under a range of foreign-sounding names, including Business Systems Analyst and Process Automation Consultant.
Misaligned expectations. The tech industry is one of the newest sectors around. If you come from a more traditional sector, this can be strange. The recruiting process may look different — from shunning traditional interview questions to a less-than-formal dress code.
Ageism. The tech sector is largely white and male, and it has been accused of various “isms.” One that many people forget to consider is ageism — in the US, the average age of internet professionals is 35 years old. Those who are older can still break in, but they may face some level of prejudice (conscious or subconscious).
Economic uncertainty. During times of economic difficulties, many companies are looking to cut their budgets. This means fewer vacancies, especially for those who lack experience, but don’t let this put you off — people in all sectors are at risk when the economy is down, and tech workers are likely to have it better than many.
How to Get Into the Tech Industry With No Experience
Now we come to the golden question: How to get into the tech industry with no experience. We’ve already said that anyone can do it — now, it’s time to show you how.
Our top recommendation: Become a citizen developer
Given that technical skills can be a barrier for some jobs, the best option is to take them out of the equation altogether. If you’re a citizen developer, you aren’t expected to code by definition. Instead, you use visual tools to perform a similar job to a standard developer in a much more intuitive and accessible way. Same destination, different route to getting there.
This video from IBM succinctly demonstrates exactly what no-code means, comparing it to driving an automatic car instead of a manual vehicle. And as with electric cars, it’s certainly not inferior — 90% of no-code usersthink their company has grown faster thanks to the use of these tools, according to a recent Zapier report.
Anyone can become a citizen developer — and yes, we mean that literally. Regardless of your age, background, or other obstacles you’re worried will hold you back, nobody is excluded. The tech market is thriving, even if economic uncertainty has slowed it down somewhat, and many firms are turning to no-code solutions amid developer shortages.
And best of all, you stand to make plenty of money by entering the field. Many citizen developers can reach somewhere between $100,000 to $125,000, although you may have to spend a few years earning your stripes before you reach this level.
Tips to fast-track your transition to a citizen developer career
Has that six-figure salary caught your attention? We don’t blame you — and there’s no reason to settle for a mediocre paycheck when there are better opportunities out there.
So, how can you get there as fast as possible? This video contains a short but useful guide to the basics of being a citizen developer, but basically, it all comes down to self-education and training. Since no-code development is such a new field, there’s no college degree, but there are plenty of online courses.
For instance, the NoCode Institute offers a NoCode Foundations program designed to teach people from non-technical backgrounds how to use the key technologies, build their portfolio, and transition into the field. Although there are free resources, learning from skilled instructors and receiving feedback from mentors will help you master key skills more quickly and easily.
Other tips you may want to consider include:
Look beyond typical tech companies to find opportunities
Learn more about the field and typical job tasks before applying for jobs
Talk to those working in the field to deepen your understanding
Work on your LinkedIn and social media presence to get seen by employers
Improve your resume — you can include conferences, seminars, and more to boost it
Hopefully, this gives you a taste of how easy it is to enter the tech industry for the first time if you know what you’re doing. Now, it’s time to examine some of the best tactics in further detail.
Our Advice for Those Trying to Get Into the Tech Industry With No Experience
So, you’re convinced that citizen development is the right path for you and you’re determined to do what it takes to get the job? Having the right attitude is the perfect starting point — but the tips below will supplement that with practical steps.
Commit to upskilling and reskilling
Just because you don’t need to code in the traditional sense, it doesn’t mean you can be lax about your skill development. Get learning, whether that’s NoCode Institute or this free taster course from Zapier.
Take on tech-related tasks at your current job
Every organization can benefit from no-code. Could your current employer benefit from you automating data entry tasks or turning databases into visualizations? Do it for them!
Look for simple freelance jobs
If your employer isn’t willing to give you this type of project, you can turn to the internet. Set up a profile on a freelance marketplace like Upwork or Fiverr to get some experience.
Start building projects (and your portfolio)
Once you have these first projects under your belt, show them off with your very own portfolio. Maybe you could even make your very own website using no-code and put your portfolio there.
Complete relevant courses and certifications
We’ve mentioned a couple of courses, but the importance of getting certified can’t be emphasized enough — it’s your chance to stand out from the crowd and boost your knowledge.
Identify your transferable skills and highlight them in applications
Just because you haven’t worked in tech before, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any relevant skills. Communication, problem-solving, and resilience are all vital skills in the tech industry — show off how you’ve developed them.
Breaking into Tech: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think
If we had to summarize this article and give our tips for breaking into the tech industry as succinctly as possible, we’d say this: Don’t overthink things. Many companies are desperate to take on more tech workers to help them digitize their operations, and citizen developers have emerged as the perfect solution. Whatever your background is, there’s space for you if you’re prepared to upskill yourself.
And don’t forget that online courses are your “cheat code” to a successful tech career. NoCode’s Foundations Program will teach the basics across seven weeks, complete with everything from live classes to peer assessment to interactive learning — and it’s perfect for beginners. Give yourself the chance you deserve.
Now, let’s answer a few of the most-asked questions when it comes to entering the tech industry with no experience.
How do I get into tech with a non-tech background?
There are plenty of tech careers open to people from different backgrounds. Most notably, citizen developers use visual tools to create applications, automations, and more instead of coding.
Which tech job is easiest to get?
A career as a citizen developer is one of the most accessible since it doesn’t require coding or other technical skills. However, everyone is different.
What is the easiest IT field to get into?
The world of no-code is open to almost everyone since it doesn’t require a degree or any coding knowledge. But you’ll still need to know how to use no-code applications.
How quickly can I get a job in tech?
The average job search takes five months, and the IT sector has some of the slowest hiring times, with an average wait of 44 days for a position.
How do you break into technology without coding?
You can break into tech without coding by becoming a citizen developer. To be successful, take online courses to increase your skills and boost your resume.