“Is It Tough To Get A Job In Tech?” Answered

by | Finding A Job

“Is it tough to get a job in tech?”

As a tech career coach, I’m often asked this question by job seekers who are considering a career change and want to know how difficult it is to break into the tech industry.

Let me be blunt: Trying to get a job in tech is not for the faint of heart. However, it’s possible if you’re willing to put in the effort.

Keep reading to learn about the current state of tech, how difficult it is to break into the industry, and tips for successfully transitioning from non-tech to tech.

Is It A Bad Time To Get Into The Tech Industry?

Although the tech industry has grappled with layoffs, it’s still a good time to work in tech. Before making a transition, it’s important to understand the current state of the industry and know what you’re getting yourself into.

To begin, you’ll want to reflect on whether you really want to work in tech, or if you’re just drawn to the pay, given these important facts:

  • Many companies are resetting salaries, perks, and total compensation, partially in response to more workers flooding the industry.
  • Layoffs are commonplace in tech and a common fear among workers. If you crave job security and get nervous about the idea of being laid off, tech might not be the right career path for you.
  • While there are exceptions, the tech industry is known for longer working hours. Many tech professionals struggle to balance work and life given the exceptionally high standards, competition for promotions, and layoff anxiety.

Before launching a full-blown job search, consider conducting informational interviews with serval people in your target position at target companies to understand what their day-to-day roles really involve. Oftentimes, the reality of working in tech and IT is much different than what people think from the outside looking in.

Is The Tech Industry Oversaturated?

While it may seem like the tech industry is oversaturated right now, the truth is that your competition for roles is going to depend largely on the specific sub-industry, position, and level you’re targeting.

For instance, many companies cut middle-management roles during the COVID pandemic to trim fat and save costs, so you might find it a bit more difficult to land your inaugural tech role if you’re mid-career.

Conversely, if you possess cutting-edge generative AI and machine learning skills, you’re going to be in hot demand in the current job market and stand a better chance of securing a position in tech.

[Read: Is Technology A Good Career Path?]

Are Tech Jobs Hard To Get Into?

Unless you’re in an incredibly niche position, you’re likely to face a good amount of competition in the tech industry, so you’ll want to be realistic with your expectations and understand your job search is going to take longer than if you stayed in your current field.

Having a targeted search, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and harnessing the power of networking will all increase your chances of landing a job in tech faster.

Understanding the role of the “hidden job market” in tech will also further support you in breaking into the industry.

Moreover, strategically diversifying your search can help you mitigate the uncertainty of tech. When put into action, this might look like diversifying your job applications across a range of:

  • Startups
  • Mid-market companies
  • Fortune 500 giants

Can I Switch From Non-Tech To Tech?

Yes, it’s more than possible to switch from non-tech to tech, and many people in the industry come from consulting, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and the list goes on.

That said, please don’t expect a tech company to “take a chance” on you. You’ll want to meet all the minimum position requirements, and most of the preferred requirements, to stand a chance of securing an interview.

Furthermore, if you’ve never worked in tech or IT, consider targeting a “lily pad” industry or company before setting your sites on a tech Goliath like Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, as these companies often select talent from other top-tier companies. In fact, you’ll likely need several tech company names on your resume before successfully securing a role at a Fortune 50 tech giant.

You’ll also need to learn to speak the language of tech. For instance, if you come from higher education, you might swap “customers” or “users” for “students.”

Subtle changes in how you speak about your experience and career accomplishments can also make a big difference and help prospective employers understand how your experience translates to their company.

How Do I Transition To A Tech Career?

Simply put, don’t expect a prospective employer to understand how your work history is relevant and transferable if you don’t take the time to translate it into tech speak for them. A recruiter needs to be able to skim your resume and quickly slot you into one of their pre-defined roles.

Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process, so long as you have a solid strategy for crafting your resume and LinkedIn profile. Often, you can mirror the language of the job listing for the role you’re applying to, ensuring you weave in relevant keywords throughout and demonstrate what sets you apart from other applicants.

[Read: 6 Ways To Make Writing Your Resume Less Challenging]

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, only you can decide if the time and effort you need to put forth to land a job in tech is worth it. If you do choose to pursue a tech career, you have some great tips here to support you in your journey. You’re also welcome to schedule a consultation to see if working with me is your next best step. I’m here for you! You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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