How to Land a Tech Job


Are you the kind of person who travels to the beat of a different drum? Do you find yourself gravitating toward the unusual, odd, non-traditional choices in life? If so, and if you have a hankering to find a job in the technical field, consider the following strategy for obtaining an out of the ordinary IT job, one that will often have people asking you questions like, “do you really do that for a living?,” and “is that really a job that people get paid for?”

Getting Ready

You can’t just walk into an interview and say, “hire me!” Like anything else of value, you need to prepare. For most of the unique positions in this field, you’ll need to learn several of the more useful programming languages, at the very least. Having a college degree with an emphasis on IT coursework is the ideal situation, but there are other approaches that work. If you don’t want to work for a diploma, find an entry-level, boring IT job and put in six months or a year learning the basics of the craft. Pick up as much programming savvy as you can, make a few industry connections, build up your personal network, and work with a mentor who knows your ultimate goal.

Covering the Costs

If you take college courses to learn programming, it will take you a year or two to cover the key languages and get up to speed on your technical skills. If you combine individual classes with an entry-level job, you’ll move along the learning curve more quickly and will be ready to land a unique job sooner. Of course, the ideal method is to obtain a college diploma with an IT concentration.

If you opt for a degree, be sure to apply for a student loan. Not only will a low-interest education loan offer you a reasonable interest rate and a favorable repayment period, but it will free up your time so you can focus on school work. One of the best things about student loans is that they give you your best shot at a high grade-point average. Free from the burden of having to juggle work and study, you can zone in on preparing for your career as a technical jack of all trades.

Choosing an Interesting Career 

Would you apply for a job as an ethical hacking expert, a listening agent, a traveling IT evangelist, or a crowdfunding guru? If any of those positions sounds like it would make a cool, burnout-proof career, take a closer look at what each one involves:

  • Ethical hackers work for companies or as solo practitioners. They’re paid to see if they can hack into networks. Your days are spent trying to defeat and “illegally” gain access to new systems that companies are testing.
  • Listening agents work for corporations and spend their working hours finding any mention of the company or its products in online forums, news stories, or blogs.
  • IT evangelists are company tech workers who take to online forums and blogs to boost new tech products and get people talking about them.
  • Crowdfunding gurus help individuals and companies set up effective online fundraising websites, blogs, and advertising campaigns.
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