Lots of people think they could never make a career shift into tech. However, now more than ever, we see tech infiltrating every industry. Megan Smith, the former Chief Technology Officer of the United States, pointed out that there will be over "1.4 million tech jobs in the next decade and only 400,000 trained people to fill them.” So, in reality, now is the perfect time to make that leap into the tech industry.
Breaking into the world of software engineering from an unrelated background does, in fact, come with a set of advantages that oftentimes aren’t spoken about. Companies hiring our students say software engineers who have come from backgrounds ranging from classically trained musician all the way to public school education and each one of them noted that their perspective on the user’s experience would differ from some conventionally trained engineers.
So what does it take to break into tech? It was the poet Robert Frost who wrote the words “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” There’s a common misconception that if you did not attend a traditional four-year college to pursue a Computer Science degree then you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. This simply is not the case any longer. There is a myriad of resources available to learners to begin your pivot into the tech industry. From college alternatives to open source materials on the web, one can at least dip their toes into the realm of software engineering to see if it’s a path they’d be interested in taking.
Take Holberton School, for example. Holberton is a two-year college alternative training students to be full stack software engineers with a curriculum centered around peer-based learning and a project-based curriculum. One of the other major draws to Holberton is our deferred tuition model paired with the opportunity at being able to secure a quality job. This tuition barrier elimination makes the reality of a career or an educational pivot much more attainable. At Holberton School, prospective students are not evaluated on their academic performance prior to their application. Our free application process is only selecting students based on their grit and willingness to become a software engineer, part of it is actually to build a simple website!
Holberton School has enabled students like Larry to move from physically demanding jobs like being a server to picking fruit and planting trees in the agricultural sector, to landing his first full-time software engineering position! Larry is the personification of taking the road less traveled by and serves as a reminder that you, me, or anyone has the ability to break into the tech scene and help to fill the 600,000 open software engineering positions!