How to Take Your Tech Career to the Next Level
According to a 2019 report by The Computing Technology Industry Association, the median annual salary for professionals in the tech industry was double that of the national average. In the past year, over 261,000 new jobs were added to tech, while just over 40,000 new tech companies were launched.
The economic output of this sector totals $1.8 trillion, representing 10.2% of the entire U.S. economy. Year-on-year, the tech industry continues to flourish with innovation and opportunities. At no point in the foreseeable future is this trend expected to change, so if you have a career in tech, now is the time to take it to the next level. Here’s how.
Define Your Goal
Before you begin, take a moment to identify where exactly you want to be in your tech career. Once you have this in mind, determine what you need to do in order to reach that position. This will help you figure out what to prioritize moving forward and ensure that the time you invest into advancing your career is time well spent.
Improve Your Knowledge and Skills
Commonly known as upskilling, expanding your knowledge by learning additional skills is the best thing you can do to increase the pace at which you progress in your career. Upskilling shows your employer that you’re taking the initiative to improve and gives you a competitive edge by making you stand out from the crowd.
These days, doing so doesn’t have to involve quitting your job, taking out another loan and going back to college. Modern online Technology Degree Programs allow professionals in the tech industry to obtain a valuable degree while still being able to work and tend to family responsibilities.
Be sure to find out whether your company has a learning and development budget. If not, they still might be able to fully or partially cover the cost of your studies. You’ll just need to negotiate it with your manager – but more on that later.
Join Communities and Participate in Events
Getting involved in industry-related activities such as workshops, events and community groups is a great way to discover new opportunities. Consider becoming part of a local or online tech community to gain access to helpful resources, professional advice and industry events.
Master the Art of Negotiation
In the book Women Don’t Ask, author Linda Babcok did a study where she found that only 57% of men and 7% of women negotiate their salaries. Discussing salary and promotion opportunities with management is a nerve-racking experience for most people, but being able to negotiate is essential to your professional growth.
Mastering the art of negotiation is as simple as learning a few key skills. This includes equipping yourself with relevant facts by performing research, such as knowing what the average salary is for your position. You should also be able to explain what you add to the company in a concise, confident and controlled manner.
The very fact that you’re trying to advance your career proves that you have what it takes. Now it’s up to you to make use of what you’ve learned.
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