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It’s common to face doubt and fearDoubts and Fears Getting in the Way of Your Future Career? TripleTen Students Share Ways to Fight Them in your job search. 

As a mid-level professional, you might worry you’re too late to change careers. (You’re notA Tech Career After 40: Why It’s Worth It.) Without a college degree, you might hesitate to apply to your dream company. (You shouldn’tNo Computer Science Degree? You Can Still Become a Software Developer.) Trying to balance parenting and work, you might have concerns about finding a job you love that also has flexible or remote options. (You willCan I Count On a Remote Job After Graduation?.)

Imposter syndrome is real and valid. But it’s easily cured by changing your perspective.

For example, you might be uncertain you can land an entry-level tech job without previous experience. We encourage you to instead consider that rather than a hindrance, your lack of experience is an asset.

Don’t believe us? Let us explain.

Why tech employers want people like you

Tech employers hire professionals from unique and seemingly irrelevant backgrounds all the time for a variety of reasons, which we’ll outline below.

But before we jump in, you might be wondering: What about a lack of a college education, in addition to having no experience? Well, tech companies are increasingly letting that slide, too. 

In 2021, IBM stripped its bachelor’s degree requirement from more than half of its US job openings. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has said he doesn’t consider a college degree an indicator of success when vetting candidates. Tesla’s Elon Musk has echoed this sentiment.

If that’s not reassuring enough, consider this: Forty-five percent of respondents to a 2023 survey conducted by ZipRecruiter said their companies had dispensed with degree requirements for at least some of their roles. The hiring platform saw a similar trajectory, with the share of job postings on its website listing a bachelor’s degree as a requirement falling 10% between 2022 and 2023. This year, Indeed reported that just 17.8% of US job postings on its platform required a four-year degree, while 52% did not include any educational requirements at all.

Feeling better? Now let’s explore how having no tech experience, whether in school or outside of it, can be of value to employers.

1. You bring a fresh perspective

Software engineers, data analysts, product managers, and IT specialists spend months, if not years, building and refining their products. Their heads are in the weeds, ensuring code gets delivered on time and without bugs. They’re considering the needs of their customers, yes, but also the needs of their immediate managers, higher-ups, and other stakeholders.

This is all to say that in the constant shuffle of day-to-day work, the bigger picture can easily get lost.

New hires, among other things, help companies realign and reflect. They’re eager to make changes or suggestions because they’re less attached to the “old ways,” and they bring in new ideas as a result of their experience at other companies or working with other products.

But new hires without tech experience bring something even more important — a customer and user perspective.

A sales representativeTransitioning from Sales Representative to Software Engineer or HR manager can comment on the usability and convenience of a CRM or hiring tool. A retail workerTransitioning from Retail Salespersons to Software Engineers knows what makes for a seamless checkout experience, both on the consumer end and the employee’s. Anyone in any field can provide feedback on their favorite app or piece of hardware, or on a workflow that’s just not productive.

By being partially, if not completely, removed from the technical aspects of a product or service, you provide a valuable perspective that allows tech teams to work smarter and more effectively toward their goals.

2. You already have most (or all) of the relevant soft skills

Tech roles and tech companies prioritize soft skillsWhy are soft skills important? as much as hard skills, mainly because the work is highly collaborative. 

You can be the best coder in the world, but if you’re terrible at managing your time, your code will never ship. You can excel at pulling data, but if you can’t think critically, you’ll never actually gather useful insights from that data. You get the idea.

The beauty of this is that soft skills — particularly soft skills relevant to tech jobs — are learned in many contexts.

Taxi driversTransitioning from Taxi Driver to Software Engineer: Journey to Tech Excellence become adaptable and good problem solvers when faced with road delays or changing passenger demands, skills that come in handy when code breaks or an app isn’t driving users (see what we did there?). BartendersTransitioning from Bartender to Software Engineer: Mixing Creativity with Coding are meticulous with details and highly creative, which allows them to make delicious drinks or deliver unique software features. Office clerksTransitioning from Office Clerks to Software Engineers are strong multitaskers and stakeholder managers — key attributes for project and product managers.

Tech soft skills can also be taught and harnessed outside the workplace. For example, liberal arts majorsCan My Liberal Arts Degree Get Me a Job in Tech? are great at communicating and incredibly curious, qualities that make up some of the best data scientistsThe Top Data Science Skills for 2024.

3. You’re motivated and open-minded

By considering a career in tech, you’ve already shown employers you’re ready and excited to learn. That’s a skill that can’t be taught, and one that many qualified tech workers lack.

Let’s look at one example: Two candidates apply for the same entry-level job. One matches all of the requirements and has extensive experience at a name-brand company. Another has some of the prerequisites, mostly soft skills, and just an internship under their belt.

The first candidate walks into the interview barely prepared and expecting to be handed the job. They ask few questions about the position, and don’t seem enthusiastic about the product or company. They focus instead on how they’ve already done this work successfully before, so they could do it again at this company, too.

The second candidate is nervous but eager to make a good impression. They’ve researched the company and written out a list of questions targeted at its goals, culture, and values. They’ve practiced how they’re going to showcase what skills they do have, and are humble about what they don’t know but hope to grow in.

Which candidate sounds more interesting to you? Which one would you want to work with? Which one seems like they’d stick around for a long time, and which could easily be convinced to leave for a better salary or higher title?

Some employers may take candidate one — at the end of the day, they may just have work they need done and done well, without much training. But many other organizations will love candidate two so much that they’ll overlook what’s missing in favor of someone they can mold, nurture, and retain long term.

The additional skills you’ll need to break into tech

Now, just because we say you can get a tech job with zero experienceI Have Zero Experience in Tech. How Will I Manage? doesn’t mean you don’t need any sort of training whatsoever. You can’t build a website on courage and organization alone. And even candidate two had worked as an intern before applying.

What we are saying is that you can break into tech without taking the traditional path — namely, college or graduate school. (Note, too, that even the best educational institutions struggle to give students the proper technical training for today’s workforce). Bootcamps such as TripleTen’s online programs are one route to take. OthersNo Coding Experience? Here Are Six Ways To Get It include taking a certification course, participating in a hackathon, or contributing to open-source projects.

All of these options can bridge the gap between your current skill set and the skill set needed to become, say, a software engineerThe Software Engineer Career Path — and the Skills You Need or business intelligence analystHow to Become a Business Intelligence Analyst. These (mostly hard) skills might include:

  • Programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, SQL, or R
  • Data preparation, analysis, management, and visualization
  • Project management tools such as Jira or YouTrack
  • APIs
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Statistics and probability theory
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Presentation and communication
  • Time management and attention to detail

People who’ve made the switch to tech

If you’re curious to know exactly what pivoting from an entirely different field into an entry-level tech job looks like, check out these two success stories from TripleTen graduates:

Tiffany Hall came from teaching

Tiffany HallA Teacher Switches to Tech to do Even More for Students: Tiffany Hall’s TripleTen Story, a special ed teacher of 15 years, was inspired by her experience with education technology to pursue a career in software engineering. “I believe so much in technology and embracing it. I realized I gotta get out and make sure that educational tech gets more opportunity in front of teachers and students,” she said. 

After attending TripleTen’s bootcamp, she landed a role at a company developing an algorithm to determine what instruction a student needs and for how long. “I wanted this job so bad. As an educator, it’s like working for Google or Disney. It’s just that level,” Hall said.

Jake McCambley moved from wilderness therapy

Jake McCambleyTaking Therapy from the Outdoors to Tech: Jake McCambley’s TripleTen Story started his professional journey in wilderness therapy, which had him taking groups on week-long camping trips to the desert. But he had always been interested in coding — and TripleTen’s was an appealing opportunity. 

One of my favorite things about the education — and one of the things that most helped me become the engineer I am today — were the project-based sprints. Jake McCambley, TripleTen grad

“By the end of the week, you have a full project that you can then show off in your portfolio,” he said.

He now works at Zencare, a therapy platform that allows him to assist even more people with finding the help they need.

TripleTen can help you land a tech job

Tech isn’t for everyone, but just about anyone can get an entry-level tech job.

TripleTen aims to make tech accessible for all, no matter how little experience you have to go off of. Its beginner-friendly bootcamps cover all the basics of popular and lucrative tech jobs, with externships that allow students to put their skills to practice in real-world scenarios and present their results to real company partners for feedback.

Not sure if a bootcamp is the right format for you? Take our short quiz to find out.

IT career tips

Sign up for our newsletter to get future-proof advice from tech industry experts.

Stay in touch

Is a bootcamp right for you?

Discover your ideal path to tech by taking our quiz.

Take the quiz