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When you come across a tech job that lists a bunch of foreign-looking requirements, what’s your reaction? We wouldn’t be surprised to hear you say, “I immediately leave the page, because there’s no way I’m landing that role.”

What if we told you it’s entirely possible to get tech jobs with no experience? No, seriously, we know it can be done because we’ve seen it happen time and again. 

If you don’t believe us, keep reading! If you do believe us but have no idea where to begin, keep reading, too — because we’ll dive into all the ways (and there are many) you can market and train yourself with little effort, time, and money to break into tech.

1. Reframe the skills you do have

A common misconception is that you have to start from scratch if you’re changing careers into tech. Certainly, you may have to explore entry level tech jobs before moving into a higher level or management track. But being considered for those roles doesn’t mean you have to scrap everything you’ve built up until this point. You may even need less training than you think.

All you have to do is draw parallels between your skill set and the responsibilities of say, a software engineerThe Software Engineer Career Path — and the Skills You Need or quality assurance engineerThe Quality Assurance Engineer Skills You Need in 2024. Easier said than done, sure, but nowhere near impossible. Here’s how:

Evaluate the hard skills you have that are directly or indirectly tied to tech.

What software do you know, even at a beginner level? Have you worked with data? Conducted research or user testing? Teachers, for example, test out new ways of educating students constantly. Marketers are familiar with CRM tools, creating pipelines, and analyzing market trends.

Gather up all your strongest soft skills and the stories they tell.

Have you overseen or managed people, stakeholders, relationships, or systems? Have you been involved in problem solving or coming up with new and creative ways to tackle issues? Are you great at divvying up your time and priorities? Again, there are probably a lot of examples that may seem random but are highly relevant to working in tech. Nurses juggle many different patients and cases at a time. Baristas and customer service representatives have fantastic interpersonal skills.

We’re not saying you can coast into a tech career on transferable skills alone.

However, software development is about more than just knowing programming languages.

Tech companies value and often seek out candidates who show how their diverse and unique perspectives can lead to better innovations, smoother processes, and higher employee engagement (more on why you’re an asset with the skills you already have hereGetting an Entry-Level Tech Job With No Experience: Why You’re an Asset). 

In other words, It’s all about how you market yourselfMarket Yourself: Break into IT with Zero Experience and craft your application. So prepare these talking points and your confidence in them ahead of time, and you’ll nail behavioral interviewsNo Prior Tech Experience? Here’s How to Pass a Behavioral Interview, networking conversations, and other key steps in your job search.

2. Get more training

Software developers code. Data analystsHow to Become a Data Analyst build systems to parse through data. Support technicians resolve bugs. This is a simplified take of each field, of course, but the point is: Each role requires specific technical expertise that can’t just be pulled from thin air.

So to answer your unspoken question, yes, you’ll probably need to get some training if you have no experience in tech. But how you get that training can vary!

Everyone learns differently and at different paces — luckily, our modern world provides options to accommodate for this.

Many established universities and institutions (think: Big Tech) offer certification courses and graduate programs in computer science that mimic the feel and benefits of a classroom, such as group work, quizzes, and live instruction. If hands-on learning and building a portfolio are a priority for you, and you can’t afford the steep costs of higher education, consider a bootcamp.

Many, like TripleTen, are targeted at beginners who want to study on the side while maintaining a full-time job or caregiving. In addition, they partner with reputable companies to offer externships and project-based work that allow students to put their skills to the test. Here’s our best advice for finding a bootcamp that suits your needs and budget, and how to use review platforms to vetReview Platforms And Rankings Worth Your Attention When Choosing a Bootcamp which bootcamps are legitUnveiling Legitimacy: How to Verify the Authenticity of a Bootcamp.

Finally, internships or returnships (internships targeted at mid-level professionals) are great opportunities to be trained under experts in the field while still making some salary.

3. Take your education into your own hands

Maybe paying for an online bootcamp or graduate degree isn’t in the cards for you right now, or you want to do more research before committing. There are tons of ways to teach yourself about skills such as coding, data analyticsLand a Job in Data Analytics with These Tips (Zero IT Experience Required!), or information technology at little to no cost. Some ideas: 

  • Reading books such as these or these.
  • Listening to podcasts like the ones on this list.
  • Subscribing to newsletters, blogs, tech influencers, or other resources.
  • Raising your hand to get involved in software development or tech projects at your current company.
  • Freelancing or consulting for a tech company or startup.
  • Creating a website, app, or business in basic languages such as HTML or CSS.
  • Watching videos on YouTube.
  • Contributing to an open source project on GitHub.

Note, however, that only a select few are successful in this route — the completion rate for free online courses ranges between 5% and 15%, we’ve previously reportedCan I Study On My Own and Save Some Money? — and it’s not the best choice if you lack self-motivation and the time and resources to study independently. 

4. Pursue jobs that are tech-adjacent

You know the old saying of getting your foot in the door? Well, in tech, it can be incredibly effective to pursue jobs that are adjacent to what you want to do long term, just to build a reputation and get the attention of the right people.

For example, maybe you want to become a web developer, but you currently work for a nonprofit. Your first step might be to apply to jobs at a tech company building software for nonprofits. 

Next, you land a role as a sales representative at said company thanks to your experience partnering with sponsors and rubbing elbows with donors. Sure, you’re not building websites, but you are getting a closer look into the process, as well as a better understanding of your customers’ needs. Over time, you become an expert on the product and how to sell it.

Maybe you begin pitching your manager the benefits of getting more involved in software development. Or maybe you’ve built a great relationship with an engineer who’s happy to include you in meetings when you mention your interest. When you’re successful contributing to a project or two, maybe discussions of internally transferring happen naturally, or you find yourself getting poached by product leaders.

As you can tell, none of this happens over night.

But there are so many benefits to this approach: You don’t have to leave your job or a steady paycheck to make moves, and you can learn as you go in a supportive, familiar, and hands-on environment.

The benefits for companies to invest in employees like you is clear, too: They get to retain great talent, diversify their teams, and save costs on hiring.

5. Network

We all know the value of a referral: When hiring managers have to sift through hundreds of resumes, a name-drop can go a long way in putting your application at the top of the pile.

But leveraging and growing your network shouldn’t only be about getting a recommendation. After all, that can feel slimy and quickly turn off professionals in your field. More importantly, with this tactic, you’re missing out on so many other tools at your disposal.

A connection in the tech industry can help you figure out what you want to do by answering your questions or walking you through their journey. They can mentor or tutor you in crucial skills. They can prepare you for job interviews or tricky situations that may pop up as you explore beginner tech jobs. They can alert you to openings that their network is promoting.

So how can you build a network in an industry you’ve never entered before? Start with the network you have. Ask colleagues, friends, and family members if they’d be open to connecting you to people they know in tech. Find connections of connections through LinkedIn. Network within your company with individuals who work or have worked in tech roles. Always begin the conversation by coming prepared with tailored questions and the expectation that you’re interested in their perspective and advice — not a referral. Who knows, if you make a good impression, they might recommend you all on their own!

Top entry-level technology jobs that don’t require experience

If you’ve already taken one or more of the steps above, here are the best entry level tech jobs to consider:

Job title Average salary Salary range Job openings
Junior technical writer $75,596 $72,000 to $124,000 4,800 a year
IT support technician $51,398 $47,000 to $75,000 66,500 a year
Junior software engineer $99,429 $97,000 to $177,000 153,900 a year
Quality assurance tester $70,392 $57,000 to $102,000 153,900 a year
Project manager $103,208 $103,000 to $172,000 68,100 a year
Product marketer $73,681 $72,000 to $121,000 34,000 a year

Gain experience while you learn tech

Learning and doing don’t have to happen separately. TripleTen’s bootcamp is designed to help you regularly apply your emerging tech skills to real-world problems — and curate an impressive portfolio in the process.

If you’re worried about the time commitment required to complete a bootcamp, look no further than graduate Jeremy RiveraBalancing College, Work, Family, and a Part-Time Bootcamp to Find Tech Success: Jeremy Rivera’s TripleTen Story: He was able to balance his full-time job, college, and family duties while in the part-time program, and next thing he knew, he’d landed a dream tech job.

Fear your previous experience will hold you back? Jenny DoctorFrom Making Music to Making Commits: Jenny Doctor’s TripleTen Story taught music in an elementary school before joining TripleTen’s software engineering bootcamp. “Obviously, as a music teacher, I was using creativity and art throughout my day. And I found that with software engineering, and especially the web development that I did through TripleTen, there was a creative aspect,” she says. Before she’d even graduated, Jenny landed a position at an IT services and consulting company.

Or take AC Slamet’sA Producer Switches to Tech to Find Time for Life: AC Slamet’s TripleTen Story journey: Once a TV producer, he now works as a data analyst at an ad agency. His favorite part about the career change? “I have my weekends off, which is amazing,” he says, adding, “It’s a breath of fresh air.”

See if a bootcamp is right for you

We take the guesswork out of choosing whether to sign up for a bootcamp: This 5-minute self-assessment can help you make the decision stress-free!

IT career tips

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Is a bootcamp right for you?

Discover your ideal path to tech by taking our quiz.

Take the quiz