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Ruanna
Ruanna

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The Ultimate Guide to Breaking into Tech: Get Learning

I've been meeting more and more people lately who are looking for a career change and eager to get a job in the tech industry. I broke into tech a little over 2 years ago, and I am happy to share what I learned with people who are in the same boat that I was.

This is part two in the series: Get learning and level up.

Step one was all about getting clear on what kinds of roles you're interested in within the tech industry. Once you've figured out what direction you want to go in, it's time to start learning and level up.

Stack up those courses. These days, the options to learn online are endless and there is no shortage of free content out there either.

Most of these platforms offer free courses, and even the ones that are paid often have scholarship options.

Coursera
Udacity
Hubspot
Udemy
edX
LinkedIn Learning
General Assembly

If you're interested in learning how to code, check out:
FreeCodeCamp
Codecademy
W3Schools

You might be thinking, how much weight can free courses * really * hold with potential employers? The answer is surprisingly, a lot. When I made my career switch from teaching to content marketing, I didn't have a business or marketing degree or any formal business-specific certification – but I did have a long list of online courses I had taken, along with a portfolio of writing samples. And – I kept getting comments and compliments my first couple of weeks from my work colleagues on how they'd heard I'd taken a bunch of courses. So don't knock free courses just because they're free – honestly, anything that can teach you some of the skills you need not only looks good on your LinkedIn profile and resume, but helps you dive right into your new career of choice.

Of course, different roles have different requirements and ideal qualifications. Take some time to browse LinkedIn and find people who are in the role you would like to be in. What types of education (formal or informal) do they have in their Licenses & Certifications section? For project managers, it may be a PMP certification. For UX and design folks, it may be a UX certificate. For digital marketing, it might be a Google Analytics certification. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there to enhance the learning/education section of your resume.

So to conclude, get learning! Get started with some free courses and make sure to add them to your LinkedIn profile under Licenses & Certifications! Every. Single. One. You're working hard – don't be afraid to show it off a bit.

What are some of your favorite websites to level up your learning? Feel free to share in the comments – and stay tuned for step #3!

I'm Ruanna, a former teacher turned developer relations marketer & content writer, passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and education in the tech space. Follow me on Twitter @ruannawrites!

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