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How to Transition to a Tech Career

Thinking of seeking out a new career in tech? Unsure where to start? Wondering what tech skills you need to launch your career in the industry? You’ve come to the right place.

Currently, there are over 17,300 jobs advertised Australia-wide on in information and communication technology, so undoubtedly there are lots of opportunities for women and non-binary individuals to turn their tech career dreams into a reality.

Like any big life decision or change, it can seem daunting and even overwhelming at first when switching careers. Even more so, when you’re considering a move into a male-dominated sector. 

According to the Australian Computer Society’s Digital Pulse 2021 report women make up only 29 per cent of the technology workforce in Australia. 

With the Australian IT sector forecast to grow by 5.4 per cent on average per year totalling 1.1 million workers by 2026, we urge more women and non-binary individuals to get their piece of that pie and reduce this glaring gender imbalance. 

With such a diverse range of jobs, you’ll find something to suit your unique skills, capabilities and interests. It’s a matter of identifying the tech job that’d suit you best, undergoing any training or further education if required, getting experience in your area of interest and marketing yourself to employers effectively.

This guide aims to help you understand what it takes to make the switch and provide actionable steps for tech career transition success.

Step 1. Research tech roles

First things first, take some time to reflect on why you want to switch careers and what you want out of a job to determine the right path for you. What areas of the tech industry are you passionate about? What makes you feel happy and accomplished in your work? Is it solving problems, being creative, data analysis or maybe all of the above? 

Check out tech job ads and our jobs board to start getting ideas on the types of positions available and what specific responsibilities and duties different jobs entail. 

Attend informational tech industry events and webinars. There are loads of excellent free online and in person events about tech careers, trends and technology you can register for. 

Tap into your LinkedIn network to follow people who work in tech and reach out to individuals in your dream job. See if they would be open to answering a few questions via email, Zoom or in person. Ask them how they got their start, what education they undertook and about the day-to-day of their role. You could even see if they’d be open to mentoring you to help guide and coach you during your transition into a tech career and while job hunting.   

Carrying out this research should give you a much better understanding of different tech jobs available, allow you to pick a role that aligns with your wants and needs, and identify the next steps to secure the position. 

Step 2. Explore learning opportunities

Now that you’ve determined the career path or role you’re most interested in working towards, you’ll need to investigate whether you need to level up your tech toolkit. This will ensure you have the knowledge and skills needed to qualify and excel at your chosen new job.

The type of learning you need to undertake will vary in terms of time commitment and investment and depend on your previous education, experiences and the role you’re planning to enter into. There are three main types of learning you may need to consider: 

  • Self-led study

    This involves using your spare time to pick up the new tech skills and knowledge you need using free and paid resources. Attend webinars, read books, newsletters and articles, and enrol in online classes, bootcamps and courses that you complete at your leisure. For example, you have the option to do our

    Foundations of Web Development course

    as self-led or guided 100% online. For more check out Code Like A Girl community’s top

    self-led online learning resources


  • Full-time study

    Research whether there are any applicable certifications or qualifications you need for your desired role. To start you may like to complete a

    10-week course

    to learn to code. You may need to enrol in uni or TAFE and undertake an in-person or online course or degree depending on the qualification or certification requirements employers require.

  • Part-time study

    If full-time study isn’t an option, most education institutions and providers offer flexible part-time study loads which might suit you better. This is where you may take night classes, study two or three days a week or complete lessons on weekends.

Step 3. Build your portfolio 

As you learn and get more and more experience in your chosen field of tech, it’s a good idea to continually work to highlight your achievements by building out your portfolio to help differentiate you from the competition when applying for jobs.

A strong portfolio shows samples of your work and serves as a digital resume for employers. It’s a great way to illustrate and prove that you have the training and skills outlined in your CV.

For instance, you may like to showcase the quality of your code and projects you’ve worked on to recruiters in an online portfolio like GitHub or a website you’ve built from scratch. 

Step 4. Get real-world experience

As a stepping stone to landing the tech gig of your dreams and to accelerate your professional development big time, we recommend undertaking an internship to get real-world industry experience. 

Internships allow you to work in established teams, contribute to real projects and build valuable relationships with people in the tech biz. By seeing first-hand what different roles in technology are and what people actually do on a daily basis you’ll get a good idea of what could be the perfect role for future you. 

Interested in paid internship placements? Our internship program is designed specifically for motivated individuals with a base level of coding knowledge wanting to launch into a meaningful tech career. The program gives crucial hands-on experience to interns placed with one of our amazing industry partners.  

With more and more tech organisations leading the way in furthering equal representation and equity in their ranks, people from all walks of life will feel welcome, safe and included in these work environments when they may not have previously. Whether you’re looking for a new challenge, you have a passion for all things tech or your current job simply isn't fulfilling, transitioning into a career in tech might be the best move you’ve ever made.

Kick-start your career in tech by researching widely, taking on new learning opportunities, building a killer portfolio and seeking out real-world experience.

If coding is your area of interest, Code Like a Girl’s School of Code is the perfect gateway into the tech industry. Get in touch if you have any questions about our online courses, events or internships.

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