The tech industry is one of the fastest changing industries in the world and one of the most competitive. Unlike most other industries, topics studied at college are rarely relevant to the job market by the time a person graduates and this makes finding a first job a huge challenge. Here we share some advice on how to survive and succeed in the tech industry.
For the best chance of success in the tech world you should focus on specialist and niche products. Although you may find yourself in a future role where a general knowledge about technology is required, it is always assumed that specialists will also have a general knowledge. For this reason it is vital to specialize early on, ideally during education, and work at becoming an expert in your chosen path.
It is important that your specialisms are highlighted on your resume. Ideally, every resume that you submit to a company should be specifically tailored for the job and the company. Never send a general resume for a job; managers invariably ignore these.
Do your background research
One important consideration when looking for work is to understand who you are applying to work for. Because the tech industry is so fast paced and competitive many tech startups fail. If you apply for a job with a brand new company and get accepted, it may be wise to inquire about their business plans and try to find out if the company is successful yet.
Many new businesses are financed with loans and venture capital but these are always finite and if the business idea fails you will likely find yourself back on the job market within a year. For contractors this is no problem, but if you are looking for longer term prospects with one company it is important to do some background research first.
If you are considering starting your own tech business it is important to understand why many tech startups fail. Generally, startups fail because an entrepreneur’s idea cannot be converted into a viable business model. The business plan is drawn up with high expectations but a lack of orders means that within a year or two funds are depleted, leaving the business owners no choice but to close shop.
The most successful tech companies today are huge: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and eBay, to name but a few. They all started out as very small businesses, usually run by computer science graduates. It is difficult to determine why these became so successful while countless others failed, but we do know that passion, belief and business networking are all vital skills.
In recent years we have seen tech manufacturing companies move overseas to countries like China to take advantage of a cheaper workforce and land. These companies are aiming to reach the mass market with many different products that appeal globally. However, it is possible to survive in the industry by focusing on quality, niche and specialization. A good example of a business that has done this well is Transducer Techniques. They provide a small range of very specialist equipment to the technology industry. Transducer Techniques identified a growing market for their products (load cells, torque sensors and related instruments) and focused on producing excellent products and providing a high level of customer support.
The tech industry is still growing and there are new opportunities arising all the time. So long as you pick your specialisms and work on ensuring that you are the best in the market, you will find work. A final piece of advice: be passionate about the work that you do. This passion is what drives people and gets good results; managers know this.