Ever wondered what are the main challenges people with atypical backgrounds face when switching careers to tech?
While some debates can remain eternally controversial, others, like diversity in tech, can reach a consensus quite quickly. Content pieces advocating for more diversity in tech are now pouring through the internet, evidencing how hot, vast, and complex this topic has become. As it could fuel hours of conversation, we chose to stick only to the question of atypical backgrounds in tech today.
So, whether you are a manager willing to do more or a professional considering a tech career, what follows should interest you. After launching a partnership with Ada Tech School, we had the opportunity to welcome apprentices with unconventional backgrounds in our R&D department. And we learned a great deal when collecting their feedback! So, we thought, knowledge being open source at Criteo, how about sharing these few pointers with you?
Here are five things to remember for a smooth and successful career transition to tech.
- Choose wisely! Take the time to research and compare schools, and try to go for those promoting respect, inclusion, and diversity as core values. Learning in a safe and healthy environment is essential to help you succeed, so take some extra time to dive into different educative approaches and choose the best fit for you. Trust us, you'll be glad you did!
- Learn by doing! How can you find your way through all the coding courses, training, and boot camps suggested on the internet? Well, there seems to be unanimity on this one: Pick a training including professional experience! It is the fastest and most efficient way to bridge the academic/professional gap.
- You are unique, so embrace it! Yes, there is no one like you, like a famous band once sang. But why does this have to be a bad thing? Because most engineers come from a traditional background, you can offer them a fresh eye and a different perspective. Yes, coding is technical, but don’t forget it always serves a bigger purpose.
- You are no imposter! Sure, the ramp-up and learning curve can feel a bit frustrating sometimes but it is the deal with any learning process. How do you want to master something you are here to learn? Learning means not knowing at first. Though it seems obvious, we all tend to forget it sometimes.
- A good teacher is forever a student! Yes, good teachers always learn from their students. Bringing in atypical profiles leads us to challenge existing positions and improve how we onboard people. Profile diversity is therefore a great asset to enhance diverse thinking, bringing new ideas, opinions, and mindsets.
We hope these few pointers will help you feel more confident when leaping! And now, let's conclude by sharing one of our mentors' thoughts on career change: "Changing careers takes courage, so never forget that you were right to make that leap. Remember that you are in the driver's seat of your career, not others."
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