Sooo..You want to work in tech?

Christina Ou
5 min readAug 1, 2019

I recently started partaking in the WAVE Advisor program that is led by BUILT BY GIRLS, an awesome team that gives high school and college women access to resources that help them explore and land internships and jobs in tech. I offered to write a newsletter for BUILT BY GIRLS that covers the topic of the types of career paths available in tech and wanted to share some of that information here for anyone in the Medium community this could help.

I majored in marketing in college and, unsurprisingly, worked in advertising for years before transitioning into becoming a product designer in tech. I’m so glad I made this career change, but often wish I’d known about the possible careers in tech earlier. You may be interested in tech in general, but not know what kind of career options are available, so below are high level explanations of a few possible career paths in tech.

Within each of these career paths, there are so many nuances and ways you can specialize, but I’ve kept it simple for the sake of this newsletter. If any of these sound interesting to you, there’s a wealth of detailed information online you can dig deeper into.

What Are My Options and How Do I Get There?

Software Engineer (aka developer, programmer, coder) — Software engineers use programming languages and technical problem solving to do things like build software products, develop computer games, and create customer-facing websites. Their main goal is to translate directions from humans (i.e. wireframes from a designer) into instructions a computer can understand.

Relevant college majors: Computer science or other STEM related degrees, such as information systems, electronics, or civil engineering

Continued education: Coding bootcamps, which are programs that educate students on practical, language-specific programming skills

Other options: Teaching yourself! This can be done through free online training sites, reading programming books, and building your portfolio that shows your coding skills.

Good skills to have: Expertise in a programming language, ability to understand the overall development process, basic concepts of IT and computer systems, and specialized skills based on what kind of Software Engineer you want to be (Frontend, Backend, Fullstack, Mobile, DevOps,QA etc.)

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Christina Ou

Senior Product Designer @ Apollo.io. Passionate about innovative SaaS product design, cohesive user experiences, and research-driven decision making.