Landing Your IT Job
Apr 30, 2024

Your Guide to Landing a Job in Tech

Discover how to land your dream job in tech, from in-demand skills to navigating the job market.

NGT Academy
NGT Academy

So, you want a job in tech? I get it. The tech industry is where it's at - high salaries, cool perks, and the chance to work on cutting-edge projects.

But breaking into tech can feel like trying to solve a Rubik's cube blindfolded. Where do you even start?

Well, I've been there, done that, and I'm here to help. I've been through the wringer with the tech job market and picked up a few tricks about snagging one of those coveted positions. It's your turn now; I’m ready to reveal what I know.

In this guide, we'll cover everything from the hottest tech jobs to the skills you need to get hired. We'll talk about how to network like a pro, craft a standout resume, and ace your interviews. By the end, you'll have a roadmap to your dream job in tech. Ready to get started?

Section I

Top Highest Paying Tech Jobs

The demand for tech workers has never been higher. Job-switchers everywhere are trying to figure out how they can take advantage of the tech boom. At the same time, there is no real consensus on what constitutes a "tech job" in 2022. Post-pandemic, computer technology has become so intertwined with how we work across industries that the distinction between tech jobs and traditional jobs has blurred.

Software Engineer

Software Engineer is one of the highest paying tech jobs, with an average annual salary of $107,510 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I've seen firsthand how software engineering roles command top dollar in the tech industry. For those wizards of engineering capable of juggling the design, development, and maintenance of complicated software setups—there's big money on the table from eager employers. It's a challenging but rewarding field.

If cracking codes, conquering complex puzzles, and chasing after the newest tech thrills sounds like your jam, you're on the right track. But if you've got the chops, a career in software engineering can be incredibly lucrative.

Data Scientist

Data Scientist is another high paying tech career, with an average annual salary of $100,560 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In today's data-driven world, tech companies are eager to hire professionals who can wrangle big data and extract valuable insights. Picture this - diving headfirst into intricate business dilemmas but not alone. By my side are these brilliant data scientists flexing their muscles in advanced analytics coupled with the power of machine learning; making those complex problems look easy peasy. It's a field that requires a unique blend of technical skills and business acumen.

You need to be proficient in programming languages like Python and R, have a strong foundation in math and statistics, and be able to communicate your findings effectively to non-technical stakeholders.

Product Manager

Product Manager is a lucrative job, with an average annual salary of $108,992 according to Glassdoor.

I've had the opportunity to work closely with product managers throughout my career. They play a crucial role in driving the success of a product from conception to launch and beyond. It's a role that requires a diverse skill set - from conducting market research and defining product strategy to collaborating with cross-functional teams and making data-driven decisions.

Let's face it; strong chatting up skills paired with leading the pack? Absolutely essential.

If you're passionate about building innovative products that solve real customer problems, a career in product management can be highly rewarding - both personally and financially.

Data Engineer

Data Engineer is a well-compensated tech role, with an average annual salary of $92,934 according to PayScale.

As companies collect more and more data, there's a growing need for professionals who can design and maintain the infrastructure to store, process and analyze that data. That's where data engineers come in.

I've seen data engineers work their magic, building data pipelines, operating systems, and architecting data storage solutions. It's a role that requires strong programming skills, expertise in databases and data warehousing, and the ability to optimize data systems for performance and scalability.

Web Developer

Web Developer is a high paying job, with an average annual salary of $73,760 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In our digital age, every company needs a website. And that means a high demand for skilled web developers who can build engaging, user-friendly web experiences.

I've worked with talented web developers who can bring a design to life with clean, efficient code. It's a role that requires proficiency in programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, as well as frameworks like React and Angular.

Attention to detail, problem-solving skills and the ability to collaborate effectively with designers and other stakeholders are key. With the ever-evolving nature of web technologies, a commitment to continuous learning is a must.

Section II

Essential Skills for Landing a Tech Job

So you're interested in breaking into the tech industry and landing one of those high-paying dream jobs? Sure, it's a tough race out there, but sharpen those skills and stack up your experience – that’s how you'll shine brighter than the rest.

Programming Languages

Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, and JavaScript is essential for many tech jobs. These are the tools of the trade, the building blocks that allow you to create software, websites, and applications.

I remember when I first started learning to code. It was intimidating at first, but with practice and persistence, it became second nature. The key is to start with the basics and build from there. Take online courses, build your own projects, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you get stuck.

The tech community is full of people who are eager to share their knowledge and support others in their learning journey.

Problem-Solving Skills

Strong problem-solving skills are crucial for success in tech roles, as you'll often be tasked with finding solutions to complex technical challenges.

I've seen this firsthand in my work as a software engineer. When you're building a new feature or fixing a bug, you need to be able to break down the problem, think critically about potential solutions, and test your assumptions.

It's a skill that can be developed over time, through practice and exposure to a variety of challenges. Don't be afraid to take on difficult problems and learn from your mistakes. That's how you grow as a problem-solver.

Industry Knowledge

Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies is important for landing and thriving in a tech career. Tech moves quick. Employers dig candidates who ride the wave of change without falling off.

I make it a point to read industry blogs, attend conferences and meetups, and network with other professionals in my field. It's not only a great way to stay informed, but also to make valuable connections and learn from others' experiences.

Soft Skills

If you're into tech, don't forget that teamwork, gabbing skills, and bouncing back from setbacks are right up there on the wish list of what companies want. No matter how technically skilled you are, if you can't work effectively with others or communicate your ideas clearly, you'll struggle to succeed.

I've seen the impact of strong soft skills firsthand. The most successful teams I've been a part of are those where everyone communicates openly, collaborates seamlessly, and is willing to adapt to change. With a bit of effort and time, anyone can sharpen these abilities.

Practice active listening, seek out opportunities to work with diverse groups of people, and embrace a growth mindset.

Continuous Learning

A commitment to continuous learning is essential in this fast-paced industry, where new technologies and best practices are constantly emerging. I've made it a priority to carve out time for learning and professional development throughout my career.

There's always room to grow - maybe it's through mastering that next online course, participating in a lively workshop session, or unraveling the mysteries of another programming language. Employers value candidates who are proactive about their own learning and development. It's evident; your heart is fully in this—always pushing boundaries to remain on top.

So there you have it - the essential tech skills you need to land a high-paying tech job. Yes, it's tough but oh so fulfilling. Arm yourself with a killer combo of tech savvy, problem-solving chops, know-how on the industry, people skills and an unending thirst for learning—you're pretty much setting the stage for your own success story.

Key Takeaway:

Landing a high-paying tech job is totally doable with the right skills. Master programming languages, hone your problem-solving abilities, stay sharp on industry trends, polish those soft skills, and never stop learning. It's not just about being good at tech but also about working well with others and keeping up with fast-paced changes.

Section III

How to Break Into the Tech Industry

Breaking into tech can feel daunting, especially if you're starting from scratch.

But here's the thing: with the right skills, a killer portfolio, and a network of industry contacts, you can absolutely land your first tech job.

Develop In-Demand Skills

When I first decided to transition into tech, I knew I needed to work on developing tech skills. I spent countless hours learning to code, diving deep into programming languages like Python and JavaScript.

Was it challenging? Absolutely. But developing those in-demand tech abilities was crucial for making myself a competitive candidate.

"Nowadays, working in tech can mean a wide range of things," said Lisa Nuessle, Senior Growth Lead at Iron Hack. "I classify it as working at a tech company that is providing technical solutions or software. Regardless of your role — marketing, sales, operations, etcetera — you are focused on providing one solution for your clients. And many of these roles also utilize software to increase productivity and drive business results."

Build a Strong Portfolio

Once you've got the skills, it's time to show them off. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a strong portfolio that showcases your best work.

When I was job hunting, I made sure to include a diverse range of projects in my portfolio. From web apps to data visualizations, I wanted potential employers to see the breadth of my abilities.

Remember, your portfolio is often the first impression you make on a hiring manager. Make it count.

Network with Tech Professionals

You know what they say: it's not just what you know, it's who you know. And that couldn't be more true when it comes to breaking into tech.

Attend industry events, join online communities, and connect with IT professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. You never know where a casual conversation might lead.

When I was trying to break into tech, I reached out to a former colleague who had made a similar career change. She ended up referring me for my first tech role.

Tailor Your Resume

I've seen far too many generic, one-size-fits-all resumes. If you want to stand out in a sea of applicants, you need to tailor your resume for each and every job you apply to.

Highlight your relevant skills and experience, and don't be afraid to get creative. For my first tech job application, I actually built an interactive resume using HTML and CSS. It helped me stand out and showcase my web development abilities.

Consider Internships or Entry-Level Positions

If you're struggling to land your dream tech job right away, don't be afraid to start with an internship or entry-level position. These roles can provide valuable experience and help you get your foot in the door at your desired company. Plus, many internships lead to full-time offers down the line.

When I was first starting out, I took on a three-month internship at a startup. It was unpaid, but the experience and connections I gained were invaluable. And it ultimately led to my first full-time tech job.

Breaking into tech takes time, effort, and a whole lot of persistence. But if you're willing to put in the work, the payoff can be incredible. Take it from someone who's been there: you've got this.

Section IV

Navigating the Tech Job Market

Once you've got the skills and experience needed to break into tech, it's time to start your job hunt. But with so many job boards, company websites, and networking events out there, it can be tough to know where to start.

Popular Job Boards

When I was looking for my first tech job, I spent hours scouring job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn Jobs. These sites aggregate job listings from across the web, making it easy to search for roles that fit your skills and experience.

But be warned: competition on these sites can be fierce. To stand out, make sure your resume and cover letter are tailored to each specific job you apply for.

Researching Tech Companies

While job boards can be a great starting point, I've found that the best opportunities often come from doing your own research on tech companies you admire. Spend some time browsing company websites and reading up on their mission, values, and current projects. If a company aligns with your own goals and interests, don't be afraid to reach out directly about potential job openings.

When I found my current role, it was through a connection I made at a tech conference. I had expressed interest in the company, and she encouraged me to apply for an opening on her team.

Tailoring Applications

I cannot stress this enough: generic applications simply don't cut it in the competitive tech job market. If you want to land an interview, you need to tailor your resume and cover letter to each specific role and company.

Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job description, and don't be afraid to showcase your personality. At the end of the day, companies and hiring managers want to hire people, not just skill sets.

"A tech job is one that deals with computer programs, hardware, software, networking, and maintaining systems," says FindPeopleFirst CEO Kimberly Silva. "It is easy to differentiate a tech job from other jobs, since it mainly involves dealing with computers and their systems."

Preparing for Interviews

If you've landed an interview, congrats. Now it's time to prepare. In addition to brushing up on your technical skills, make sure you've done your research on the company and role. Come prepared with thoughtful questions that show your interest and enthusiasm. And don't forget to practice common interview questions with a friend or family member. The more comfortable you are discussing your skills and experiences, the more confident you'll feel in the actual interview.

Negotiating Salary and Benefits

Finally, don't be afraid to negotiate your salary and benefits once you receive a job offer. Research industry standards for the role and location, and come prepared with a range you feel comfortable with. Remember, negotiating isn't just about the money. Consider other factors like vacation time, work-from-home policies, and professional development opportunities.

When I received my first tech job offer, I successfully negotiated for a higher salary and additional vacation days. It can feel intimidating, but advocating for yourself is crucial for long-term career satisfaction. Navigating the tech job market takes time, strategy, and a willingness to put yourself out there. But with the right approach, you can find a role that challenges you, aligns with your values, and propels your career forward. Happy job hunting.

Key Takeaway: 

Breaking into tech means leveling up your skills, building a standout portfolio, and networking. Tailor each resume and don't shy away from internships for experience. Dive deep into job boards and research companies directly to find the best fit. Finally, prepare for interviews and negotiate offers confidently.

Section V

Career Paths in the Tech Industry

This industry is booming, and there's never been a better time to dive in. But with so many different paths to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start.

Software Development

As a software engineer, you'll be at the heart of the tech world, building the tools and systems that power our digital lives. This path isn't just about having the technical chops; it’s equally about thinking outside the box to crack problems. I remember my first software engineering job at a startup. It was a wild ride, with long hours and constant learning. But seeing my code come to life and make a real impact on users made it all worth it.

Web Development

If you're more of a visual thinker, web development might be your jam. Let's break it down like this—you’ll be using those nifty skills in HTML along with some snazzy styles from CCS coupled up tight with lively interactions via JavaScript making web spaces where people love hanging out. I've worked on web projects for everything from small businesses to big corporations, and I can tell you that the feeling of launching a site and seeing it out in the wild never gets old.

Data Science and Analytics

Data is king in today's world—taking over from where oil left off—and companies are desperately seeking talents who can sift through heaps of information and highlight what matters most. As a data scientist, you'll use your skills in statistics, programming, and domain expertise to uncover insights and drive business decisions. I've seen firsthand how data science can transform industries, from healthcare to finance to marketing. It's an exciting field that's only going to keep growing.


With cyber threats on the rise, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been higher. You'll work to protect organizations from hacks, breaches, and other digital dangers. I've had the chance to work with some top-notch network security teams, and I can tell you that the work is never boring. It's a constant cat-and-mouse game, staying one step ahead of the bad guys.

Mobile App Development

As we watch mobile technology devour the globe bit by bit, there’s a growing demand among companies for app builders with magic in their fingertips. Whether you specialize in iOS, Android, or cross-platform frameworks, you'll have the chance to build apps that reach millions of users. I've worked on mobile projects for startups and big brands alike, and there's nothing quite like seeing your app featured in the App Store or Google Play.

Section VI

Thriving as an IT Professional

So you've landed your dream job in IT. Congrats. But the learning doesn't stop there. To really thrive in this fast-paced industry, you'll need to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies.

Staying Up-to-Date with Technology Trends

One of the best ways to stay current is to attend conferences and meetups. I try to hit up at least a few big events each year, like AWS re:Invent or Gartner IT Symposium. It's a great way to learn from experts, network with peers, and get inspired by the latest innovations. Diving into tech blogs and tracking experts on Twitter or Facebook is something of a routine for me. Some of my favorites are O'Reilly Radar, The New Stack, and InfoWorld.

Collaborating with Teams

No tech professional is an island. Making waves requires more than solo effort; it’s about joining forces. Imagine rallying together—design minds meeting strategy heads, while sales talents align strategies straight up to executive levels. I've found that the key to successful collaboration is clear communication and a willingness to listen. Really listening to what your teammates are aiming for and valuing their input can make all the difference. Don't shut down fresh suggestions too quickly.

Managing Projects

As you advance in your career, you'll likely take on more project management responsibilities. This means juggling timelines, budgets, and stakeholder expectations, all while keeping your team motivated and on track. I've learned the hard way that the key to successful project management is planning, planning, and more planning. Break big projects down into smaller milestones, set clear goals and deadlines, and communicate early and often.

Communicating with Stakeholders

Speaking of communication, one of the most important skills you can develop as a tech professional is the ability to translate complex technical concepts into plain English. Whether you're presenting to executives, clients, or investors, you'll need to be able to explain your work in a way that resonates. I've discovered using stories and analogies really brings those tricky tech topics down to earth. For example, I might compare a complex system architecture to a city's transportation network, with different components working together to keep things running smoothly.

Advancing Your Career

Finally, don't be afraid to take risks and pursue new opportunities as you grow in your career. To thrive in technology's rapid current, latch onto every chance to learn something new and pivot smoothly when needed. That might mean taking on a stretch assignment, switching to a new role or company, or even starting your own startup. Whatever career path that you choose, stay curious, stay passionate, and never stop learning. The tech industry is an incredible place to build a career. With so many exciting paths to choose from and endless opportunities for growth and impact, there's never been a better time to dive in and make your mark. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started.

Key Takeaway: 

Diving into the tech industry means constantly learning and adapting, whether you're coding, securing data, or developing software. Stay curious and passionate—there's no limit to where your skills can take you.


Landing a job in IT isn't easy, but it's definitely doable. You've got to merge just the right professional talents with a CV that pops and some serious elbow grease if you're aiming high. But if you're passionate about information technology, and willing to put in the work, you can make it happen.

So, what are you waiting for? Jump into the tech scene and leave your own unique stamp. With the right mindset and a solid plan, you've got this. And who knows - maybe one day, you'll be the one writing a guide like this, sharing your secrets to success in tech.

But... what if I told you that you could kickstart your successful IT career in just 4 months, without spending years pursuing a college degree?

Well, that's where NGT Academy comes in. We're here to support you every step of the way, providing the training and guidance you need to excel in the cyber security world.

Are you ready to invest in yourself and work in your dream IT career?

Then don't wait any longer, apply now to land your dream IT job in just 4 months versus 4 years.

Happy job hunting, and we look forward to welcoming you into the NGT Academy family!

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