One of the most exciting industries around, the tech industry has built its reputation on growth and innovation. This is great news for recent grads who are passionate about technology and interested in contributing to its development. To find out more about tech industry opportunities, we asked the team at Philips Lighting, a tech industry leader focused on healthcare and lighting solutions, to tell us what they look for in an employee and what you can do to stand out from the crowd.
Here are the steps you need to take if you want to land a job in tech.
1. Develop your knowledge of the tech industry
When it comes to starting your career, few things are as important as knowing the industry inside and out. Although this may sound a bit overwhelming at first, it’s actually good news because your knowledge doesn’t have to be academic. While computer science and business classes can be a good way to learn about the tech industry, there’s also a lot you can do to develop that knowledge on your own. Tech-focused websites like Forbes Tech offer a lot of insight into industry trends and emerging technologies. Beyond that, it’s about learning about specific companies and the kind of work they do. At Philips Lighting, where the focus is on improving lives through technology, this means being familiar with the company’s products and the impact they have on people all over the world.
2. Determine what aspects of tech you’re interested in
Once you have a strong grasp of what’s happening in the industry, it’s time to narrow your focus and pick a career path the matches your skills and interests. For example, if you’ve been coding since high school and want to take a hands-on approach to creating new technologies, you might want to focus your attention on engineering. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in sales or marketing, focusing on those aspects of the industry might make more sense for you. If you’re not sure, working for an industry leader like Philips Lighting is a great way to gain exposure to all aspects of the field before deciding on your specialty.
3. Intern with a tech-focused company
With industry knowledge under your belt and a strong focus in mind, it’s time to get some hands-on experience by interning with a tech company. This is a great way to deepen your knowledge of the tech field while also figuring out what type of role is best for you. Depending on the type of company you work for (and the internship you choose) you may be involved in different aspects of a company’s operations from engineering to marketing or even human resources. While smaller companies can provide a more cross-functional internship experience, larger companies can give you a chance to truly specialize in your field and gain the kind of experience that might take you a year or two to develop at another company. This is an important thing to keep in mind as you apply for internships since you’ll want the internship you choose to reflect your career goals moving forward. If you’re a recent grad without a tech internship under your belt, don’t worry. You can still stand out from the crowd by developing your industry knowledge and studying the companies you want to work with.
4. Know what tech companies look for
While tech companies definitely have their share of differences, they also have a lot of similarities. One of these is the desire to hire bright, motivated people to join their teams and give them the chance to create solutions that are truly game changing. “I love the idea that we can put the control back into the consumer’s hands. We provide the technology so that individuals can control their environment.” says Galvin Ho, a Philips Lighting engineer who focuses on creating innovative lighting solutions. Since tech companies place so much emphasis on talent and passion, being able to demonstrate these qualities is extremely important to landing a job.
By following these tips and developing your skills and knowledge, you’ll have no problem finding a tech job that’s right for you.
Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as the Top 10 Skills Employers Want in an Intern and find answers to common interview questions such as Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?