Say “Hi” To Hi-Tech: Landing Your First Job in The Industry
You’re at that point in life where you can decide your own direction. Graduation is an amazing accomplishment. Your specialized studies have given you a trade, and the world is your oyster. But how do you crack it open? Luckily, the labor market has been flourishing: with 353,000 jobs added in November, the unemployment rate is at its all-time low since the 2008 recession. And what’s leading the job economy? That’s right, the hi-tech industry.
But where do you look first? How do you compete? The pressure you’ve been putting on yourself can end up leaving you anxious and nervous about your future. It’s time to pull out of that black hole of feeling on-edge, and to turn that anxiety into adrenaline-motivated inspiration. This post will help you do just that, by offering solutions to those pressing questions that you need answered, now. Sit back and relax, because here are some actionable next-step guidelines for finding your first hi-tech job after graduation.
1. Be In The Right Place, At The Right Time
While it’s important to note the current leading cities in hi-tech, it’s even more pertinent to consider what areas have the greatest growing potential for this particular sector. Regardless of where your home base is, these are the places you want to be. These global cities have the environments and economies alike that are the perfect feeding grounds for your talent and industry.
*Silicon Valley, California, U.S.: America is the #1 technology market, followed by China and then the U.K. Within the U.S., Silicon Valley is the obvious leader in hi-tech, with the highest predicted industry growth as well (28%). What’s more? The country is rooting for it: San Francisco receives 37.7% of America’s high-tech funding (averaging at about $17.7 million). As numbers climb, so does opportunity.
*New York City, New York, U.S.: New York always serves as an innovation hub, as it consistently fosters new talent and intelligence with its “you can do anything” mindset. But recently, its focus has steered from success on Wall Street to success through Web Avenues. As of December 2014, NYC tech sector garnered 62% of that quarter’s IPO value (to be clear, that’s a 104% increase since December of last year). What does this mean for someone who hasn’t yet entered this market? It means more jobs. A lot more jobs. 1,935 in that respective quarter, to be exact.
*Hong Kong, China: In 2011, the Hong Kong government allocated $4.9 billion to develop the city’s hi-tech industry and attract investments by 2016. And it’s been working. HSBC predicts Hong Kong hi-tech exports (now at 50%) to grow to 60% in the next decade, while increasing hi-tech imports, as well. Hiring is just as strong as the market itself, with a predicted 89% steady or increasing hiring strength in all of China. With the government’s internal support combined with the trade sector’s external support, Hong Kong’s tech industry has nowhere to go but up.
*Washington D.C., U.S.: The capital is welcoming hi-tech with open arms, as proven by its 20.6% growth in tech employment since the early 2000s. This leaves D.C. as a city with 2.9 times the average proportion of tech jobs than the rest of the country. In fact, within the city itself, there’s a concentration of 14.1% hi-tech employment.
*Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel: Known as the start-up nation, Israel definitely masters the millennium’s hi-tech industry influx. In 2013 alone, Israel saw a rise in demand for technology developers by 52%. What has the country done with that demand since 2013? According to IVC-Meitar Exits Report from 2014, Israel’s IPO activity is the highest it’s been in the past 10 years, at $2.1 billion (an increase of 5% since last year). Israel’s market is smaller than that of say, America, yet its growth and success has allowed it to account for 24 of the total 82 Israeli hi-tech acquisitions this past year. This indicates a raise not only in innovation but also in the country’s economy. Part of this could be attributed to the 20% increase in hi-tech salaries in 2014, paving the way for more jobs and more return.
*London, England: Surprise, surprise! London is one of the world’s top hubs for technology and innovation. More shockingly, there are more hi-tech jobs being created in London and surrounding areas than in all of California (750,000 to be exact). Actually, London is leading the world in financial tech, with 44,000 “fitech” workers in 2014. This has contributed to London’s most amazing statistic: 3 times the amount of growth in their technology sector than the past 4 years. This British city’s tech economy is on the rise, and it’s begging you to join it.
2. Network With The Right People, In The Right Places
Now that you’ve narrowed down the perfect geographical fit for you, it’s time to narrow down the perfect influencer individuals and communities.
Ad:Tech: Select your nearest city and register here for a chance to connect and collaborate with technology influencers at events and meet ups. Not only will these opportunities leave you with valuable information in the tech sector but also each event is an opportunity to meet people similar to yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up landing a job with one of the fellow attendees.
Meetup.com: Meetup.com allows you to browse the map for relevant industry get-togethers. Wherever you are in the world, you can find people nearby who are eager and excited to speak with you about hi-tech. If there’s nothing in your area, consider organizing your own and gathering neighbors of similar interest.
LinkedIn: I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but LinkedIn really is an amazing resource for job seekers. And there are many ways to do this. For one, you can narrow down groups, companies, etc. by interest. Click on “interests” under the search bar and enter any and every key word that suits your job search or passions. What you’ll find is a digital hub for sharing relevant ideas and insights. Continue connecting with others in these circles and remain engaged in their discussions. This will promote communication with similar job hunters and even industry influencers.
Similarly, you can select the “Jobs” tab to indicate your dream position in your dream location (hint, hint: one of the locations mentioned in the section above). Job postings nearby will flood your screen with easy apply-now options.
In the “Connections” tab, you will find the option to search your fellow alumni. Next, LinkedIn will prompt you to select the areas in which they live, the companies with which they work, and the positions that they hold. This is a great way to forge easy connections with people willing to help.
3. Apply ‘Til You Die
If you don’t apply to everything and anything that crosses your path, you’re doing it wrong. So what if it’s a job you don’t care about? Go through the process to keep your options open and schedule an interview to give yourself practice. So what if it’s a job that’s not currently being offered? Request an information interview with someone in your dream company. A brief phone call, Skype session, or coffee appointment will guarantee to teach you a few things about the industry and the company. The cherry on top: next time that company is hiring, they’ll first think of you, the person that showed genuine interest in them without asking for anything back. Sooner or later, the dots will connect and all that effort you’ve put forth will pay back.