Finding a job or internship can be difficult, but finding one in the tech industry could prove worthwhile.
According to a report by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, career paths and internships in the tech industry are growing rapidly. One in seven jobs in Utah is attributed to the tech industry, and cities like Salt Lake City and Lehi are flourishing. The report found that jobs in the tech industry in Utah had an average annual compensation of $106,100, compared to the average compensation of $58,500 for jobs in other fields.
Considering the strong job market, finding a career in the tech industry, regardless of a student’s major, might be a good solution.
“You don’t have to major in the tech industry to find a job within it,” said Lizzie Kreitman, a content lead at Pathrise. “Tech companies need just about any type of major to function in their company. Everything is moving in-house.”
Services, such as Pathrise, have been dedicated to finding careers specifically in the tech industry. Pathrise is a program that provides software, mentors and a career plan to help students get on track for internships and employment after graduation. According to Kreitman, the money doesn’t lie.
“All of our participants are 5-25% more likely to get higher salaries than the average job searcher,” Kreitman said. She said that percentage equals anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 more annually in Utah.
So how are these jobs attained? What will give the average student a leg-up to be chosen over other applicants in this industry?
“Making your resume and LinkedIn profile as strong as possible is important,” said Grace Turner, a technical recruiter at Pathrise dedicated to helping people shape their careers. “You might not be thinking about this specific element though: impact and qualification.”
Turner said students can show the qualifications and impact they have even if they’re still in school. Listing school projects, the number of people worked with on team projects or rows of data analyzed for a final can count as things to add to a profile or resume.
Turner’s next advice was to prepare for and attend career fairs. “Often these companies are hiring directly from the career fair, so you should definitely be meeting them at your best,” she said. “Research companies you want to talk to beforehand and prepare your elevator pitch based on their mission.”
Turner said branding yourself as a professional is an important step in finding employment.
“Make connections with people on LinkedIn and foster those relationships,” Turner said. “Take a look at past BYU alumni at companies you are interested in or people working on teams that are similar to your classes, projects or internships and connect with them.”
Letting these contacts know in the request why a student is reaching out is crucial to solidifying a connection. Turner also suggested keeping in touch with these contacts so they can remember the relationship.
Finding a software or interactive program that specializes in job finding can also be beneficial in finding opportunities.
“Your average job seeker today doesn’t have access to thousands of samples of resumes, interview answers and offer packages to know how to market themselves, interview, and negotiate in an optimal way,” said Kevin Wu, CEO of Pathrise.
Wu posed that using software specifically built to help students find careers has a higher success rate than merely searching for a job with no outside help.
“Pathrise takes the knowledge of industry technical recruiters, engineers, designers and product managers from top companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft, then combines that with our proprietary research of 1000+ job search processes from past job seekers, and applies it to your job search,” Wu said.