girl taking online course

Free Opportunities to Get into Tech

If you are like the majority of people in society, more than likely, you are active on social media to some degree. While being active on social media, you may have noticed a new wave of content focused on the importance of tech, jobs in tech, or courses associated with skills related to tech careers.

Over the past few years, the tech industry has become increasingly popular. Due to the flexibility of location, work-life balance, and higher salary opportunities, many individuals are searching for ways to make the pivot. 

Many free opportunities and resources are available regardless of where you are in your career journey. The entry barriers are finding help, uncertainty about starting, and the skills needed. This article will dive into free options to break into the industry and tips to consider during the process.

Platforms for Free Courses

Several online resources offer free classes or courses to learn new tech skills. Utilizing these courses allows individuals to learn at their own pace and truly determine if it is something they enjoy without committing long-term or spending money. Here are some examples: 

  • edX – edX is an online learning experience that makes high-quality education available everywhere. With over 3,000 university-level courses from top universities, edX learning is similar to remote learning. The class structure usually includes instructor-led videos, tutorials, interactive assignments, an online forum, and a digital textbook. One thing to note is that, even though this platform offers plenty of free courses, official certifications or accreditation is not.

 

  • LinkedIn Learning – If you are not already familiar with LinkedIn, it is an excellent place for networking, job searching, and finding resources. One service that is offered is LinkedIn Learning. This extension of LinkedIn gives users a plethora of free courses, learning paths, videos, audios, and events related to the skill or subject interest. Additionally, based on your current role, a curated playlist of top picks and skills to advance your career is suggested if you have a LinkedIn account.

 

  • MIT OpenCourseWare – MIT OpenCourseWare is a platform of accessible course material from MIT. This online resource is home to lecture notes, videos, assignments, exams, presentations, insights, and more. Additionally, there are several free topics in and out of the tech realm.

 

  • Microsoft Learn – Microsoft Learn is a resource from the one and only Microsoft. There are various courses based on your current skill set. Whether you browse the entire catalog or customize your path, level-based techniques help you reach your goal faster. Similar to edX, some courses that are instructor-led or provide certification are not free.

Other online resources to consider are:

Platforms for Job-Readiness/Training

Learning new skills is essential when trying to break into tech. However, if you are someone that knows this is what you want, some platforms offer skill training, coaching, and mentorship to help you on your next steps.

  • Career Karma – Also known as the #1 destination for career advice, Career Karma, is a community of mentors, peers, and coaches to help you find your dream job in tech. Mentoring and coaching are free, but this platform also offers training programs, free learning discussion boards, boot camp matching services for your tech career interests, and career guides to help people switch into high-paying technology careers.

 

  • Launch Code – LaunchCode is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with free tech education and job-readiness training. Their courses are either part-time or full-time and designed to prepare you in months regardless of your background. Qualified individuals are taught in-demand skills needed in the tech industry; from there, they are placed in an apprenticeship that may lead to full-time employment.

 

  • NPower – The mission of NPower is to move people from poverty to the middle class through tech skills training and quality job placement. Npower focuses on launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities. The NPower Tech Fundamentals Program is a free 23- week virtually-led training program. After the training program is completed, NPower helps graduates of the program land full-time jobs in technology.

 

  • ApprenticeNow – ApprenticeNow is a platform that connects people with in-demand job opportunities. Their training programs are designed explicitly for the sponsoring employer, so you have the guaranteed skills for the job. Their programs are flexible, immersive, and provide real-world experience in the comfort of your home. There are programs for careers in software development, cybersecurity, end-user computing, and more, all free upon hire. 

Tips to  Remember and Consider

During your career journey, for many, there comes the point when they are ready to make the switch. So whether you are trying to make a shift into tech or any other industry, here are a few tips to consider.

  • Do your research – It is essential to take the time out of your schedule to determine if tech is right for you. Determine what you are looking for and what all goes into the career you desire. What skills, certifications, or training do you need?

 

  • Build your network – People say “your network is your net worth” because the community you have and the people you connect with are direct sources of breaking into your desired industry. If you aren’t exactly sure how to network, you can start by attending networking events, conferences, and online communities for the field. You can also reach out to individuals on LinkedIn with your desired role and ask to set up an informational interview.

 

  • Take advantage of social media – For some, social media can be daunting and time-consuming. However, you’d be surprised at how many free courses or mini-boot camps you can find for your tech skills. The more you search for them, the more they’ll be advertised to you. For example, I received an Instagram advertisement for this free coding class on SheCode. This is just one example; many tech professionals offer free mini-courses on social media.  If you are more of a Tik-Tok or Twitter person, there are a lot of conversations and content geared towards tech opportunities, especially if you are following the right hashtags.

 

  • Take your time – There are several steps that you will need to take depending on where you are in your journey. It is important to remember that you can start small and slowly build up to where you would like to be. While doing your research, networking, and staying connected, remember there is no rush. Breaking in tech is one thing, but you want the confidence to grow in tech.

As you can see, there are many opportunities to break into the tech industry. Your course of action may differ depending on where you are in your career journey. However, there are options regardless of age, educational background, or even skill set. So whether you are getting your feet wet or diving head first, you can absolutely have a successful career in tech.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

More Posts

Scroll to Top