CAREER ADVANCEMENT / SEP. 10, 2014
version 12, draft 12

Discover Your Tech Career Path With Switch

The mere mention of technology careers usually has us picturing computer geeks hunched over their keyboards typing rows of code while sipping Pepsi. Geeks are the poster children for the industry—King of geeks Bill Gates did give us Microsoft after all.

The technology industry always attracts programming geeks. Like any other industry there are different roles available, yet some have less technical ability as the minimum skill level.

Matching your passion and skill with a career should not be taken lightly. It’s not as simple as picking a random job title and hoping it will be everything you wanted. Hundreds of job roles exist, each with unique challenges and educational standards.

Ever thought about the tech role you would excel in? How about the best educational facility to prepare you for your dream tech career? Planning from the offset will put you on the right path.

Say hello to switch 

Switch is an online app. It identifies your ideal job role in the technology industry. The app ‘makes research, admissions, and a switch into technology career, quick and easy.’

Just answer eight simple questions and you’ll receive a career summary matching you with the most suitable role. Switch provides a job overview, study subjects, personal characteristics needed and the national median salary. Recommended educational institutions and course prices are listed underneath. Click on any listing, and you’ll land on the institution profile page and see student reviews.

Just for fun, I investigated my own career match. Eight answers later, I learned that interaction designing is my ideal tech career. Of course I had no idea what skills it entails until I read the summary. It seems like something I’d enjoy. The role involves using visual design concepts to design the user experience with design tools such as Photoshop, which seems accurate enough. I possess an interest in Photoshop. I even considered a website design career at one point.

On the top right side is an email subscription box. I’m invited to join a five-day course to start me on the journey to become an interaction designer.

Tips

Only American educational facilities are recommended. This doesn’t mean non-US students can’t benefit. Find out the course you need then search for alternatives closer to home instead.

The homepage features links to several programming boot camps. Results are filtered by price, location, subjects and ratings. Reviews of each organisation tell you what to expect should you study there. You could research further and locate affordable courses using the recommended courses as a guide.

The negatives

I wanted more questions. Although the career suggestion is a good match, choosing a career is more complicated than hitting a few answers in a quick survey. Maybe at some point they’ll add more questions. For now, it gives a general idea and good starting point for research.

Switch is based around the concept of learning about technology careers and finding the right course. The owner(s) should consider writing blog posts revealing insights from someone in each career. Users can research all they want about a particular course and read reviews, but tips from someone with several years of experience are priceless.

Remember, this is only a guideline showing your options. Take the advice or leave it. It’s worth taking the five-day mini-course even without plans to enroll on their recommended course. Switch will give you more of an idea about what to expect. You might even learn some new skills. There’s no harm in taking a look.

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