The tech industry has been growing year-on-year for decades, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. While many sectors are struggling to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, the tech industry is already bouncing back and capitalizing on the demand for increased tech solutions, such a remote working platforms and virtual fitness classes.

For aspiring tech professionals, the future certainly looks bright. Between now and 2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth rates of 15% for Computer and Information Research Scientists, 22% for Software Developers and 31% for Information Security Analysts.

While there is set to be an increasing number of jobs available, candidates will inevitably face a significant amount of competition for the top roles. If you want to build a successful tech career and fast-track your journey to the C-suite, take a look at these top tips now:

1. Complete an MSc

The majority of people begin their tech careers by studying Computer Science or related subjects at undergraduate level. However, completing an MSc can give you an edge when it comes to applying for more advanced roles. After all, the knowledge and experience you’ll gain by completed a master’s degree will enhance your skillset and extend your capabilities.

When you undertake a computer science degree online, you can combine your academic pursuits with full-time work, to ensure you don’t miss out on the crucial practical experience you need. With the option to study from any location, an online MSc in Computer Science can put you a step ahead of your peers while giving you the flexibility to live and work wherever you choose.

2. Focus on a Specialty

The tech industry is vast, so you’ll need to decide what area you want to build your career in. From software development or cybersecurity to data science or network architecture, there are numerous specialties to consider. However, every specialty can lead to a successful and lucrative career, so select an area that you’re genuinely interested in. Not only will this make your career more enjoyable, but it will also help you to stay motivated as you navigate your future.

Many professionals find that enrolling in an advanced course, such as an MSc or a Postgraduate Diploma, helps them to confirm their specialty and formalize their experience. If you’ve completed a BSc in Computer Engineering, for example, an MSc in Computer Science with a Software Engineering track can help you to narrow down your specialist field.

3. Become a Thought Leader

If you want to fast-track your career, building a professional profile, promoting your personal brand and becoming a thought leader will definitely help you to achieve your goals. A thought leader is someone who pushes the boundaries, develops original ideas and offers something new to the industry as a whole. If you’re eager to shape the future of your chosen industry, use your current position to gain publicity and show people just how talented you are.

Whether you publish articles in industry journals, take part in high-profile events or build your brand online with Q&As, guest posts and podcasts, becoming a thought leader can optimize your success and boost your earning power.

4. Create a Five-Year Plan

A successful career rarely happens by chance, which is why it’s important to have a workable strategy in place. As it can take time to climb the career ladder, think long-term when you’re planning your professional goals. A five-year plan will give you the opportunity to enact major changes in your professional life, such as completing an extra qualification or securing a promotion.

Of course, five years can feel like a long time when you’re eager to maximize your success, so find ways to stay motivated. Breaking goals down into smaller targets will ensure that you’re regularly rewarded for your hard work. In turn, this will inspire you to continue working towards your main objectives and give you a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment.

5. Manage Your Digital Reputation

So much of our lives are lived online that we develop a digital reputation without even realizing it. When you’re working in the tech industry, however, it’s particularly important to be aware of your digital presence and to take active steps to manage your reputation. Every piece of content that relates to you shapes your reputation, so bear this in mind when you’re posting on social media or chatting publicly with friends.

Setting your profiles to private will go some way towards separating your personal and professional lives but, in reality, your online presence will affect your career. To ensure it has a positive impact, rather than a negative one, make managing your digital reputation a top priority.

6. Start a Side Hustle

A side hustle can be much more than a way of earning extra cash; it can also be an effective way to enhance your career. By choosing an appropriate side hustle, you can expand your skillset and gain experience in the area you want to specialize in. From developing software for private clients to acting as a cybersecurity consultant, there are various tech side hustles that can help you to fast-track your career.

In addition to gaining practical skills and theoretical knowledge, having your own side hustle can also help you to build up a network within the industry. As you make new contacts and get to showcase your work, for example, you’ll be promoting your personal brand and opening the door to new opportunities.

Is a Career in Tech Right for You?

Technology is literally shaping the future and changing the way society operates, which makes it one of the most exciting sectors to work in. Furthermore, the vast range of roles and specialties means there are numerous areas to explore. Similarly, you’ll find that the tech sector facilitates numerous working arrangements, which means you can build a career that’s as flexible as you need it to be.

If you’re eager to be at the cutting-edge of new developments and you want to transform advanced concepts into real-life, tangible solutions, a career in tech could certainly be the challenge you’re looking for.

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