Welcome to our career blog...

The Career Key's mission is to help people make the best career, college major, and self-employed choices. In this career blog, we share practical tips about:

- Making science-based career decisions throughout your life,
- Choosing a college major, training, or instructional program,
-
Choosing career clusters, fields or career pathways, and
- Deciding whether being self-employed is right for you.

The Career Key's Vice President, Juliet Wehr Jones, J.D., GCDF with input from Career Key author Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, discuss these topics with seriousness and a touch of humor.

Monday, August 1, 2011

3 Steps to Finding a Promising Career in High-Tech or Any Growth Industry

In choosing a career or changing careers, consider all the career options and choices in a growing, promising industry. Don’t assume you know all an industry’s possible careers. There are likely more types of occupations that fit your personality than you might think. To show you the wide variety of careers available, I’m using the High-Tech industry and employer Amazon.com as an example. It’s not just for software engineers.

I’ll focus on three steps to exploring a growth industry that interests you to find the right career path.  I’m assuming you’ve taken a valid career test to measure your Holland personality types like The Career Key or Career Key Canada.
  1. Learn more about a growth industry from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Career Guide to Industries.
  2. Make a list of occupations in the industry that match your personality.
  3. Think “big picture” about your interests and how they fit into a promising industry.
But first, my inspiration for this post...
Last week, I took my young son to visit and have lunch with Dad on a workday. My husband works for a software company (not Microsoft) here in Seattle as a senior developer.  Seattle’s lunchtime streets are crowded with very well-dressed (mostly) men and women, from 20 somethings to 50+ year olds, who work in the software and technology industries. I see workers’ Amazon, Google, and Adobe work badges as we walk by.

Not all are software engineers.  Many work in sales, finance, human resources, customer service, and graphic design to name a few fields. And yet many people assume that you need to be a math whiz to be a part of the high-tech industry. Make sure you’re not limiting your career options.

3 Steps to Finding Your Career in a Growth Industry (the High-Tech Example)

1. Explore the Career Guide to Industries (CGI) at the U.S. Department of Labor website.  For each industry, they have a list and description of “Occupations in the Industry”. Like...
Software Publishers (Microsoft, etc.)
For Software Publishers it says that in addition to computer programmers,
“[a] substantial number of marketing and sales workers also are employed in this industry. In order to compete successfully in the online world, the presentation and features of software and other content related to information technology becomes increasingly important.”
Similarly, look at, Computer Systems Design and Related Services

In addition to the CGI, look around your geographic area (if you don’t want to move) and see what employers are hiring and doing well. What types of jobs are they filling now?

2.  Make a list of occupations in the industry that match your personality. When you take The Career Key test, you’ve seen and explored careers that match your personality. Our “Match Your Personality with Careers” article has that list.  With that list in mind, make a note of the occupations you see listed in the Career Guide to Industries (see Step 1).  For Investigative occupations like Software Engineer, that will be easy. But don’t overlook Realistic engineering occupations like, Engineering Technician.

What kinds of occupations can you find at a real High-Tech employer? Amazon.com
Amazon.com Careers.  These are current job openings as of today - with an "All" search for "All" locations. (Education requirement in parentheses) Personality type in bold - in RIASEC order (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional).
  • Fulfillment Center IT Technician, computer repairer, (work experience & training), Realistic 
  • All occupations in Career Key’s Investigative, Computer Science and Technology group of careers: Computer programmer, Computer software engineer, Computer Support Specialist...
  • Hardware Quality Technician (BS in Computer Science), Investigative
  • CAD Sculptor/3D Modeler (BA in Fine Art, Industrial Design, etc) Artistic 
  • UI (user interface) Designer (5 yrs experience in graphic design, or related) Artistic 
  • Advertising Manager, Display advertising (BA in Marketing, Advertising, or Business preferred) Enterprising
  • Corporate Counsel (BA, J.D. law degree) Enterprising
  • Investigation Specialist with Chinese language skills (no education requirement, but knowledge and skills like Chinese language, knowledge of Chinese banking systems, etc)  ... to authenticate customers and complex transactions/accounts. Enterprising.
  • Assistant Buyer, Fulfillment Center - (HS Diploma plus work experience) Enterprising
  • Marketing Manager (BA in Business, Marketing, Math/Statistics or related field) Enterprising
  • Leave of Absence Associate (BA or equivalent HR work experience, Human Resources Administration) Enterprising
  • Payroll Analyst (BA in Finance or related field) Enterprising
  • Human Resources Business Partner (BA - no required field) Enterprising
  • Costa Rica Site Trainer (BA in Learning/Development, Adult Learning or related) Enterprising
  • In-Stock Manager, Inventory Supply Chain Planner (Degree in business, engineering, or supply chain) Conventional, Enterprising 
  • Employee Resource Center Associate, customer service & support (work experience, BA preferred) Conventional
3.  Think "big picture" about your interests and how they fit into a promising industry.   If you’re Artistic, what needs do industry employers in your area have for Artistic services? Check your matching careers at the “Match Your Personality with Careers” article, Artistic. You might even come up with some self-employment ideas - ways you can sell your Artistic talent to companies with money to buy them. The Self-Employment Key website has more information for becoming self-employed.

In Internet focused companies, visual presentation is very important. They need workers in the visual arts, like graphic artists, modelers (see Amazon job openings above).  Content writing companies need writers, etc.  Technology companies that manufacture consumer devices (like the Kindle) will need modelers and designers.

After you find some attractive career options, find out more recommended actions to learn more about the jobs that interest you in “Getting Started Choosing a Career”; and get tips for your career decision making process.  Good luck!

1 comment:

elissa jane the chillEmpress said...

Step 4: the best way to find a job in the growing high tech industry reach out to executive recruiter who really knows the landscape like J. Patrick + Associates.

Hey, great blog post, I really enjoyed it! I'm going to repost it on our Twitter feed @jpatrickjobs