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Traditional to Tech: The top transferable skills you need to futureproof your career

There have been significant declines in individuals entering and looking to retain their careers in traditional industries. With rising opportunities in the tech world, it’s no wonder that the top career change option of choice was to tech from traditional industries.

We decided it was time this was investigated further, so we took action. We sent a survey to over 1,000 individuals who are currently working in traditional industries, from administrative roles to retail and agriculture to manufacturing.

The goal was to delve deeper into how they view their prospects in their current careers, their views on the tech world and if they have ever felt first hand the decline in what we label traditional industries.

 Traditional to tech - manufacturing

The results

The survey results were both insightful and surprising. Here are a few of the key takeaways:

  • 216 individuals surveyed agree that they have witnessed traditional roles being replaced with AI.
  • Only half agreed that there were strong opportunities for promotion in their industry.
  • Over half agreed that there is an increasing threat of redundancy.
  • The first industry of choice for a career change is to enter the tech industry. 

The last point wasn’t a shock for us to hear. The tech world is in the midst of a very real skills gap crisis, which is predicted to cost the UK £141 billion in GDP growth according to Accenture. With a skills gap, comes great opportunity. The opportunity for individuals to thrive in a new or expanded career, the opportunity to try something new and the opportunity to advance their professional lives for the better. 

For individuals who have never worked in the tech industry before, it is completely attainable. The tech industry is vast and ever evolving, which means there are various career paths you can take. This is great news for those of you who are dreaming of a new career.

If you’re not sure where to start your new tech career research, we suggest starting with you by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are the soft skills I have that I have built up over the years in my professional and personal life?
  • How can I make these soft skills transfer into a thriving career in tech? 

Traditional to tech - retail

Soft, transferable skills

We’ve explored some key soft skills further and shared some examples of how they can be transferred to tech to guide you on your career discovery journey:

Leadership skills: This is a soft skill that will help you become a great tech expert. Having the ability to lead a team successfully through a project to deliver a key piece of software or successfully working with a team to solve a technical problem within an organisation are sought after qualities that recruiters look for.

Suggested career change: Administration to Project Management

Tech to traditional - Customer service

Interpersonal skills:
Another important one for the tech industry. Working in tech isn’t a one man band and you’ll need to be able to confidently work in a team and also be able to simplify tech talk to the wider business that might not understand the terminology as well as you do.

Suggested career change: Customer Service to IT

Problem solving: This is a strong soft skill to have for a number of reasons. Imagine you’re coding a brand new app for your organisation and you stumble across a broken bit of code that is hindering your progress or you’re an ethical hacker navigating your way through an organisations network to find any signs of a weakness in the system. Problem solving and patience will get you a long way in those situations.

Suggested career change: Manufacturing to Cyber Security

Time management: Whether you’re working in-house for an organisation or you’re a contract freelancer working with a number of clients, you’ll need time management skills to deliver projects on time to meet their expectations.

Suggested career change: Agriculture to Coding

Creativity: This is one that is often forgotten about when talking about the tech industry, as individuals believe that you have to be solely technically minded to enter a thriving career in tech. This is a  skill that will propel you forward in a number of roles; software development, cyber security specialist and UX design are just a few examples of where this applies.

Suggest career change: Retail to UX Design

UX Design sketches

Tech careers made simple

The idea of a tech career is never out of reach. Whether you’re a farmer, working in a factory or a visual merchandiser for a high street store and you’re looking to change careers, take a moment to review your soft skills and you’ll find that a career in tech is a stand out option for you.

We’re here to guide you and demystify the tech industry, it’s what we do best. We have expert career consultants that can simplify the tech world for you and  plan out your perfect pathway to a successful new or expanded career. Give them a call today on 01273 907919 to have an impartial chat.