Five “New Collar” IBMers Share Advice on Career Success

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Armonk, NY - 29 Apr 2017: With U.S. employers faced with filling more than half-a-million open technology jobs, five “New Collar” IBMers today shared tips and insights for job seekers interested in high-tech careers.

These IBM (NYSE: IBM) employees work in some of the technology industry’s fastest growing fields and acquired their high-tech skills through a mix of non-traditional routes such as coding camps, community colleges and 21st century vocational training.

In their New Collar roles, which prioritize having the right mix of skills over specific degrees and where a four-year college degree is not always required, these employees work in strategic areas of IBM’s business – from cybersecurity and cloud computing to digital design of products and services. Their guidance to anyone considering a technology career includes:

  • Start by just getting involved, and explore your options. There are so many events new coders can attend to learn and meet others already in the industry. If you’re looking to get involved, start going to local meet-ups—there are typically ones for specific programming languages, and many will have beginner tracks.

– Savannah Worth, Software Designer, San Francisco, CA.

  • Use your natural curiosity. If you find that you’re always asking “why?” and absolutely must have that answer, and if you’re a creative, innovative personality, I’d say a Cybersecurity Architect role could be satisfying for you.

– Griff Griffin, Cybersecurity Architect, Dubuque, IA.

  • Break out of your comfort zone – Pick up the phone and send those emails. If you’re looking to break into cybersecurity, reach out to your local community college or call a university to see what type of programs they offer."

– Cecelia Schartiger, Cybersecurity Compliance Expert.

  • Build a network of like-minded people, whether it is a digital community or an in-person one. Establishing your network and growing your connections is vital to becoming a new collar worker.” 

– Randy Tolentino, Software Developer, Austin, TX.

  • Get to know your specialty, and get comfortable talking about yourself. Tailor your portfolio to showcase your specialty. If you’re looking for a job in user experience design, you should be showing UX Design work. Make sure the problems you are looking to solve are clearly identified and show the process of iteration in your designs to help solve those problems.

-Ty Tyner, Designer, Austin, TX.

Last year, New Collar IBMers, like those featured here, accounted for 10-15 percent of the company’s U.S. hiring. These opportunities are also helping spread technology-driven opportunity to parts of the country historically underserved by the tech industry, in places like West Virginia, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas. IBM has been actively advocating for education reforms essential to helping more workers build the skills needed for success in New Collar careers.

Click here to read the top five career tips from New Collar IBMers.

Click here to learn more about New Collar Jobs, or follow #NewCollarJobs.

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