How to find your niche in the tech world

The technology world is full of all kinds of jobs that you can go for, and it can sometimes be hard to narrow it down to the ones you want the most. From developing a career as a coder to going into project management or another support role, there are all kinds of ways that you can get a niche that works for you.

Sometimes, when searching for your niche, it helps to look for a more specific role. If you’re a software developer, for example, you might find that you can learn a particular coding language. Or if you work as a network engineer, you will be responsible for keeping the internet or other major networks online in a given organization – so there will be plenty to get your teeth into. Here’s the lowdown on how to enhance your career opportunities in the tech sector.

Software development

Software is everywhere we look these days. Whether it’s a website that runs a particular type of system or it’s a piece of kit for a desktop, laptop or tablet, so much of the modern world runs on software. As a developer who is skilled in the creation of software, you will be able to break into an industry that really is diverse – and that, according to most statistics, is growing very quickly. 

However, the term “software development” is actually much broader than it might seem at first glance. Those who have coding knowledge tend to specialize further into sub-niches, often broken down based on the exact coding language they choose to use. There are lots of coding languages out there, and some are more popular than others. C, for example, is quite an old coding language but one that is still used in certain contexts, while Java is often in demand because of its versatility and its ability to transplant from one operating system to the next.

Network engineer

Networks power all sorts of tech environments, and non-tech ones too. As a network engineer, you’ll spend most of your time solving complex problems – and ensuring that people in your organization are not put out by any downtime or similar issues.

This is one of the most exciting fields of the technology world at the moment, not least because networks are in a very experimental phase in which they are moving over to the cloud. Cloud networks enable people to log in and access services, storage or something else altogether in a remote way – so they often receive a lot of uptake from firms looking to expand. As the story of Charles Phillips shows, there is plenty of success to be found in specializing in a niche such as the cloud – so it’s worth considering if you’ve got some background in network engineering. 

Project manager

While both of the above examples of tech sector niches are great jobs, they also require some degree of technical knowledge – and this might not be possible if you’re not in a position to train, or if you find that your mindset isn’t quite right. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have a career in the technology sector. While all of those coders are busy developing and the engineers are busy working hard to craft top-quality networks, someone needs to be operating in the background as a project manager to help give everyone else the structure they need.

If you’re organized and can see things through from start to end rather than approaching them in siloed, bitesize chunks, you’re likely to operate well as a project manager. Project management is the sort of industry where you need to be on top of everything at all times, and have a strong understanding of what works well and when. If this sounds like you, then entering the tech sector – where salaries tend to be higher than other niches with demand for project management, such as the non-profit sector – could be a smart move.

The technology sector is a key part of the American and indeed global economy – and it needs people to be involved in it in order to keep it moving from one position of strength to the next. Many people consider the tech sector to be a world beyond their own skills, but that’s not true: it’s actually the case that tech employs everyone from project managers to self-taught coders, so you will be able to get a foot in the door no matter what.

Adam Hansen