Which Tech Career Is Right For Me? (3-Step Guide To Help You Decide!)

Andrei Neagoie
Andrei Neagoie
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Let me know if this sounds familiar.

You’re thinking of starting a career in tech. Maybe you're after that high-figure salary. Maybe you're dreaming of working fully remote. Or maybe you want to solve interesting problems.

But then you hit a roadblock.

  • What tech career options even exist (Is it just building websites and mobile apps?)
  • What do these tech careers involve?
  • What skills or education do they require to get hired? Won't I need a University degree?
  • Is it too late for me to get into tech?
  • Isn't AI just going to replace all the tech jobs?
  • Maybe most importantly, which tech jobs will I even enjoy?

I get it. Tech is a wide industry with a lot of roles so it can be both confusing and overwhelming to get started.

That’s why I'm going to help you out with 3 options:

  1. If you can’t be bothered to read this guide, you can take our tech career path quiz instead. It's as simple as answering some basic questions, and then it will recommend the best job for you, based on your answers
  2. Or, if you just want a tech career as fast as possible, then follow this career path. It’s designed to take you from zero tech background to being hired in a tech company (as a developer) as fast as possible
  3. Otherwise, you can read this free guide and I’ll help you decide for yourself, the best role for you

Here's how this guide breaks down:

Step 1 & 2: I'll give you some basic questions to think through.

Your answers to these questions will identify your goals, traits, and habits that you already have. Based on your answers, there may be particular careers that could be interesting to you without you even realizing it.

Step 3: I’ll break down each of the major career options, what they do, skills required, salary ranges, as well as how to get started with each career. That way you can use the information from the first steps to help you decide, or simply pick the career option that sounds best for you.

So grab a coffee and a notepad, and let's figure out what your tech career will be!

Don’t I need a Computer Science degree?

Nope! Tech is a unique environment in that 99% of companies don’t care about degrees - they just care that you can do the work.

There are exceptions for certain roles, especially very senior ones, but in terms of first breaking into tech and get started, it's asbolutely not required.

Instead, all you need to do is the learn the skills needed to do the job and be able to prove that you can do them.

If you do this, you can get hired in a tech role in the next 4-12 months.

I won't sugarcoat it though. It's easier said than done.

If it were super easy, then everyone would do it and then these careers wouldn't pay as well as they do. To land a career a tech, you'll have to put in a lot of work but simply working hard doesn't guarantee anything either.

You need to work hard on the right things.

Which is what our career paths and courses have provided to 1,000s of people who have been hired at places like Amazon, Tesla, Google, NVIDA, NASA, and more, so don’t let this stop you.

As long as you learn the right things, you can start working towards your new career by the end of this guide - with no degree or $100,000+ in debt required!

With that out of the way, let’s help you to start figuring out the right career for you.

Step #1. What do you really want?

There’s a huge opportunity here that you’ve probably not thought about before, and that’s “What do you want your life to look like?

Let me explain.

When we first start thinking about a new career, our initial instinct is more of the same, just a different skill, and a different wage.

What I mean is that if you currently work 40+ hours a week, you assume you need to do the same without even thinking about it. In reality though, why does that have to be the case?

You’re taking a big leap to potentially start a new career right? Why not first map out what you want your life to look like given how much your career is a part of your life.

For example

  • Do you want to work remotely?
  • What about working asynchronously so you get to choose the hours you work?
  • Maybe you only want to do a 4-day week?
  • Or perhaps you’re happiest with structure and an office environment?
  • Maybe you want a blend of both?
  • Or perhaps you want a set daily routine, or a constant change each day?

Why should you care about this?

By getting clear on these things now, you can then start to assign these elements to your career choices and help you narrow down further.

Instead of just randomly picking a career, you can see the ones that tend towards a certain lifestyle, as some tech roles fit into these dynamics better than others:

  • Remote teams often allow employees to pick their hours as long as they're getting their work done and it's high quality
  • Freelancers can charge more and work fewer days but there's more volatility in their earnings
  • Some cybersecurity experts can do consulting work instead of just working in-house, etc

So ask yourself, what kind of life do you want to lead?

Do you want fast-paced and dynamic?

Do you thrive in evolving environments, where new projects and challenges are the norm?

Technology is a rapidly evolving field, with constant advancements creating a continually shifting landscape.

Roles like software development and cybersecurity are constantly evolving, with new challenges around every corner.

Do you want to be structured and stable?

On the other hand, if you prefer a more predictable and regular routine, certain tech roles offer that too.

For instance, database administrators or network architects often have a set of routine, daily tasks, ensuring a structured workflow.

Do you want to be entrepreneurial and innovative?

The tech field is a fertile ground for innovators and entrepreneurs.

If you're driven by creating new products or solutions, roles like a product manager or front-end developer might be interesting. In these roles, you get to innovate and bring ideas to life.

Or do you want to be flexible and remote?

With the rising trend of remote work, many tech positions now offer the opportunity to work from anywhere.

If you value flexibility and cherish the idea of setting up your workspace, roles like web development or UX/UI design could be the right fit.


To be clear here, you don’t need to pick a career option yet. Instead, I just want you to start visualizing your dream career now, so you can start to see some potential good fits when I share them later.

Also, just be aware that a lot of roles will often have some overlap between these answers.

However, by being clear on what you want your future to look like, you’re more likely to follow through and make it happen, as well as be more confident in your decisions.

Step #2. Look at yourself in the mirror. What are your interests and skills?

Before we get into all of the tech career options, let's take another quick step and ask a few more questions. The reason for this is that you might not know what most tech careers are or what they do.

However, you might have certain daily habits or instincts that you already do, without knowing that they would tie in well to a certain role.

Are you always solving problems?

Do you enjoy tweaking recipes to make them better? Or perhaps you often find yourself devising more efficient ways to complete household chores or work tasks?

This ability to improve and optimize could indicate an inclination towards web and software development, as developers are problem solvers at heart.

web development career path roadmap

They’re always seeking to make things better, more efficient, or more user-friendly.

Do you keep thinking of ways to organize, optimize, or improve?

If you're someone who spends extra time organizing your workspace or your home for maximum aesthetic appeal and functionality, you might lean towards design.

uiux designer career path

UX/UI designers need a keen eye for aesthetics, combined with a deep understanding of usability. They create visually pleasing and intuitive interfaces that promote a positive user experience.

Do you have a drive to figure out what went wrong?

Are you the person your family or friends turn to when their computer has a virus, or their email is acting weird?

A natural interest in solving these kinds of problems could indicate a potential career in cybersecurity.

cybersecurity career path

Those in this field are digital detectives, protecting systems and data from threats and malicious attacks.

Do you have a natural love for strategy?

Do you enjoy strategic games like chess or poker, where success relies on predicting an opponent's moves based on their past behavior?

This kind of strategic thinking is very similar to how machine learning works - predicting future outcomes based on past data.

machine learning engineer career path

Careers in Machine Learning and AI involve creating models that learn patterns and make predictions, much like you would in a strategy game.

Do you have a drive to improve efficiency?

If you're someone who likes to automate tasks to save time (like using smart home devices to control your household appliances), then you might find a career in Cloud/DevOps appealing.

devops engineer career path

Professionals in this field work on automations, as well as efficient deployment of applications, similar to how you might automate your home's functions or just your life in general.

They plan, they organize, and they get things done well.

Do you like looking to the future and what it will bring?

Do you find yourself intrigued by economics, digital currencies, the idea of decentralization, and the future of how the internet works?

If so, then the field of Web3 and Blockchain could be a fascinating realm for you.

blockchain developer roadmap

I’ll talk about it more later, but Web3 stands for the 3rd version of the internet. (We’re currently using what is referred to as Web2).

Do you have an eye for trends, their causes, and the ripple effects?

Perhaps you’re a numbers person who loves to dive deep into stats and data, like analyzing your favorite team's performance or tracking and predicting stock trends?

Both of these examples would align well with Business and Data Analytics, a field centered around understanding patterns and making data-driven decisions.

business data analyst roadmap


Were you nodding your head to some of these and seeing some patterns with what you already do?

Oh wow, I had no idea my min:maxing of RPG characters could help me run and optimize networking systems!

It seems simple, but observing your everyday habits and interests like this can provide significant insights into your aptitudes and preferences that you might have never thought of before.

Not everyone needs to be a developer. There are other options for tech careers for people with different interests or work styles. We also need organizers, fixers, planners, and artistic people too!

Likewise, you might have previous skills or work experience that would stack well with certain careers.

For example

If you work in a bank already, then becoming a data scientist would fit well with your current mathematical ways of thinking.

That being said, don’t feel like you have to stick to anything you’ve done before if you don’t want to. You can take on a creative role or any role you want.

Switching careers offers the opportunity for a clean slate, and most people in tech start from scratch with no previous experience or skills. So, if you're eager to break away from your accountant role to explore a creative field, go for it!

Your new tech journey is an opportunity to align your career with what truly drives you.

Step #3. Review the 8 main tech career option breakdowns

Now that you’ve asked yourself what you want your life to look like and identified what current interests and skills you have, let’s look at the major tech roles and how they might fit with your answers, as well as how to get started in each of them.

I don’t want you to get too lost in the weeds here by providing you too much information upfront. Instead, I’ll share just enough so that you can get a high-level understand of each career so that you can determine which one(s) to dive deeper into.

Also, just because some of these might be a good fit, don’t feel like you have to do that role. Go with whatever sounds the best for you!

You can pick up any skill you set your mind to.

With that said, let’s break each of these down…

Option #1. Web Development

Web Developers are the architects of the internet, designing and constructing websites that are both visually pleasing and functionally effective.

If the earlier example of tweaking recipes or optimizing chores resonated with you, web development could be a good fit - you'll often be tasked with creating the most efficient and user-friendly experiences.

Developers will also collaborate closely with UX/UI designers to bring their designs to life and ensure they function as intended.

(The designer mocks up what the site should look like, and the developer builds it so it's not just an image - it's a working end product).

Web development is not just limited to websites though. If it's on the internet (web or mobile) or works in a browser, then a web developer is often involved.

This means you can potentially build websites, build software as a software development, build mobile apps, and much more.

Web development can also be further broken down into three main areas:

Front-end Development

Also known as client-side development, front-end developers work on everything that the user interacts with and is visible, such as buttons, etc.

They need to have a good sense of aesthetics and usability to ensure the pages look good and function correctly across different devices and browsers and use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Back-end Development

Also known as server-side development, back-end developers build the 'behind-the-scenes' functionality, so that when the button is clicked on the front end, it does what it's supposed to on the backend.

For example

Let's say someone clicks on a product and adds it to a cart. It looks fine on the front end of the website. But it's the backend that makes sure that the order is processed correctly, and that delivery happens.

Back-end devs use languages like Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby, as well as tools for databases, and server integration. In the interests of simplicity, you don’t need to know all this now. Just so you have an idea of the required skills.

Full-Stack Development

Full-stack development is just the name for someone who has both front-end and back-end skills and can do it all. (They have the whole stack of skills available).

This means they’ll often handle both front-end and back-end development, overseeing the project from concept to completion.

It’s not actually as difficult as it sounds, as you can learn certain languages that let you use the same language on the front and back-end. It is definitely longer to learn, but it also pays a lot more, and it’s why we recommend all new web developers become full-stack developers (even if you mainly want to work on frontend or backend).

Web development is a fast-paced and dynamic field, perfect for those who enjoy staying updated with the latest technologies and trends.

It requires a lot of problem-solving and attention to detail, making it a good fit for those who prefer focusing on a task to make it perfect.

Many web developers work in-house for a specific company, but there's also a significant number of developers who work on a freelance basis (mainly remote) or at web development agencies.

This flexibility can be an attractive aspect depending on your lifestyle and even as your lifestyle changes over time.

Lifestyle, Salary and Benefits

full stack dev salary
  • The current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $123,262
  • Current number of open Web Dev jobs on ZipRecruiter: 91,947 (With 55,358 of those being full-stack web dev roles!)

Full-stack developers, given their expertise in both front-end and back-end coding, often command higher salaries compared to developers specializing in just one area.

  • On average, entry-level 'Junior' Full-Stack Developers can expect to earn around $58,000 annually
  • Then as they gain experience, they can easily earn over $100,000 per year
  • Highly experienced Full-Stack Developers in leadership roles, like lead developer or CTO tend to earn well over $150,000 per year

These numbers will vary based on factors like geographical location, industry, company size, and individual skills and experience. Likewise, Full-Stack Developers working in industries like finance or at tech giants like Google and Meta can often command significantly higher salaries.

It's also worth noting that Full-Stack Developers often have more flexibility in terms of employment, with opportunities ranging from full-time employment to contract and freelance work, which could also impact earning potential.

Remember, though, that while salary is an essential factor in choosing a career, it's also crucial to consider your interest and enjoyment in the work, the work-life balance, and the potential for growth and learning.

Aside from the financial compensation, web development also offers other benefits. The field is always evolving, offering possibilities to continually learn about new tools and technologies.

The flexibility in terms of working remotely or freelancing can be another major benefit, providing the possibility to create a work schedule that fits your needs.

Essential Skills and Education

Without getting into too much detail here:

  • Front-end developers need to have a solid understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as possibly using frameworks such as React or Angular
  • Back-end developers need to learn languages like Python, Java, and SQL
  • While full-stack devs learn all of the above, with some variations (Ex: they might learn to use JavaScript on the frontend and backend, using a framework like Node.js)

If this sounds like the career for you (and spoiler alert, it's one of the fastest to get hired in) then check out our complete full-stack Web Developer career path here.

become a full-stack web developer from scratch

It’ll teach you everything you need to know, in the correct order, so you get hired ASAP.

I'm a little biased towards this one as this is where my expertise is and how I switched to a career in tech after working for many years in the travel industry. I'll be one of your main instructors if you decide to choose this career path 😉

Option #2. UI/UX Design

Design within the tech industry is much more than just making things look good. It's about creating user interfaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, intuitive, and accessible.

In its simplest form, a tech designer's role (most commonly known as a Product Designer or UI/UX Designer) involves creating the interfaces through which users interact with software, applications, or websites.

Whether it's the layout of a website or the navigation menu on an app, designers are the ones who establish how these platforms look and function.

However, tech design has many nuanced specializations, each focusing on a different aspect of the user's experience:

UI Designers (User Interface Designers)

These focus on the visual aspects of a platform. They determine the color schemes, types of fonts, button shapes and placement, and overall layout.

If you're a UI Designer, you're sort of like the architect of the digital world: you decide how things look.

UX Designers (User Experience Designers)

UX Designers are more concerned with the functionality and intuitiveness of a platform. They conduct user research, create user personas, and design user journey maps to ensure that the platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

In essence, they're the psychologists of the digital world: they understand how users think and what they want. Then try to make designs that fit those goals.

Lifestyle, Salary, and Benefits

ux designer salary
  • Current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $106,224
  • Current number of open jobs on ZipRecruiter: 353,422! (However, this does include some Product Design and Creative Designer roles, which are slightly different, but often involve UI/UX Design work also)

Designers often work in fast-paced environments, especially in startups and tech companies, where product iterations are frequent. However, this role can also offer a balanced and stable work schedule, primarily if you work in a larger corporation with more structure.

Due to its highly creative nature, design roles are often seen as innovative, with designers constantly finding new ways to enhance user satisfaction and engagement.

As for location, the ability to work remotely is a common perk in design roles, providing the flexibility to shape your workday around your life, rather than the other way around.

Additional benefits in design careers often include professional development support, comprehensive healthcare, and flexible working hours.

Essential Skills and Education

The skills required for a tech design role typically include a blend of technical and soft skills.

  • Mastery of design tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma is crucial, as well as knowledge in wireframing and prototyping, user research, and understanding of accessibility principles
  • In terms of soft skills, a sharp eye for detail, empathy to understand user needs, and strong communication skills to present your designs effectively are essential

If this sounds like the career for you and you're itching to flex your creative muscles, then check out our complete UI/UX Designer career path here.

become a uxui designer

Again, it’ll teach you everything you need to know, in the correct order, so you can get hired ASAP.

Option #3. Game Design / Development

If you've always been mesmerized by the immersive worlds of video games, then learning how to make them might just be the best career path for you!

Game design (aka game development) encompasses both artistic and technical aspects, blending coding and design, along with strategy and psychology.

As a game designer, you can be responsible for creating the game's core mechanics, character development, storyline, or gameplay experience.

Here's a brief introduction to the varied roles within game design:

  • Level Designers create the virtual landscape where the game takes place, from map designs to placement of obstacles, enemies, or power-ups. It's like being an architect and urban planner for a virtual world.

  • Character Designers are responsible for creating and designing the characters that populate the game world. This often involves drawing and animating characters, defining their abilities, and sometimes even their backstories.

  • Gameplay Designers balance the rules and mechanics that govern how the game is played. They're responsible for creating a fun, engaging, and accessible experience for players.

  • While Storyline Writers create the narrative that drives the game. This includes writing dialogue, creating plotlines, and ensuring the story integrates seamlessly with gameplay.

Lifestyle, Salary, and Benefits

game designer salary
  • Current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $63,000 (With a lot higher for more senior positions)
  • Current number of open jobs on ZipRecruiter: 25,870

The lifestyle of a game designer can be dynamic and fast-paced, especially when working towards a game release. However, the work can also be structured, with clear milestones and deliverables to meet.

With its blend of creativity and technology, game design fits well into the "entrepreneurial and innovative" lifestyle. Plus, many game design roles are remote-friendly, offering the flexibility to work from anywhere, or even get paid to play and test the games!

As for salary, the average game designer in the U.S. earns about $63,000 per year. Entry-level game designers can expect to earn around $50,000, while more experienced designers can earn over $140,000.

Essential Skills and Education

  • Depending on which part you get involved in, game design requires a mix of creative, technical, and storytelling skills
  • For the actual asset creation and design, knowledge of game design principles and game mechanics is essential, as well as technical skills, such as programming and using game design software like Unity or Unreal Engine

Just like with every other tech career on this list, while a relevant degree in game design or a related field can be helpful, what matters is your portfolio and demonstrable skills.

If this seems like a career for you, check out our complete course in 3D game development with Unity.

learn how to become a game designer

Whether you're an avid gamer or a creative enthusiast, with the right skills and passion, you can play a part in creating the immersive digital experiences enjoyed by millions worldwide!

Option #4. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity professionals are the guardians of the digital world.

However, unlike the media's often dramatic portrayal, cybersecurity isn't just about dark rooms and anonymous hackers. It's a multi-faceted field with a variety of roles that combine problem-solving, technical skills, and a relentless curiosity to protect digital assets from threats.

The primary role of course is to protect systems, networks, and data from digital attacks. These vary but the end goal is usually to access, change, steal, destroy sensitive information, disrupt normal business processes, or scam users into revealing personal or financial information.

Because of this, cybersecurity also has several specializations:

  • Security Analysts are the detectives of the cybersecurity world. They constantly monitor their organization's networks for security breaches and investigate when a violation occurs

  • Ethical Hackers and Pen Testers (also known as white-hat hackers), are the good guys dressed in attacker’s clothing. They use their hacking skills for good, to find and fix security vulnerabilities before malicious hackers can exploit them

  • Cryptographers focus on developing secure algorithms, ciphers, and security systems to encrypt sensitive information. This role is crucial in a world where data privacy is becoming increasingly important

  • While Security Architects design, build, and oversee the implementation of network and computer security for an organization. They are like the master builders of cybersecurity, ensuring a well-structured and secure architecture

Lifestyle, Salary, and Benefits

cybersecurity salary
  • Current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $99,400
  • Current number of open jobs on ZipRecruiter: 27,146

The majority of cybersecurity roles tend to be dynamic and fast-paced, given the rapid evolution of technology and its associated threats.

However, roles like security architects can provide a more stable and structured environment, focused on preventive measures and long-term security solutions. And since most cybersecurity tasks are conducted online, these roles often offer the flexibility for remote work.

Essential Skills and Education

As you might have guessed, the cybersecurity field requires a strong foundation in IT skills, as well as:

  • Familiarity with firewalls, encryption protocols, SIEM Systems, and other networking protocols is crucial
  • Understanding programming languages like Python can also be beneficial, especially for roles like ethical hacking (a lot of the tools used require Python knowledge)
  • Staying up to date on the impact of AI in cybersecurity is vital
  • And regular security certifications are recommended, to both prove you are up to date with new issues and give peace of mind to clients
  • Finally, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are core to cybersecurity roles. The ability to foresee potential risks and think like a black-hat hacker is a great asset

Just like with other roles on this list, formal education in computer science or a related field can provide a good starting point. However, the majority of cybersecurity professionals either start with IT roles and transition into cybersecurity with specialized certifications and practical experience, or they start in the role from scratch.

If this sounds like a career for you and you're keen on some digital cops and robbers, then check out our complete Cybersecurity career path here.

become a cybersecurity expert

Remember, a career in cybersecurity is not just about defending against threats; it's about staying one step ahead of them. It's a journey with new challenges and things to learn, but can be incredibly rewarding for those curious enough to venture into it!

Option #5. Machine Learning and AI

Technically, these are two separate fields in tech, but with a lot of overlap so let’s cover them together for simplicity.

  • Machine Learning involves creating models that 'learn' from data patterns to make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so
  • While AI involves creating machines or software that mimic 'human' intelligence

Here are some key roles in this domain:

  • Machine Learning Engineers build and manage machine learning models. They have strong programming skills and a deep understanding of various machine-learning algorithms

  • AI Engineers build AI models using machine learning algorithms and deep learning neural networks to draw business insights, which can be used to make business decisions that affect the company's bottom line

  • While Prompt Engineers are a relatively new role brought about by large language models (LLMs) like OpenAI's GPT series of LLMs. Their focus is on designing prompts that guide AI models to produce useful and safe responses. In simple terms, they make sure the tool works better so you can get better results from it

If you're someone who enjoys strategic games, predicting outcomes based on past behavior, or if you're fascinated by the idea of teaching machines to mimic human intelligence, then a career in Machine Learning and AI might be for you!

Lifestyle, Salary, and Benefits

ml engineer salary
  • Current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $128,769
  • Current number of open jobs on ZipRecruiter: 84,646

Machine Learning and AI careers offer a dynamic, fast-paced environment with an unwavering need for continuous learning. The entrepreneurial spirit is also common in this field, with numerous startups and companies investing heavily in AI research and application development.

Essential Skills and Education

  • Technical skills required in the Machine Learning/AI field comprise programming (Python, in particular), statistics, data modeling, and algorithm design
  • Knowledge of machine learning frameworks such as Tensorflow or PyTorch is also crucial
  • Soft skills important for this field include problem-solving, analytical thinking, attention to detail, and continuous learning

In terms of education, while a degree in computer science, mathematics, or a related field can be beneficial, it’s not needed to get hired.

Whether you're intrigued by making machines 'think' or by using data to make predictions, a career in Machine Learning and AI can be an exciting path to follow!

Check out our complete Machine Learning and AI career path here.

become a machine learning engineer

Option #6. Business and Data Analytics

If you're intrigued by numbers and patterns, and enjoy making data-driven predictions, this could be the perfect tech career path for you.

Business and data analysts (as well as other roles under the same umbrella), use a variety of statistical techniques to collect, process, and interpret data that businesses can use to improve their operations.

They work with large sets of raw data, clean it, organize it, and use it to answer business-related questions.

Here's a high-level look into some of the roles within this field:

  • Business Analysts primarily focus on understanding business needs and translating them into data-driven solutions. For example, they might analyze sales data to identify trends and suggest strategies to boost revenue

  • Data Analysts work more directly with data, cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing it to produce understandable insights that can inform decision-making processes. They might, for instance, analyze user behavior data to help a product team enhance a product's user experience

  • Data Scientists take it a step further by using complex machine learning algorithms to analyze and interpret complex data sets. They can predict future trends and behaviors, providing businesses with a strategic advantage

  • Data Engineers, on the other hand, design, build and manage the data infrastructure. They ensure that data is correctly received, transformed, stored, and retrieved for other roles to perform their analyses

(Check out this guide if you want to go deeper into the differences between common data roles here).

Lifestyle, Salary, and Benefits

data analyst salary

Business and data analytics roles are typically more structured and stable. They often involve regular hours and a consistent flow of similar types of tasks.

While these roles might not seem as dynamic as others in tech, there's significant innovation in how data is used to solve complex business problems, especially when it comes to big data.

The ability to work remotely is a common feature in this field. This flexibility, combined with a high demand for these roles, makes it a compelling option for many considering a tech career.

Essential Skills and Education

Once again, while a degree in a related field can be helpful, practical skills and experience are what employers really care about.

If a career in unlocking insights behind the numbers, or making predictions with ML models sounds good to you, then check out our Data-related career paths:

  1. BI Analyst
  2. Data Analyst
  3. Data Scientist

become a bi analyst

Option #7. Web3 and Blockchain

This career path is a little different to the rest on this list, simply because it's still in relatively early stages, but I would be remiss if I didn’t add it - especially if this is something you would love to do.

So, Web3 and Blockchain - what are they and what do they do?

Most people when they think of blockchain, think of cryptocurrency, which is a shame. Yes crypto is important, but it's the technology behind how this can work that's even more interesting.

In simple terms, this field is all about leveraging decentralized networks to create a more secure, private, and user-centric internet. The blockchain is part of the technology that makes this secure.

What’s even more interesting is this is so groundbreaking, it’s being termed as the 3rd version of the internet or ‘Web3’.

So let me explain:

  • Web1 refers to the early stages of the internet, where users could merely browse content and had little to no interaction
  • Then came Web2, the era of social networks, user-generated content, and data collection, which is where we currently stand
  • Now, we are transitioning to Web3, aiming to create a decentralized internet where users regain control over their data

It’s still early days and who knows where it could all go but it's incredibly interesting.

Now, within the Web3 and Blockchain domain, there are a few key roles:

  • Blockchain Developers are the architects of the blockchain universe. They create blockchains, which are essentially decentralized databases that record transactions. The blockchain technology powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and it's also used in various other sectors like finance, supply chain, healthcare, and more

  • Smart Contract Developers work specifically with smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the agreement directly written into code. A popular language for writing smart contracts is Solidity, used in the Ethereum blockchain

  • DApp Developers focus on creating decentralized applications (DApps) that run on a P2P network of computers rather than a single computer. DApps are a staple in the Web3 world, as they offer a more secure and robust platform for users to interact with each other directly

Don’t worry about trying to understand all that just yet. For now, just know it's trying to be the future of the internet (or maybe it won't... time will tell). If you want to be a part of that potential, this could be the career for you.

Lifestyle, Salary, and Benefits

blockchain developer salary
  • Current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $111,845
  • Current number of open jobs on ZipRecruiter: 32,377

The Web3 and Blockchain space is undoubtedly entrepreneurial and innovative. Also, as a relatively new field, it's continuously evolving, with new projects, opportunities, and challenges emerging all the time.

Although there are currently fewer companies in this space compared to more established tech sectors, the demand for experts in this niche is on the rise, and people are paying top dollar for devs who can use these tools. (More on this in a second).

Being a Web3 or Blockchain professional often means staying on your toes and constantly learning to keep up with the fast-paced evolution of the field. And like most tech roles, it offers the flexibility to work remotely - a feature that many blockchain companies take advantage of to hire the best talent from around the globe. In fact, a lot of them have a ‘remote first’ approach.

What's really crazy is that because the tech is so new, you can be classified as an ‘experienced’ Solidity dev in just a few years.

Essential Skills and Education

Getting into Web3 and Blockchain requires:

  • A solid understanding of the principles of decentralization, cryptography, smart contracts, and distributed ledger technology
  • Proficiency in programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or C++ coupled with a knowledge of Solidity for Ethereum-based projects is also a must
  • Soft skills, like problem-solving, critical thinking, and an insatiable curiosity to stay updated in this fast-evolving field, are important

If the concept of digital currencies, smart contracts, and decentralized applications (DApps) excites you, then check out our complete Blockchain Developer career path here.

become a blockchain developer

Option #8. DevOps

DevOps engineers are responsible for overseeing both the development and the IT infrastructure of a company.

Their role is to facilitate communication between the traditionally siloed development and IT operations teams (Dev and Ops) and ensure the efficient deployment, operation, and monitoring of the software.

In simple terms, if you're a DevOps engineer, you're sort of like a translator between two foreign language speakers (the developers and the IT staff). You ensure they understand each other and work together smoothly, to get the project completed.

If you’re the person who made sure the group project got over the line and was still sane afterward, then this is definitely a great career option for you.

Lifestyle, Salary and Benefits

devops engineer salary
  • Current average salary on ZipRecruiter: $122,950
  • Current number of open jobs on ZipRecruiter: 433,025

When it comes to lifestyle, DevOps careers can be quite dynamic and fast-paced. The tech industry is constantly advancing, meaning you'll often be learning and adapting to new tools and practices.

However, it also offers some sense of structure, especially when working in larger organizations with established DevOps cultures.

Being at the intersection of several teams (such as development, IT operations, and quality assurance), these roles offer ample opportunities for collaboration and continuous learning.

Remote work is also common in DevOps, making it possible to enjoy a flexible and location-independent lifestyle. (Easier to be remote and communicate with multiple teams than all be on location).

Additional benefits common in this role include professional development opportunities, comprehensive health benefits, and work flexibility.

Essential Skills and Education

The skills required for a DevOps role include:

  • Programming knowledge (like Python or Java), as well as Linux and Bash
  • Although not technically a cloud role, experience with cloud platforms (like AWS or Google Cloud), and understanding of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools such as Terraform or Ansible are required
  • Practical knowledge of databases and SQL, networking, and cybersecurity is also beneficial
  • Soft skills like problem-solving, collaboration, and effective communication also play a crucial role in this field. Your entire goal is to improve communication, so you need to be good at yourself!

Most professionals in DevOps roles have a degree in computer science or a related field, but again, it’s not needed as self-taught professionals with the required skill set are welcomed in the industry.

If the thought of planning and organizing gives you that dopamine, then check out our step-by-step DevOps Engineer career path here.

become a devops engineer

Frequently Asked Questions

By now you should have an idea of what career you want, but possibly have some final niggling questions, so let's cover them.

Isn't AI replacing all the tech jobs? Is it still worth it?

No, AI wont steal your job, and yes, it's definitely still worth learning to cde.

Without going into too much detail (that guide covers it all), AI tools are simply allowing people to automate and streamline their work, while also helping them to improve their output.

And that's where the threat is. It's not the tools stealing your job - it's the people who can use these tools also that will be in higher demand.

The tools can only do a rough approximation and help with coding. It still needs a human element to make sure it works, and to think outside of the box.

That's why we're so focused on teaching people how to use AI tools alongside their career paths here.

Heck, we even just launched a brand new AI Developer career path on how to not only learn to code, but learn to code with AI tools!

learn how to become an ai developer

Am I to old to get into tech?

Nope - We shared this before, but some people learn in their 80s!

You can literally learn to do this in 5-12 months, and change the rest of your entire life.

Sure, it's extra work now to learn and get started, but just take a second to do the math on the impact it could have for you.

In your 60s? Even if you have 5 years left at work, the change in salary for those 5 years could be hugely different. (Not to mention but working from home on a laptop is so much easier to do, and can push back your retirement if you wanted to).

In your 40s? 10-20 years of work in tech would be absolutely life changing. A $100,000 a year job would be $2 million dollars!

That's not even taking into account how many promotions and pay rises you will get in that time. Get to an L5 position and that can be $250,000+ a year.

In your 30s? It might seem like this is something you wished you picked up as a kid, but the reality is, that it's never too late. The only real loss is if you stayed in the same place for the next 20-30 years, on the same salary.

Which tech career is best if I just want to get hired as quickly as possible?

Right now, Web Development is the fastest role to get hired in, with the most demand.

You can learn how to fast-track this and learn this role here with this career path.

Which tech career pays the most for entry-level employees?

It varies based on company, location, and the level of entry-level role.

Technically you could be in a customer support role in a tech company which doesn't pay great ($27,000 on average), and be classified as entry level.

Likewise, you can be an entry level web developer and be 4x that salary.

However, the web dev role would take more work up front to learn, while the customer support role could be something you jump into almost immediately.

We cover the 12 best entry-level tech roles in this guide here, as obviously there's a few pros and cons of each to weigh up.

What programming languages should I learn?

It varies depending on the role you're doing.

Check out any of the tech career paths here, and you'll see which language is needed for each role.

Whats the best beginner programming language?

If you're a total beginner, and just want to learn to code, then Python or JavaScript are your best options as a beginner.

They're easy to learn, they're in demand, used in multiple roles and careers, and pay well.

Again though, you're best of choosing a tech career and then learning the languages required there. Usually its one of these two anyway, but if yuo have that career focus, it'll help you get hired faster.

Are there specific languages that are more popular right now? (Job demand etc)

It can change every year, but the top trending languages in 2024 are:

  1. Python
  2. SQL
  3. TypeScript
  4. Rust
  5. JavaScript
  6. C++
  7. Java
  8. Golang
  9. C#
  10. Ruby
  11. Kotlin
  12. PHP

Read the guide above to find out how and why each of these made the cut.

Are there specific tech careers that are trending?


Here's a quick summary of our picks of top in-demand tech jobs for 2024:

  1. Software Developer is one of the easiest entry-level roles to get into, it gives you a great foundation to move into other areas, and you can earn a good salary
  2. Data Roles can pay very well and is one of the most versatile roles since companies across all industries need people to help them understand their numbers
  3. Cyber Security is the highest demand role right now on our list purely by # of jobs available and it’s pretty cool to get paid to hack systems!
  4. Machine Learning Engineer is probably the hardest to land a job in but it offers a very high average salary, and the growth over the next few years is going to be insane… get in now
  5. Cloud Engineering is probably the least interesting role on the list (subjective of course) but it currently pays the most and has the largest growth of any industry on this list. It’s not going away anytime soon, and you could have a nice career in this space

So which will you choose?

Picking a brand new career to try and get into can definitely be overwhelming but hopefully this guide has helped you understand the main tech roles a little better and help you decide which one could be the best fit for you.

Feel free to read through this guide a few times before you decide, and remember, there's no right or wrong choice - only what aligns best with your life goals and interests.

Leverage your natural interests and skills, and remember that every step in your journey counts towards your overall growth and success in the tech world.


Throughout this guide, I’ve shared multiple links to different career paths and courses that you can follow to get started right now with any of these careers.

All of which are part of the Zero To Mastery Academy. If you decide to become a member of Zero To Mastery, you'll have instant access to every course and career path in our library.

This means you can start one career path, and if you don’t like it, jump across to a different one!

Or you can follow them through to get hired in your new tech career, and then skill up even further to more senior and higher-paying roles (just like fellow ZTM alumni Hiren has by getting hired in a Senior role at NVIDIA after a number of years in the industry).

The best part is that when you join, you'll have access to our private Discord community, where you can ask questions and get answers from each course instructor, other students, and working professionals in your desired career.

Check them out now via any of the links above.

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