How Black Professionals can Break Into the World of Tech
June 15, 2022
#BlackinTech consistently trends on social media showing the world how POC employees and entrepreneurs maneuver in the Big Tech space. By searching this hashtag, you can see what a day in the life of someone who works in technology looks like, shared experiences, relatable memes, and job titles that float around in the area.
But it’s not just a hashtag. Whether it’s Black professionals’ first opportunity or choosing another career path, they are heavily migrating into the tech field to explore new options and careers. While White and Asian Americans have historically dominated the tech space, Black Americans are steadily closing the employment disparity and creating room for their counterparts to join.
Connecting resources with opportunities
A Senior Cloud Solutions Strategist at Google, Ketuan Baldwin understands the importance of making a space for yourself with the resources you have at hand. When asked what he does in his role, Baldwin said, “In short, I work with a lot of our large enterprise clients that are going through a transformation to use Google Cloud, a cloud platform. I guarantee they understand the process, help train the company and employees, and ensure they align business requirements with their objectives.”
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems and an MBA from Youngstown University, Baldwin offers a unique perspective on kickstarting a career in tech: it’s not only about the degrees you acquire.
“The role that I have—it’s not like I went to school to be [a Senior Cloud Solutions Strategist]. The role didn’t exist five years ago. In this space, it’s all about what you can leverage from what you know to create the next opportunity for yourself. It’s not like other roles, where you climb the ladder. In this space, things change so often,” he said.
Moving into the tech space
Baldwin’s advice for getting into this field is simple: If you’re looking to transition into tech, you need to understand its different paths and what paths best align with your interests. “You have to decide what path makes the most sense for you and then you can learn and figure out what skills you have from what you’re currently doing and what you need to build upon,” he said. “It’s not always about going to school. Free and low-cost content and training courses online can also help you secure new opportunities.”
Landing funding as an entrepreneur
Creating new products for the tech space and securing funding is most successful when entrepreneurs have taken the time to vet their product and make an excellent pitch. “It’s all about how you structure your product. If you have an idea, do you need development support? Do you have the skills to engineer it? Do you have the right planning in place? How do you test it to know that it’s something valuable that people will want to use?” Baldwin said. Answering these key points will put innovators in a better position to market themselves and their products to potential investors.
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