Break into Tech: Jeremy Schifeling Shows How Anyone Can Develop a Career in the Tech Industry

Jeremy Schifeling Offers Advice To Anyone Looking To Break Into The Tech Industry

In a Nutshell: Many presume it’s too difficult to pursue a career in the tech industry without a technology background. Jeremy Schifeling, Founder and CEO of Break into Tech, reveals numerous opportunities and techniques to land a tech job, even when changing career fields. His platform provides many free resources people can use for job searching strategies and interview preparation. Schifeling also offers a coaching service through which experts help strengthen CVs and create a job-seeking game plan.

People often judge what jobs they are capable of doing based only on their past achievements.

Job listings frequently require experience that is either specific or related to the position in question, but there are ways to break into career paths that many people think are blocked.

One significant preconception about the tech industry is that you need to have a degree in engineering or computer science to have any hope of landing a job. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

It can certainly feel overwhelming when considering a big career change. The key to finding a better path forward lies in understanding where your skills meet your ambition.

Jeremy Schifeling didn’t start his career destined for the tech industry.

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He started as a kindergarten teacher and found a way to break into tech without knowing a single line of code. During his time in business school, Schifeling developed a system that landed him offers at Apple, Amazon, and venture capital startups.

Schifeling went from being a Product Marketing Intern for Apple to Senior Product Marketing Manager for LinkedIn’s education business to the VP of Marketing at a startup with $10 million in venture capital funding.

After gaining valuable experiences throughout his career, Schifeling wanted to educate and help others benefit from his techniques. So Schifeling founded Break into Tech, a platform that helps non-technology oriented people land jobs in the tech industry and shares countless tips on how job seekers can increase their chances of success.

Schifeling has seen it all, and he knows exactly what tech recruiters look for and what impresses hiring managers. After succeeding in his tech endeavors and interviewing hundreds of candidates for positions at companies from startups to tech giants, Schifeling now dedicates himself to helping others form their new paths.

Helping People of All Backgrounds Get Into The Industry

Schifeling’s journey into tech started while working as a teacher helping children learn about things like how to make a PowerPoint slide or building a classroom blog. He was having more fun doing that than teaching literacy or math.

“That’s when I knew that if you’re going to build a great career, you got to play to your strengths, and you got to play with what brings you joy,” said Schifeling.

It still took him several years before finally breaking into the tech industry, but Schifeling realized that he could have gotten in much faster if he had used the many shortcuts he discovered. That’s when he decided to pay it forward and teach others what he gained.

Photo of Break into Tech CEO, Jeremy Schifeling
Jeremy Schifeling, CEO of Break into Tech

One of the biggest misconceptions about landing a tech job is that you need to have a software engineering or computer science background. The truth of the matter is that around three quarters of all tech jobs are actually non-technical.

Taking a snapshot of these companies’ LinkedIn profiles would reveal rosters made up of marketers, salespeople, HRs and finance. So even though we think of them as the minority, they are actually the majority.

There’s also natural crossover potential for certain types of functional expertise regardless of whichever industry it comes from. It’s not unusual to see someone go from being an accountant at a healthcare company to an accountant at Google, or being a salesperson at an industrial company to a salesperson with Facebook.

“There are a couple of roles in tech that are open to almost everyone, because they’re so manual, and they just need really great people,” said Schifeling.

In some categories, like customer success, opportunities for direct transition abound. Working with clients to ensure they understand the product can involve roles like sales development. That could entail trade skills like cold calling, or doing outreach to customers and trying to bring them on board with Google AdWords or Facebook ads.

“Those kinds of roles just can’t be outsourced to an engineer or done at scale. They really need an army of great individual people to pull them off,” said Schifeling.

Coaching Can Help Accelerate Career Potential

Those who are looking for direct guidance can consider the benefits of coaching which is offered on Schifeling’s website.

People who are stuck in their job searching can get coaching tips from Break into Tech’s rockstar coach, Asher Kinyon. He served as a Product, Strategy, and Operations leader for a startup while helping it raise nearly $400 million.

Kinyon also earned PM offers at Google, Amazon and built Harvard Business School’s PM career guides. He’s coached over 60 top level clients and now offers his expert advice for anyone looking to break through.

Job seekers can also try Break into Tech’s Career Masterclass Courses, which offer step-by-step guidance on positioning for the perfect tech job.

Schifeling said that breaking into tech can be done on your own, but having some coaching advice can act as a bit of an accelerator.

For those who still can’t figure out which role is right for them or can’t get their resumés accepted and reach the interview stage, having that human input can make a big difference.

“The nice thing about working with people who’ve worked inside tech, is that, because you’ve seen so many of these resumés, you kind of have this almost like A.I. like pattern recognition,” said Schifeling. Some people may look like they have the potential to be a great product manager or sales representative, but the resumé doesn’t feel right because the recruiter can’t see where they fit or how their skills apply to the position.

Many job seekers assume recruiters will read their entire resumé and spend 10 minutes on a document. On the contrary; research shows that recruiters spend roughly six seconds on average with a resumé if they read it at all.

“It really is an instinctual decision. And so you need someone on the inside to give you that instinctual knowledge,” said Schifeling.

Generally, recruiters are just going to be scanning all the headlines and titles. Schifeling said one of the tricks is to lead with the specific job title you want. That’s already more clarifying than someone who has a generic resumé.

Abundant Resources to Help You Land the Right Job

Aside from providing coaching advice and masterclass courses, Break into Tech offers free resources to help people identify and pursue careers.

“For me, it’s really important because as someone who has been an educator his entire life, I feel like the whole point of education is to open opportunities,” said Schifeling. “Not just learning for learning’s sake, but learning to get a better life and learning to get the life you want.”

For Schifeling, that includes working within the most exciting industries and getting a chance to play a part in building the future. He said he feels it should be open to all people, and that having a tiny minority of people controlling the future isn’t a strong foundation to build from.

While not a requirement for success, LinkedIn can also act as a big accelerator. When we think about how people traditionally get access to new roles, it’s usually by networking with friends or former classmates. LinkedIn can be viewed as a digitalization of that same networking framework.

In fact, Schifeling co-wrote a book on the subject called “Linked: Conquer LinkedIn. Get Your Dream Job. Own Your Future,” and he said that having an online connection with someone who already works in the tech industry can help prop the door open a little wider. “It really does democratize access that was previously closed off.”

With the recent layoffs in the tech industry and the overall state of the economy, some may feel the times are very precarious. But Schifeling said he is hopeful that this challenging moment can turn into an opportunity not only for people looking to break into the industry, but also those who are stuck at a tech company they are unhappy with.

He said it could be the kick in the pants they need to actually live their best life and do something they love.

To steal a quote from Office Space, a lot of people don’t like their jobs, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to find something that makes us happy.

If you’re looking for a job in the tech industry, don’t sell yourself short by thinking you lack the field experience. Learn what’s most effective for landing a job and get out there and try.