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How To Leverage Past Experience and Break into Tech

3 Le Wagon Students sitting at a desk with their laptop.

If you’re looking to enter the tech industry, you might be worried about how to break into a brand-new industry with no experience. Especially after working to build years of experience in a different field. Or, if you’re venturing into the world of work for the first time, worried about having wasted time completing a course.

You’re not alone, in 2022 we found that 45% of people in the UK dreamt of a career change but 60% were worried about the unknown. And 41% are worried about getting their foot in the door.

Most people who attend our bootcamp are changing their career path, so we’ve seen firsthand how past experiences can give you a competitive advantage. We asked some of our alumni how their previous careers and educational experiences have helped them in their current roles as software developers and data engineers. Here’s what they had to say:

Melina Kim

From a BA in East Asian Studies and Visual Arts to Software Developer

“I credit my master’s degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education, as well as my professional experience working in the education sector, for helping me secure my current role at Pearson, one of the largest edtech companies. During the interview process, I was able to showcase my qualifications and demonstrate a seamless connection between my academic background and professional experience in edtech. I believe that leveraging your previous experiences and transferable skills is helpful when making a career change into the tech industry.”

By making a connection between her academic background in educational technology and her role at Pearson, she was able to demonstrate her qualifications and secure a position in the tech industry.


From the Travel Industry to Data Science

“Every previous experience in my life has helped me in what I’m doing now. I’ve learnt a couple of languages during adulthood, which allows me now to take on projects in which I need those. I learnt some Java and SQL at University, wrote some automation scripts in Google Apps Script during my time at Culture Trip, worked as a consultant at Deloitte, and tried to set up my own business. All these experiences have helped me in what I’m currently doing.”

Cedric saw the value of every previous experience in shaping his current role as a freelance data engineer. Whether it was learning new languages, acquiring technical skills during university, or gaining diverse experience through previous jobs, each experience contributed to his ability to take on new projects.


From QA Analyst for a grocery delivery company to a Software Engineer

“As someone with a QA Analyst background before joining Le Wagon, testing code and writing test cases has helped me big time, especially in full stack engineering! I was working as a QA Analyst for a grocery delivery company in the USA. I discovered an interest in Web Development and learnt more by pair-programming with my previous coworkers. This helped me build the foundations of frontend development pre-bootcamp.”

Cat’s experience as a QA Analyst gave her valuable skills that she was able to apply to her current role as a software engineer. Her background in testing code and writing test cases provided a strong foundation for her work in full-stack engineering.

Leveraging Your Past for Success

Your past work experience can be valuable when transitioning into a new career. Our careers team are on hand to support students in their job search and career planning. Here’s a few things you can do to help you stand out to employers:

  1. Showcase your qualifications: Highlight how your previous education and professional background align with the requirements of your desired role. Demonstrating a seamless connection between your past experiences and the responsibilities of your target industry can greatly enhance your chances of success.
  2. Transferable skills: Identify the transferable skills from your previous career and educational experiences that can be applied to your new role. Skills such as problem-solving, communication, and adaptability are often sought after in various industries, including the tech sector.
  3. Build on your foundations: Use the foundations you’ve built in your previous work to excel in your new career. The knowledge and skills acquired from previous roles can serve as a solid starting point and provide a competitive advantage in your transition.
  4. Embrace your diverse experiences: Recognize the value of diverse experiences and how they contribute to your overall skill set. Whether it’s learning new languages, acquiring technical skills, or gaining varied industry experience, embrace the unique perspective you bring to your new role.

Remember, your past work experience is not a hindrance but rather a stepping stone to success in your new career. By leveraging your knowledge, skills, and unique insights, you can make a seamless transition and thrive in your chosen field.

Our users have also consulted:
Pour développe mes compétences
Formation développeur web
Formation data scientist
Formation data analyst
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Make the internet a more beautiful place with coding!

Originally from Colombia, Martin moved to Berlin with a background in graphic design. Drawn to

From working in an e-learning startup to a FullStack developer at an AI company.

Meet Mia, originally from Northern California and alumni from batch #244 (April – June 2019)

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