Over the last 20 years, the edtech market has grown to become a billion dollar industry. Edtech companies pay top dollar for talented individuals that can help them take their firms to the next level. This has made edtech one of the most competitive job markets in the education arena. Though the competition is fierce, landing a job in edtech is not as hard as you think. Are you looking for a job in edtech? Here are six tips that will help you land your dream job.
- Attend edtech conferences and meetups. Every year, there are thousands of edtech conferences and meetups that are convened throughout the world. Make it your business to attend as many of them as you can afford. Not only will you learn a lot about the latest trends in the field; you will have access to mid-level and C-Suite edtech executives. Make it your business to chat with them and display your understanding of the edtech space. Executives are extremely busy, so you need to have a 60-second elevator pitch all ready to go. Exchange business cards and send them an email inquiring about job openings a couple of days later. The efficacy of this technique depends on the impression that you made. You may only get 60 seconds, so make it count. No worries, you go this.
- Learn the lingo. Like all industries, edtech has its specialized dialect. In edtech, our language is a mix between education and tech jargon. If you don’t know how to talk the talk, people will assume that you can not walk the walk. There are plenty of websites that cover basic edtech terminology, so head over to Google and find a few. In a week or so, you will be talking just like a techie.
- Build the necessary skill set. Edtech is a unique industry that requires a broad skill set. To break into the industry, you will need to master them all. You will need to understand; 1. The education system, 2. The teaching and learning process, 3. How apps and edtech tools work, 4. Coding, 5. Current Trends and Issues in edtech, etc. before you are ready to tackle the dog eat dog world of edtech. Attempting to work in edtech without the necessary skill set is a recipe for disaster, as sooner or later imposters get exposed. There are plenty of platforms like edX, Coursera or Udacity that will help up come up to speed.
- Research potential companies. Create a list of 5-20 companies that you would be interested in working for, and research them. Find out as much as you can, including what their mission is, where they operate, how they make money, etc. Also, study their employees to find out what they are sharing on social media, what they are reading, etc. The next time you are in their area, invite them out coffee to discuss current trends in edtech. You are doing all of this to gain as much intel about your potential employer as possible. If you learn some things that trouble you, trust your gut and move on to the next potential employer.
- Nail the interview. You have gotten your foot in the door, now its time to close the deal. I know you have researched the company thoroughly, so use this info to come up with a list of questions that you would like to ask them. You want to come across as a thoughtful individual that has done their homework. This is your time to make your case, and show them why it would be foolish for them to pass up such an excellent candidate. If things go right, you will be in your new office in a couple of weeks.
- Start your own edtech company. After spending some time on the job trail, you may begin to think to yourself “What if I started my own company?” I mean, you are young, talented and a natural born leader. After you have seen what the industry looks like, you may get the feeling that creating your own company would be a more viable option, than working for someone else. You get to start something from the ground up, make a difference in the field of education, be your boss, and employ other like-minded individuals. Venture capitalists are investing billions of dollars in the edtech market, and if your idea is good, you may be their next investment. If you are up for the challenge, I say go for it.
What did we miss? Do you have any additional tips for finding a job in edtech?