Inside Silicon Valley: 5 Things Tech Companies Look for in New Hires

Technology has changed all of our lives and has become one of the most prominent growth industries around. Because of this, technology companies have become highly desirable places to work. The fact that they pay well, offer great benefits, and provide workers with amazing workplace perks doesn’t hurt either. Because of this many people understandably have a desire to work for a tech company. Here are a few things that tech companies have been known to look for when they recruit new people.

College Degree

Although a college degree isn’t absolutely necessary for a career in technology, it is something that tech companies look for when considering whom to hire. A college degree says a few things about a potential employee. One thing that it says is that a person has a certain amount of discipline. After all, it takes discipline to pursue an area of study for four years or even two years.

A college degree also indicates that a person has a breadth of knowledge about a particular area of study. For example, a person with a computer engineering degree likely will have taken classes such as calculus, algorithms, and programming. It’s also likely that the person will have taken classes that have nothing to do with technology, which makes a person look even more well-rounded.

Coding Bootcamp

More and more employers are discovering the value of hiring individuals who have completed coding bootcamps. A coding bootcamp is typically an accelerated technology program that focuses on a particular area of study. And people are finding that the knowledge that they acquire from such programs and the money that they can save make coding bootcamps a reasonable alternative to attending a four-year college.

Tech companies look for candidates who have completed coding bootcamps because it shows that a potential employee has the most up-to-date training in a particular discipline. The intensive nature of coding bootcamps might also indicate to an employer that a candidate is good under pressure and adept at learning new things quickly.

Real-World Experience

Another thing that makes a person attractive to a tech company is actual work experience in the area that the company is working in. Real-world experience shows a tech company that a person doesn’t just look good on paper but that he is able to function in a work environment and meet the expectations that go along with a full-time job.

Real-world experience also gives the employer a baseline from which to judge a candidate. If the employer isn’t certain about the person’s ability to do a job they can also go back and speak to a previous employer about the candidate’s skills. Experience in a previous job can also indicate a candidate has a certain level of maturity, which is something that is always attractive to companies.

Self-Taught Individuals

Although it may seem counterintuitive, tech companies sometimes look for individuals who are largely self-taught in a particular discipline. To understand why this is, you have to know a little about the history of today’s tech companies. Many of the largest, such as Microsoft and Apple, were started by people who were largely self-taught and who lacked formal education.

When it comes to creating new technologies and fostering innovation, having attended a college or a university isn’t necessarily the best indicator of a person’s abilities. It’s not unusual for the person without formal education to be the one with the vision and know-how to discover the next big thing. If you’re a tech company, the self-taught person with amazing creativity and skills is always more attractive than the uninspired person who has a college degree.

Determination and Drive

Determination and drive are qualities that are harder for a tech company to judge in a candidate, but they are still things that they look for when recruiting new employees. The tech industry can be brutal. There is relentless competition and always the need to stay one step ahead of competitors. Cutting-edge tech companies also have to be vanguards in technological advancement and innovation.

Because of the nature of the tech industry, tech companies see employees who are highly
motivated and driven as the best fit for their companies. Determination and drive show a
company that a candidate is willing to do what it takes to elevate the company to the next level. They also show that a potential employee is not one who will easily give up in the face of obstacles and difficulties.

Technology is arguably the hottest growth industry on the planet today. Because of this, it’s not surprising that many people are looking to get in on the action, and tech companies are some of the most profitable and employee-centric around. Some of the qualities that tech companies look for when recruiting workers are those with a college degree, those who have attended a coding bootcamp, individuals with real-world experience, those who are self-taught, and people who are driven and determined. Chances are there’s a tech company out there for you.


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