Article written by KidSmart
So you want to work in the EdTech sector?
The EdTech market has become a multibillion-dollar industry. It has become one of the most important topics of discussion among educators, parents and students. EdTech companies are willing to pay top dollar for talented individuals who can help their company step up to the next level.
Tremendous opportunities exist in the EdTech industry. In my previous article, we talked about some of the careers available in the EdTech sector.
Here’s the thing, EdTech is diverse. It has different roads that lead to many different results and outcomes. Entering EdTech or doing a fully-fledged job search can be downright overwhelming.
So, before you take the plunge, you need to get yourself ready.
Figure out which job is right for you
The first step to being ready is figuring out which EdTech job is right for you. The best way to get an answer is by asking yourself: what do you actually want to do?
Then come more questions. Are you a great instructor and listener and love working with kids? You might find that you enjoy working directly in a school using EdTech tools. Do you love creating designs? You might make an excellent graphic designer. Or are you good at social media and spreading the word? Social media marketing might be the best industry for you.
No matter what interests you, figuring out what you really want to do is the first step in climbing the EdTech ladder.
Learn from others
Talk to educators or successful individuals who have effectively ventured into EdTech world. Know the bumps they’ve been through. Talk to a teacher who taught himself to code to make his work easier and build the tools his student’s need. Or to the accountant who enjoys writing, then left her 9 to 5 job to build her own blog and monetised.
Learning about others’ journey will help you prepare yourself for what might come in your way.
Another way to learn from others is by attending EdTech conferences and meetups. EdTech conferences are happening all over the world. Make it your business to attend as many conferences as you can (only if you can afford them). You will learn a lot about the latest trends, and you’ll have a better understanding of the EdTech space.
Build the necessary skill set
In the EdTech industry, one skill isn’t enough. As mentioned above, it is diverse and has lots of roads. To break into the industry, you need to have a set of skills and master them. For example, in coding, it’s essential to understand how apps and EdTech tools work and the current trends and issues in EdTech.
Some EdTech skills can be enhanced on your own. For example, the only way to improve your writing skills (if you’re into writing), is by regular writing. Read articles, books, and listen to best-selling authors. Learn how they were able to make their way into the top-selling list.
Look for potential companies (not jobs!)
A good working environment can maximise one’s potential, so it’s important to look for the best companies with excellent work environments, not specific positions yet.
List down 5 to 15 companies that you would be interested in working for, then research each of them. Look for essential information, including what their mission is, their vision, and their values. Find out how they make money and how they treat their employees.
Study what their employees share on social media. You are doing this to gain as much intel about your potential workplace. If you learn some things that don’t make you comfortable, trust your gut and move on to the next company.
Ace the interview
At this stage, you’ve already researched the company you want to apply to. Use the information you have to come up with questions that you would like to ask them. This will give them the impression that you’re a person who has done your homework. This is your moment to make your case and show them why it would be crazy for them not to hire an excellent candidate.
Another way to ace an interview is to get a better idea of what hiring managers want and what works in job interviews. To understand what companies are looking for (beside the obvious described in the job postings), it never hurts to enquire by going straight to the source.
For example, investment companies may look for individuals with a good understanding of money and how it flows. However, most investment companies look for applicants with entrepreneurial energy and are on top of the EdTech industry.
Companies looking for individuals to fill in the role in technology implementation or customer service also pick individuals with coaching experience and have the ability to handle a lot of data even with no or little context over those with tech skills or experience with EdTech tools. Jeff Kerscher of Seton Blended Learning Network, says, “Our biggest concern is if they will be able to coach teachers, inspire confidence, and lead a transformation in our partner schools.”
Learn how to create useful content
All businesses need content and reaching out to businesses and providing them content is a great way to forge a relationship and showcase your ability. In the digital age it is easy to be proactive and build strong relationships.
Content can be invaluable for a site, for example this page on our website for past exam papers performs really well as the content is useful.
Useful content does not need to be in depth, if there is a pain point you can solve for a business it may be a good approach to reach out and offer some help.
Start your own EdTech company
After giving yourself an on the job trial, you may begin to think to yourself about starting your own EdTech company instead. You’re young and talented. Now that you’ve seen what the EdTech industry looks like, you may get the feeling that starting your own business is a more viable option than working for someone else.
Starting your own company makes you your own boss. Nurture your skills, become a leader, and team up with like-minded individuals. Create new ideas and welcome feedback. If your ideas are good, then venture capitalists might just make your business their next investment. But take note, starting your own company is a challenge, but if you’re up for it, follow your guts and make your dream come true.