Best Work-Life Balance Tech Careers for Career Changers

Best Work-Life Balance Tech Careers for Career Changers

Oct 19, 2023

Work-life balance is a pivotal aspect that significantly impacts an individual’s satisfaction and well-being in their professional and personal life. A notable 72% of workers regard work-life balance as a crucial factor when selecting a job, and 57% of job seekers consider poor work-life balance a deal-breaker when contemplating a new job. The sentiment is echoed by a whopping 90% of U.S. adults who underscore work-life balance as an essential facet of their job, valuing it over consistent hours and the flexibility of when and where to work. The adverse effects of a poor work-life balance are glaring, with a 2023 survey revealing that 42% of the global workforce reported experiencing burnout, marking a slight rise from the previous year.

The dissatisfaction stemming from a lack of work-life balance in current careers nudges many towards exploring alternative career paths. Among these, tech careers emerge as a robust choice due to the flexibility and conducive work environment they often provide. For instance, the realm of Information Technology (I.T.) is lauded for its capacity to offer a balanced work-life scenario, courtesy of the variety of shifts and schedules it entails. Silicon Valley, often dubbed a haven for tech enthusiasts, has been identified for harboring some of the top careers like software and web development that boast a commendable work-life balance.

The allure of tech careers extends beyond traditional roles. For instance, the position of a Social Media Manager, requiring a blend of creativity and commercial acumen, not only provides a pathway into the tech industry but also scores a favorable Work-Life Balance Rating of 4.0. Moreover, data analysis is another high-paying job within the tech domain recognized for offering a better work-life balance, with competitive salaries significantly above the average in the United States.

The amalgamation of flexible work schedules, the potential for remote work, and the high demand for tech-related skills make the tech industry a viable and appealing choice for those seeking to transition careers in pursuit of a better work-life balance.

Best Work-Life Balance Tech Careers for Career Changers

Recognizing the Need for a Change

Recognizing when a change is warranted is crucial in pursuing a fulfilling career. Here’s how you can discern the need for a shift:

Identifying Signs of Work-Life Imbalance

  • Overworking: If work consumes your life, it’s a red flag.
  • Insufficient Sleep: Sleep deprivation due to work indicates imbalance.
  • Lack of Exercise: When work impedes your ability to maintain physical health, it’s a concern.
  • Neglected Relationships: If work harms your relationships, reassessment is needed.

Assessing Readiness for a Career Change

  • Self-reflection: Evaluate your current job satisfaction and your career desires.
  • Skill Assessment: Identify the skills you possess that are transferable to a tech career and the new skills you’d need to acquire.
  • Financial Assessment: Ensure you’re financially prepared for a transition, considering possible education or training expenses and potential changes in income.

Understanding your current situation and what you truly want is the first step towards making a life-altering decision, such as a career change. Your well-being is paramount, and a career with a healthy work-life balance in the tech field could be the beacon leading to a more content and balanced life.

Exploring Tech Careers with Good Work-Life Balance

In the endeavor to ease one’s work-life balance, delving into tech careers presents a promising horizon. Below, we unfold the attributes of the software development realm, shedding light on its flexibility, remote work prospects, and overall job outlook.

Software Development

Flexibility and Remote Work Opportunities

The tech domain, particularly software development, is synonymous with flexibility and remote work, more so recently. A 2023 report reveals a positive shift in the developer experience, with more flexible schedules enabling work to be accomplished mainly between the conventional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe. Interestingly, developers are coding 9% more during morning commutes. At the same time, late-night and weekend work has declined, contributing to a better work-life balance and reduced burnout.

Furthermore, the virtual realm opens up a world of possibilities. Remote software developers have the liberty to work from any location, focusing on coding, programming, and software development projects. The responsibilities of remote software developers encompass creating applications, websites, and software solutions, thus standing at the helm of digital product creation.

Job Outlook and Average Work Hours

The allure of a software development career isn’t just confined to flexibility; it’s a flourishing field with a bright outlook. In 2023, ‘Software Developer’ clinched the top spot on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best occupations, even amidst massive layoffs in some big I.T. firms. The demand for software engineers is spurred by rapid technological evolution, as they help organizations stay abreast of new tech trends. A projected job growth rate of 25% from 2021 to 2031, a pace over three times higher than average, underscores the thriving nature of this career path.

When it comes to work hours, there’s a spectrum. On average, software developers may work around 40 to 50 hours per week, with some working longer hours depending on the project or company. A StackOverflow study showcases that 51.7% of developers work 40-44 hours per week, translating to around 8-9 hours daily. The typical work hours can, however, shift based on the developer’s experience and the type of project at hand.

The holistic view of software development as a career reflects an enticing blend of work flexibility, remote work opportunities, and a robust job outlook, making it a stellar choice for those yearning for a better work-life balance.

Data Analysis

Project-based Work and Flexible Hours

Transitioning into the sphere of Data Analysis can be rewarding, especially for those enticed by project-centric work and flexible hours. The surge toward data-driven business models has amplified the importance and demand for data analytics, paving the way for more project-based roles. This project-centric nature of data analysis allows professionals to dive into various analytical processes, from finding data sources to cleaning and processing data, which is indispensable for making data-driven decisions and predictions.

Moreover, the flexibility inherent in Data Analysis roles is notable. The evolution of flexible working models, especially post-pandemic, has unlocked unprecedented shifts in where, when, and how work is conducted, especially for jobs requiring a laptop and a good internet connection. This facet particularly appeals to individuals seeking a better work-life balance while still engaging in meaningful and impactful work.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for data analysts is auspicious, characterized by growing demand, diverse entry-level opportunities, and predicted salary escalations for experienced professionals. As big data expands, the thirst for skilled data analysts is unquenchable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 25% growth in data analyst jobs between 2020 and 2030, a pace much faster than the average for all occupations. This positive job outlook is also reflected in the projected employment growth of 23% from 2021 to 2031, thanks to technological advances and the rise of big data. The average salary for a data analyst stands at a competitive $74,342, further showcasing the lucrative nature of this career path.

The fusion of project-based work, flexible hours, and a robust job outlook makes Data Analysis a compelling choice for those looking to pivot into a tech career with a favorable work-life balance.

Cybersecurity

Job Stability and High Demand

The call for cybersecurity professionals is more urgent than ever, thanks to the digital transformation wave and the escalating threat landscape. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 35% growth in cybersecurity employment for positions like information security analysts by 2031, indicating job stability and high demand. The numbers echo this narrative—there were 663,434 cybersecurity job openings and 1,129,659 individuals employed in the cybersecurity workforce as of June 2023. Between September 2022 and August 2023, employers listed 572,392 job postings for cybersecurity positions, underlining the steady demand in this field.

Moreover, the urgency to fill over half a million unfilled cybersecurity jobs is palpable, reflecting a continuous demand for skilled professionals to safeguard against the burgeoning cybersecurity threats.

Possibility of Part-time and Consultancy Roles

Cybersecurity also offers various employment models catering to different life circumstances and preferences. Part-time cybersecurity roles are available, with 299 part-time cybersecurity jobs in the United States and 434 part-time cybersecurity jobs available on platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed. These part-time roles include positions like After School Cyber Security Instructor, Cybersecurity Mentor, Network Security Engineer, and Network Operations Technician.

On the consultancy front, cybersecurity consultants play a critical role in an organization’s security posture. In 2023, a cybersecurity consultant can expect to earn approximately $122,451 annually, reflecting the value organizations place on this expertise. The role of a cybersecurity consultant involves the following:

  • Analyzing and assessing security systems.
  • Identifying associated issues and risks.
  • Devising practical solutions to these problems.

Moreover, consultancy roles offer a lucrative earning potential with hourly rates ranging between $46 and $80, providing a flexible work model for those seeking a balance between work, personal pursuits, and family life.

Cybersecurity’s diverse employment models, combined with the high demand for skilled professionals, make it an attractive field for those desiring job stability alongside the flexibility to choose a work model that aligns with their life circumstances.

UX/UI Design

Creative Freedom and Project-based Work

The dynamic domains of User Experience (UX) and User Interface (U.I.) Design is heralded for its creative latitude and project-centric work. The essence of UX/UI design lies in crafting user-centric digital solutions, which are both an art and a science. As we traverse through 2023, the UX/UI design landscape continues to evolve, buoyed by swift technological advancements and shifts in user behavior, presenting designers with fresh challenges and opportunities.

The burgeoning remote working culture has further accentuated the project-based nature of UX/UI design roles. Designers are at the heart of crafting digital interfaces that resonate with user needs and preferences for eCommerce platforms, healthcare institutions, or virtual reality experiences. The trend of personalization, for instance, is gaining traction, allowing designers to tailor products or services based on individual user nuances, thus adding a personal touch to the digital landscape4.

Job Outlook and Average Work Hours

The digitization wave has catapulted the demand for UX/UI designers across various industries, from banking and healthcare to eCommerce and education, opening up a world of possibilities for digital design specialists. Data reveals a promising job outlook; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 23% growth in employment for web developers and digital designers, encompassing UX designers, from 2021 to 2031, a pace much swifter than the average.

As of March 2023, searching for full-time UX designer roles unveiled 3,292 open positions in the U.S. alone, highlighting the vibrant job market awaiting UX/UI professionals. On the monetary front, UX designers are well-compensated for their expertise, with median salaries at $75,000 and the top 10% of designers earning upwards of $109,000. U.I. designers enjoy a robust job market with around 6,000 job listings in the U.S. and an average annual salary of $77,832, further sweetening the deal for those considering a plunge into this creative domain.

The narrative of UX/UI Design as a career unfolds as a blend of creative freedom, project-centric work, and a promising job outlook, making it a captivating choice for individuals aiming to transition into a tech career with a balanced work-life equation.

Success Stories: Transitioning to a Tech Career

The pathway into a tech career often unveils a rich narrative of transformation, resilience, and discovery. The stories shared during a Career Change AMA hosted by LEARN academy epitomize these narratives, shedding light on the experiences of individuals who transitioned into tech for a better work-life balance. Their diverse backgrounds and the common aspiration for a more balanced life weave a tapestry of insights invaluable for anyone contemplating a similar transition. Here’s a delve into their stories:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imIFjpwMakU

Nicole: Advocating for Parent-Friendly Work Environments

Nicole, a parent, stressed the significance of a supportive work environment. Reflecting on her previous career, which wasn’t parent-friendly, she underscored the need for planning, communication, and having backup plans, especially concerning childcare, painting a picture of a structured approach towards achieving a parent-friendly work environment in a new career.

Brian: Embracing the Learning Curve

Although not a parent, Brian brought to light the importance of continuous learning in the tech industry. His narrative emphasizes that being at ease with perpetual learning is crucial, as the tech field is ceaselessly evolving, keeping everyone, including the experts, on their toes.

Ari: Navigating from Petco to Tech

Ari shared her inspiring transition from working at Petco to immersing herself in the tech world despite having no prior technical background. Her story accentuates the accessibility of the tech industry, portraying it as a field open to individuals with diverse backgrounds and a willingness to learn.

Chelsea: The Backbone of Support

Chelsea, the CEO and co-founder of LEARN, while not sharing her story explicitly, emerged as a supportive figure in others’ transition narratives, underlining the crucial role of mentorship and a nurturing community in facilitating smooth career transitions.

Adam: From Stage to Code

The moderator, Adam, shared snippets of his transition from acting to coding. Though the specifics of his transition weren’t detailed, his story resonated with the overarching theme of the discussion: the tech industry’s accessibility. His shift, undoubtedly requiring a mindset alteration and honing new, more technical skills, highlights the vast possibilities awaiting individuals from non-technical fields in the tech realm. Adam’s journey, filled with the nuances of acquiring new skills and adapting to a different industry’s dynamics, inspires others to contemplate a similar change.

Key Takeaways

The diverse stories shared during the panel discussion underscore several key themes:

  • Supportive Work Environments: Particularly for parents, a supportive work environment is pivotal for a successful career transition.
  • Continuous Learning: The tech arena demands a continued learning ethos, ensuring individuals remain relevant.
  • Accessibility of Tech: The tech industry beckons with open arms to individuals from varied backgrounds, provided there’s a willingness to learn and adapt.
  • Community and Mentorship: A supportive community and mentorship are invaluable assets in transitioning into a tech career.

Their stories echo a collective narrative of hope, resilience, and the promise of a balanced work-life in the tech industry, offering a beacon of inspiration for those on the brink of a similar transition.

Overcoming Challenges in Career Transition

Transitioning to a new career, especially in the tech sector, is both an exciting and challenging endeavor. As you embark on this journey, preparing to face and overcome hurdles is part of achieving a rewarding tech career. Here, we delve into some common challenges and offer solutions to keep you resilient throughout the transition.

Addressing Common Hurdles and Solutions

  • Skill Development:
  • Challenge: Acquiring new technical skills is often the first hurdle to overcome. This can feel like starting over, especially after years of mastering skills in a different field.
  • Solution: Look for transferable skills from your previous career that can be leveraged in tech. Additionally, continuously learn through online courses, bootcamps, or self-study to build the necessary tech skills.
  • Networking:
  • Challenge: Building a professional network in a new industry can be daunting, but it’s crucial for unlocking opportunities3.
  • Solution: Leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with industry professionals and attend networking events or meetups to build relationships in the tech community.
  • Goal Setting:
  • Challenge: Setting clear and achievable career goals can be challenging, especially when transitioning to a new field where you may need a clear roadmap.
  • Solution: Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals to keep you on track. Seeking mentorship can also provide guidance and clarity on setting and achieving your career goals.

Maintaining Resilience Throughout the Transition

  • Continuous Learning:
  • Embrace the learning curve and stay curious. The tech industry evolves rapidly, and being open to continuous learning will help you overcome challenges and thrive in your new career.
  • Support Systems:
  • A support system of mentors, peers, and a community can be a huge morale booster. Engage with communities and forums related to your field of interest in tech to find support and share experiences.
  • Self-Compassion:
  • Transitioning careers is a significant life change. It’s essential to practice self-compassion, celebrate small wins, and keep a positive mindset even when faced with challenges.

Transitioning into a tech career is a journey of growth, learning, and overcoming hurdles. With the right mindset and resources, you can navigate the challenges and emerge with a fulfilling tech career.

Creating an Action Plan

Transitioning into a tech career can feel like a monumental task, especially if you are venturing into an entirely new domain. However, with a structured action plan, you can navigate this transition more smoothly and efficiently. Here, we break down the steps to formulating an actionable plan to kickstart your journey into the tech realm.

Setting Realistic Goals for the Transition

  • Assessment:
  • Evaluate your current skills, interests, and career aspirations. It’s crucial to understand what you want to achieve through this transition.
  • SMART Goals:
  • Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals. These will serve as your roadmap, helping you track progress and focus on your objectives.
  • Skill Development:
  • Identify the critical skills required for your desired tech role and create a plan to acquire or enhance these skills. This could include enrolling in relevant courses or certifications.
  • Timeline:
  • Establish a realistic timeline for achieving your goals. Transitioning careers is a significant endeavor that requires a substantial amount of time and effort.

Networking and Job Searching Strategies in the Tech Field

  • Professional Networking:
  • Start building connections within the tech industry. Engage in networking events, join tech-related communities, and leverage professional networking platforms like LinkedIn.
  • Mentorship:
  • Seek mentorship from individuals who have successfully transitioned into tech careers. Their insights and guidance can be invaluable in navigating the challenges of a career transition.
  • Job Searching:
  • Tailor your resume to highlight your transferable skills and any tech-related training or certifications you have acquired. Utilize job search platforms, company websites, and professional networks to discover job opportunities.
  • Continuous Learning:
  • Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in your transitioning field. Engage in continuous learning to enhance your skills and stay competitive in the job market.

Creating an action plan is akin to having a compass for your career transition journey. It provides direction and fosters a sense of control and motivation, essential ingredients for a successful transition into a fulfilling tech career.

Conclusion

Transitioning into a tech career heralds a promising avenue for attaining a better work-life balance, especially if you are currently nestled in a career that leaves you yearning for more flexibility and personal fulfillment. The journey, albeit challenging, is navigable with the correct set of goals, a robust action plan, and a supportive network to guide you.

We delved into recognizing the need for a change, exploring tech careers with favorable work-life balance, hearing success stories from those who’ve leaped, addressing challenges you might face, and crafting an actionable plan to navigate this transition.

Whether near Balboa Park in San Diego or Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, the pathway to a fulfilling tech career is within your reach. The local tech communities like SDRuby and SDJS in San Diego offer supportive environments to network, learn, and grow as you tread this new career path.

Embarking on this journey might evoke excitement, curiosity, and perhaps a bit of apprehension. It’s a significant step, but there are others in this. We’re here to offer support and guidance tailored to your unique career transition journey. Schedule a quick chat with our Career Mentors, and we’ll guide you toward making the decision that aligns best with your aspirations and circumstances. Your journey towards a tech career with a harmonious work-life balance is just a conversation away.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most common questions you may have. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just Contact Us!

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Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I call you or drop by to talk?

Absolutely! We love chatting with potential partners and students. It is always best to make an appointment first so we can make sure someone is available to answer your questions. You can email us hello@learnacademyorg.


Is there any required prep work?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the 4 month bootcamp are required to attend and participate in a workshop, called Jumpstart, offered by LEARN academy prior to the first day of the program. These workshops are free for students and included in the price of the tuition for the bootcamp. LEARN academy offers multiple workshops leading up to the start of class that students can sign up for.


I don't live in San Diego, can I still apply?

Yes! LEARN academy’s live-remote courses allow students to take our courses from just about anywhere in the United States. However, we are not able to support International students at this time.


How long should my application be?

One of the things we look for in an application is – did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of the essay answers is only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.


How old do I have to be to attend LEARN academy?

Code school students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.


What does the application process look like at LEARN academy?

Once you have submitted your application, the team at LEARN academy will review it and be in touch within a week of your submission date. If we feel it is a good fit we will ask you in for an interview. It is an informal interview. A chance for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions you might have about the coding course. We know that it is vital to your success to find the course that is best for you and your learning needs. We use the interview to find out if we are the best fit for you! If at that point we both agree that it is a good fit we will invite you to secure a seat in the class of your choice.


Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I call you or drop by to talk?

Absolutely! We love chatting with potential partners and students. It is always best to make an appointment first so we can make sure someone is available to answer your questions. You can email us hello@learnacademyorg.


Is there any required prep work?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the 4 month bootcamp are required to attend and participate in a workshop, called Jumpstart, offered by LEARN academy prior to the first day of the program. These workshops are free for students and included in the price of the tuition for the bootcamp. LEARN academy offers multiple workshops leading up to the start of class that students can sign up for.


I don't live in San Diego, can I still apply?

Yes! LEARN academy’s live-remote courses allow students to take our courses from just about anywhere in the United States. However, we are not able to support International students at this time.


How long should my application be?

One of the things we look for in an application is – did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of the essay answers is only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.


How old do I have to be to attend LEARN academy?

Code school students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.


What does the application process look like at LEARN academy?

Once you have submitted your application, the team at LEARN academy will review it and be in touch within a week of your submission date. If we feel it is a good fit we will ask you in for an interview. It is an informal interview. A chance for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions you might have about the coding course. We know that it is vital to your success to find the course that is best for you and your learning needs. We use the interview to find out if we are the best fit for you! If at that point we both agree that it is a good fit we will invite you to secure a seat in the class of your choice.


Still have questions?