Despite the recent announcement from Cisco to lay off five percent of its workforce, the San Francisco Bay Area remains a worldwide leader for new hires in the tech sector.
Local demand isn’t reserved for just software engineers. There’s a tremendous need for other administrative and technical staff, such as account executives, project managers and business analysts.
Scott Pine, founder or co-founder of four technology companies, has been working in the industry for more than 30 years. With a wealth of experience, he offers expert career advice for people interested in entering the highly competitive tech industry.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
“I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Politics. All four technology companies I founded or co-founded were startups, addressing a better way for people to utilize technology to improve their lives.”
One of the companies Pine founded was Ubokia. “Ubokia has created a web application that improves the buying experience by shifting the process to the buyer’s point-of-view, centralizing all responses and providing more accurate service/product offerings at the best value. Buyers can now define the value chain. Sellers benefit because they see qualified buyers with specific requirements.”
Is a college degree required for the tech industry?
“A college degree is absolutely required. College degrees not only enhance your life personally, they demonstrate an ability to focus on a goal. One additional benefit is college provides an essential platform for beginning your network of future colleagues.”
What advice can you offer to new people entering the tech job market?
“Probably the most important advice is don’t be discouraged. You have to be persistent to achieve your objective. Listen to input, but believe in yourself. Secondly, cultivate quality relationships at all levels. Finally, go to work for a successful company and build your skills, experience and contacts early in your career. Lastly, failure is part of success.”
“My advice, at all times, is to really listen to the customer. Not only listen but interpret what they are saying. At some point, you need to lead the customer as they are not always sure of what they want. Also, stay lean in any early endeavor.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.