They are the elite positions of the 21st century: Tech jobs, where the magic happens in companies that have changed the world.
The surroundings can be glamorous like Apple’s spaceship headquarters or the Googleplex, where talent is rewarded with big bucks and a bevy of tasty benefits.
How do you get there?
First and foremost, be great at something. Pick an area that truly grabs your soul. Some engineers love hardware, the systems and components that drive devices. Narrow that down: Become an expert at cameras, audio, system architecture.
Get the right training. It’s not always about college. Nearly every Apple ad specifies a degree, but also says ‘equivalent experience.’ For example, if you know Linux servers inside and out, Apple could be the place for you. One tech employee said he got his job at Google, in part, because of his chess championships.
Develop something. Learn scripting languages (Python, Bash, Perl, Ruby, for example) and apply your knowledge on personal projects.
When your knowledge matures, get online with other experts and discuss your projects.
If an interview does come your way, be ready. Google, Apple and Microsoft, for example, don’t have you fill out a form and throw a resumÃ© at them.
Being interviewed for such a job is in itself a research project. Interviews can be a week long or more. Candidates will be asked to solve relevant problems on their feet. Software engineers might be asked to write code, for example.
Remember that, as with all large companies, tech companies will conduct a review of your social media and do a background check. Keep your social media clean: Don’t bad mouth former employers or talk politics. Keep posts upbeat.
Learn about the company. Be prepared to ask questions.
Highlight your projects and be prepared to show your passion for them.