Career Change Stories: Advice From Women in Tech

Looking for career advice for tech jobs? We asked some successful CareerFoundry alumnae to share one piece of advice that’s helped them as they broke into the exciting world of tech. From learning the basics to negotiating your salary, look no further for some actionable tech career advice from these inspiring women in tech!

by Alison Lightfoot on 27 February 2023

Career change stories from five women in tech

CareerFoundry has been helping people forge new careers in tech for years. 67% of CareerFoundry students self-identify as women and come from all walks of life and all corners of the globe.

Many CareerFoundry graduates enter their new tech careers from completely unrelated backgrounds—from baristas to bankers—so what’s the secret to making a career change into tech? And what do you need to know about being a woman in tech? 

We asked some alumnae to share one valuable piece of career advice for tech jobs they’ve picked up along their career change journey. If you’re looking for tech career advice from women working in the field, read on for these exciting career change stories and actionable advice!

You might also be interested in CareerFoundry’s latest Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report to learn how we are deepening our commitment to making flexible work in tech accessible to all.

Ophélie Prada

Ophélie was working as a graphic designer before making the switch to UX/UI design. She studied with CareerFoundry for free thanks to the support from the Agentur für Arbeit (the job center in Germany) who provided her with a Bildungsgutschein and is now working as a UX designer at Engel & Völkers, one of the biggest real estate organizations in Germany.

Here’s the tech career advice she had to share about working in UX/UI design and what she would have told herself from the beginning of her journey:

“Show your work to others—show it at an early stage, show it to your friend, pitch your ideas. Not necessarily because everyone will have something interesting to say about your work, but because the better you get at explaining yourself, the better designer you’ll become.”

Curious to know more about the work of a UX designer? Find out more in this article.

Hear from Ophélie herself in this video talking all about her career change journey with CareerFoundry:


Kylie Weber

Kylie trained for a career in hospitality, but after running a small hotel business, she got a taste for UX/UI design. Since graduating from the UI Design Program at CareerFoundry, she’s thriving in her role as a product designer for Syndic Yourself, a co-property management platform.

But the road to securing her first job in the industry wasn’t easy. Kylie shared some invaluable tech career advice on negotiating your salary when making a career change:

“If the salary doesn’t match your expectations, having the courage to just say something is key. It takes tact to say, ‘I’m not turning it down, but I have to say that it’s really far from my expectation.’ 

That’s difficult because a lot of people will be in the same position I was. I desperately needed to start bringing in some income after everything I had invested in my career change. I really needed this to work, but I also needed to be confident in myself and confident in my skills. It’s important to remember that after a lot of rejection along the way.”

Read Kylie’s career change story: From Hotel Manager to UI Designer: How My Background in Hospitality Propelled Me Into a Career in Design

Emily Nordhoff

Emily is a data analyst at Northern Bank. Previously, she was an assistant store leader in the retail industry. Moving from apparel to analytics and making quite the 180° career switch, here’s the advice she would tell her younger self before studying with CareerFoundry:

“You will get out what you put into learning. If you prioritize your studies and seek out additional material to supplement what you’re learning, the journey will be more holistic and interesting. Conversely, if you procrastinate or just do the bare minimum, you will limit your own potential.”

If you’d like to know more about what it’s like to learn data analytics with CareerFoundry, you can explore the curriculum of our Data Analytics Program.

Azadeh Rezaei

Continuing with data, what about when you actually start working in the industry? Azadeh has some clear advice on that.

Azadeh is a data analyst at Affirm and was formerly teaching math in schools and online all around the world. Her love of math was a good fit for working in data. Since leveling up her skills and landing her first job in the field, this is her tech career advice for those on a similar path: 

“Numbers and data don’t lie. So, as harsh as it might sound, if you’re not getting the results, there’s something you’re not doing right. Remember, it’s a very logical process.

Remember that the growth doesn’t stop the moment you stop the bootcamp or online course—in fact, that’s just the beginning. Be willing to continue learning.”

Read Azadeh’s career change story: From Teacher to Data Analyst: How I Leveled Up My Math Skills for a Career in Data

Tanimara Santos

Tanimara’s background is very diverse. From anthropologist to master’s student in gender studies to community manager, she eventually turned her attention to web development. 

After graduating from CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program, she landed her first role in the field as a software developer at a global consulting firm. Here’s what she had to share about getting started in web development and building your portfolio:

“Start with the basics. Start with JavaScript or vanilla JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Build your portfolio with the basics first, and then elevate your skills with learning. Once you have the basics, you can then start working on the skills that you want to present to the job market. 

But it’s important to lay the foundation in the beginning. Your portfolio needs to be presentable early on, and people will not mind if it’s not built with React or Angular when you are a junior developer—or at least they didn’t in my case. 

More importantly, you have to have the will to learn. I think that’s what matters the most for hiring managers when they are looking for people to fill junior developer positions.”

Read Tanimara’s career change story: From Community Manager to Software Developer: How I Found My Niche in Web Development

There we have it. Career advice for tech jobs from women working in tech. Hopefully, you’ve been inspired by these career change stories and perhaps you’re now wondering: how do I start a career in tech? 

You can book a free call with an expert program advisor at CareerFoundry to discuss your options for working in tech and figure out your next steps. You can also check out this article to discover which tech career path is right for you or explore our free introductory short courses.

If you’re wondering what age is too late to change careers, check out these articles about making a switch at any age and re-training for a career in UX design, data analytics, or web development.

And finally, if you’d like to know more about what it’s like to be a woman in tech, take a look at these articles:

by Alison Lightfoot on 27 February 2023

About the author

Alison Lightfoot

Originally from northern England, Alison’s marketing background ranges from gaming, to sports, to the arts. When she’s not writing about CareerFoundry’s inspiring alumni, she can be found doing yoga, reading a weird book, or exploring new restaurants and cafes around Berlin.