How to Work in Silicon Valley


If you want to work in technology, there is no better location than Silicon Valley. This guide is here for anyone who dreams of working in the world’s largest tech hub. Whether you want to own a tech start-up or to work for a tech giant, this guide should help you get off the ground in the technology capital of the world.

Why is Silicon Valley Unique? 

Silicon Valley, located in San Francisco, California, is the U.S epicenter for cutting-edge technology companies. Home to over 2,000 tech companies, Silicon Valley, has the densest concentration of tech companies worldwide. The proximity of tech companies, producers, suppliers, and researchers gives those working in Silicon Valley a competitive advantage. 

Silicon Valley was first conceptualized during the Great Depression, when a Stanford engineering professor, Frederick Terman, decided to create more job opportunities for his students. After WWII, Terman continued to support his dream of Silicon Valley, supporting students in setting up technology companies by helping them win funding and find affordable accommodation to work from. Silicon Valley came into its own in the 1970s and has remained the center for technology companies, large and small, ever since. 

Learn about the Silicon Valley Jobs Market 

Most people, who don’t have any particular connection with the area think of Silicon Valley as the land of technology. While technology is a major industry in Silicon Valley, this is a very broad generalization of the highly specialized jobs market. Looking at the top ten in-demand tech jobs in Silicon Valley right now shows how diverse the industry’s roles are, all requiring workers with different skills and talents. The top ten most in-demand jobs in Silicon Valley for employers in 2020 were: 

  1. Software Engineers
  2. Senior Software Engineers 
  3. Full-Stack Developers
  4. Product Managers 
  5. Software Architects 
  6. Senior Product Managers 
  7. Data Scientists 
  8. Front End Developers 
  9. Principal Software Engineers 
  10. Data Engineers 

Like software engineers and architects, some of these jobs have remained in the top 10 job rankings for years, but others represent the changing trends within Silicon Valley. For example, job posting seeking senior data scientists increased 30% since 2019, and posting for machine learning engineers increased 48.42% from the year before. Although the last two jobs mentioned did not make it to the top ten job postings, they show how quickly the jobs market changes in Silicon Valley. 

Now that you know a little more about what Silicon Valley is, you should focus your efforts on singling out which career path you want to go down. 

Obtain a Career Relevant Masters Qualification

Studying a master’s course relevant to your specific career goals, is the best way to show prospective employers that you have the skills and dedication needed to excel in the role. You can do a highly respected online computer science masters in just 15 weeks, making it easier than ever for those looking for a job in Silicon Valley to earn relevant qualifications wherever they are. Before committing to a master’s, you must spend time researching its compatibility with your chosen career path to ensure that your chosen masters is the best option to further your future career prospects.

Get into an Accelerator 

If you have your own tech business idea that you want to pursue in Silicon Valley, then there is nothing better than getting into an accelerator. A Silicon Valley accelerator will help you break into the area, by connecting you with a valuable network and access to support structures that every start-up dreams of.

Create an Elevator Pitch 

When you are job searching in Silicon Valley, you need to be ready to sell yourself at a moment’s notice. To ensure that you are always ready for whatever opportunity might come your way, you need to perfect your elevator pitch.

Do Your Research

Before you apply for any job in Silicon Valley, you need to do your research. To research the jobs, you are applying for; you might need to narrow down your search slightly. You can do this by focusing on the company’s size you want to work for and then looking at the industry/sector that interests you the most. Doing your research will help you to show prospective employers your genuine interests and will make it easier for you to articulate what you can offer that specific company.

Become a Dedicated Networker

Silicon Valley is the place to be for technology, which means that the competition for jobs is very high. One of the best ways to stand out from a sea of resumes is by networking. Networking allows you to make an in-person connection that is likely to prove invaluable when job searching.

Networking can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you are new to job hunting. Those looking for a job in Silicon Valley must overcome the initial discomfort that the prospect of networking is likely to create. Networking is a skill like any other, which means that it isn’t something that you are either naturally good or bad at, but something to be honed. Tips for networking in Silicon Valley include:

  • Relate to others

Networking isn’t just about making an introduction; it is about making a genuine connection with another human being. The best way to make a proper connection with a prospective contact is by doing your homework before you meet them. Learning about an individual helps you identify areas of common interest, which can be a bridge for communication when you meet.

  • Value all of your connections equally

Networking is about making human connections with other people, rather than getting as many business cards as you can. This doesn’t mean that you should only pay attention to individuals you believe in offering the most instant value. It would help if you tried to be as thoughtful and respectful as possible to everyone you meet, regardless of immediate value; you never know what might happen in the future.

  • Get yourself out there

The more networking events you go to, the more chance you will make valuable connections for your future. Research networking events, find out who is attending, do your homework on those individuals, and show up.