Tech Verticals For New Grads

For new grads, identifying a specific tech vertical to target is key to landing in a job that’s a good fit. Here are 5 tech verticals to consider from Career Coach Dyana King.

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This article on tech verticals is part of the Content Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate receives up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.

I hear it from early career job-seekers all the time: “I just want a job. Any job is fine with me, I’ll take anything.”

New grads are eager to add professional experience to their resume and increase their skills and their worth in the marketplace so they can advance to their so-called dream job. While this is an understandable mindset when trying to land that first job without relevant professional experience, this can lead job seekers to take jobs they’re bored by in an industry they could care less about. 

So how can students find opportunities that interest them?

How To Find Tech Verticals That Interest You

Oftentimes, those who are new to tech are simply not familiar with many companies outside of the big names – Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. Unless you are a regular consumer of tech journalism and publications that focus specifically on technology innovation and the companies and start-ups in those spaces, it’s easy to be unaware of the rich opportunities that exist outside of these big name-brand firms.

One of the best things you can do when you begin a job search is to carefully consider the myriad of industry verticals that exist in the marketplace and target two or three. Then, investigate and select a few on which to focus on building relationships with professionals in those industries. Many grads are surprised to learn that the market is segmented in surprising and interesting ways. 

For example, have you ever heard of the PetTech vertical? How about the Sweat Industrial Complex? I meet lots of Flatiron School grads who are into fitness, outdoor activities, pets, and sports. No matter what you’re passionate about, there are likely several tech companies in a vertical that focus on it.

Sweat Industrial Complex

Are you a self-professed gym rat? Do you spend lots of time getting your fitness on, know all the latest health trends, or routinely counsel your family on the importance of healthy habits? There are lots of tech companies in the vertical known as the “Sweat Industrial Complex” that focus on fitness, health, and overall wellness that you could channel your passion into!

  • Tonal – a digital weight training system
  • Hydrow – an indoor rowing machine with live and on-demand workouts
  • Mirror – a digital fitness screen that streams live and on-demand workouts
  • Tempo – an all-in-one home gym with AI-powered guidance
  • Myx Fitness – a digital fitness platform that includes a bike and other equipment for on-demand workouts
  • FightCamp – a connected boxing workout system
  • Echelon – a digital fitness platform with a range of equipment options for on-demand workouts

The Sweat Industrial Complex market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9% from 2021 to 2028, according to a report by Grand View Research. The market was valued at USD 32.63 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 104.39 billion by 2028.

Pet Tech

As of 2023, 66% of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) own a pet. That’s a lot of pet lovers. If you’re among them, why not join a company with the goal of making life better for our little (and sometimes not so little) lifetime companions? 

Here are some examples of companies in the PetTech space:

  • Rover – an online platform connecting pet owners with dog walkers, pet sitters, and doggy daycares.
  • Whistle – produces GPS pet trackers that allow pet owners to track their pets’ whereabouts and activity levels.
  • Embark – offers DNA testing for dogs to provide insight into their breed, health, and ancestry.
  • Petcube – produces interactive pet cameras that allow pet owners to monitor and interact with their pets remotely.
  • Wisdom Panel – offers DNA testing for dogs to identify their breed, ancestry, and potential health risks.
  • FitBark – produces fitness trackers for dogs, allowing pet owners to monitor their pets’ activity levels and health.
  • Scratchpay – offers pet financing options to help pet owners pay for veterinary care.
  • Petnostics – produces at-home urine testing kits for pets to help pet owners monitor their pets’ health.
  • Tractive – produces GPS pet trackers and activity monitors for dogs and cats.
  • Vetcove – provides a centralized platform for veterinarians to purchase medical supplies and equipment.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global pet tech market size was valued at USD 4.5 billion in 2020, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2% from 2021 to 2028, the pet tech market could potentially be worth over USD 20 billion by 2028.

Clean Tech / Green Tech

In recent years, the world has come to realize the full extent of climate change and humankind’s impact on the environment. As a result, dozens of green tech companies have popped up in recent years to minimize and reverse the effects. 

Here are just a few companies in the Clean / Green Tech industry: 

  • CarbonCure Technologies – develops technology to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete production.
  • Cool Planet – creates sustainable biochar and other products from agricultural waste.
  • Ecovative Design – creates eco-friendly packaging materials using mycelium (the root structure of mushrooms) as a sustainable alternative to Styrofoam.
  • Pivot Bio – creates nitrogen fertilizer for crops using microbes, reducing the need for traditional, energy-intensive fertilizer.
  • Sistine Solar – creates solar panels that blend into their surroundings.
  • Xpansiv – develops blockchain-based technology to track the carbon footprint of commodities such as oil and gas.
  • Solugen – uses biotechnology to create sustainable chemicals and materials.
  • Brightmark Energy – develops and operates waste-to-energy facilities, converting organic waste into renewable natural gas and other products.
  • Wexus Technologies – smart metering and water management solutions to help agricultural operations reduce water usage.
  • EnergySage – an online marketplace for solar panels and energy-efficient home upgrades, making it easier for homeowners to go green.

According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global cleantech market size was valued at $1.32 trillion in 2020 and is expected to reach $4.61 trillion by 2028.

Education Tech (EdTech)

Education is going digital. With all of mankind’s collective knowledge hosted on the internet, access to the tools needed for a quality education are no longer gated behind physical institutions charging a hefty fee for admittance. 

Spurred along by evolutions in remote learning during the pandemic, here are some EdTech companies changing the way students and adults learn: 

  • Quizlet – an online learning platform with flashcards, quizzes, and games to help students study.
  • Edmentum – personalized online learning solutions for K-12 students.
  • AltSchool – a network of private schools that use technology to personalize learning and provide real-world experiences.
  • Lingoda – online language courses with native-speaking teachers and personalized curriculums.
  • Classcraft – an online gamification platform for K-12 classrooms to promote student engagement and behavior management.
  • EdSurge – curates news, insights, and research on educational technology and its impact on teaching and learning.
  • Varsity Tutors – online tutoring and test preparation services for K-12 and college students.
  • Yellowdig – an online platform for collaborative learning, discussion, and community building in higher education.
  • Codesters – online coding courses and curricula for K-12 students and teachers.
  • Articulate – software tools for creating interactive e-learning content and courses.

According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets, the global EdTech market size was valued at $76.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $404 billion by 2028.

EMentalHealth or DigitalMentalHealth

Millions of Americans struggle with mental health at some point in their lives. The amount of people seeking mental health care has trended upward in recent years as cultural taboos around “talking about it” have lessened, resulting in a steep increase in demand that local therapists may not be able to meet.

Here are mental health tech companies bridging the gap and helping people who need help, get help:

  • Talkspace – online therapy and counseling services through a secure messaging platform.
  • Ginger – on-demand mental healthcare services, including therapy, coaching, and psychiatry, through a mobile app.
  • BetterHelp – online therapy and counseling services with licensed therapists and counselors.
  • Woebot Health – a chatbot-based mental health platform that provides cognitive-behavioral therapy and other evidence-based interventions.
  • NeuroFlow – a platform for remote monitoring and managing mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Meru Health – provides virtual mental health clinics with a team of licensed therapists, psychiatrists, and coaches.
  • Hims & Hers – provides telehealth services for a range of healthcare needs, including mental health, sexual health, and primary care.
  • Spring Health – a mental health platform that uses AI and machine learning to match employees with personalized care options.
  • Tava Health – virtual mental health and well-being services for employers and their employees.
  • Koa Health – a suite of digital mental health solutions, including self-help tools, therapy, and coaching.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global digital mental health market size valued at $1.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2028.

How To Pursue A Specific Tech Vertical

When you are familiar with the specifics regarding the vertical you are targeting, you can show up to interviews and networking situations sounding like an insider. Without relevant industry experience, this is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from other early-career job seekers. 

Here’s how to dive deeper into your target tech vertical:

  • Identify external factors supporting the vertical’s growth
  • Align your learning with tech stacks and tools used in the tech vertical
  • Build applications that support some aspect of the industry or solve one of its problems
  • Identify leaders and influencers in those spaces and engage with them on social media and LinkedIn
  • Listen to podcasts and read industry articles that are relevant to those businesses

Final Thoughts

When you apply for every job opening that comes your way, you’re playing a numbers game. Playing the lottery is fun, but what are the chances you’ll win? 

It’s better to take a targeted approach, focusing on specific tech verticals and aligning your skills and experience with the companies that operate within those verticals. That way you’re more likely to land a job that’s a good fit and exposes you to additional career opportunities in your target tech vertical.

…and it’s still OK to buy a few lottery tickets per week to hedge your bets.

Good luck!

About Dyana King

Dyana King is a career coach with Flatiron School. She previously worked as a technical recruiter and co-founded a technical recruiting agency, Thinknicity. She became a certified professional coach (CPC) in 2012 and specialized in transition and career engagement coaching.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of May 17, 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

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