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Career Development

From Driver to Working in Tech: The Best Jobs for Struggling Uber & Lyft Drivers

General Assembly
May 6, 2024

COVID-19 negatively impacted many industries, among those was the rideshare industry. According to Forbes, Lyft and Uber ridership dropped between 70% and 80% during the pandemic. Now, three years since the pandemic’s start, industries have gotten back into the flow of daily business, with travel open in most countries. 

However, the impacts of the pandemic are far from over. We’re seeing how the global recession and inflation rates make it impossible for drivers to survive paycheck to paycheck. As a result, taxi drivers have been trading in their yellow cabs for Uber and Lyft with the promise of more money and working on their own terms. 

With the looming recession, things continue to change. According to new research from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Uber and Lyft drivers now earn less in fares and tips than taxi drivers. Although Uber has increased earnings for their drivers, rising inflation rates have canceled a number of of these wage increases, making it impossible for drivers to pay for basic living expenses like rent and food.

The Rideshare Guy, a well-known blog that drivers follow, polled over 300 drivers, finding that roughly 40% were driving less and that 15% had given up driving completely. 

Sound like you? If you’re reading this and thinking of leaving your driving profession but are afraid to make the first move, we hope this blog encourages you to take the first step in your career change journey. 

I want to leave the car service industry. What else can I do? 

Working in the car service industry can be rewarding. It’s a very social job where you’re meeting new people daily and helping them get to where they need to go. 

However, working in the car service industry can take a mental toll on you and your family. If you are working day and night shifts, you are reducing the quality time you would usually spend with your friends and family. Too much driving can also harm your physical health because you lack the movement and exercise your body needs to function well. 

Therefore if you’re considering making the career switch, it’s essential you evaluate your professional life to date. Some key questions you can ask yourself before making the switch include: 

  • Can you identify key transferable skills to bring into your new career? 
  • Are you looking to get into the tech industry but interested in a less technical-heavy job like marketing, sales or customer support? 
  • Are you looking to get into tech and apply for technical or non-tech jobs?
  • What soft and hard skills are you missing to make the transition into tech as smooth as possible? 
  • Are you looking to gain new skills by  taking atech bootcamp or online course? 

The bottom line is, It’s never too late to make a career transition with or without a degree,. Let’s dive into a real career change story from a rideshare driver who broke into Software Engineering.

From Lyft driver to a thriving career in tech

Justin Lombardi started driving for Lyft in 2017 to make some extra money. Justin always had a passion for film and TV and worked as an audio engineer and video editor. Lyft allowed him to pursue this career for some time while living in Los Angeles. 

Once the pandemic hit, however, the film and TV industry shut down, and Justin drove full-time for Lyft. He was never happy driving full-time and wanted to leave the car service industry. 

“I was driving full time because the TV world was shut down. I had already been wanting to transition out of the industry, and the pandemic sped that process up,” explained Justin. 

Come 2022, Justin knew he couldn’t continue driving for Lyft anymore and decided to make a career switch and finish his degree in computer science, as he knew some friends who had jobs in the field. It was a promising career with excellent job prospects. 

In February 2022, Justin graduated from General Assembly’s Coding bootcamp and worked as a Technical Assistant at GA while looking for other tech career opportunities. “It took about three months to find my current role, and I haven’t looked back since,” added Justin. 

Since graduating from GA’s coding bootcamp, Justin has had a thriving career in a tech role. Choosing GA to guide him in this transition has been one of the better decisions he’s made for his career. 

“I chose GA because of a recommendation from a classmate. He mentioned two bootcamps, and when I went to GA’s site, something about it drew me to it. They were responsive and available to answer all of my questions. They were supportive in the onboarding process, and before I knew it, I was enrolled and starting a few months later”, said Justin. 

Top 5 fastest-growing jobs in technology

Technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With this rapid growth comes the need to fill new in-demand roles. Here’s a list of the top five fastest-growing jobs in tech right now, along with the salary you can except for each. 

1. Data Scientist

Becoming a data scientist may be the right choice if you’re interested in a career that will allow you to use your technical and business skills. Data scientists have been called “the sexiest job of the 21st century” by Harvard Business Review because of their growing importance in today’s economy and workplace.

Job Scope: Data scientists are responsible for collecting, analyzing and presenting large amounts of complex data using statistical methods (such as regression analysis) or machine learning techniques such as artificial neural networks. They also develop software programs that can process large quantities of information quickly. These tools help companies make better decisions about how best to allocate resources based on real-time analytics results from their databases–and they’re paid handsomely for it: 

Salary: According to Glassdoor, median base salaries range from $124K-$151K per year. 

2. Big Data Engineers

Job Scope: Big data engineers analyze large amounts of information to gain insights that can improve business processes and operations. They also design and maintain databases, build applications that use big data analytics such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and natural language processing, monitor performance metrics and manage infrastructure components needed to store large amounts of information efficiently.

Salary: Big data engineers earn an average annual salary ranging from $127K-$170K depending on experience level, according to Glassdoor

3. Mobile Developers

The demand for mobile developers is high because everyone wants their app on every platform imaginable. 

Job Scope: Mobile developers are responsible for translating code into user-friendly applications. Mobile developers have substantial knowledge of programming languages and contribute to the design, testing, releasing and support of the application they are building. 

Salary: Mobile developers can make over $100,000 per year

4. DevOps Engineers

DevOps engineers are a crucial part of any tech company, as they ensure that the apps and websites we use daily run smoothly. 

Job Scope: DevOps engineers must understand both development and operations, which means they can write code and manage servers and networks. Many companies are looking for DevOps engineers right now–especially if you have experience with automation tools like Chef or Puppet.

Salary: The average salary is around $102k per year, according to Glassdoor

5. Data Analyst

Job Scope: Data analysts manage and analyze large amounts of data, including statistics, analytics and machine learning. On a daily basis, data scientists work with relational databases such as MySQL or SQL Server; NoSQL databases like MongoDB; cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure Cloud Services Platform; R programming language for statistical analysis; Python for machine learning tasks such as natural language processing (NLP).

Salary: The average salary is around $122k per year, according to Glassdoor. 

3 steps to starting your career transition from car service industry

If you’re considering a career change, you’ve probably heard that it’s always possible to make a switch. But what if your dream job is in a tech role, and you’re wondering how you can transition from the car service industry? As it turns out, transitioning from one career field into another can be easier than most people think (especially if you’re getting the proper support). So here are three ways to start your career transition. 

  1. Highlight your transferable skills

Your transferable skills are skills that you can utilize across many different jobs and industries throughout your career. Transferable skills are essential, especially for someone changing careers. Building on the skills you’ve gained while working in the car service industry is the key to making your career change as smooth as possible.

Some of the transferable skills you could already utilize and highlight on your resume include: 

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Organizational skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  1. Get the hard skills you need

Hard skills, unlike soft skills, are teachable abilities that can be measured and quantified, often associated with technical knowledge and expertise in a particular field. These skills are generally acquired through formal education like an online course or bootcamp, training programs, or on-the-job experience. 

Hard skills can be applied to a wide range of industries and job functions, and they are often necessary for success in many technical or specialized roles. Examples of hard skills include:

  • Programming
  • Data analysis
  • Software engineering
  • Graphic design
  • Project management

To make yourself stand out to the hiring manager, it’s always a plus to show that you have a genuine passion and interest in learning hard skills. For example, if you are learning a programming language, showcase any projects you’ve worked on in your spare time in your portfolio. 

  1. Don’t forget to build a good network

According to a recent statistic by Zippia, 79% of people agree that networking is vital to their career progression. Therefore, networking is crucial when undertaking a career change. It enables you to meet people who are also undertaking a similar challenge and can also introduce you to someone in the tech industry who might boost your career change. 

Some simple ways in which you can start building out your network today include: 

  • Utilizing social tools like LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Telegram and Discord
  • Attending virtual or in-person networking events
  • Building rapport with your instructors and teachers

Getting out of the car service industry, take the first step

Just remember that life is too short not to go after the career of your dreams. Although you might be afraid of failing, remember that failure is part of success and should also be celebrated. So if you’re thinking about switching from your car service job and discovering your dream job in a tech role, don’t be afraid to take the first step. 

GA is here to support you. Take the wheel of fortune into your own hands by getting tailored advice from our admissions team. 

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