The tech industry has been a hot employer for years, with demand exceeding supply. Stories of self-taught programmers finding jobs earning six figures are widely available across the Internet. While congratulations are definitely earned for those folks, it can be frustrating for others who unsuccessfully try to pick up coding skills to hear about these success stories. Fortunately, there is enough room in the industry for everyone. While coding gets the attention of people considering a career, these companies don’t run without a full staff of individuals with many necessary skills. While the jobs may not be as highly compensated as coding jobs, they are solid careers and do offer those tech company benefits.
One thing to note about these careers is that they are difficult to transition into without a college degree. The truth is, even programmers fare better when they have that degree. It helps you get past the filters set in place by human resource departments to qualify you for an interview. The reason the stories of self-taught programmers are so fascinating is that they are not that common, so, of course, they are intriguing.
The tech industry is very open to who they accept, so don’t worry that your lack of science or math degree will hold you back. The careers discussed below are great choices for individuals with a liberal arts background. If you have been putting off earning your degree because of finances, look to the tech industry for reassurance. Many people take out student loans to pay for college. Earning a degree will boost your chance of gaining employment in the lucrative tech industry.
The greatest product in the world is worthless if it is sitting on a shelf somewhere. While people brag about products that will sell themselves, the reality is, the bigger, more expensive, and more impressive a product is, the more sales support it needs. Sales and marketing are keys to any tech company, from start-up to the biggest players. Getting a start in this field generally requires the ability to talk to others, build relationships, and help potential customers solve problems.
Tech skills are not necessary, but you must understand the product you are selling, its benefits, and who the target market is. The ability to understand these points and use them to build a connection between your product and potential customers is vital. If you cannot confidently discuss the product, you will have trouble selling it.
Marketing is a vital part of any tech company. The marketing department may be responsible for promotional material that is seen by potential customers as well as given to the sales department. Many companies work with outside marketing companies, in which case you must be comfortable describing your product to them and making sure they understand it well enough to create advertising and marketing concepts that work.
It is generally accepted that many tech people are not the best at communicating. While you can’t do much about this on a day to day basis, you can put your best foot forward when addressing the public, the media, or even at corporate events. A strong communications department is an important part of any tech company.
Coders are not the only people involved in creating a product. Many different departments will touch a product from the beginning to the end of the development cycle. There are plenty of opportunities along this route for non-coders to contribute. User design and user experience professionals help create a product that makes sense and is easy to use. When you use an app or program for the first time and it just works, or you seem to intuitively know exactly how to operate it, it is not a coincidence. Someone, or more likely a team of people, have spent hours considering how the product should look, feel, act, and work. They do not do the actual coding, just create a framework for the programmers. If this sounds like something you would find interesting, consider product management, user design, or user experience as career options.
Once the product is ready to hit the market, there is a great deal of documentation that needs to go along with it. From complete user guides, to help files, to quick-start sheets, each new product requires the creation of documentation. That documentation is created by writers, not programmers. You do not need to have coding or programming experience to work as a technical writer. You do need to be fast learning, have great attention to detail, and the ability to ask good questions. You also need to be capable of taking what you learn and putting it together in a way that is easy to understand. If you can understand technical material and have strong writing skills, technical writing can be a rewarding career.
This post was last modified on June 3, 2020 5:42 PM