Historically, trying to work in the tech industry without a background in tech was like trying to score a backstage pass when your ticket was in the nosebleeds – not impossible, but not easy, either.
With the growing impact of technology in the day-to-day functions of our lives, however, this has changed. The need for tech workers is growing as all industries and businesses evaluate its implications for innovation and business growth. That means that workers with non-tech backgrounds are becoming increasingly valuable to the overall success of tech companies.
If you’re interested in joining the tech industry but lack a traditional technology background, check out these five roles.
1. Product marketer
A marketing role at a tech company requires a deep understanding of the company and the product to properly target potential customers, but it does not require a tech background. Marketing skills are extremely valuable to companies as they look to expand customer bases and boost growth.
Creating a strategic and creative marketing campaign that successfully taps into the target audience accelerates business growth and informs business decisions that drive innovation. For example, marketers can often identify key value-adds that customers are searching for, enabling product teams to update the tech accordingly.
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Furthermore, a growing competitive landscape requires tech companies to stand out in a crowded market, making a strong marketing team even more essential. Product marketers can properly position tech companies and create intelligent campaigns that showcase product value.
2. Sales representative
A background in sales may not seem to translate directly into landing a job at a tech company. But just as product marketers are essential to business growth and company positioning, sales reps are also.
To successfully sell a platform, software, service, or product, sales reps must be able to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers. This means they need to understand the product’s capabilities, how it drives results, and how it meets customers’ needs.
A sales background is likely more important than a tech background for sales roles. Sales reps are generally experienced in communicating with customers and demonstrating the benefits of products and services. In contrast, tech workers may lack the experience and skills needed to sell products at the enterprise level.
3. Customer success manager
Customer success and customer relations managers play an increasingly important role in determining company growth. As technology adoption increases, support teams must ensure customers can fully access and utilize product capabilities. Customer success managers do not need to have tech backgrounds, but they must understand how the technology works and how to help customers manage issues and problems.
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Customer experience is now considered a differentiator when customers choose a product, so customer success managers can be critical to the product’s wider adoption.
4. Project manager
One of the fastest-growing roles in the past several years, project managers are essential in ensuring consistent innovation and development at any company. They lead teams throughout projects and ensure all goals are effectively communicated, understood, and achieved.
Although they may lead teams directly involved in tech development, project managers do not need tech backgrounds. They lead these teams and create smooth and efficient workflows with minimal disruption. Project managers are the driving force behind innovation and product updates at many tech companies, as they have oversight of teams as they are completing tasks and furthering the development of projects, initiatives, and goals.
5. User experience designer
User experience designers often directly determine the early stages of building a customer relationship for a company. These designers create forward-facing materials to ensure smooth and optimized user experiences. UX roles often require strong creative skills and a background in arts, design, or other non-tech areas.
UX designers create products that are intuitive, comprehensive, and attractive to a range of users. The design of a website or product is often the first thing that a customer sees and experiences, so it must be creative enough to stand out and optimized for efficient use.
Just because you don’t have a background in technology doesn’t mean you can’t pursue a successful career in the tech industry. As technology continues to seep into nearly all aspects of our lives, non-techies are becoming more important than ever to help companies achieve innovation and growth.
[ Check out essential career advice from 37 award-winning CIOs! Get a variety of insights on leadership, strategy, and career development from IT executives at Mayo Clinic, Dow, Aflac, Liberty Mutual, Nordstrom, and more: Ebook: 37 award-winning CIOs share essential IT career advice. ]
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