We know it firsthand: the tech industry is a big deal, and it’s a great way to build a career. Many tech companies have global reach, and once you get your foot in the door, growth potential can be huge. But you might be wondering: Do I need a computer science degree to work in tech? Do I need to know how to code?
The answer is a resounding “no.” Tech companies are businesses. They rely on many other departments besides software engineering, and it’s common for many of their employees not to be programmers. Below are just a few entry-level jobs you can pursue if tech is your calling.
1. Sales Representative
Average starting salary: $75,900
Many tech companies offer software as a service (or SaaS) and need sales reps who like to source potential customers, guide them through customization options, and manage accounts and upselling once the initial deal is closed. Tech sales is all about knowing your customer and helping them solve their problems.
Top skills needed: Great writing and communication; storytelling skills; time and task management skills; relationship building skills; entrepreneurial mindset; outgoing personality.
2. Marketing Associate
Average starting salary: $51,608
To make people aware of apps, marketing departments in the tech industry need people to handle public relations, social media management, digital ads, search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, and more. Marketing associates can span one or more of these functions, which makes the role a great one for learning all aspects of a business.
Top skills needed: Computer proficiency; interpersonal skills; analytical skills; creativity; teamwork skills; customer engagement softwares; knowledge of softwares like Figma, Sketch, and the Adobe Creative Cloud apps; writing and editing skills.
3. Customer Success Associate
Average starting salary: $57,040
After sales and marketing teams bring in new customers (or users) to a platform, the customer success associate (CSA) becomes the main point of contact for the company. They provide support, guidance, and knowledge so that users can quickly achieve their goals. CSAs also coordinate with internal teams to make sure users are getting all they need from a product.
Top skills needed: Interpersonal skills; great writing and communication skills; listening skills; empathy; adaptability; ability to frame things positively; self-control; willingness to take responsibility.
4. Graphic Designer
Average starting salary: $57,201
Often part of marketing teams, graphic designers use softwares like Figma, Sketch, and the Adobe Creative Cloud apps to create email layouts, ads, graphics, and illustrations for all types of digital and printed media. If being creative is your jam, graphic design can be a stable and high-impact entry-level role with a lot of growth potential.
Top skills needed: Knowledge of softwares like Figma, Sketch, and the Adobe Creative Cloud apps; branding and communication skills; creativity; knowledge of typography; ability to execute a vision and think outside the box.
5. Copywriter/Content Writer
Average starting salary: $54,001
English majors to the front! Every tech company needs a writer or two (or three). Why? Because written content is essential across all departments, including marketing, customer success, and product design. While marketing writers are often responsible for writing the words (known as “copy”) for emails, ads, and social media posts, they may also write longer-form content like blog posts, white papers, newsletters, and app UX copy (more on UX below).
Top skills needed: Impeccable writing, editing, and communication skills; a passion for words and wordsmithing; creative thinking; research skills; knowledge of softwares like Google Workspace or Microsoft Office; knowledge of AP style or Chicago Manual of Style.
6. Recruiter/Recruiting Coordinator
Average starting salary: $65,146
Recruiters are responsible for sourcing potential new hires—also called candidates—for open roles at a company. In this role, you’ll work with hiring managers to determine who would be ideal job candidates. You’ll then go out and find the right people, typically through cold calls and online job boards/recruiting platforms. You might also consider starting as a recruiting coordinator. Coordinators help keep track of candidate status during all steps of the recruiting process and often progress to becoming recruiters.
Top skills needed: Strong writing and communication skills; attention to detail; multitasking and organization skills; project management skills; time management skills; speaking and listening skills; knowledge of psychology/sociology.
7. Data Analyst
Average starting salary: $66,201
If you like to sift through numbers to find statistical information, patterns, and trends, you might just be a tech company’s next star data analyst. Every little action taken in a mobile or web app is an opportunity to collect data about users and their behavior, which you’ll then compile, interpret, and present to key decision makers in easy-to-digest ways.
Top skills needed: Knowledge of SQL (or Structured Query Language); data visualization; critical thinking; ability to research and find patterns; knowledge of spreadsheets; attention to detail; writing and communication skills; collaboration.
8. Digital Analyst
Average starting salary: $45,971
Again, this job has to do with data—specifically marketing data. While digital analysts collect, interpret, and analyze marketing data, they also pinpoint individual performance metrics and develop ways to quantify them to measure how effective marketing efforts are.
Top skills needed: Analytical thinking; a love of numbers and number crunching; familiarity with Google Analytics and digital marketing platforms; data visualization; organizational skills; familiarity with A/B testing (testing two approaches and measuring which one is better).
9. Technical Writer
Average starting salary: $60,701
If you’re an English major with a penchant for wordsmithing, technical writing can be a lucrative field. In this role, you’d be responsible for writing and editing documentation of all types of processes in the form of how-to guides, reference manuals, and product manuals. You’d also help determine when and how to publish this content.
Top skills needed: Impeccable writing, editing, and communication skills; a passion for simplifying complex ideas; research skills; knowledge of softwares like Google Workspace or Microsoft Office; knowledge of AP style or Chicago Manual of Style.
10. Quality Analyst/Software Tester
Average starting salary: $54,353
You know when you’re using an app, game, or website, and it doesn’t work properly? That’s called a “bug” in the tech world, and it’s the goal of every company to squash them before releasing new code into the world. Quality analysts test every facet of new software, effectively trying to break it. This process is called quality assurance (“QA” for short), and it’s performed prior to launching any update.
Top skills needed: Organizational skills; ability to install and use software; willingness to learn how software is built; ability to interpret software log files; understanding of software requirements for both the user and the business.
11. UX Designer
Average starting salary: $99,913
UX design—short for “user experience design”—blends graphic design with human behavior and problem solving. It’s all about making an app intuitive and easy to use by designing and mapping out connections between app panels, navigation, and buttons. You can even take a supplemental UX course that guarantees job placement, which can be a great way to break into the field.
Top skills needed: Knowledge of prototyping software like Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD; knowledge of industrial design, design thinking principles, and human centered design; familiarity with information architecture; writing skills; research skills.
As you can see, there are many roles you can set your sights on in the tech industry. Do your research on what options are available, find a path you’d be excited about, and start applying!
Image courtesy of Jason Goodman via Unsplash