By | Jeremy Schifeling | www.themuse.com
Tech companies routinely grace lists of the best places to work…which is great if you already work at one of these firms. But if you’re on the outside of the tech world looking in, you might start to wonder whether there’s a spot for you in there—especially if you don’t have a background in computer or data science.
As a non-coder who’s spent 10 years in the tech world, I’m thrilled to let you in on a little secret: Not only are there non-coding jobs available at tech companies, but they actually make up the majority of all jobs in this industry!
To jump-start your own tech career exploration, here’s a crash course on five roles inside tech companies that don’t require any technical expertise—plus average salaries and advice on how to take your first step into the tech world.
Average salary: $96,080
Once a tech team starts to come together, the natural next question is: “What should we build?” Since developing innovative products is at the core of the tech industry, companies are always trying to come up with great new ideas.
To lead this investigation, tech firms employ a special kind of marketing whiz—the product marketer.
While product marketers conduct lots of traditional marketing activities, including developing ads, their most important function comes earlier in the product development process. Because that’s when they go out to their audience (anyone from students to CEOs) and try to learn everything they can, asking questions like:
- What’s your biggest goal?
- What’s your most daunting challenge?
- What would help you overcome that challenge and reach your goal?
They share that information with their counterparts in product management—the more technical role that actually leads the development of new products. The goal for everyone is to start working on the next iPhone, rather than the next Fire Phone or Juicero—in other words, to make a product that customers actually want to buy!
So if you’re a great observer of human behavior, an incredible influencer of teammates, and an all-around strong marketer, product marketing just might be your way into the tech world.
Average salary: $58,205
While learning about your audience is a great start to launching a successful product, it may not be enough to guarantee a big hit. You may need to join forces with other organizations to deliver the best possible experience for your customers. That’s where business development reps come in.
Unlike a traditional salesperson who’s focused on selling, a tech business development pro is all about building a partnership. Take one of the most legendary deals in tech history as an example:
When Apple was developing the iPhone, traditional cell phone carriers imposed onerous restrictions on innovation. For example, you had to call a special number and enter your password just to listen to your voicemail. But Apple also realized that Cingular (now AT&T) needed something unique to stand out from the carrier competition. So the two companies established a business development partnership working together to roll out unique features (like Visual Voicemail) in exchange for Cingular getting exclusive access to the iPhone for the first four years. (Full disclosure: Apple is a client of The Muse.)
What makes this such a classic business development deal is that it was all about finding what each company could bring to the table that would make them both stronger.
If you’re the kind of person who loves to build new relationships, explore partnerships, and negotiate mutually valuable deals, business development could be the right fit for you.