Career Management

As cold as it is outside right now, tech has never been hotter. Not a day goes by without an article about some sizzling new startup or the latest sexy perk that Google’s offering.

Too bad you’re stuck freezing on the outside, your breath fogging up the glass as you look in at that roaring tech fire. After all, what tech company is going to hire a non-programmer like you?

Turns out they all will. Because non-tech roles make up nearly 75% of all the jobs in the industry. After all, who’s going to support all those programmers by marketing and selling their programs?

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US Internet workers by function; Source: LinkedIn

But first you need to figure out where you fit. And don’t worry, it’s not all just sales and marketing roles either. So here’s a cheat sheet to 5 scorching, unconventional jobs in the hottest industry around:

1) You’re a consultant

As much as jean-clad techies like to make fun of corporate types and their suits, they hire ‘em by the boatload. Especially because it can actually be cheaper to “buy” a whole team of former consultants than rent them through their pricey firm.

So if you’re a strategic consultant, check out a role called Business Operations (AKA “BizOps”). These are the brains behind big decisions like which country to expand to or which new product to launch. Which means lots of opportunities to show off your wicked Excel and PowerPoint skills!

Sample role: Yelp – Analyst, Business Operations & Strategy

Help Yelp figure out how to drive more reviews and revenue.

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2) You’re a banker

Just like traditional consultants belong in tech, so do their financial brethren. That’s because tech companies have an insatiable appetite for gobbling each other up. Whether it’s Facebook scarfing down Instagram or Microsoft slurping up Minecraft, M+A is all the rage.

Which is where Corporate Development (AKA “CorpDev”) comes in. Because if you’ve got experience leading similar deals in other industries, chances are you can do the exact same thing in tech – from sizing up opportunities to negotiating the perfect price.

Sample role: LinkedIn – Manager, Corporate Development

Ensure that LinkedIn snaps up the next hot startup.

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3) You’re all about win-win

Of course, there are a million sales jobs in tech. But what if you love doing deals, but not necessarily carrying a quota? Is there some way to focus on creating a bigger pie, not just earning a bigger slice?

Welcome to the world of Business Development (AKA “BizDev” – notice a theme here? ;). This role’s all about doing deals between two companies where they both come out stronger. For instance, a BizDev manager at Google might have closed the recent deal with Ford to build a new self-driving car together. Or Airbnb might be doing the same with owners of large apartment complexes. Either way, a pervasive sense of optimism and a sixth sense for opportunity clearly come in handy!

Sample role: Amazon Appstore UK – 3rd Party Business Development Manager

Partner with developers to help more apps make more money on Amazon’s Appstore.

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4) You’re naturally empathic

Ever bought a piece of technology but watched it sit around and gather dust? Or get forced to adopt new software at work but had no idea how to use it?

If so, you might have the makings of a great Customer Success leader. So many SaaS companies rely upon recurring subscriptions these days (everyone from Adobe to Slack) that high churn rates (customers canceling, usually due to low adoption) can be a real killer. Which is why Customer Success is the hottest non-technical role in tech. Much more than just a customer service position, you work hand-in-hand with clients to understand their needs, get their users to actually use your product, and keep them renewing month after month.

Sample role: Facebook at Work – Customer Success Manager

Advise early-adopting companies on how best to leverage Facebook’s new corporate At Work tool.

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5) You know where talent’s hiding

OK, so there are a bunch of hot jobs in tech. But they’re not going to fill themselves.

That’s where you, the Tech Recruiter, come in. Because the war for talent is raging across all fronts right now as firms fight for the best execs, programmers, and business people. And so if you’re quick with a welcoming smile and even quicker with a LinkedIn search, you can help any number of tech companies stay just one step ahead of the competition.

Sample role: BlaBlaCar – Global Recruiter

Keep BlaBlaCar rolling with fresh talent all around the world.

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There you have it: Five different paths all leading to a hot tech job. So no need to remain stuck on the outside, looking in. Come out of the cold this new year and join the tech inferno!

Author: Jeremy Schifeling is the CEO of Break into Tech, a site for anyone who wants to launch a tech career, regardless of background. Learn how Jeremy landed jobs at Apple and LinkedIn through his free, step-by-step course.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

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