By some estimates, more than half the jobs in the tech sector don’t require any coding skills, yet there still exists a widely held misconception that to truly be a competitive candidate for some of the top tier tech companies in the world, you need to be technical. This is simply not true.
Given the workforce shortage that many employers are reporting today, it’s important to challenge this misconception by taking a look at some of the many business oriented entry-level roles that companies are actively hiring for today. For this article, we took a look at jobs that don’t require years of schooling to acquire, but can be attained with just a few months spent on a business certification or relevant project work.
Armed with this understanding, we hope that more individuals who are hoping to break into lucrative technology careers can see a pathway into entering the ever-growing sector.
Sales Development Representative
Role Description: SDR or BDR (Business Development Representative) is a commonly used title in tech representing the most junior level salesperson in a company. This person is typically the first point of contact for any customer who is considering buying a product/solution from a technology company. main responsibility is to understand the customer whether’s business need, to determine their company’s product can solve the customer’s problem, and to make a decision whether it’s appropriate for them to speak to a senior sales person.
Depending on the company, this person is either contacting inbound leads, or customers who have expressed interest in the product by submitting their email address or phone number, or they are doing outbound prospecting on LinkedIn, phone, or email to try to find a potential new customers.
How to Get Hired: While this role often requires 0-1 years of experience, you will have to convince a future employer that you’re organized enough to handle communicating with many different people in a single day, and have the tenacity to be able to reach out to dozens of customers daily via phone and email to generate business opportunities for the company. That means that the number one skill required for this role is strong communication.
Entry Level Salary Range: $55,000 – $75,000 plus commission
Customer Success Manager
Role Description: The Customer Success Manager (or Client Success Specialist) job title has only been around for about 6-7 years, and the scope of the role can vary widely depending on the company you want to work for. For most organizations however, the job sits within the Sales department. Typically this is a post-sales role that can be most easily thought of as a customer support role with revenue goals associated with it.
While a traditional customer support role consists of troubleshooting customer issues, the Customer Success role goes one step further and acts as a product expert within the company that is tasked with making sure that the customer is using the product to its full advantage, often upselling customers on additional features of the product to drive incremental revenue increases for the business. As the job title indicates, this role exists to make sure that customers are successful and stay with the company in the long term to drive up the overall life-time monetary value that the company can expect to get from that particular customer.
How to Get Hired: Many companies hire entry-level talent for this role, however one important thing that you will need to be able to communicate to a hiring manager is your ability to learn the ins-and-outs of new products quickly. You don’t need to be a technical wizard, but you should be a natural at learning new technologies, platforms and software. Before any interview, start by reading the company website to understand all the product features, and try to test out the product if a demo version is available.
Entry Level Salary Range: $50,000 – $70,000
Customer Support Specialist
Role Description: Much like a Customer Success Manager, a Customer Support person is typically the person in the company who becomes the product expert, understanding every feature of the product, how it works, and what common problems people may experience when using the product. The main difference is that while a Customer Success person has to consider how the customer uses the product to benefit their business, and encourage them to utilize specific aspects of their product to get their job done, the Customer Support role is there to help the customer resolve real-time issues they may be facing with the product. This may include identifying bugs that the product may be experiencing, or simply showing the customer how to correctly use certain parts of the product so that they don’t experience errors.
While traditionally this role has been more technical in nature, many companies prioritize hiring people who are naturally empathetic, and good at listening, vs. hiring technical experts. Companies can train you in understanding the ins-and-outs of their product, but training empathy is hard.
How to Get Hired: Even at the entry-level most companies will want to see some track record of dealing with difficult situations. Be ready to talk to an employer about how you would de-escalate a tense conversation with a difficult customer, and how you would spend time to understand their needs and find a solution. For this reason, people who have retail experience often make great customer support team members in a company.
Entry Level Salary Range: $50,000 – $65,000
Role Description: This job title is probably the most catch-all title used by companies to describe anything from a logistical role for a very specific department in a company doing a few defined day-to-day tasks, all the way to a broad project -based role that tackles many organizational challenges for a company, rolling up directly to the Chief Operations Officer of the organization. When analyzing words job descriptions, we found such as “logistics,” “tracking,” “coordination” as the most common attributes of the job across different companies and roles.
Another popular job title that exists in many technology companies for operations heavy roles is “Project Manager.” While the scope of work for a Project Manager also varies from company to company, an ability to take a complex project and break it down into all the tasks necessary to complete the project successfully is a common responsibility for anyone in this role.
How to Get Hired: While many people consider themselves organized, even if you have no formal operations work experience, you will need to communicate to the hiring manager what specific tools and processes you would use to stay on top of dozens of different tasks with various deadlines to make sure that they are all completed on time.
Entry Level Salary Range: $50,000 – $65,000
Digital Marketing Manager
Role Description: Marketing roles have many different job titles associated with them, including but not limited to Paid Media Specialist, Ads Specialist, Social Media Manager, Acquisition Manager and more. No matter the job title, the one thing in common is that the digital marketing manager will use a mix of online tools to make customers aware that a product or solution exists, and make them interested enough in the product to provide their contact information to the company, or even make a purchase, depending on the company’s sales cycle.
The day-to-day of the job, including what tools you will need to learn and what channels you will use to attract the customer (social media, search marketing, content marketing etc.) will depend on the type of product your company is selling, and where the potential customers of this product typically spend their time.
How to Get Hired: For an entry-level marketing role, you should try to position yourself as an expert in one type of marketing, and look for companies who market their products using the primary channel that you’re comfortable working with. Ask yourself, are you naturally good at getting followers on social media? Are you good at writing and creating content that gets people to act? Have you played around with Facebook and Google advertising tools for personal side projects or business ideas? If you spend some time understanding what channels and marketing strategies can be effective for a company based on the type of product they’re trying to sell, and demonstrate a deep understanding of who their customer is, you’ll be able to impress most hiring manager.
Entry Level Salary Range: $55,000-$75,000
While some level of technical fluency is important for most jobs these days, both inside and outside of the technology sector, you do not have to spend years becoming technical to be able to break into the tech industry. The jobs listed above require people and communication skills first and foremost, and if you can effectively convince a hiring manager that you have a track record of strong communication to get things done, and can learn systems and tools quickly, you will be competitive for many of these roles, even at the entry-level.