IT jobs are projected to grow 11% in the next 10 years, a much faster pace than any other field of activity. Not only tech jobs are in high demand, but they pay well: the average annual IT salary in the US is $91,250, against only $41,950 for all the other occupations.
Why is this relevant for you if you work in a different field? Because changing is easy! Take my case as an example: I worked as a journalist for 10 years, then did a 5 month IT boot camp, and now I work as an IT Business Analyst, a position that requires no coding at all. Some of my colleagues also come from non IT backgrounds, proving that careers in this area are accessible to anyone who is willing to try.
Some IT positions require skills that you might leverage from your current career, giving you an edge against the competition. Let’s have a look at the positions that you can get in IT without programming knowledge!
A Business Analyst (BA) works as a bridge between the customer and the IT team. A BA gathers requirements and “translates” them into technical terms, so developers can do their work. BA’s duties also include the analysis of these requirements, processes and desired outcomes, making sure the final result is the perfect solution for the customer’s needs.
The Business Analyst position requires a combination of skills that include communication, empathy, analytical thinking and basic knowledge of IT processes.
Project Manager / Product Owner
Although these two roles are not exactly the same, they are often used interchangeably, depending on the company. A Project Manager in company 1 might be called a Product Owner in company 2, for example .
This is the person responsible for leading the project, creating the liaison between stakeholders and the technical team, and making sure that the team delivers quality and relevant work in a timely manner.
To be a good Project Manager/Product Owner, you need a considerable amount of experience in IT, good communication skills, the ability to lead people, and to manage projects.
The Product Manager is responsible for identifying the customer needs and the business objectives of a product. This person is responsible for planning the execution throughout the lifecycle of a product, working on gathering requirements, defining the product vision and working in collaboration with different areas of the company, like sales, marketing and engineering.
To shine as a product manager, you need communications skills, technical expertise and research capabilities.
Average Yearly Salary in the US (2021): $110,504
A Technical Writer is the person responsible for preparing, writing and maintaining technical documents, such as user guides, integration guides or configuration instructions.
Technical Writers need a good understanding of technical processes and writing skills that allow them to create clear and concise documents.
A UX (User Experience) Designer is responsible for thinking critically about the customer journey when interacting with a product. It is the person who focus on the “feel” part of a digital journey, making it as simple and convenient as possible for the end user.
To be an excellent UX Designer you need skills to be able to conduct UX research, understand analytics, and build wireframes and prototypes.
Average Yearly Salary in the US (2021): $102,056
The job of a QA Tester, or Quality Assurance Tester, is to make sure that the final product adheres to the required quality standards and guidelines. This professional performs tests, creates quality assurance reports and records the defect details of the software.
A good QA Tester needs to have a critical mind, a good understanding of software and the discipline to perform repetitive tasks with a curious mind.
A Data Analyst gathers data, analyzes it and uses it to reach meaningful conclusions that allow businesses to improve their operations, processes or products. Tasks of the Data Analyst role include collecting data, creating reports and spotting patterns.
This position requires critical thinking, data visualization skills and public speaking capacity. You will improve your employability chances if you learn some programming languages used in statistics, like R or Python, although this is not strictly necessary.
All the roles mentioned here only exist because customers buy a product or service from a company. And where there is a sale, there is a sales person.
As with any other sales domain, you need to have a solid understanding of what you sell, but that doesn’t mean you must know all the technicalities that happen in the background. You need to know the market, understand the concept, be able to point out benefits to your customers, and answer their questions about the product.
This is a field you can easily shift to if you already have experience in sales, but are looking to get your foot into the IT area.
Tech Support Specialist
Someone in this position assists end-users troubleshooting software and hardware problems. The support can be done in-person, by phone or electronically.
To excel at this job, you need great communication skills and a critical mindset, that allows you to think logically and troubleshoot the customer’s problems.
This is someone who specializes in recruiting specifically for tech companies. To be a Tech Recruiter you need to combine recruiting skills with a basic knowledge of the IT field. Normally, in a recruitment process, technical interviews are performed by the technical leads, but the first approach to the candidate is done by the Tech Recruiter.
As a Tech Recruiter, you don’t need an extensive IT knowledge, but you should be able to, at least, answer some basic questions from the candidate during the recruitment process.
When thinking of transitioning into IT, think about the skills you already have and how you can use them to compensate for your lack of technical knowledge.
For example, I used to be a journalist, so I found my ideal role in a Business Analyst position, which requires extensive interaction with the customers and the ability to interview them in order to gather requirements.
If you are a graphic designer, you can easily change to a UI Designer position. If you are a recruiter, going into tech recruitment is just one step away. And if you are a mathematician, then a Data Analyst position is probably the best fit for you.
Whichever position you chose, be prepared for a challenge period at the early stages of your new career — it is a career change, after all. But definitely a worthy one, if you ask me!