Perhaps a Ladies Learning Code workshop ignited your passion for technology. Maybe you want to take your new tech skills to the next level but aren’t sure how. While you may not consider yourself a techie per se, there are awesome jobs in the tech business that you’d be great at; they’re just off your radar. Given the positive job outlook for tech professionals, many people (myself included) have embraced their inner nerd by turning an interest in technology into a full-out career change.
Even if you’re not looking for a full-out career change, in today’s economy, having a one-dimensional skill set doesn’t cut it. Weaving together skills from different areas into your repertoire will make you stand out in your current job and to prospective employers. Pairing your rad technical skills with your positive attitude and people skills goes a long way.
These off-the-radar tech jobs are as follows:
- Quality Assurance Analyst
- IT Business Analyst
- Web Project Manager
Although these jobs aren’t nearly as well-marketed as jobs like “Software Ninja,” and “Code Magician” they’re both challenging and rewarding. Most importantly, you don’t have to be a software developer to excel at them. If anything, not being a software developer can actually make you really well-suited to the job. These jobs obviously come with some important technical prerequisites but you’re already all over that through your participation in Ladies Learning Code, HackerYou, and the plethora of online resources aimed to teach coding skills. Let’s not forget about the non-technical component of the role, in other words, your people, communication, and organizational skills. Non-technical skills are almost always downplayed in the job descriptions for these roles when in fact they are the deal-breakers to successfully performing the job. Not surprisingly, hiring managers have difficulty filling these roles and you’ve never even considered applying. Great opportunities exist and you didn’t even know about them!
Quality Assurance Analyst or Tester
A Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst verifies that a technology product works the way it’s supposed to prior to being launched. To accomplish this goal, QA Analysts typically use different testing methods such as manual testing (i.e., test the product as a real user would) or automated testing (i.e., write code that mimics the effects of a real user interacting with the product). This role requires meticulous attention to detail without losing sight of the big picture.
Why You’d Make a Great QA Analyst
You’re a superb communicator and collaborator. Your job often involves uncovering problems and you pay special attention to the way you convey this information to your team. Instead of simply being the bad news messenger or mistake-finder, you encourage collaboration to find the solution to the problem.You can be very persuasive. A key component of your job is looking at the product from a perspective that’s completely different from the people that built it. However, just because you discover a problem does not mean the team will address it. You’re good at getting others to see things from your perspective and perhaps adopting your recommended course of action.
IT Business Analyst
This job should not be confused with the Business Analyst in the financial industry that literally analyzes businesses. An IT Business Analyst (BA) helps companies connect the dots between their business and the technology tools aimed to automating a manual process and ultimately make everyone’s lives easier. A BA will typically begin by helping the organization understand their current needs, perhaps by analyzing their existing processes, and then assisting in the selection and implementation of a technology product.
Why You’d Make a Great IT Business Analyst
You’re a good listener. Your job involves meeting with members of various departments within a company and understanding how their processes work. You recognize that not everyone is super-articulate. Therefore, you use your sweet active listening skills to gain a deep understanding of the problem. You’re good at making people feel like their opinion matters. Your job involves understanding the status quo and figuring out how technology can improve it. You recognize that people have great ideas and you excel at at making them feel comfortable to express themselves by letting them know that their insights are necessary for the project’s success.
Web Project Manager
This job involves creating schedules and plans detailing how your team will get things done by specific timelines while staying on budget and keeping track of team progress. This role often involves lots of communication with the client; delivering good news, bad news, managing expectations, and everything in between.
Why You’d Make a Great Web Project Manager
You’re a problem-solver & coach. Unlike many Project Managers who act like glorified taskmasters, you’re really good at helping people. You understand that project management is more about people helping your team be productive and less about crossing-off to-do items from a giant check list. Whenever your team members get stuck, are unclear about current priorities, or need a second opinion, you’re there to assist them along the way. You’re good at getting people to like you. Because of your likeable personality and genuine interest in connecting with your team, people enjoy working with you and may perhaps put more effort to getting things done for your projects as opposed to the projects of others.
Do you know of any other jobs in technology that are off the radar? Maybe you work in one right now. Leave a comment and let our readers know about it!
Lindsay Rothman is a Ladies Learning Code participant and Quality Assurance Analyst at Influitive, an advocate marketing platform for B2B companies. After some arts degrees and a stint in human resources, Lindsay reinvented her career by getting into the software business.