Breaking into Tech: Marketing Edition
Updated: May 15
February 7, 2023
By: Annette Yang
We’ve all heard the phrase “break into tech” before. And in the last 2 years, there's been a rise in the romanticization of tech life on platforms like TikTok and, now, the wave of tech layoffs. Despite the turbulence of the current market, tech is a great place to be if you’re excited about innovation, the perks, and a fast-paced work environment.
So, today I'll be answering the question: how can I break into the tech industry without a technical background?
Courtesy of Forbes
Identify Your Goals
Firstly, research what positions are out there. There is an evergrowing number of different jobs on the market, which vary on the company and industry. Within tech, there are companies that fall within categories like fin-tech, big tech, SaaS, etc. And each company offers different types of positions looking for different skill sets. So, if you can narrow down what type of industries, products, or brands you’re a fan of, you're at a good starting point.
Additionally, identify what types of positions you are interested in. Even within marketing, there is a multitude of marketing-related jobs in tech under varying teams such as product, brand, digital, creative, etc. Reminder: don't limit yourself to just one type of job or one company, because you never know what may end up being a good fit for you! I suggest being aware of your likes and dislikes but maintaining an open mind in order to not close any doors of opportunity on yourself.
Once you are aware of the specifics you are looking for in your next job, whether it be the type of project, work benefits, and whatever else, dig deeper. If you want a job as a product manager at Apple, search for professionals who already have that position on LinkedIn and see what type of background they’re coming from. If you can schedule a call with them and learn more about their experiences and position, even better. Another important step is to pull up the job descriptions of said positions of interest and compare your experiences/skillset with that of what the job description is looking for. With all this research, you are now equipped with a deep understanding of what the position entails and also what gaps you have in your resume that you can work to improve on prior to applying for the role. Work smarter, not harder.
“Break into Tech”
But what makes breaking into tech different from a marketing standpoint different from any other field? Well, I wouldn’t say it's necessarily more difficult, but your approach definitely has to be different. Applying for a position in tech requires a technical mindset, as the main objective of the company is, of course, tech. So, even if you are a marketer and not in a technical role, it's still crucial to be knowledgeable about tech overall. This can look a variety of ways such as keeping up with industry news, learning computer science basics, having a keen understanding of tech products/services, etc. This way, you can tie together your interest in marketing (or any area of study) with your interest in tech overall, to best position yourself for a tech position.
Courtesy of Udacity
The point is, even if you get the job and you won’t actually be asked to code, your resume has to, in one way or another, “fit in” with the company. When I was a Sophomore, I struggled to get an internship at a tech company, because my experiences were overall focused on creative industries. So what did I change to make myself more marketable to the tech industry? I learned relevant coding languages, got certified in various technical skills, and changed my resume descriptions to showcase more transferrable skills such as project management and data analysis. While everyone’s path is different, the moral of the story is to understand where your gaps are and take action to better position yourself for when the next opportunity comes around.
Tech is a vast and complex field, with lots of different, exciting opportunities! Here are some helpful links I’ve gathered that may be of further help to you if you’re interested in a career in tech.
Case In Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation by Marc P. Cosentino – includes a chapter for marketing interviews (can also find free downloadable versions online)
Notion bank for job seekers – includes tech interview prep and other helpful recruiting tips
Free SQL coding course – Learn SQL: a high-demand tech marketing skill for data analytics
Annette Yang is the 22-23 Content Director. She's a Junior studying MCC, Business, and Data Science.