The high-tech industry is not just for engineering graduates that have dedicated their lives to developing software and building hardware. While engineers are crucial to build and innovate products, there are also folks who keep tech companies moving who have never written a line of code.
That’s right. You, too, can find jobs and internships in the tech industry without graduating with a STEM major or passing a grueling coding boot camp.
“Although the tech industry mainly relies on software engineers to use code to solve problems, creatives and designers are also vital to the industry to solve problems and further push innovation. As a graphic designer with a passion for technology and art, I understand my role is not simply to make things aesthetically nice, but rather to solve problems with design to communicate solutions.”
Kristen (Graphic Designer III)
If you have a deep interest in the tech industry and no idea how to find your way in, here is some step-by-step advice.
1. Identify companies that best resonate with your passions
This goes without saying, and rings true when trying to make it in any industry. Find tech companies you are interested in, and separate their non-tech openings from the technical ones. A quick way to pinpoint those through the job description and excluding positions that require a STEM major or any coding expertise.
2. Ask yourself why you want to work for this specific company
Here is another piece of advice you have probably heard before. How do your passions and values match with the company’s mission? Tech companies in particular, no matter their mission, have an underlying focus on influencing the world by simplifying or improving everyday life. For Facebook, for example, it is the ability to keep people connected no matter the distance. For Laserfiche, it is empowering businesses to accomplish more by simplifying their daily processes. If the question, “Why ___?” is daunting when interviewing with a tech company, consider how they are changing the world and how you can relate to or contribute to those goals.
3. Consider why you want to work in technology
Yes, being qualified for the position is important, and doing your research on the company will get you far, but if you are majoring in something that has nothing to do with technology, let employers know why you are passionate about the tech industry, even if they do not explicitly ask. This is what separates the good non-STEM candidates from the great ones
“Having recently graduated from Purdue University with a degree in business my knowledge of the tech industry was limited. I was drawn to the industry because of the chance to be around constant innovation, a fun company culture, and a chance to learn new skills.”
Matthew (Sales Acccount Manager)
You are applying to tech companies for a reason, and the industry probably means more to you than a paycheck. The ultimate challenge, then, is articulating that while also applying your skills and experience to the position and the company’s mission.
In short, every successful job interview involves your ability to apply your experience to the position and express your direct interest in the company, but if you are a non-STEM student looking to break into the tech industry, understanding “Why tech?” is just as important. It may seem like more work, but if you are passionate, the answer should come easily and confidently. Employers will take notice!