One of the causes of the current labor shortage, according to a 2021 PwC survey, is that 65% of workers are looking for new jobs. Jobs that pay better, use their skills in more impactful ways, and jobs with better company culture. And many of the smartest candidates are moving from other industries into tech. Turns out, anyone can work in technology.

Show me any company, and I’ll show you how they use technology. Because every company interacts with software in some way, every person can be a tech worker. Tech companies are looking for employees with skills that make a good employee. They can teach you how to use their software, but they can’t teach you to think for yourself.

Tech work is about skills, not software

Every forward-thinking company is a company that lives and dies by its data and its technology. Retail companies use software to learn about customers, market to them, manufacture the products, track inventory, and balance logistics. Hospitality and service industry companies also need to understand their customers, marketing, and supply chains to better serve their customers.

Tech workers are those individuals who can collect, understand, and put this data to good use. A lot of time that looks like sitting in front of a computer and entering information into software programs. But what drives the understanding of that data is critical thinking, creative problem solving, and using data to draw conclusions across all parts of the business. All of that is done by the employees, not the software.

When we think about tech work, we often have a vision of a software developer sitting at a computer with green code streaming over a black background. While some of tech work is development work, companies need HR, sales, and marketing positions to support the company as well.

HR jobs in tech

Technology companies are run by people who need access to benefits, who need to get paid, and who need to hire more employees. Human resources at a tech company may require some on-the-job training to understand the types of roles that need to be filled, but technology HR teams still work to find, support, and improve the performance of the employees at the company. Anyone who is interested in helping companies and individuals improve their working lives should consider how a move to tech HR can help them.

Sales and customer success for technology companies

The product may change, but sales and customer success teams deal with their customers in much the same way across many different industries. These teams need to understand the product they’re selling, the needs of the customer, and how the company can best serve their customer. But you use the same skills of empathy and emotional intelligence whether you’re serving customers hamburgers or selling software.

Marketing for tech

Marketers identify the product’s audience, understand the tools they have at their disposal to connect with the audience and execute on tactics and strategy to make that customer aware of the product. And while there may be some difference between marketing to a B2B or B2C audience, the core skills are the same. Tech needs marketers who can clearly identify a problem and show the path to a solution for many different audiences.

Data and IT for tech doesn’t have to be about software development

Tech companies also need employees who are interested in technology and IT, but who aren’t restricted to coding. Business intelligence teams need data analysts, data scientists, statisticians, and data coordinators who understand how a spreadsheet and a database might interact. Tech companies also need people who love computers — but aren’t developers — to ensure that all of the employees have the secure hardware and software they need.

Finding the right tech job takes creative thinking

It’s a candidate’s market, so consider applying to the job you want, not necessarily the job you’re ready to take on. Any company can teach you to use their CRM software or to write formulas in a spreadsheet. But if you have the skills of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and the data-based decision making, a good company will recognize that. These are soft skills that cannot be easily taught, and that indicate a high-value employee.