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Want to work in tech? You don’t need to know how to code

FILE - In this file taken Oct. 11, 2017, large spheres take shape in front of an existing Amazon bui
Transparent spheres that are part of Amazon’s Seattle complex. More than 70% of Amazon’s job postings require a technical background, but many openings at other tech companies don’t.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Bloomberg

You don’t need to know Python to work at Amazon. In today’s job market, technology companies are increasingly seeking employees without technical backgrounds.

More than four in 10 tech jobs are nontechnical, according to a new report from Glassdoor. And while 57% of open positions require technical skills such as C++ or Java, that number varies from company to company.

Glassdoor gathered data from millions of online job postings from technology companies in the U.S. to look at the breakdown of roles. Technical roles were defined as requiring knowledge of code, software or data.

The majority of job postings at Workday, Salesforce.com, Verizon Communications and International Business Machines are for nontechnical roles, according to the report. Other companies are seeking a more balanced workforce. Uber Technologies Inc.’s listings show a 50-50 split of technical to nontechnical roles.

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“As tech companies grow, so do the types of workers they need to help round out their business,” Amanda Stansell, the Glassdoor research analyst who conducted the study, wrote in an email. “These companies not only need software engineers and data scientists but also sales managers to sell the product, project managers to oversee project workflows and HR to oversee the day-to-day well-being of company employees.”

Walmart ECommerce, Microsoft, Intel and Amazon are seeking the highest percentages of prospective employees with coding skills, according to Glassdoor. More than 70% of Amazon.com Inc.’s job postings require a technical background.

Technical roles at tech companies tend to boast higher average salaries, ranging from $80,000 to $120,000. Nontechnical roles pay less, with most salaries falling between $50,000 and $90,000, according to the report.

“The reality is that the need for tech skills is not going away,” Stansell said. “I expect we’ll not only continue to see demand for workers with tech skills, but traditionally non-technology roles will need basic technical knowledge such as skills in basic HTML or data analysis.”

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There are still a number of high-paying jobs for the code-averse. The average general counsel, for instance, earns more than $200,000, while a managing partner makes $175,000. The most common available nontechnical roles are for account executives, project managers and sales representatives. And, while knowledge of Ruby might increase your salary, these top-rated tech companies offer the same perks and benefits to all employees.

With U.S. unemployment hovering near its lowest level in 18 years, more than half of employed Americans are looking to leave their current roles. Perhaps they should give tech companies a look.

“There’s an increasing amount of opportunities that exist for people in nontechnology roles to work at one of these innovative tech companies,” Stansell said. “You shouldn’t automatically assume you can’t work in the technology industry.”


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