Coding Isn’t for Everyone: 9 Tech Jobs You Can Get Without It
Programming isn’t for everyone. It requires a very specific kind of quantitative, analytical thinking, and the learning process can be a tough one.
But don’t be discouraged if you want to be a part of the tech field: there are plenty of jobs for people who don’t know how to code! Here’s how to find the best IT job without coding skills.
9 Non-Programming Tech Jobs and Careers
These nine non-coding tech jobs will give you an idea of what’s out there.
- UX or UI specialist
- Business analyst
- Project and program management
- System admin and general IT jobs
- Technical writing
- Marketing and sales
- Tech journalism, blogging, and media
- Software and games testing
Now, let’s look at each job in more detail.
Coding can be more art than science, but graphic design is all about art. Artistically inclined and want to be involved in tech? Then you may want to consider being a designer. There are several areas you could specialize in, or you could be a jack-of-all-designing-trades and do a bit of each.
For example, you could be designing products and packaging for companies that produce tangible goods. Or you might design ads and brand imaging, or even web pages.
Design is one of the areas that you could be successful in without any coding knowledge at all. Although everyone can benefit from some basic coding skills (especially in web design), many designers have no programming knowledge whatsoever.
2. UX and UI Specialists
Some of the most obvious non-programming tech jobs are in User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) development.
Several roles that fall under this category, each related to how users interact with a website, program, or app. Such roles can involve skills from design, psychology, human-computer interaction (HCI), and others. When websites, programs, and apps are being developed, UX/UI specialists sketch out wireframes and mockups. These are tested on users, enabling the development of guidelines for designers to complete the user interface.
Survey results released earlier this year showed that UX experts come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They also have degrees in all manner of things, often relevant master’s degrees, such as in HCI. When asked which skills they found most useful, key responses were web design, writing, programming, psychology, design, and research methods.
3. Business Analyst
From the outside, it might seem like the software development cycle is simple.
However, it isn’t just about developers creating what customers tell them. The customer’s requirements rarely translate to technical requirements smoothly.
This is where the business analyst comes in, bridging the gap between customer and developers. By gaining a solid understanding of what the customer wants the software or product to do, the business analyst turns those requirements into a series of tasks that the developers can address individually.
After going through these tasks, the developers will have created a product that satisfies the customer.
4. Project/Program Manager
Project and program managers typically require a higher level of understanding of a company or project than business analysts.
The best managers in the tech world can to understand programmers and complement their needs. No need to get into the nitty-gritty of coding for the project manager! Instead, they’re in charge of specific projects, and often coordinate the priorities and actions of a range of parties.
Developers and engineers to marketers and salespeople all answer to the project manager.
Program managers, meanwhile, have a similar job, but manage various projects across an organization, each project furthering the company’s goals. This could involve helping to determine the course of development across different products. Typically, working closely with project managers is needed to oversee the progression of multiple projects.
5. Technical Writing
If your talents lie in crafting concise, useful prose, technical writing may be a great career path for you. Forget crafting apps or databases; programs, websites, scripts, and nearly every other type of product need extensive documentation.
It can be instructions for users, requirements for developers, press releases, technical reports, specifications, or other types of documents.
To be an effective technical writer, it’s beneficial to understand the sort of thing that you’re writing about. This is true whether it’s an app or a set of mechanical engineering blueprints. Being concise, descriptive, and well-organized are also very useful writing skills to have in this field.
Many technical writers get their start in the field that they work in, but others begin as freelancers.
6. System Administrator
Sysadmins, as they’re known, are often viewed as the handymen of the IT department. They cover everything from unboxing and setting up servers , to getting an email server back online when it goes down. Then there’s backing up files across the entire company, creating firewalls to protect the network… it’s a busy job.
Some companies have several sysadmins with distinct specialties; others have a single sysadmin to takes on any project needed.
As you might imagine, having some programming experience is useful. At the very least you need a solid understanding of how to run a computer from the command line. Some programming is also recommended; it’s possible to get by with just Visual Basic.
Successful sysadmins have a wide range of skills. These should include people skills for working with frustrated users who can’t check their email or submit their project reports. Other IT jobs can be done without coding, too, such as desktop support, and help desk operator.
7. Marketing and Sales
When it comes down to it, almost every tech company’s goal is to make money. Which means they need to sell products. And that means that people who have the skills to market and sell those products are in high demand.
So, what sets marketing and sales in the tech world apart from many other fields? Well, companies are often in tune with up-and-coming methods of marketing and advertising. This can be appealing to many people who want to work in tech without taking a programming course first.
The following fields are all important within marketing and advertising:
- Search engine optimization
- Search engine marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Content marketing
- Web production
- Social media marketing
Some require more technical knowledge than others, but all benefit from having a good understanding of the company’s marketplace.
8. Tech Journalism, Blogging, and YouTube
If you want a wider appreciation of the tech industry, from data warehousing and security to gaming, consider journalism. Requiring largely the same skills as technical writing, along with a keen mind for questions and analysis, tech journalism has boomed as the industry grows.
This is a term that covers all manner of styles of writing and publications. You might be interviewing startups, their backers, or simply relating complex ideas in simple tutorials. Perhaps you’ll review hardware or get your hands dirty in the DIY electronics field.
Qualifications for journalism are a massive advantage here, although proven experience writing can be enough. Don’t have this? Well, you might consider blogging about tech instead.
If you have existing camera skills (who doesn’t these days) then you might even launch a YouTube channel focused on tech. Any number of topics can be covered, from gaming and tutorials to offering unique takes on recent news and developments.
Again, the competition is tough here, but at least you can get a measure of what you’re up against. This isn’t the case when you’re going for a job interview!
With billions of worldwide viewers, YouTube is a great way to get noticed. It can even act as a platform into other careers.
Check our guide to launching a YouTube channel for more tips. Or if you want to keep things simpler, an audio podcast about tech might work for you.
9. Software and Games Testing
Want a job in software development without coding skills?
Another profession within the tech industry that can be followed without coding skills is testing. This covers all manner of software, from tools for managing industrial machines to the latest video games.
It’s a competitive area, especially when it comes to games. Testing means running through various scenarios within the application and checking for correct or incorrect responses. Bugs can be turned up, reported, and then resolved by the developers. All you need to do is be able to take a screenshot or accurately note an error code.
For many, testing games can seem like a dream job. After all, you’re playing games for a living, right? In truth, however, the experience can put you off gaming altogether. Keep this in mind when applying!
Get a Tech Job Without Coding
Just because you don’t like coding doesn’t mean you can’t have a job in the tech sector.
These nine areas, and some others, are open to you if you’re willing to work hard and prove yourself. As mentioned, basic understanding of the principles of programming can be very helpful. For most of these jobs, though, you won’t need to know more than the basics.
For more help landing your dream job, check out these mistakes to avoid on your job application. And never hunt for jobs during these times of the year.