Working for a Tech Company: Why Your Major Doesn’t Matter

Jillian Rinehimer
June 8, 2017

Now that your schooling career is over, it’s time to focus on your actual career (the one that actually pays money!).

Graduating, deciding what’s next, submitting resumes and choosing the best path for you can be overwhelming, but the most important thing to remember during this transitional period is not to limit yourself. Just because you majored in business, doesn’t mean you have to end up at a multi-million dollar corporation, or because you studied psychology you need to end up at a private practice.

The same goes for getting into tech - the increasingly popular startup industry that has surely caught your attention at some point throughout your college career. In fact, whether you have taken a classes related to tech fields, or simply followed the multitude of publications spitting out tech news, you may have even thought about joining this booming industry at some point. And now that you’ve graduated maybe you’re thinking about acting on these thoughts.

If you have any hesitations about joining the tech industry because you don't have a "technical" degree, you'll be happy to hear that your degree doesn't really matter! There are many jobs in the tech industry that don't require programming skills such as sales, marketing, operations, customer success, human resources, and customer service.

There are a lot of skills that tech companies value from across a variety of fields. Pulling from the top 10 U.S. college majors released by the Princeton Review, we listed a few applicable, and valuable, assets for a startup in the tech sphere. So whether you are a computer science major or a nursing major who may be deciding to go in a different direction, you can get a gist of the skills that will help you out in the tech sphere--the ones to highlight in resumes, interviews, and during your first day at the new job.

These include:

Major (in order of PR top ten)Applicable skillsComputer ScienceProgramming, analysisCommunicationsWriting, presenting, public speakingGovernment/Political ScienceCritical thinking, writingBusinessLeadership, human resources knowledge, communication, collaborationEconomicsCritical thinking, understanding markets and product valueEnglish Language and LiteratureLanguage, writing, analysisPsychologyCoaching, interpretation, strong communication, problem solvingNursingCommunication, evaluation, human interaction, attention to detailChemical EngineeringProject management, collaborationBiologyProblem solving

Of course, these are limited to the Review’s top ten results, and there are hundreds of other majors that reflect sought-after values by hiring startups. If your major doesn’t fall under this list, and you’re curious to see what other skills may translate, take some time to do a quick Google search and see what pops up for your major. It’s a great way to brainstorm and evaluate your options so that you make the most informed decision to start your career path off on the right foot.

Ultimately, regardless of what you studied, the tech industry can use you--and you can use them! It's all about how you position your experiences.