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What Exactly is a Tech Job?by@jaykayy
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What Exactly is a Tech Job?

by Joshua OmaleMay 31st, 2022
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Like the definition of a tech company, the definition of a tech job is also not straightforward. The media has stereotyped a tech bro as a geeky nerd that work in his parent’s basement, while always wearing hoodies and being cut off from real social life. While a small part of this depiction is true (yes, we do love hoodies), most of it is false. However, most people define tech jobs typically (and only) as people who write code. While this isn’t totally false since developers are the stereotypical image of tech workers, it is largely false. In today’s world, a tech job can be defined based on three main categories: Role-Based: You have a tech role at a company that may or may not be a tech company. Product-Based: You work with other technicians to build tech products even though your role isn’t necessarily technical. Company-Based: You work in a major tech company.
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Often, the question “what is a tech job?“ is asked. While it’s not always advisable to put tags on some of these things, sometimes knowing exactly where you stand in the spectrum of work fields is important. Let’s delve a bit deeper.


Yes, we are all aware that tech is the past, present and future. If you Googled “most valuable companies in the world“, tech companies would be in at least 5 of the top 10 listed. For many years, this has been the case and it’s not going to change anytime soon.


What Exactly is a Tech Company?

Source: Pexels



In theory, a tech company is a company that creates new technology, which includes software and hardware, and sells these technologies to create revenue. Over the years, the definition of technology companies has changed due to the rapid evolution of technology. So in the reality of today, a tech company can be defined as any company which creates and participates in an ecosystem built around technology. Some of these companies don’t even rely on technology products as their primary sources of income.


Many definitions of tech companies are questionable because some of these companies do not create their own technology products and don’t even rely on these products for their revenue. But most of them are heavy users of tech. The world is at a stage where almost every field requires technology to adequately function. You think of healthcare and school sectors and instantly remember the pandemic with e-consulting and e-learning, which were in existence before COVID but ultimately popularised by it.


Notable companies that have a questionable “tech status” include Uber, Netflix and Airbnb.


Is Uber a tech company or a taxi company?

Is Netflix a tech company or a movie company?

Is Airbnb a tech company or a hospitality company?


I believe these companies can be considered tech companies since the services they provide primarily depend on tech to function.


I will cover more about tech companies in another story. Let’s delve into tech jobs.


What is a Tech Job?

Source: Pexels


Like the definition of a tech company, the definition of a tech job is also not straightforward.

The media has stereotyped a tech bro as a geeky nerd that works in his parent’s basement, while always wearing hoodies and being cut off from real social life. While a small part of this depiction is true (yes, we do love hoodies), most of it is false. However, most people define tech jobs typically (and only) as people who write code. While this isn’t totally false since developers are the stereotypical image of tech workers, it is still largely false.

In today’s world, a tech job can be defined based on three main categories:


  • Role-Based: You have a tech role at a company that may or may not be a tech company.
  • Product-Based: You work with other technicians to build tech products even though your role isn’t necessarily technical.
  • Company-Based: You work in a major tech company.


Role-Based

This category is strictly for technicians who work in conventional tech roles like developers and engineers. They are the ones that are typically called tech bros. The employees in this category strictly deal with computers and systems. They do the dirty work of writing code, managing databases, server installation and management, software architecture design, and so on. In fact, the term “tech job” was probably created because of them and for them. This doesn’t mean they are the only ones that have tech jobs though.


For this category, if a bug in a product can be traced back to you, then you have a tech job.


According to this role-based definition, these technical positions can qualify as tech jobs:

  • Web Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Network Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • IT Support
  • Database Manager
  • Data Scientist


These technical roles are constantly in high demand across all industries (both tech and non-tech). In fact, recent data shows that less than half of these technicians work for tech companies. So in reality, most of these tech roles are for non-tech companies but they are still tech jobs. They work in non-tech sectors like banking, retail, schools, manufacturing and hospitals.


Product-Based

This category includes people that work alongside technicians to produce software or hardware. These workers are not necessarily technicians but they are tech-adjacent. They support and enable the work of technicians by actively being in the tech ecosystem. They are vital parts of the life cycle of tech products.


These positions can include:

  • Product Designers
  • UX Designers
  • UI Designers
  • Product Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Graphic Designers (sometimes)


These roles need a high level of technical knowledge and understanding. The workers need to have a significant understanding of how most technologies work to enable them to perform their roles adequately.


Company-Based

This category includes people that work in tech companies. If you work at a tech company, you have a tech job, irrespective of your role. Tech companies typically provide technical solutions using software and hardware. All roles (including marketing, operations, and accounting) are focused on providing the same primary services for clients. Most (if not all) of these roles use various software to improve productivity and get results.


A lot of creatives like writers, editors, designers, artists, video editors, and even architects fall into this category.


Some of the roles in this category include:

  • Marketing Staff (which also includes Graphic Designers)
  • Sales Teams
  • Human Resource Staff
  • Finance Staff
  • Public Relations Staff
  • Content Production Staff
  • Customer Service Staff


Gatekeeping

Source: Today.com


A lot of times, some people deep in tech try to gatekeep tech roles. They downplay people’s achievements and make them seem irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. It’s almost like they feel threatened that people would take their jobs away from them. They turn into the ultimate decider about who has a tech job and who hasn’t.


I read a tweet some months ago. Someone tried to rubbish a certified tech course. She said people that had completed that course had no right to call themselves certified. This was a professional CERTIFICATE course. As expected, people came for her head accusing her of trying to gatekeep and discourage people from taking that course and breaking into that particular job role. They were not wrong. While I agree that some courses don’t give anybody the full work experience required to be 100% qualified, courses do give students enough adequate knowledge to be able to get good jobs and perform well. Everybody learns and improves over time while they work.


Never pay attention to people who gatekeep. It can easily cause impostor syndrome and that isn’t good for anyone. There is a clear difference between gatekeeping and genuine career advice. If the person talks in a condescending manner about your progress (no matter how little it may be), that’s gatekeeping. If the person applauds the little effort you have made and tells you where you might have gone wrong, and then tells you how you can proceed in the right way, that’s genuine career advice. Know this and know peace.

What Really is a Tech Job Then?


Technology is a very broad term. Most jobs require technical expertise. This does not always mean a developer coding the next big app. There are a lot of vital people in tech projects or businesses that do not code. The tech roles are different depending on the company. Contrary to popular opinion, soft skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and flexibility are required to do them well.


The tech field is constantly changing. It is such a versatile field that offers so much, with new and better technology always coming out. This also creates opportunities for new roles in every industry. Both traditional and non-traditional companies now have a tech presence; brand identity, mobile app, website, social media, etc. The demand for tech jobs increases every single year, and so most people try to break into the tech industry for work.


While it’s not always advisable to put tags on some of these things, sometimes knowing exactly where you stand in the spectrum of work fields is very important. You don’t need a Computer Science degree to land a tech job, including those with really technical roles. Any job that is typically within the tech ecosystem and requires some basic knowledge and understanding of technology is a tech job. Any job that requires you to work closely with other technicians to create a technological product (both hardware and software) is a tech job. Any job that primarily requires you to use software or hardware to achieve work objectives is a tech job. Having enough understanding to be able to communicate about tech effectively puts you in the tech ecosystem. It always depends on the individual, the company and the industry.


All in all, try as much as possible not to put tags on your work. This helps prevent unnecessary pressure and stereotypes. Just keep updating your knowledge and skills, especially in the tech field. It would be vital to your personal development.


Comments about opinions are welcome below.

Cheers!