Computer science and technology fields have expanded at a rocket-speed pace—with no slowdown in sight.
By 2029, the industry is projected to grow by 11 percent, faster than the average for all other occupations. Computer science will add 531,200 new jobs to the economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fueled by a changing technology landscape ushered in by cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and cybersecurity.
These are jobs that span a broad array of industries, applying computer science theory to everything from video games to medicine, education to government. And because technology companies and organizations have diverse needs, despite their technology focus, it’s more than possible to embark on a thrilling career in tech without needing the ability to program.
Read on to learn more about the different types of career options in technology that don’t necessarily require programming skills.
Non-Coding Careers in Tech
Project managers often hold senior roles in companies. They are best suited for those with a background in business administration or management. They oversee the operations and logistics of a project and guide it from start to completion. Project managers need to balance the intricacies of budget, time, and scope, ensuring deadlines and deliverables.
Project managers are leaders who follow a “project life cycle” process that starts with initiation of a project and ends with a closing, all while, along the way, taking into account the needs of internal and external stakeholders. Experienced project managers can seek special certifications in the various types of project frameworks, like Scrum and Agile.
It is a difficult job to execute perfectly—but rewarding, and can be done without knowing one bit of code.
User Experience (UX) Designer
Have you ever had a frustrating experience finding the exact information you need on a website? User experience designers are the folks who solve that problem. Differing from the more nuts-and-bolts technical components of website design, user experience (UX) designers are driven by the user end of a product. They look for functionality, accessibility, and the needs of a user. UX designers often employ A/B testing to inform future design and apply empathy to the problem. Remember, there is a person behind the computer.
This is a creative role with minimal programming expertise required and one that’s a fit for creatives and problem-solvers motivated to take a good product and make it better. It’s also a standout among IT jobs without programming requirements.
Information Security Analyst
As the world becomes more digital, the need for defense systems and robust cybersecurity measures is growing at a tremendous clip. These analysts know how to protect sensitive data from hackers and ensure efficient system operations. They have a thorough understanding of information systems but do not necessarily need to code, depending on their concentration. This is also a useful niche for anyone looking for non-programming jobs in the IT industry and concerned with implementing computer information systems in an organization.
The business analyst is someone who takes a bird’s-eye view of a company or organization’s processes. They look for the efficiency of operations, the strength of strategies, and new approaches to the market. In many cases, they take these interpretations and present them to a client or employer to demonstrate, through models and charts, how to improve their business. These are solid communicators who are business-savvy and have at least a foundational understanding of technology—but no need for coding.
Far from being a coding-oriented job, technical recruiters are social professionals with an aptitude for soft skills, clear communication, and negotiation. Recruiters can be consultants, belong to a firm or agency, or be hired in-house as a Human Resources figure, typically for larger tech organizations and companies. This is a very broad position among computer science jobs that don’t require coding.
This is a senior role at an organization that requires a lot of networking expertise but not an overwhelming amount of coding. These professionals maintain information systems and are troubleshooters when problems arise. It’s also among the most rewarding of non-programming computer jobs for computer science majors.
As the name suggests, a technical writer is a very professional form of communication laser-focused on the effective transfer of knowledge. Think: white papers, Q&A forms, training manuals, project plans, etc. This is well-suited to someone with strong writing skills and some communications expertise—whether technical or in the realm of general communications, such as strategic communications or journalism. It’s a discipline about conveying complicated topics effectively.
Quality Assurance Tester
Much like a UX designer looks for the user perspective, so too does a quality assurance tester—often for software. They play an invaluable role in the process of development, weeding out bugs, glitches and other unintended flaws. These are people familiar with the project management process, how to troubleshoot, and with a well-rounded eye for pinpointing and helping to solve problems. This could be considered one of the more high-quality non-programming computer jobs for computer engineers.
Data analysts are scholars of data science who look for trends. They first serve as a sort of filter, with the background to examine the quality of a data set based on statistics, glean its meaning, and then finally report on what could be done with that data. It’s a job of finding efficient ways to solve problems and mitigate risks. These are not people who write code, but instead examine some of the products of code—and then, crucially, use their communication and teamwork skills to present them to key stakeholders.
Beyond tech, data analysts are extremely versatile and can find jobs in tourism, sports, banking, government, entertainment, and more. Dedicated numbers-crunchers benefit from a master’s degree in data analytics, which can sharpen skills needed to engage with big data sets. This is among the best jobs for non-programmers, especially if you have a knack for telling stories using data.
Build a Tech Career Without Coding
Non-coding jobs, for computer science majors or any other discipline, don’t have to limit your viability in the technology sector. Analysts, writers, managers—all can find a home at technology companies and organizations, as they are ultimately still groups of humans that need to operate efficiently outside of the day-to-day coding apparatus. The key is to leverage your education and skills into a challenging, fulfilling, sometimes interdisciplinary, and typically lucrative career in tech.
A data science degree is just one option for a versatile investment in your future. Earn yours on campus or online from National University. NU offers a graduate program in data science for experienced professionals, along with a range of graduate and undergraduate programs in related fields like computer science, IT management, and data analysis.