Here’s How Your Current Skills Translate to Tech

It’s not as much of a stretch as you think

Billy Frazier

--

Woman sitting outside working on a laptop.
Credit: Pexels

When I talk to people who want to get into tech, I tend to hear the same thing:

“I don’t know where to start.”

It makes sense after all.

The tech industry has a massive wall built up around it and it was made by people who look a lot like me (i.e. white guys) but are much more technical.

As a non-technical person in tech, I was lucky (i.e. privileged) enough to slip through a crack in the wall. After working here for almost a decade, I’ve come to realize my vision for my career:

I want to kick down this wall, welcome everyone in, and help them find their place, no matter who they are or where they’re from.

(Cue “As Long As You Love Me” by the Backstreet Boys.)

You see, one of the biggest misconceptions about working in tech is the idea that you have to have a highly technical set of skills, which many people don’t have.

What people don’t realize is that they already have relevant skills.

All they need is a little tweaking.

Let’s dive into several skills and majors and show how they translate to non-technical jobs in tech:

Psychology → UX research

Psychology is the study of how we think and behave. UX research studies behavior to uncover insights around what end users of a product, service, or system need and want. Once a UX researcher uncovers these insights, they use them to enhance the future design of the same product, service, or system. Someone who has a background in psychology already knows why people do what they do — all they need to do is learn how to collect insights. When it comes to making this transition, the focus should be on UX research methods. In other words, the key is to learn the various activities, processes, and frameworks used in UX research. This includes both qualitative methods (interviewing, observation, etc.) and quantitative methods (collecting and analyzing data based on hard numbers).

Graphic design → UX design and/or UI design

--

--

Billy Frazier

Senior experience designer, writer, and leader who’s fumbling forward through a creative career while helping others do the same.