No IT degree? You still have plenty of high-tech career options

ITworld.com |  Career

The liberal arts major can find a place in the IT world. And the big bucks aren't
reserved for the engineers, either. According to Armijo, the high-tech PR business is
booming as more companies move into the marketplace and new technology is created. As
demand goes up, so do salaries. "I think the lowest is probably $35,000 to $40,000 for
an account coordinator," said Armijo, and "anywhere up to $200,000 or $250,000 if
you're a partner in the firm." Communication is essential, and the IT community is
willing to pay for it.

Michelle Netten, a content manager at Secure Computing, a Silicon Valley provider of
e-business security products, received her undergrad degree in liberal studies and a
master's in English with an emphasis in creative writing. The world is full of people
with such degrees who become waiters and waitresses, gas station jockeys, and telephone
solicitors, but it needn't be that way.

"My theory is, in the years I've been in business, there are an amazing number of
people who are uncomfortable with writing and sometimes communication in general.
People just do not like to document things. And for us writers, whether it's creative
writing or otherwise, we feel comfortable doing that. For those who are talented,
willing, and able, there's more than enough writing that needs to be done in the
industry."

You might not make your fortune writing short stories for the New Yorker --
in fact, chances are pretty good you won't. But high-tech is one area where someone
with a liberal arts background can shine. "There's such a need for people who can
interpret," concludes Armijo. A company's success often hinges not just on its
technology, but on how it is able to communicate that technology to the world. Without
a contingent of wordsmiths, spin-doctors, and communicators, even the most innovative
and useful technology in the world is doomed to end up in the high-tech scrap heap.

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