24 Alternative Careers for Tech Workers That Aren't in IT

24 Alternative Careers for Tech Workers That Aren't in IT

With IT departments laying off staff to cut costs and a grim outlook for IT job growth in 2009, now's a good time for tech workers to get out of IT. Here's a list of jobs tech workers could easily switch into. (But hold onto your hats, some may really surprise you.)

Help Desk Administrator

Unflappable personalities, infectiously pleasant demeanors and an ability to calm stressed-out users are hallmarks of the best help desk workers. They're driven by a genuine desire to please others and solve people's problems, which is why the following jobs would suit them...

Entrepreneurs: Use your winning personality and customer service orientation to buy a franchise or start your own business.

Sales reps: If starting your own business sounds too risky, you can use your engaging personality to sell luxury goods in a high-end boutique, pharmaceuticals to doctors or software to CIOs.

Recruiters: Recruiters solve companies' staffing problems, and they're known for their sunny dispositions.

Customer service reps: The best customer service workers, like the best help desk workers, remain calm in stressful situations and are able to impose that calm on others.

Social Workers/Psychologists: These professions leverage your desire to help others.

Phone Sex Workers: You're good on the phone, right?

Software Developer

"Programmers have to be able to see the end at the beginning because they're starting something with an end in mind," says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. She adds that software developers also have to be extremely detail-oriented. Their brains are logical, but software developers also have a creative streak. They like to solve intellectual problems, which is why they'd make good...

Technical Writers: Software developers are uniquely qualified to excel as technical writers.

Novelists: Writing fiction is a heady intellectual challenge and a great way to exercise your imaginative side. But note that unless you win the Oprah's Book Club lottery you likely won't be able to quit your day job.

Mathematicians: Many computer scientists majored in math in college. Moving into a career in math wouldn't be much of a stretch.

Musicians: Another way to indulge your creative side is through music.

Architects: Architects combine the best of left-brain and right-brain thinking, much like the best software developers.

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