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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.)

Business Analyst

The business analyst serves as a liaison between end-users and software developers. The business analyst's primary function is to find out what end-users want an application to do and to communicate those requirements to software developers, says Lee. She notes that gathering requirements from users can be like pulling teeth so, like a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, business analysts have to ask really good, hard, specific questions. "They're good at making you think, being very diplomatic and dealing with different personalities," says Lee. The following professions rely on the same skills business analysts use...

Translators/Interpreters: Good business analysts are effective interpreters and translators of business requirements. Your mind is suited to do the same with a foreign language.

Reporters/Journalists: Your ability to ask specific questions and elicit information from taciturn people would serve you very well if you chose to pursue a career as a reporter. With your tech background, you could easily become an IT journalist.

Conflict Negotiators/Mediators: Use your diplomatic skills to resolve conflicts among students in schools, inner-city gangs or pugilistic nations.

Dentists: You're good at pulling teeth, right?

QA Tester

QA testers get paid to try to break software applications in bench- and stress tests. They get paid to find and fix the bugs that cause applications to fail. As such, they need to be creative, discriminating, persistent and persnickety, much like people in these professions...

Copy-editors: If you know the fundamentals of grammar and composition, you can apply your ability to find errors in code to finding mistakes on the page.

Product inspectors: Use your QA mindset to inspect a product other than software.

Wine-tasters: If your palate and nose are as discriminating as your mind, you'd make Bacchus proud as a good wine-taster.

Movie reviewers: Apply your discerning eye to something fun.

Exterminators: Why not kill real bugs?

As you can see from this list, a world of opportunity exists for IT professionals beyond IT. There's no reason to put up with a job you can't stand in an industry that doesn't appreciate you when you could apply your skills in more lucrative and fulfilling careers. The possibilities are endless.

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