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10 Jobs You Need to Know About When You’re New to Tech

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Finding a job you really love can be tough. You have to find something that’s going to give you the benefits and the pay you need, but it also has to be a good fit for your personality. A job that feels like a chore to go to every day isn’t good.

I was stuck in a dead-end job that was going nowhere. I had a degree but I was discouraged by the positions I found right after college, so I just took the highest paying one. I knew what I really wanted to do—I wanted to write—but I felt like I was stuck where I was and didn’t have a way out. Then one of my friends talked to me about the agency where she worked and I found my escape.

Luckily, agencies are insanely varied with their positions. That variety allows for every personality type to find their perfect job. They employ everyone from tech-minded web analytics consultants to creative minds like photographers and illustrators. There’s truly something for everyone.

Agency jobs also have a lot of openings for beginners. It’s a great choice to get your foot in the door and get the job you’ve been dreaming of. The beginner jobs are great and can lead to more opportunities in the future. In this article, I’ll cover the 10 best agency jobs for you to get your start.

Psst! Be sure to download the Anatomy of a Tech Career guide for insight into how to go from learning tech skills all the way up through senior-level positions!

1. Visual Designer

Visual designers lie right in the middle of graphic designers and user experience designers. They’re focused on the aesthetics and both the look and feel of the product or brand they’re designing for. They’re also interested in user engagement and making sure their designs build trust in the brand and don’t distract from it.

Average Salary: $73,608 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Artistic ability
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Familiar with both Macs and PCs, as well as a wide range of design software
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Ability to market both yourself and a brand or product
  • Good at multitasking

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you’re a creative mind who loves to communicate with clients and work your art to convey a product, then this is an ideal job for you. This job might be able to offer super flexible hours as well!

Job Listings: (note: not all of the current listings featured are at agencies, but are the kinds of jobs you can find at agencies)
Visual Designer, Ishi Systems (Jersey City, NJ)
Visual Designer, Curate Partners (Boston, MA)

2. Copywriter

Copywriters are the wordsmiths of an agency. They write everything from TV commercial scripts to marketing pamphlets to slogans. Often times they work in partnership with an art director to work on the creative idea of a campaign together. They have to know how to target an audience through their words.

Average Salary: $47,000 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Ability to write copy that persuades audiences while being clear and effective
  • Be a team player
  • Extremely creative and always able to come up with an idea
  • Great with deadlines and multitasking
  • Ability to understand different target audiences and how to sell your ideas to them

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you’re the “grammar nazi” in your friend group and have the ability to craft an amazing story, then this is the job for you.

Job Listings:
Junior Copywriter, BJ’s Wholesale Club (Westborough, MA)
Junior Copywriter, The Nielsen Company (New York, NY)
Product Copywriter, Anthropologie (Philadelphia, PA)

3. Web Developer

Web Developers create the code for websites, software, and apps catered to a client’s needs. While they’re very focused on the technical side of things, they also work with the creative team to provide technical expertise and input. They sometimes create mockups and prototypes (along with the designers working on a project)—and constantly tweak them to make sure they’re to the clients’ specifications.

Average Salary: $49,000 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Fluent in multiple programming languages
  • Understand HTML5 and CSS
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work with a team
  • Understand the best technical solutions for certain problems
  • Ability to create something that meets client specifications
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Is This the Career Path for You?

If you’re a problem solver that also would like to work a bit on the creative side with a team, this job is for you.

Job Listings:
Junior Developer, Launch Code (Providence, RI)
Junior Front-End Web Developer, Workstate (Columbus, OH)
Junior Web Developer, Ghost Note Agency (Washington D.C.)

4. Web Designer

A web designer’s job covers basically every aspect of creating a website. The web designer has to be proficient at graphic design and also understand programming. After the site is initially designed, the designer may continue to keep the website up to date and deal with maintenance and any additions that a client may want to be added at a later date. The designer may also deal with various other digital formats, like apps.

Average Salary: $47,380 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of web development software and web languages
  • Skilled in design, layout, and composition
  • Able to collaborate and respond to direction from creative teams
  • Be creative, with a constant stream of ideas
  • Able to work with a variety of formats
  • Knowledge of the wants and needs of people who will be using your product

Is This the Career Path for You?

If you’re great with programming, but also have a fierce creative streak that you want to let shine, this is the perfect job for you.

Job Listings:
Junior Website Designer, Basso Design Group (Troy, MI)
UI/UX Designer, TrendyMinds (Remote)
Jr. Product Designer, MTV (New York, NY)

5. Front-End Developer

Front-end developers write the code that runs in users’ browsers for websites and web apps. They have to make sure there are no problems with anything in the front end and that the code runs smoothly. They also have to make sure the code works on multiple platforms and browsers.

Average Salary: $70,000 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of multiple programming languages (especially HTML, CSS, and JavaScript)
  • Knowledge of design for multiple platforms (mobile, desktop, etc.)
  • Knowledge of development for multiple browsers
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Excellent at testing and debugging code
  • Ability to work under pressure

Is This the Career Path for You?

If you’re a technical mind who loves to know what makes things tick, this is the right job for you.

Job Listings:
Junior Front-End Developer, Red Axle (Chicago, IL)
Junior Front-End Developer, Next Century (Annapolis Junction, MD)
Junior Front-End Developer, Vivo Agency (Horsham, PA)

6. Content Marketer

The role of a content marketer is always changing as the advertising world keeps shifting. They think outside the box to come up with different ways to catch a consumer’s eye. They create and share content that’s different from traditional advertising—which is crucial as the ability to capture the public’s attention becomes more and more difficult.

Content marketing managers oversee the various client accounts and are accountable for the work that’s being done. They also do presentations on the program expectations and results, manage the editorial content calendar and make sure everything that’s done goes with the brand being promoted.

Average Salary: Manager: $68,000 according to Glassdoor, Specialist: $40,000 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Extremely creative and able to come up with unique ideas
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Experienced in search engine optimization
  • Good people skills
  • Ability to think outside the box and tell a great story
  • Very flexible and able to adapt to an ever-changing industry

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you’re a great storyteller and a unique thinker who wants a fast-paced job to keep you on your toes, then this is the role for you.

Job Listings:
Digital Marketer, Universal Music Group (Philadelphia, PA)
Digital Associate, Starcom Mediavest Group (New York, NY)
Content Marketing Manager, Distinctive Apparel (Randolph, MA)

7. Researcher

Researchers review data to put together analyses on everything from brands and trends to markets and innovations. They make sure the company is putting out work that’s up-to-date and relevant to the consumer base they’re trying to reach. They have to find patterns across various streams of data and discover new trends and developments in the market.

Average Salary: $51,339 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Ability to simplify relevant info and present it in a concise manner
  • Ability to pick out the important information from mounds of data
  • Be curious and an analytical thinker that’s interested in trends and patterns
  • Work with a team under pressure
  • Ability to present your findings in an interesting way
  • Keep up to date with current trends and knowledge

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you have a need to know why people do the things they do and a penchant for pattern puzzles, this is a dream job.

Job Listings:
Market Research Project Analyst, Service Management Group (Kansas City, MO)
Market Intelligence Lead, Dealer.com (Burlington, VT)
Research Associate I, 451 Research (Boston, MA)

8. Illustrator

Illustrators use their understanding of color and composition to turn the client’s request into an awesome finished product. Illustrators do a lot of billboard and magazine advertisements, in addition to work in various other creative industries, such as publishing. They’re rarely hired full-time and usually do freelance work on an as-needed basis.

Average Salary: $53,624 according to Glassdoor, but it can vary widely

Common Qualifications:

  • Artistic ability
  • Skilled with a variety of artistic styles
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Knowledge of illustration software
  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of color and competition

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you’re an artistic soul that wants to see your artwork on billboards and book covers, this is the job for you.

Job Listings:
Associate Intern Artist, Scientific Games (Chicago, IL)
Freelance Illustration Jobs, Various

9. QA Analyst

The QA analyst tests all aspects of the software, both on the technical and functional sides. A QA analyst has to create a test plan that covers absolutely every step, as well as implement it and ensure everything is working the way it should be and that all of the needed objectives are met.

Average Salary: $63,174 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Great verbal communication skills
  • Ability to write well
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Knowledge of quality management software and processes
  • Experience with technical aspects of the software being tested
  • Ability to think outside the box

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you’re extremely thorough, like fixing problems, and are good at making things work, this is the job for you.

Job Listings:
Junior QA Analyst, LaneTerralever (Phoenix, AZ)
QA Analyst, Uline (Pleasant Prairie, WI)
QA Analyst, Clearwater (Boise, ID)

10. Data Analyst

Data analysts are constantly working with data to contribute to online marketing strategies. The data tracks Internet users to see how and why they do what they do online. They try to identify and correct any issues with current marketing strategies in addition to creating new ones.

Average Salary: $55,199 according to Glassdoor

Common Qualifications:

  • Skilled in mathematics and statistics
  • Willing to work on a team
  • Great communication and presentation skills
  • Be able to simplify complex data and present it in a way that people will understand
  • Up-to-date on developments in digital technology
  • Fascination with the Internet and why people do what they do

Is This the Career Path for You?
If you love numbers, the Internet and crunching data, then this is perfect.

Job Listings:
Junior Data Analyst, Agility Talent (New York, NY)
Media Analyst, Brand Networks (New York, NY)

Don’t let yourself be stuck in a job you hate or sitting at home not using the qualifications you’ve worked hard for. Go out and get started in a job you love and do something that makes you happy. If you want to know more about what a career in tech looks like, check out the free Anatomy of a Tech Career ebook.

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