Business and technology—you may think of them as two separate fields, and not so long ago you’d be right. But more and more the two fields have merged into one. Since more and more business positions require technical skills and vice versa, the lines blur between these once-distinct fields.
Traditionally, training and education for these types of positions have been separate. Business professionals studied business. Tech pros studied programming. But with the melding of these two worlds, professionals require more and more skills that come from both business and technology. And these “hybrid jobs” are in demand, well-paying and more accessible than ever before.
We highlighted some of the in-demand positions that call on both business and technology skills. What are you waiting for? Learn about the rise of hybrid jobs, their exciting potential and see if any of the roles listed below pique your interest.
Hybrid jobs: Born out of a business need
With so many online options available to consumers, the role of accessibility, usability and design becomes all the more important for businesses. And with this growth of online usage comes an abundance of data, different ways to reach consumers and new skills that were never before needed in the workplace.
And from it all, hybrid jobs emerged to meet these business needs, says the Burning-Glass report, Blurring Lines: How Business and Technology Skills Are Merging to Create High Opportunity Hybrid Jobs.
“The reason for ‘hybrid’ tech and business jobs is that it is the fusion of skills that lead to the success of organizations,” says Niranjan Krishnan, associate VP and head of Data Science Practice at Tiger Analytics. “Proliferation of data and technologies places a higher burden on business professionals to be tech-savvy. Likewise, new business models and expanding ranges of possibilities require techies to be well-tuned to the business.”
But there’s one problem: The process for educating and training employees to fit this need is weak. Higher education doesn’t typically teach students these skills together. Demand for both business and technology skills creates a gap in the workforce.
The skills void for business and technology
Employers seek professionals with both business and technology skills. They want desirable candidates that know programming, that are business-minded and have the strategic mindset of a marketer, plus have a number of technical skills as well.
The problem is that established higher education programs traditionally silo these skills. Those with a Business degree don’t want to return to school for a second degree in the technology field, and vice versa. A new class of accelerated learning will help train workers and fill these hybrid jobs with short-term training and the development of entry-level skills, the Burning-Glass report says.
The growing need for business and technology skills
As consumers turn first toward websites, digital commerce and online media, businesses find the need for their digital infrastructure taking precedence like never before. They seek employees with the technical chops to support those needs.
However, opportunities in technology have traditionally required applicants to have an extensive background in computer science, IT or other area of technology. But now technical skills are becoming more common—and more accessible—to professionals across industries. Programming technologies have evolved, lowering barriers to entry within the technology skillset. At the same time, accessibility to tools and software have increased employers’ expectations that more employees will provide analytic insights.
“A large part of the reason why technical skills are becoming increasingly common in business positions is because of the growth of data science,” says Neel Somani, software developer and business administration student at UC Berkeley. “With the massive amount of data available to businesses today, it's crucial that decision-makers have the skills necessary to analyze this information.”
New tools ensuring the accessibility of programming and data analysis are democratizing the technology field—and promoting its infiltration across different roles. Now more than ever the convergence of business and technology has driven such a need for hybrid professionals to fill these roles. Below, take a look at six promising positions that bridge the two fields, offer substantial pay potential and see growth in the years ahead.
6 hybrid jobs using business and technology skills
1. Web developer
Web developers combine coding with communication and research skills. They rely on both spheres of skills to develop and maintain websites for businesses. On the technical side of things, job openings for web developers rely heavily on the following skills:
- Agile development
According to the Burning-Glass report, web developers and designers have an average advertised salary of $87,217.* Demand for web development and design grew three percent between 2011 and 2015.
2. Web designer
Where web developers build websites, web designers work on their visuals. This hybrid job calls on both graphic design experience and coding skills. Web designers need project and graphic design skills, along with the following technical skills:
- Web design
- Adobe Creative Suite
Web designers and developers have a reported average advertised salary of $87,217.* Demand for web design and development grew three percent between 2011 and 2015.
3. Digital marketer
Whereas traditional marketing relied heavily on soft skills like communication and creativity, of today calls on a more robust skillset, including technical and statistical skills, as the field becomes more data-driven and adopts more quantitative approaches to marketing campaigns. A few of the technical skills these new hybrid roles encompass include the following:
- Data analysis
- Statistical skills
- Marketing automation
- Google analytics
- Social media
Burning-Glass reports that these roles have an average advertised salary of $76,783.* Demand for digital marketing and automation grew 145 percent between 2011 and 2015.
4. Mobile developer
With more and more usage of handheld devices, such as phones and tablets, demand for mobile developers has doubled in the past five years. Now faced with an undersupplied job market, employers seek mobile developers to create programs for mobile use. Like web developers, mobile developers need strong communication and research skills on the business side. Mobile developers also need technical skills, including the following:
- Programming skills
These jobs have a reported average advertised salary of $111,380.* Demand for mobile development grew 135 percent between 2011 and 2015.
5. Data analyst
With more technology comes more information, and data analysts step forward to answer the call of big data. These professionals bridge the business and technology worlds, with one foot in each as they analyze data and communicate their insights. Data analysts not only utilize traditional business skills, such as creative problem solving, communication and business strategy, they also rely heavily on a handful of technical skills, including the following:
- Database and quantitative programming
- Machine learning
- Statistical and database packages
- Organizing and manipulating big data
These roles have a reported average advertised salary of $105,540.* Demand for data analytics grew 372 percent between 2011 and 2015.
6. Software product manager
Bridging both business and technical skills, software product managers orchestrate all aspects of developing software products and bringing them to market. These roles call on business, marketing and computer programing skills. Software product managers need traditional business skills, such as communication, presentation, sales and marketing, while also relying on technical abilities, such as the following:
- Management processes like agile development
These roles have a reported average advertised salary of $106,471.* Demand for product management grew seven percent between 2011 and 2015.
The melding of business and technology is simply a fact of the future. And because this blend of skills is currently hard to come by, it’s the perfect time to make your entrance into one of these careers bridging both backgrounds.
You don’t have to sit back and watch the hybrid jobs pass before your eyes. The beauty of these positions is that they’re all as accessible as they are in demand. You can do your part to fill the void by starting to develop your own set of technical skills.
If you’re not sure where to start, be sure to check out our article, "," to take the first step toward a cutting-edge career in both business and technology.
*Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.