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How can I do both computer science and sales/marketing?

I want to know how to be a well rounded individual that knows how to program technology and also know how to sell that technology whether it be in person or online.

Thank you comment icon Keep your curiosity alive and immerse yourself in everything you do, as every experience can contribute to your future career growth. Even when you're learning about advanced technology or selling simpler products, remember that you're also honing your people skills, which are crucial in any line of work. Wishing you all the best on your journey! Ryan Spak

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rob’s Answer

I immediately thought, Sales Engineer. This is a role where you have to be very on your tech, building out proof oc concepts, test beds, giving presentations on the product, and being an all-around subject matter expert or SME. Someone who can breakdown the technical to any audience. Powerful and sought-after stuff...Combining computer science with sales and marketing can be a powerful combination, especially in today's digital-driven world.

Here's a bit of a roadmap to help you integrate both fields:

Education and Skill Development:

Computer Science: Pursue a degree or courses in computer science, focusing on an area that interests you. Good choices in today's world include, AI and machine learning, algorithms, data structures, software development methodologies, integration methods, and other relevant topics.
Sales/Marketing: Similarly, consider courses or a degree in sales, marketing, or business administration; communications or change management would be good topics here as well. Learn about market analysis, consumer behavior, advertising, branding, sales techniques, and communication skills.
Technical Skills: Develop proficiency in systems and IT infrastructure. Understanding how software and technology work is crucial, especially in roles where you're selling or marketing tech products or solutions. Knowledge of multiple technical disciplines is important. BE dedicated to continuous learning of new skills, improving existing skills, and getting a head of the curve.

Communication Skills: Work on your communication skills, both written and verbal. Effective communication is vital in both computer science and sales/marketing roles. Explaining technical concepts in layman's terms is invaluable. Putting it into a demo or presentation in a way that visually and briefly illustrates the concept will make you hireable.

Understanding the Market: Develop your ability to gain insights into market trends, customer needs, and competitor analysis. Use data analytics tools to understand customer behavior, needs (in general), and preferences, which can focus your sales and marketing strategies.

Networking: Build a network in both fields. Attend industry events, join relevant online communities, and connect with professionals who have experience in both computer science and sales/marketing. Networking can open up opportunities for collaboration or job opportunities that blend both skill sets.

Internships or Part-Time Jobs: Look for internships or part-time jobs that allow you to gain experience in both computer science and sales/marketing. This could involve roles like technical sales support, digital marketing for tech products, or software sales.

Specialization: Consider specializing in areas where computer science intersects with sales/marketing. For example, you could focus on digital marketing analytics, software sales for a specific industry, or technical consulting where you help clients implement technology solutions.

Continuous Learning: Both computer science and sales/marketing are constantly evolving fields. Stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and techniques through continuous learning. This could involve online courses, workshops, conferences, or industry certifications. Become involved in industry meet up groups or online forums.

Seek Hybrid Roles: Look for job opportunities that explicitly require a blend of computer science and sales/marketing skills. These roles may be less common but can be highly rewarding for individuals with expertise in both areas. Sales Engineer is one of these roles. Customer Success Manager, and Technical Account Manager all dwell in both worlds.

Entrepreneurship: Consider starting your own venture where you can leverage your skills in both computer science and sales/marketing. Whether it's developing and selling software products or offering consulting services, entrepreneurship allows you to tailor your role to suit your strengths and interests.

By combining computer science with sales/marketing, you'll be well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for professionals who can bridge the gap between technology and business.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.

Rob
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Valerie’s Answer

Hi Kieran! I love your question as I remember wanting to be an engineer but wanted to be working with people in a sales type of role; I didn't want to spend all my time in an operations environment.

When I was interviewing for jobs out of college, I received some of the best advice ever - take the time to learn the business first and then go out and sell or consult. So I ended up taking a job as an engineer in an operations plant and spent the time learning the business from the inside out. Within a few years, I was then able to move into an outside sales job for that same company. My experience in the plant allowed me to interact with our customers in a much more meaningful way because I could help answer questions or solve their problems faster than most. And if I didn't know the answer, I could work our internal support team (chemists, etc) more intelligibly as I could speak both "languages". Meaning I could take the input from the customer and translate it it to the team with a lot of details.

I sometimes cross paths with the individual who gave me that advice and thank him profusely for setting me on that path as it has paid off in dividends. Bottom Line: Take the time to learn the business first as you can't always go back. But the time spent learning the business will be a great foundation for wherever you end up going with your career.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Kieran
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Aritra’s Answer

Cool! You wanna be a tech wiz and a smooth talker, huh? That's a powerful combo. Here's how to rock both:

* **Double Up on Learning:** College? Do a double major or minor in CS and marketing. There's even special "tech marketing" degrees out there. Fancy!
* **Get Your Hands Dirty:** Internships at tech companies are awesome for this. Sales roles where you deal with tech stuff are great too. You can even freelance building stuff and then market it yourself - hustle!
* **Level Up Your Skills:** Learn the marketing tools everyone's using, polish your communication skills (gotta convince people!), and never stop learning - tech is always movin' and groovin'.

**Job Ideas:**

* **Tech Salesperson:** Basically, you'd be explaining and selling awesome tech solutions. Think "Iron Man" but with a briefcase instead of a suit of armor (probably).
* **Product Marketing Manager:** The bridge between the tech wizards and the marketing crew. You gotta understand both worlds to make the product shine.
* **Entrepreneur with Tech Skills:** Build your own tech product, then go out there and sell it! Become your own boss - now that's freedom!

The world of tech needs people who can talk the talk *and* walk the walk. With this combo, you'll be a super-valuable asset!
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Kieran
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Abbas’s Answer

Excellent combination! One that sets you up with a strong technical foundation and provides phenomenal opportunities for helping customers with their needs. I recommend pursuing a degree majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Business/Marketing. Or vice versa, depending on which of them is your bigger passion.

All the best!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Kieran
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Haylee’s Answer

This is a great question! Technology Consulting might be a great path for you. It's a space where you are an expert in technology, in some cases are responsible for delivery of technology assets (in addition to recommendation-oriented projects), and yet you are also working to pitch the technologies you work in. You also have the opportunity to support technology enablement, such as the roll-out of a new tool, and the governance/adoption strategies around that.

Overall, I think kickstarting a career in technology consulting could give you that really well rounded experience for this! If you're selecting a
college major: Business (Management info tech or otherwise), CS, or Engineering could prepare you for this well I think.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Kieran
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Tenille’s Answer

Awesome question! Here are a few roles I would recommend that blend technical expertise with transferable skillsets from sales and marketing:

- Sales Engineer/ Solutions Engineer
- IT Product Owner
- IT Sales Executive
- Marketing Campaign Manager

These roles require effective communication, leadership, sales and technical acumen. To help narrow your search I would explore what you enjoy doing the most. Specifically focus on how you like to spend your time and what types of tasks energize you. For example, do you enjoy working with people and team? Are your more of visionary who likes to lead and inspire? I always encourage reflecting on how you enjoy spending your time and finding roles that prioritize approaching work in similar ways. There's a lot of new titles emerging as jobs and the needs of the workforce change sometimes it's easier to identify a good role by focusing on the skills you'd like to develop or task you enjoy doing vs the titles. Hope this is helpful!
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Ryan’s Answer

Consider exploring opportunities as a Sales Engineer in tech-oriented firms. This position typically backs up Account Executives, offering the necessary technical assistance that customers require when buying top-tier tech products. It's a delightful blend of sales and technical expertise.
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