Startups have created jobs that would’ve been hard to find just a few decades ago, and engineering has become one of the most popular roles out there. But if coding isn’t your area of expertise, you shouldn't be disheartened.

There are plenty of great openings at awesome companies that don't require you to code. The trick is choosing the right role.

So, let’s decode these frequently-advertised titles—and the skills you’d actually need to be a viable applicant.


1. User Experience (UX) Researcher

You don’t need coding skills—or a college degree—to be a UX researcher. UX stands for user experience, so you’ll spend your time finding out what people want (as opposed to building out everything that could help them). To do well, you’ll need research and project management skills, the ability to interview users and get insights, and experience collecting and processing qualitative and quantitative data.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: User Research Basics

Here’s a Book: UX Strategy: How to Design Products Users Want

Here Are Classes: User Experience Design, Ultimate Guide to UX and Usability

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to UX researcher jobs!


2. Sales

Startups often need nimble and lean sales teams that can close deals. You have the potential to make a lot in commission if you’re able to sell something that is still, in many ways unproven. To succeed in this role you’ll need to be persuasive, and excel in outreach, negotiation, and fostering and keeping track of numerous relationships. Not to mention, you’ll need to be resilient, you’re going to hear “no” a lot more than “yes”—especially in the beginning.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: 12 Skills You Need To Thrive In A Startup Sales Job

Here’s a Book: The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to Go From $0 to $100 Million

Here Are Classes: Free Sales Prospecting Course for Inside Sales

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to sales jobs!


3. Marketing and Growth

Working in marketing at a startup often means experimenting with different tactics as you attempt to reach new audiences. For example, growth hacking is a form of digital marketing and experimentation that has been used at companies like Facebook and Twitter. While other organizations may be looking for help with social media, or emails, or creating B2B content.

At the end of the day, the best marketers are creative thinkers who aren’t afraid of experimentation, understand how to analyze metrics, and are able to combine media assets and compelling copy into great marketing collateral.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: Don’t Learn to Code: 10 Essential Tools That Help Marketers Focus on Marketing

Here’s a Book: Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Here Are Classes: Digital Marketing Specialization with Coursera

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to digital marketing jobs!


4. Product Manager

Product managers are often described as mini-CEOs of their own product. Muse Product Manager Sarah Sprague frames it as “…the intersection between solving problems with technology and how people actually use that technology…” A familiarity with code can help, but it’s not required. Employees in this position need great communication and organizational skills, as well as the ability to coordinate a team and write very clear product timelines and specifications.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: 3 Rules That Will Make Anyone a Better Project Manager

Here’s a Book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Here Are Classes: General Assembly Product Management Classes

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to product management Jobs!


5. Content Manager

Bestselling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin said “Content Marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” That’s because good writers help brands share their stories digitally and draw people in through engaging content. (And platforms like WordPress and Medium allow you to craft narratives without needing to write a single line of code.) To do this kind of work, you’ll need top-notch writing and editing skills, as well as the ability to discuss a product without sounding too promotional.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Here’s a Book: The Content Marketing Handbook from Pricenomics

Here Are Classes: Free writing courses with EdX

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to content marketing jobs!


6. Operations

When you picture a startup, you may instantly think of digital innovation—but all companies are staffed with real live human beings. These people need all kinds of support in their roles that range from human resources, to knowing where to obtain office supplies, to an in-house legal counsel to look over contracts, to onboarding new hires. That’s where operations comes in. To excel in this kind of job, you’ll need to be super organized, a “doer,” and someone who can coordinate various people and tasks.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: How 5 Operations Managers Got Their Start

Here’s a Book: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

Here Are Classes: Introduction to Operations Management

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to operations management jobs!


7. Customer Service

If a company has customers, it’ll need people to ensure they’re happy. It requires proactive commitment to customer satisfaction and the ability to turn frustrated people into happy (or happier) consumers. It’s not easy, but it’s important. The best customer service reps tend to be empathetic, responsive, and able to diffuse a tense situation.


Love the Idea, But Need a Bit More Information?

Here’s an Article: The LEARN Model for dealing with customer complaints

Here’s a Book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Here Are Classes: Customer Service classes from Alison

Already think you’ve got what it takes? Apply to customer service jobs!



Though engineering’s very in-demand right now, startups still need to deal with problems outside that realm. That leaves job opportunities that demand a variety of skills. So even if you don’t know how to code, that shouldn’t stop you from going after a position at a company you really want to be at.


Photo of people working courtesy of Estelle Johnson/EyeEm/Getty Images.