John Chambers, Jeff Weiner and Logan Green.
Photographs by Reuters/Getty Images
By Jill Hamburg Coplan
June 24, 2015

Tech companies frequently top Best Companies to work for lists. In many cases, they offer enviable salaries and great benefits, including long vacations, paid sabbaticals, unlimited sick leave, tuition reimbursement, and other perks. Employees tend to be satisfied, and turnover is low.

It’s not well known, but you don’t necessarily need a STEM degree to work for a tech company. Some powerful leaders in the industry don’t hold STEM degrees, including John Chambers, former head of Cisco Systems, a lawyer, and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Logan Green, CEO of Lyft, both trained in economics.

“The sector is booming and there are plenty of non-STEM jobs needed to further bolster the tech firms, including in marketing, sales, and design,” says Katie Bardaro, director of analytics and chief economist of online careers site PayScale, which ran the data to compile our Top Non-STEM Tech Jobs list. “Many of these jobs can be done with a combination of a bachelor’s degree and some industry experience.” (If you don’t have any, consider courses to modify your skill set, she adds.) “Creative types are also needed in the tech sector to design websites, improve user experience and help with marketing pushes.”

STEM jobs will account for only 5% of all U.S. positions by 2018, says Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. But tech creates jobs — of all sorts. And it’s doing creating jobs at a 33% faster rate than other sectors, says a report from New York State’s Comptroller: “High-tech companies have been creating well-paying opportunities in a wide range of job titles, including non-tech-related positions such as accountants, managers and sales representatives.” Our list also includes jobs in operations (meaning, supply chain, workflow, and inventory management), and strategy (allocating resources, coordinating people, gathering and organizing information and data to solve problems or fix procedures).

As a job candidate, you’ll want to prepare by getting immersed in the tech ecosystem to prove you can fit in. Today many tech companies are taking steps to improve their gender balance, which has been dismal: only 26% of staff in tech companies are female. They increasingly recognize the advantages of diversity, in being able to reach the widest possible range of customers.

So if don’t have a STEM degree, but want to work in tech, where are the opportunities? With PayScale, Fortune found high-paying, satisfying, and widely available tech jobs – held mostly by people who don’t have degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Many can be done with a bachelor’s degree, although competitors for these positions may have additional degrees.

The list is based upon the following criteria:

  • The jobs are common in the tech industry, and the prevalence of STEM degrees among jobholders is low. (STEM degrees include natural resources, computer and information sciences, engineering, biology and biomed, math and statistics, physical and other sciences.)
  • We looked for highest median total cash compensation, nationwide. Compensation doesn’t include stock, which can be a significant part of tech industry pay.
  • The salaries reflect the pay for employees with five to eight years’ experience – the years may have been in this job, or one similar. We excluded all jobs with “vice president” or “executive” in the title.
  • Respondents surveyed (at least 75%) were extremely or fairly satisfied with their job. Satisfaction, salary and 10-year job growth outlook were equally weighted to come up with the following ranking.

 

1. User experience manager
Median pay: $96,000
Typical degree: Bachelor’s degree in graphic/web design or related areas
Project growth in jobs by 2022: 19%

2. Strategy manager
Median Pay: $102,000
Typical degree: MBA
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 19%

3. Business insight and analytics manager
Median Pay: 96,700
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in business or finance
Project growth in jobs by 2022: 27%

4. General counsel
Median Pay: $119,000
Typical degree: J.D.
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 10%

5. Financial Analysis Manager
Median pay: $93,600
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in economics or finance
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 16%

6. Global marketing manager
Median pay: $95,000
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in a field related to the company’s focus area
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 13%

7. Human resources director
Median pay: $101,000
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in human resources or business administration

Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 7%

8. Senior director of sales & marketing
Median pay: $ 117,000
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in marketing, communications or business
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 10%

9. Human resources manager
Median pay: $ 101,000
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in human resources or business administration
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 7%

10. Senior contracts manager
Median pay: $96,300
Typical degree: Bachelor’s in business administration or related area
Projected growth in jobs by 2022: 9%

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