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12 Cool Tech Jobs You Can Do From Home
Whether you’re a web designer or an app developer, telecommuting trends in the tech industry are making it easier than ever to strike out on your own as a freelancer or consultant.
While it might be easier to leverage a tech job you already have into a work-from-home gig, there are plenty of remote opportunities on sites like FlexJobs, Remote.co, and Authentic Jobs to nab.
Here are 12 of the coolest jobs in tech you can perform from the comfort of your own home.
1. Web Designer
As any good web designer knows, designing a functional space online means more than just making things look pretty.
Of course, web designers help sites look and feel the part of the brand, managing everything from fonts and colors to button design and typography.
2. Web Developer
Good front- and back-end web developers are in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for this role is expected to grow by 20% over the next five years.
Like designers, developers are well-versed in code and understand aesthetics - but they’re much more attuned to how a website functions on the back-end.
This means you should also have a good grasp of how CMSs - like WordPress - work, since you’ll most likely have to help your clients through navigating updates on their own.
Want some more tips on landing a developer job? Check out this primer over at Skillcrush.
3. Software Engineer
Another huge growth opportunity! These days you can’t shake a stick without hitting an app software engineer.
But don’t expect to work on your own - even if you’re working remotely. Most software engineers and developers are constantly working with other people to improve their code, manage deadlines, and test software designs.
“In my company, junior developers often fix senior developers' code and that's totally okay,” Mark Tinnelly, a software developer at CardioTech, explained to Rasmussen College. “Nobody knows everything, and we work together to share and learn from each other.”
According to The Balance, software engineers should also be able to manage teams of other people and interact with clients, especially around user experience.
4. DevOps Engineer
There’s no straight path to becoming a DevOps Engineer, but you usually wind up in this position because you already have years of web development experience under your belt.
According to Kelsey Hightower, the head of operations at Puppet Labs, a DevOps Engineer “encapsulates depth of knowledge and years of hands-on experience” with scripting, coding, testing, and network operations.
Above all, though, these highly skilled workers should be expert collaborators.
“Find opportunities to collaborate within and outside of your team,” suggests Aliza Earnshaw at the Puppet Labs blog.
“Help your company move to a faster test and deployment rhythm. Be open to listening to others’ ideas.”
Even if you’re working from home, you’re going to be in the thick of it with your remote team.
5. Project Manager
Essentially, you’re the “big picture” thinker on the team, says Mary Lotz, the director of engineering at Segue Technologies.
“Most projects include many highly-specialized resources such as developers, analysts, testers, graphic designers, and technical writers,” Lotz writes.
“One of the key functions of your project’s [project manager] is to coordinate all those resources and their tasks – to make sure that work is done in the proper sequence with a minimum of time (and money) wasted, and to facilitate communication between these highly-focused (but not necessarily “big picture” aware) members of the project team.”
Deadlines? Better be on top of ‘em. Communicating client needs to developers? Yup, that’s your job, too. Making sure everyone has the right expectations and tools at their disposal? Check and check.
Essentially it’s your job to be the translator between the client and the development team, which means you need both technical skills and people skills to fill this role.
6. Systems Administrator
Love helping people and analyzing big-picture problems?
A systems administrator - or network administrator - is the IT role that helps keep computer networks running smoothly from behind-the-scenes.
Not only does a person in this role have to problem-solve common issues with network connectivity and server outages, but they’re also in charge of installing, organizing, and managing an organization’s servers, setting up new email accounts, and updating software.
Since most companies rely on conducting business online, system administrators are often on call, even after the office closes for the day. If the CEO needs to send an email at 9 PM, and the network’s down - you’ll be the one who gets the phone call.
7. UX Analyst or Designer
At its core, User Experience is all about understanding how users interact with a company’s digital product.
Working in UX means you’ll get the chance to combine skills in user research, product design, testing, and development - all in the name of helping companies roll out a flawless new piece of software.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always clear to companies hiring a UX lead what the role should be, says Rosie Allabarton.
“Due to the newness of the field and the relative ignorance still surrounding the term ‘UX Designer,’ different companies expect vastly different things from the same job title,” explains Allabarton at UX Magazine.
She also suggests carefully reading job descriptions, so you know what you’ll be in for during your day-to-day.
8. Quality Assurance Analyst
A 2014 survey from Business Insider discovered that Quality Assurance (QA) Analysts are some of the happiest workers out there, thanks to high satisfaction with “colleagues, bosses, and work freedom.”
QA Analysts test websites and software for glitches - oftentimes purposely “breaking” the site or product to find its weak links.
If you’re a good problem solver with top-notch programming skills, you may have what it takes to be one of the happiest workers in America.
Watch this video to find out what it’s like to be a mobile app QA Analyst on a day-to-day basis.
9. Internet Assessor
Unlike some of the other positions we’ve mentioned here, work as an internet assessor is typically only remote contract work.
Hired by companies like Lionbridge and Leapforce, internet assessors test and analyze search engine results for some of the biggest internet companies out there - including Google.
You’ll need to pass online qualifications, administered by the company you contract with, in addition to having a fast, secure internet connection at your home office.
While the work can be interesting, making money all depends on how quick you are on your feet.
Most advertised positions start at $14.50 per hour, which means your hourly rate goes down if you take too long with assigned tasks.
Because this is contract work, it’s a good job to pick up if you’re in between gigs or need another job for your resumé.
10. Social Media Manager
While it may sound like you just get to spend time on Facebook and Twitter all day, social media manager positions are way more complicated than monitoring likes and faves.
The role requires marketing and analytics skills, along with stellar writing and community management abilities, and may even require graphic design.
Often a social media manager is on the front lines of customer service for a brand, addressing community complaints and directing comments to the right customer service pathway.
Think you have what it takes? Check out this guide from Forbes to discover the five skills you need as the manager of a company’s social platforms.
11. Technical Writer
If you have a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a clear, concise way, you’ll be in high demand with software development teams as a tech writer.
Unlike content leads, tech writers work on manuals, instructions, and FAQ sections, which means they spend plenty of time collaborating with other members of the development team.
Between interviewing experts and documenting processes for your team, most of your energy goes toward collecting enough data to write clear, concise directions for users.
Since much of this work can be done remotely or by phone, many tech writers have flexible schedules and regular contract work - especially if they’re good ones!
12. Data Scientist
With the rise of big data came the need for programmers with a background in analytics to make sense of it all.
The good news for tech savvy contractors with programming, analytics, and presentation skills is that online retailers and other major companies all need help identifying trends in their datasets.
Harvard Business Review even named data scientist as “the sexiest job of the 21st century,” in part because it’s new - and crucial to the success of tech start-ups like LinkedIn.
“At ease in the digital realm, [data scientists] are able to bring structure to large quantities of formless data and make analysis possible,” explain Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil at HBR. “They identify rich data sources, join them with other, potentially incomplete data sources, and clean the resulting set.”
Sound like fun? Check out this pathway for potential data scientists at Forbes to get on track with your career.
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a professional on the hunt for a more flexible work schedule, remote tech jobs offer plenty of flexibility, high demand, and good pay. Now go get ‘em.
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