So You Want To Work In Tech? Get A Sales Job!

When Harvard MBAs are abandoning finance to work in tech, you know it’s a hot sector. But tech isn’t just attracting elite MBAs and STEM graduates, liberal arts majors are flocking to tech too. And where do the majority of them end up working in? Sales.

Trends In Sales Jobs

LinkedIn’s analysis of recent liberal arts majors (humanities, social sciences, natural/physical sciences, and theoretical math) found that 38% of those who worked in tech worked at internet or software companies. Only 3.5% worked in software development, whereas nearly 12% worked in sales.


So why are sales jobs so popular in tech?

#1) Sales jobs are rewarding – emotionally and financially


Sales is rated as the 5th happiest job in America.

According to the Harvard Business Review, sales jobs are so appealing because of the “autonomy, rewards linked to personal effort, and the opportunity to interact with a variety of people.”

The high pay associated with sales isn’t so bad either: according to The Bridge Group’s 2015 survey, the average base salary of a B2B inside sales rep is $60,000 with an average on-target earnings of $118,000.

#2) Sales jobs are crucial to a company’s success

wolf-of-wall-street-applauseAccording to a recent Forbes article on tech, Facebook currently has around 100 more openings for sales jobs than software development jobs. Sales is often the biggest department in a companyFor large companies, salespeople make up around 30% of the headcount – at Salesforce, 44% of employees are in sales.

For SMBs such as startups, sales can make up 50 to 60% of the employees.

Tech companies hire so many salespeople because they know it’s not enough to just have a great product or service, you need to have great salespeople to be successful.

#3) Sales jobs require a diverse set of personality traits and skills

One of the biggest myths of sales is that “
sales isn’t really a career—that either anyone can do it or you’re born to it.” While research shows personality traits such as extraversion and work ethic are correlated with selling success, people are starting to realize how applicable the research, communication, and problem solving abilities they’ve learned in school – or gained through experience – are to sales jobs.

So you want to work in tech? Do what smart people already know: get yourself a sales job.

Looking for a job in sales? Sign up for Ideal Candidate and let the employers come to you. Get matched with a top employer and make more money!

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min