In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that the tech industry is solely about coding and software development. Although these roles are crucial for any tech team, the possibility of a tech career extends far beyond lines of code.
Tech jobs for non-coders are the foundation upon which technological advancements are built, enriching the tech industry with creativity, problem-solving and a commitment to enhancing user experiences. Experienced communications professionals, designers, analysts and educators help tech teams bridge the gap between highly technical work, user experiences and, ultimately, business results.
The PNC Financial Services Group offers many paths for professionals across different backgrounds to help drive their tech initiatives.
“You don’t have to be a technologist to have a tech job or career,” said Claire Chiasson-Tyler, PNC’s vice president of architecture IT strategy and planning advisor. “There’s always room for new people who are enthusiastic about learning, who bring fresh ideas to the table and who have different perspectives and skills.”
“You don’t have to be a technologist to have a tech job or career.”
Could someone working as a baker and pastry chef make the change to tech? Yes! That is actually the path that led Chiasson-Tyler to PNC. While her earlier roles were in technical writing and end-user training and product management, she took a less-conventional turn when she completed her pastry arts certificate to become a baker and pastry chef. When she stepped back into corporate life, she worked in communications, human resources, and financial and portfolio management while completing Lean Six Sigma training.
When considered together, her corporate and culinary backgrounds have helped her understand how to improve processes and ensure consistency while driving strategic priorities.
“Think about all the things you do know and leverage your own expertise,” she said. “Look for the links between work you’ve done previously and what you’re doing now. Challenge yourself to learn something new each month and take all those skills into every new assignment.”
Built In sat down with Chiasson-Tyler to learn more about building a thriving career at PNC — without ever writing a line of code.
A lot of people think a technology job is scary, even though we all use technology every day. Every bank — and just about every company — relies on technology to do work. Whether it’s processing your car payment, seeing your paycheck hit your bank account or getting cash from an ATM, technology enables PNC to move your money securely and quickly.
Moving across industries helped make me more well-rounded and the transition to tech at PNC made for a good fit. I wanted to do work that had purpose but also enabled me to be creative. Our commitment to improving our technology and the security of our clients’ financial transactions inspires me to help develop creative solutions and is one of the many reasons I love working at PNC.
How can candidates without traditional tech-focused experience position themselves to join PNC’s tech teams?
Technology teams rely on all kinds of adjacent skills, well beyond coding. I started my career as a technical writer, writing and revising user manuals to help people use a digital scanner. I learned what the options were supposed to be then wrote the steps for someone else to create electronic images or paper copies.
“Technology teams rely on all kinds of adjacent skills, well beyond coding.”
There are all types of ways to contribute to a tech team. Strategy and planning professionals help prioritize the future set of work, as we consider which projects should be funded, based on the company’s commitments and goals. There are finance teams who assist with keeping technology portfolios on budget. Business analysts and systems analysts capture the requirements for new or existing solutions by asking what PNC’s customers want. There are all kinds of architects and designers, too, who collaborate to define how a solution should operate, including how to gather, manage and store data and how the app should look. Technology teams can’t function without project managers, who lead teams through the work to create and implement technology solutions. Banks like PNC require a large group of risk professionals who ensure that our technology teams comply with our own policies and all applicable regulations — local, state and federal. And every technology team needs communications people to ensure that employees are engaged and well informed.
What advice do you have for someone looking to pivot into a more tech-forward role?
Meet with someone who has a role in any area of interest to you. You can ask your manager or a colleague to introduce you. Talk to that person about what they do, how their days typically flow, how their team members provide value and their pain points. Learn to use the tools favored by technology teams, like Jira or Tableau. Look for opportunities to partner with a technology team, and as a partner, observe and learn as much as you can.
For those who may be hesitant to take the leap into a tech role, Chiasson-Tyler offers a reminder that, like starting any new job, no one knows everything about the role on the first day. As long you as have a strong foundation of knowledge in one area, there is opportunity out there to learn more and expand and still deliver value to the team as part of the process.
What impact can joining PNC offer to a new hire’s career?
As one of the largest banks in the country, PNC’s size helps employees specialize if they want, or to change careers within the company if that makes sense for them. A new hire can bring their current skills into a role, leverage those skills to provide value, learn and develop new skills and move into a different role.
PNC has many education benefits and offers multiple learning options via development programs, formal training and stretch assignments that may become new positions. Our online learning portals provide tremendous opportunities for employees to learn about a wide variety of topics from banking basics to technology security to risk management and more. PNC encourages continuous learning with formal and informal options, so employees can obtain specific degrees or certifications through Guild, explore new tools on a lunch hour or brush up on communications skills using internal or industry-partner learning sites like LinkedIn Learning.