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Can’t Code? Giants Like Facebook Still Want to Hire You

Call it the Revenge of the Non-Nerds: Despite the fact that our Knowledge Economy seems almost unfairly tilted in favor of left-brainers who can flawlessly write lines of C# and spit out SQL queries, there’s career hope for the rest of us.


Especially if you possess that magical right-brained ability to sell ice to the Eskimos, chopsticks to the Chinese, or sand to the Hawaiians. Even better: If you can sell a strategic partnership to a top-dollar vendor.


Just ask Facebook. The ubiquitous $150 billion giant is willing to pony up a lot of its money to pay talented sales professionals. Ask Google, Apple, and Amazon too – these Fortune 500 giants also list a plethora of sales-related positions on their career pages.


Facebook isn’t just looking for stereotypical geeks with pocket protectors, and they’re also not seeking smarmy car salesmen in bad suits.

Instead, their job boards list all manner of sales titles like “Client Solutions Manager, Mobile Games and Apps”, “Regional Sales Business & Operations Lead,” “Partner Marketing Communications Manager”.


Let’s look at some of the responsibilities and education requirements listed for these three roles:


Regional Sales Business and Operations Lead – “Play the role of neutral referee by understanding global imperatives and tradeoffs and ultimately ensuring decisions are made in the best interest of Facebook overall.”

Requirement: Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business related subject


Advertiser Satisfaction Program Manager – “Work with internal stakeholders to identify their online data and reporting requirements and manage vendor to successfully meet those requirements

Education Requirement: Minimum BA/BS degree


Client Solutions Manager, Mobile Games and Apps – Set and maintain goals with clients and sellers for all Facebook advertising objectives (brand, audience and performance)

Requirement: BS/BA in a highly quantitative field, such as Economics, Finance, Statistics, or Equivalent Experience preferred


There is no one best route to land a sales gig with this dream employer.  But despite its penchant for out-of-the-box thinking and untraditional backgrounds, Facebook is still traditional about one thing: It screens out those without degrees.


It could be a BS in Business, with a Management Concentration. At the University of Mary, this program promises that upon graduation, you will be better prepared to oversee teams of employees, departments, and possibly entire departments.


This is fast becoming a more and more critical skill, as mega-companies like Facebook and Google continue to expand operations around the world.


Or it could be a Master’s in Marketing Management. At Strayer University, the program’s learning outcomes include using marketing principles to construct product management, pricing, promotion, and distribution courses of action to achieve stated marketing objectives.


Such a course of study may better enable you to understand the pricing and strategy behind jaw-dropping headlines … like Facebook’s shocking $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition.


And what of the tuition requirements for business and marketing degrees, which can cost several hundred dollars per credit hour? Surely, the media loves to hype the fact that entry-level engineers at Facebook pocket $100,000 starting salaries as well as $50,000 signing bonuses.


But here’s a lesser-known fact most media outlets don’t focus on: Sales managers earned a median salary of $105,260 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you can sell yourself as a sales professional, there is serious ROI for your education.


Coincidentally, recently the New York Times published an eye-opening article: “How to Get a Job at Google.”


The answer? Not just coding. Heck, not even coding. In fact, Google’s senior VP of people operations, Laszlo Bock, offered five answers: Leadership, humility, ownership, and intellectual humility, and what he called the “least important attribute”: Expertise.


As mega-companies everywhere begin retooling their definition of smarts, so should you. Because in a new world of mergers and $19 billion acquisitions, those who can sell will be king.

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