14 Jan Tech Startup Hiring: Learning Tech for Core Business Applicants

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IT recruiters should hire applicants with a tech background when seeking candidates for core business roles within a tech startup, but where can an individual gain enough tech knowledge to secure an advantage over other applicants?

A myriad of schools are popping up across the country in tech-centric areas, such as Boston, Seattle, and the Silicon Valley, which allow students to learn what is needed to benefit their employer from the first day on the job.


Founded by Russ Klusas and Misha Chellam, Tradecraft aims to teach core business students the skills for success in an IT startup. The hands-on training program focuses on sales, business development, product design, and engineering. The classes run for twelve weeks and train non-tech employees using curriculum as well as real-world experience at real startups.

Ryan Lawler with Techcrunch states that “for the most part, students will be focused on actually working on various projects for different tech companies throughout the course of the program,” which not only is impressive on a resume, it also gives students a clear idea of what to expect once hired.

Tradecraft also uses mentors and leaders within the industry, including instructors such as Match.com founder Will Bunker and UX designers Laura Klein and Kate Rutter. Even with a ratio of ten students to each instructor, the goal of the school is not to lecture, but to take an active role in learning

Students are expected to self-learn and will receive varying levels of guidance, since “that’s how it happens in the real world,” according to the Tradecraft website. The tech field is rapidly changing and growing, so students must learn to adapt to these advances.

Each student will have a unique learning experience as the flexibility of the program allows students to choose different areas of study after learning specific core skills in their field.

Startup Institute

Based in Boston with offices in New York and Chicago, Startup Institute (SI) was founded by Shaun Johnson, Katie Rae, Reed Sturtevant, and Aaron O’Hearn to provide a “transformative educational experiences that combine hard skills with cultural acumen to increase the velocity and impact of future startup employees,” according to their website.

SI aims to help non-tech students gain technical skills, cultural experience, and networking opportunities that will help them gain access to IT startups in the areas of web development, web design, marketing, sales, and account management. The program offers personalized mentorship and expert training to advance the careers of core business students seeking opportunities in IT startups.

draw the owl 2SI’s philosophy is based on the idea that students must be capable of completing complicated tasks with little preparation or guidance. The school refers to the “draw the owl” doctrine, in that one is given simple instructions and must respond with detailed results.

Getting an offer at a tech startup is challenging, and core business applicants must work hard to get a foot in the door. Schools such as Startup Institute and Tradecraft enable students to build hands-on experience, cultivate connections, and develop practical experience so that they have the ability to move into a new position with confidence.

Laurie Esposito

Laurie Esposito Harley is a professional writer with experience in the HR and recruitment industries. She was the Editor-in-Chief with HR & Talent Management and was a Community Manager of the organization's LinkedIn group of over 400,000 members. Laurie is currently a Community Manager for HR Hard Talks and the Content Development Manager for Acquisition Intelligence. She is a published author, former Community Columnist with her local newspaper, and sometimes poet. Visit my site @ laurieharley.com