Tech is different.  

If you’re a recent grad or a young marketer, you may have heard that before. And it’s true. 

For marketers, tech isn’t like so many other industries out there because in tech startups and scale-ups, the demands are more intense. Marketing teams in these companies are usually lean, which means you get to do more, and learn more, and build your career faster – if you have the right set of marketing skills. 

Which brings us to the concept of the T-shaped marketer. 

Our team at OnRamp has spent decades in the tech industry trenches, designing and executing marketing plans for a huge number of companies. We’ve seen companies scale up and blow up and give up. We’ve won (a lot) and lost (sometimes) at the marketing game and we have all the scars to prove it. In fact, we still talk to tech companies around Alberta daily and – this is critical – they are starved for marketing help. They want to meet talented young marketers. They have jobs ready NOW. 

The only challenge is they want their marketers to be T-shaped. 

What is a T-shaped marketer? 

A T-shaped marketer has a wide variety of general marketing capabilities and knowledge and one or two areas in which they’re specialists.  

To unpack that:   

Think of the top line of a ‘T’ as all the possible marketing functional areas in which you might have some knowledge or skills. These change by industry, but in tech, where marketing is heavily digitally focused, they might include some or all the below.

 That’s just a partial list, so you can tell right away that you can’t be an expert in ALL these things. Some of these areas take years to master. But you should aim to have some knowledge about all of them and how they fit together. When you do, you make yourself more valuable to a tech company that’s looking for that breadth of capabilities.  

This is important because your CEO or VP isn’t going to tell you “Go execute a marketing campaign that heavily leverages video to generate qualified new leads via an SEO-optimized content marketing program.” They’re going to tell you to increase leads. And you’re going to need to know what tactics to use in what combination. 

Of course, somebody needs to do the work. Somebody needs to execute.  

So, it helps if you have deeper skills in a couple of the areas listed above. That’s the other line in the ‘T’. You might be more creatively inclined and want to focus on copy or design. Or maybe you’re deeply analytical and want to focus on measuring campaign success. Or maybe you have a keen strategic sense and want to develop the overall campaign strategy. All of these are good choices. Any of these are good choices. Because they give you the specialized knowledge in a couple of areas that complements your broad understanding of digital marketing. 

OnRamp helps marketers go T-shaped and land that first tech job 

We created OnRamp to help young marketers and career pivoters broaden their knowledge and deepen their skills. It’s an 18-week bootcamp designed for those who are interested in the tech industry but don’t have connections or experience in it. It’s well-suited for those who have just graduated, those in their first marketing jobs or those who are looking to make a career shift.

The program is a highly practical, do-the-work program that’s designed to get you hired 


Ready to learn more about OnRamp?

You won’t just build your T-shaped skills, you’ll get a chance to do real work for real tech companies during the program – and we’ll make introductions to those hiring-right-now companies we’ve talked about in this blog. What’s more – we’ll help you get prepped for those meetings and interviews. We are committed to helping you succeed. 

Alberta’s tech sector is one of the most important growth engines for our province. But we can only grow if we have the marketing talent to make it happen. That starts with OnRamp. 

If you want to be a part of it, check out the OnRamp program right here.