I'm a sophomore at a top 50 school and majoring in economics. I love technology, apps, and reading about successful startups. But, I hate programming. I tried it once, and I remember some javascript and HTML. But forgot everything else.

What jobs or internships are out there for economics majors who want to work at companies like Snapchat, Musical.ly, or Facebook but don't want to code?

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last year

Hi there. Only a certain % of employees at tech companies write code. The more mature the company, the more non-technical jobs exist. Facebook and Google have lots of non-technical jobs. Musical.ly probably has very few.

Your major isn't really that important in the grand scheme of things. What kinds of work do you enjoy doing? Analysis? Finance? Project management?

last year

Hey Eric,

That's really great to know, and it sounds like I should look at established companies rather than early stage startups.

The assignments I've enjoyed the most are write ups on current economic trends and comparing them to historical issues. I think that's probably closer to analysis more than anything else.

The other job I've been reading about is Product Managers. I like products and coming up with ideas, but I don't know how to find an internship or job there. There's a lot though for finance or marketing.

What are jobs that allow me to do more writing rather than Google Sheets work? And, what internships should I try and get now if I wanted to work in product?

I'm super thankful for any advice you have!

last year

A few jobs that might be good:

  • Finance: Like Eric pointed out, more established companies will need someone for accounting.
  • Data analysis: I know a lot of people who majored in economics and went on to find careers in data science or data analysis. Your economics degree will prepare you to look at data in multiple ways and present your findings, which is a crucial component to any data employee
  • Sales: Many startups work on a B2B model where they need to sell a specific product, software, or inventory. Economics is easy applicable in this field as you'll have to build pricing models, write proposals, and present. If you're more outgoing, this might be up your alley.

There are a ton of other jobs that I didn't list but don't think that you need to know how to program to succeed in startups. Like Eric said, as companies become more mature, they'll be in demand for non-technical people to help with their business.

Best of luck!

last year

Good advice Chris, but as someone who studied finance and chose analytics, let's be clear on what a career in data analysis typically means today - you're likely to be doing a lot of coding.

Tools like Power BI and Tableau allow for more self-service reporting, and Excel's Power Query (now simply called "Get and Transform" in the Data tab of Excel 2016) makes it pretty easy to manipulate data without knowing the underlying "M" language, but you're inevitably going to need to learn some form of coding to advance your career. I'm guessing the number of entry-level positions that work with Power BI/Tableau will only increase over time, so it still might be a good way to get your foot in the door somewhere. At the very least, it's worth seeing what the tools can do on YouTube (check out this 8 y/o who made a Pokemon dashboard) and see if it's something you might be interested in. I may be projecting my own naivety from college, but I think a lot of people mistakenly believe there are lower-level jobs out there where you get to consume reports and make recommendations. In my experience, that task is reserved for managers, directors, executives, etc. The finance world may be an exception, but that type of analysis is increasingly being done by algorithms - fintech is exploding right now.

Another harsh reality, is that it's going to be difficult to find a situation where your superiors are going to really want to leverage your amazing analytical abilities. Take Elon Musk as an example - before Zip2, PayPal, Tesla, SolarCity, and SpaceX, Musk was a lowly intern at the Bank of Nova Scotia when he discovered an incredible arbitrage opportunity where the bank could've printed billions of dollars. His idea was rejected, I'm sure partially because he was a kid making $14/hr. I'm not saying every company is like this, but it's no secret opportunities are limited for entry-level workers. I don't mean to discourage you, @pingpongboy, but I have a feeling your same coding concern will come up in many posts and I just wanted to help shed some light. If you don't like coding, there are still plenty of career paths you could take, but Harvard Business Review's sexiest job of the 21st century, Data Scientist, is going to be very unsexy to most people once they learn what it actually entails.

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