By Sylvan Lane
You’re on your way to college, which everyone is telling you will be the best four years of your life. But as excited as you are to head off to school, you’re in a bit of a snag: You’re looking for a way into the American tech sector, but coding and programming aren’t your thing.
While it’ll be difficult for you to design the next Facebook if you can’t even lay down basic HTML, there are other ways to make some of your silicon-plated dreams come true — if you’re willing to be a creative.
Here are seven majors that will prepare you for life in the tech sector, even if it means sacrificing some of the Zuckerberg-esque glory.
Making the next great app can set you up for life, but roughly 80% of apps in the Apple App store are “zombies.” That’s 953,387 apps that don’t get enough attention to crack any of the store’s 39,000 rankings lists.
It can be hard for companies to promote their apps and reach potential customers effectively in such a crowded market, which is where some creative marketing comes in. You might not be able to turn a terrible idea into an overnight sensation with a smart campaign, but if Yo can succeed, who knows what else can?
2. Graphic design
Even if you can’t design an app or device itself, you can help design some of its key aesthetic elements. You can come up with a new logo for an app, draw up visually-oriented user guides and help a new piece of technology look as good as it functions.
3. Electrical or mechanical engineering
From tablets and smartphones to wearables and virtual reality headsets, there’s plenty of room for growth in hardware. While you can leave the programming up to someone else, a degree in electrical or mechanical engineering can give you the skills to design sleeker, faster and more efficient versions of today’s cutting-edge tech.
4. Statistics or data science
Some of the most successful new apps and platforms are simply new ways of accomplishing common tasks, such as hailing a cab, ordering food for delivery, or just figuring out where you’re going and how to get there.
Not only would a degree in statistics or data science help you track how much of an impact an app is making, but also give you the skills to find trends and consumer needs that current apps don’t address.
Before any business makes money, it’s important to have someone who actually knows how to manage it. From managing books to figuring out the best way to thrive off innovation, a degree in finance will help you make sure success makes a profit in a field that provides $100 billion in free services every year.
6. Industrial design
Industrial design combines artistic sensibility and technical design to create products that meet both functional and aesthetic needs of consumers. Essentially, it means creating products that look good and work well.
It might seem redundant, but Apple became the dominant company we know today partly because of a focus on aesthetics and the user experience, not just how well a product works. Training in this field can help you hone the skills to give another product or company that edge.
7. Business management
Making a product is only the beginning in creating a sustainable, profitable company. Learning the ins and outs of how to manage a business can happen through experience, but getting a head start in school is a great way to find your niche in the tech sector.
Even it you don’t become the CEO of hot startup straight out of undergrad, solid business experience can help you get your foot in the door — and that’s the perfect place to make your first step up the ladder.