Entry-Level Business Jobs That Won't Be Automated
Our robot overlords have indicated there’s an 87.3% chance these are safe.
Does the thought of robots replacing you in the future ever keep you up at night?Automation is threatening 25% of jobs in the US, which means a lot of kids are going to school for careers that have already started disappearing.
Boomers and Gen X didn’t have to think about this, but it’s 100% necessary that you consider the risk of automation for any career you’re interested in.
Here are 10 entry-level business jobs that won’t be automated, organized by function. Where relevant, we’ve included one job that is at clear risk of automation.
Do you love writing, or have a way with words? Copywriters write words that help sell things, whether that’s on a web page, article, Facebook ad, or Instagram post.
Yes, AI software has started to generate text, but the results are far from compelling. In the future, programs like these may be used to make first drafts of content that will still have to be reviewed and tweaked by a person.
And AI is still nowhere near being able to mimic the creativity of a human.
Email Marketing Manager
Email marketing managers design, build, and analyze email marketing campaigns. Typically, they have to be familiar with multiple email marketing platforms, like HubSpot, Salesforce, or MailChimp.
They create the rules that determine what emails get sent when to who, monitor the results, and then use those insights to improve engagement and response rates.
Email marketing managers make around $72,000 per year.
Graphic designers are artists. They build the visual part of a business’s message, creating graphics and illustrations, choosing fonts and colors, and selecting layouts and shapes.
They design everything from web pages to emails, direct mail pieces to banners and social media ads. They typically work within Adobe Creative Suite using programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Graphic designers make around $46,000 per year.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” SEO managers work to make sure a business is easier to find on search engines.
It involves doing a lot of analytics, and then using the insights to take actions that help a company’s pages rank higher on Google. Higher rankings mean more traffic, which means more customers.
SEO managers work under the umbrella of digital marketing and make around $69,000 per year.
Social Media Marketing Manager
Social media managers create and execute a strategy for social media marketing. They help build campaigns, write social media posts, maintain social calendars, and engage with people on social media.
Social media marketing managers make around $53,000 per year.
Account executives are salespeople. Depending on the company you work with, the title may be slightly different, such as “Enterprise Account Executive” or “SaaS Account Executive.”
But the job is the same—you need to take leads given to you by marketing and sales development reps and close deals. You build relationships with potential customers, understand their business needs, and then try to align your product with their goals.
Compensation depends on a variety of factors, including your industry, the cost of the product, how good you are, and how commission is determined.
An account executive might make $60,000 per year or $500,000. On average, however, you’ll make $57,000 in base salary, with commission on top.
Sales Operations Analyst
Sales operations analysts do the reporting and analysis necessary to keep a sales team running smoothly.
They do the data analysis and forecasting that will be used to set sales targets, build budgets, and determine hiring needs.
They also support the sales team directly when needed with behind-the-scenes work like performing competitive analyses and creating forecasts.
Sales operations analysts earn an average of $62,000 per year.
Customer Success Manager (CSM)
Customer success managers (CSMs) are customer service specialists who take charge of client relationships once a sale is made. Their job is customer retention.
CSMs manage training, help facilitate product customizations, and serve as the primary point of contact for any questions or problems the customer has.
They make sure the product continues to meet the customer’s needs, help the customer get the most value out of it, and try to sell them on additional products and services when it makes sense.
CSMs earn an average of $68,000 per year, with some commission on top.
The one sales job to avoid
Lead generation specialist
A lead generation specialist’s job is to spam call and email long lists of cold prospects trying to drum up interest, then pass those “warm” leads off to someone else to follow up.
They only make about $40,000 per year, and increasingly, lead generation is being automated by a combination of content marketing, email campaigns, and outsourcing. Cold calling is going the way of the dodo bird.
By far the most common entry-level finance position, and with good reason: almost every business of a certain size employs some type of financial analyst.
Your focus will depend on your company and industry, but at a high level, all analysts study financial information to help the business make better decisions.
Being a financial analyst is a great start to any career in finance. Financial analysts make around $61,000 per year.
Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. By putting a price on risk, they determine how much your insurance should cost.
If you’re a numbers person, this could be a great career for you—it’s set for big growth in the next 20 years, and actuaries average $92,000 per year.
Investor relations associate
The investor relations department at a public company exists to maintain strong relationships with investors and provide them up-to-date information about the company’s operations and performance.
This includes making press releases, holding shareholder meetings, and answerings questions. If you like finance but want a more people-focused role, this might be a good fit.
Investor relations associates make around $67,000 per year.
One finance career to avoid
Accountants input financial information, build financial statements, prepare taxes, and ensure that a business remains in compliance with relevant financial regulations—all tasks that are increasingly being automated.
Whether you’re working for a company in their accounting department or working for an accounting firm, the outlook isn’t good.
Research by Oxford University has concluded that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs to automation in the future.
Product analysts help companies build better products. Through their research, they help decide what products should be built, what features it should have, and who it should be for. They focus more on the “why” of product development.
They answer questions like “Why should we build this product?”, and “Why is this product performing the way it is?”
Product analysts make around $66,000 per year.
Associate Product Managers
Associate product managers are entry-level product managers. As a product manager, their job is to build new products and features.
They function as project managers for product development, defining requirements, coordinating work done by engineers, managing launches, and measuring results.
They focus more on the “how” of product development. They answer questions like:
- “How are we going to build this product given the resources we have?”
- “How are we going to prioritize different initiatives?”
- “How are we going to measure success?”
Associate product managers make around $69,000 per year and have a clear advancement path to product manager and senior product manager positions.
UX (user experience) designers are responsible for improving the user's experience with a product by making it easier to use, more enjoyable, and more “sticky.”
UX designers do a lot of user testing, prototyping, and data analysis, then use those insights to build wireframes that engineers use as blueprints for coding.
They work closely with product managers on product feature development and testing.
You have lots of choices
As you can see, there are lots of great careers in business that automation will not negatively impact. Hopefully, this list has sparked a few ideas.
Can’t decide what you want to be when you grow up, or even what industry you want to work in? This article will give you a simple formula for how to do it.