Cool Stuff & Geekery

7 Unusual Career Paths to Geek Nirvana

Just as not everyone who becomes a double black belt in karate has the benefit of befriending a Mr. Miyagi when they’re in high school, not everyone who gets to be a super-geek for a living landed their dream job at 22. This article is about the cool side of education, and it’s about finding geekdom in unexpected places. You see, it really doesn’t matter what you go to school for. You pack your own ability to geek out every single day.


What do people who get a degree in education do? They become teachers, of course. And what do teachers do? They help students unlock their inner geek. We could be talking about tiny kids or full-grown adults. Imagine the joy of the math teacher at a college who presents a continuing education class to adults over 40. Do you have any idea how awesome math can be once you’re not just learning it because it’s a requirement to pass high school? The students in those classes frequently discover that math is actually amazing, and the guy standing at the front of the class with the education degree gets to run with it.

Construction Management

A master’s in construction management could lead you down all kinds of cool paths. Your chosen degree might land you a job building nuclear power stations, massive dams, or green buildings. You could become a builder who specializes in Earthship biotecture. You could build bridges that extend for miles, skyscrapers that touch the clouds, or something so cool we don’t even know about it yet. 


What is so cool about working in hotels and restaurants? With a degree in hospitality, you could find yourself managing the first public lodgings in outer space. We’re already working on civilian travel to the moon. Where do you think people are going to stay and eat? And while you’re waiting for the Space Hilton to open, the hospitality industry here on earth uses an immense amount of technology to help things run smoothly. Who better to develop that technology than a geek with a hospitality background?


Speaking of space, an engineering degree could find you working on space exploration if you played your cards right. But then, engineering is already a pretty geek-heavy degree plan. There’s no news here–let’s move on to the next one on our list!


With a journalism degree, you could report on city hall meetings one day and Silicon Valley acquisitions the next. There are plenty of opportunities in journalism that would keep the aspiring geek motivated. And think of the books you could write. “Space Hilton’s First Director: The Story of a Geek with a Hospitality Degree.” It has a ring to it, doesn’t it? A geek with a pen is dangerous! (And for some required reading, try Lauren Orsini’s Otaku Journalism: A Guide to Geek Reporting in the Digital Age.)


Speaking of writers, look at how many best-selling authors came from a background in law. There’s John Grisham, David Baldacci, Richard North Patterson, Scott Turrow, and Erle Stanley Gardner. You’re not turned on by thrillers? Then how about Franz Kafka, Washington Irving, and Abraham Lincoln? Those guys were super-geeks. Kafka wrote the story about the guy who turned into a giant cockroach, Irving gave us Ichabod Crane, and Lincoln gave us “Four score and seven years ago.” What is it about a background in law that turns out writers?


People who study art can sit around carving sculptures of people sitting around thinking, or they can specialize in animation. Don’t even get a geek started on geek art! The opportunities are limitless.

Are you inspired yet? 

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