You’ve probably read the somewhat troubling statistics by now: college degrees that fall under the arts and humanities categories don’t exactly scream “employment potential.”
Much has been made in recent years of the need for more young Americans to specialize in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and rightfully so, for these areas of study will only become more valuable as our society becomes increasingly reliant on technology and highly engineered products.
But let’s not be so quick to cast off our friends in the arts and humanities. Those of you who have degrees in fine arts, or English, or anthropology — we need your skills! In fact, as the demand for STEM services grows, the demand for people with creative minds grows with it. After all, we’ll always need creative people to help us make sense of how we interact with new services and technologies.
Here are seven great careers that prove your creative mind and college major aren’t a waste after all.
Yes, we’ve all heard of Pixar. We’ve all heard of DreamWorks. We know there’s a market out there for good illustrators and digital animators, and there has been for a number of years. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that this field is set to explode in the coming years.
Think about all those commercials you see for the many apps involving some variation of the words “clash,” “war,” “clan,” and/or “titans.” Every single one of those games relies heavily on its graphics animators to produce great gaming experiences. On top of that, we’re seeing more and more how insanely realistic video game graphics are getting these days. If animation and illustration are in your skill set, you’re in luck.
2. Interior Designer
One of the more lucrative career paths for creative types, the world of interior design is perfect for anyone who has a visual artistic flair but also values practicality. This job is all about considering the ways in which people interact with physical spaces — the lighting, the arrangement of furniture, the colors within a room — and tailoring that space so that it elicits a certain response from people.
Most tend to think that interior designers are only for people with fancy houses. That’s far from the truth. Every commercial space — and even some industrial spaces — is designed and laid out with a high degree of intentionality. Think about it: you wouldn’t design a living room the same way you would a weight room or a collaborative office space, would you? That’s where interior designers (and, in some cases, commercial and industrial designers) come in.
3. Video Editor
Almost one-third of all people who use the Internet watch videos on YouTube. That’s nuts. So, yes, it’s safe to say that we are living in a generation of visually obsessed people. In fact, most companies (the smart ones, at least) are tailoring their marketing efforts toward making visual impacts on consumers. This means you’ve got a world of video-crazy users ready to be wowed.
But let’s face it: not all videos on YouTube are Oscar-worthy. Far from it. So, video editors, here’s where you can really make an impact: a well-shot, well-edited video can be the make or break factor in terms of consumer impact. It’s an underappreciated field, for sure, but a vital one.
4. Print Editor
Okay, English majors, fess up: You’ve read too many articles, emails, and text messages that were riddled with infuriating grammar mistakes, and it made you want to rip your hair out. Right? It’s okay. We’ve all been there. Luckily for you, there’s a way to channel all that grammar rage: editing!
Of course, when I say “print,” I don’t mean print exclusively – most things written these days don’t actually appear anywhere in print. Still, the job of an editor is a crucial one. It helps people with important messages get those messages across in powerful, coherent, and grammatically sound ways. More and more, companies with technical focuses are realizing they have a dire need for people who understand good writing — and you’re here to help them out.
5. Web/App Designer
The Internet makes the world go ’round these days. What does this mean? Well, if you own a company, it means that your website is of critical importance to your success.
But it’s not enough just to have a website. That website has got to look good. It’s got to attract users’ eyes, rope them in, and make them want to explore. Reaching all these criteria can only be done through a very complicated and subtle art form — and only by the best Web designers out there.
Companies like Toptal are launching Toptal Designers and taking note of the importance of quality digital designers, so if you have these skills, get ready. People want your services.
6. Technical Writer
Remember how we were talking about print editors earlier, saying that the world still needs good writers? Yeah, that’s still true — perhaps now more than ever.
You see, as the world becomes increasingly tech-dependent, more and more tech jargon will begin to swirl around us, and most of us won’t have a clue as to what’s going on inside the technology that powers our lives.
But tech companies would really love it if their grand announcements of new technologies and products were able to be understood by the average consumer. What they need, effectively, are translators — people who can put this high-level tech jargon into layman’s terms. That’s why technical writers are so valuable these days: They can understand the technology and to put it in terms that anybody else can understand.
Technical writers aren’t just for the tech world — the legal world and the medical spheres need technical writers just as badly.
7. Avertising Specialist
We all want to be Don Draper, right?
Okay, maybe not. I guess he did some pretty terrible things. But still, he sure did turn us on to the glitz and glamor of the advertising world!
It may not be Mad Men, but the advertising industry is still a great option for creative minds looking to have a real impact on the business world. We’ve already established that we’re living in a visual world. Now more than ever, people are paying a premium to have their products displayed in the world as attractively as possible.
Advertising gives you the chance to really toy with people’s minds, make them think certain things, and even elicit certain feelings about the products you’re promoting. Pretty cool, right? You have the power of persuasion and creativity on your side. Go use them!