The Mission Society is hosting a Virtual Career Fair this October to highlight the variety of opportunities available to students after high school and college graduation - connecting young people with professionals and ensuring they enter the workforce with confidence. Today, we’re heading off the beaten path to explore careers that encourage students to turn passions into professions.
The ideal post-graduation path is not always obvious for students taking their first steps beyond our classrooms. One young person might love music but is not interested in being a performer or going to a conservatory program. Maybe there’s a student who loves the outdoors but isn't sure how to take their plant-growing hobby and turn it into their career. Some students just haven't discovered jobs that spark their imaginations and get them excited about their futures.
One of our greatest joys as an organization is introducing young people to a myriad of possibilities for their lives, presenting ideas that they may not have been exposed to before entering our schools. Through our career readiness programs, we’re encouraging creative thinking, helping young people learn more about themselves, and teaching students ways to incorporate their talents into their work lives. We want our graduates to leave our programs with confidence and know the experiences that bring them joy can become part of an enduring career.
Today, we’re exploring five jobs to show music makers, book lovers, nature nurturers, and more that there are roles out there to foster their interests. We want students to see there is no end to the opportunities they can pursue, and we hope this list inspires everyone in our community to transform or incorporate their passions into their professions!
For Music Lovers and Tech Whizzes
If you like working with technology, helping artists’ visions come to life, and playing with sound, music producer may be the job for you. There are so many ways to make music your career, beyond playing in front of an audience. Lora-Faye Åshuvud is a Producer and Artist, who shared their perspective–
This role does not require a degree, but there are specialized programs you can attend to grow your skills. You can also learn more about necessary recording programs and tools through online resources.
For Avid Readers and Community Starters
If you love getting lost in books, sharing rare knowledge, and creating opportunities for gathering community, you might enjoy becoming a librarian! Librarians are detectives, using investigative skills to find credible sources for researchers and desired books for visitors. They help establish important collections and archives of information, and sometimes interact with rare objects like historical manuscripts. Librarians are also instrumental to facilitating spaces where all are welcome to gather and access vital public resources.
This role requires a masters in library science and different states may require online certification.
For Green Thumbs and Outdoor Adventurers
If you’re interested in botany, gardening, or agriculture, and want to encourage others to be stewards of nature, consider becoming a horticulturist. Horticulturists can use their expertise to provide advice on land management, create and care for both public green spaces (like parks) and private gardens, and help ecosystems thrive through habitat restoration and building better connections between people and the land. Horticulturist, Phil Harris, shares more about why he loves working in the great outdoors and how much variety grows out of this career path–
There are a wide range of options for diving into horticulture–you can learn on the job, get specialized certifications, or continue in school and pursue the subject all the way up to a PhD.
For Pro-Gamers and Detail Detectives
If you love video games and working on the ground floor as they come to life, check out the role of video game tester. As a quality assurance tester, individuals play through games in development and focus on their features, noting glitches, bugs, and inconsistencies prior to the game’s release. You can also be a playtester, focusing on user experience, storyline clarity, and mechanics. Video game testers collaborate with game developers and programmers to improve games and ensure they’re ready for the general public. The career also gives you an insider’s look at the gaming industry with a lower barrier to entry, so you have the chance to learn more of the ins and outs and find pathways for future growth.
You can take online courses, certifications, or even pursue degrees in computer science or similar subjects to gain relevant skills like technical writing, programming, and more that will help you become a game tester.
For Super Storytellers and Conversation Starters
If you are a self-starter, storyteller, reporter, or just enjoy sharing perspectives on interesting topics, you might be a podcaster! Podcasting is a career full of possibilities for people with a wide array of interests. There are writers who develop scripts, producers who lead the creation, recording, and editing of episodes, and hosts who hop on the mic and speak to the audience. You can even find work with podcast networks to help distribute shows to an audience. Host and Co-Creator of What If World Podcast, Eric O’Keeffe, shared that starting his own show was instrumental to his professional and personal growth–
No formal degree is required to get started, but marketing and business knowledge is useful for kickstarting your own podcast. There are communities of creators and online resources that can offer how-tos, equipment lists, and other forms of support.
No matter what you’re interested in or where your talents lie, we believe you can find work that lights you up. We want everyone in our community to thrive, and build the futures that bring them the most joy. We hope you found some inspiration from this list of off-the-beaten-path careers, and continue your own explorations by visiting our website to see all the careers we’ve highlighted as part of our Virtual Career Fair!