The Best Degrees & Jobs for Introverts
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Careers for Introverts
Introverts make up a large percentage of the population. What are the best majors and career paths for introverts?
While introverts can succeed in any field, the best jobs for introverts draw on their strengths, including the ability to work independently, think deeply about problems, and maintain focused attention. Introverts may find themselves drawn to majors that use their analytical skills or creativity.
Introverts are not antisocial or awkward. Many introverts do not even define themselves as shy. However, introverts tend to find social events draining and require alone time to recharge. Introverts also exist on a spectrum. Some strongly dislike careers that require customer service or interacting with multiple clients, for example. Others thrive in collaborative and teamwork-reliant roles. This guide explores the best majors and careers for introverts.
Am I an Introvert?
Are you an introvert? Up to 40% of the population falls into this category. You might be an introvert if you identify strongly with the following descriptions:
Best Work Environments for Introverts
- Settings with limited distractions
- Few meetings or required socializing events
- Opportunities to work individually
- A schedule that allows introverts to recharge alone
- A tight-knit group of coworkers rather than a role that requires interacting with large groups regularly
10 Best Majors and Careers for Introverts
What are the best jobs for introverts? How about the best majors for introverts? This section introduces ten majors, each with multiple career paths that appeal to introverts.
Accounting majors study financial accounting, accounting information systems, and auditing. During an accounting degree, majors can specialize in public accounting, managerial accounting, or forensic accounting. Many accounting jobs appeal to introverts and offer above-average salaries.
- Financial Analyst: Financial analysts evaluate investment strategies to limit risk and increase profits. They analyze stock performance to recommend investments and advise businesses and individuals about their investment options.
- Certified Public Accountant: CPAs prepare financial documents that require public disclosure, including federal taxes. They also prepare corporate financial statements for investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission. CPAs also advise clients about tax decisions.
- Auditor: Auditors review financial documents to identify waste or fraud and correct errors. Internal auditors look for ways to improve accounting efficiency, while external auditors identify errors in financial statements.
Actuarial science majors study risk theory, economics, and probability. Related majors for introverts include statistics and mathematics. With backgrounds in actuarial science, graduates can pursue work in many high-paying jobs. Actuarial careers appeal to introverts with strong analytical skills.
- Actuary: Actuaries use statistics to determine the financial costs of risk. Using financial theory, they assess the risk of certain outcomes and recommend policies to minimize the financial impact of risk. They often work in the insurance industry.
- Risk Analyst: Risk analysts, also known as risk specialists, evaluate investment decisions. They determine strategies to limit losses and prepare for unpredictable outcomes.
- Underwriter: Underwriters analyze actuarial tables and proprietary data to determine whether insurance companies should offer insurance to applicants. They also determine premium costs and coverage amounts for insurance policies.
Architecture majors study architectural theory, architectural design, and construction technology. They also learn how to use computer-aided drafting programs. Related majors include landscape architecture, industrial design, and urban planning. Graduates pursue diverse architecture careers, including in related fields like interior design.
- Architect: Architects design private homes, office buildings, and other structures. They work closely with clients to understand their needs, create drawings of proposed structures, and ensure contractors follow the plans.
- Drafter: Drafters assist architects and engineers by transforming designs into technical drawings. Using drafting software, they turn civil, architectural, electrical, or mechanical designs into usable drawings.
- Urban Planner: Urban planners help communities grow and thrive. They research community needs, develop facilities to meet those needs, and oversee the process of creating new facilities. An urban or regional planner typically needs a master's degree.
Art majors study drawing, art history, and the fine arts to develop their creative skills in diverse majors like illustration, painting, ceramics, and sculpture. These students increasingly require strong computer skills. Graduates can pursue work in many art and design careers.
- Illustrator: Illustrators create drawings and illustrations for books, advertisements, magazines, stationery, and other products. They use tools like graphite, colored pencils, and illustration software programs to create images.
- Animator: Animators construct images for movies, television, and video games. They work closely with designers and developers to deliver specific aesthetics. Animators then create 2D and 3D animations.
- Curator: Curators manage museums' collections. They acquire new pieces, manage the storage of collection items, and oversee exhibitions. Curators also oversee research and educational programs at museums.
- Computer Network Architect: Computer network architects design data communications networks. They establish networks for small businesses and design massive cloud infrastructure networks. Computer network architects create plans to fit organizations' needs.
- Software Developer: Software developers design software, including word processors, web browsers, and graphics software. They bring strong computer science skills along with analytical and problem-solving abilities. Software developers work closely with programmers to create functional programs.
- Computer Programmer: Computer programmers create the code that runs computer applications and software. They use computer languages like Python, Java, and C++. Computer programmers also test and debug code.
An engineering major focuses on material science and engineering principles. Students specialize in areas like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering, biochemical engineering, and electronics engineering. Some engineering careers also require engineering management training.
- Civil Engineer: Civil engineers design and maintain public infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and buildings. They also work on private sector projects. Civil engineers bring backgrounds in research, planning, construction, and design to their work.
- Aerospace Engineer: Aerospace engineers create aircraft and spacecraft. They also design and test satellites and missiles. Aerospace engineers must make prototypes to test their designs for functionality and safety.
- Chemical Engineer: Chemical engineers create new fuels, chemicals, and drugs. They also use chemistry and engineering principles to design new products. Chemical engineers often focus on manufacturing, treatment, and production.
Graphic design majors study fine art, design, and graphic design software. They build creative and technical skills to pursue roles as graphic designers, animators, web designers, and art directors. Related majors include video game design, industrial design, and web design.
- Graphic Designer: Graphic designers create layouts, color schemes, and typesets that convey information to consumers. They design advertisements, logos, magazines, and other visual content. Graphic designers often work closely with art directors or clients.
- Multimedia Artist and Animator: Multimedia artists and animators use software to create animations or 3D designs for movies, computer games, and other forms of electronic media. They can specialize in advertising, music videos, and video games.
- Art Director: Art directors determine the visual style for advertisements, product packages, and magazines. They also create designs for mass media productions. Art directors work closely with graphic designers and production artists to create layouts and artwork.
Information technology blends computing and business. During an information technology degree, enrollees study database administration, cybersecurity, and data visualization. They can specialize in information security, information systems management, and systems administration. Many IT jobs offer above-average salaries with strong growth potential.
- Information Security Analyst: Information security analysts monitor network security. They investigate breaches, implement security systems, and investigate cyberattacks. Information security analysts also upgrade security systems.
- Computer Systems Analyst: Computer systems analysts examine computer systems from an IT and business perspective. They then recommend systems that improve efficiency. Computer systems analysts bring analytical and computing skills to their work.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator: Network and computer systems administrators manage organizations' computer networks. They install updates, instruct users on security, and maintain functioning communication systems. Network and computer systems administrators also maintain secure networks.
Within the broad field of journalism, marketing, and communications, students can pursue several majors. A journalism degree builds strong research and writing skills, while marketing, public relations, and communications focus on persuasive communication. Graduates can pursue careers in journalism, public relations, marketing, and writing.
- Editor: Editors manage the content revision process for publications. They work with writers to create story ideas, fact check information, and correct any errors in the text. Editors also rewrite material to improve readability.
- Content Writer/Copywriter: Content writers and copywriters create material for websites, magazines, and advertisements. They write clear, concise material that conveys information to readers or consumers. Content writers and copywriters often work closely with editors and clients.
- Content Manager/Content Marketer: Content managers and content marketers oversee organizations' content creation and distribution strategies. They work closely with writers and editors to create media. Content marketers then promote content to improve the organization's brand image or attract new customers.
Psychology majors study experimental methods, human development, and abnormal psychology. After earning a psychology degree, graduates can pursue social science and counseling careers. A graduate degree in psychology can lead to a career as a psychologist — one of the best jobs for introverts with an analytical outlook.
- Psychologist: Psychologists use social science methods to understand human behavior. They observe social interactions and behaviors. Some specialize in counseling psychology. Many psychology careers require candidates to possess doctorates.
- Therapist: Therapists help clients manage problems in their daily lives. They use techniques like talk therapy to assist clients in making decisions or changing behaviors. Most therapist careers require a graduate degree.
- Mental Health Counselor: Mental health counselors treat individuals and groups managing mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and stress. They may specialize in relationship issues, a particular patient population, or substance abuse issues.
Ask an Introversion Expert
Figuring out people's inner workings has always been Cynthia Halow's passion, and she has an MA in industrial-organizational psychology to prove it. Her life mission? To help others understand themselves better so that they can develop better relationships with others, prosper at their jobs, and lead satisfying lives.
What misconceptions might introverts have about careers they would feel comfortable in and energized by?
Many people believe that introverts excel at jobs that do not require any form of interpersonal relationship, but this is not the case. Introverts do not necessarily dislike people; they simply do not feed off of their energy.
Introverts will excel in any job that does not require the regular "extroversion" that society values. An introvert, for example, can be a salesperson and even a leader. Even better, they may excel at it simply because they can listen better than they can speak.
What advice would you give to introverts on how to decompress at the end of the workday?
One important thing that I advise introverts to practice is meditation. The next best thing is journaling. These two things are proven ways to decompress every day.
Meditation and journaling help you organize your thoughts, worries, and expectations together. They also have a calming effect and bring up feelings of gratitude. Practicing these two things daily can help an introvert to feel better and be able to express themselves better.
What strengths do introverts have that they can emphasize in job interviews?
Most introverts have strengths that they may not even realize. Notably:
- Eye for detail
Common Questions About College and Careers for Introverts
Is College Hard for Introverts?
Introverts can thrive in college by understanding their strengths. Rather than studying in crowded areas or attending large social events, introverts can focus on building smaller social networks. Introverts may also prefer online classes.
What Jobs Allow You to Work Alone?
Careers in finance, accounting, web design, writing, and illustration allow professionals to work alone. Introverts can also look for roles with remote work opportunities.
How Do Introverts Do Well in Interviews?
Introverts can succeed in job interviews by practicing their answers, preparing talking points, and focusing on social strategies, like making eye contact.
Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. After earning her doctorate in early modern European history, Carlton worked as an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville, where she developed new courses on the history of science, Renaissance Italy, and the witch trials. Carlton has published five peer-reviewed articles in top presses and a monograph with the University of Chicago Press. She also earned tenure with a unanimous vote before relocating to Seattle. Learn more about Carlton's work at genevievecarlton.com.
Header Image Credit: FreshSplash | Getty Images
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