Six Careers that are Great for Nerds


If you're a proud member of the nerd herd, check out these six careers.

By Terence Loose

Do you consider your computer a close friend?

Are you a friendly competitor in fantasy basketball?

Was the day you finished the last "Harry Potter" book the worst day of your life?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be part of the nerd herd, which is nothing to be ashamed of...everyone has a little bit of nerd in them.

Perhaps that's why there are a number of nerd-friendly careers out there.

Don't believe us? Read on for a few of our favorites.

Nerdy Career #1 - Computer Programmer

Here's a career that's super nerdy and - thanks to just about everyone surfing the web - super cool.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, computer programmers might do such things as write programs in computer languages such as C++ and Java (if you still think of those things as a good grade and coffee, you may not be nerdy enough). They also might debug programs (no, not with pesticides), use code libraries, and other techie stuff.

Nerdy News: The Department of Labor projects job growth for computer programmers to be 12 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is about average and is due to the fact that computer programming can often be done from overseas locations, where labor is less expensive.

Click to Find the Right Computer Programming Program Now.

Get Educated: According to the Department, most in this profession have a bachelor's degree; however some employers might take applicants with an associate's degree. Computer science and computer programming are two majors to consider.

Related Degrees:*

Nerdy Career #2 - Network Administrator

Let's face it, if there's one thing that nerds love, it's computers. And one such computer-oriented career that could get just about every nerd smiling is network administrator.

The U.S. Department of Labor website says that these workers organize, install, and support an organization's computer systems. Working with everything from local area networks (LANs in nerd speak), wide area networks (WANs), and network segments (uh, network segments?), it's a career that doesn't include a lot of unintelligent chit-chat.

Nerdy News: The Department of Labor projects job growth for network administrators to be 28 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is because firms are expected to invest in newer, faster technologies and mobile networks. The Department also cites increasing information security concerns as a job driving source.

Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program Now.

Get Educated: According to the Department, the most common degree for network administrators is a bachelor's degree in computer or information science.

Related Degrees:*

Nerdy Career #3 - Paralegal

If you want a career that will let you nerd-out daily with lots of research, research, and more research, paralegal might be a great fit.

Under duties for paralegals, the U.S. Department of Labor's website lists such things as "investigate the facts of a case," "conduct research," and "keep information in computer databases."

Things such as "console clients" and "come up with fact-challenged rhetoric" are not listed. This is great news for nerds who prefer books and research over small-talk.

Nerdy News: The Department of Labor projects job growth of 18 percent for paralegals from 2010 to 2020, noting that employers' attempt to reduce costs while increasing efficiency of legal services will increase demand for paralegals and legal assistants.

Click to Find the Right Paralegal Program Now.

Get Educated: According to the Department, an associate's degree in paralegal studies - or a bachelor's in another field paired with a certificate in paralegal studies - is the credential that most paralegals have.

Related Degrees and Certificates:*

Nerdy Career #4 - Writer

These days, during the heyday of bloggers and social media, being a writer could be a great career to get your nerd on. And whether you're the type who writes novels, crafts ad copy, creates magazine pieces, or blogs till your fingers bleed, one thing is for sure: you'll spend a lot of quality time with your computer.

Just ask the U.S. Department of Labor, which states that writers work wherever they have access to a computer - yes, those typewriter days are done and dusted.

Nerdy News: Though the Department of Labor does expect job growth for writers, it will only be at 6 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is due to fierce competition for the position, they say. There must be a lot of nerds out there in the blogosphere.

Click to Find the Right Communications Program Now.

Get Educated: The Department says that for salaried writing gigs typically a bachelor's degree, preferably in English, journalism, or communications, is advised.

Related Degrees:*

Nerdy Career #5 - Medical Records and Health Information Technician

When the U.S. Department of Labor uses words such as "code," "categorize," and "databases" to describe what a certain profession is known for doing, you can bet you're in serious nerd territory.

Yes, although medical records and health information technicians do discuss medical information with doctors and insurers, they are mostly responsible for maintaining clinical databases and registries and electronically recording patient data.

Nerdy News: The Department of Labor projects job growth for these professionals to be a healthy 21 percent from 2010 to 2020. An aging population, it says, will need more medical tests, procedures, and treatments. And that will in turn result in more claims, additional records, and an increased need to manage them.

Click to Find the Right Medical Records Technician Program Now.

Get Educated: Aspiring medical records technicians have several options: a certificate or associate's degree in the field and professional certification, according to the Department.

Related Degrees:*

Nerdy Career #6 - Accountant

Do you geek out about tax season and filing your return? If so, joining the ranks of accountants may be for you.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, accountants, as well as auditors, spend much of their time preparing and examining financial records to ensure they're accurate and making sure taxes are paid properly. They also assess financial operations to help businesses run efficiently.

Nerdy News: The Department of Labor projects employment for accountants and auditors to grow by 16 percent from 2010 to 2020. Why? They say that in response to recent financial crises and financial regulation, demand for thorough financial documentation will increase.

Click to Find the Right Accounting Program Now.

Get Educated: According to the Department, "most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field."

Related Degrees:*

*All related degree information comes from the College Board website, careers section.

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