Top Five Degrees for Shy People

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If you hate the idea of taking the podium or networking, check out five degrees you'll love.

By Terence Loose
Last updated on 8/1/2014

Does the idea of going back to school thrill you, but the thought of giving a speech to classmates terrify you? You're not alone in your shyness.

In fact, shyness is a condition that can result in crippling anxiety for students and worse, possibly poor grades, says Suzanne Anthony, a clinical psychologist and former University of California, Santa Barbara instructor.

"Picking a major that forces you to do things that result in stressful situations can inhibit your performance. I think people do a lot better in school when they are anxiety-free and happy," says Anthony.

The good news is that there are plenty of degree programs that don't require a lot of schmoozing, fraternizing, or any other zing-ings.

Keep reading to learn more.

Degree #1 - Associate's in Paralegal Studies

If your idea of a great day out of the house is time spent in a research library, you may be a great candidate for a paralegal studies degree. Yes, blush-inclined bookworms fascinated with questions of law could thrive here.

According to the College Board, an organization of colleges and universities that administers tests like the SAT, paralegal studies majors could learn their way around a law library's resources, including legal journals, case summaries, and government docs.

Click to Find the Right Paralegal Studies Program.

Shy-Friendly Factor: "If you're shy and get anxious interacting with other people, many aspects of a paralegal program, such as doing research, writing, and analyzing law and legal arguments would be a great fit," says Anthony.


Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Accounting

Have you noticed that balancing your checkbook or doing your taxes usually doesn't require a lot of chit-chat? If you find that soothing, you may want to check out a degree in accounting.

Why? Because while the drama department might be performing the latest "Wall Street" type saga, accounting students will likely be studying such things as auditing, cost accounting, business law, tax accounting, and accounting information systems, according to the College Board.

Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.

Shy-Friendly Factor: This could be a good option, "because your coursework is a lot of studying data and statements, rules, and such," says Anthony.


Degree #3 - Bachelor's in Health Information Technology

If you're looking for a health care degree that could prepare you for a more computer-friendly - rather than patient-friendly - career, a health information technology degree might be good medicine.

Why? Because the courses offered in this field don't necessarily require a lot of human interaction. In fact, with a degree in health information technology, you'll likely take courses in medical terminology, introduction to coding, and health care statistics, according to the College Board.

Click to Find the Right Health Information Technology Program.

Shy-Friendly Factor: "The fact that they'll be studying information more than having to interact with large groups of other students is a plus for the shy," says Anthony.


Degree #4 - Bachelor's in Network and System Administration

If your idea of networking is the kind with circuit boards and data rates rather than message boards and blind dates, a network and system administration degree could be a good fit.

That's because, according to the College Board, network and system administration majors spend time studying cyber security and how to utilize the latest and most effective technology. Commonly offered courses include web languages, network security, information systems management, and database management.

Click to Find the Right Network Administration Program.

Shy-Friendly Factor: "Shy people would likely feel very comfortable with this major since it is a field that is done mostly behind the scenes," says Anthony.


Degree # 5 - Bachelor's in Graphic Design

Are you a creative type who also loves the logical yet imaginative world of computer work? A degree in graphic design might scratch both your creative and shy itches.

In fact, says the College Board, as a graphic design student, you'll learn to use cutting-edge computer programs, as well as the basics of good design. And luckily for shy students, speech and debate are not on the College Board's list of typical courses. Courses in production design, typography, Photoshop for designers, and the history of graphic design are common.

Click to Find the Right Graphic Design Program.

Shy-Friendly Factor: "I would imagine that you're working for a majority of the time alone or in small groups on a creative project that you get to express yourself through. That would be great for a shy student," says Anthony.

Don't think any of these degrees could fit your hectic schedule? Then you may want to consider pursuing an online degree. There are some online programs that could prepare you to pursue a behind-the-scenes career - which could be a great if you hate being in the spotlight.

Chloe West also contributed to this article by updating the information on 8/1/2014


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