Careers For Smart People


See how you could prepare for a career that utilizes your brain power.

By Chris Kyle

Smart people come in all shapes and sizes.

So do smart career choices.

A bright NFL quarterback, for example, can read a defense and understand its strengths and weaknesses, all in the blink of an eye.

It's called spatial intelligence, and it's the same skill that graphic designers use to imagine smart visual solutions that their clients want but can't articulate.

[Search for Graphic Design schools near you now]

The bottom line: intelligent people - you know who you are! - tend to be well-suited to certain careers.

These five careers, for example, can be smart options for smart people.

  • Accountant
  • Medical Manager
  • Registered Nurse
  • Computer Systems Administrator
  • Teacher

Keep reading to learn about these careers. You'll be smarter for it…

#1 - Accountant

Accountants need to have more than just a knack for numbers. They should also have sound reasoning skills, since the simplest answer is often the right one when dealing with even the most complex calculations.

Education Options: There are plenty of accounting and finance programs that could prepare you for a career as an accountant. Many accountants and auditors have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar field, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Average Pay: $67,430*

[Find Accounting and Finance schools now]

#2 - Medical Manager

Health care isn't just big business; it's also incredibly complex. As a result, medical managers need a sharp mind and keen business sense to keep up in this ever-evolving industry.

Education Option: Some medical managers have technical backgrounds, while others are experts in areas like finance or team-building. To qualify for management roles, consider earning a bachelor's degree in an area like health care administration, followed by an MBA.

Average Pay: $90,970*

[Search for Health Care and Business schools now]

#3 - Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are among the most educated in the health care industry. Knowing what to do and when to do it is crucial, as is the ability to communicate effectively with patients and their families, not to mention the doctors you are assisting.

Education Options: Most registered nurses enter the position with either an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Average Pay: $66,530*

[Find Nursing degree programs near you]

#4 - Computer Systems Administrator

Getting called a geek in the computer industry isn't an insult; it's a compliment. The good news: figuring out the most efficient way to share and store information may not be as complicated as rocket science, but it's still highly prized in today's digital world.

Education Options: An associate's or bachelor's degree could help you get your computer skills up to speed. Consider an area like computer science, network administration, or IT & information systems.

Average Pay: $70,930*

[Find IT degree programs now]

#5 - Teacher

The best teachers are gifted communicators and motivators who enjoy healthy discussions and debate. If you're interested in this career, you'll need to be able to take complex subjects and present them in a straightforward way.

Education Options: While the temperament of a teacher may be a natural gift, formal education could provide you with the necessary academic background and teaching certification. It's best to begin with a bachelor's degree. From there public school teachers need to get certified. And keep in mind that a master's degree could help increase your earning potential and employment opportunities.

Average Pay: $55,150*

[Search for Teaching programs].

*Average salary comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, using 2009 median salary information. For salary purposes, data for "Federal government criminal investigators" was used for FBI agents; data for "Secondary school teachers" was used for Teachers.

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