Want to Turn Your Passion into Your Career?


Check out these 10 career ideas to help you find a career you'll love.

By University.com Staff

There's an old saying: "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

While the sentiment might seem a bit far-fetched, if you start examining what you're passionate about and what your hobbies are, you could be one step closer to turning your favorite pastime into a new profession.

Check out these 10 career paths you can take to help you turn your favorite pastime into a paid position.

Are You a Trend-Setter?

If you love keeping up with the latest fads, television programs, celebrity gossip, and hot topics, consider using your trend-spotting talents in advertising or marketing…

Career Option #1: Media Buyer

Media buyers usually work for advertisers and marketing groups. Buyers gather information about how people use and respond to different kinds of media, and then use this information to make decisions about where to buy time and space to promote products.

Education Options: No matter how savvy you are about trends, formal studies in research methods and financial concepts could help. The U.S. Department of Labor recommends that aspiring media buyers earn a bachelor's degree in marketing or business.

Salary Potential: $56,443*

Click to Find the Right Communications Program

Career Option # 2: Marketing Manager

If you love keeping your eye on the trends, a career in marketing might be for you. Marketing managers, for example, conduct research to figure out what matters to consumers and determine which markets to promote products and services.

Education Options: A bachelor's or master's degree in business administration with a marketing focus is generally preferred, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Salary Potential: $122,720*

Click to Find the Right MBA Program

Are You Obsessed with Crime Shows?

If you watch every episode of "CSI" and "NCIS", you might enjoy utilizing your passion for justice in the legal field.

Career Option #1: Paralegal

A critical member of the justice system, paralegals assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing reports, and identifying applicable laws.

Education Options: A paralegal associate's degree or certificate program could help prepare you to seek work in this exciting field.

Salary Potential: $49,640*

Click to Find the Right Paralegal Program

Career Option #2: Police Officer

If you're passionate about the law - and protecting people - consider pursuing a career as a police officer. Police officers work to ensure that citizens and their communities are free from harm.

Education Options: Consider completing an associate's or bachelor's degree. According to the Department of Labor, some departments require one to two years of college education- or a degree. You will likely need to attend a police academy, as well.

Salary Potential: $55,620*

Click to Find the Right Police Officer/Law Enforcement Program

Do You Geek Out About Technology?

If your idea of an exciting Friday night is downloading the latest electronic version of "Wired" on your iPad, consider seeking a career track that will use your knack for gadgets and wires.

Career Option #1: Computer Support Specialist

Tech support specialists set up, maintain, and educate users about technology products. If you like to troubleshoot computer glitches and other technology issues, your knowledge and skills could get you started in a career that lets you indulge your passion for technology.

Education Options: According to the Department of Labor, a technical support certificate could provide you with the formal education employers may look for when hiring.

Salary Potential: $49,930*

Click to Find the Right Tech Support Program

Career Option #2: Database Administrator

Another great option for tech lovers, database administrators work with database management software and determine ways to store, organize, analyze, use, and present data.

Education Options: Applicants with a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field like computer science or information science may be preferred, according to the Department of Labor. In some cases, employers could prefer applicants with a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

Salary Potential: $75,730*

Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program

Do You Love Socializing?

Do you love planning parties? Are you the one your friends depend on to make reservations, order tickets, and organize parties? The detail-oriented skills you use to plan and execute social events could help prepare you for one of these career tracks.

Career Option #1: Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants plan and organize meetings, schedules, and company events in the same way a social butterfly puts together events for friends. Some work for a single individual, while others support a department within the organization.

Education Options: Consider earning an administrative support certificate or associate's degree. When it's time to move up the company ladder, look into a bachelor's degree program in business.

Salary Potential: $32,000*

Click to Find the Right Administrative Support Program

Career Option #2: Human Resources Professional

Human resources (HR) professionals work in a wide variety of capacities, often to ensure a fun and comfortable work environment for employees. In every context, HR professionals must have outstanding people skills, as this career will likely provide plenty of opportunities to connect with others.

Education Options: Many employers looking to fill entry-level positions seek candidates with a bachelor's degree, according to the Department of Labor. A master's in human resources management could facilitate career advancement.

Salary Potential: HR Assistant: $37,900*, HR Manager: $108,600*

Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program

Enjoy Number Crunching?

If you're always the one to gather money for the restaurant bill - and you actually enjoy doing it - you might want to consider translating your knack for numbers into a potential career path in accounting.

Career Option #1: Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers help keep Uncle Sam off a company's back by maintaining accounting records. If you love number crunching and money management, this career could help you translate your hobby to the job market.

Education Options: The Department of Labor says that an accounting certificate can be enough to pursue a position as a bookkeeper, but an associate's degree in accounting is recommended.

Salary Potential: $35,340*

Click to Find the Right Accounting Program

Career Option #2: Accountant

Accountants act as internal watchdogs for the finances of businesses and individuals, ensuring financial records are accurate, that money is spent wisely, and that taxes are paid properly.

Education Options: According to the Department of Labor, most employers expect accountants to have a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Salary Potential: $68,960*

Click to Find the Right Accounting Program

*Salary Information Source: U.S. Department of Labor Salary Statistics (May 2010), except for Media Buyer, which is from Salary.com. Figures depend on experience, education, place of employment, and other factors.

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