Thursday 28 January 2016

10 unusual careers you may not know about

Deciding what you want to do when you leave school can be difficult. Some people are lucky enough to have had certain ambitions from an early age, but most of us need to think quite hard about it.

When we're growing up we're generally told about the more "standard" careers that we could follow. We know that we can become school teachers or engineers, doctors or marketing professionals, accountants or web designers.

So we thought it would be fun to look at some of the more unusual careers out there. People are actually making a good living in these careers, and hopefully this list will help to spark some ideas for what you want to do with your own life.


This is essentially farming in water. Aquaculture is about cultivating all kinds of fish, seafood and plants in set aside areas, which are then harvested for food. As the world's food resources become scarcer, careers like this are only going to become more in demand.

Living space management and design

While interior designers and architects have been around for a long time, growing population density is putting a lot of pressure on the space we have in which to live. People who specialise in designing and managing living areas to optimise the use of space and other resources are becoming increasingly sought after.

Video blogging

It may be true that the world has become very used to watching all kinds of people do all manner of things on YouTube, but if you pause for a moment to think about it, it's quite an unusual thing to do, compared to having a 9-5 job. There is also a very serious business side to it, with lots of advertising money to be made for those who can offer entertaining and valuable content.

3D printing designer

3D printing is set to change our world in many ways. For the first time in history, each of us will be able to take almost any material we want and create objects with it in our own homes, using a completely automated process. Like making coffee straight from the beans in a coffee machine, but making the mug at the same time. People who can design the computerised patterns that these printers use to create objects will find rewarding careers here.

Home server hosting

The entire Internet relies on servers. Typically these are owned and run by large companies – the Internet service providers we all know about. However, there is nothing stopping anyone from building a server system at home and offering website and application hosting. This is especially possible in the world of online games, like Minecraft, where many people have made a living hosting game servers.

Soil conservationist

Here's another career that is going to become more and more important as the world starts to run out of natural resources and land on which to cultivate the many crops we need for our survival and wellbeing. A soil conservationist's prime concern is the sustainable use of land.

Clinical ethicist

This is a speciality for those who are interested in medicine, and particularly the effect of medical advances on our society. Clinical ethicists deal with the ethical issues that advances like stem cell research and organ cloning raise, helping to inform and shape policies.


With South Africa being such a prolific wine-producing country, it's a great place for someone wanting to be a sommelier to learn. A sommelier is a wine expert, typically working in a top-class restaurant, managing its wine selection. This person also advises guests in top-class restaurants on how to pair the right wines with their food. Sommeliers can be very well paid and get to travel the world.

Toy creator

You only have to pop your head into a modern toy shop to understand just how many hundreds of different toys there are. Of course, someone has to design them all. This would suit someone with a flair for object design and a love of children.

Let's start a conversation. What unusual careers do you know of? List them here or connect with me on Twitter (@EduloanSA)

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