“What a Nerd!” – although in movies from the 80s this might have been an insult, today nerds are cool. Maybe it’s because we live in the digital era and we’ve seen the rise of the nerd – think Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Hawking. Even fictional nerds like Harry Potter or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory have helped to make nerds cooler in the eyes of the public.
What is a nerd?
Calling someone a nerd usually means they’re seen as overly intellectual, obsessive, introverted or lacking social skills. Such a person may spend large amounts of time on activities which are not popular, or ‘mainstream’, stuff that is usually either highly technical, philosophical, or relating to topics of fantasy or science fiction.
Additionally, many so-called nerds are described as being shy, quirky, pedantic, and unattractive.
Well, that’s the bookish definition of a nerd. But that’s not entirely correct. In reality, a nerd is an individual who:
1. Enjoys learning.
2. Does not adhere to social norms.
They are DEFINITELY NOT:
1. A geek. The circles may overlap, but they aren’t the same.
2. Someone who wears “nerdy” glasses.
3. Someone who thinks of themself as a nerd, yet cannot hold an intelligent debate.
With that being cleared, a nerd is certainly someone interesting , who does certain stuff differently.
If you feel like you’re a nerd, maybe you’re also wondering if there are any good jobs for nerds? Well, you’re in luck! It’s a nerds world out there these days…
So here’s a list of jobs we have curated which are specifically a perfect fit for all our nerd readers out here.
1. Video-game Tester
Wait a minute. People get paid to play video games? Where do you sign up?
Unfortunately, it’s not an easy job, and considering the exponential growth the industry has seen lately, you can imagine the competition these jobs have. However, with a college degree in the video games field (or any other creative sector), decent proficiency in programming and a knack for understanding what players would want in a game, you can become a video games tester.
It may sound like a simple profession – it can’t be THAT hard to play test games, right? Wrong! Game testing involves complicated tasks like finding errors in the code, detecting bugs, determining difficulty levels in games and ensuring that they work flawlessly before designers and programmers give the final approval to ship these games out.
But hey, it might just be perfect for you.
2. Graphic Designer
Becoming a graphic designer is one of the most popular career choices today, especially for those who are looking to work online or as a solopreneur/freelancer. And although it is seen as a bit of a good job for nerds, graphic designer has become a cool job for sure.
Don’t be alarmed if you think freelancing isn’t viable, you can easily be hired by companies full-time if you have the correct skillset.
So what exactly do graphic designers need to do?
There are plenty of day-to-day chores, such as planning concepts, making rough sketches for the client to green-light, preparing a finished digital copy, and completing projects with your team. Of course, it’s also important to maintain your technical knowledge by indulging in relevant realms and taking up educational courses.
3. Proofreader/copy editor
For those who were once members of the Grammar Allies, enlightening the masses on the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and ‘who and ‘whom’ might be your thing. If you get a kick out of correcting your friend’s grammatical errors and lexical dilemmas on a daily basis, then consider the job of a proofreader or copy editor.
It’s definitely a job for nerds, with lots of carefully reading text and making sure the sentences are structured correctly could be done professionally. It can also work well for anyone needing to work from home on a casual basis as the job is often ad-hoc.
But if you’re a pro at prose writing and editing then you could happily be the last line of defence between publication and grammatical misunderstandings. Proofreaders and copy editors can make anywhere from around $25,000 to $60,000.
4. Legal Hacker
The image of a person hunched over a laptop with green codes streaming through the screen is probably what comes to mind when you think of a hacker. Unfortunately things aren’t exactly the same in real life, and hacking itself is mostly illegal. That is unless you do it for a legit company.
Yes, you read that right, a company will employ you to be a legal hacker and can get you paid anywhere in the ballpark of $50,000 and upwards if you do it well. While this doesn’t include corporate espionage, it does involve trying to find weaknesses in company run websites and anti-virus softwares. Some websites, Facebook for example, even reward people generously who bring exploitable weaknesses to their attention.
Hacking is obviously the ultimate job for nerds, so if you can get paid to do it legally, it’s gotta be a great option.
While journalism may not sound like a nerdy job, reporting the news is what the world needs: a fourth estate to bring truth to the public. However, there are plenty of niche publication houses which give the journalists working there a place to geek out over something they’re passionate about while also making good money in the process. Whether it’s movies, games or comics, there is a niche publication for everyone to capitalise off of their inner geeks.
Not only do you get paid a median salary of $25,000 to $70,000 to write about the latest news and reviews of the things you love, but the more experience you get, the more access you have to your niche and the more you get paid.
6. Comic book illustrator
Who doesn’t love a good comic book? Daredevil, Nightwing and Batman – there are so many classic comic books out there. If you have a knack for drawing and sketching (doing it well is somewhat essential), and love this type of reading material, why not combine both and become a comic book illustrator?
This profession will see you creating sketches and coming up with artistic concepts either for a one-frame panel or an entire comic book. This has to be one of the coolest jobs out there as your work spreads throughout the world, entertaining kids, teenagers and adults alike.
A book worm loves a good lexical adventure. Their rooms are usually wrought with piles of books and they themselves can usually be found curled up with their nose in a novel and a warm coffee in hand, immersing themselves in a fantasy world.
If you want nothing more than to be surrounded by books, a job at the local library could be ever so quietly calling out to you. Being surrounded by shelves filled by what seems like an endless amount of information and wondrous fiction is only made better by the fact that a librarian can make anywhere around $50,000 on an average.
8. AI Engineer
What could be more of a nerd job than working in artificial intelligence, or AI? As the digital aspects of our lives continues to grow, AI is in demand and disciplines such as machine learning and progressing at a fast rate.
This is most definitely a job seen as ‘future proofed’ and has many different sub sections to it.
To get ahead in AI you’ll need a scientific and analytical mind, and a great eye for detail and data. In short, you’ll need to be a bit of a nerd.
But the financial rewards are excellent, with average wages for AI engineers topping over $100,000 per year.
Yes, this is a broad field, but many programmers and coders are nerds by default. Of course programmer and coder is often seen as a job for nerds due to the work with computer, but more than ever it is becoming open to anyone who wants to work in this fast moving sector.
Indeed, there are all kinds of programmers: front end, back end, game designers and even the growing metaverse space is starting to need specialised coders.
But whatever industry you decide to dip your toes in, the role of a programmer is an essential and lucrative position as you are responsible to develop, analyse, and assess various digital systems and infrastructure.
And with some digital programmers roles taking over $100,000 per year, its also a very lucrative job for nerdy types. Did you know you can even get paid to learn to code??
It’s often said that you should follow your passion, even if it means abandoning a practical occupation that pays heavily. But why can’t you merge the two? For nerds, this is a real possibility as many of the employment opportunities in their field are in demand and pay well, from art and entertainment gigs to the world of the metaverse.
Finding a job can be challenging, and if you’re looking for the best jobs for nerds, you might find the competition very intense. You could even tip the scales in your favour and create an online persona so you can get headhunted for your ideal job.
But, there are more and more jobs for nerds out there than ever and if you build your skills, you could be a well paid nerd!
Not all superheroes wear capes – some earn a handsome paycheque. Good luck out there, nerd!
Read our new blog about nerd style.