Fortune Cookie

Doreen Wirzman’s fortune-cookie message. Doreen Wirzman’s fortune-cookie message.

We all know the “I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was a kid” story: You grew up dreaming of becoming a doctor, so you came to college ready to major in pre-med and fulfill your lifelong dream of running your own hospital. Or maybe, you are graduating with a degree in human development, knowing you’re destined to become a teacher –– since you discovered your love for kids during your first babysitting job when you were 12.

Though this is the case for some, it isn’t the case for many.

What happens when you graduate with no solid clue of what you want to do with your life? Not every major leads to a straightforward career path. Most majors have a lot of wiggle room, giving graduates a chance to expand their horizons before settling down into a job they love.  

If the traditional desk job and paper-pushing tasks bore you, fret not. There are thousands of unique jobs out there that still cater to your career field. Here are some of the weirdest jobs that pertain to Virginia Tech’s most popular majors.

Engineering: skatepark engineer

This opportunity turns the 1980s counterculture into a dream design career. A skatepark engineer has the opportunity to mix two passions together: skateboarding and engineering. In this job, the engineer has the responsibility of designing every angle, slope and curve of a skate park. Mixing together key engineering skills like drainage and site development with design, skate park engineers are able to implement their skill set while stashing a few land development projects under their belt.

Hospitality tourism management: professional bridesmaid

If you graduate from hospitality tourism management seeking a job as an event planner, you should expect to manage a plethora of weddings. Though this isn’t the direct job of an event planner, standing in as a bridesmaid offers a substantial amount of event planning experience, which is why many brides choose to hire professionals in their wedding parties to enhance their planning experiences. Being a part of a wedding party is a huge time commitment that requires hours of planning and budgeting. As an event planner, you can implement your project management skills while planning the bride a wicked bachelorette party.

Human nutrition, foods and exercise: hippotherapist

No, this isn’t providing hippos with therapy. Hippotherapy is actually the use of a horse’s natural movement to aid a physical therapy patient’s rehabilitation. For anyone seeking a career in physical therapy, this may be a suitable option, especially if you have a soft spot for animals. Why horses? A horse’s pelvis is three-dimensional and reflects the movements of a human walking, which can aid a patient in rehabilitating his or her motor skills in physical therapy. This form of therapy is most popular with children with Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis and autism. Though hippotherapy is popular in physical therapy, it can also be used for speech therapy or psychological therapy.

Multimedia journalism: fortune cookie writer

Have you ever opened up a fortune cookie and wondered who crafted the witty phrase that detects your fortune? Here’s a shocker: Fortune cookie writers are surprisingly well-paid. The top 10 percent in the fortune cookie writing industry can earn over $100,000 a year. Four years worth of writing courses are paying off, right? Fortune cookie writers can write in-house with popular Chinese food chains, or freelance. If writing is your passion, and you want to make people smile, becoming a cookie scribe may be the path for you.

Computer science: ethical hacker

This isn’t your typical 15-year-old-cooped-in-a-basement-in-Iowa-hacking job. An ethical hacker is considered one of the “good guys” who uses his or her computer science skills to hack into an agency or business’s networks, then offer advice to the organization on how to make its network less-hackable in the future. For their organization-saving services, ethical hackers make upwards of $99,000 a year.

Animal and poultry sciences: cow inseminator

If you’re comfortable with sticking your arm shoulder-length up a cow’s vagina, this is the job for you. There is a complex science to breeding cattle, and detecting the exact time a female cow is in heat and matching that with the historical records of the sperm donor (to avoid in-breeding) is done on a computer program. If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie and you don’t mind the mess that comes along with the physical insemination process, this job may be a great fit.

With graduation on the horizon and piles of job applications waiting to be submitted, be sure to keep your mind open to a few “unique” alternatives that can offer a new perspective in your dream career field.