You want to earn an education and the potential for an increased paycheck that often accompanies a college degree. However, you can’t imagine the prospect of clocking in at 9 every morning and out at 5 every afternoon or a day spent chained to a computer, phone, and cubicle.

There are plenty of good prospects that don’t fit the office-computer-time clock model. Here’s a list of five great career-worthy non-office jobs for college graduates.

Park Ranger

As the name might suggest, a degree with an emphasis in environmental studies is rich with opportunities to work in the great outdoors. The degree is a great springboard for many parks positions, from fish and game wardens to environmental consultants. Other occupations, such as an environmental monitoring technician or conservation specialist, also are open to those with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. All involve ample fieldwork that will keep you out and about and away from the desk.

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Cost Estimators

Even accountants can escape the office. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of job openings for cost estimators likely will grow faster than average through 2022. While these positions do require some desk time and good old-fashioned number crunching, it is a good alternative to a full-time desk job, as there’s also a chance to work on job sites in industries such as construction. You’ll need to talk to workers and managers out in the field as you gather data about the scope and size of the project. 

Private Investigator or Security

In today’s information age, a lot of investigative work requires digging through electronic records. There’s still a considerable amount of traditional interviewing and evidence gathering in the field. While police agency hiring is flat, the BLS suggests private security is a growth field. A criminal justice degree is a great way to jump-start either career.

Coaches and Scouts

An interest in sports doesn’t have to end in the stands. A degree in sports and recreation management can lead to a variety of exciting careers, from running a residential camp to working in professional sports. Scout out new players to evaluate their possible success at the college, amateur, or even the professional levels. Positions at playgrounds or camps also are possibilities, and you can choose the age group you’d prefer to work with, from toddlers to seniors.

Stress Management Specialist

Preventive care is a big emphasis in today’s health care system, both as a way to cut costs and to improve outcomes. A career in alternative health care is a rewarding way to avoid a traditional working schedule and make a great contribution to society as well. Consider a career as a stress management specialist, which lets you stay active while working with more people and fewer papers.

These days, more college graduates are finding ways to use their educations in active careers. Graduates with degrees in biology, accounting, health-related fields, and more can find rewarding alternatives to desk jobs that keep them away from the office.

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit Program Disclosures.


Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.

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