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The 10 Best Degrees for People With Anxiety

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Anxiety is a condition that affects millions of people of all ages on a daily basis. Some people experience anxiety to the point it affects their ability to function normally in society. It also makes it difficult for a student with anxiety to decide upon a career that meets their goals and needs. The process of going through college is anxiety-inducing for just about every student as it’s what makes or breaks their career. Anxiety for college students is at an all-time high when they start their studies and learn what’s expected of them as they progress.

Students who suffer from anxiety that’s resistant to treatment or are undiagnosed have a particularly difficult time dealing with the pressures of higher education. It’s important that these students find the best jobs for people with anxiety in order to enjoy their schooling, keep up with the workload and have the opportunity to start a rewarding career

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Anxiety for college students is a real issue. It’s one that affects their daily life, their ability to function well and maintain good grades throughout their education. College accommodations for anxiety exist and college students dealing with anxiety should take advantage of such accommodations. However, the fact is, a student has to eventually find gainful employment. Many colleges have mental health departments that can help students learn how to handle their anxiety, but the anxiety will be there long after an education has completed. Following is a look at the best jobs for people with anxiety and why they’re worth considering. Aligning career goals with the demands of an anxiety disorder can help a student find success and satisfaction throughout their working life.

1. History 

The history degree is a multi-faceted degree that qualifies a student to work in education, law, libraries, archives and more. A history major learns how to research, cite their sources, determine accuracy and learn how to overlay historical events onto today’s actions. It’s possible to find employment with a bachelors degree in history, but students have far better career options when they earn their masters or doctorate degree. The job growth for historians is estimated to be 3% between 2019 and 2029. However, the statistics don’t reflect the fact that historians frequently work in fields that don’t directly relate to the study of history in general. 

A degree in history studies is one of the best degrees for people with anxiety. Most of the work takes place in quiet settings and doesn’t usually require daily collaboration with fellow employees. The research and study of a specific topic can be relaxing and time-consuming in a way that helps ease the stress of anxiety or fails to trigger an episode altogether. It’s a calm occupation with plenty of career options in multiple fields that enables a student to find a career track that’s right for them. 

Degree Level: Master/PhD 

Average Salary: $84,000

2. Sustainability/Environmental Engineering 

A sustainability/environmental engineer degree involves the maintenance of natural resources and ensuring that the quality of these resources remains high for future use. An environmental engineer checks air, soil, water for levels of contamination and creates solutions to improve and remediate contamination from the natural resource. They also assess the risk of remediation, take different natural forces into consideration, monitor sites for pollution over time and create models based on their findings. A bachelors degree is required for entry-level work. The role is predicted to grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029.

This is another one of the best degrees for people with anxiety. Working with the environment means working out in the field and with less supervision. Work performance is judged upon the quality and results without the need to be in constant contact with coworkers and superiors. Salaries for the role are generous and the work outlook is stable as communities and governments focus on cleaning up the environment.  

Degree Level: Bachelor/Master 

Average Salary: $70,000

3. Library and Information Science 

Working in the library and information science field involves the organization and maintenance of reference materials and working with information technology as it pertains to the library. This role may also require research to find materials that are relevant to an inquiry. A public library does require the librarian to interact with the public, but those interactions tend to revolve around inquiries for various needs. An LIS student will also apply their skills to maintain the book shelving system and direct staff in the operations of a library. Demand for the role is predicted to grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029 due to public demand for information resources.

Libraries and similar settings are quiet, relaxed and peaceful places to work even if it’s a public facing role. The core function of a librarian is to help people find information they need and direct them to books and other reference materials that help them in their research. The work is rewarding and satisfying on top of the peaceful settings which is perfect for someone who wants to help others, but doesn’t want to work in a high-stress environment. 

Degree Level: Master 

Average Salary: $66,500

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4. Computer Programming/Game Design 

There are multiple degrees that enable a student to become a computer programmer in game design, or computer programming in a specific language. A student who wants to become a game designer has multiple degree tracks available to them in either science or arts. The role is considered hybrid in that it combines arts, engineering and mathematics in order to create a working final product in the form of a game. Most jobs require a bachelors degree, but a masters degree can help gain entry into more rarified areas of the field. The job growth outlook for computer programmers is expected to decline by 9% between 2019 and 2029. 

The role of computer programmer in game design enables a student to exercise multiple parts of their brain. This is also a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that turns thinking away from anxiety-related topics. Compensation for the position tends to be on the high side and brings financial security for students who have financial anxiety. 

Degree Level: Bachelor/Master 

Average Salary: $64,000

5. Museum Curator/Archivist 

The work of a museum curator/archivist is one that involves making decisions for upcoming exhibits, maintaining current exhibitions, monitoring the condition of artworks on display, and making decisions on new acquisitions for the museum. The role is sometimes collaborative with other curators in cross-collection exhibitions and curators also take input from junior staff members. Most positions require a master’s degree or higher for employment, and the role is estimated to grow by 11% between 2019 and 2029 due to public demand to view works of art. 

A museum curator or archivist works away from the public eye and in laboratory-like settings used for the preparation and staging of exhibits. The curator/archivist mainly works on their own and takes responsibility for the decisions they make for their department. It’s a role with a lot of autonomy and freedom to make decisions with occasional input from others. This role works well for someone who can’t tolerate working in a crowded environment with constant supervision. 

Degree Level: Master/PhD 

Average Salary: $60,000

6. Medical Technologist/Laboratory 

A medical technologist works in a laboratory setting for the purpose of preparing and testing samples taken from a patient. They’re trained to work in all areas of medical lab testing, but a student can choose to work in a specific area of testing such as clinical pathology or anatomical pathology. Demand for employment is expected to grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029 due to increasing demand for medical care from the general population. 

The work of a medical technologist is done in a laboratory setting and with necessary supervision. A medical technologist is under pressure to get samples tested and turn around results as quickly as possible. That means the technologist is largely left alone to do their work in order to obtain accurate results. This is another one of the best degrees for people with anxiety who want a stable career in a field that has growth, but allows them to work independently and with a relatively low degree of stress. 

Degree Level: Bachelor 

Average Salary: $58,000

7. Social Media/Digital Marketing 

Social media and digital marketing combines traditional advertising and social media for the purpose of making sales. Students learn how to use traditional marketing techniques and apply them to social media formats in order to gain the attention of as broad of an audience as possible. Job duties include identifying a market audience, where they’re most likely to be found online, finding what appeals to said audience and encourages them to click through an ad or a link to find out more about the product. Most positions look for a bachelors degree and the job outlook for the role is good with 6% growth projected between 2019 and 2029. 

Social media and digital marketing roles are ones that can be done in a work from home setting through an employer or independently. The pressure to perform well can be a trigger for those who are sensitive to work stress, but someone whose anxiety is ameliorated through working in a somewhat isolated setting can succeed in this field. The marketing field accepts that people need to be left alone to think and plan and employers aren’t put off by an employee’s need to be left alone. 

Degree Level: Bachelor 

Average Salary: $51,000

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8. Bookkeeping/Accounting 

Bookkeeping and accounting degrees involve learning how to balance accounts, keep clean financial records, show receivables and payables, handle tax issues, and maintain payroll for employees. Employment is found in enterprises of all sizes and in the public and private sectors. Bookkeepers and accountants maintain the financial workings of an operation to maintain cash flow, help make purchase decisions and reduce the potential for an IRS audit. Most of the work is performed on computers and through the use of accounting software. 

Bookkeeping and/or accounting are math-based roles that don’t allow much room for error. The work is relatively straightforward, doesn’t have much in the way of variables, and mistakes are usually caught long before they become problematic. Some positions have co-workers going over the work to catch mistakes and validate the work prior to releasing the final results to a client or department. Most bookkeepers and accountants work individually and can let themselves get focused on their work with little in the way of distractions. The need for quiet to get work done is ideal for people who want to shut out anxiety-inducing distractions.

Degree Level: Bachelor 

Average Salary: $51,000

9. Graphic Design 

Graphic design involves creating visual concepts by hand or through the use of computer software in order to bring ideas to life. A graphic designer starts with their own idea or takes the concepts laid out by someone else and turns them into an image or layout in 2-D design formats. Employers for graphic designers include website design, advertising, public relations, printing houses and anywhere there’s a need for someone to take concepts and push them forward into a visual format. The employment outlook for the role is expected to decline by 4% between 2019 and 2029, but that should not deter someone from going to school for graphic design. A graphic designer can find employment in fields that aren’t directly associated with design.

The role of graphic designer does come with pressure, but it also gives the opportunity to release the energy caused by anxiety through creativity. This type of work relies heavily on deadlines which can teach an individual how to better manage their workflow and time. Creating deliverables is done independently most of the time and alleviates the need to collaborate with coworkers on a constant basis. Fewer distractions help with time management and enables the graphic designer to focus on their work without worrying about having their concentration shattered.

Degree Level: Bachelor 

Average Salary: $46,000 

10. Mental Health Counseling 

Mental health counseling involves working with patients or clients to help them understand what’s going on inside their heads. It’s one of the best degrees for people with anxiety due to the fact the work can help a student understand themselves as well as others. A student can find employment with a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is usually required for working with substance abuse and certain mental disorders. The employment outlook for mental health counselors is expected to grow by 25% between 2019 and 2029 due to increased acceptance of the need for mental health care.

At first glance, the idea of someone with anxiety disorder working in the mental health field sounds counterintuitive. The fact is, someone who has anxiety and/or comorbid mental health issues are well-suited to work as a mental health counselor. An individual who has anxiety typically understands people’s motivations from their own introspections into why they do things, act and react the way they do to a specific stimulus. Learning how to become a mental health counselor also has the benefit of helping the student gain tools to handle their own anxieties.

Degree Level: Bachelors or Masters

Average Salary: $43,000

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