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What are the intellectually MOST rigorous jobs?

  1. May 25, 2009 #1
    Jobs, which require a good set of intelligence and hard work?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2009 #2
    I would put quantum physics at the top of my list, and then maybe electrical engineering and pure mathematics.
  4. May 25, 2009 #3


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    These are not jobs.
  5. May 25, 2009 #4
    fine, careers.....
    what do u have on your list, j93?
  6. May 25, 2009 #5


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    I think the point that J93 was making was that you've listed academic subjects, which are not really jobs or careers (with perhaps the exception of electrical engineering).

    While there are jobs that may sound impressive, intellectual rigor is largely a subjective quantity. A janitor could have an intellectually rigorous job, while an engineer who 'stamps' blueprints may not actually put in all that much skull sweat to get the job done. Ultimately, you get the rigour out that you put in.
  7. May 25, 2009 #6
    Outside of academia there are almost no jobs that requires more knowledge than the average high school student can master in half a year.
  8. May 25, 2009 #7
    Where do you people come from saying garbage like this?
  9. May 25, 2009 #8

    From academia. I know quite a few people who have jobs outside of academia who also have worked in academia or at least studied physics and or math at a very high evel. It is their opinion that while in some jobs people with advanced degrees are hired, you do not need the skills you have studied for to actually do the job.
  10. May 25, 2009 #9


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    That's quite a different statement than saying that their jobs can be done by high schoolers... Most people I've seen agree they don't use everything they learned in college but I don't believe any of them would say that a high schooler could do their jobs.
  11. May 25, 2009 #10
    How could the most intellectual jobs involve working under someone elses directions? The most mentally demanding jobs are either doing academic research full-time with no teaching, or using your intellect to create a product and run a business.
  12. May 25, 2009 #11
    Not a parent, but being a stay at home mom/dad raising 2+ kids would probably be high on the list.....
  13. May 25, 2009 #12
    Professor of Intellectual Rigor.
  14. May 25, 2009 #13
    A parent!? Hardly. I know we worship children and parents in our culture but it's hardly an intellectually demanding job. Physically, yes and patience-wise yes.
  15. May 25, 2009 #14

    Outside of academia you could be a cryptographer (for the NSA most likely), a bond trader for a hedge fund, you could work for NASA, you could do R&D for a company, be a doctor, lawyer etc.
  16. May 25, 2009 #15
    Thank you qntty...I wasn't about to sit there and try to explain to the ignorant that researchers are not only found in the academic world or repeat the words of Choppy.
  17. May 26, 2009 #16
    Unless you want a superhuman project child who has a nervous breakdown in his twenties like John Stewart Mill. His father had a carefully planned training regimen.
  18. May 26, 2009 #17
    Anything taken to an extreme is demanding. Such seems to be the nature of extremes, but I'm just commenting 'in general'.

    And back on topic, I think anything in research or 'innovations'-type fields would be quite demanding.
  19. May 26, 2009 #18
    Every job I've ever had (all the part-time, sandwich shop/supermarket etc.) included can fit into this. Hard work is what you make of it, there are some jobs where you can get away without doing any work - but that's because someone else is lazy as well. I prefer to know I'm doing a good job. Using ones own intelligence is optional in some cases as well, but there's always a smart way to work! :)

    What I'm building up to is the fact that I'm not sure what you're looking to get out of this thread? You've posted it in the academic guidance forum, does that mean you're looking to find a career based on how 'difficult and demanding' they are? or is this thread just for general chat?

    I think the question is, as others have said, rather subjective. If you're looking for a general 'who has the most intellectually challenging job?' or something then i'll say: I'm a physicist, there's certain ways I like to learn things and deal with problems - I have a good friend that's a lawyer and through observation I'm almost certain I would struggle to get through an undergraduate degree in law nevermind be able to fit into a position.
  20. May 26, 2009 #19
    Waste management. You take a lot of sh*t from everyone.
  21. May 26, 2009 #20
    Maybe a job on wall-street or in stocks, need a shed load of intuition and being able to act on it, managers of corporations, project managers on practically any project doubtless won't be successful without alot of intellect, i don't know, bieng successful in anything, perhaps.
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