What are the intellectually MOST rigorous jobs?

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Jobs, which require a good set of intelligence and hard work?
 

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  • #2
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I would put quantum physics at the top of my list, and then maybe electrical engineering and pure mathematics.
 
  • #3
j93
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I would put quantum physics at the top of my list, and then maybe electrical engineering and pure mathematics.

These are not jobs.
 
  • #4
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fine, careers.....
what do u have on your list, j93?
 
  • #5
Choppy
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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.
 
  • #6
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Outside of academia there are almost no jobs that requires more knowledge than the average high school student can master in half a year.
 
  • #7
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Outside of academia there are almost no jobs that requires more knowledge than the average high school student can master in half a year.

Where do you people come from saying garbage like this?
 
  • #8
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Where do you people come from saying garbage like this?


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.
 
  • #9
Pengwuino
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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.

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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #11
Not a parent, but being a stay at home mom/dad raising 2+ kids would probably be high on the list.....
 
  • #12
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Professor of Intellectual Rigor.
 
  • #13
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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.
 
  • #14
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Outside of academia there are almost no jobs that requires more knowledge than the average high school student can master in half a year.


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.
 
  • #15
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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.

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.
 
  • #16
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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.

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.
 
  • #17
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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.
 
  • #18
Jobs, which require a good set of intelligence and hard work?

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.
 
  • #19
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Waste management. You take a lot of sh*t from everyone.
 
  • #20
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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.
 
  • #21
Andy Resnick
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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.

I'm guessing you don't have children.
 
  • #22
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Lawyer is very demanding. You have to be on your feet when you are called to do so.

Computer programmers likewise need to think a lot and apply a lot of knowledge.

Bankers and directing positions are extremely difficult too, particularily the work and pressure one puts in before obtaining such a title.
 
  • #23
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a bond trader for a hedge fund.

Shamanism and fraud hiding behind a mask of intellectual rigour.
 
  • #24
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Lawyer is very demanding. You have to be on your feet when you are called to do so.

That is not intellectual rigour, it calls for similar skills to those of a car salesman..
 
  • #25
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That is not intellectual rigour, it calls for similar skills to those of a car salesman..

That seems a bit denigrating, and based more on the stereotype of a lawyer than the reality. Being a lawyer requires a voluminous amount of knowledge and a great deal of work. It's popular, and amusing in a quaint way, to villify them, but hardly fair or precise.

A number of the responses seem to either be in jest or to be straying rather far afield from what I think the intent of the thread was; rather than continuing to toss obscure or ridiculous suggestions into the hat (Buddhist monk... contemplating Zen koans is brutal!), perhaps we could simply refine the question.

What occupations involving the study or application of physics, engineering, or math are the most intellectually demanding? A subjective inquiry, of course, but one that may prompt some interesting discussion if people are willing to elaborate on why they respond the way they do.
 
  • #26
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A good lawyer needs to have an expansive memory(to recall a precedent, or anything that might help his case) and the ability to build a logical argument using a potentially shifting pool of facts, at least that's if you're doing non criminal. I guess if its criminal law you're talking about you might be right.
 
  • #27
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Outside of academia there are almost no jobs that requires more knowledge than the average high school student can master in half a year.

...Yeah, that isn't true at all. Are you still a student?
 
  • #28
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...Yeah, that isn't true at all. Are you still a student?

As I explained above, this is true in practice for most jobs, even jobs where they ask for highly qualified people. You can take a high schooler, give him/her inensive training for a year or so and he/she will do just fine. Exceptions would be medical specialists, astronauts etc.

A friend of mine has a Ph.D in math and works for an insurance company. A Ph.D was said to be required when he applied for the job. But he says that his job only involves high school level math.
 
  • #29
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As I explained above, this is true in practice for most jobs, even jobs where they ask for highly qualified people. You can take a high schooler, give him/her inensive training for a year or so and he/she will do just fine. Exceptions would be medical specialists, astronauts etc.

A friend of mine has a Ph.D in math and works for an insurance company. A Ph.D was said to be required when he applied for the job. But he says that his job only involves high school level math.

I still don't see why you're so confident your statement is "true in practice for most jobs". What are you basing this statement off of? One or two samples?

You friend's situation is not even true for most math PhDs, so I don't see how you think it can be true for most jobs. It's not true in engineering, that I can tell you first hand. Especially for engineers with advanced degrees and are hired because of those degrees.
 
  • #30
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I still don't see why you're so confident your statement is "true in practice for most jobs". What are you basing this statement off of? One or two samples?

You friend's situation is not even true for most math PhDs, so I don't see how you think it can be true for most jobs. It's not true in engineering, that I can tell you first hand. Especially for engineers with advanced degrees and are hired because of those degrees.

A sample of about 40 jobs of friends, family members etc. Most of what you need to know apart from what you've learned in high school to do the job, can be learned in about a year's time.

An uncle of mine is an engineer. When new engineers are hired he has to supervise them in the first few months. He often complains about the new recruits not knowing even the basic things. It was he who told me that you could take a high schooler, give him half a year's training and he'll do just fine. He claims that it is true for most jobs.

The more I thought about that, the more I agreed with him. Change the half a year to a year and it is almost universially true except for very specialized jobs like surgeons and plumbers.
 

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