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18 awesome career choices most university students would never think of

For many students, a university degree puts you on the direct path to a certain career, such as a doctor, teacher, or journalist.

But for many others, the future isn’t as clear cut.

Maybe you want to go to med school, but don’t necessarily want to be a doctor. Maybe you love maps, but aren’t sure how to incorporate that passion into a career. Or perhaps you just haven’t found anything that sounds appealing yet.

Luckily, there are tons of great career options out there that many uni students have no idea even exist. In this helpful thread, Reddit users shared some of these under-the-radar occupations that most students probably haven’t heard of. And they pay fairly well, too.

Here are 18 of our favourites, including salary data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, for those who need some inspiration finding their dream job.

Court stenographer

Average annual salary:$US55,000

'It's a three-year program (on average -- took me four to finish), but if you're proficient in grammar, have strong language skills, have solid finger dexterity from playing an instrument or video games, and are able to work independently, it's an incredible career.

'You work from home most of the time, lawyers very rarely schedule depositions before 10:00 am, you can make your own schedule, and the pay is great. Your pay reflects how hard you want to work and the jobs you're getting, but I made 65k my first year and nearly 80k my second.' -- Bad_Karma21

Dental hygienist

Average annual salary: $US71,970

'I'm starting dental hygiene school in the fall and I would have never looked into it while in uni. It's only after I graduated and realised that I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do that I started seriously doing some research. Most dental hygiene programs only require a certain amount of prerequisite courses and a standardised test score for admission. Most are also bachelors degree programs as well, so mum and dad are pleased and you're spending the minimal amount of time you would earning a traditional university degree. Plus, salary starts at 50-60k a year with ridiculous benefits, at least in my area. Dentists treat their hygienists well!' -- WinnifredBurkle

Industrial design

Average annual salary:$US67,030

Mining engineer

Average annual salary:$US100,970

'It can be cyclical (bit of a miner lull right now in my specific resource/location right now) but on a good year it is white hot. I signed on to a $US100k salary (plus bonus and benefits) straight out of my bachelors degree at 23 for a job that had me moving across the planet (Canada to Australia). The year I graduated we finished school in May and 80% of my graduating class had jobs lined up already and the remainder found jobs by the end of July.

Blacksmith

Average annual salary for similar position*: $US56,560

'Very few people know this, but blacksmithing is something still practiced in today's society. Very few universities have courses in it and I believe that mine is the only one that you can get a degree in it (Southern Illinois University of Carbondale). I am a student in this program. It is immensely fun. I have made knives, art, pedestals, hammers. I love talking about what I do but very few people understand it. And there is quite a job market for it too.' -- FarlandMetals

*Some median salaries were not available via the Bureau of Labour Statistics, so data for similar positions was used.

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