What are good careers for laypeople?

I’m currently in high school and discerning my vocation. Right now I’m leaning towards the priesthood, but if that isn’t where I’m called, what are good careers for devout Catholics? For any laypeople here, what careers do you have that are fun, challenging, rewarding, and/or helping you to live your faith? They can be within or outside of the Church.

If you are called to marriage, I think it makes sense to look for work that can support a family, but also permit you to spend a reasonable amount of time with them. Cultivating a strong work ethic and being smart in your financial planning will help you regardless of career path.

I think your talents and interests play a role too. Yes, nobody loves work 100% of the time. But ideally it plays to your strengths and interests, which motivates you to stick with it.

Whatever you enjoy. Any career short of something obviously immoral can be lived as a faithful Catholic.

Software Engineering or even Programming

This would be a good question for a guidance counselor, taking into account your aptitudes and interests.

The thing that makes you feel fulfilled and productive.
Figure out what that is.

Civil engineer.

Whatever is God’s will for you, whether that is the priesthood, an IT manager, a teacher, a caregiver, a garbage collector- whatever. If you pray to God to lead you to the career and job He wishes for you, that is the most perfect, peaceful, and fruitful path you can take. That is where you become holy.


When I was in school our guidance program did this. We took a couple in depth personality assessments and inventories, plus aptitude tests. There was a little of this kind of thing online back then, but most of it was very shallow (at least the stuff open to everyone). Now it’s easier to get the more professional stuff even if you don’t have a guidance counselor or program (e.g. if you are homeschooled). I’d recommend Myers Briggs - it’s pretty thorough, though results can shift over time.

The results weren’t definitive, of course, but they gave a good idea of the kinds of career paths a person could thrive in.

Unless you’re holed up in a cave somewhere, there will always be human beings whom you can love and serve as Christ.

I’m a public school teacher and my work is all about service. But teaching is extremely difficult work – student personalities and ability levels, parent expectations and concerns (or lack thereof), administrative demands, always being the pawns of politicians at every level. It is stressful in the extreme! Not a career to be considered in order to “have summers off.”

I once heard a protestant preacher refer to Christian teachers in the public schools as “missionaries in hostile territory.” It’s that… and so much more. :thumbsup:

What exactly are your academic strengths? Medicine is still a great career whether you are an MD, RN or in hospital administration. Living close to the Silicon Valley, techies with degrees in programming or IT areas make a great living. You are very young - our newest Jesuit priest didn’t start the process to become ordained until he was 28, had a MA in bio-chem and had taught at a college prep high school for a few years. Life experience is so important in making choices and you have plenty of time to expand your Life CV! God bless you and have a blessed Christmas:)



Really…Why ?

I just hate coding/programming - to each his own. I actually worked for IBM for 4 years, in finance though. I’m still trying to get away from the computer.

Yeah I agree with medicine as a great career. For me, I see the works of God in medicine and the sciences as well as many forms being a corporal work of mercy as your job. Pretty hard to beat that. I volunteered/researched most of this year in neuroscience. I’m very interested in the brain.

Ah I see. Yes, I’d agree with being stuck in front of a computer. However, these days with agile programming developers have to attend a lot of meetings.

So much so that having quiet time in front of your laptop developing with no interruptions can be blissful. Especially once you get into the zone.

Well, I tried the priesthood but it tuns out that wasn’t for me. I’m married now and en route to becoming a high school teacher (English and Religious Education). I figured a career in teaching would be pretty family friendly (long holidays) and give me the chance to do some catechesis in the classroom.

How far did you get before you figured it wasn’t for you?

I did a year and then I left. Soon after that I actually met my wife.

My dearest brother in law is a neurosurgeon and has loved it for forty years! My nephew went to med school, but hated surgery so he became a psychiatrist. He just received his full professorship at a top ten school and his speciality is working with vetrans who came home from war with PTSD. He says that he feels like he is helping young docs better understand what war does to some soldiers and that he directly work’s with amazing young men and women who serve our country. At age 40, he is very happy with his career choice. Merry Christmas, and enjoy your school break!:wink:

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