Academic Careers For Those Who Are Top of the Class

Are you a natural academic? Some people are gifted when it comes to school work, and if you are, you’ve probably be praised throughout your school life for your excellent work. Perhaps you find a certain subject very easy, maybe you write fluently or it could be your sharp memory which allows you to remember lots of facts that helps you out. Either way, if this is the case, you will probably want to go on to an academic career later in life. Something that demands a lot of respect while earning you a lot of money and being genuinely interesting. Here are a few academic careers you could consider if you’re always at the top of your class.

Law and Criminology

Criminology and criminal justice are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are very different. Criminal justice refers to the systems used to deal with crime, such as police, courts and the legal system. Criminology is focused on the autonomy of crime- discovering the causes and consequences of the behaviour. To become a lawyer or solicitor, you will need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and then attend law school. You will then need to earn a Juris Doctor degree, and from there you can build your career. You may need to start out by shadowing an experienced lawyer. It can be many years from graduating until you have your own successful business and clients, so while it’s a very well respected and high paying career, there’s a whole lot of work that goes into it until you reach that stage. If you want to go down more of a criminology route, things like forensics and criminal profiling are interesting careers. You will need to be top of your class and passionate about your work since these are very competitive careers.


Being able to teach the next generation is extremely rewarding, and as a teacher, you have huge influence in your pupil’s lives. You can inspire and motivate and quite literally shape the direction the rest of their lives take. Once you have your bachelor’s degree, you can take a course to become a qualified teacher. Otherwise, you could do a degree that’s specifically in teaching, there are various types of online teaching degrees are available if your local university doesn’t offer this. You will need to decide if you want to teach primary or secondary school. Alternatively, you could become a university lecturer which is a different route again, or if you wanted to teach but without all of the formal qualifications, you could become a tutor. Providing you are skilled and knowledgeable about what you’re teaching, tutors can earn fantastic money. Other roles within the teaching field can include devising the learning syllabus- this is a very complex and interesting role. Since the syllabus is created based on current events in the world and a number of other factors there’s a lot that goes into it. And you have the responsibility of influencing what an entire generation of children are learning at school.


Medical careers are things like doctors and dentist but could also involve lab and science work such as bioengineering and pharmacogenetics. If you want a medical career, you have to be incredibly driven and in it for the long haul. After finishing three years at university, you will then need to do four at medical school- if you choose a school which offers a PhD alongside a medical degree, this can be extremely useful early on in your career. Otherwise, you will likely need to do a PhD later on. However, even after that, you’re not able to practice as a doctor. Residency and fellowship then takes another three to six years until you’re able to practice medicine. On top of that, medicine a highly competitive field. You will need to be so passionate that your study and work comes before anything else in your life. You will need to achieve the very best grades to stand a chance at getting the job you want. Whether you want to be a GP, surgeon, specialist or work in clinical academic medicine, it’s a difficult yet incredibly rewarding career. Not only do you get to make a genuine difference in people’s lives but it’s a well-respected career and will earn you a lot of money too. If you’re prepared to commit your life to your work, then medicine can be incredibly prosperous.

Health and Social Care

Health and social care covers a wide and varied number of careers. It includes everything from alternative therapies (acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy and chiropractor) to nursing to social services. This can include careers like counsellors, careers advisors, youth workers, housing officers and much more. To have a career within the health and social care industry, you should have a genuine interest in helping people. Unlike doctors and other medical careers, you can move your way up in many health roles (such as nursing) more quickly and without the need for as much education. So this could be an option if a very competitive medical job isn’t on the cards for you. Health and social care include things like support roles, so dental hygienists, surgical nurses etc. Meaning you can still get into this career in some way if you don’t have the time or inclination to devote your life working to the top.

If you’re academic, driven and want a respectable career then these are just a few examples of the types of roles you could look into. Many roles will have different progression routes, so depending on your age and experience you could look into what suits you best. If you’re still in school for example, you could work your way up through study, if you’re changing careers a little later on then work based training or part time study while you still earn and gain experience could be best.

Have you spent much time thinking about your future career, and the steps you will take to make it happen?