Thursday, March 03, 2011

Top ten careers for Catholics

Following up on my previous post on homeschooling and college, the following is my list of the top ten  lay fields that we desperately need good Catholics to go in to. I offer these suggestions for Catholic youth to consider instead of spending their college years getting a useless Liberal Arts degree. These fields are in need of an infusion of Catholic values and are also capable of providing a decent income.

10. Music 

We are in dire need of some good music. Right now, we pretty much have our high-end, intellectual music like Mozart and Bach, then our liturgical chant, then our often-times sappy Christian rock, which is of questionable quality, and then the secular stuff. What we really need is for some excellent Catholic musicians to start writing "secular" music that is inspired and formed by a Catholic worldview (as opposed to remaining segregated in the narrow genre of "Christian rock").

9. Journalism

Even though print-journalism is on its way out, there will always be a need for journalists, especially journalists whose fidelity to the truth and commitment to objective reporting trumps any ideological concerns. Catholics would be especially welcome in this field, especially since the Church has suffered so much from the media in the past. Ross Douthat of the New York Times, a convert to Catholicism,  is a good example of a journalist who seems to have a good, solid grasp of the issues facing our country and the Church and can report about them with insight and objectivity.

8. Video game design

No matter how you feel about video games, the fact is that they are not going away and will probably be a permanent fixture of our culture for a long time to come. Since video games are so endemic in our society, why not get some good Catholics in the design industry to create games that are more aesthetically pleasing, ethically acceptable and just plain funner than those currently being designed? As a former gamer myself, who appreciates a fine video game, I believe that, just as Catholics have written some of the best novels in history, so Catholics, with their creative mind, knowledge of the classics, themes of love, good and evil and and eye for the beautiful, have the potential to design some truly excellent video games that are not morally offensive. I would love to see this happen. There will definitely be a demand for this in the future, and the average video game designer makes $68,000 per year.

7. Architecture

There are simply too many ugly, utilitarian buildings around. We need good Catholics with a sense of beauty to design beautiful homes and businesses. This also applies to the more engineering-based forms of architecture, like the building of bridges, roads and weight-bearing structures.

6. Medical 

With the increasing expansion of medical and scientific procedures into questionable ethical practices, it is imperative that the medical field be infused with Catholic doctors, nurses, specialists and administrators who, allowing their consciences to be formed by the Church's teaching, will adhere to strict moral principles in all medical procedures and can bring Christian compassion into their practice.

5. Film making

I say "film making" instead of acting, because the problem with Hollywood is not that there are too many immoral actors, but too many immoral screenplays and too many degenerate directors. An actor will act whatever he is given to act, a murderer or rapist in one film and a saint in the next, if the money is there. This is why the key to getting some really good quality films is raising up a generation of Catholic screenplay writers, producers and directors who can effectively and beautifully bring Catholic values to the screen. A good example of this is the John Paul the Great University, which offers degrees in communications media such as film making. While I disagree with calling John Paul "the Great", the intuition of the university is right one. Unfortunately, JP the Great is not accredited, so I can't really recommend it.

4. Clothing design

It is so hard to find modest clothing, especially for girls. This would be a great field for some creative, young Catholic women to go into. We are in great need of clothes that are modest, but not dour or frumpy; clothes that accentuate a woman's natural beauty rather than debase it or hide it. Clothes can be stylish, aesthetically pleasing and modest and (hopefully) not too expensive. 

3. Finance

Some of the greatest crimes and immoralities in our civilization occur in the halls of finance. There is a desperate need for moral individuals in our financial markets who understand that matters of finance are not amoral and can make responsible decisions about the management of money, including offering people investments that do not fund questionable organizations. For the past two hundred years, our whole banking system has been ruled by crooks; it would be great to get some loyal, pious Catholics in there instead.

2. Education 

By education, I mean primarily public education, both at the elementary, secondary and college levels. I know how we all feel about the public schools; but be that as it may, the fact is that the vast majority of our citizens will go through the public school system. If this is the case, then it is imperative that we get some excellent Catholics in there who can guide the youth of this country in the right direction. Even if the Faith cannot be promulgated openly, a skilled Catholic teacher, with his mind at rest in the certainty offered by the truths of the faith, can be a bedrock of support to young people looking for values. A skilled Catholic teacher can point kids towards beauty and truth and inculcate in them habits of prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude, serving almost as a preparatio evangelium in the secular schools. Whatever we think about public education, we cannot just let the 79 million kids in our public system slip through our fingers. We should see this as mission territory to be embraced, not something to flee from. This is apart from any consideration of the value of getting good Catholic into administrative positions in our public institutions. I would also mention the good to be gotten from alternative forms of education, such as Homeschool Connections Online.

1. Government

This is where I think faithful Catholics are most needed - local, state and federal government, including school boards, township supervisory positions and positions in county government. Our republic will ultimately be only as good as the character of the people who govern it. We need to zealously encourage Catholics to get involved in public service, Catholics who will put their service to the Truth above their love of mammon and power.

Any of these fields who be much more productive and helpful to society (and more lucrative) than getting a liberal arts degree. Again, I am not knocking the liberal arts - I love the liberal arts. My life was changed by studying the liberal arts. But the liberal arts can be appreciated with the aid of just one or two talented tutors and a pile of books; it is not necessary to spend tens of thousands of dollars and several years on a college degree in the liberal arts, especially when there are very few jobs that a liberal arts degree will actually qualify you for. The liberal arts themselves are not worthless; they teach you how to think, how to write, how to construct an argument, how to understand your place in history and how to be a more complete human being. But these are all things kids should have down before they even apply to college.

Anyhow, if you are a parent or a teen on the cusp of college, I hope you will give this some prayerful thought.


Fr. Larry said...

I applaud your idea to lead young people into fields that desperately need an influx of Catholic identity. However, as one who has a BA., MA, and Phd. in History as well as two theological degrees (MDiv and STB), I was very annoyed and considered deleting you from my blogroll for saying that Liberal Arts degrees are "useless." If we forget who were, we cannot know who we are. The Catholic Church is based on Scripture AND TRADITION. We definitely need good Catholics in the fields of history, literature, and the other liberal arts because we have already seen academia jettison BC (Before Christ) for BCE (Before the Common Era) and AD (Anno Domini) for CE (Common Era). We have also seen the literary community abandon the canon of Western Civilization for ephemeral politically correct trash. Please do not say that Liberal Arts are useless because we need them to understand humanity correctly.

Boniface said...

Fr. Larry-

No! Please don't delete me from your blogroll! Let me explain!

As one who has a BA degree, I have found that the process of getting the BA in Liberal Arts was extremely invigorating and formed my intellectual and moral life in a very wonderful way, the fruits of which I am still reaping. It was a tremendously valuable process. But, from an employment angle, the Liberal Arts degree was useless. I should modify my statement to say that it is useless unless you are going into literature, history, philosophy, etc.. Obviously then it is useful, and we do need Catholics in those fields.

But as I see it, we are not in danger of running out of Catholic professors of literature and history, but rather of running out of them in these other fields. As valuable as a Liberal Arts degree is in forming the person, I have found it relatively useless in earning any more money than a person without one. So, please don't take me saying they are "useless" as meaning they are not valuable. But the values and things I learned in pursuing my BA I could have gotten just by a little directed reading and without spending $20,000.

Boniface said...

So, they are not useless in the sense of value, but only in the sense of the income they provide for their holder. The statement referred solely to earning potential.

Anonymous said...

Re your suggestion of Film Making, there is already a model upon which Catholics can build;

This has put out some incredible work; crying shame Vision Forum is so rabidly anti Catholic; they've done what the Catholic Church in the West needs desperately to do.

Catholics can also take their lead from Christian clothierres who are already producing beautiful garments

who produce everything from all modest clothing needs to accessories and even headcoverings; much of their collection can hardly be described as 'frumpy' a charge directed to far too much of the valiant work undertaken by Christian clothierres.
is a secular designer in Australia who produces gorgeous modest apparrel (if not a little pricy) as does her competition 'Margaret Caine'

Your call for Catholics to undertake careers in these fields could not come soon enough if this
is anything to go by!! never mind the fact that this appears on an evangelical Anglican website; the ramifications of this ruling intrude upon all Christians who value truth and fidelity to Scripture, right church teaching and right church tradition.

have we left our run too late?


newly entering the Catholic Church via the Marounite rite

Seán said...

10. Music - Yes. I think this is hampered by the whole "backbeat is from Satan" thing and various related views. We need creative individuals to get out there are put their original stamp on modern music, and use the popular themes and rhythms with music that is informed by a Catholic sense. There is a dire need in this area.

8. Video game design - And design something that is meant to enrich us, not consign us to a couch for a life sentence. There is a large market for historical role playing games, and also fantasy.

7. Architecture - For the love of God, yes!

5. Film making - You're right about what you say. There are way too many instances of gratuitous sex, violence, cussing, etc. We need good storytellers who can come up with an original story instead of [Fill in the Blank] 2, 3, 4, ad infinitum to suck every dollar out of the brand.

4. Clothing design - A young lady at our church is going into this. She is dedicated to stylish modest clothing. Very good career to go into. Talk about setting the world on fire. This would appeal to a large group of people who are not even known now.

I would like to add the food industry. There are probably a lot of men of good will in this industry, but our food has really gotten bad. Artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, GMOs, rBGH, a lot of food meant to essentially addict you, etc. etc. Also this industry has become very centralized. I would recommend, for those of this bent, for Catholics to get involved with organic, natural foods. A huge growth industry, and we are on the cusp of another "green revolution", as our agriculture-on-steroids system is falling apart (or literally, our bodies are falling apart!)

Good post.

John Triolo said...

Thanks for the plug. How's the campaign?

Kepmeister said...

Because I agree we need to promote the true of image of Catholic priests as decent men pledged to serving God I have written a play about a priest. This play uses humor to attract and hold the audience all the while getting the subtle message across that Catholic priests are wonderful people. The cost of the play to any legitimate church or organization that wants to use is is zero dollars. Contact me at

Unknown said...

I am sure that this blog may not be monitored however if it is, how would one suggest getting into these needed feild before having a degree. I have the intent and drive to work in some way for the church but that seems next to impossible to do without a degree which in my stating will take some time to recieve. Any comments can be sent to Thank you.

Boniface said...


Well, I did not say that these professions do not require degrees, only that they do not require Liberal Arts degrees. It is not a degree per se that are a waste, but Liberal Arts degrees specifically. You will still need a degree for lots of these jobs.

Albert Cesare said...

I want to point something out regarding Catholics in journalism. I am a Catholic and a journalist. I actually know many catholics in journalism but that is not why I am commenting.

You see journalism pays very little. Pay ranges from 15,000-40,000 and most journalist get paid between 25,000-32,000. Also they require college degree's now and so one may be straddled with student loan debt.

This kind of pay does makes it hard or impossible to raise what I would call, a family open to "Life". I'm young and married and I have two children 2, and six-month-old.

To add to the struggle my wife is a musician and a teaches latin at home with the children via the internet. Which also doesn't pay a lot.

I would warn that if someone wants to be a Catholic and a Journalist they should seriously consider the fiscal problems that ones future or current family will have to bare.

Maybe Journalism is a job for the unmarried. I also am not sure what you mean by what kind of bad press the Catholic church has suffered. If this is relation to the priest scandal any good Catholic reporter would report on it. Priest have great responsibility and therefore should be scrutinized when the commit crimes. I suggest reading "Inside the Vatican Magazine" and I believe the editor would agree with my statements.

Philip S said...

Surely the priesthood should be a career worth mentioning? With the massive decline in numbers, they could sure use a boost!

Boniface said...

Well, priesthood is not a "career", but a vocation.

I thought it was implied that this was a list for lay Catholics.