People with bipolar disorder have specific challenges when it comes to launching their careers. This article covers the best majors for bipolar students to help those with this medical condition get started in a career that is fulfilling and successful.
The best college majors for bipolar students allow them to manage their mental health conditions while pursuing the knowledge and skills they need for rewarding careers. This article also includes the best jobs for bipolar students and the education required to be eligible for them, plus their average salaries and projected job outlooks.
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What Is the Best Major for Bipolar Students?
Counseling is the best major for bipolar students because it can help them understand their illness, learn to manage it, and help others. Bipolar students benefit from a degree program that doesn’t require a lot of pressure and will help them understand themselves and thus understand and relate to others.
Psychology is a similar option for a major. A career in counseling comes with flexible hours, a flexible office space, and little to no pressure, which are important factors to consider when making a career choice as a bipolar student.
How to Find Support for Bipolar Students in College
- Seek out counseling centers on campus. There are counseling centers at most colleges that offer therapy sessions to students who are going through a difficult time. These centers can help bipolar students handle the stress, trauma, and depression that can come with the disorder. However, they do not prescribe medication, as only licensed psychiatrists can do that.
- Join campus advocacy and support groups. Many colleges have bipolar disorder support groups or other mental illness group support for students. These groups help students feel seen and get the support and encouragement they need through sharing their own experiences and listening to others’ similar experiences.
- Participate in online support communities. Online support communities are available for free to students who cannot afford therapy sessions with licensed psychiatrists. These communities provide support and online resources and help raise awareness about bipolar disorder.
- Download helpful apps. Online mental health apps can act as trackers for bipolar students to help them understand and manage their illnesses. These apps can track their moods, help them recognize symptoms, and prevent breakdowns or major depression.
- Find off-campus mental health centers. For those who may not feel comfortable with on-campus centers, there are also mental health centers available off campus that can provide you with the necessary medical care to manage your illness. They can provide behavioral therapy and other outpatient care.
What Are the Best Majors for Bipolar Students?
- Veterinary Medicine | Average Salary: $78,000
- Accounting | Average Salary: $74,000
- Statistics | Average Salary: $74,000
- Health Information Management | Average Salary: $71,000
- Web Development | Average Salary: $67,000
- Education | Average Salary: $64,000
- Fine Arts | Average Salary: $61,000
- Writing | Average Salary: $56,000
- Graphic Design | Average Salary: $56,000
- Counseling | Average Salary: $54,000
Best College Majors for Bipolar Students: Explained
Veterinary Medicine | Average Salary: $78,000
A veterinary medicine major is available from the associate to doctoral level. At the associate degree level, students can enroll in veterinary technician programs. This major involves working with animals, which can help students manage their illness as it involves a lot of empathy. Many studies show the positive effect pets have on our mental health, and working as a vet would provide similar benefits.
Accounting | Average Salary: $74,000
Accounting is a good choice for many bipolar students because working with numbers and calculations can help relieve stress and lessen depressive symptoms. Students can earn this degree at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree level. This major will prepare students for career paths in business, economics, and finance.
Statistics | Average Salary: $74,000
Like accounting, statistics involves working with numbers and calculations. Finding solutions to problems requires a lot of concentration, thoroughness, and efficiency. This can help students with bipolar disorder focus and manage any mood swings. Statistics is the perfect major for those who are good with numbers and enjoy finding solutions to problems.
Health Information Management | Average Salary: $71,000
Health information management is another great major for bipolar students. It is a low-stress, behind-the-scenes field that doesn’t involve a lot of pressure. Bipolar students in this field may find it easier to manage their symptoms at work because the environment requires focus but is highly predictable. This major may also help students manage symptoms of depression.
Web Development | Average Salary: $67,000
Majors in creative fields offer some of the best options for bipolar students. Web development builds creativity while teaching students technical and problem-solving skills. It’s another major that involves a lot of focus but not a lot of potentially stressful interactions. Students have the satisfaction that comes with creating something entirely their own while meeting specific client needs.
Education | Average Salary: $64,000
Education is one of the best majors for bipolar students because it involves a lot of problem-solving and research skills. These are skills that can help students manage their mental illness. Teachers’ day-to-day work provides a fair amount of independence while still offering a sense of teamwork with other teachers and faculty.
Fine Arts | Average Salary: $61,000
Fine arts is a field that allows you to fully explore your creativity and challenges you to be your artistic and technical best. With a degree in fine arts, you can become an artist, an art therapist, or an art director. These careers involve a lot of creativity and calmness, with little or no pressure.
Writing | Average Salary: $56,000
A degree in writing can lead to various career paths, all of which involve creativity, organization, and research. These skills can help keep your mind occupied, which is particularly helpful for students with bipolar disorder. You can choose to earn an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in this field. You can also earn a doctorate for those interested in teaching at the college level.
Graphic Design | Average Salary: $56,000
A graphic design major will involve a lot of creativity, color, fun, and challenges. This type of college experience can be good for bipolar students, who benefit from a relaxed, less-stressful learning environment. You can earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in graphic design for a promising career.
Counseling | Average Salary: $54,000
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, counseling is a great major for bipolar students. They will get insight into their own disorder and experiences, which can help them relate to others with mental health challenges and help them overcome them. As a major, counseling is relatively low stress and low pressure.
Top 10 Best Jobs for Bipolar Students
The best jobs for bipolar students include software developer, veterinarian, fashion designer, accountant, web developer, librarian, copywriter, artist, massage therapist, and fitness trainer and instructor. Find more information on each job below.
- Average Salary: $110,140
- Job Outlook: 22% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
A software developer is a professional who designs, builds, and tests software applications. These professionals work with individual clients, companies, and government agencies to develop software applications to meet their specifications and user needs.
They need to be skilled in teamwork, communication, and problem-solving to excel at this. These skills can help improve the daily lives of those living with bipolar disorder.
- Average Salary: $100,370
- Job Outlook: 17% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Doctorate
A veterinarian, or vet, is a healthcare provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating animals. These professionals display strong interpersonal skills, decision-making skills, and compassion. These attributes are fundamental in this line of work, making the profession an excellent choice for people with bipolar disorder or other mental health disorders.
- Average Salary: $77,450
- Job Outlook: 0% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
A fashion designer is a professional who designs and creates fashion items including clothing, shoes, and accessories. They create trends by showing strong creativity and discernment skills. The world of fashion design allows people to explore their creativity, work at their own pace, and be independent. All of this can help people with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms.
- Average Salary: $77,250
- Job Outlook: 7% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
An accountant works with people and organizations to help them make important financial decisions. Accountants require critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management skills. This job typically allows a flexible schedule and may involve little pressure, making it perfect for those with bipolar.
- Average Salary: $77,200
- Job Outlook: 13% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: High school diploma or a bachelor’s degree
A web developer designs, creates, and installs web applications and websites for individuals and organizations. As a web developer, you will spend the majority of your time working on delivering top-notch products. This requires creativity, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills, all of which can also help people with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms.
- Average Salary: $61,190
- Job Outlook: 9% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Master’s degree
Librarians oversee the daily operations of a library. They collect, organize, and issue library resources like books, films, and audio files. Working as a librarian requires organization, communication, and management skills. The flexible working schedule makes it highly beneficial for those living with bipolar disorder.
- Average Salary: $54,375
- Job Outlook: 9% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
Copywriters are professional writers who write clear, accurate, and engaging copy for businesses. This could be in the form of ads, marketing emails, and website copy. Copywriting is a creative field that allows freelancers and contractors to set their own hours, which is great for those with bipolar disorder.
- Average Salary: $49,960
- Job Outlook: 14% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: High school diploma
An artist is a professional who explores their creativity to make interesting, appealing, unique, and effective designs. There are different areas of focus for these professionals to choose from, like drawing, painting, and sculpting. Being an artist means independence in your work and the ability to follow your craft, which makes it great for bipolar patients.
- Average Salary: $49,910
- Job Outlook: 32% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: Postsecondary nondegree
A massage therapist gives clients therapeutic massages to help them relax, relieve stress, and improve blood circulation. Massage is often a relieving procedure for both the therapist and the client. As a person with bipolar disorder, you might find this job soothing and relaxing. Plus, massage therapists often trade services with each other, giving you lots of opportunities to receive massages too.
Fitness Trainer and Instructor
- Average Salary: $40,700
- Job Outlook: 39% growth from 2020 to 2030
- Required Education: High school diploma or an industry certification
A fitness trainer or instructor works with clients to monitor and improve their physical health. They assign regular workout routines and diet and exercise plans. This field involves working directly with a wide variety of people and inspiring good health habits. This will help both the client and the instructor.
Worst Jobs for People With Bipolar Disorder
Some jobs are especially problematic for those with bipolar disorder. These jobs may trigger common symptoms, cause a depressive episode, or otherwise make the illness worse due to various factors. Learn more about these jobs here.
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- Surgeon. The daily life of a surgeon involves a lot of pressure. They often have a highly inflexible schedule yet very little consistency to their days. Even in situations that are not life-or-death, the services they provide are critical to people’s health and well-being, which can be stressful.
- Firefighter. Like surgeons, firefighters also work under a lot of pressure. They are relied on to put out dangerous fires and save lives. They have unreliable schedules and often have to make life-changing decisions. This could have adverse effects and trigger bipolar disorder symptoms.
- Actor. Actors must remain flexible at all times to be successful. They are required to respond immediately and smoothly to adjustments to the script and set changes. This can make acting a bad job choice for those with bipolar disorder, as their symptoms can be triggered. Actors also have hectic schedules and have to deal with pressure on set as well as from their fans and paparazzi.
- Military officer. Professionals in the armed forces are tasked with the important but often dangerous work of defending the country. Because their work involves the use of weapons and may require participation in war, it can be particularly triggering for those with bipolar disorder.
- Lawyer. Lawyers are often required to work very long hours. Their clients’ success in a trial depends on their own success, which can be very stressful. They often have to work in courtrooms, which are generally high-stress environments. High levels of stress can trigger manic episodes and generally make bipolar disorder harder to manage.
Should Bipolar Students Go to College?
Yes, bipolar students should go to college just like everyone else should if they want to. Their illness may come with challenges, but this doesn’t have to stop them from reaching their goals. They can attend college, start successful careers, and live full lives. This is easier if they choose an education and career path that allows them to enjoy their everyday activities and better manage their symptoms.
Best Majors for Bipolar Students FAQ
Yes, you can have a successful career with bipolar disorder. Some of the best options to consider include jobs in veterinary medicine, software or web development, education, massage therapy, writing, library services, and art.
If you have bipolar, having a set routine can help you study. This may involve short study sessions with long breaks, or consistently studying at a time of day when your energy levels are balanced and strong. Look for techniques that make studying more interesting to you.
Yes, someone with bipolar disorder can be a doctor. However, due to its challenging nature, this career path should be carefully considered. It requires long hours and long periods of intense focus. Studying to become a doctor is demanding, and practicing is even more so. It can put a lot of stress and pressure on anyone.
It can be hard for people with bipolar disorder to get a job because they are sometimes judged because of their illness or because of the symptoms their illness causes. Also, the work environment may be too tedious, unpredictable, demanding, or challenging to keep up with when those with bipolar are experiencing symptoms.
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