Even though neurodiverse people possess a wide range of interests, skills, and proficiencies, it was once very difficult for them to build rewarding careers. After decades of hard work by neurodiverse activists and allies, this discriminatory and outdated prejudice is slowly fading away. Several organizations across the world are opening up to the idea of a neurodivergent workforce. This presents a plethora of career opportunities for neurodiverse individuals.
Paying close attention to what they are good at and also enjoy doing from a young age can help them find a suitable job in the future. From accounting to scientific research and the tech sectors, here are some of the best career opportunities for neurodiverse individuals where they can excel:
- Coding and programming
Tech jobs that involve coding and programming are a great fit for autistic individuals. They can excel in several job profiles in the tech sector like web developers, software engineers, database administrators, web designers to name a few. All these jobs are largely based on logical thinking, require keen attention to detail and a flair for pattern recognition – something that comes naturally to most people with autism.
- Art and design
People with learning and thinking differences usually tend to have a creative bent of mind. Coupled with strong visual thinking, this trait makes careers in graphic design, computer animation, photography, illustration, interior design, and architecture a great option. Jobs like these and the ones involving coding and programming can also be taken up on a freelance basis and accomplished by working from home.
Just like IT, a career in STEM can also prove to be a great choice for autistic people. Especially if the role is research-based like positions in universities, pharmaceutical companies, and government entities. These career opportunities will allow neurodiverse individuals to put their analytical skills as well as the ability to hyper-focus on facts to good use.
A career in bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, or insurance is also a great choice for people with an inclination towards mathematics. Actuaries, professionals who use mathematics and statistics to create insurance products, are another well-paying and highly respectable career prospect.
- Manufacturing and factory workers
People with autism usually appreciate a clearly defined routine. Being a factory worker and working at a manufacturing unit allows them to perform clearly defined and repetitive tasks that lend predictability to their day. Even though these jobs aren’t as well-paying as others listed above, they are well suited for people who do not possess the skill set for maths or IT.
- Animal science
Individuals on the autism spectrum often find interacting with people difficult and exhausting. On the other hand, they enjoy the company of furry companions and animal sciences offer them a chance to build a career out of it. Veterinary doctors, veterinary technicians, pet groomers, obedience trainers, and many other such job opportunities are a great fit for such people.
- Technical writing
Technical writers are responsible for writing informative, detail-oriented, and straightforward material such as user manuals and instruction guides. They don’t require creative thinking and are meant to be accurate, literal, and concise. These kinds of jobs also minimize the need for social interaction and can be accomplished in the quiet solitude of one’s home.
Irrespective of the level of skills, ability, and/or limitations, there are various kinds of career opportunities for neurodiverse individuals available where they can thrive. Several big corporations around the world have put in motion special initiatives to seek out neurodiverse talent. Many government-funded and non-profit organizations help autistic teenagers by providing them with necessary vocational training that can help them find jobs that are best suited to their areas of interest. While finding fulfilling and meaningful employment can still be challenging for people with learning and thinking differences, things have surely started to look up.