Typically people come in two flavors; left brained and right brained. The left brained people are the analytical ones who are good with numbers and attack a problem logically. They rely on objective thinking, considering every angle before making a decision. These are the individuals you want doing your taxes, planning your estate, or representing you in a court of law.

The right brained people, on the other hand, are out-of-the-box thinkers who don’t let little things like logic stand in the way of solutions. These are the artistic folks who prefer color-coded parking lot levels over identifying them by number. They see the world in terms of emotion and therefore consider how someone might feel when they drive over a bridge, look at mural, or walk through a park.

There are jobs, however, that utilize BOTH sides of the brain. And now that technology has become part of our daily lives many creative types are required to dip into their left lobes a little more often. And on the flipside, many people who’ve had left brained jobs their whole lives are now making midlife career changes that involve using their more creative right sides. So if you’re looking for a new profession that exercises every nook and cranny within your cranium you might want to start your comprehensive search by considering these three creative career options.

1) Graphic Design

It used to be a graphic designer simply created logos, designed business stationery, or came up with ideas for brochures and marketing collaterals. Now with the use of computer aided design, computer animation, and photo enhancement packages, graphic designers who know how to use these tools are in demand. Every industry from film and TV to advertising to urban planning relies on graphic designers to use technology as a means of finding even bigger, more creative ideas. In other words, computers don’t replace creativity, they just enhance it by giving the graphic artist more tools with which to work.

But this also means more education. Regardless of which (brain)side dominates your thinking a good graphic design college program fills in the cracks where needed. As a start, the CareersandClass.com website recommends some great colleges that offer online degrees in graphic design. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Full Sail University, for example, both have BA programs in this field, with emphasis on the technology you need to in order to be competitive.

2) Residential Design

Sometimes called architects or in the case of a planned community, urban designers, a residential designer fabricates everything from a custom single family home, to a housing development, to parks and playgrounds, to schools, to revitalized city blocks. In other words, residential designers create the communities in which we live. As you can image, this requires not just an artistic knowledge of day-to-day living, but also a complete understanding of the CAD drawing tools required to make sure walls and corners line up exactly. But at the same time structures have to be functional, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

If you think you’re up to the challenge, then you might want to test both sides of your brain by getting a degree online in residential design. Wherever you attend, however, make sure that in addition to design classes, you get plenty of instruction on the CAD side of your education. All the design talent in the world is worthless if you can’t use the industry technology to get your ideas down on paper (and vice versa).

3) Web Design

Web design has become probably one of the most competitive careers in the last 10 years. A web designer does exactly what you’d think; design and build websites. Part graphic designer, part computer programmer, a web designer truly has to be proficient using both sides of the brain.

But over the years people without the proper training have muddied the waters of web design by selling themselves as professionals, when in reality they didn’t really know what they were doing. This makes it tough for the good ones to get their feet in the door and charge prices that are in line with their talent and training.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be the one to break through. Several colleges offer online degrees in web design, allowing you to get the education you need while continuing to work. Regardless, keep in mind that a good web design degree program not only offers classes in web programming languages and search engine optimization, but also emphasizes the need for aesthetics and artistic value. Classes in Adobe Photoshop, Apple’s Final Cut, Avid Express, Adobe Premier, and Sorenson Squeeze (for video compression) all add value to your education and make you more marketable as a web designer.

So whether you’re mainly a left or right brain thinker, keep in mind most people use BOTH sides to get the job done. In any career you need the left side to keep you on track and the right side to spark your creativity; plus, a good education to bring it all together.

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