Good career options for arduino enthusiasts, and similar tech minded people?

I believe the types of people who enjoy working with Arduino are a unique bunch. I'm wondering if anybody has ideas or input on which careers work well for these types of people with the creative, electronics tinkering mindset? And ideally ones that don't necessarily require lots of college.

Right now the only one I can really think of is some sort of electrical engineer, but that generally requires lots of projects.

Really wondering if there are jobs out there where a typical arduino enthusiast can basically say "I have no formal college, but through self studies I've built a this autonomous aircraft, these scientific style testing devices, this tesla coil, this automation system, etc. And ideally the type of job where someone can work with these same types of passions for a living.

Any ideas for jobs that are good for the types of people who enjoy these things? Hopefully with entry level options that don't require massive college?

In my experience, there are few opportunities for that sort of person. The type of stuff people generally do hobby-wise is really tip of the iceberg compared to industrial scale projects, and there must be a very small number of companies trying to produce “fun” type electronic gizmos.

Having a hobby interest is good because it demonstrates an interest in the subject, but for nearly all jobs you need the depth of expertise that college provides. In fact you usually need more, but college shows you have an ability to study stuff you may not be interested in. Unfortunately most jobs are 20% interesting and 80% boring stuff you have to do. Endless days in the lab testing…

in art
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in education
in the internet of things wave that is coming ...

Yeah: artist, electronics technician, entrepreneur, "consultant."
Most of these are pretty "iffy" (check out the average yearly income for an "artist"!); for a good career, you should go after a degree. The ability to build working Arduino projects will put you quite a bit beyond the CS or EE majors that did nothing beyond their classes and assignments. But the degree will put you far beyond the hobbyist in areas like physics, math, "theory", and other areas that employers think might be important someday. And they can be: you may never need to solve a symbolic differential equation, but I can't imagine doing much with PID control algorithms without having done calculus. Or that blank look some people get when you explain that graphics transformations can be done with matrix multiplies. For those entrepreneur and consultant careers, you ought to have some business classes (perhaps a LOT of business classes. Depressing, but true.)

There's also a "job security" issue: you may find a perfect job hacking arduinos and such, but if you lose that job, finding new opportunities without a degree may be difficult. I know people with 30+ years of experience who were laid off and now having troubles getting their resume past the 'first tier' of screeners at potential employers. :frowning: