Translator/interpreter: This probably isn't a great path if you have strong opinions, but it's got plenty of growth potential if you merely have a serious interest in being part of the political process. The Labor Department expects job opportunities to grow by 24 percent between 2006 and 2016. Thanks to globalization and increased security threats, there's been a greater need for translators (who work with written words) and interpreters (who work with spoken words), according to the American Translators Association. While many translators work for themselves, those who are employed by the government make an average of nearly $60,000 a year, the association reports.
Reporter: Some journalists today still labor under a kind of Woodward and Bernstein nostalgia, but many just love politics. Reporters at small-town newspapers continue to uncover local political transgressions, and major metro papers vie with bloggers for a piece of the national political pie. Beat reporters may also work long and hard enough to earn the right to state their pithy opinions as columnists, in blogs, or as TV pundits. In one example, New York Times columnist David Brooks started out working the cops beat for City News Service in Chicago and held various roles at the Wall Street Journal, even spending five months as its movie critic.