The 10 happiest jobs that don’t require a college degree

A college degree may up your chances of earning more money, but you don’t necessarily need one to be happy at work.

Business Insider teamed up with careers site to find the 10 happiest jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.

CareerBliss compiled the list using reviews submitted by professionals between October 2013 and October 2014.

Workers who reviewed their jobs were asked to rate them on 10 factors that affect work happiness on a five-point scale: relationship with their boss; relationship with their coworkers; workplace environment; job resources; compensation; growth opportunities; company culture; company reputation; daily tasks; and job control over the work performed on a daily basis.

CareerBliss combined those numbers to find an average rating of overall happiness for each job — called a bliss score — and sorted the results by education requirements to determine the happiest jobs that don’t require a college degree.

Interestingly, entrepreneur came out on top.

“Many founders of today’s most successful companies do not have college degrees and have found happiness and success,” says Heidi Golledge, chief happiness officer of CareerBliss. “Many of our users at CareerBliss have a day job that covers their bills, and they spend nights and weekends building their own company for extra money, doing something they love and that makes them happy.”

Here’s the full list.


Happiness by the numbers: 8 stats that could change your life

What do the happiest people have in common? They have a handle on at least of few of these eight instant happiness boosters, some of which may already be elevating your mood.

6 or 7: The hours per day of socializing that leads to the highest levels of happiness

People who regularly spend about a quarter of their hours each day with family and friends are 12 times as likely to report feeling joyful rather than feeling stressed or anxious. The same Gallup poll found that people are happiest on weekends (no surprise there!), likely due in part to the amount of time spent with loved ones on these days.

10: The number of friends it takes to give your well-being a big boost

A 2012 survey of thousands of British adults found that having regular contact with 10 or more friends had a significant impact on an individual’s happiness level. People who had fewer friends reported lower levels of happiness all-around. In addition to bettering your mood, having a robust social network is linked to all sorts of other positive health factors, including a longer life.

5: The number of positive interactions happy couples have for every negative one

In a look at couples that stay together versus those who divorce, researchers found that the ones who were in happy relationships had a 5:1 ratio of good exchanges to bad; people who ultimately divorced had just 0.8 happy encounters for every one negative interaction. Positive interactions don’t just happen on their own—can you think of a compliment, a shared memory, or something to laugh about with your partner today?

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Bono helped kill an industry (and then celebrated)

It was on the day of the largest album launch in history, when the biggest rock band on the planet may have surrendered the music industry to its grave, that U2 frontman Bono declared “music is a sacrament.” The melodies that Plato said give “flight to the imagination” have value, embody values, and transcend value. But the truth is also more prosaic. Don’t get me wrong, Bono said, “We were paid.”

U2’s “Songs of Innocence” freely appeared last week in the music libraries of over 500 million Apple iTunes subscribers, descending like manna from Cupertino. In much the same way that Jay-Z paired with Samsung for the release of “Magna Carta, Holy Grail” and Beyonce with iTunes for her latest album, U2 paired a strategic alliance with serendipitous marketing to rake in hefty revenues. The band, already worth nearly a billion dollars, made a reported $30 million from Apple and are enjoying prominent placement in a $100 million marketing push. These magnificent sums, though, are a sweet backdrop to a trade gone sour.

This year alone, album sales in America have declined nearly 15 percent from record lows the year before. Each new floor has become a ceiling for the industry, year-in and year-out. Becoming the number one album in America means selling as much as a niche act would in the 1990s. In Bono’s view, “The charts are broken.”

We are in the age of the streaming playlist. We pick and choose songs from the cloud at will rather than buying them together in encased albums. Music is no longer delivered according to a pre-set menu but by an a la carte buffet. Stripped out along the way are all of the immense production costs that come with physical album production. Music is instead reduced to elemental ones and zeros produced at a vanishing marginal cost. Obtaining these files costs anywhere from a buck twenty-nine apiece to the time spent listening to an ad. And that’s assuming the files are obtained legally.

What U2 has done is make the album a loss leader for its real business: touring and merchandising. While album sales have declined, other revenue streams have picked up the slack and even surpassed it. Live concert revenue has grown by 60 percent since 2000, even as retail music revenue has fallen by 41 percent.

By giving away “Songs of Innocence,” U2 is able to market itself to a wide swathe of the music market in order to drum up business when it hits the road. It’s also declaring that albums are barely worth being made in the first place, and a tech company is better for distribution and marketing than the music labels.

Music acts originally functioned as employees, then later as contractors. They were, for all intents and purposes, owned by their label. Now bands act as entrepreneurs who solicit specialized vendors to handle their product lines. It’s cheaper upfront and bands stand to make more money anyway. In the case of U2, the band can handle recording in-house, have Apple effectively do marketing and distribution, and contract with promoter Live Nation to deal the touring. And the band is not alone. Even the smallest acts are seeing that success is now dependent on their hustle and ingenuity rather than cashing in with a major label who may usher them to greatness.

If U2 cannot see the need to charge money for its album or distribute its music to retail outlets, then you begin to see why music labels are worried. Packaging and distributing music is their bread and butter. It would be like Cargill giving away food from its farms because it made more money from their petting zoos. If I were Safeway, I’d be worried.

This is why “Songs of Innocence” is the sound of creative destruction. The decline of the traditional music industry did not begin with U2 nor will it end there, but the largest music giveaway in history may mark its final turn toward inexorable decline. How ironic it is that the act of creation leads to destruction, even while things are being made anew.

And it’s here that we come back to Bono’s words. Amid so much disruption, he hinted at the truth behind the music. Bono considered his work a sacrament of value. When he looked at free enterprise in its rawest form embracing his craft of music, he saw something of worth and transcendent value. Here perhaps is U2’s greatest lesson.

I believe music is the exhale of creation. It speaks to the sacred and holy as a true echo of God’s good work. Yet so does every good endeavor. Music simply traces bright lines around our labor in the shadow of His creation, lines that draw upward to our Creator. These things of beauty shine brighter in that darkened world; we long for them, even knowing that it’s really our hearts longing for the eternal.

While glory remains the currency of everlasting hope, we have found ways to express similar value in our everyday existence. Our system of free enterprise rewards the creativity that is the call of creation itself. Which is why for Bono, music’s transcendent nature is bound up in its monetary value. Music gives expression to beauty and faith best in a system in which it has worth.

Learn more about Values & Capitalism.

How to Be Happier: 3 New Discoveries

Happiness may be as old as the human race. The idea of rigorously studying happiness, however, is far newer.

For most of its history, psychology was exclusively concerned with helping those who were struggling. It was a discipline whose main occupation was “spot the loony,” as Martin Seligman, the father of “positive psychology” joked in his TED talk.

Then just a decade or so ago something shifted.

Read more.

NC woman sets sights on delivering happiness

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (AP) — Beatrice Biggs Parker makes wishes come true, but she’s no fairy godmother.

She’s just an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things to help bring a moment of happiness into the lives of people she said God puts in her path — people who are seriously ill or near death.

Parker lives in a simple but comfortable house in Rockingham now with her dying husband, but at 77, she remembers a time long ago when she was homeless. Her first marriage had collapsed, and without a job or a roof over her head, she came to a life-altering realization one day that would extend far beyond herself for years afterward.

“I didn’t have anything, I was homeless,” Parker said. “My marriage sort of went downhill, but I didn’t let it get me down. I didn’t grieve. I decided not to grieve. I decided instead of sitting around feeling bad all the time, I was going to go out and do something for somebody else who was grieving.”

Asked where she got that kind of courage, Parker pointed upward.

Parker said she didn’t know what it would be, or how she would make it happen; she just knew she would make someone else’s wish come true. And one day at church, she heard a voice tell her this was her time.

“I was singing in church one Sunday and there was this little girl and she came up to me,” she said. “And there was something wrong with her eye. I went up to her mama and asked what was wrong with the little girl’s eye. She told me the girl had a tumor.”


People think experiences bring happiness, still opt for things

You might assume that a new purse, painting or pair of shoes will bring happiness. Although you’d probably get a bigger kick out of attending a play or spending a week in Paris. But people still mostly opt for items over experiences—because the value of items is more easily quantifiable. That’s according to a study in The Journal of Positive Psychology. [Paulina Pchelin and Ryan T. Howell, The hidden cost of value-seeking: People do not accurately forecast the economic benefits of experiential purchases

Researchers surveyed people before and after they made purchases. Beforehand, they rated life experiences as making them happier and as a better use of money than buying objects. 

But subjects still tended to choose to buy objects over experiences. Then, despite picking items, most said they still believed the experiences would have been a better choice. 

Read more and listen to the podcast from Scientific American.

Summer school? Teens trade classes for factory jobs

CARROLLTON, Ga.—Breonna Daniel, a onetime high-school dropout, was smoking pot and “hanging out with the wrong crowd” last year without a hint of concern for her future.

This summer, she is among hundreds of teens working on Southwire Co.’s factory line four hours a day, earning above minimum wage and spending eight hours a day in the company’s classrooms. [Read more…]

On the road to happiness, a pleasant surprise beats a sure thing

Do you remember the last time you were dreading something, only to have it turn out to be a pleasant surprise? Maybe it was a bad summer blockbuster you were forced to watch, or a blind date set up by your parents.

You turn up, grumbling and prepared to hate every second of it. But then a funny thing happens: You crack a smile–laugh out loud, even–and before you know it, you’re having a grand old time.

It turns out that the element of surprise has a big impact on how we feel from moment to moment and that we’re happier when satisfied unexpectedly instead of certain of a positive outcome in advance, according to a new mathematical model of happiness. A study of this was published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Happiness is not about how well you’re doing in general, but rather if you’re doing better than expected,” said study author and neuroscientistRobb Rutledge of the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing.

For instance, say you go to a restaurant where the food was the best you’ve ever had. According to the happiness equation, you would actually be happier at the end of the meal if you had expected it to be just average, as opposed to assuming it would be as delicious as it was.

“Most of our senses are much more tuned to changes in things than to levels, and the same is true for happiness,” said economist George Loewenstein at Carnegie Mellon University, who was not involved in the study. “This ensures that however successful we are, we are always going to be driving for more.”

Read more at The Washington Post

This is the equation for happiness

Researchers at University College London were able to create an equation that could accurately predict the happiness of over 18,000 people, according to a new study.

First, the researchers had 26 participants complete decisionmaking tasks in which their choices either led to monetary gains or losses. The researchers used fMRI imaging to measure their brain activity, and asked them repeatedly, “How happy are you now?” Based on the data the researchers gathered from the first experiment, they created a model that linked self-reported happiness to recent rewards and expectations.

The researchers were not surprised by how much rewards influenced happiness, but they were surprised by how much expectations could.

Read more

In latest interview, Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness

VATICAN CITY — Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis’ secret recipe for happiness.

In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life:

1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.

“He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water — to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”

4. “A healthy sense of leisure.” The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.

“Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it “complicated, but you must do it,” he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other, the pope said.

5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.

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Plus-size model who received hate mail calling her a ‘fat cow’ defies the bullies to open her own restaurant

While some models have been known to eat nothing but cotton wool balls, America’s Next Top Model winner Whitney Thompson has always been vocal about her love of food.

Now the 26-year-old is going to pass on her passion for delicious dishes by opening her own restaurant with her fiance, Ian Forrester.

The pair will serve up meals and cocktails at their eatery in Springfield, Tennessee, which they are currently renovating ahead of a grand opening.

Plus size model Whitney told SLiNK magazine how the venture came about in her a new column, Whitney’s World, that she’s writing for their free-to-download app.

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British Airways’ ‘happiness blanket’ displays your mood as you fly

If  you are flying British Airways, the in-flight entertainment may soon be you. That’s because people will be able to read your mood just by looking at your blanket — a “Happiness Blanket” supplied by the airline.

The airline began testing the blanket last week on seven volunteers flying from Heathrow to New York. What does the blanket do, exactly? It “visually shows the wellbeing of a passenger in real time by changing colour to reflect their mood while on-board,” according to the British Airways website.

Here’s how it works: Passengers wear a headband that measures tiny electrical fluctuations in the neurons of the brain. Those fluctuations are sent via Bluetooth, every second, to fiber optic lights woven into the blanket. If the blanket turns red, the passenger is stressed out; if it turns blue, the passenger is relaxed.

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Japan to send experts to Bhutan to bolster Gross National Happiness

Japan is sending a team of experts to Bhutan to assist the remote Himalayan kingdom in measuring its Gross National Happiness. Bhutan has long been famed for its unusual policies of focusing on the nation’s well-being via its happiness levels as opposed to more conventional gross domestic product.

The kingdom’s government, based in Thimphu, is clearly keen for its Gross National Happiness survey to be taken as seriously as possible and has enlisted the help of Japan to improve its accuracy.

A team of three experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the nation’s foreign aid body, are preparing to travel to Bhutan later this year to conduct a sample happiness survey.

The goal of the experts, who specialize in social metrics, will be to boost the accuracy of the way Bhutan measures the prosperity of the nation via the happiness of its 742,000-strong population.

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10 life lessons from a Navy SEAL

Naval Adm. William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater, University of Texas at Austin, recently to speak to the graduating class about the lessons he learned from his basic SEAL training. Here’s his amazing commencement address.


How much does college really help your earnings?

The New York Times

The New York Times

College grads make nearly twice as much, on average, than folks who aren’t. That’s a record high. And over the long-run, a college degree is worth $500,000 more than a high school degree. That’s double what it was three decades ago, adjusting for inflation. Those two data points, from a New York Times article by David Leonhardt, supply an apparently easy answer to the question, “Is college still worth it?”

But deeply evaluating the value of a college degree isn’t quite so straight forward. AEI’s Andrew Kelley:

Any answer to the basic question—whether going to college is worth it—must reflect the probability of completing. College is likely still “worth it,” even after accounting for the risk of not completing, but the payoff cannot be as large as it is when we look only at graduates.

It’s akin to saying that betting the trifecta at the Preakness was worth it because I won. Forget all the people who bet but didn’t win. If I were interested in the expected value of betting the Preakness, I’d want to know the payoffs weighted by probability of winning.

Indeed, as 529′s Ben Casselman notes, fewer than 60% of full-time students who are enrolled in college for the first time graduate within six years. What’s more, the gap between those with a bachelor’s degree or higher than those with “a two-year degree/some college” is expanding. At the same time, the gap between the “some college” folks and those with only a high school degree is narrowing:


And, of course, people who have been successful academically in high school are more likely to go to college. So does the pay gap reflect the value of college–whether as a signalling mechanism or mechanism for improving human capital–or merely reflect the kind of people who self select for college? Here is a bit from economist Bryan Caplan on a recent EconTalk podcast?

So the average college graduate is probably going to be smarter; he’s probably going to be harder-working. He’s probably going to be more conformist, less impulsive, have many other advantages. And that 83% [pay gap] is capturing all the advantages that the college graduate has. Not just the single advantage of the education. It’s capturing the benefits of a lot of advantages he had before he ever started school.

So if you really want to find out how much did the education raise his earnings, you need to correct for or adjust for all these initial advantages.  … So, basically just putting in, just correcting for your measured IQ before you start college, that will usually bring the payoff down by about 30%. …

So, in my book, after going over all of the evidence that I could find and just weighing it all, I say, well, my best guess is that only about 55% of the gain that you seem to get is genuine. And the rest is what college graduates, the extra amount college graduates would have actually earned if they hadn’t even gone to college.

The art world tells us much about the value of wealth

There are only so many people out there willing to pay top coin for art, and only a handful of artists deserving of that scratch. What is interesting is that there isn’t a hue and cry about how “unfair” this is. Art, after all, is an egalitarian pursuit. There is no barrier to entry for an artist.

How Pharrell Williams captured the essence of happiness

It took the producer-turned-singer 10 attempts before he struck gold with the universally loved single Happy. Music experts weigh in on just why the song brings such joy.

Why fundraising is fun

Once, I asked a class full of aspiring social entrepreneurs — all with business plans and ambitions to start nonprofits — how many of them were looking forward to fund-raising. Exactly zero hands went up. The consensus was that raising money might be a necessary evil, but it was a distraction from a social enterprise’s “real” work.

Charles Murray: Advice for a happy life

A few years ago, I took it upon myself to start writing tips for the young staff where I work about how to avoid doing things that would make their supervisors write them off.  Eventually, I found myself getting into the deeper waters of how to go about living a good life.

Why the world needs a happiness campaign to live better

I’ve found in my career coaching and success training work that while clients come to me for better careers, what they REALLY want is happier lives. That’s what millions of us around the world are striving for – living more joyfully, peacefully, and committedly.

The two words that will lead you to success and happiness

Here’s the quick and dirty:

  • The word “yes” leads to happiness.
  • The word “no” leads to success.

Here’s why.

This is the face of world happiness — and she would like to sit in your lap

What does happiness look like? It looks like Macy, a 4-year-old pit bull in California, and five other faces that have been chosen to represent the International Day of Happiness.

Top 10 happiest states: Did yours make the list?

How content are the residents of your state? And what about their mental and physical health, how do they rate their communities in terms of those important measures?

Study: People who believe in Heaven happier with their lives

EUGENE, Ore. — A new study reveals that people who believe in Heaven are happier with their lives, reports CBS Seattle. Researchers from the University of Oregon and Simon Fraser University conducted three studies into the beliefs of Heaven and Hell. They used data from the Gallup World Poll, the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey.

The clearest sign that you are not ready for more career happiness

There’s a red warning flag that pops up immediately in my conversations with professionals wanting more, and this warning sign signifies when individuals are simply not ready to create something better, and, despite all their valiant efforts, will struggle and ultimately fail at bringing about what they want. What is this warning sign?

Denise Dunning unlocks girl power through Let Girls Lead

To help girls stay in school, women and girls in Malawi are taking a stand against child marriages. So far they have persuaded leaders in 22 villages to penalize men who try to marry a woman under age 21. One possible penalty? Taking away some of the man’s goats or chickens.

Lisa Fitzpatrick dropped everything and started a New Orleans youth center

A group of bright red tricycles is put away each evening. But then, mysteriously, they reappear the next morning in a cluster tucked into the corner of the playground. The culprits are not children but young men, nearly 20 years old, who can often be seen having the time of their lives.

The 10 happiest (and unhappiest) cities for workers

Employees looking for a little more cheer in their lives should consider moving to the U.S. West Coast, new research shows. California is home to three of the 10 happiest cities to work in, including San Jose, which tops the list. San Francisco and San Diego were also among the 10 cheeriest cities for employees.

Vivienne Harr’s lemonade stand story a movie

When Eric Harr was a kid, he made $9 one day from selling lemonade. He thought that was totally cool.

Thirty years later, his daughter Vivienne set up a lemonade stand in Fairfax and did considerably better. Over 173 consecutive days, she took in $101,320.

Happiness is overrated: It’s better to be right, study finds

It is better to be right than to be happy – at least for one husband on the cutting edge of science. As part of an unusual experiment, the husband was instructed to “agree with his wife’s every opinion and request without complaint,” and to continue doing so even if he believed his wife was wrong.