For many UC Berkeley students, being entrenched in capitalist society means a certain dilemma wreaks daily havoc on the psyche: financial security or having a soul? 

Better yet, the moral pain is only compounded by burgeoning costs of living and the bleak landscape of a hyper-competitive job market! Thankfully for young job-seekers, relief from traditional fields like banking, consulting, law, and medicine comes in the form of exciting opportunities that only require a tortured soul to sell out halfway – and being 50-percent ethically redeemable is better than nothing. Here’s a list of big-buck jobs that can allow you to settle for half-justifying your guilt-ridden choices. 


1. Social Impact Consulting

Interested in consulting? What even is consulting? Do you know what it is? Does anyone know what it is? Probably not, but people know that social impact = good person; combine it with a vague business buzzword and you’re golden. Despite the fact that you’re probably only advising underfunded nonprofits to stand-out on your inevitable McKinsey application, you’ll spend your time donning ill-fitting business-wear while mansplaining to grassroots organizers how to operate in marginally-feasible ways. If anyone questions the validity and longevity of your solutions, just pull up a SWOT diagram (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) – it’s fool-proof and totally applicable to assisting disenfranchised communities, the environment, or whatever else you decide to focus on for a two-month period before haphazardly switching to something else – because it’s not like these barely-surviving organizations need you for an extended period of time…

2. Work at a start-up

Forget FAANG or big tech or big pharma. Take your career growth by the reins and work at an impact-focused start-up aiming to digitize and gamify the last few remnants of human interaction. Want to beat the greedy, money-hungry allegations and to focus less on compensation? Work at a company that barely tracks your work hours and will maybe pay you discreetly via Venmo once a month. Expect to pour your heart, soul, and unpaid overtime hours into a totally novel app that uses AI, or whatever that means, to revolutionize the e-commerce business. 

3. Pursue human rights or civil law until you inevitably switch to corporate law

Remember being a little kid, looking at Amal Clooney or other badass human rights advocates and wanting to be them? When your parents ask what you want to do after college, you respond with “law school,” and immediately earn pleased nods and bragging rights in your family group chat. Ever since learning about RBG, you’ve been galvanized by a desire to fight and do good. 

However, as your undergraduate years draw closer to an end and the student debt and grad school costs begin to loom closer, you’ll reconsider your well-intentioned motives to fight for justice. Before you know it, you’ll start binging Suits and googling salaries at Cravath. Your response to what you want to do will be corporate law, because it combines “business ethics” with “logical and literary thinking” and you can’t do math but still want to be in a lucrative field. 

4. Forgo a basic living wage

None of the above options appeal to you? Congrats! You’ve made it to the end of the list. You could become a teacher, essential worker, or civil organizer, but unfortunately what you don’t sell in human dignity you’ll have to forgo in basic respect from the big dogs up in the big corporations, and in a living wage. Although you’ll spend hours directly helping people and inevitably shaping the course of people’s lives, you’ll be paid meager amounts while being expected to single-handedly fix the devastating, depressing impacts of the society we’ve created. Well, that’s just showbiz, baby!


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