Careers for the nomadic: top jobs that involve travel abroad

If the thought of broadening your horizons and traversing hills and valleys in search of adventure during your lunch break …

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If the thought of broadening your horizons and traversing hills and valleys in search of adventure during your lunch break seems fanciful, it’s time to brace yourself for the life of a nomad and get that passport renewed.

While photographers and journalists are known nomads, there are a few other professions that are paving the way for a nomadic lifestyle. It’s not unusual for some professionals to have a meeting in London on Monday and attend a conference in Beijing by Friday.

We unearth some of the top jobs for those who want to join in with the nomadic fun without sacrificing a lucrative career.

Remember: whether you’re opting for a job that entails hard travel with no time to rest your weary feet, or deciding to stick to a location for a few months, it’s important to get your documents ready ahead of time and check the visa requirements and costs, if any. 

Information security analyst: a high-tech job of the future

To think: just 20 years ago we believed that the market would get flooded with IT workers! Today, tech is still experiencing tremendous growth, and demand for information security analysts is projected to see growth of up to 28% by the end of 2026.

Needless to say, these professionals are in high demand, which means that setting the terms of the contract might very well be in the hands of the tech specialist. 

For this job, applicants will need a bachelor’s degree in programming, computer science or a related field. Further studies may include a master’s in business administration for more senior roles. 

Integration software developer: see the world and ramp up experience 

Integration software developers are highly sought-after specialists in their field, who create bespoke software solutions in the integration phase of development. Firms that have a number of offices in various locations may want to use one integration software developer or team across all their offices for uniformity.

Applicants will need more or less the same qualifications for this line of work as information security analysts; however, a degree in mathematics will also help here. 

Flight attendant and pilot 

Whether pilots and flight attendants are part of regional or international crew, travel is part of their job. Airline companies usually put their staff up in good accommodation, especially for those who travel to international destinations. This allows them to get a taste of that particular destination before heading out to the next.

Working as flight crew is known as the original jet-setting career and offers numerous other benefits as well. Those who wish to travel with their families often enjoy discounted rates for air travel for themselves and their immediate family. 

Flight attendants will need to attend a course in customer service and a minimum of four GCSEs (A–C). It is also necessary for flight attendants to have a valid passport and pass the training course before an airline would employ them.

Pilots, on the other hand, need some form of aviation qualification that is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. This includes aircraft operations, aeronautical engineer or related qualifications. Pilots also need around 1,500 hours of flying experience before obtaining their pilot’s licence. 

Foreign service officer

Individuals who have a desire to foster deep and enduring relationships with foreign nations will find this role both rewarding and exciting. From outposts in Africa to travels across Europe, there is no limitation to the countries these officials can be stationed in. There is, however, the risk of being placed in a country or region that is experiencing domestic issues, which ramps up the danger aspect of the job. 

Those with an interest in the Foreign Office will need a degree in politics and may also need to master a foreign language. There may be an aptitude test and additional assessments to ensure that the candidate is suitable for the job. 

Doctor or nurse without borders 

Doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses are always in high demand in the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programme. These programmes take volunteers to the far reaches of the earth where basic health services are often needed. Mass drives of vaccinations, hygiene awareness, basic nutrition, and even assistance in war-torn countries are on the list.

Although salaries are not competitive, it’s the humanitarian aspect of these roles that appeals to applicants. There is a constant need for medical professionals in this programme and demand is high, but the selection process is tight and not all applicants are successful.

For nurses, their aptitude for a role will be tested at a number of levels, but the equivalent of a bachelor’s in nursing is a good place to start. For doctors, it is essential that they have completed their residency at a hospital before signing up to the MSF programme. 

Teacher of English abroad 

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Teaching English to Speakers of a Foreign Language (TESOL) are two certifications that have gained momentum over the last few years thanks to the growing popularity of English as a business language. While these certifications aren’t all that is required to teach abroad, they are a necessary part of the process.

Countries such as Russia, China, South Korea and even the Netherlands are constantly on the lookout for English teachers. 

In addition to the TEFL and TESOL qualifications, a teaching degree or a degree in the chosen language may prove beneficial.

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