INTPs are driven by a deep yearning to understand systems and what makes them work. They're analytical people who prize knowledge and love to come up with theories as to how systems can best operate. They are the masters of the Thought Experiment. While they seem to live very much in their minds, they get excited about innovation, devising theories about how things work, and testing their ideas. Hot careers for INTPs are those that put their talent for creative problem-solving to good use.
Producer or Director
If you're an INTP who prides yourself on your ability to see the big picture, you might want to look into a career as a producer or a director. Producers are entrepreneurs who are in charge of managing all the aspects of a film, television show or play in progress. They're responsible for raising money for the project, setting a schedule, and hiring the people who will work on the project. Directors are the creative decision-makers for the projects who work with actors and staff on a day-to-day basis and decide how best to present the show, from set design to scripts. There are no formal educational requirements to become a producer or a director – talent and experience are the most important factors in getting these jobs. Some colleges, though, offer degrees in art management. Training at a film school could also be helpful.
Perhaps the quintessential INTP career is that of physicist. As a physicist, you would strive to understand the laws of the physical universe and what makes them work. In conducting research, you would come up with theories about physical laws and principles and subject them to rigorous testing. Theoretical physicists study fields like cosmology (the science of the very large) or quantum physics (the science of the very small), while other physicists work to apply their knowledge by designing or developing cutting-edge materials or research equipment. To become a physicist, you must earn a minimum of a Master's degree, and a Doctoral degree is preferred. Physicists may either work in industry or in academic settings.
Architecture is both an art and a science, making it an excellent career path for creatively-inclined INTPs. As an architect, you would design buildings with an eye toward both form and function: aesthetics and practicality. A high level of skill with problem-solving is crucial, since the buildings designed must also be safe for the people who will dwell in them or use them for commercial or other purposes. To become an architect, you'll need to earn a Bachelor of Architecture, a program that typically takes five years to complete and which should, per most states' requirements, be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Many architects go on to earn a Master's degree as well. Architects must also be licensed and pass the Architect Registration Examination, though other requirements vary from state to state.
If you're an innovative, technically-oriented INTP, you would likely excel as a software developer. You would create and design computer software, whether for entertainment, business applications or networking, and you might even design operating systems. As a software developer, you'd need to integrate the software you would be designing with knowledge of hardware requirements and end-user considerations. Software development requires proficiency with programming languages, which can include C++, Python and Java. If you're interested in becoming a software developer, you'll need to earn a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer science or a related field. You'll need to keep up with developments in technology via continuing education. Certification, though not required, is a good way to enhance your employability and prospects for advancement in your career.
INTPs revel in working with abstract concepts and finding resolutions to theoretical conundrums. They aren't intimidated by complexity; to their minds, the more complex the problem, the greater and more welcome the challenge. Hot careers for INTPs are those that give these analytical people ample opportunities to utilize their ingenuity in figuring out solutions and improving on systems.