6. Pro computer gamer

With three million people tuning into 2008's streamed sessions from Major League Gaming this is big-time sport, complete with heroes, villains and groupies. Sadly for those who wear their calloused thumbs with pride, professional computer gaming's been hit hard as so many sponsors have been fragged by the recession.

Upside: you get to spend hours in darkened rooms living off junk food.

Downside: see upside.

GAME ON: The glamour of a pro gaming tournament

7. Entrepreneur

Arguably, this is the job which has made it possible to be both cool and a nerd. Perhaps it shows that money talks. Either way Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis along, of course, with Bill Gates have coded their way to multi-billionaire status.

Upside: money might not be able to buy you love, but it does provide a better class of misery.

Downside: most new businesses fail. There's no fail-safe algorithm for successful technology entrepreneurs.

8. Formula One Control Systems Engineer

The most glamorous and high-tech of sports, Grand Prix racing employs hundreds of extremely well-qualified geeks. Travelling the world with the racing circus it's the control systems engineer who arguably has most responsibility for ensuring that driver and machine work as one unit.

Upside: globe-trotting as a key member of the team.

Downside: your view of the race is on a computer monitor.

9. Sex toy designer

Not so long ago this wasn't a job you'd admit to, well not in polite company anyway. Now, thanks to Sex and the City it's cool for geeks and attracting really highly qualified applicants. Take Ethan Imboden, founder, chairman and chief creative officer of Jimmyjane, purveyors of upmarket pleasure devices. He helped develop an ultra high speed DNA sequencer as well as carrying out design consultancy for the likes of Ford, Motorola and Dell before starting his sensual business.

Upside: bringing pleasure to the world.

Downside: you can't help feeling there's a danger you'll make the male half of the population redundant where it matters.

10. Technology evangelist

We've all got gadgets and services we love. A professional evangelist gets paid to share this enthusiasm with just about anybody who'll listen or read their blog. Arguably the first of the breed was Mike Boich who led the Macintosh software evangelism team responsible, he claims, for the enduring relationship with Microsoft.

Upside: earning a living just spreading the love.

Downside: the heartbreak if something better comes along.

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Like this article? Then check out 10 green projects that just might save the world

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