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Some of the oddest jobs presidents have held

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Holding the highest office in America has an interesting quirk: The role doesn’t have many actual job requirements, including a college degree.

There’s no standard path to becoming commander-in-chief, according to a new study from job site CareerCast, which noted that the position actually has significantly fewer qualifications than most careers. Getting a job as a software engineer, for instance, requires a college degree in computer science or a related major, as well as coding competency. 

U.S. presidents, on the other hand, have previously held jobs ranging from haberdasher to cowboy.

The only requirements for the U.S. presidency relate to age and nationality: A president must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. While that would throw open the doors to millions of Americans, in truth most presidents follow a narrower number of career paths, particularly with training as an attorney.

“The position also has no requirement for past employment, as the 2016 election makes clear with Republican nominee Donald Trump the first major-party candidate to gain notoriety through reality television,” Kyle Kensing, online content editor at CareerCast, said in a statement.

Of course, Trump wouldn’t be the first celebrity-turned-politician to make a bid for the White House. Ronald Reagan successfully won two terms after a career in Hollywood, where he appeared in 53 films.

As for the lack of a college requirement, more presidents than not have earned their bachelor’s degrees. Since 1953, every president has been a college grad, which tracks with the rise in college enrollment since World War II. 

Today, about one-third of Americans earn college degrees, compared with about 7 percent of men and 5 percent of women in 1950. Among the presidents without college degrees are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Below are five unusual jobs presidents have held before being elected:

Herbert Hoover was a private sector engineer before he entered into public service. Library of Congress

Mining engineer: Herbert Hoover. Hoover, who served as president from 1929 to 1933, was a successful mining engineer before he turned to politics. His mining career involved working at a gold mine, and he later took jobs as a mining engineer in Australia and China. He also owned silver mines in Asia and wrote a textbook on mining engineering.

Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who served from 1901-1909, spent two years as a cowboy after his first wife and his mother died on the same day. He drove cattle and captured an outlaw while he was working on his ranch in the Dakota Territory, according to

Haberdasher: Harry Truman. Truman, who served from 1945-1953, opened a haberdashery in Kansas City after returning from World War I. His store sold men’s clothing and accessories, and was ultimately unsuccessful, leaving Truman in debt. He was very particular about his clothing, favoring tailor-made double-breasted suits with large lapels, according to the National Park Service.

A person in a Mr. Peanut costume with a Carter sticker, draws a smile and a handshake from Jimmy Carter. AP

Peanut farmer: Jimmy Carter. Carter, who served from 1977 to 1981, grew up on a Georgia peanut farm, and he wrote in a book about his youth that his “greatest ambition was to be valuable around the farm and to please my father.” After serving in the Navy, he returned home to the farm when his father grew ill, taking over the peanut farm’s operations.

Classics professor: James Garfield. Garfield, whose term was shortened in 1881 by his assassination, was hired as a classics professor after he graduated from college. But he grew tired of faculty infighting, and went on to earn a law degree and moved into politics.