Reassess your goals here and make it a distinct statement. From what I'm reading here you're after two things:
Anything else must lead to one of those two goals. At least, that's what I'm reading here. If that's not what you mean then you need to clarify some more.
Understand that you can't get a college degree in anything without taking some of those "boring courses like history, politics, government, etc..." You WILL take those, and Literature, music, art, science, math, social science, etc..., if you want a college degree. Sorry, that's the way it is.
Occupational stability and the ability to remain unemployed is more an individual factor consideration than it is founded on your career. Those conditions depend on how good you are at what you do - not on the occupational group. A bad surgeon is an unemployed surgeon. The best guitar player in the US is rich. It's all about how good you are.
So, "a high paying job" that makes people "look up to me" is easy. Of the 15 highest paying occupations in the US, 13 are physicians or dentists. http://www.acinet.org/acinet/oview5.asp?level=overall
In most studies of perceptual prestige among occupations ("make people look up to me") "Doctor" has remained among the top of the list for 30 years though "scientist" is usually a little higher. A geologist is a scientist so meets that requirement but the income of a gelogist is considerably lower than that of a physician and the classification changes to "professor" instead of "scientist" if the geologist becomes employed as a teacher of geology. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/vault/Harris-Interactive-Poll-Research-Pres-Occupations-2009-08.pdf
It seems to me that becoming a physician meets all of your requirements and that becoming a geologist (scientist) could be an alternative choice that meets most of your demands. I'm not sure that geologists are "a big-time course" or "in-demand in any part of the world" though it is a fairly marketable major if you get a graduate degree in the field. You might want to consider one of the related fields of engineering in order to raise the global demand and probably the pay level though the relative prestige is about 1/2 of doctors and scientists.