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I´m 12 and i´m trying to decide between being a Software Engineer or a Psychiatrist. I´d like to know the pros and cons of each.

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I like helping people with their problems, but I also like designing, coding, and using critical thinking. #software-engineer #psychology #technology #doctor

Hi Tylar. You have some great advice and answers here. I just want to add a note of encouragement to commend you on thinking about your future and ask great questions to find out more. As you can see, there are many helpful people on CareerVillage who want to help you. I wish you success in your future career and educational goals. Melisa Cameron Translate
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Suddhasattwa’s Answer

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Hi Tyler,

If you like and love design, coding and critical thinking - then yes go for SW Engineer. That could be ideal main stream as career. As not many in the class have these niche skills. So go for it and prepare yourself for engineering.

However, that wont kill your other dream:
As you love solving others problems and must be a good advisor too - you can still continue to practice it in parallel, ready books, youtube video, attend sessions/seminars and take up a part-time program/study on psychology, get certified as well.

And always remember on a lighter note - You will always have a chance to help your SW Engineer co-workers with your Psychiatry expertise but you can't treat Psychiatric patients with SW Codings :-)
So why choose one, when you can be both?

Good luck and long pleasant way to go..
Suddho
Thank you, great advice Tylar M. Translate
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Andrew’s Answer

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Hello Taylor, it looks like you're planning ahead for your future and I think that's a great start for someone your age. First things first, you need to remember, what's something that you want to do for the rest of your life? Do you want to give people advice or use that mind set to apply to your critical thinking for Software Engineering? It seems that you also labeled more pros for software engineering in your own question and in my opinion would be the better career to lean on.

With being a psychiatrist it takes hard studies and dedication to be one. You need to have a PHD and that'll take a person to get 5-6 years to get but with software engineering you can get an Associate's, work in IT, and work your way up to prove that you have an experience of a software engineer or get a BA to go straight to software engineering. Though the easiest path is never the right one.

Software Engineering is unique skill you have at a young age and by the time you get to college, you'll possibly be one of the best already. That's what you should really strive for and success will come your way. I know you want to be a psychiatrist to help other people but you can do that without a degree. Though the money is greater than a software engineer but going for a career because it pays a lot of money doesn't mean it's the best one for you. You can work a great job and still not like it. It can strain anybody and you're gonna have to push through it for the rest of your life.

I hope this helped
Good Luck to you.
Nice comments Prasun Ghosal Translate
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Stephanie’s Answer

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Well, I think when we are thinking about what we want to do in the future as a career...at any age. We often find it hard to decide because we think that our choice has to be the "correct" one and the one that we have to do for the rest of our lives. That's a pretty heavy load to carry when trying to figure out what will fulfill our current needs. It's not black or white...it's more of a grey area. For example there are many fields inside the therapy box you can choose from. And the path you choose today isn't or doesn't have to be a lifelong choice. You will most likely change careers over time. So, when choosing think about your personal needs and desires. It's important to gain more than a paycheck from your work. There should be a balance of gains...things that feed you or you'll be unhappy. Balance your interests, a living wage, food for your soul, and what excites you inside. I hope this was helpful! Good luck on your path.
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Joey’s Answer

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Hi Tylar, good for you for asking this type of question as a 12 year old.
I highly recommend getting into Software and Technology. If you like to code, solve problems there are a few different career paths. The industry is always changing rapidly and software is applicable to every industry.
At the end of the day, you need to find a career that you are passionate about, so it doesn't feel like work.
As you are young, keep exploring, keep learning and eventually do a few internships along the way.
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Vikash Raja Samuel’s Answer

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Hi Tylar. There is a fundamental difference between SW and Psychology, that is machines are dumb but are consistent in their response to external events whereas humans are not. What I mean by that is, adding an integer 2 with an integer 2 will always result in an integer 4 but humans tend to have much greater variation in their responses to the same question.
SW is procedural, you could define success conditions and track your progress and know if you have succeeded relatively easily, however the same is not true when dealing with people in general. People are much more interesting and much more complex and as a result there may not be easy wins.
SW is mostly related to math, as a matter of fact Computer Science in general could be thought of as a sub field of Math, so if you are good at it and enjoy general problem solving you will enjoy SW as well.
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Stephanie’s Answer

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Well, I think when we are thinking about what we want to do in the future as a career...at any age. We often find it hard to decide because we think that our choice has to be the "correct" one and the one that we have to do for the rest of our lives. That's a pretty heavy load to carry when trying to figure out what will fulfill our current needs. It's not black or white...it's more of a grey area. For example there are many fields inside the therapy box you can choose from. And the path you choose today isn't or doesn't have to be a lifelong choice. You will most likely change careers over time. So, when choosing think about your personal needs and desires. It's important to gain more than a paycheck from your work. There should be a balance of gains...things that feed you or you'll be unhappy. Balance your interests, a living wage, food for your soul, and what excites you inside. I hope this was helpful! Good luck on your path.
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Riley’s Answer

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Hi Tylar, I happen to have majored in software engineering myself, so I happen to know a bit about this major! When thinking about this one, I would suggest to first consider your confidence in math classes. I have always had a passion for computers and coding, but this major requires you to go pretty high up in levels of math classes and this ended up being completely overwhelming to me and I ended up having to switch my major. On the other hand, some of the more specific courses that the major required (like App Design), were really fun and definitely prepared me well for a career in this field. Overall, I would say one of the biggest pros of choosing this major (if you think you can handle all the math) is probably the income and job security. The starting salary for this job is $60,000-$130,000 depending on where you decide to work. Furthermore, jobs in technology are in very high demand so you will probably have a good chance of being hired after college.

In contrast, the starting salary for a psychiatrist is $180,000-$280,000! Clearly, that is a pretty big reason to choose this career path. However, we first need to consider the amount of money and time that will need to be spent on the school to get to this position. In order to be hired as a psychiatrist you will need to complete 4 years of undergraduate college, 4 years of medical school, and then an additional several years of working at a low paying internship before you will be eligible for hire. If you need to take a student loan out to pay for college, you will rack up a pretty good amount of debt to pay before you can even be hired.
Thank you. Would i be able to work in New York, with good pay and personal expenses? Tylar M. Translate
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Christine’s Answer

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Hi Tylar,

I think it's fantastic that you're thinking about your career at your age, it's a great time to start figuring out what direction you'd like to head in so you can make sure you have the necessary skills to get into a good school or apprenticeship. I would suggest looking for volunteer or internship opportunities in these fields as soon as you're able so you can see what a day in the life of these careers is like.

Be mindful over the coming years of what you enjoy doing and how your priorities change. There's a great song that says
"Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life...
the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't" :D

You will very likely change your mind but make sure that you are always doing something you find engaging, challenging, and enjoyable; if you do this, the career will fall into place. Though any direction you head in, you will benefit by building a technical skill set. Learning a coding language like Python, and excelling in math and science will help you keep your options open in your future.

The best thing you can do at your age is to be curious and inquisitive about the world around you. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Best of luck!

Christine recommends the following next steps:

  • Be curious
  • Find a volunteer or internship opportunity
  • Learn a coding language
  • Stay on top of your math and science
Thank you I will be sure to save the list. Tylar M. Translate
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Angel’s Answer

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Hi Tylar!
I commend you for your interest in two very different fields of study! I read through everyone's response to you and see that you have some great advice on the pros and cons of each career, so the real work is going to be to determine which is the best fit for you. One will have you working with people on a daily basis but the other will have you working with code. Since you're planning ahead at an early age, this is a good time to determine what your strengths are and how they best compliment your personality-type. If you're already a wiz at math and have a true interest in the structure of code, then you are going to thrive in the technical world of software engineering. Or, if you are often told that you're a good listener and easy to talk to, then you're probably a good fit for a career that focuses on the details of someone's life. So I think you're on the right track in doing research now so that you can plan your educational journey long before leaving high school. I encourage you to keep exploring and stay true to yourself in following your ideal career path. Best wishes to you!
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Prasun’s Answer

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Software Engineer or a Psychiatrist - I will suggest that you give importance to what you wanted to do in life, no matter it is SE or Psychiatrist, you will only excel if you really wanted to do it, if you really think that is your passion.

Pros of SE:
1. SE consists of various flavour - It can be coding-developer, testing-QA, designing - Business Analyst, Project Manager, based on your area of interest and skills you can work in some of the options that I mentioned
2. ThoughInteracting with machines, you can still add value to Society by working on interesting projects from Space missions, banking, health, education and whatever streams you can think off
3. Package/Salary can be higher or average but mostly it depends on skills - like Coding, Tools, AI, Robotics etc
4. You don't need an engineering degree to become software engineer


Cons:
1. Long hours of sitting on the chair takes toll on health - like eyes, backbone etc
2. The hot skill today can be out of demand tomorrow, you have to continuously keep on ups killing yourself (this is not exactly Cons)

Psychiatrist:
Pros:
1. Interact with Humans and impact a human life by solving problems which may be a life and death scenario
2. The profession of doctors are next to God only

Cons:
1. This will definitely require good skills as this is direct human interactions as compared with SE
2. The overall course duration is more when compared with SE
thank you. Tylar M. Translate
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Anuj’s Answer

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Awesome that you're thinking so far ahead! I think both require a lot of logic and reasoning skills, and it's never too early to start learning how to code.
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