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I have no idea which career I want to pursue

I have no idea which career I want to pursue. I'm interested in technology, business, and also medicine. #career-options

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Doc’s Answer

MEDICAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE
• JOB DESCRIPTION – Medical sales representatives are often responsible for a set territory in which they may serve as either inside or outside sales representatives, or independent representatives who serve a number of businesses and sell a variety of medical products. Inside sales representatives may work with current customers through remote contact to ensure that their product is well received. While inside sales representatives may contact new customers, they rarely leave the office or meet with clients directly. Outside sales representatives spend much of their time traveling and often meet directly with both new and existing customers to market new products and ensure quality of service.
• EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sales representatives, including medical sales representatives, are not required to have any particular type of formal education. However, the BLS notes that many employers in technical industries, such as the medical industry, prefer prospective employees to have a bachelor's degree from areas such as marketing, communication, customer service or medical office management. Medical sales representatives may also seek voluntary certification, such as the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) or professional training from organizations such as the National Association of Medical Sales Representatives (NAMSR).
• SALARY OUTLOOK – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, which can include medical and pharmaceutical equipment and products, could expect a 4% increase in employment opportunities from 2018-2028. The average Sales Representative II salary in the United States is $78,000 as of June 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $64,500 and $90,900. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

HEALTHCARE CONSULTANT
• JOB DESCRIPTION – A healthcare organization typically hires a healthcare consultant on a part-time basis, but some employ them on a full-time basis. Large companies hire healthcare consultants on a full-time basis to help them constantly find ways to improve and reorganize their infrastructure. Smaller companies hire them only when they need to enhance a section of their company that is not operating efficiently. Healthcare consultants can work with firms or develop a customer base on their own.
• EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS – Healthcare consultants typically obtain a bachelor's degree in industry-related majors, such as health information, finance, and medical record administration. Course content may cover health systems, policy, statistics, and healthcare reform. Individuals average higher salaries with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Business Administration (MBA). Some universities offer dual MBA/MPH degree programs. Although not mandatory, certification as a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant (CHBC) may be an asset when it comes to making industry contacts and keeping up with trends. Certifications are available for general and specific fields and can be especially valuable for consultants who work independently. The National Society of Healthcare Business Consultants administers the CHBC exam.
• SALARY OUTLOOK – The same source projects that management analysts in healthcare will see employment opportunities grow by about 14% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average. The average Healthcare Consultant salary is $88,500 as of June 28, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $78,500 and $102,00. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

HOSPITAL PHARMACIST
• JOB DESCRIPTION – Unlike pharmacists in retail settings, hospital pharmacists don't typically spend the majority of their workday filling prescriptions. Instead, these professionals assist in direct patient care in hospital settings. This might include making rounds with health care practitioners; conducting minor medical tests, like glucose tests and cholesterol screenings; and giving patients advice about medications and healthy lifestyle choices. They also might recommend particular drugs and intravenous admixtures, including dosage amount, and ensure that those medications are given at the right time each day.
• EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS – Prospective hospital pharmacists must graduate from an accredited Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, which typically takes four years to complete. In addition to coursework, students in these postgraduate programs complete internships to gain practical experience in pharmacy settings. After graduating from pharmacy school and completing a set number of internship hours, prospective hospital pharmacists must earn state licensure. This involves passage of two exams: the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) or a similar state-mandated law test. In certain states, pharmacists also must be certified if they administer immunizations and vaccinations.
• SALARY OUTLOOK – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that pharmacists in general would experience no growth in employment between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also noted that pharmacists in hospitals and other healthcare settings were expected to see increased demand because of a need to oversee patients' medications and perform some medical tasks, like tests for blood sugar and cholesterol. The average Hospital Pharmacist salary in the United States is $129,900 as of June 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $122,500 and $138,900. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

I hope this was Helpful Ellen
Thank you comment icon Thank You Aun for your Continued Support. I appreciate your faith in my abilities and will certainly do my very best to continue helping the students. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Avanti. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck Doc Frick
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Gloria’s Answer

At the end of the day, this decision is up to you. You should consider what are you doing now that you would like to do for the rest of your life. You need to tap into your own passions for guidance on what you want to do as a job. You are the only person who knows the right now. If you are not sure, you need to explore options that are around you. Since you have no bias in any direction, allow yourself to engage in skills that you may not have. You should ask people around you who work if you can job shadow them. You may also want to consider volunteering with various organizations. Some of the jobs that you will do with them are jobs that pay at companies. You can learn a skill or watch a skill and find inspiration.

I would also recommend going to college to work through the subjects that interest you. You have an interest in a diverse subjects. I think that technology is going to be a way forward in either business or medicine. I would challenge you to decide on how you want to use technology. Do you want to a coder? Do you want make physical machines? Do you want to explore things like solving health problems, like a cure for cancer? The answer to the question - how do I want to use technology? - will guide you on your next steps.

Good luck finding the job of your dreams.
Gloria
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Ishaan’s Answer

Hi Ellen,
This is a common issue when you are "Soul searching" for a career. A couple of things to consider - make a list of items you like vs don't like. You can even measure them qualitatively vs quantitatively. For example: I love working with people (high importance), I like solving math problems (Low importance), I want to make more than 75k in salary (Quantitative example).
I would put it in an excel and you will see your thoughts take shape in terms of your likes and dislikes - in an organized fashion. Remember your career is a marathon and not a sprint - so the key is to be open minded and flexible!
Once you have done that start networking with folks in professions you are considering, ask them provide insights on a day in the life of (the grass is greener on the side right? )
Research companies offering internships for careers and fields you're interested - this will help you get an idea in terms of what type of work is being done at a company and compliment that to your networking and you've got yourself a referral!
Hope this helps!

Ishaan recommends the following next steps:

Create an Excel with likes, dislikes & qualify/quantify them
Network via LinkedIn
Research companies and internships
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Rohit’s Answer

Hello Ellen,

So many people have given such wonderful responses to your query.

I think it would be great if you can do short internships or apprenticeships in the area you have a keen interest in. This could help you get an idea of what it takes to be in each domain. Medicine can be a challenge for internships - but perhaps an internship as an office assistant at a medical clinic could help you see how the medical professionals work including pharma sales reps.

You never know what will open up with these stints.

All the best!

Regards
Rohit
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Brett’s Answer

The difficult part to this answer is knowing your strengths and your weakness. Look into fields that benefit your strengths but can also grow your weakness. Understand that you will gain more in life if you pick something that will take you out of your comfort zone and that you will learn from. I would always recommend trying sales at some point early on so you can learn a lot of these basic skills without worrying too much about pay as they tend to bring in more income.
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Simeon’s Answer

I'd say check out being a data analyst. It's a growing tech job need in business, so there's a growing amount of job opportunities. Look up the Google Data Analytics Certificate that's being offered at grow. google. com.
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Anitha’s Answer

Understand what interests you and your strengths- this helps to narrow down to list of career options. Based on your motivational aspect you should be able to choose the best career option
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Rod’s Answer

This is common. Most people don't really know what they want to study or do with their life. If taking a year off for traveling and or working is an option, I would recommend this.
I have a couple of friends that took a year off before starting Uni and they were able to find more satisfaction in their jobs and for be very successful.
If taking a year off is not an option then study something you enjoy and keep an eye for other alternatives and potentially change to a different course. Good luck!
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Catherine’s Answer

Hi Ellen, You are not alone and I'm sure there's many out there like you who are unsure what they want to pursue later on in life. My advice for you is keep reading articles on those topics and learn more about each one of them. Use your best judgement and instinct to help you understand what is most interested for you and go from there. Try narrowing down exactly what interested you the most within any of these topics, for example there's many fields within technology including web development, consulting, robotics, machine learning. Dive deep into at least one or two and figure out what interested you the most. Wish you all the best!
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Olivier’s Answer

That is totally normal! I wanted to be an astronaut for a long time, then a doctor and I ended up making video games!

What I would recommend is 1) think about the things you love, and learn more about how they’re done (clothing? Research the fashion industry; food? Look at agriculture, retail or restaurants; etc.) There are jobs for everything! 2) try to keep your options open while you’re undecided. If you start studying a very specific field it will add time for you to transition if you’re not committed in the long run. Business tends to be a good one as there’s a business behind everything! 3) get exposure to the industries you’re interested in; connect with friends, family or people on LinkedIn to learn more, try to get internships and see if it’s something you could like!
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Liyan’s Answer

Year One: Invest in Your Journey Know Yourself + Explore Possibilities = Make a Career Plan

Make an appointment with the Career Center to discuss your career goals and opportunities.
Explore the Career Center website and our online resources library.
Explore your values, skills, interests, and personality related to majors and careers.
Attend at least two career related events on campus such as career fairs, career events, or workshop series.
Complete a job shadow, internship, or externship opportunity and reflect on the experience.


Year Two: Devote the Time to Plan Initiate Your Career Plan + Develop Skills = Increased Opportunities

Continue to explore career fields that align with your values, interests, skills, and personality.
Gain interviewing skills by reviewing the interviewing section on the Career Center website and completing at least one mock interview using Interview Stream or through a scheduled mock interview appointment with Career Center Staff.
Create a professional LinkedIn profile and make connections with people in your career field of
Interest.
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Emory’s Answer

For me, the trick was looking at everything I love to do that makes me who I am and finding the one thing about me that I thought I could turn into a career. I'm a huge tech nerd who considers themselves a creative problem solver. I love to code and get my hands dirty with electronics of all sorts and mash it all together to solve whatever problem it is that I (or someone else) may facing. I got into a career in web development which was a lot of fun and pretty challenging at times but I eventually moved into tech support specifically for Java and Node.js with a company called New Relic which not only allows for me to do a bit of coding but mainly allows me to help solve peoples issues they may be having with our product.

At the end of the day you have to go after what speaks to you and what gives you purpose. Neither of the career fields you're looking at are going out of style or becoming obsolete anytime soon so you've really got a solid trio to pick from. Just listen to yourself when you ask questions and do your research...a lot of times you're telling yourself out loud what you actually want to do, it's just hard to take the step and say yes to it.

I hope that provides at least some sort of guidance!

Cheers,

Emory Schwall

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Sean’s Answer

Hi Ellen,

I think the best place to start would be to ask yourself WHY you are interested in each of these subjects; technology, business, and medicine. For example, is it the application or development of the technology that appeals to you more? If it is the application you may be happier in a business role for a tech company, but if it is development then you may be happier as an engineer or scientist.

Record your questions and answers so you can go back and look for commonalities. You may find that a similar interest that draws you to medicine and business is that you like the concept of working directly with people in the form of a "customer" or "patient". Alternatively you may find that you don't like working with people and prefer the analytical side.

Finally, understand that this a very common issue and you have time to figure it out. Many college programs are structured to let students experiment with different classes in their first year or two to figure out what topics really interest them. Even after college you will see people change career paths. I know several engineers who decided they didn't enjoy the work after a couple years and decided to move into management.

Knowing what you want can be a huge advantage when picking a career path, but it takes time and you need to be patient through the process.

Good luck,
Sean

Sean recommends the following next steps:

Ask yourself WHY you are interested in each of these subjects; technology, business, and medicine.
Record your questions and answers so you can go back and look for commonalities.
Look for college programs that help undecided students choose a major.
Talk to current professionals in each field to get insight into what their day-to-day is like.
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Andrea’s Answer

Hi Ellen,

what helped me a lot to figure out my own path in life were my internships. If you have the opportunity to do those or accompany professionals in the fields you are interested in during a work-shadowing type of program, do so! In my opinion, there is no better way to really get a feel for what everyday work in a profession encompasses. Do you know anyone who works in a job or industry you could see yourself in? Ask them for suggestions and whether they know of internships, contacts, work-shadowing opportunities, etc. It's possible that your teachers can also help you with their network - why not ask them for tips, too?

LinkedIn is also a great place to start to find out what kind of jobs and potential employers there are that catch your a.m. areas of interest. On that platform you can also reach out to people directly that work in a role you find interesting, and ask them questions - why did they chose this career, what do they love most about their job, what do they like the least, etc.

...and just to throw a few more specific areas of research your way to get you started: look into medical software, medical devices, the regulations around the use of both, companies that actually produce software or devices for the industry, medical management courses, clinical research, clinical trials, the pharmaceutical industry...I am sure there is tons more.

Wishing you lots of success,
Andrea
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Mike’s Answer

Hi Ellen.

Best advice I can give is to take a moment and reflect upon the type of work you think will make you happy, something more intrinsically rewarding than a paycheck, and something that when you look back 1, 5, 25 years from now and can say, "I made a difference, I contributed to the world, I contributed to my community and my fellow humans".

Now, folks search their entire careers for that type of opportunity. While you're young, and before you embark on a journey in the workplace, now is the great time to take stock in what's important to you, and where you believe will give you a sense of purpose each, and every day.

I'd also recommend checking out this book, "What Color is Your Parachute?" (http://www.parachutebook.com/) by Richard N. Bolles. This is a good read for helping determine your passions, and helping identify the right track to ensure you're involved in work that matches your interests.

Keep an open mind. As I mentioned, most folks search their entire lives for work that is purposeful to them. Be resilient, and keep up your search and pursuit for the work that matches your purpose as it may not come from the first, second, or even third/more, jobs that you will have over the course of your career.

Hope this helps! You got this!

Mike recommends the following next steps:

Check out - "What Color is Your Parachute?" (http://www.parachutebook.com/) by Richard N. Bolles
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Kelly’s Answer

Hi Ellen,

I'm probably going to give a counter-intuitive answer, but here goes. I had no idea what I wanted to do until I started doing something. I started working in banking in my early 20s out of college as a bank teller and now I've been working in Banking and Financial Services since about 1992. Sure, it's a great idea to make a list of things you like to do, but sometimes "you don't know what you don't know" and so you have to try things and find out what you don't like and what you do by experience - trial and error. My thought: find a job that pays decent and a company that has a good reputation for ethics in its field and give it a go. You'll figure out what you do / don't like more so about business and you'll start heading in a direction for better or worse, and no matter what, the experience/ connections will make a positive difference for you.

Before you apply, be sure to research the company itself by looking at its website- what goods/ services they provide or what problems they solve, do some good research about how to do a successful interview for that job and/ or position. These is easily achieved by checking out websites such as: www.indeed.com and www.glassdoor.com which will give you an idea of the average salary for a specific position in that company, and some candid/ anonymous commentary about how employees feel about the company. Kind of like the "Yelp!" for employees working in large corporations.

You can also find some example interview questions that the employer tends to ask during their interviews that will help you with an interview. Pro-tip: Most large corporations use the "STAR" method for interview questions, so do definitely check out this method for your interview if you get one. Also, do an amazing job of writing your resume and yes you DO need to re-arrange your resume for each job posting so that you are highlighting your relevant experience. Each company / position you apply for will not care about the same things and they get thousands of resumes every day. One great thing you have going for you is that in this post COVID world, you have a great chance of being able to apply for remote work so if you have a good internet connection, some Call Center jobs will even supply you with a great laptop and hardware and you work right from your home.

I hope this helps!

Kelly Albright
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