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I am good at writing, analyzing, and conceptualizing and I also love science, psychology, sky, and arts. What career do you think suits me?

I'm a senior high school student and right now, I am taking up STEM. I want to have now a specific career choice as I'll go to college but right now I am still in hesitation of my choices. Assessing myself, I realized that I am really good at writing, science, and planning things out. Aside from that, I am a very introspective person and i am fond of psychology, arts, understanding things, and traveling. #career-counseling #career #career-development #job #highschool #writing #career-choice #stem


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Jay’s Answer

Hey John,
The general sentiment here is the same one that I would recommend - at your stage, don't commit to a single path, but explore many to find what fits well. While the common refrain of "follow your passion" is an enticing one, I'd recommend caution. Passions aren't innate, they're developed...and not for nothing, you're talking about your career, not your hobby.

You might also want to look at your question in reverse: once you're retired and reflecting on the impact of your professional life, what do you think that looks like? Have you created future scientists by encouraging young people to follow a STEM path - maybe education is a good path, have you helped ailing people overcome their ailments - maybe medicine, have you made life safer by designing buildings that are more resistant to natural disasters - maybe engineering. The list goes on and on, but that's a way to look at it.

Since you're asking a specific question, here's a specific answer: maybe data analytics and data science is a path you might want to consider. Data runs the world these days and being able to collect, organize, analyze, interpret, and finally to draw meaningful conclusions to inform specific problems is an important skill. The interests that you identified (STEM, psychology, arts, etc.) are all traits of good data analysts that I've talked with.

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Meghan’s Answer

As an introspective person you may want to avoid fields where you need to interact socially with others frequently. It seems like psychology would be a good field for you. Not necessarily the therapy setting though. I suggest looking into studying psychology as a career.

You could do this by studying psychology or sociology with a specific focus on something that interests you. For example, gender may be interesting to you. You could travel to various communities across the world and study gender as it relates to social customs and society standards. You could have an entire career studying gender in a community in Africa, then comparing it to America, or comparing it to gender norms in Asia. You could expand by narrowing into childhood and how gender and gender related behavior is taught or focusing on the way religion influences gender expression in various communities.

I say all of this to give you an example of how you could have research become the focus of your professional life. It seems to me that a career in research would fulfill many of your passions. I suggest you look into it as a possible career path.

Best of luck!

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Marie’s Answer

With your interest in psychology, conceptualizing, and being creative, I think you would make a great UX designer or instructional designer!

Broadly, UX designers are concerned with the human experience of technology. They try to ensure that users always have the most pleasant time possible using a product and almost act as the user stand-in during product development. No working day is the same - according to the great blog I've linked below, you could be involved in "research, testing, business analysis, project management and psychology, as well as the more hands-on design tasks such as wireframing and prototyping" (White 2020).

A common misconception is that UX designers design the visual look of the product - "Rather, they focus on the journey that the user takes and how the product is structured to facilitate this journey" (White 2020). Again, I'd really recommend looking at Caroline White's blog on CareerFoundry for a more in-depth overview of this career path.

Instructional designers create educational materials and learning products for a wide variety of industries, including businesses, higher education, government organizations, hospitals, schools... the list is endless. There's a strong focus on e-learning nowadays and you could be tasked with creating engaging virtual training materials, designing learning curriculums, researching learners and determining their needs, and keeping up with new trends in e-learning.

In other words, "instructional designers create effective, engaging learning experiences. They draw on best practices from education, design, psychology, systems theory, and creative writing to create eLearning, face-to-face workshops, job aids, and other performance support solutions" (Peck 2019).

For both these roles, you need to be able to empathize with end users and communicate well with everyone from subject-matter experts (SMEs) to developers to customers. You should have good visualization, research, listening, technology, and time management skills. Both roles require creative thinkers and a willingness to keep learning. From what you've said about yourself, John, I think you would be right at home in either career!

As for your university choices, the nice thing about both these careers is that they welcome people from varied backgrounds and there's no straightforward path to joining either industry. Many UX practitioners and instructional designers have a background in psychology because it's an important part of understanding users' needs and desires, so it's worth exploring your interest there. The most important thing about your course choice is that you enjoy it, because 3-5 years is a very long time!

Marie recommends the following next steps:

https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/what-does-a-ux-designer-actually-do/#:~:text=UX%20design%20focuses%20on%20the,research%2C%20design%2C%20and%20technology.
https://www.devlinpeck.com/posts/how-to-become-instructional-designer
https://uxdesign.cc/college-majors-for-ux-design-4a8015fae716

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Madison’s Answer

Hi John! I agree with Keith and Gloria! My suggestion is to find a combination of your passion and your top skills. Your schooling will help you identify your strengths and with experience, your true passion. Keep in mind that their are many options out there and not all of them pay particularly well BUT the reward outweighs the pay check. Strong skills in writing, analyzing and conceptualizing are fantastic and can be applied anywhere!! And if you love science, maybe look into the biotech or pharmaceutical industries. Especially with the state of the world, nothing is more relevant. My company (Catalent Pharma Solutions) hires on average 3,000 people a year with your same skills and with a passion of saving people's lives. At the end of the day, stay true to yourself, stay in school and keep an open mind! Good luck!

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Jeff’s Answer

Hello there! I would first start with high-level thinking and writing down what it is you like to do. With this, try not to be so direct (i.e. healthcare), but start with "helping people".

The number of jobs that are in certain categories (i.e. helping people) can be large, but that's good at first. There is a chance that this is overwhelming at first but if I were to go back, this is what I would do, rather than start with a specific career.

Since you're good at analyzing and conceptualizing, try to identify which degree would suit you and get you relevant experience. The type of classes do help but the most beneficial will be experience. Try to see what job fields have analyzing data, for example and what type of experience/internship may suit that so you can be best set up for future success.

I hope this helps..

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi John Lloyd,

It can be challenging to know what career advice to give you specifically since you have a wide range of interests. I would say that you should not be concerned about not knowing your major when you start college. The first one to two years in college is a time for you to learn more about a variety of subjects and is a time for you to get a feel for what really calls to you. Right now, you should spend time thinking about the skills that you are already have and how they might best into a workplace. Are you particularly good at a subject in school, something that comes easy to you and you enjoy? There is a clue there about a skill that you would be happy to use every day in a career. For example, I have been a storyteller or writer since I learned how to write letters. Writing has been a part of my daily life. It was my best subject in school and helped me with writing papers in subjects that I was not so talented in. I would say that the source of any career direction should be what skills and talents you have today that you would do even if you did not earn a salary.

Why do I recommend doing something with a skill and talent you enjoy? Work can be challenging at times. You may even want to walk away. I have always done best in the jobs where the core was storytelling. Knowing that I was doing something I love made it easier to get through the hard times.

Good luck on your search. I know that you are going to find something that makes you happy. Just make sure that you are putting yourself at the center of any decision you make.

Gloria

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Keith’s Answer

Your answer will come with experience. You have a host of skills that need to be test and shaped further. Universities and colleges (in the US) require students to take General Education courses. These expose students to a host of subjects and ideas. Given your range of interested, you may take an Analytical Philosophy class and love it or you may fall in love with an Aerospace Engineering course. At this point in your life, you don't need to know exactly what you want to "be," you need only get more and more exposure to fields and topics to see what sticks and what doesn't. In time, you will have a clear path for yourself.

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