(1) Where would you like to live? (ex: if you'd like to live near your family, are there both marketing and engineering jobs so you can have a successful career near your family?)
(2) What salary do you need to make a comfortable living, or to afford basic expenses in the area where you'd like to live? (ex: the salaries for marketing and engineering may vary in your geographic area)
(3) Would you like to continue your education after college? (ex: for some careers in engineering, you may need to get an advanced degree, while you may not need them for marketing)
(4) Depending on the type of role, engineering may be more math/science focused, while marketing may be an opportunity to be more creative - is either of those more appealing to you?
(5) These are just some examples. What other factors are important to you? Consider how these may be different between each career, and feel free to ask follow up questions to get more information!
Nicole recommends the following next steps:
The two are very different types of jobs and your choice should be decided based on the main job skills that each would require and what you enjoy doing. Let's break it down with these 5 questions and things for you to consider.
1. Are jobs more plentiful in civil engineering or marketing? I would guess marketing because a lot of companies need it to help attract and retain customers and sales. Civil engineers are typically jobs found in the public sector working for a city department. Is job security important to you?
2. Also job growth and future opportunities are other things you may want to consider. Would you want to stick with the same job for a while or grow into other opportunities? Which would offer more in this area?
3. Do you like working with people and understanding consumer behavior, purchasing patterns and sentiments? I imagine that there may be less direct customer interactions with civil engineering, and if that suits your personality, then you may want to pick this one.
4. Do you have specific goals of how much you want to earn or is your decision based purely on your passion and interests? At least in the United States, on average, marketing managers make more than civil engineers, but you can disregard this if this is not as important to you.
5. As a woman of color, I've had to carefully think about selecting a career which was not gender biased against women. What I mean is that there is discrimination in the workplace and certain fields are particularly not geared towards women. I work with many software engineers and it is a male dominated area. Although, I like working in my company, sometimes I wish there was more diversity. I want to point out that at some point in your career, you may experience discrimination and not get the promotion you deserve or get paid less than your coworker who happens to be a man doing the same job.
So, choosing a field which will support your goals and allow you to develop your skills is very important. A past coworker once told me she quit her civil engineering job because it was male dominated and it was dead end for her. This is not meant to discourage you, but to make you aware of the possible pitfalls. Follow your heart and passion and the rest will fall into place.