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What career path should I follow based on the following information?

I'm an 18-year-old freshly out of high school. I'm not really sure about what I should pursue in college. My interests incline towards chemistry, biology, and psychology and I feel like I want to do something in the field of biology. But the thing is, in this field whatever I'm inclining toward seems like it wouldn't really help me with any placements and job opportunities, at least till I complete my master's in the course. Also, the earning also seems pretty low, specifically in India.

I did think about going in the direction of med, but the competition seems way too high, and it feels very challenging so I'm not really sure about it.

I was thinking about choosing between pharmacy and biotechnology, but in both cases, the placements and the opportunities seem to be lacking in India.

What should I do?

Note: this question was asked anonymously by a student

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Jonathan Mark’s Answer

Most states in the USA have career centers located in various cities in that state. In California: https://www.calcareercenter.org/ They offer a variety of employment related services that typically include: seminars for job seekers, networking events, career expos and job fairs, how to write a resume, administering self assessments and aptitude tests to determine your career interests and opportunities to explore different careers.

Here is the big picture. What you choose may or may not be forever. Don't be be afraid. Don't stress. Choose something that you think you will like. Life is too short to spend the next 40, 50 or 60 years of your life doing something you hate. It is okay to change your mind. It is okay to shift gears. It is okay to make a lateral transfer,

Some people serve in the military for 20 years, earn a nice military pension and then go on to a 20 or 30 year career in civilian life where they earn even more for retirement and then they go play. Some people choose to play along the way. Some people just dive in and complete their formal education all at once. Others do it spread over time. Don't let people "should" on you. ("You should do this...") If you have an opportunity to associate with people who have already done what you want to do, that is a fantastic way to get ideas for your career. The networking events referenced in the first paragraph is one way to do this.

Nursing is an example of a career choice that can be completed incrementally. It will take about a year to earn an LPN/LVN. Finish that, then find a job where you can work about 30 hours per week. This will cover basic living expenses while you complete the next phase which is earning your RN/Associates Degree in the second year. Repeat the process. Find work that pays more, so you can earn more money in less time. While doing this, you can work on your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) in the third year. Repeat the process. Take five semesters (not quite two years) to earn the Master's degree in nursing (MSN), then three years to earn the doctoral degree - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). There are a variety of opportunities in nursing: industry as a sales rep, in clinical practice dealing with patients, insurance, regulatory affairs, administration, research.

This same approach may be applied to a variety of career choices. It is okay to explore different career options. Everybody makes mistakes. It is okay to course correct. Trust your hunches about people and opportunities or supposed opportunities. Ask for help when you need it.
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Nick’s Answer

Sometimes you just have to jump into something and adjust you trajectory on the fly. If you like biology and psychology start a program in healthcare related studies. As you move past the introductory courses and obtain some real life work experience, you will be able to hone in on a specific field. I recommend aiming for a career that requires licensure, as it tends to be more secure across a lifelong career.
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Angélica’s Answer

Hello!
If you like med maybe you must take the risk on competition, perseverance and resilience that requires. The profits worth the time and money invested. If you prefer more time for dedicate to other areas of life and to have good future job opportunities, you could choose a career like nursing or medical technologist. Psychology is well demanded but there are too much competition too. The medical assistance is better option that laboratory jobs, there are more demand.
Whatever your choice should be based on how much you are willing to pay and what hurts the least to lose (money/time/ effort)
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Kristie’s Answer

Have you thought about nursing or Physical Therapy? Both are in demand. A lot of employers will help pay back student loans if you commit to working with them for a specific length of time. You can make a great living doing either one.
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Martha’s Answer

Hi, you have received excellent advice so far. I have just a few points to add:

1) Your college should also have a career center, academic advisors, and pre-med advisors to address these sorts of questions.
2) As Jonathan said, if the time and money involved in becoming a doctor are daunting, you could start out in nursing and progress there or move to physician's assistant or another path. I would encourage you to get internships or summer jobs in a hospital or doctor's office to get a sense if that environment is for you.
3) You mention India a few times. In general, salaries in India are lower than salaries in the US because the cost of living is less. So I would not let that be the deciding factor for what you choose. Also, the population in India is growing so their need for health care is likely to grow also. If one area has a lot of doctors, perhaps there is another part of the country that does not?

Good luck!
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Katherine’s Answer

There is a series of manuals or workbooks that you might like to look at and follow along with for a while; they can help you in your path moving forward. And none of us know at the beginning quite how our lives will look in the end, so if you follow some general processes, you can have an adventure.

One manual is called Find a Better Job. The manual is here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/topics/self-reliance/find-a-better-job-na-eng.pdf?lang=eng&download=true

Another manual is called Education for Better Work. The manual is here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/topics/self-reliance/education-for-better-work-na-eng.pdf?lang=eng&download=true

And another manual is called Starting and Growing My Business. The manual is here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/topics/self-reliance/2017/14678_sgmb_book_eng.pdf?lang=eng




In case the rest of the series is also interesting to you or any of your friends and family, there are two more courses in the series:

One manual is called Personal Finances. The manual is here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/topics/self-reliance/personal-finances-na-eng.pdf?lang=eng&download=true

And the last manual is called Emotional Resilience. The manual is here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/topics/self-reliance/Emotional-Self-Reliance-Manual-new.pdf?lang=eng
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