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How do I decide which career is best for me?

I am currently in 11th grade. I'm planning on going to college and I'm willing to get a PhD if it will have an impact on my career choice. My problem is that I have a variety of interests and I'm having a tough time deciding which path to take. I want to do something that will require me to be physically fit and that will challenge both body and mind everyday. I'm thinking along the lines of law enforcement but I'm searching for concentrations in which I can really contribute. I know it's not much to go on but I'm in search of many options. If possible, does anyone know what I can do in order to decide or narrow down my choices? Are there any websites that might help determine what is best for me? #college #biology #chemistry #law-enforcement #forensics

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Amber’s Answer

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All of the suggestions above are great. I can sympathize with your problem of having a lot of interests! I was in the same position you are in when I was in 11th grade - too many interests to really know how to pick a career path.

First, I would recommend that you really try to think about what you are good at. And what things make you happy. Remember, your job is something you have to like a lot because it's something you will have to do every day....so sometimes it won't be fun. But when you're happy most of the time, well, that makes up for it.

Also, try to think about practical things once you have a few solid ideas about careers that are potentially good for you. As others suggested, start talking to people who do these things. What will it cost you in terms of time and money to obtain the right education for that job? What are the typical hours you will have to work? Maybe you want a lot of spare time to engage in hobbies, for example. Thinking about what will keep you happy overall can help you figure out what path to go down.

And finally, don't stress out too much about it! Many people, including myself, have made significant career changes at different points in their lives. It can turn into a strength. Although it's great to "choose right" the first time, you can always change course. Good luck!

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Nathan’s Answer

Texas Education System put out a great website that helps HighSchool students figure out what they should study in college. Just click one of the "discover you" circles on the following website to complete the free assessment http://www.texasgearup.com/.

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Alyx’s Answer

Here is another great website: http://www.educationplanner.org/students/career-planning/find-careers/careers.shtml

Once you have narrowed it down to a list of careers that you do like, I would highly encourage you to contact someone local to you working in that field and ask if you can shadow and/or interview them.

Most undergraduate students change their major several times before deciding, so don't feel like you need to have it all figured out now, either!

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Amanda’s Answer

Hi and thank you for your interest in Public Safety. If you are interested in law enforcement but are unsure as to which concentrations to look into, please remember that there are many.

Corrections, juvenile justice, police science, and even homeland security can be viable options for you at this time.

The most important thing you can do since you know which major is right for you is to scope out some colleges and ask a counselor if you can schedule some time to talk about your goals, career objectives and what program would help you achieve those goals. Good luck.

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Alice’s Answer

I think this is one of those things where you ought to talk to (if possible, shadow) someone who's actually doing the job you're potentially interested in. Do you or any friends or family know someone in law enforcement you can talk to about your interests? Alternatively, check with your school's guidance office (or whatever career counseling and future planning is called at your school) and see if they know of people or places you can contact with your questions.