What should I base my career decision on? Any insights? Watch

Anonymous #1
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Hello,

I've been thinking for months, frustrated by now. Now, I have two weeks before I start International Baccalaureate diploma (high school). I have to choose between Physics (engineering, tech, etc.) or Biology (medical, doctor, etc.).

I get good grades at school, and I feel that I would do really well in both fields, in terms of grades, test marks, etc.

My parents aren't pressuring me, and won't be disappointed regardless what I choose. However, they do advice me very strongly to pursue the medical field, as they see better job security, value created for society, better opportunity to serve the less fortunate and poor, etc. They tell me that I am at a lucky spot where we can comfortably afford my becoming a doctor, financially, whereas people struggle to get in this field because they can't afford it.

Initially, I just said no, and disregarded the advice.

But after watching TED talks by Benjamin Todd and Terri Trespicio on not following passion or 'true calling' as it keeps changing, instead following what can create most value for society. I started considering medical as a option. I really don't like surgery, but my parents say that I will get over it, after doing it over and over again during my studies.

The truth is, I don't know what I'm passionate about. I like film making, graphics editing, and a little bit interest for machines, technology, more on the physics side.

Also I have started believing that passions builds after you start becoming good at something after watching the TED talks.

I happen to get bored during biology-related lectures in class, but that might be due to my attitude of not like biology, or not even trying. Also I don't like doing math just for the sake of math, a practical application of math is fine, but I'm not a Math nerd.

The way I see it, if I choose medical I will have committed at least 7-8 hard years of university, so I need to be certain if I want to go in medical since there is no changing after that. I could change but that would be stupid given how many years I would have spent in medical. Also I have this idea from somewhere that in med school, it's very rigorous studies and not much time for extra curricular activities, is it true?

Whereas in engineering, I would finish under-grad in 3 yrs and grad in 1 yrs. And even then I think I will have time to follow things I like for example film making, or graphics during university.

But when I imagine the amount of people I could help being a doctor, I become clear that I will go in medical. But after thinking of the surgery, bad looking diseases, long time commitment, etc. I become unclear and become confused, back to where I started.

This choice is going to narrow my possibilities of what I can become, and that is worrying me because I don't know if I should make decisions based on, my current liking, or value created for society?

Also I have a worry that my work in physics/tech/engineering will be very insignificant due to the amount of people working in it, hence I will not feel fulfilled.

Do we need more doctors or 'technology people'?

Any insights would be very much appreciated?
Thanks for bearing this long.
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cheesecakelove
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Select a career based on your interests, not what you view as being more worthy for other people. If you are not really interested in medicine, chances are you won't have the motivation to study 7 years of the subject, let alone work in such a career. Medicine is a demanding career, a lot of hours and can take up a lot of your life. You have to be really committed to pursue this. If you prefer engineering, I would advise you to go with this. A career in engineering is very valuable in itself and can also contribute to the world.

It is worth doing some research into potential courses (medicine, engineering, film making/graphic) and careers to see which one you would prefer. I would choose career based on personal passion. If it something that you want to do for the rest of your life, it is better if it is something you enjoy!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by cheesecakelove)
Select a career based on your interests, not what you view as being more worthy for other people. If you are not really interested in medicine, chances are you won't have the motivation to study 7 years of the subject, let alone work in such a career. Medicine is a demanding career, a lot of hours and can take up a lot of your life. You have to be really committed to pursue this. If you prefer engineering, I would advise you to go with this. A career in engineering is very valuable in itself and can also contribute to the world.

It is worth doing some research into potential courses (medicine, engineering, film making/graphic) and careers to see which one you would prefer. I would choose career based on personal passion. If it something that you want to do for the rest of your life, it is better if it is something you enjoy!
That's what I also thought, that I should follow what I like, but isn't it true that you become interested in whatever you become really good at. If you suck at something, than chances are you'll not like it.

Thanks for the advice, you're right, without the motivation it'll be too difficult to go through 7 years of medical.
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cheesecakelove
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Not necessarily - you can be good at something but not have any interest in it. Without the motivation, you will struggle to do the same thing day in, day out. If you are less talented at something but have a genuine interest in it, you will be more motivated to work harder.

Best of luck with everything! If you need any more advice, post back on here.
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apple32
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I agree with cheesecakelove. Follow your passion. Find out what it is. Do you have any interest in the medical field at all? Here are a few things to consider: in this field, you help people, one by one. This field is about helping people. It's also good if you like working with people. You don't have to be a surgeon to be successful. You can be a doctor or even a nurse. In engineering, you help to build things that benefit many people. However, you deal more with data, contractors, etc. If you like advanced maths and sciences this would be good. There are also many fields you can go into. One project could differ greatly from the next and the location/environment, too. If you like graphics editing and film-making, you should go visit the film department of a university. Have them give you a tour of the facilities. This will help you decide. One good way to figure out what path you should take is to imagine yourself as if you are already working in that field. Which one gets you excited? That's most likely the one that you will enjoy doing (and can get through studying in uni).
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by apple32)
I agree with cheesecakelove. Follow your passion. Find out what it is. Do you have any interest in the medical field at all? Here are a few things to consider: in this field, you help people, one by one. This field is about helping people. It's also good if you like working with people. You don't have to be a surgeon to be successful. You can be a doctor or even a nurse. In engineering, you help to build things that benefit many people. However, you deal more with data, contractors, etc. If you like advanced maths and sciences this would be good. There are also many fields you can go into. One project could differ greatly from the next and the location/environment, too. If you like graphics editing and film-making, you should go visit the film department of a university. Have them give you a tour of the facilities. This will help you decide. One good way to figure out what path you should take is to imagine yourself as if you are already working in that field. Which one gets you excited? That's most likely the one that you will enjoy doing (and can get through studying in uni).
Film making is fun for me and is what I would do if I removed job security, value created for society, money, opportunities, etc. from the equation. Till now I don't like advanced maths, surgery, blood, working with 'ugly looking diseases', etc. But statistically speaking most people don't make it big in the film-making field. Hence, it makes sense to choose engineering or medical. What if I like film-making but I'm not good at it, that's a majority of the people who fail in the film industry. Of course I have no way of knowing till I put out some work for people to see. I don't have that certainty to completely go in 100% in film-making considering the statistics. It doesn't make sense to do that.
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apple32
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Film making is fun for me and is what I would do if I removed job security, value created for society, money, opportunities, etc. from the equation. Till now I don't like advanced maths, surgery, blood, working with 'ugly looking diseases', etc. But statistically speaking most people don't make it big in the film-making field. Hence, it I'm not good at it, that's a majority of the people who fail in the film industry. Of course I have no way of knowing till I put out some work for people to see. I don't have that certainty to completely go in 100% in film-making considering the statistics. It doesn't make sense to do that.
If you don't like advanced maths, engineering is not for you. If you don't like the sight of blood, open wounds, gashes, dealing with diseases, then the medical field is definitely not for you. You won't make it just because you like the money. The medical field is very competitive and you need to do well in school to even get a job. You can make it in the film industry but you have to be passionate about it. Don't think that you have to be really good at it from the beginning. In every field, you must work to become better at what you do. Like I said before, try contacting the film department at a university near your and ask if they can give you a tour of the facilities and allow you to sit in on a class. When I was a student, I studied art and the one thing I can tell you is that being around other people who have the same interest as you + studying something in a creative field, creates an awesome environment to study in. It's something that everyone contributes to and feeds off of. It makes you excited to come to class everyday and work on your craft. If you are afraid to commit to a full university program right away, look for any short courses, weekend classes, or certificate program that you can enroll in to get a better feel for.
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