View Poll Results: Career Poll 2 - Please read first post in thread before participating
I am in the exact field and the exact specialization 4 4.82%
I am in the exact field, but different specialization 15 18.07%
I am in the same area of study, but different field 17 20.48%
I am in a different area, but related to it 11 13.25%
I am in a completely different area than I envisioned 22 26.51%
I did not have an exact area and specialization in mind when I was at that age 14 16.87%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Career Poll 2

by ZapperZ
Tags: career, poll
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ZapperZ
#1
Jan28-13, 10:23 AM
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PLEASE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE FIRST POST BEFORE MAKING YOUR SELECTION IN THIS POLL


A few years ago, I did a career poll of people in this forum to see if they end up where they think they end up. I think the poll was a bit confusing, because I was trying to tackle too many things at once. I also think that the responders may not have read the poll carefully enough and a few people even contacted me after the fact to indicate that they made the wrong selection.

So I'm redoing the poll, and hopefully, we can get a more accurate sampling of this question. Here is the motivation for this poll: I want to see how accurately did you envisioned what you would be when you grow up.. In particular, how accurate was your ambition when you were still in pre-university matches with what you have as a career right now?

Please note that this poll is restricted to those who are not in school and/or have completed their education.

Here are the choices, and detailed explanation for each of the choices. Please read through ALL of them before you make make your choice in the poll.


1. I am in the exact field and the exact specialization that I aimed for when I was in high school/pre-university.

You wanted to be an astronaut working with NASA, and you are now an astronaut working with NASA. You wanted to do research in String theory, and you are now employed to do research in String theory. In other words, you end up EXACTLY the way you envisioned.


2. I am in the exact field, but different specialization.

You wanted to be a condensed matter theorist working in superconductivity, but you are now a condensed matter theorist working on magnetic materials. You want to be a civil engineer designing buildings, but you are now a civil engineer involved in urban planning.


3. I am in the same area of study, but different field.

You wanted to be a civil engineer, but you are now a mechanical engineer, i.e. you are still an engineer, but different engineering field than you envisioned. You wanted to be a theorist in String theory, but you are now a theorist in nuclear physics, i.e. you are still a physicist and a theorist, but in a different field of physics. You wanted to be a theorist in high energy physics, you are now an experimentalist in atomic/molecular physics.


4. I am in a different area, but related to it.

You wanted to be an engineer, but you are now in a management position of an engineering company. You wanted to be a physicist, but you are now an administrator in a physics department or laboratory.


5. I am in a completely different area than I envisioned.

You wanted to be a physicist, you are now a Wall Street trader. You wanted to be a biologist, you are now a chef. If you are currently unemployed, please choose this option as well.


6. I did not have an exact area and specialization in mind when I was at that age.

Thanks for participating. Please let me know if you have questions on this poll.

Zz.
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ZapperZ
#2
Jan28-13, 10:53 AM
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Please note that if you are still in school and pursuing your degree, you SHOULD NOT participate in this poll.

Zz.
Kholdstare
#3
Jan28-13, 11:22 AM
P: 390
ZZ, I have a question here. Say I had an initial career goal, but somewhere down the line it changed significantly OR became more specific. In that case what should be considered as my target career goal?

lisab
#4
Jan28-13, 11:31 AM
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Career Poll 2

I chose 7. I was naive at that age - I wanted to work in "science".
ZapperZ
#5
Jan28-13, 11:42 AM
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Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
ZZ, I have a question here. Say I had an initial career goal, but somewhere down the line it changed significantly OR became more specific. In that case what should be considered as my target career goal?
You should use your initial career goal for this comparison.

I want to know how many of us actually got to where we thought we want to be when we were that young and that naive. :)

Zz.
ZapperZ
#6
Jan28-13, 11:45 AM
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Also another note. If you chose 1. I am in the exact field and the exact specialization, I'd like to hear from you. You may either identify yourself here, or you may do it privately via PM (in which case, your identity will never be revealed).

I want to make sure you made the correct selection (previous poll had people choosing this erroneously) and to hear how you were able to accomplish your goal.

Thanks.

Zz.
jtbell
#7
Jan28-13, 11:51 AM
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During my last year of high school, I was still undecided about my career field. The top two were chemistry and physics: I took two years of each in HS, plus freshman chem at a nearby college one summer. I was also interested in urban planning.

During my first year in college, because of the way their general curriculum was set up, it would have been awkward for me to take both freshman (calculus-based) physics and an upper-level chemistry course that year. So I took physics. Maxwell's Equations blew me away and I never went back to chemistry!
Kholdstare
#8
Jan28-13, 12:01 PM
P: 390
Hmm. My goal was analog, board, circuit design. I ended up in digital, IC, mask layout design. So no. 2.
turbo
#9
Jan28-13, 12:12 PM
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I thought chemical engineering would be a good fit, so I could stay in Maine and work in pulp and paper mills. I switched over to liberal arts, but after school I put in an application at the local pulp mill to work as a laborer in their wood-yard. I was invited to an interview with the technical director (why?) and was offered a job as a process chemist in the newest pulp mill in the state. I did that for 4 years, and transferred to the new paper mill as a machine tender (lead operator). Spent years and years consulting with the operators of pulp and paper mills, until fragrances (from flying in poorly-ventilated airplanes) forced me to find another job. I worked as an optician for a few years, and eventually wound up gathering, consigning, and auctioning (mostly) antique firearms, flags (Civil War was the big money) and other items. The last job was the most remunerative by far, but so far removed from my college studies... Life intervenes.
Astronuc
#10
Jan28-13, 12:41 PM
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Quote Quote by ZapperZ View Post
Also another note. If you chose 1. I am in the exact field and the exact specialization, I'd like to hear from you. You may either identify yourself here, or you may do it privately via PM (in which case, your identity will never be revealed).

I want to make sure you made the correct selection (previous poll had people choosing this erroneously) and to hear how you were able to accomplish your goal.

Thanks.

Zz.
Does this apply to those who responded to the last poll, which I did.

I'm kind of between 1 and 2. In that I'm more or less in the field and specialization I wanted to be, but not quite. I more or less determined the field and specialization by 6th grade, although I probably had the idea by the time I was in 5th grade, when I started learning about the elements and nuclear physics.

I had expected to major in physics (and perhaps math and chemistry) during university, but ended in nuclear engineering, which could be considered applied nuclear physics, or applied physics with some nuclear physics.
EricVT
#11
Jan28-13, 12:48 PM
P: 163
Completely different from where I thought I would be when I was in high-school.

In high-school I thought I wanted to be a computer programmer or some sort of digital artist. That lasted all of one semester in college before I jumped ship to chemical engineering, and then to plain ole' physics.

Now I am a medical physicist working in radiation oncology and very happy that life did not turn out quite like I wanted
Kholdstare
#12
Jan28-13, 01:11 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Does this apply to those who responded to the last poll, which I did.

I'm kind of between 1 and 2. In that I'm more or less in the field and specialization I wanted to be, but not quite. I more or less determined the field and specialization by 6th grade, although I probably had the idea by the time I was in 5th grade, when I started learning about the elements and nuclear physics.

I had expected to major in physics (and perhaps math and chemistry) during university, but ended in nuclear engineering, which could be considered applied nuclear physics, or applied physics with some nuclear physics.
Um, Astro, so which one did you vote? Because, if you had voted 1 then I should also be in 1.
ModusPwnd
#13
Jan28-13, 03:25 PM
P: 1,043
Before attending university I wanted to do research, or at least something engineering/technical/computer related. I didnt manage to get into any of that, so I choose "I am in a completely different area than I envisioned".
ParticleGrl
#14
Jan28-13, 05:55 PM
P: 681
I've been interested in science since I was little, and always imagined I'd be doing scientific research for a living. After my phd in physics, I worked first as a bartender, then as a statistician at an insurance company and now I work for a consulting company specializing in data-mining/analytics. I chose "completely different area."
2slowtogofast
#15
Jan28-13, 06:00 PM
P: 132
In HS wanted to be a Civil Eng. After 1 semester switched to Mech Eng. I am currently working as a Mech Engineer. So choice 3.
Sankaku
#16
Jan29-13, 12:02 AM
P: 714
I wanted to understand everything about the entire universe. You could say that, after my degree, I did not end up where I envisioned myself at a younger age. However, I haven't participated in the poll because I chose to have a second go at being naive and idealistic...
elkement
#17
Jan29-13, 04:48 AM
P: 119
I went for option 6. In high school I was not aware of the fact that there is specialization, not even that there is theoretical versus experimental physics.

I had believed naively that physics is the all encompassing discipline of natural sciences - including all kinds of engineering plus touching on mathematics and philosophy.

I am rather an engineer now, my correct job title is Consulting Engineer in Applied Physics (Yes, that's a legally valid version of my country's implementation of Professional Engineer).
Given the vague plans I had as a child I could still state I met my goals :-)
Physics_UG
#18
Jan29-13, 05:07 AM
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P: 280
I envisioned myself as a postdoc at my current stage in life working toward a professorship. In actuality I am an unemployed (recently fired) PhD dropout plagued with mental illness (depression/delusional thinking). I am trying to get disability right now.

:(


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