Choosing a Career Path: Insights and Advice from a Confused Student

In summary, a university student at the University of Central Florida is seeking advice on career options and concerns about the research community and student loan debt. The student has a broad range of interests, including nanotechnology, neuroscience, biochemistry, and intellectual property. They are also considering pursuing a graduate degree, but are concerned about the debt and job prospects.
  • #1
Kreaken
2
0
Greetings Physics forum,

I would like to start with a quick introduction, followed up with naming a few subjects I have been considering tackling as a career. I would appreciate any input or general feedback regarding my situation, and encourage you to share your stories of how you came to know what you wanted to pursue.

Currently a (super)senior at the University of Central Florida finishing up a (program now extinct) B.Sc in Interdisciplinary studies: Nanoscience along with a double minor in both Chemistry and Molecular/Microbiology. I have done some minimal research volunteering in a lab where I worked on a very interesting project, and am currently going through difficulties trying to volunteer with someone else (I had to stop due to needing to sort out my finances over the summer). Combined with the large amounts of disillusionment I sense in the research community by people who went on into a PhD program only to find that it may not have been worth it or for them, I am thinking that academia has lost its appeal to me. There is also the issue of my being force-fed into many high level courses before I was ready, and the resulting <3.0GPA that I am not too happy about. I took the GRE and got a 1250/1600, taking it in a hurry (had to get it done in case I wanted to do grad school at all) and therefore didn't study very much for it

So, my more experienced friends, how should I approach this? I have a fairly broad range of interests (which is driving me crazy now that I feel like I need to choose one and run with it) which are not limited to: Nanotech industry/business, Neuroscience, Biochemistry-based Nutrition, Exercise/muscle, and more recently Intellectual Property (scientific patent law). A fantasy of mine is to run a business based on a product/service that I can conjure up during my studies that will benefit society.

Reading around the web reveals an apparent issue with student loan debt that took the form of a bubble comparable to the housing disaster that has hit our country. I welcome thoughts on this as it seems like higher education is becoming more risky as time goes forward, due to the fact that one may crawl out of grad/law/etc school with a (valuable?) degree and $100k+ worth of debt and no better job prospects to speak of. One thing I'll add here is that if I were to go this route I would be looking to take it seriously and network my *** off the whole time I were there (esp. in the case of Law school, based on advice I've gotten so far).

I invite you to share your input and advice, or post your own stories/doubts in the context of the times you were in (things change, a big reason for my doubts).
 
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  • #2
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Related to Choosing a Career Path: Insights and Advice from a Confused Student

1. What factors should I consider when choosing a career path?

When choosing a career path, it's important to consider your interests, skills, values, and goals. You should also research the job market and potential salary for your desired career.

2. How can I figure out what career is right for me?

Self-assessment is key in determining the right career path for you. Take personality tests, explore your passions and strengths, and talk to people in different industries to gain insight into potential career options.

3. Is it okay to change careers multiple times?

Yes, it is completely normal and acceptable to change careers multiple times throughout your life. As you grow and develop, your interests and goals may change, and it's important to find a career that aligns with them.

4. Should I choose a career based on salary or passion?

It's important to strike a balance between passion and salary when choosing a career. While it's important to enjoy your job, it's also necessary to consider financial stability and job satisfaction.

5. How do I gain experience in a specific career field?

You can gain experience in a specific career field through internships, volunteering, part-time jobs, or taking relevant courses. Networking and reaching out to professionals in the field can also provide opportunities for gaining experience.

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