Choosing a Career

In order to choose a good career with which you will be happy, start looking at your options early in your schooling. There are several aspects to consider. One of the most important is researching whether the area is increasing or decreasing. There is nothing worse than working hard to gain the knowledge in a field that is disappearing, or minimally not growing. My father wanted to be an astronomer, until he found that the only way a person obtains a job in astronomy is to have the current astronomer die or quit. There was not a lot of opportunity there for a future. He decided to study nuclear physics and that was a very important field in the 50s and 60s. Because I admire my father, I started following his footsteps but upon some research I discovered physics was no longer a growing field. I had the opportunity to work with a computer between my junior and senior year of high school. That is the basis of why I chose Computer Science as my career. Find something you really enjoy doing and then explore possibilities in thate field.

You need to also explore for what type of company do you wish to work. Do you even want to work for a company or do you want to start your own business? IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum has an excellent article discussing the differences between working for a large corporation and a startup. The article is titled Software Engineering Grads Lack the Skills Startups Need. This article describes some of the differences between working for a large corporation and a small startup. Some of the skills needed in a small company are actually important no matter where you work. They are especially important if you start your own company.

The best gauge for each of us to determine what we would enjoy the most, is knowing our own strengths. Do you know in what areas you are good? Are you exploring different areas? While in high school, explore as many different areas as possible. If you find something you enjoy, explore it even more. Know your own interests, strengths, and skills. Develop your own passion. Ted Talks are a good area to explore different ideas. One on career choices videos is excellent on students finding their own strengths and building on those strengths. It is  by Chris Wejr:

What are your strengths? How can you best use them? How can you help you teaches help you develop these skills? Have you talked with your teacher about your strengths and interests. Most teachers want to help you succeed. Be the best advocate for what is best for you. Come with a good attitude and do your best. Have the grit to accomplish anything. Be your best in all things.

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