How did you decide what to do with your life?
I will soon finish high school and my parents support me continuing studies in university. The problem is: I don't know what and where to study.
I don't want you to decide for me, but I want you to help me make my decision. I like science, but it's more of a hobby. I like maths and I'm good at it, but I don't see a job in that field that could get me money. I don't like hard-working job, but I have started thinking about studying medicine. The thing I don't like is that I would have very little free time while studying. I like vidya, I like anime and I like sports too.
> pic unrelated, one of my favourite writers (Verne)
I just started college and I've decided to become a paramedic. Once you have narrowed down your interests like, I wanted a hands on job where I could help people and make a good amount of cash. be honest with yourself with you wanna do. Maybe you could go into material sciences.
Engineering requires you to be really good at math, but its workload is brutally hard. Math actually has a wide variety of fields associated with it, like actuaries, accountants, etc. which all have good career prospects.
Computer science is probably one of the most laid back majors, and being good at math and enjoying science, you may enjoy CS. You'll have plenty of time for vidya, anime, and sports, but also have great career prospects.
Oh! And how did I decide? I went to uni and took a few classes and found something that I really enjoyed. IMO that's the best way to choose a major... take classes and figure out what makes you excited to do every day. No major needed going in.
How does one take a few classes? I have never heard of something like that in my country. You could only apply to study till you acquire a certain degree. With payment, of course.
I am one of the few people that adores the shit out of my bachelor and my first job. I went through this shit for a long time. I just need a couple of questions answered to help you out -
1. What specifically do you like about Math? Algebra, solving equations or do you just like finding logical solutions? Do you like abstract math or practical math?
2. Specifically, what do you like Science? Chemistry, Physics, etc. Do you like the math parts of science or do you like understanding how things work too?
3. How important is pay to you? How low are you willing to go?
4. Most likely the job/field you'll like WILL be hard from what I see. What gets you passionate so this would be tolerable? Money, seeing the value in your work (getting recognized, being valued), helping people, etc.
5. Working in a startup vs establishment, which do you prefer? How important is a competent boss to you?
6. What are a few more interests you have besides anime, vidya & sports?
7. What can you do for extended periods of time, even if sometimes it's unexciting?
8. What other requirements do you have for your program/field/job?
This'll help me help you.
Idk in the US and Canada you can usually apply with an undeclared major, or with a declared major and change it later. Most majors have free electives... you can use those to explore your options.
There are no preset requirements for class order, either, so you can choose what you want to take and when.
1. I like interesting facts, like the ones presented with numberphile. I prefer algebra and practical math.
2. Physics - mechanics and astrophysics. I also like calculating things in these subjects, so yeah - math parts are cool too.
3. It's important in the long run if I have career opportunities. Being stuck with below average salary would suck.
4. I can do chores and they do not bore me too much. But of course, money is a huge motivator.
5. Establishment i guess because I can learn much from my supervisors (I have very little experience with this)
6. Books. Dunno really more, I can get more specific in sports though - ballroom dances, jogging, athletics, swimming. I also like driving my parent's car but I guess it's just because i got my license a month ago.
7. All chores are fine as long as I have something to do. I can't stand waiting around with nothing to do. But I guess im pretty patient. My first and only work experience was 12 hour workday where all I had to do was stand in front of a machine, change the material every 3 minutes and hold down a lever. It was boring but I got through just fine.
8. None yet, I guess. I'm fit, fast learning.
English is not my mother language. If you have further questions, feel free to reply cause it really seems like you are trying to help me. Thanks for that bro!
Not a problem, glad to help. I know that stress where people force you to decide for the rest of your life. Just remember, in post-secondary, you will enjoy being an adult for once.
I only have a couple extra questions for you if you may -
1. What country are you living/studying/working in? Your path may be different (Canadian here).
2. Do you want a practical application of your work in the real world or are theories fine? I ask because your Math interests are practical but Science seems to be more abstract/seeking truth based.
3. What is considered below average pay in your country (or to you)?
4. Mechanics is a broad subject. It splits into Quantum and Classical. Which do you prefer, or do you like both?
5. Are you introverted or extroverted? You cool with people?
6. Finally, would you be more interested in a field that does blended stuff (random example, biotechnology) as opposed to just specialization (like just biology)?
I guess I'll tell you recommendations afterwards and discuss with you and you can help narrow it further down.
1. Latvia, but note that all Europe is free for me.
2. Both are fine, but lately I have been thinking that something practical would be more easy to learn.
3. Average wage in Latvia is 635 euros (693 dollars). It would seem fine.
4. Classical. Haven't had much experience with quantum mechanics yet, maybe they would grip my interest.
5. More of an introvert, but i'm okay with people. I just dont like to share personal matters and I am more difficult to befriend.
6. Blended stuff, because it would let me learn more, not just focus on one subject.
Super long comment incoming 1/2-
So here's a couple of suggestions. Note that I'm not as familiar with all the fields. What I'm giving is just a couple of starting points that can all be narrowed down, branched off into another direction, etc. I'm not Latvian so I won't be familiar with Latvian or European schools.
Some tips for you as we do this -
1. If something sounds like it's interesting to do but it won't make money (or something else its lacking), don't give up on it just yet. Change the MEDIUM in which the job is done. Schools teach that jobs are a step-by-step process, for example: I love travelling. I was told to be a tour guide. Tour guides, firstly, don't make money. Secondly, I'm not travelling. I'M STAYING IN ONE CITY FOR YEARS DOING THE SAME THING. That's not travelling, that's loitering. Schools are bullshit. Travelling can be done with a flexible, mobile job. The answer for me? Computer engineering. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM THE SCHOOL RECOMMENDATION. AND it includes passions that the job would have left out, like learning, doing cool stuff, etc. YOU MUST GET CREATIVE. Mobile app developers don't do very well unless they make an app for some established brand. Mobile app games suffer even more. Some devs are now partnering with YOUTUBERS who want to make their own app games. They use Youtubers to advertise their business as devs AND get a huge cut of the profits - and now you can get people to pay $5 for your game, thanks to the YT-ers! See? CREATIVE SOLUTION!
2. No one knows what the fuck they want to do. Go to Uni and you'll meet 36 year olds who are still confused. You're in Europe - Free universities means you are going to be finer than I was. I'm not rich, if I fucked up choosing my bachelor, I would be in debt, trying to figure out what to learn forever. Those people who know what they're doing? They're lying. I never knew what I was doing, and in the end, I actually know more about what I like than anyone else did.
3. Google the programs you're interested in, the schools you wish to go to. Once you have done that, find a PROGRAM SCHEDULE WITH DETAILS ON WHAT YOU'LL BE LEARNING EACH SEMESTER. You have no idea how few schools make it easy for you to show exactly what courses you'll be taking. It's how I found my program (thanks to parents also - ASK YOUR PARENTS FOR ADVICE TOO, on both the programs you found and what they think you should try out. Stockpile that info, it's valuable even if you don't agree with them, it helps with the CREATIVE tip if you need it). Search schools, find the schedule (it may be difficult to, but don't give up). Read about each course in detail.
4. Find out about the atmosphere of the school - demographics, alumni experiences. Ask your friends, acquaintances, teachers, etc. if they know anyone who went to the school you are considering (even better, the program too) and see what impression they got. VISIT THE SCHOOL TOO.
5. Dream jobs that are always exciting don't exist. Jobs will have times where the manager is incompetent and doesn't know what you should do or times when absolutely nothing is happening. You need to be okay with that. If contentedness is not the bottom, you may have to switch jobs. Don't be shy to quit if you're unhappy. School is for being unhappy - a job/career is supposed to end that bullshit!
Next reply will be some suggestions, but remember, I don't know you as well as you do. If you don't find something interesting, say why so we can filter.
I'm going to echo a little of what the other posters have said.
Computer Science - The most mathematical/science based computer field out of them all. Very good pay, mobile, in demand, a truly global career - you can find a job anywhere. DIFFICULT, especially if you don't like it. Branches into specialties like software devs, engineering, MACHINE LEARNING (lots o' math in machine learning!), another other crazy stuff.
Formal Sciences - Using maths with science - branches into statistics, game theory, systems theory, decision theory. These are all relevant in financial sectors, business sectors, computers (again), and others. Pay seems to be high, and again, it's in demand.
Applied Science, which is science that joined with tech or inventions - branches into two practises, engineering and medical. Engineering goes into stuff like thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, statics, dynamics. the medical goes into crazy stuff like biomedicine, with nanotechnology and other disciplines inside of it.
You may want to think about engineering specialties in particular if you want some practical use out of your formulas. They pay pretty well too, at least here.
Full on mathematicians make a lot of good money as well.
Gonna break for dinner, writing too much today.