The million-dollar question that unsettles students and parents alike, the epoch-old query posed by family and distant relatives to 14 or 15-year-olds: ‘What do you plan to do now, Engineering or Medical?’
The moment you dwell upon this question, you presumably confine your choices to only two options, shutting out the plethora of options out there.
Let’s look at a case.
Yashika loved science. That’s about it all.
She didn’t care much about becoming an engineer but not knowing much about career options, she prepared herself for JEE and cleared it too with a great rank. But after a year in the engineering college, she could not relate to what she was learning there. It just did not interest her at all. The knowledge of the rising number of underemployed and underpaid engineers in India added to her worries and scared her.
She realized that she should specialize in a field that interested her. After multiple counselling sessions, she arrived at the decision of dropping out of her Engineering College. She enrolled herself into a Bachelor’s program in Atmospheric Sciences, and went on to become a Meteorologist (a happy one too)!
The point I‘m trying to drive home is that restricting yourself to 2-3 career options, or not asking uninhibited questions about your career choices and prospects is often the biggest obstacle to making the right career choice.
Most often ignorance about career options is the perpetrator here. The world of science is indeed a vast one to be restricted to just these two professions. I’ll talk about a few of them in this article.
So if you are a science enthusiast, before you ask yourself ‘Engineering or Medical’, think again.
Here are some interesting and life-changing questions that you really, really need to ask yourself instead-
1. Do I have a quantitative or mathematical aptitude?
Do you love to play with numbers and are great with calculations and deductions? Is that the only reason why you or your family think you should do Engineering?
Well, I think it calls for deeper thought and analysis.
There are numerous careers where you can utilize your mathematical skills. Statistics, Big Data Analytics, Actuarial Science, Mathematical Research, Operations ResearchAnalyst, Biostatistics and so many more. Employment in the Defense, Public and Aeronautical sectors are also open for such students.
Recommended Read: Love Maths? One Of These 8 Careers Could Be Perfect For You!
2. Am I fascinated by innovations or technology?
If new innovations and technological developments intrigue you and creating new products or models are your passion then maybe you could explore options like Genetic or Agricultural Engineering, Waste Management/Engineering, Alternative Energy Consulting, Mechanical and Automobile Engineering, Fashion Technology, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Environmental Science and Technology, Power Engineering, and so on.
3. Do I love applied science?
If it is tough for you to choose between scientific subjects and you are equally fascinated by each of them, then maybe you could consider studying Applied Sciences. Applied Sciences are a broad interdisciplinary field which includes a multitude of subjects like physics, biology, computer science, engineering, natural sciences and others to use existing scientific knowledge to develop more practical applications.
Outside India, most countries consider a degree in Applied Sciences at par with an engineering degree and it is a four-year course abroad.
In India, a degree in Applied Science courses is apt for students with a research-oriented mind and for those who wish to learn the fundamentals of application-based research in scientific fields. There are multiple fields Like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Ethical Hacking, Journalistic Writing, Medical Lab Technology, Nanotechnology, Wild Life Management, to name just a few of them, which can be of great interest for students who are in love with science.
Recommended Read: Welcome to the Future: 9 Emerging Careers for Science Students
4. Do I have an inclination towards work involving intensive research and findings?
If research work interests you and you feel you can work committedly on projects and findings, then maybe more than Engineering or Medical science, allied sciences like Forensic Studies, Clinical Research, Market and Healthcare Research would interest you more. Research Careers in include Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Zoology, Genetics, Botany and many more.
If you are willing to explore a little further beyond, then you can look at research in humanities-based subjects. Some in-demand fields that can land you plum jobs include Anthropology, Archaeology, History or Urban Planning. In these careers, research would focus on areas such as languages, archaeological remains and culture.
Recommended Read: Pure Science Courses After Class 12th: A Path for Young Science Lovers
5. Am I looking for an immensely satisfying and rewarding career?
If you have decided on working your way passionately and dedicatedly towards serving mankind, even then you may focus not just on an MBBS course. There are so many other streams such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Hematology, Speech Therapy, Clinical/Counselling Psychology, Environmental Engineering, Public Health Administration, and so many more. They are all rewarding both in monetary and non-monetary ways.
6. Do I love the creative aspects of science?
If the creativity of science is what inspires you then maybe you should pursue a degree in Architecture or Design (it could be Fashion Technology, Interior Design or Web), Product and Industrial Design, Automobile Design, UI/UX Design, Game Design and Development or maybe animation and graphics. It’s not just the physicists or engineers who make use of STEM subjects.
They can be of great use to industrial designers, game developers or even animators who use their knowledge of sciences to do wonderful work in their respective fields.
Recommended Read: 7 Promising Career Options to Satisfy the Creative Streak in You
Young boys and girls sometimes pursue a degree in science, and especially in Engineering or Medical, only because they are convinced by their mentors/parents/media that real jobs exist only in these two professions! Those who take up non-science or applied sciences are according to them, not capable of succeeding professionally. Yet, that couldn’t be farther away from the truth.
No doubt a science degree gives the irrefutable advantage of going through any door when you wish to, but it’s better to be clear at the outset about what you want to do and not go the hit-and-trial way.
To have a satisfying career, have the heart first to explore- there are a plethora of options, both in Science and beyond. Even if you are an academically brilliant student, you never know you may be cut out to be a scientist or researcher, putting your skills to even greater use than as an engineer or doctor.
The point is to keep an open mind and put your aptitude and passion to best use.
Recommended Read: It’s Time You Look Beyond ‘Scope’ When Choosing Your Career. Here’s Why.
And if you are unsure about your aptitude/interest for the sciences, don’t be afraid to broaden your horizons to explore career options in other streams. You never know what the world of career might have in store for you! And if at any point you feel you are unsure about the right step, feel free to talk to a career counsellor who can make this process much easier.
Have anything to say about this post? Share with us in the comments below!