It's hard to know what to plan for as you prepare
for college and a career. You might (probably
will) even change your mind several times as you
learn more about different subjects and careers,
so don't worry too much at this point.
It sounds like you are leaning toward a STEM
field at any rate - so keep taking science
courses and especially math, since that will
prepare you for many majors in STEM.
It also seems like maybe a big motivation for
you is to go into a field that "directly helps
people or society." There are many ways to help
people and impact society and we need all of those
ways - not just a Physician who can
diagnose and treat a disease every day, but also a
biomedical researcher who can make a
discovery that takes years, but ultimately helps
millions. Not just an electrical engineer
who develops a new laser technology for medical
use, but also an engineer-scientist who can
figure out the basic principles of that new laser,
or material, or of an information network that
ultimately is used by many others who apply it to
a specific use.
Here is the thing, though, you don't want to
neglect culture, literature, and arts - and social
aspects - and how that could impact your work as a
scientist, engineer or Physician. We don't know
what kinds of jobs will be available in 10 years -
it's all changing so fast. What we DO know,
however, is that we need smart people who can
problem solve and think critically, who can see
multiple sides of any challenge and then figure
out who to work with to get it solved, who can
communicate well, who are resilient, who can work
hard and work good.
At the university, you can (and should) get
experience outside of the classroom - working in a
research lab, volunteering in a medical clinic,
interning at a company - to help you figure out
where to focus your career aspirations.
Again, the good news is that the basic STEM
prep is the same. However, if you are thinking of
going the Engineering route, you really need to do
your homework on how to apply and to what schools,
because it's hard to transfer INTO Engineering
once you are at a university. So, maybe you can
spend some time this summer and next school year
talking with Engineering schools' counselors and
getting some college peer mentoring that would
help you decide if you should go that route.
My last piece of advice (and all of this, by
the way, is just advice), is that you should
pursue your interests and talents and figure out
ways to work those into a career. Don't pay too
much attention to what "society" wants you to
do. There are no "guarantees" when it comes to
the job market, especially looking 5-10 years out.
However, what holds true is this: When you love
the work you do, it does not feel like work.
Well, I'm a paleontologist, so no I can't really
comment on either very well. My advice is to go
to college, try a course in each, and the make
your decision about which one you find to be most
fun. I can tell you that electrical
engineering is going to be a lot more
mathematics-intensive than medicine, while
medicine is going to require you to know more
facts. This means that if you are good at math but
have a poor memory, you will probably be a better
electrical engineer, and if the opposite is true
then you would be a better doctor. Medicine is
also probably more stressful, if people's
lives may depend on your diagnoses and work.
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