Written in response to a question on Ivy Ties asked by a young lady graduating with a business/operations management degree.
First, you are young. You have the ability to pivot on a dime. Don't worry about how someone else says your prior coursework is going to affect your future.
This is a bad question to ask though. What you should be doing is taking an inventory of your life. What themes show up, what skills do you like using? What have you done that you got so caught up in that you lost track of time? Those are the kinds of things that should give you direction. Not what some other bozo says is good right now.
Once you've done that and you know what jazzes you. Maybe you love the computer. Maybe you just see it as a tool to help you build the heat shields on satellites. Maybe you love designing cities or buildings, maybe medical devices. Maybe you just love pure science.
The thing to do is notice what you like. Then seek out the people in the field who do that kind of work, and ask them about it. But first do your research about them so you don't ask them the kind of questions you can find the answers to with a google search.
Don't be shy. People who love their work are usually tickled when they find someone who is interested and will listen. People love to feel gotten.
Don't ask should I do this. Ask things like “What skills do you find yourself using most on the job? ” “What are the unexpected benefits? ” “What surprised you the most? ” “What are the challenges? ” “What about the work excites you? ” “What do you wish you didn't have to do? ”
Taking my example above, maybe there are only a handful of companies that do heat shield work. Maybe the main customers are governments. Maybe have the time is spent trying to find the work. Maybe you are okay with it. Maybe that wouldn't work for you.
The more you look, the better chance you'll find the work that is best for you.
And maybe you'll find engineering is not the path for you. In that case, you can thank your lucky stars that you found out before years of study.
And if you find it is, and you've done what I said, you'll have a list of contacts, that if you manage it just a little bit, you'll have a lot of doors already open to you when you need them. These people will be somehow invested in you. And that's a good thing.
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