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How do I decide what path to take?

I am going into my junior year of high school and am starting to get a lot of (unsolicited) advice from my family and friends about what I should major in when I go to college. I really like math and science and I want to do something that has a positive impact. My dad wants me to study engineering, my mom wants me to be a doctor, my brother says I should go into computer science, my friend thinks biology would be a good path… it’s all a bit overwhelming and I don’t want to disappoint anyone. How did you decide what to major in or what career path to take? Am I supposed to know what I want to do already? Any advice for how I can decide?

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  • Added Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 3:40 PM


    I am going into my junior year of high school and am starting to get a lot of (unsolicited) advice from my family and friends about what I should major in when I go to college. I really like math and science and I want to do something that has a positive impact. My dad wants me to study engineering, my mom wants me to be a doctor, my ...

    Answers 17
    Parika Petaipimol, Pandion Therapeutics
    Answered 11 days AGO
    Congratulations, Rising Junior! It's another step closer to finishing a huge life milestone of Graduating High School! But it is a stressful time and relatives (who have the BEST intentions) will always give you advice - whether or not it was solicited. ...
    Lauren Gordon, State of California
    Answered Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 4:18 PM

    This is a great question! I too was very interested in math and science through school. I started paying attention to what really piqued my interest and found myself very interested in earthquakes and geology. As I got older, I found interest in ...

    Nancy Post, John Deere
    Answered Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 4:16 PM

    My suggestion is to keep taking advanced classes in math and science because that appears to be of high interest to you and will support your future choices. You are considering several very fulfilling paths! So, please don’t worry about disappointing ...

  • Mia Sacco asked Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co

    Added Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 11:48 AM

    Hi Tiera! I am a rising senior in high school and have been juggling what kind of engineering to study in college. How did you determine the type of engineering you wanted to study in college?

    Answers 2
    Answered Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 6:17 PM
    Hi Mia! Tiera gave some great advice. 
    To figure out what type of engineering to study in college, the best advice I can give is look for opportunities beyond school about engineering. My junior year, I attended an engineering camp for girls at a local ...
    Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 11:41 PM
    Hi Mia!
    This is a great question. Although I decided on aerospace engineering at a young age, I wanted to make sure that it was what I wanted to do as a career. So, I took on various research opportunities, externships, seminars and internships to dig ...
  • Added Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 1:37 PM


    I love engineering and find it very interesting and fun. However, I’m still exploring and there are a lot of different careers that seem interesting. Is it possible to pursue other careers with an engineering degree? If I decide to go a different way after getting an engineering degree, how can I apply what I learn in engineering to other ...

    Answers 13
    Hope Bovenzi, Texas Instruments
    Answered Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 9:29 AM

    Of course you can pursue something other than engineering after you achieve your degree – in fact, many people do! What's great about engineering is that it's a good "stepping stone" to many career options and opportunities. I know many people who have ...

    Stacy Clark, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation
    Answered Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 2:57 PM

    From my experience and others' experiences that I've seen, engineering degrees are highly respected even outside the field. I know people with engineering degrees who have gone into the finance sector, project management, and tech start-ups. I think ...

    Peggy Layne, Virginia Tech
    Answered Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 2:56 PM

    I love this question! I think that an engineering degree is a great preparation for a variety of careers. Among my classmates at my undergraduate institution, many went on to law school, medical school, and business school in addition to those who like ...

  • Sarah asked Karen Thole, Pennsylvania State University

    Added Monday, June 17, 2019 at 12:03 PM

    Hi I just graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering and don't know where to go from here. Is there something I should be applying to that is general enough to start out with? Honestly I'm not too interested in things I have read about mechanical engineering jobs but I know I can do a lot with my degree. I guess I am interested in makeup and clothing industries.

    Answers 0
  • Emily asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 10:14 PM

    Next year I will be attending Manhattan College for Mechanical Engineering. I keep worrying that even if I do well in college it will hard for me to get a job compared to someone in a big name school.

    What internships would be best to do during college? I been looking into some stuff and right now all I can see is that for engineering they want people that are at least juniors. I???ve been trying to figure out the Disney college program a little more, but with that it looks just like ...

    Answers 0
  • Sarah Fortuno asked Agatha Kim, TRC

    Added Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    I'm looking to attend UT Austin, which is one of the best engineering schools, but it's not ABET accredited for environmental engineering, which is what I want to study. Although it's not accredited in my major, it's still a really good engineering school. Will it be enough that it's a highly rated school? Should I still attend or keep looking for other schools?

    Answers 1
    Agatha Kim, TRC
    Answered 6 days AGO
    Hi Sarah,
    I'm sorry that this response is coming so late.  But to answer your question...
    You're at a time of your life where the world is your oyster and you don't want to limit yourself by anything because you are capable and have the potential to ...
  • Michelle Tonge asked Rumaisah Munir, University of Surrey

    Added Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 5:38 PM

    I want to work on cars and their sound systems. I would think you need mechanical or audio engineering experience. How or where can I volunteer to become more knowledgeable in this field? I am finishing up my biology degree but I don't want to pursue medicine. I want to enter the engineer field but just don't know how. Is it possible?

    Answers 0
  • Allie asked Parika Petaipimol, Pandion Therapeutics

    Added Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 8:38 PM

    I love IT and biomedical engineering. I am nervous about engineering since they require a lot of experience for a job, and it is not flexible like IT ( I can work from home).

    Answers 1
    Parika Petaipimol, Pandion Therapeutics
    Answered 11 days AGO
    Hi Allie, 
    The short answer to your question: No. It is not easy to find a job after college with no experience (even if you have a BS or MS or PhD). It's particularly challenging for biomedical engineers because there are different "flavors" of ...
  • Tony asked Naimisha Mummidi, Flowh

    Added Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 8:06 PM

    Is it possible that I can gain engineering experience through some resource without attending a college institution and/or completing it?

    My question proposes a goal to achieve an alternate pathway to becoming employed in the field of engineering. I have tried countless ways of obtaining a college degree but I have failed 100% of my efforts to be successful in this feat. I am aware however, that it is possible to be licensed to become an engineer but as mentioned above, I would need ...

    Answers 0
  • Mya Pagan asked Nancy Post, John Deere

    Added Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Hi Nancy! I am very curious about how to become a successful engineer. Do you have any general advice for a student who is interested in becoming an engineer?

    Answers 1
    Nancy Post, John Deere
    Answered 10 days AGO
    Hi Mya,  My best advice is to immerse yourself in studies that support your goals.  Join clubs, take classes, look online, and talk to people in engineering positions that you feel your are interested in.   The basis that engineering gives a person ...
  • Isaiah Sotelo asked Erin Cvrkel, L3Harris

    Added Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 8:52 PM

    Out of math, physics, and computer science, which is more useful / fundamental to an aerospace engineer? I plan on getting my bachelors in aerospace engineering in college. But I am also interested in math, physics, and computer science. If i want to double major which would be more helpful in my career? I understand they are all important, but which would complement aerospace engineering the best? Or are there any other majors that might better help me in that career path? I appreciate any ...

    Answers 1
    Erin Cvrkel, L3Harris
    Answered 13 days AGO
    Hi Isaiah,  and thank you for your question.  At the most basic level, I would say to follow your passion, should one of these choices call to you more strongly than the others, since all three are great complements.  I do believe that you absolutely ...
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