Teen Seeks Help with Career Choice


Tiffany writes:
I was wondering if there is a way I could get help with what career I want.
I want to know so I can take the class in high school that I need. I want to
really do something with kids like be a baby doctor so is there any way you
can help me and find out what I need to do and I want to know like the salary
and how many years of college medical school and stuff?


The Career Doctor responds:
Can I preface my answer with a mini-lecture? I think there is way too much
growing pressure on teens to choose careers while in high school. I mean
at age 15 how can one truly know enough about oneself to choose a career
where you expect to be happy for the next 40 years? I deal with folks in their
40s and 50s who have still not discovered their true career passions!
So it’s great to do as much self-discovery as possible and it’s great to do
career research but can we let teens be teens? And do we really need to
legislate that high schools force students to choose career tracks? Enough
already!
Lecture over. The best thing you can do is to begin exploring careers focusing
on children such as pediatric medicine. Why not start with your own doctor?
See if you can conduct an informational interview and learn all about his/her job?
But there are also plenty of other jobs that deal with children such as teachers social workers librarians counselors and so many others.
If your research leads you to stay with pediatrics know that you will have four years
of college and four years of medical school. And you need to be strong in the
sciences get great grades (now and through college) have strong communications skills and score high on the medical school entrance exam. If you attend a college
with a strong pre-med program they will offer you a lot of guidance.
Not that salary should be a deciding factor but on average according to the
Association of American Medical Colleges doctors make about $160000 annually.
For now focus on taking math and science classes in high school and conducting
as much self-exploration and career research as possible.