As you reach the end of high school, the time has come. You have to decide. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? You’re probably getting very sick of people asking that. If you were sure of what you wanted to do, you might be excited to tell people. But you don’t know. And so the endless queries of, “So! What are you going to do with your life?” are probably driving you nuts.
While the pressure might be annoying, it isn’t going to go away. Some way or another you have to decide what to do with this next year. Do you want to work full time as you wait to decide? Do you want to knock out your gen-eds at a community college?
A higher education is increasingly important, and while there are fantastic blue collar jobs, and some out-of-the-box education opportunities (like starting in an office straight out of high school) for the most part, you should consider a degree. A great way to narrow it down is to ask, “what do I love to do?” If you can answer, “to help people,” then one of these paths might be for you.
1. Medical Field
There are quite a few jobs in the medical field, and each one will help you save lives or keep people healthy. You could become an EMT and assist in emergencies. You could become a nurse and assist with everything from pediatric checkups to hospice care. You could become a doctor and specialize in family care, neurosurgery, or more. Each one of these jobs takes a different number of years to complete, and the salary will be different for each.
Determine how many years you’re willing to spend in school, and look at your career options within that degree level.
2. Social Work
Social work is all about helping people live better lives. A career in social work might include working with the elderly at an assisted living, helping patients in hospitals receive proper emotional care, and getting children out of harmful home situations.
There are some social work jobs you can do with only a bachelor’s, but a master’s or doctorate will expand your career options. You could even get a doctor of social work online while working a real job in your field.
There are a quite a few career paths to take in psychology. You could get hired to do research on human behaviors, like how cultures change or what causes infant depression. You could work in group settings, helping people who are grieving or struggling with an addiction.
You could work as a counselor, helping people navigate their psyches. In order to work as a psychologist, you need at least a master’s degree, and you’ll be supervised for 1 to 2 years before you can work on your own.
These are only three of the career paths that allow you to help people, but each one addresses a specific human need, and each one supplies dozens of different careers. Like a tree branching out, you could simply pick the right limb for now, and decide whether the medical field, social work, or psychology is right for you.