Which Career Should I Choose?

Whether you're just starting out or at a crossroads in your career, this test will help uncover other options that match for your personality.

Choosing a career not just a matter of how best to make a living... it’s deciding how best to integrate the next 40+ years of your career into your social and personal life. Some people know what they want to do from a very early age and follow a clear path, but many of us embark on careers just drift into jobs that ultimately prove to be unsatisfying. In some cases, career choices are based on the expectations of others, or decisions are made purely on financial rewards, but these choices often lead to 40 years of waiting for retirement.

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” These wise words represent sound advice whether you’re in school and have yet to choose a career path, or you're already working. Broadly speaking, it’s never too late to make a career change, but time and financial commitments can make switching extremely challenging once you’ve reached the point where you have family and other obligations. This highlights the importance of choosing a career path rather than leaving it to chance and drifting into whatever becomes available.

It can be tough to make a clear choice when you’re unsure of what you really want to do and this is when choosing which subjects to study needs careful thought. You may not have a crystal ball to help you see into the future but you can keep your options open by choosing a range of subjects that will give you a head start in the career fields that are of most interest to you.

Your personality has a large role to play in finding the right career for you. If you don’t like children, you’re unlikely to find satisfaction in a teaching career; if you struggle with math, you’re unlikely to make the grade in an accounting career, and if you hate getting your hands dirty, you’re unlikely to find fulfilment as a landscape gardener. Remember, choosing a career is so much more than considering how to make a living. You might be earning a six-figure salary, but money can’t buy you job satisfaction.

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Careers for the New Millennium

If you’re yet to enter the workforce or you’re considering a career change, how do you know which jobs offer the most security in a world where computers are replacing humans? The U.S. Bureau of Statistics predicts that jobs in the following fields are set to increase over the coming years.

Health Care: We’re living longer and aging populations are set to increase the demand for residential care and home health care services. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and assisted living administrators will be in high demand.

Software Publishing: Whether it’s operating systems, security, data, graphics, games or any other area of software publishing, skills in design, installation, distribution and technical support will be in high demand. A college degree in IT, computer programming or game design will open doors into this career field.

Scientific and Technical Consulting: Consultants provide expertise in fields such as technology, environment, chemistry or biology and advise businesses, organizations and governments. A degree in IT, engineering or sciences, or an MBA will be needed to follow this career path.

Independent Artists and Writers: The creative skills of artists, writers and performers are unlikely to be matched by computers in the near future. Skills in graphic design, animation, fiction and non-fiction writing will continue to open doors to careers in film, print and television, with a degree in English, journalism or communications providing a head start on this career path.

The world is changing and recent studies carried out by academics at Oxford University concluded that around 50 percent of jobs in the U.S. are likely to become automated through technological advances in the not-so-distant future. Among those most at risk of losing their job to a computer are telemarketers, insurance underwriters, watch repairers and mathematical technicians, but careers least likely to be automated include medical professionals, teachers, computer systems analysts, recreation workers and choreographers. The bottom line is that job security may be a thing of the past so make sure the career path you choose is the path that brings you most satisfaction while the job is still yours.