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Choosing a Career FAQs

  • How do I choose a career?

    • Assess yourself 
      We all have unique interests, abilities, goals, and values and based on these, there are certain careers we should not pursue and others where we’d excel and be satisfied. Use resources like career assessments and counselling to assist you in articulating what you would most enjoy and excel at. 
    • Make a list of potential careers
      After conducting a self-assessment, it will start to become clear which types of careers you should pursue. Choose up to 10 careers and create a new list with these choices. Focus on careers that really interest you and match your skillset.
    • Consider the options 
      Once you’ve narrowed down your list, research each potential career. Learn about educational or training requirements, job duties, employment outlook, annual earnings, and promotion opportunities. While there are many resources on the internet available to assist you, it’s also really helpful to meet with a professional in each field to get insights and in-depth details. Reach out to friends and family who are involved in one of your potential professions.  They can be an invaluable resource in your fact-finding mission. 
    • Narrow it down
      You should now be able to eliminate some careers on the list. There will inevitably be some careers where the education requirements, potential salary, or job growth projections are not what you are looking for.  Do your best to narrow your list to 1 or 2 jobs. 
    • Set Goals
      After your list has been narrowed, you should be able to articulate some short and long term goals for each of your potential careers. It’s important to make your goals realistic to attain, and to stay committed to them.  
    • Make a career action plan 
      Once you’ve established career goals, start outlining an action plan to make them a reality.  Be specific about the steps needed to reach your goals and be prepared for the potential obstacles.  Find out what kind of resources are available to you as you implement your action plan. An effective plan will clearly define how you will complete the required training or education, obtain employment, and develop professionally once you’ve begun your career.

    • Get the training you’ll need
      This is the biggest time investment as you pursue a new career. Depending on which career you choose, you may need to complete a university degree or vocational training.

  • What careers make the most money?

    If you’re looking for maximum earning potential, it’s hard to beat a career in healthcare. Specialist physicians like surgeons and anesthesiologists are at the top of the list of highest-paid jobs, and even non-physician roles, such as nurse anaesthetists, bring in some of the highest-paid salaries on the jobs market.    If the medical field isn’t for you, careers in engineering, executive management, IT management, aviation and law also come with big salaries. 

     

    Job Average Salary 
    1.  Anesthesiologist $267,020 per year
    2.  Surgeon $255,110 per year
    3.  Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon $242,370 per year
    4.  Obstetrician and Gynecologist$238,320 per year
    5.  Orthodontist$225,760 per year
    6.  Psychiatrist$220,380 per year
    7.  Physician $196,490 per year
    8.  Prosthodontist$191,400 per year
    9.  Pediatrician$183,240 per year
    10. Dentist $175,840 per year
    11. Nurse Anesthetist $174,790 per year
    12. Petroleum Engineer $156,370 per year
    13. IT Manager $152,860 per year
    14. Podiatrist $148,220 per year
    15. Marketing Manager $147,240 per year
    16. Financial Manager$146,830 per year
    17. Pilot $146,660 per year
    18. Lawyer$144,230 per year
    19. Sales Manager$140,320 per year
    20. Business Operations Manager$123,880 per year
    21. Pharmacist$123,670 per year
    22. Financial Advisor$121,770 per year
    23. Optometrist $119,980 per year
    24. Actuary $116,250 per year
    25. Political Scientist $115,300 per year

    Source:  U.S. News and World Report 2020

  • What careers are best for introverts?

    Introverts thrive in careers that offer them plenty of space and independence.  They tend to be extremely self-reliant, and typically enjoy jobs where they aren’t required to put much energy into social interaction.  Below are some of the best options for introverted jobseekers:

    • Accountant
      Accountants spend most of their time documenting financial transactions and analyzing financial data, so you won’t need an outgoing nature to do this job.  It is an ideal fit for people who love crunching numbers and prefer working alone.  

    • Architect
      A career in architecture is another excellent option for the highly introverted. Although architects do have to meet and consult with their clients, the bulk of their time is spent working independently on building planning and design. 

    • Artist / Graphic Designer
      No matter what type of artist you are, you probably spend long periods of time alone developing your craft — perfect for imaginative introverts.

    • Editor
      Editors have the last word before things like books, newspapers, or periodicals go to print. As they spend the bulk of their time analyzing texts, grammar and literature-loving introverts will enjoy this kind of job.  

    • Engineer
      The work of an engineer is very similar to that of an architect:  They develop plans to build machines and systems instead of buildings.  So, they also do the bulk of their work alone.  This in-demand profession can be particularly rewarding and satisfying for introverts.   

    • IT Specialist / Manager
      Information technology (IT) jobs don’t require an outgoing personality, you just need to possess a passion for computers and information systems. 

    • Librarian
      Libraries are quiet places, so it makes sense that this profession would attract introverts.  A 1992 study found that almost two-thirds of librarians who took the Myers-Briggs personality test fell into the introverted category.

    • Paralegal
      Paralegals help attorneys stay organized. They do a lot of the background research and brief preparation.  If you are interested in the field of law, but would rather not have to make an oral argument before a judge or interact with clients, a career as a paralegal might be a perfect fit for you.   

    • Psychologist / Psychiatrist
      While both these professions require interactions with clients and patients, they involve listening deeply and empathizing with their patients’ challenges. This is something that often comes quite naturally to introverts, who are often caring and sensitive individuals.  Furthermore, it typically involves one on one interactions – something introverts tend to prefer.  

    • Scientist
      Social interaction is not generally a job requirement for scientists, and introverts tend to thrive in scientific fields. In fact, one of the most famous scientists, Albert Einstein, was a well known introvert.  Scientists often work independently and spend much of their days conducting research in a particular field.  

    • Technical Writer
      Technical writers produce instructional and technical manuals and how-to guides.  So, being able to work alone is a must for this job.  

    • Writer

    No matter which kind of writing you choose, it’s a great career choice for introverts. As writers prefer to express themselves through the written word,  it’s a craft best pursued alone – making it appealing to independent types.

  • What careers involve travel?

    • Flight Attendant This is one of the best jobs for people who want to travel.  Flight attendants will typically start out with domestic trips in their home country.  As they gain experience, however, they can do longer-haul flights and traverse the globe.
    • Cruise Ship Worker Cruise ship jobs are another excellent way to see the world and interact with a variety of cultures and there a variety of jobs available: You can be a server in one of the restaurants, a technician, a cashier or even a performer in one of the ship’s acts.
    • International Aid Worker
      If changing the world for the better while you travel sounds good to you, you might want to consider working with one of the many international aid organizations (Peace Corps, Doctors without Borders, Red Cross, etc.).  Several of these organizations offer financial compensation and housing, and some offer other great perks like student loan deferment. 

    • Consultant
      Consultants have exclusive knowledge in particular fields and are hired by companies to offer advice and to fix complex problems in their business.  A consultant can have clients all over the world, and often have to travel to meet with clients onsite. In short, if you want a job that takes you on the road, this is a winner.  

    • English Teacher
      Teaching english is one of the easiest ways to work in a foreign country.  To land an english teaching contract, you usually need to have a college degree and some prior teaching experience. Although some companies do require TEFOL or equivalent certification, many companies will accept working as a tutor, aide, or study leader as sufficient experience.  

    • Au Pair
      Au Pair positions are one of the easiest travel jobs to land with little to no experience, and you can find these jobs all over the world.   If you’re reliable and good with children this can be your ticket to some of the most exciting global destinations. Au pairs live with a host family in exchange for childcare.  While some au pairs only receive room and board, many receive additional compensation.  Host families often bring their au pair along on family vacations and, depending on the family, this can take you to some pretty exotic locations. 

    • Tour Guide
      As a tour guide, you can travel the world and share your passion for exploring new places with other travellers on vacation. Landing a job as a tour guide is a bit more of a time investment, as you need to live somewhere and get to know it very well yourself before becoming a successful guide.  You also should feel comfortable managing large groups of people. 

    • Telemedicine
      Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to offer many health services online, and the pandemic has made telemedicine more in demand than ever.  In many countries, doctors and nurses can even prescribe medicine online.  Another option is travel nursing.  Once you complete your initial training, you can choose your own adventure and work wherever you like!  Finally, there are a plethora of opportunities for online psychology and counselling positions – allowing you to set up shop anywhere in the world.  

    • Writer
      Travelling writing is one of the most accessible jobs for people looking to see the world. Travel writers cover popular new destinations and explore off-the-beaten-path locations as well.  You can apply for a travel writer position with one of the major publications, or go start up your own travel blog – sharing your adventures while earning money through affiliate links on your blog and as a brand ambassador.

  • What are the highest paying careers that don't require a degree?

    Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a college degree to be successful.  These careers are just as fulfilling and financially rewarding as many degree-requiring positions, and they can all be acquired without the time, energy, and costs of a full degree: 

     

    Job Average Salary 
    1.  Transportation & Distribution Manager$94,730 per year
    2.  Power Plant Operator $83,020 per year 
    3.  Commercial Pilot $82,240 per year
    4.  Elevator Technician $79,780 per year
    5.  Fire-Fighting Supervisor $76,330 per year
    6.  Claims Adjuster $65,670 per year
    7.  Aircraft Mechanic $62,920 per year
    8.  Patrol Officer$61,380 per year
    9. Fire Inspector $60,200 per year
    10. Executive Assistant$59,340 per year
    11. Electrician (installation and repairs)$57,890 per year
    12. Telecommunications Technician$56,100 per year
    13. Wind Turbine Technician $54,370 per year
    14. Plumber $53,910 per year
    15. IT Support Specialist $53,470 per year
    16. Sound Engineering Technician $52,930 per year
    17. Brickmason and Blockmason$50,950 per year
    18. Firefighter $49,620 per year
    19. HVAC and Refrigeration Technicians$47,610 per year

  • Where can I get career advice?

    No matter where you are located, chances are your city offers some kind of career advising resources.  But these days, you can also get great career advice without ever leaving your house!  Here are some excellent online career resources: 

    • Totaljobs
      Totaljobs is one of most popular job boards in the UK. It offers a course section where you can learn skills to advance your career and  a comprehensive advice section. Other great resources include job interview advice and elevator pitch tips.  
    • CV-Library
      CV-Library is the place to go if you want to build a great CV.  They also offer online courses via accredited universities and a comprehensive advice section.  
    • The Balance
      The Balance focuses primarily on financial matters, but still offers an abundance of career advice. It consistently ranks in the top 10 Google career advice searches. 
    • CareerBuilder
      CareerBuilder is a job search website with an excellent resource section for job seekers. 
    • Career Contessa
      Career Contessa is geared toward women in the corporate world. It addresses issues like the gender wage gap and provides specialized career advice for women.   
    • Ivy Exec
      Ivy Exec is a great resource for ambitious job seekers looking to land executive management jobs.   It includes a library of specialised articles, online courses, and a directory of companies in every industry.  
    • Fish4 Jobs
      Fish4 Jobs is primarily a resource for recruiters, but there’s some great resources for professionals as well.  One of the most popular features are a variety of specialised career webinars. 
    • Idealist Careers
      Idealist Careers is a resource for people interested in social-impact  professions.   find jobs that are socially impactful. They have a massive library of articles to help you to make positive changes in your career. 
    • LinkedIn
      LinkedIn offers a variety of career resources, but its biggest strength is as a networking platform – helping people network and stay connected with other professionals in their field. 
    • Milkround
      Milkround is a favorite amongst student and graduate websites in the UK. The advice they offer is tailored to the needs of new people entering the labour market, with lots of info on graduate employers and universities.
    • Monster
      Monster is a global leader in the professional world and its popular blog section is one of the best career resources out there.  
    • Reed
      Reed is the leading career website in the UK and has resources for both job seekers and recruiters.  Users can search for career openings in their field and sign up for courses to expand their skill set.  
    • The Muse
      The Muse, is a US-based site and features an excellent advice section with tips on everything from landing your first job to preparing for your retirement.  The site also focuses on company culture.  

    CareerAddict
    CareerAddict is one of the most comprehensive career websites and offers a massive database of articles and videos  Users can also try some of their career tests and take advantage of their cv-writing service.

  • How do I find a career I will love?

    The most important thing is to “know thyself”.  The clearer you are about your strengths, passions, interests, and needs, the easier it will be to choose a rewarding career.  There are a number of tools to help you gain clarity, and we’ve provided links to some great examples below: 

    FutureLearn Career Finder

    123CareerTest

    CareerOneStop Interest Assessment

    CareerOneStop Skills Matcher

    Keirsey Temperament Sorter

    Human Metrics 

  • Am I too old to change careers?

    According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the global average retirement age is 63.5 years, but the tendency all over the world is to increase the retirement age. With the upward shift in retirement age, workers in their 40s (and even 50s) still have plenty of time to change professions. Furthermore, the average age to change careers is around 39 years old, so being middle aged shouldn’t stop you from embarking on a new career.  

  • What are the top 10 careers?

    Money isn’t the only consideration when determining the top 10 careers.  Choosing a career with strong job growth projections ensures you will always be in demand.  Here are some of the top global careers based on a combination of salary potential and industry job growth:

    1. Actuary
    This is a dream job for maths lovers. Actuaries make complex calculations to ascertain the likelihood of various outcomes.  Helping insurance companies assess risk is just one of the many functions of their work.  This career requires a university degree and certification. Pay for actuaries averaged $108,350 in 2019 and an 18% job growth is projected through 2029.

    2. Human Resource Specialist
    Human resource specialists are always in demand and their earnings average around $57,000. They recruit, hire, conduct new employee orientation, and manage payroll, benefits and training for employees. The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) projects job growth for human resource specialists at 6% through 2029 – which is faster than the average growth for all occupations.

    3. Market Research Analyst
    Market research analysts work in several industries. They research and gather data to help a company market its products or services.  Salaries are strong: They are currently averaging $63,790 with an industry growth potential of 18% through 2029, according to the BLS.

    4. Epidemiologist
    Epidemiologists study diseases within populations and work to treat diseases and prevent outbreaks.  The job requires at least a master’s degree (preferably a Ph.D.) and the pay is good: They currently earn an average salary of $70,990 with the in-demand field growing at 5% through 2029, according to the BLS.

    5. Occupational Therapist
    Occupational therapists help patients heal from injuries and overcome disabilities so that they can return to a normal life. They can establish their own practice, or work in nursing homes and hospitals.  You need a master’s degree to enter this field, but the current average pay ($84,950) is good and the BLS predicts these jobs will continue to grow at a robust 16%.

    6. Software Developer
    Software developers assess their clients’ needs, and design and develop software to meet those needs. The current average pay is $107.510 and the BLS projects job growth at 22%.

    7. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
    Diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists, and vascular technologists operate special imaging equipment to create images or to conduct tests.  They earn an average of $68,750 and should see a 12% growth rate over the next decade.

    8. Interpreters and Translators
    As more companies engage in international trade, the demand for interpreters who speak multiple languages and translators who can write in multiple languages will grow by 20%. They require a college degree and language proficiency.  Salaries are $51,830 on average.

    9. Pharmacist
    With an ageing population that is living longer, the demand for prescription medicine and pharmacists will increase accordingly. Pharmacists need a doctor of pharmacy degree and licensing in their respective states to practice in this field. The average salary is $128.090.

    10. Computer Systems Analyst
    Computer systems analysts determine the IT needs for their employers, research new technologies, configure systems and oversee equipment installation.  Computer systems analysts earn an average $90,920, and the growth in demand for these positions should run at a strong 7%through 2029, according to the BLS.

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