• Question: have you ever regretted choosing a career in science or maths? and if so why? when?

    Asked by caitlinpaul to Freya, , Katy, Louise, Pamela on 17 Mar 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Pamela Docherty

      Pamela Docherty answered on 17 Mar 2010:

      I suppose I haven’t really chosen a career in science yet! I’m still technically a student, even though I get paid for it, which is handy!

    • Photo: Louise Pendry

      Louise Pendry answered on 17 Mar 2010:

      LMAO. I would definitely have regretted a career in maths – I am rubbish at it so would have spent my whole life being fired!

      Science – yes, I have to be honest and say that I have. I am a very impatient person. I like results now. I want change now. I hate waiting for things. Science moves very slowly. When I do something I want to know straight away that what I have done has made a difference but science is often not like that. Your work might be hugely important and you might find something out which could have a really big impact on the lives of millions of people or animals but it doesn’t actually get implemented in the real world for years. This is because each scientist is usually working on a very small part of a big problem. So every part of the problem needs to be investigated before the changes are implemented. This is important to try to make sure that the change made genuinely does improve lives. This is also very frustrating if you are an inpatient person though!

    • Photo:

      answered on 17 Mar 2010:

      There was one time, during my undergraduate degree, when I regretted the choice of a Physics degree. By Tuesday afternoon I had already had more lectures and labs than my friend (studying archaeology) had in a week. That seemed distinctly unfair!

      I’ve been very lucky because I’ve always enjoyed being a scientist. I think it is because, in addition to, science, I can do almost everything else anyway. I can still go to the theatre, sing, dance, ski, read etc. I just find that my understanding of things can be deeper because I’m not afraid of the technical side of things.

    • Photo: Freya Harrison

      Freya Harrison answered on 17 Mar 2010:

      Yes, many time when things go wrong πŸ˜€ When you’ve spent hours and hours working on something and it doesn’t work, or you realise you made a mistake right at the beginning then you just want to put your head in your hands and cry.

      But as my officemate has just pointed out, I’ve just come back from an hour long tea break so I really can’t complain!

    • Photo: Katy Milne

      Katy Milne answered on 17 Mar 2010:

      When I was in sixth form my Art teachers were trying to persuade me to do a design degree. At the very least they wanted me to do product design, which combines art and Engineering. I looked at courses in design and went to university open days. In the end I chose straight Mechanical Engineering degree, which is science but applied to real life problems with customers and a visible result. At the time, I was worried that I would regret it because I thought I would have no opportunities to be creative. Looking back over the last ten years though, I have never regretted my choice and I have been really happy ever since I started on this career path. It has opened up so many opportunities for me, including the possibility to write articles, work with children and work as a science advisor. There are opportunities in my job to be creative solving problems, to work with different people and to learn foreign languages. Also, since I have entered the workplace, I have never felt like ‘this is it’. If I did get bored of Engineering, I feel happy that I could change and do something else. The choices you make at school are important and open up opportunities. However, do not feel like they put you on a fixed trajectory and there is no way back. If you are always willing to learn, then you can have an interesting and diverse career.