Careers that combine art/design and science?

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texasdiver
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Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm

I am about to embark on a summer of college tours with the middle daughter who will be going into 11th grade next fall. She is at something of a loss as to what she wants to do with her life and worried because she has all these friends who already have plans for med school, law school, MBA, etc. and she doesn’t know what she wants to do.

She is very into computer design drawing and animation and spends lots of time drawing on the Wacom tablet she got for Christmas. She is also very bright and enjoys science, especially biological and environmental science. She is just finishing AP Biology as a sophomore and is the typical bright kid with straight A’s and 98 percentile PSAT scores so she should be able to get into pretty much any school here in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t think she is really interested the Ivy League type places and wants to stay closer to home.

So as we start out exploring university options I’m looking for ideas for careers as university programs that might combine her interests in art, design, and the natural sciences. Her dream job would be to work for Pixar or Laika studios here closer to home. She’s not a people person so would be horrible in business. She needs a job where she can be left alone to be creative.

Left to her own devices she’d probably just enter an art or computer design/animation program. But I want her to maybe expand her options.

So ideas and suggestions for future careers or university programs that might suit this child? Fields like landscape architecture, environmental design or some subspecialty of civil or environmental engineering? Right now I’m just trying to get ideas for the sorts of university programs we should be seeking out for visits and ideas.

livesoft
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:02 pm

The world needs more experts and developers of computer graphics algorithms and software to convey scientific knowledge. Places like NASA and all universities use such things like UCSF Chimera which don't just create themselves.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCSF_Chimera
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buhlaxtus
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by buhlaxtus » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:07 pm

Here's a person to read, or read up on: https://felicefrankel.com/

She has a mooc: https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-10-00 ... ring-2016/

... also please tell her it is /completely fine/ to not have plans yet!

Iridium
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Iridium » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:21 pm

Probably not going to go 50:50 exactly, so one might want to start with which side to emphasize.

Design side:

Industrial design would be the first career that comes to mind... And if she prevents one product from being unstackable due to a purely aesthetic domed top, it will all be worth it (major pet peeve of mine :x ).

There may also be something in the fields of marketing, technical writing, etc. where it is useful to be able to talk to the engineers and translate their ideas in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Science side:

Making computer graphics tools for artists. It is not just manipulating matrices to create 3D rendering engines. Making something like hair look right in animation or visual effects requires merging a physics understanding of light and materials with an artistic understanding of what people notice (being able to see that the hair looks 'wrong' and then being able to understand why would be important).

For that matter, pretty much any visual effects job (including practical effects) is going to be some merger of science and art.

She is at something of a loss as to what she wants to do with her life and worried because she has all these friends who already have plans for med school, law school, MBA, etc. and she doesn’t know what she wants to do.
If it makes her feel any better, most of those plans are unlikely to come to fruition. MBA programs worth going to are going to want 4+ years of work experience. That is a long time after starting your career to discover that becoming a generic 'business administrator' is nowhere near as interesting as it sounds as a high school kid (I was sure that I was going the MBA route at that age). Law school career prospects are horrible, especially for the time and cost. Most of the pre med kids will burn out before even applying for med school.

To be clear: for the right person, these are all fine options, but these options are all well traveled paths that appeal to more high school students than actually belong on those paths. It is definitely okay to not know where your career is taking you at that age. The main unfortunate thing is that STEM majors are truly 4 year affairs, so she'll need to know which science she wants to study in the near term, even if she is a bit fuzzy on what she is going to do with it. Otherwise, it is great to look at the possibilities, but there is no need to commit to a particular path, yet.
Last edited by Iridium on Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
texasdiver
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:33 pm

buhlaxtus wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:07 pm
Here's a person to read, or read up on: https://felicefrankel.com/

She has a mooc: https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-10-00 ... ring-2016/

... also please tell her it is /completely fine/ to not have plans yet!
Yes, I tell her that too! Part of the point of taking the summer to visit colleges now before her junior year of HS is to maybe get some cool ideas and discover some interesting programs and careers to aim for. And hopefully discover some new interests.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Bruce T » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:36 pm

We used a career counselor with our sons, the counselor used the Strong Interest Inventory, which was quite useful in identifying potential career paths that aligned with interests... I think it was money well spent to get done. In any event, sounds like she has lots of potential opportunities to pursue!

Other possible areas that probably combine art/design and science include:
animation
video game design
art conservation
archaeology
technical illustration

Best wishes,
Bruce

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:44 pm

The intersection of art/design/and science is engineering.

Although there is a bit of economics thrown in too.

But if she's "not a people person", she'll fit right in.
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:52 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:44 pm
The intersection of art/design/and science is engineering.

Although there is a bit of economics thrown in too.

But if she's "not a people person", she'll fit right in.
That’s my idea. I want to at least visit some engineering schools. She hates getting dressed up and mixing with people. Unlike daughter #1, prom is her idea of torture. So dressy business-y type jobs would be a horror for her. She wants to spend her time lounging around in a hoodie creating stuff on the computer. But not so much coding. Visual stuff and perhaps things like 3D printing.

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Watty
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Watty » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:12 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
She’s not a people person so would be horrible in business. She needs a job where she can be left alone to be creative.
The problem with jobs like that is that they can be easily offshored to low cost countries.

There is a huge range of people skills and while she might not be a naturally gregarious person it would be good for her to do everything she can to develop better people skills. I have not been involved with it but people have posted about using Toastmasters and as I recall they have a youth program. Something like that might also help her improve her interview and job hunting skills too.
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
I am about to embark on a summer of college tours with the middle daughter who will be going into 11th grade next fall.
What are your expectations for this?

One problem you will have is that most colleges don't have a lot going on in the summer so there is risk that you will mainly be walking around a campus looking at locked up buildings.

Be sure to contact the college and before had to find out what will be available when you are there. One time when my son was about that age we were on a camping vacation and just happened to go by one of the state universities so on the spur of the moment we stopped by only to find that it was basically closed and we could not even find a place to get a soda.

It is probably too late for this summer but many colleges will have week long programs for high school students especially in the STEM programs. It would be good to look into those programs for next summer.
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
So as we start out exploring university options....
One thing I picked up somewhere when I was helping my son in his college search was a quote that was something like. "It is not about picking the best college, it is about picking the college that is the best fit for your kid." There is lot of truth in that.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by kacang » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:26 pm

We may be in similar situation. DS is looking into the Bachelor of Science in Digital Arts & Sciences offered by College of Engineering in UFlorida, as the creative/design work + STEM combination is appealing to him, we are still trying to learn more about it.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by btenny » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:43 pm

Take her to visit and tour a minitures movie studio in LA or SF. These studios do amazing art and use lots of physics and software and computers to make movies. It is really cool stuff and talent is all that matters..

Look up New Deal studios or 32 ten studios other minitures movirs.

Good luck

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:11 pm

Watty wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:12 pm
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
She’s not a people person so would be horrible in business. She needs a job where she can be left alone to be creative.
The problem with jobs like that is that they can be easily offshored to low cost countries.

There is a huge range of people skills and while she might not be a naturally gregarious person it would be good for her to do everything she can to develop better people skills. I have not been involved with it but people have posted about using Toastmasters and as I recall they have a youth program. Something like that might also help her improve her interview and job hunting skills too.
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
I am about to embark on a summer of college tours with the middle daughter who will be going into 11th grade next fall.
What are your expectations for this?

One problem you will have is that most colleges don't have a lot going on in the summer so there is risk that you will mainly be walking around a campus looking at locked up buildings.

Be sure to contact the college and before had to find out what will be available when you are there. One time when my son was about that age we were on a camping vacation and just happened to go by one of the state universities so on the spur of the moment we stopped by only to find that it was basically closed and we could not even find a place to get a soda.

It is probably too late for this summer but many colleges will have week long programs for high school students especially in the STEM programs. It would be good to look into those programs for next summer.
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
So as we start out exploring university options....
One thing I picked up somewhere when I was helping my son in his college search was a quote that was something like. "It is not about picking the best college, it is about picking the college that is the best fit for your kid." There is lot of truth in that.
She can be charming when she wants to. Just not her "thing". She is the polar opposite of her older sister who was the archtypical socialite southern sorority girl with a huge instagram following who is going into marketing and PR.

We did the whole summer college tour 5 years ago with the older daughter. Times have changed and you'd be surprised at how much is happening on college campuses during the summer. They all have organized tours all week and will set up department-specific interviews and tours upon request. College visits are a whole big business now and colleges roll out the red carpet during the summer. At least the big ones.

As for our expectations? Nothing specific. Hopefully find some colleges or universities that she finds interesting and inspiring and some ideas for programs that she might want to study. We are centrally located in the Northwest so we can get to pretty much any college in the region with a simple day trip. I'm a HS teacher so I have summers off to do this with my kids. I did a 12-day 10 college tour through the south with daughter #1 about 5 years ago when we were living in TX so now it is daugher #2's turn. The only schools we probably won't get to this summer are those in CA or points further east. If she finds a program and career path that she really finds inspiring that may guide her next two years of HS.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Pigeon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:45 am

I have a relative who got a BFA in medical illustration. She's done very well for herself. She's currently self-employed, doing contract work for pharmaceutical companies. She has more work than she knows what to do with, and she often is in need of freelancers.

I agree with the pp, who said she should work on her interpersonal skills. You really need those soft skills in many positions. My relative meets and deals with clients and has to sell her services, although once you get a foot in the door at a pharmaceutical company, business seems to grow. You don't need to be a Southern sorority girl, whatever that entails. You do need to be able to present yourself and communicate well.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:56 am

There you go: Instead of playing to strengths, work to improve weaknesses. It is no sin not to got to college.
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:03 am

texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
She is very into computer design drawing and animation

She is also very bright and enjoys science,
I spent a summer in college working for a company that basically created computer animations for accident investigations similar to the graphics you see used for the evening news whenever something goes wrong. There was lots of science involved to make sure the animated models behaved according to the laws of physics. I really enjoyed that job but didn't apply for a full time position post college just because I couldn't hack the amount of screen time required.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:05 am

She's 2 years away from college. She likely has no idea what she'll like at this point. Heck....I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to college, but knew that my electronics courses in high school were fun and easy A's for me, so that's the direction I went. It's earned me a living (and 3 degrees, one 100% paid for by my employer) for well over 30 years. I still don't know what I want to do.

I was "artsy" too. Had my own pinstriping business for many years doing custom vans and trucks mainly with some sign painting and lettering thrown in there. But I could see that there were limits on where I could go with that. It was fine for breaks and vacations to pick up some extra money.
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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by teamDE » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:25 am

bhsince87 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:44 pm
The intersection of art/design/and science is engineering.
That's a bit romanticized. Engineering in practice is quite one dimensional. Most engineers are fed requirements from Systems Engineering and design/build/test their widgets to spec. You'd have to be in a very small startup-like company or be very high up in a larger company in order to provide total vision for a product. Analogous to software, a web developer is not the same person as the product designer or even UI/UX designer.

Sounds like she should pursue science or engineering. If she's more of the philosophical type stay in it and do research where there is more of an eclectic and interesting culture.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by onourway » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:29 am

Sounds like she'd be a good candidate for one of the many excellent liberal arts colleges in your area where she would be given the freedom to explore all of these interests.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by il0kin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:33 am

Industrial design could fit her well.

It’s worthwhile to take the time to explain to her that very few people end up getting “dream jobs” like their counselors tell them, but it’s not so uncommon to find something you generally find appealing and find work.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:39 am

This is a fun "Meyers Briggs" online quiz/test that can sometimes help focus in on one's strengths, weaknesses, and core characteristics. Everyone in our household has taken it and others and had a lot of fun with it. If anything, as a parent to child, it can validate what we already know. And, sometimes is quite revealing because of the format.
"16 Personalities.com" (MBTI)
https://www.16personalities.com/
There are also subsets to each.

This is a site specific to MBTI - INTJ's. (there are others like it per type)
https://www.16personalities.com/

Why do I suggest this?
Because, often what a young person is "good at" or "excels in school" is not the same as what matches their core characteristics that have not yet matured.

If one is brilliant and gifted, and can do well in many fields of play (IE: engineering, medicine, etc), then it may be a good thing to let them "play" in a fruitful academic setting for as long as it takes for them to "discover" on their own.

Have fun.
j :happy

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by marmotcannon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:02 am

Your daughter sounds a lot like me at that age. I'm an architect (but my undergrad was in physics and astronomy) and the job has a pretty good combo of left-brain and right-brain. Some people specialize more in the technical side, others in the artistic side, and some like me try to split the difference. The pay ain't great in most regions (think teacher's salary, typically) but it can be fun and varied enough to keep a smart/creative/curious person interested. There are roles for both introverts and extroverts. Only downside to me is the amount of screen time but it sounds like that is not a problem for your daughter. Many universities have summer programs to try out architecture, and some of those admit high schoolers.

A completely separate idea, the Univ of Washington has the "DX Arts" program which seems very relevant to her interests:
https://dxarts.washington.edu/

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Tyler9000 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:08 am

I'll add one more vote for industrial design. The love of science and obsession with a Wacom tablet is a clear tell that it will probably interest her.

Here's a good resource if you'd like more info: https://www.idsa.org/

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by MJS » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:39 am

She might enjoy playing with Occupational Handbook to just see the range of common, everyday jobs available. Landscape architects do lots of design work.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by miamivice » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:41 am

texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
... all these friends who already have plans for med school, law school, MBA, etc. and she doesn’t know what she wants to do.
Probably 90% of these friends will never step foot in law school, med school, or MBA school.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by texasdiver » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:46 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:41 am
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
... all these friends who already have plans for med school, law school, MBA, etc. and she doesn’t know what she wants to do.
Probably 90% of these friends will never step foot in law school, med school, or MBA school.
Don't be too sure. Best friend #1 is an Asian-American daughter of a surgeon and a dentist. They have a medical career planned for her. Her sophomore PSAT scores put her in National Merit territory. Best friend #2 is the daughter of an African-American anesthesiologist and a white software engineer. Her physician mother who is from Jamaica had a medical career planned for her but she lives and breathes law and has been planning to go to law school since about 8th grade. She is probably bright enough to pull it off despite current trends in the law profession. Both families have the resources to just write checks and send their kids anywhere they want to go.

So my daughter's circle of friends are from affluent ethnic/immigrant families who are very driven and have very high expectations. So she feels a bit lost compared to these friends who basically have their futures already mapped out for them.

But yes, normally I'd agree with you.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by fullplay2024 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:58 pm

Check out http://csrankings.org/#/index?all and choose interdisciplinary areas on the left. CSRankings is a metrics-based ranking of top computer science institutions around the world.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by ohai » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:02 pm

Huh, 90% of freshmen in college say they are "pre Med", then almost all change. Relax, no 16 year old has a realistic idea of what they want to do for the next 40 years....

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by DemoEngr » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm

This is what my son with similar interests has chosen.

MODELING, ANIMATION AND GAME CREATION (MAGC) at Kent State.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by caffeperfavore » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:26 pm

I agree with the others that say that it's likely her interests will change several times over the course of the next few years. It's best to go somewhere that she will be able to gain a broad exposure to as many fields as possible.

I recommend the book, Designing Your Life. It's written by a couple of Stanford professors and based on a course they developed there. I think it's great because it provides a more practical, experimental/exploratory, and, to my mind, realistic approach to finding your path.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Workable Goblin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:37 pm

Watty wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:12 pm
One problem you will have is that most colleges don't have a lot going on in the summer so there is risk that you will mainly be walking around a campus looking at locked up buildings.
That's kind of the opposite of my experience, although that is admittedly colored by having been a grad student and more latterly a postdoc for the past, oh, decade or so. Sure, there's not that many people taking classes, but that's just surface flavoring at most universities anyway; the grad students, postdocs, and faculty (along with some undergrads) are all busily beavering away in their labs and offices at the research, which is what most of them really care about (it's where the money comes from, at the very least). Visiting during the summer, or even better doing some kind of internship, is the best way to learn about what being an X is really about (provided that X is an academic field like physics or mathematics, or something that the university does, anyway).

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by hicabob » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:46 pm

il0kin wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:33 am
Industrial design could fit her well.

This, a good industrial designer can do wonders for the look and functionality of a product and they get paid well for it.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by Annabel Lee » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:55 pm

This was my first thought and is a significant Megacorp trend, now and over the next few years.

https://www.ideou.com/blogs/inspiration ... n-thinking

It doesn't necessarily fit the reserved, lock yourself in an office personality profile -- but you'll start to see more and more roles like this given the value it creates.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by renue74 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:03 pm

1. User Experience Design . (UX) . or User Interface Design. (UI) where a designer creates user interfaces for mobile, web, kiosks, etc. The designer must also have a valid understanding of what can and can not be accomplished in code. The designer may also have a small background in coding, plus they would work directly with a development team.

2. AI assisted design. Airbnb is doing some big projects with machine based design. https://airbnb.design/invisible-design/

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by FoolStreet » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:22 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:46 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:41 am
texasdiver wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm
... all these friends who already have plans for med school, law school, MBA, etc. and she doesn’t know what she wants to do.
Probably 90% of these friends will never step foot in law school, med school, or MBA school.
Don't be too sure. Best friend #1 is an Asian-American daughter of a surgeon and a dentist. They have a medical career planned for her. Her sophomore PSAT scores put her in National Merit territory. Best friend #2 is the daughter of an African-American anesthesiologist and a white software engineer. Her physician mother who is from Jamaica had a medical career planned for her but she lives and breathes law and has been planning to go to law school since about 8th grade. She is probably bright enough to pull it off despite current trends in the law profession. Both families have the resources to just write checks and send their kids anywhere they want to go.

So my daughter's circle of friends are from affluent ethnic/immigrant families who are very driven and have very high expectations. So she feels a bit lost compared to these friends who basically have their futures already mapped out for them.

But yes, normally I'd agree with you.
Just let her know that the cream will always rise to the top. My advisor used to say this. It is not meant to say that someone in particular will be better than or more deserving than another. But rather, someone who is capable will always find their way.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by FoolStreet » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:26 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:26 pm
I agree with the others that say that it's likely her interests will change several times over the course of the next few years. It's best to go somewhere that she will be able to gain a broad exposure to as many fields as possible.

I recommend the book, Designing Your Life. It's written by a couple of Stanford professors and based on a course they developed there. I think it's great because it provides a more practical, experimental/exploratory, and, to my mind, realistic approach to finding your path.
I think there is a version for kids who are dealing with the issues of wanting vision for their lives without having the perspective of what is out there. Can't find it with a quick Google search. Nevertheless, the concepts in these books are great.

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Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by StormShadow » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:05 pm

Architecture, Civil engineering, Any other engineering, Graphic design, Computer animation, Environmental sciences all sound like great options. How about web design?

If she likes Pixar, maybe look at CalArts since that's where most of the Pixar founders trained. Can she shadow/intern at Pixar this summer (or a future summer)? I can think of no quicker way to get a leg up for a job at Pixar or any other company.

Even though she wants to stay in the NW, consider RISD. My cousin went there and I got to visit her when she was a student. Its a pretty amazing school. They offer graphic design and film/animation degree programs. You can even get a dual degree from Brown University, but you have to apply for the dual-program directly from high school.

mikemikemike
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:25 pm

Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Post by mikemikemike » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:08 pm

VR and AR systems are a big and growing market. Designing them to work effectively requires a good mix of the skills you mention.

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