I’m a deferred entry student set to start my undergraduate degree in CS at Cambridge in 2024. Besides other activities in my gap year, I am starting to think about future career options, including potentially changing my course, although this may not be possible.
To summarise, I want to find a career which is both intellectually satisfying and helps society and people at large. The second point is equally important to me. Through my(rather, naive) searches on LinkedIn, I see several people with good credentials from my program going into Quant Research or consultancy fields. I have limited knowledge of the field, but I feel that although it may be intellectually satisfying, it seems like a shallow job to me. I am considering a career either in academia or entrepreneurship in deep tech.
Although I have taken only introductory courses, I feel the fields of biotechnology, neuroscience, materials science, nanotechnology, quantum computing, AI in healthcare etc. may be good fields satisfying the criteria. I’m not interested in gaining significant financial wealth, but I do want to live comfortably with mental ease. Also, I want to prefer fields which have more practical applications in the real world. Finally, although I have limited knowledge of academia, some answers on this site make me anxious. I understand pursuing any research field has no guarantees, but I want to preferably go into a field with lesser risk and shorter feedback loops.
To summarise, I have the following questions:-
- Is it possible to go from a bachelors degree in CS to any of the aforementioned fields? If yes, what could be some challenges?
- Does entrepreneurship give the possibility of innovating in the aforementioned fields or is it just commercialisation of existing research/technology?
- Are there significant challenges that people face in academia in the aforementioned fields? What are some of the main challenges? Are there significant pressures involved which take your focus and interest away from the field?
- Do the aforementioned fields satisfy the criteria I mentioned earlier? Do you recommend any fields which would be a good fit for me considering the criteria I mentioned earlier?
Please also let me know of any other relevant advice.
Thank you for your help.