Consulting, Quant Trading, PE, or Dentistry?

Context: I am studying engineering (may transfer to CS or business) at a semi-target school and over the past year, I have been doing my best to narrow down what I want to do in the future, but I am still undecided. Currently, I am working at a small, local PE firm and I enjoyed my experience (though it is nowhere as involved or intense as large PE firms). This summer, I'll be interning at McKinsey to probe my interest in management consulting. However, I'm still holding onto the hope of becoming a dentist (more on that later) or a software engineer and I am completely lost of how to decide between these areas.

Below are my assessments of the above four fields, but I am hoping to hear some suggestions, insights, or advice about figuring out what I want to pursue.

Management Consulting: Amazing place to be and has a ton of exit options. However, it may not be a "life-long" job since consulting firms want consultants to keep getting promoted or leave. The salaries are great, and I'd develop a lot of valuable skills, but it pays the least (roughly ~100k starting) of the four options.

PE: Pay is amazing and I really enjoy the material/subject. However, I'm not sure how much I will "love" the lifestyle and I've heard mixed opinions about hours. The money is super attractive, but I'm unsure if I want to go through IB to get there and I'm not sure if the money would be that great since I'd be living in a big city and rent would be insanely expensive.

Quant: Great place to be regardless of economic conditions (market makers thrive on volatility and well-being of the market just pushes up the company portfolio). The pay is immense (~400k starting) and I REALLY enjoy the subject matter, but I'm not sure if I can break into it. I know ~10 people that have gotten in and all of them are CS and math double majors (some with business as well). Exit options are limited, but hours are GREAT (40-50 a week from my friends' experiences).

Dentistry: This is definitely out of the left field, but I'm seriously considering it. The lifestyle is amazing (30-40 hours a week) and the pay is great (~200-300k). The drawback is that is less dynamic and probably less stimulating compared to the above jobs.

I'm at a stage where I really do need to define what I want to pursue so that I can focus on it and do really well at it. I would really appreciate your input and advice.

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Apr 8, 2020 - 6:24pm
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