Re: Looking to the future: What career is right for me?
Typo, you strike me as someone who would enjoy science - you get the math, the physics (in some fields), deep thinking. There's also mathematics as a core discipline. Having said that, those fields don't pay so well (although not as badly as music).
Rule of thumb is, the more likely the field is something many people do as a hobby, the lower the pay. So designers and musicians are paid far less than lawyers and accountants. For instance, I work in HR analytics so I see my salary as a reward for being able to (overtly) cope with the soul-sucking tedium of it all lol
The pay for engineering is good and there always seems to be a skills shortage in that area.
Most programmers I've known were tying to get into something else. The ones who were happy doing it tended to be Asperger type personalities. It seems to me that the field tends to wear people down a bit.
Hope this helps.
PS. Keep It Simple would be a good person to ask about engineering.