I'm in the midst of a career search and I got into this type stuff as a way to figure out where the overlap is between what I like and what I'm good at.
Do you or anyone you know of this type enjoy any of the following careers?
Civil/mechanical/electrical engineer/materials scientist
I can see what the up-front draw to these fields might be for the ISTP, but I cannot understand how an ISTP would successfully get through the grunt work (undergrad, grad, and/or 'pay-your-dues' period of the real world) needed to get anywhere in these fields while simultaneously having a good time.
As an ISTP in a university setting and in the mech eng industry, I found myself constantly surrounded by INTx's. NT's seem to be obsessed w/ information and theory to no end. I feel there is no way I can compete: I do not want to read tech journals on the toilet or dream about theoretical problems to the extent that they do. The 'S' makes me crave hands on activity and adventure and risk so that I cannot commit to equations, numbers, and information to the degree that NT's prefer to. I'd expect NT's have an edge in school?
Can ISTPs love information as much as things? I just finished reading Freakonomics (which was recommended on the INTP book list), and loved it; finished it in a day. Yet I cheated my way through ECON 101 out of boredom. I've realized that I deeply enjoy learning about how the world works, whether in terms of economics, physics, or sociology; indeed this was mostly why I chose to study engineering. Yet, I've also realized that the technical nature of these subjects is off-putting to me; I can see the significance of the information and still have a hard time motivating myself to learn it.
I prefer to learn by experiencing. It would seem this could be a useful trait once you have established yourself in a science field, but that getting established is damn well near impossible the way things are currently set up.
So I am curious: Is there any ISTP out there that truly enjoys a career in any of the sciences? If so, what do you like and dislike? Were the early years a struggle and a sacrifice? How do you satisfy your need for working w/ your hands? How did you conquer your tendency towards being a jack-of-all-trades and come to specialize in a particular niche? Or maybe you didn't?
Another question I have is about the ISTP income. While some personality types gravitate naturally toward high paying, highly respected careers in law, medicine, or whatever, the ISTP seems to prefer - aside from engineering - sometimes nontraditional, often low paying jobs that people don't always respect. Jobs in some kind of trade and farming come to mind. There are also the jobs w/ high risk and high reward like pilot and race car driver. Are we predisposed to being poor? How can one be an ISTP and make a decent living at the same time?
I graduated a 4 year uni nearly debt free due to scholarship money, and made more (very likely double) starting out of school than I will starting any of the professions I'm currently considering (e.g. baker, commercial pilot, helicopter pilot, farming, ethnobotany, photojournalism...). When you consider the cost of additional training/education required to become qualified for an entry level position in any of these fields, the time, the fact that the benefits may not be as good, the stiff competition, and the cumulative loss of income over a lifelong career due to lower salaries, being happy is EXPENSIVE and a little hard to justify!
Maybe I need to take a class in entrepreneurship as I've read ISTPs are good at capitalizing on opportunities, and I've got a feeling we can stomach financial risk well.