Really curious... can anyone say more about the reality of working in this field today, in industry? Do human factors specialists realistically have the opportunity to contribute to more inductive, design-phase work, or are they more likely to test prototypes/outcomes and do risk assessments, leaving engineers and designers to the rest (especially outside of aviation/transport/automotive sectors)?
Do you imagine someone basically driven to 'help people', but inclined to problem-solving, might enjoy HF? Am thinking of applications in industrial design, medical devices, that kind of thing...
I'm a 'non-trad' exploring options, please be kind... Am reevaluating things in light of some recently found notes around aptitude tests I took ten years ago... scored only in the 75th percentile for math, but in the 90th for physics (surprising, since I quit sciences in the 11th grade), and 98th for 'performance' and verbal. (Not trying to brag - assume most here would do at least as well, and I'm an underachiever in life, probably also at the 90th-ish percentile. There's also the non-trivial matter of my life on paper to date, but that's another story.) Re HCI - have got no programming experience at all, but have kind of enjoyed the basic html & database design I've done in previous (office) work. Workplace ergonomics seems both fuzzy/boring (if it effectively means ordering hand-rests for people).
Had a massive boner for cog/sci via philosophy of mind in my undergrad, but haven't followed it since; have a layperson's interest in cognition as approached by psychological science. (If work in neuropsychology could be had after an MA, I'd be on that... I know there's OT, but it also seems fuzzy and a bit boring.)
Thoughts on any of the above would be greatly appreciated.