Is a career in STEM even worth it anymore?

Currently I am a masters student doing clinical biochemistry in the UK. I took this degree in hope to open up more options in the field of science as this has what I build my entire academic life on. However, sometimes I regret not taking a leap of faith and going into a niche science subject, and sometimes I regret doing STEM entirely. over time I started to feel defeated and worried because the process of getting to a stage where I can make a decent living is almost not worth it for the academic journey. While I understand entry level salary in my subject area only really range around 20-30k, anything higher require PhDs and more. Gaining further degrees (4yrs for phd) and qualifications require a vast amount of time to achieve. seeing friends and the on the internet who earns more though social media right now while normal jobs pay less for more work is pretty demoralising. With the pressure of the cost of living, entry level salary doesn’t really cut it anymore.
Because of this I started to force myself to do extra personal development that could benefit me in other career paths, such as coding, content editing, etc hoping to gain a side hustle but it has proven quite hard to keep up the learning because simple they are not my main interests.

My desire is to advance in the field of neuroscience research but unfortunately I will not be financially free in this type of career, ik people say do the thing you love the most but it just doesn’t pay that well. PhD was one of my dream goals in the past but now it doesn’t seems like viable thing because I’ll be in my late 20s before I actual get anywhere while my career while people around me is much further with their life.

I feel like I might be not looking at the bigger picture or looking at it wrong entirely, not sure if anyone else feels like this but do correct me if I seem clueless about life. I might seem like I’m in a rush to be financially free but I want to be able to provide for my future partner and kids.

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