You are in the same position I was from 16 till now (19). I have so much information for you it is unbelievably difficult. I took a PDC right after high school, and have been woofing every summer. I looked for internships, diplomas or anything to help get me started, nothing. I got a degree in Ecosystem Management while still looking for better Permaculture resources. I ended up finding a few. 1. Pacific Rim College. I haven't been, so I have no say on the quality of work but they offer an 11 month Diploma program on the cost of British Columbia. I am from Ontario currently doing a permaculture design internship in Quebec with P3 Permaculture. From them I found other teachers in the area that specialize in soils, earthworks, mycology ect. I am a science person like you. Very analytical and factual. I learned if you can find an internship and take all the available courses you will not need a Diploma in permaculture. Although its a struggle to get them all. Do not give up though. I studied the environment for 4 years with a Specialist Major in High School and my diploma doing through restoration, ecology, wildlife monitoring ect ect. My point is, no practice I have ever come across is more advanced and impactful as permaculture. Due to both their superior practices and the fact that it benefits the public, not just the environment. You cannot save the world without a large backing.
If you are in Ontario or Quebec let me know here and I can send you all the resources I have. I also hope to bring a few courses from some specialists to Ontario if we can get enough people on board. Earthworks and Advanced Permaculture Soils are the two I am looking at most.