Making career choices: How important is it to choose a lucrative career?
January 7, 2013
We’re all aware that jobs are harder to come by and that student loan debt has become a huge factor in many young people’s lives. And I know we’re always excited to see “Accountant” in those lists of the “Best Careers” etc. But how important is it that a student chooses a lucrative career? As the parents footing the bill, you’re probably thinking it’s very important. After all, part of growing up is becoming financially (and emotionally) independent and you really don’t want a grown child living in your basement. If you’re an employer, you want to hire young people who are excited about their careers and who are well-prepared.
I do believe that there is more pressure on students today because college is so expensive. You don’t have time to “browse” different paths of learning. You feel you have to commit to a major that will lead you to a good job. Period. And if you discover halfway through that accounting program that you really don’t love it, you still feel that you have to continue because it will make you employable.
Is that the new hire you’re looking forward to? Someone who chose accounting because they think it will make them employable? Both the student and the employer end up shortchanged. It won’t hurt to take a look at the “best careers” list, but there are probably more important things to consider (and just when did U.S. News & World Report become the arbiter of everything???)
A good fit with our talents is what really matters. The older son of one of my best friends got a PhD in Buddhism. She was worried he’d never find a job. Turns out he’s on the tenure track at a respected liberal arts college. He would have made a lousy accountant!
Brenden Schaaf commented on Jan. 8, 2013:
I couldn't agree more that more people need to do what suits them. I don't want to hire someone for an accountant position that only went into accounting because it was on a list...I want them to enjoy the work because they will be far better at it and will stick around (and not make everyone working around them miserable).
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