Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Road Less Traveled and This IS the difference?

When I was a kid my parents used to tell me to study hard, get as good a set of grades as possible, and earn that degree. This would arm me for the future. This would be what would help me have a better life. They also told me to study what I loved, this way I would be more naturally inclined to do better, therefore getting better grades, etc. This would always translate to success. And success to me was doing what I loved the best way I knew how and earning well because of this effort. I am not so sure now if this really is the case. I am earning pretty well for the industry I am in, granted, but it seems these days there are more higher paying, more in-demand IT-based and math-based jobs. This is a totally opposite field from the one I've spent years trying to better myself in. Take for example Accounting. I know several accountants that seem to have a whole field of prospects to choose from lately. High paying jobs with the added benefit of living abroad. Was this the path I should have taken? Would this have made my now better, at least money and career wise? Here's a snippet from an online article I read earlier today:

"As enrollment reached at an all-time high over the past three decades, it seems the popularity of the accounting profession has no intentions of slowing down among students.

Queen-Hubert attributes this to the financial crisis. "In today's world and with the high price tag of a college degree, parents and students are looking for careers that offer long-term prospects and skills that can be portable amongst industries." And right now, accounting seems to add up."

As a mom, I am always concerned about my children's future- both how I can provide for them as a parent and what to teach them for them to have good, comfortable, productive lives. Looking at what's out there in the market, I kind of wish I took a more flexible course in College. Perhaps something to do with Communications, or IT, or even, God forbid, Accounting. This way I would be in a better position now to get a higher paying job. However, I really liked what I took up in College. I had a blast during my college years both in living out my student experience and increasing my knowledge and skills. I am not sure if the prospect of more money in the future is really worth doing away with that experience. Given that I am on uncertain ground on this topic, what then do I tell my kids when the time comes for them to choose the path to their future? Do what you love and the rest will follow (even if sometimes I really just doesn't), or be practical and think about the best way to achieve a good life (meaning- monetary comfort)? Confusion.

Again, I seem to have stumbled upon an answer that seems to have no right or wrong answer. Sigh.

(to read the entire article, go here).


Avril said...

I think I would tell my kid to figure out what he/she can live with and live without. This talk would come at least in junior year high school, so I gather he/she will be able to make this decision for himself/herself.

The thing is, I couldn't live with no money but I couldn't live without finding some fulfillment in and some sense of enjoyment of my job. Based on this, I chose something flexible and which I was really interested in: Psychology.

Could you live with staring at nothing but numbers all day long? You may have money and travel, but I'm not so sure you'd have your sanity.

vicki said...

I like the money part though. Hehehe.