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did you attend college to study the subjects you love or...

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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to make a good living?

my niece wanted to study journalism but my sister insist her daughter to attend pharmacy school so that she can make a good living.

what do you think? should parents get involve with their child's career?
 

lliang_chi

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I studied what I enjoyed studying. It was economics. So I was able to parlay my degree into a job in the Finance field and got a decent living. Fast forward 8 years later I *hated* the finance field and now I'm in the corporate world dealing with location content. Much happier. I studied economics because I liked *economics* not because I wanted to get into Finance. My mother was happy I was doing economics because she wanted me to get into Finance. I got into Finance and was MISERABLE.

Practically speaking, parents WILL get involved in their children's career choices. Some are really tiger-parent about it (cough, MOM, cough cough) and some aren't. But in the end, I would hope parents want their children to be happy. I was young fresh outta school and took a job that made my parents "happy." Eight years later I *HATED* it. But the same first job pushed me down the path to get a Information Technology (IT) graduate degree, which helped me move into a software-ish role, and viola, I'm where I am today, AND pretty happy.

So, you parents can meddle into your kids career choices if you want. But you need to 1) accept that you can't make them do anything. 2) realize that it might not make THEM happy, and you want them to be happy, right? 3) most importantly, support, encourage and help them no matter what they chose. :bigsmile:

~LC
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I enrolled in college as an Archeology major, then changed to Pre-med, then ended up focusing on what I was good at and graduated as an English major. I now have a successful career in publishing and I make a good living.

These days I'm not so intent on my children going to college if they're willing to take up a trade. Due to the cost of education and the economy, the days of only lawyers, doctors, pharmacists and engineers making good money are gone. Many trades people without college degrees end up ahead of the game.

I think as a parent it's important for my guidance to be more towards teaching them to learn how to manage their money responsibly so whatever money they do make allows them to live a comfortable life.
 

somethingshiny

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

Ditto HH!!

Well said!
 

Haven

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I studied the subjects I love in college: literature and technical theatre. I managed to turn my passion into a career, and I'm extremely happy with my choice to study literature.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

Well said, HH.

If I had done what I really wanted to do, I probably would have been a psychologist. But I was more interested in getting a degree that would allow for me to have a comfortable life without needing a PhD. I interned in several fields and ultimately went with a good combination of what I like and what pays well. Since my first job, I've fine-tuned what I do so that it's something I really enjoy, so I feel very lucky.

One thing I will tell my future kids is to explore ALL options. As a kid who grew up on a farm with no immediate relatives going to college, I thought I had to go into corporate america to get a great job. I really wish I'd considered some non-office positions. I think I would have loved a career in something like physical therapy. As much as I enjoy my job, I do get tired of being in an office all the time and I always feel the pressure to climb the corporate ladder when the truth is that I don't really care about being an executive one day.
 

princesss

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I studied what I loved and lucked into a job.
 

sonnyjane

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

The first time I went to college, it was to get a degree in a practical field where I could find work. I was miserable at work and went back to school to get a degree in something I love. Now everytime I see my student debt account I think of how foolish I was to not just get it right the first time. Now I'm working successfully in the field I absolutely love, but it will take me several years to pay off the loans that got me here. I would have been debt-free had I just followed my heart the first time.
 

HopeDream

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

My parents gave me no guidance other than "go to college". My friend's dad suggested I study environmental science, so I did, but now the resource sector is doing poorly so I work in retail :( . I'm more of an "Indoorsy" person so I might shift directions and pursue a degree in library science because I really do enjoy looking things up and helping people find information and navigate new technology. I'd realy like to work for the government, a city, or a university. FI went into nursing, loves it and makes decent money - he's much smarter about careers than I am.
 

zipzapgirl

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I went the practical route with accounting and have no regrets. My passion is languages and literature, but there was no way to translate that into a stable, well-paid career. Instead, I did the languages on the side and moved to a country in Europe for a few years where I was able to work in that language doing accounting. It doesn't have to be all or nothing :cheeky: Oh, and I read a lot in my free time.

Honestly, I love the fact that there will always be a well-paid job waiting for me in any economic environment. I love that my profession is respected and that everyone needs accountants. I use my job as a means to earn a living and pursue my passions on the side. If I expected to live out my dreams 9-5, I'm pretty sure I'd be disappointed.
 

sonnyjane

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

zipzapgirl|1308947437|2954268 said:
I use my job as a means to earn a living and pursue my passions on the side. If I expected to live out my dreams 9-5, I'm pretty sure I'd be disappointed.
It doesn't happen often, but you can live out your dreams 9 to 5 (well, actually, in my case, 6 to 2 haha). I am an animal trainer. My job consists of going to the zoo and playing with animals and talking with visitors for 8 hours, and I am fairly well compensated for it. My original degree was in communications and I worked for a PR and advertising firm. It paid better, but I was miserable. I went back to school for biology, which is what opened the door for my current job. Today is my "Sunday" and I'm sitting on the couch wishing I was at work because I miss my animals. I would have never thought a job existed where I would wish my weekend was over so I could go back to work, but it can. If someone can find something that they are truly passionate about, even if it's not the highest paid job out there, I think it's worth pursuing. Life's too short to spend any of it wishing you were doing something else.
 

Pandora II

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I started out studying Archaeology and then moved to studying Textile Design. I've now spent the last 2 years studying Gemmology and I've enjoyed it more than either of the others. Potentially I could do another year in Gemmology and Applied Mineralogy which I would be tempted by if I didn't have a kid.

I studied what I enjoyed. I'm going to be very unemancipated and say that I did so because I am female - if I had been a man I would have gone for something that had a more secure and potentially lucrative career path.

With my daughter I might be inclined to steer her away from certain choices if I think they aren't suited to her personality. For example if you want to be a textile designer you aren't going to get far, no matter how talented you are, if you are a complete wallflower and unable to be pushy in the way that you need to be to promote yourself and your work and get one of the few jobs out there.
 

Dancing Fire

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

lliang_chi|1308939399|2954164 said:
Practically speaking, parents WILL get involved in their children's career choices. Some are really tiger-parent about it (cough, MOM, cough cough) and some aren't. But in the end, I would hope parents want their children to be happy. I was young fresh outta school and took a job that made my parents "happy." Eight years later I *HATED* it. But the same first job pushed me down the path to get a Information Technology (IT) graduate degree, which helped me move into a software-ish role, and viola, I'm where I am today, AND pretty happy.

:bigsmile:

~LC
typical chinese parents... :lol:
 

zoebartlett

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

Dancing Fire|1308938552|2954148 said:
to make a good living?

my niece wanted to study journalism but my sister insist her daughter to attend pharmacy school so that she can make a good living.

what do you think? should parents get involve with their child's career?
These seem like two separate questions. To answer the question in the title of the thread...

I studied English and history in college. I had NO idea what I wanted to do, and I had always done best in those subjects in high school, so I stuck with them. I can't say I really loved either one, as in, had a passion for the subject areas. I enjoyed them though and I liked to write (and I knew I'd have to write a lot of papers). I preferred that to taking tests and I could write well. I knew that in studying humanities I'd probably never make big bucks, but that never really bothered me.

To answer the second question...

I think it's good for parents to encourage their children but I don't think it's right to push them to taking a certain path, regardless of the reasons. My parents thought I'd be a good lawyer because I can argue with someone like nobody's business. :bigsmile: They never pushed that on me though, but if I was a lawyer, I'd be making much more than I am now.
 

isaku5

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

Yes, I did! I knew from an early age that I wanted to teach languages in a secondary school. We had only one university in the province that offered what I wanted. Thankfully, I was accepted ad went on then to teachers' college.

I found the actual teaching to be even better than I had hoped. It was win, win as far as I was concerned.

While you'll never become very wealthy, the salaries are much higher here than in the US.
 

Kaleigh

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

My kids followed their passions.. Ash is working for a major firm, and studied Economics and minored in Urban studies..

My son has a dual major. Econ and Arabic... With a minor in Political science...

He's smooth, smart as all get out... He could sell you just about anything and has a great internship this summer working for a great firm in NYC...

I would say, they studied what they loved.. And are lucky to be doing well in the job market....

I went to college to teach, but ended up being a recruiter, and then the jewelry business..
 

sba771

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

My mom always told me to go to college to experience life and enjoy my passion. I studied Ancient Greek, Latin and art history. My degree had no bearing on what I did for a living and, before I 'retired', I had a great job that paid well considering the cost of living.
 

weddedbliss

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I definitely think children should be made aware of the market for their exact field. No one should pick a degree without combing

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

It tells you the % growth for that field (and then compares it to the average), the type of training or education you'd need, the average working conditions, the average salaries. It also mentions if there are expected to be a large number of applicants. So, that's pretty much everything a person really needs to take into consideration in addition to their passion. Passion might be easy to decide. The other stuff is just plain research.

Personally I think it should be a balance. Unless you can easily afford school such that paying your debt will be easy even without a good job, you need to make sure that at the very least, you enter a field that is growing. Some fields are expected to grow "much slower than average," and I don't recommend those unless you can just easily finance an education.

I would encourage my child to take it all into consideration. I advise against doing something they don't think they'll like, and I also advise doing something that at least has some demand. Some stuff has a really good payoff after only an associate's degree too, like physical therapy assistant, or those people that work on medical equipment. For someone who either knows they like to take care of people or fix stuff and work with their hands, that'd be a really good start.

I'd also research the turnover rates and job satisfaction reports of a field. It's a big decision but it's not overwhelming if you break it down.

I'm a mentor, so I think about this stuff all the time.
 

MichelleCarmen

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15,880
Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

My mom basically told me what i should study and i was too young to realize what a mistake i was making. I graduated with excellent grades, could have excelled in that field but i hated it and quit the only field-related job after nine months. I was never encouraged to explore my interests and when i did decide to go back to school, my mom became angry with me. Sigh! Loved the classes that i took thoough!
 

JewelFreak

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

My parents wanted me to do whatever made me happy. I love languages & ended up fluent in 2 besides English & able to get around in 4 others. Went to a college where you don't have a major, there are no grades, classes no bigger than 8 people, and you meet weekly w/your professor for individual extra work. A thesis is required at the end of each course. It was far harder than any school that lets you memorize for a test & then forget it all.

I had no idea what I wanted to do. Eventually fell into a job I adored, international marketing, but it took several years to find it. Experience before that was ok, though boring. Life doesn't go along smoothly every day! Ending up w/what you love is a gift.

My job consists of going to the zoo and playing with animals and talking with visitors for 8 hours,
Sonnyjane, that sounds like HEAVEN to me now, never thought of it around college time. Can't see me in biology, but gosh, would I love to have that talent & opportunity! Do a thread on your job, please!! Want to know more.
 

Tuckins1

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I'm a teacher, so..... you be the judge. :rodent:
 

nkarma

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

The parents absolutely shouldn't get involved with the child's career. I have only seen bad outcomes from this like child eventually choosing a different career and having start all over again or just absolute misery at their job. The only people I have seen who really succeed in life also love what they do. Yes you can pretend to an extent but in the end, it will be clear to everyone who works with that person that they don't care. Which is fine if you just want to bring a paycheck home and be mediocre. Most people I know do not want to do that. I think there is so much satisfaction that shows in every part of your life when you do something you love. This is coming from someone who did what the parents told her to do, was expectantly miserable, and then had to start all over again to do what she wanted.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I went to school for something I (thought I) loved. I could make a decent living but life brought me to a completely different field I am in love with. Pay is not great but money isn't everything. I want my child to follow her passion. It is not my job to control her life. I am only meant to love and guide her to adulthood.
 

shihtzulover

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

At first I studied what I love. Then, I changed my major to something that I like (but not love), and that I felt I could be successful with more easily (less schooling, less saturated market).

I still like what I picked, but I wish that I had pursued my dreams.
 

lliang_chi

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I really think what someone studies in school has very little to do with what you actually LEARN at work. Be that as it may, it is a "entrance criteria" to some jobs. So it's a Catch-22. When we have kids, I'd encourage them to find something they want to do, but be mindful that they'll need a job at the end of the 4 years. Double majors can give kids the chance to study what they love, and have a practical education for a job at the end.

Honestly the cost of university nowadays makes me want to puke!

~LC
 

natascha

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

I have to admit that I kinda went a tiny bit tiger on my little sister :oops: .

She went through a period were she talked about one of those wishy washy bachelors that are very specialized and are populated with people who do not have good enough grades for what they actually wanted to study. Oh and she also talked about attending some pretty low ranked universities.

My mom was kinda ok with it but I was not having it. My little sister will have a proper education from an appropriate university in something where she enjoys both the coursework and the career it leads to. That is not negotiable for me. She is currently considering studying neuroscience, psychology or biotechnology, all at good universities ( leading in their fields).

I have seen too many people choose something and then after 5 years realizing that the job they thought they would have is just not happening. I will not allow my sister to join their ranks. I strongly believe that you should choose your education based on what type of career you want afterwards, it goes without saying that you should also enjoy the bulk of the courses you take. You should be realistic, in many cases what you study and where, directly affect your opportunities at getting the job you want.

If your child does not realize that I do believe that a parent should try to guide them. I am not saying you should encourage them to study something they do not enjoy but that you help them find the area that they enjoy, are good at AND can find a good job in.

Back to the question in the header. I choose my education both on what I felt passionate about and from something I could make a good living from. I was lucky enough for those to coincide and to realize that pretty early on. I choose business and economics, which I really enjoy and leads to the career I want. However, I do find my law studies more fun, but they do not lead to the career I want. Therefore my law degree takes a second place even though I love my law courses and honestly some course work in business and economics is a complete yawn. I just can't get exited about the Ricardian model or the central limit theorem :lol: .
 

sonnyjane

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

JewelFreak|1308994735|2954693 said:
My job consists of going to the zoo and playing with animals and talking with visitors for 8 hours,
Sonnyjane, that sounds like HEAVEN to me now, never thought of it around college time. Can't see me in biology, but gosh, would I love to have that talent & opportunity! Do a thread on your job, please!! Want to know more.
Haha. I wouldn't do a whole thread! It's not that fantastic, but basically for the most part I work with mainly birds, training them for presentations and shows. The biology degree was HARD. I am pretty smart - was valedictorian of my high school and Dean's List in college, but man, organic chemistry II and I were not friends. I passed some of those classes by the skin of my teeth, mostly because I didn't ever want to study. I agree with a previous poster about not really using your degree at all once you're actually working in the field. That's not true of all fields, but it certainly is of mine. My classes were all so scientific and technical, but now I've forgotten most of it. My day is comprised of making diets and cleaning poop haha, but at least I get play time after that. Here are some of my favorite photos ;-)

Sorry for the threadjack :)
P1000239.jpg
P1000292.jpg
IMG_1102.jpg
IMG_0210.jpg
 

chemgirl

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

Sonnyjane, those are fantastic pictures! Your job looks awesome! I have a biology degree and I'm good with cats, but it never occurred to me to apply to zoos! How did you get in to your field? I also totally agree about organic chemistry II. I'm a chemical engineer now so you'd think I'd be good at that stuff. No way...I took it in summer school and was incredibly lucky to have an AHA moment a week before the exam.

I think I'm a pretty good example of somebody who went to school for her parents. I originally took a science degree in biology and psychology (a "special program" that was similar to a double major, or a math heavy neuroscience degree). The idea was to go to medical school because that's what my parents wanted me to do. I did well in maths and sciences in highschool, but my passion was art. I loved creative writing and visual arts class. Med school in Canada is crazy competitive and after being put on the waiting list I applied to graduate school in microbiology. The idea was to use graduate school as leverage for a new med school application. The idea of doing research was horrifying to me so I chickened out, called my old university, and asked if I could enroll in engineering a few weeks before the semester started (it seemed interesting because engineering involves problem solving, and its a relatively high paying field). They accepted me and I managed to transfer many of my science credits towards a chemical engineering degree. I continued with my education in chemical engineering and now I'm working as a process engineer. To be honest, I'm not all that fond of it. I don't dread going to work, but its definitely not something I'm passionate about. I spend most of my day looking at graphs and telling very resentful middle aged men to change how they do their jobs. Yeah...never goes over well.

I've been trying to find something more interesting that pays a similar amount. I'm toying with the idea of becoming a technical writer because I enjoyed writing research papers and was always top of the class when it came to writing (advanced calculus not so much, but research papers yey!).

I think that parents should make sure that their child chooses a career (whether it involves higher education or not) with their eyes open. That doesn't mean pushing the kids in to something they don't want to do, but instead making sure they have a basic idea of where their choices will lead them. I think job shadowing is fantastic and it should be pushed a lot more in highschool.
 

FrekeChild

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Re: did you attend college to study the subjects you love or

Hmmm...mom was an english major, education minor, education certificate. Dad did a combo degree--BS/JD and got his bachelors and law degree at the ripe old age of 21. My dad and his bro were given three choices of profession: priest, lawyer, doctor. My uncle (dad's bro) became a doctor, so that left lawyer or priest for my dad.

Now even though my dad was essentially forced into law, he absolutely loves it because he gets to help people and is really good at what he does. As a result he has risen to the top of his field.

I went into culinary arts. In my area, even with my background (a degree and going to the best culinary school in the country), the most I could really bring in, starting wage (this was several years ago) was $9 per hour. Thats less than $19k per year.

I went back to school and started out doing art history. Got discouraged with the degree's language requirements and ended up doing psychology.

Now I work as a legal assistant for a social security disability attorney. We get a lot of people with psychiatric issues. So, yeah. I use my degree all of the time.

My husband, on the other hand, was ripped out of bed by his dad to take the ACT instead of sleeping in during one summer day. He had been planning to go to the military (like his dad) before...now he's finishing up his PhD. Completely self motivated, that one.

So our child...will likely go to college. But I strongly feel that people have to make their own mistakes--I know I did, and I learned from them big time. I don't think I want our kid to go directly from high school to college because I knew I sure as h3ll didn't know what I wanted to do when I got out of high school! I figure that, like my dad, you have to find an element to love in whatever you do.
 
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