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This past week, CNBC published a list of the top 10 careers with the most opportunities for 2013:
1. Actuary

2. Biomedical Engineer

3. Software Engineer

4. Audiologist

5. Financial Planner

6. Dental Hygienist

7. Occupational Therapist

8. Optometrist

9. Physical Therapist

10. Computer Systems Analyst

Did you fall asleep half-way through the list?  Or were you lamenting your underachieving college days as I was wondering why I spent so much time stealing road signs instead of studying.  Were there lists like this 25 yrs ago? If there were, it would have required using a microfiche machine or rifling through an actual newspaper; surely that would not have left enough time for stealing road signs.  So if there was a list, I did not look at it.

As I have a daughter, BG, in college, I peruse this list with bated breath waiting to see how my extraordinarily expensive investment in her education will pan out.  Hmmmm, things are not looking good.  When BG was younger, she announced a hatred for math and science. Hmmm, things were not looking good back then and we thought she was a genius.  But then again, she likes to make vast sweeping generalizations like, I don’t want to go to college anywhere in New York. Really, the entire state ruled out just like that? Needless to say, she does not go to college in New York.  There was also this gem, I am only going to eat natural foods minus the fruits and vegetables.  I wonder if devising diets without the healthiest food group will be a top career in CNBC’s poll next year.

As 9 out of the 10 careers on the list are in the fields of math and science, I better ready her bedroom for the move back home upon graduation.  But wait, #10 is about computers – Computer Systems Analyst! I am not really sure what a Computer Systems Analyst analyzes but could there possibly be a glimmer of hope?  After all, Hulu is running 24/7 on her laptop as is Twitter, Flickr and other distractions keeping her far away from math and science. After a bit of googling, however, I discover unless she has been writing code since the womb, #10 is not for her.

Perhaps this list is causing me to project my own insecurities on my daughter rather than truly worrying about her future.  After all, my daughter is creative, smart and much more involved in college activities than I ever was (yes, that’s right because I was out stealing road signs). I didn’t put too much time into thinking where I would be at 47.  As difficulties mount and 49 looms closer,  I seek control in finding my true calling. I have aspirations to write, teach highschool business and volunteer; it leaves me wishing I had more ambition years ago or at least an affinity for math and science in that entrepreneurial/invented Facebook kind of way.  I don’t want her to wake up in her forties and wonder if things could have been different.

Let’s try and steer her away from the bottom 10 jobs:
1. Newspaper Reporter

2. Lumberjack

3. Enlisted Military Personnel

4. Actor

5. Oil Rig Worker

6. Dairy Farmer

7. Meter Reader

8. Mail Carrier

9. Roofer

10. Flight Attendant

Lumberjack/Oil Rig Worker/Dairy Farmer/Roofer/Military? Unless training for these jobs is at a tropical island resort, I think we are safe here.  Meter reader? Really, they haven’t come up with technology to make this job obsolete?  Possibly all the engineers and scientists in the top 10 careers should work on that.  Mailman? Many in  my well-educated neighborhood pine for Tony the mailman’s route, waving cheerfully as he stuffs the mailboxes, confident about his pension and benefits.

I am not sure what to advise my daughter.  My father did not go to college yet had a good job with AT&T.  My mother achieved her Associate’s Degree and is still working, well into her 70s, at a job she adores.  They both pushed my sister and I off to college.  I am grateful for my accounting degree when years after I stayed home raising my kids, I found it fairly easy to enter back into the workplace but I long for something more.  Although my daughter is a business major, the thought of accounting makes her gag.  Physically gag, like fruits and vegetables.

Work hard and have fun, I say out loud while inside I am thinking – please don’t move home, just please don’t move home.

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