With the current job market becoming more and more competitive and the standard of living becoming more expensive, many college students are faced with a career dilemma. Do they pick the career path they enjoy and risk struggling to pay bills or do they pick the career with secured employment but feel no passion for the work they are doing. Now, don’t get me wrong, many students enjoy fields like STEM careers that are currently thriving with job opportunities, but there are also a good chunk who feel more passionate towards literature and art. And it is these students who find themselves wedged between the choice of future financial stability or happiness.
Taking up a major such as English is like taking a gamble on your life, as most only ever make it far if they end up a successful writer, professor or continue on to law school and become a good lawyer. And slowly, the odds of even finding financial stability in any of these career paths is becoming more and more difficult. This is why you will see so many students who have their heart in one thing instead choose the “practical” track in fear that they will struggle to meet the standard of living they are used to or at least even put food on the table.
I know many people who will respond to this dilemma by stating that students should adjust to job market demands and find happiness in the money made from having a stable life. And maybe they are right. Maybe we should throw our own passions and interests out the window and force ourselves to a career we will never enjoy. “Who enjoys work anyway? Enjoyment comes from being able to live comfortably”, some may respond. And I’m not going to reply back to that statement with some sugar-coated line of how if you follow your passion, money will follow, because it’s not always the case. In fact, it’s very rarely the case.
So will these conflicted students find an answer to their dilemma? No. But they can adjust to the market around them. For them to become successful in the field they love they are going to have to work ten times harder than the STEM major raking in the cash. It’s not a pleasant solution, but it is the reality that we live in today. To the student who finds their heart in a career path that is not doing so hot right now, consider if you are willing to put a 110 percent effort into what you want, and if you are not, I suggest picking a more practical track.