Giving Up on Low Income Professions

By Ahmed Abo-Donia

As a result of the economic crisis of 2008, many respectable career choices have taken a backseat in the minds of high school students. More and more seniors are looking to go into careers where the money would be guaranteed and an unstable economy won’t damage their income and respectively, their lifestyle.

This idea that “doing what you love is the right choice” seems to no longer apply to many students.

One major in particular seems to be at the center of this controversy, and that is the Architectural Engineering major. Amongst recent college grads, architecture majors by far have the highest unemployment rate in the country. According to recent CNN and Yahoo polls, Architecture has the highest unemployment of any area of study. The results of a recent poll held in the Architecture major this past week surprised the students. On the subject of whether these students were to major in Architecture in college, around half of the 56 students answered “no” or “uncertain.”

In a major dictated by passion and dedication, these seniors seemed half hearted when it came time to make a decision.

Michail Pikos, a senior in the Architecture major, stated that “Architecture shouldn’t be something you force upon yourself. It’s not the type of major that you can learn to love. If you have a passion for it, you can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Pikos is going to be studying architecture in college. “Money isn’t the issue for me; the economy hasn’t shattered my dreams of becoming an architect. What it has done is encouraged me to work harder.”

Not all seniors feel the same way. Another struggling field is psychology, and many Social Science Research students are questioning whether a career in psychology is the right choice.

Omar Tarret, a senior in the SSR major, made the decision to stray away from this branch of social science a few months ago. He is now planning to major in International Relations. The aspiring senior hopes to someday become a diplomat or work for the U.N.

“I chose this career because I enjoy it,” he says. “Yet I never considered psychology due to the current job market.”

Students are stressed when it comes to career choices. Pressed by their parents, classmates, or the economy, they find themselves straying away from careers they would have otherwise loved to pursue. The increasing majority of students choose majors according to the economic benefit or stability of the field. Students tend to aim for the highest paid jobs rather than striving to become the best at what they love to do.

Connie Eng, the Architecture major teacher, argued that “the market always has these downturns, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing what you enjoy.”

Eng stressed that when it comes to her Architecture students, she teaches them that “your career choice is something that you decide for yourself. Neither your parents nor your friends should decide for you.”

As we near the end of the college application process, students will sooner or later decide what they want to pursue as a career. For numerous students, money is what’s going to eventually influence their decision. But for those who can’t imagine doing anything other than what they love, money is no object.

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