Register to reply

Did your parents pressure you to pursue a certain career?

by iBankingFTW
Tags: career, parents, pressure
Share this thread:
Danger
#19
Mar29-08, 05:08 PM
PF Gold
Danger's Avatar
P: 8,964
Tgt, it's far better for society in general to have people doing what they enjoy doing. The lower-level jobs are always going to go to people like me and W, who don't have formal educations (although she did graduate high-school, so she's one up on me), and there are people who will do anything just to have a job of any kind. I happen to love what I'm doing, so it isn't a bad thing. If I were physically fit, I'd probably enjoy riding around on the back bumper of a garbage truck and slinging the cans in. Even though that's full-time labour, I'd still be able to think about stuff while I was doing it.
Cyrus
#20
Mar29-08, 05:11 PM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,780
Hah, I was going to ask if he was indian or asian.
Moonbear
#21
Mar29-08, 05:12 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
Quote Quote by tgt View Post
I use to think like that and all academics I've approached have given this advice but I'm now starting to see possible flaws in this. It seems excellent for the person but that could exactly be where the problem is. Is it good for society? In other words, it seems very selfish. Imagine everyone was to do that then we might have extreme shortages in crucial areas like health. With the aging baby boomers, it already is an issue with a shortage of doctors. There could be shortages in other areas as well.

Doing what one wants or enjoys could lead to other social problems like not respecting other people and the list goes on... I think society already is becoming very selfish compared to in the past. This trend may be worrying.

In the past the say things like 'it's our job, we have to do it'. or something like that. Now people are much less tolerated.
What good would it do to have more doctors if they're all hating being doctors, are lousy at biology and medicine, and couldn't care less about the patients they're treating because they were forced into the career? There's a lot more to medicine and doing well in medical school than just being good in the sciences. There is NO WAY you could put up with sick people and do a good job of reassuring them to trust you with their care if you're just showing up and going through the motions.

There is always a field here or there that seems to have shortages of people entering it from time to time, but generally, it's self-correcting. People will be lured from one to another by the same market forces that control everything else. If students see that nobody is getting employed in their field after graduation because it's already saturated, they'll find something else they LIKE to do that needs people and will pay a premium.

Right now, the number of physicians graduating each year isn't determined by how many students want to go to med school, there are plenty of them...it's determined by how many slots there are available in med schools (I've not heard of any med school not being able to fill all the slots for their classes, and most wind up with waiting lists of students who are not accepted but would still be very good in medicine...we're even expanding our class sizes...there is no shortage of qualified applicants yet...there is a shortage of faculty with PhDs to teach them).
Cyrus
#22
Mar29-08, 05:13 PM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,780
Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
I taught freshman level biology for about 4 years, and sadly, your situation is not uncommon. I do not know why parents try to push their kids into something they don't enjoy and aren't good at. And, med school certainly isn't for people who don't REALLY want to be there (that's where I teach now, and I know what we put those students through...you have to want to be there to succeed).

There are two groups of parents where I've seen this happen most often...those who do not have a college education themselves, and simply don't understand all the options available to their kids and do have this almost god-like perception of MDs. The other group of parents I see this coming from are those who are both MDs themselves and think their kids should follow their footsteps. The former case I can understand, and with time, they can be brought around as you show them your interests and the careers available and that you can support yourself well in those careers. The latter case is inexcusable...those parents of all people should know what it takes to get through med school and the sort of desire one has to have to do it, and has the education to know about all the other options available to them, and should know better than to try to push their kids into a profession they don't enjoy and even aren't all that good at.

From the educator's perspective, it's also not much fun having to teach students in biology classes who really don't want to be there. It's even less fun having to counsel the student with a C-average or lower in the class who shows up to your office in tears because if they don't do well enough in the class to get into med school, their parents are going to cut off paying for their tuition, or pull them out of school and make them get a job despite the fact they are doing well in other classes that they enjoy and are more related to their desired major. Some of these students have been downright fearful of their parents' reactions to a bad grade and the door closing on med school.

The thing is, the parents usually really do have the best intentions for their kids, their intentions are just misguided. In the most extreme cases, it does require that a student just get out and support their own education so they can do what they want to do. In most of the cases, though, parents will come around with time once you get through to them that if you did what they asked, you'd be miserable in a career you didn't enjoy for the rest of your life, while there's something equally lucrative out there that you'd really enjoy getting up and doing every day (though, now might not be the best time to bring up investment banking with everyone watching the folks at Bear-Sterns losing their shirts this past couple weeks...you might want to phrase it as finance or business).

The important thing is that while it's nice if your parents are supportive of your choices, in the end, it has to be YOUR choice. It's better to be doing something you truly enjoy and are motivated to do even without external validation from your parents than to do something you don't enjoy and are only motivated to do because others are pushing you to keep going.

On the up-side, if your parents are grudgingly coming around to your side now, even if they aren't thrilled yet, there's a good chance they'll be more enthusiastic by the time you're actually in college. Afterall, they get just as good of bragging rights introducing you to their friends as their rich son who works on Wall St. as they do introducing you as their rich son the doctor.
Wow you're a sweatheart. I've seen students come up to teachers about their grades being bad and what they could do about it. Most of the teachers just shrugged at them and said do better on the next exam and said 'study harder'. I cant imagine what my vibrations professor would do. He probably tell the student to change majors. On the last day of class he said, "Some of you are good students and I wish the best for you. You know who you are. The rest of you, I hope you dont do engineering." And then he walked out of the room with our final exams. He was a 100% no nonsense kinda guy.
Danger
#23
Mar29-08, 05:22 PM
PF Gold
Danger's Avatar
P: 8,964
Quote Quote by Cyrus View Post
Wow you're a sweatheart. I've seen students come up to teachers about their grades being bad and what they could do about it. Most of the teachers just shrugged at them and said do better on the next exam and said 'study harder'.
That's why she's here, on her own dime, trying to help people who don't have the privilege of studying under her. Somebody has to make up for all of the crappy teachers out there, and Moonbear is one of the best that you'll ever run across. To avoid coming across as a Moonbear groupie, the same applies to all of the staff on PF, and a lot of the regular non-staff members.
lisab
#24
Mar29-08, 05:25 PM
Mentor
lisab's Avatar
P: 2,977
My parents were very "hands off," and that's putting it mildly.

I had 7 brothers and a sister. They said that could not afford to send all of us to college so to fair, they wouldn't send any of us. I didn't want to borrow money, so I had to work full-time and go to college part-time (which is why it took me 9-1/2 years to get my BS!).

When I told her I was about to graduate, she said, "Great! What did you major in?"
Moonbear
#25
Mar29-08, 05:46 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
Quote Quote by Cyrus View Post
Wow you're a sweatheart. I've seen students come up to teachers about their grades being bad and what they could do about it. Most of the teachers just shrugged at them and said do better on the next exam and said 'study harder'. I cant imagine what my vibrations professor would do. He probably tell the student to change majors. On the last day of class he said, "Some of you are good students and I wish the best for you. You know who you are. The rest of you, I hope you dont do engineering." And then he walked out of the room with our final exams. He was a 100% no nonsense kinda guy.
Well, in those situations, the only really constructive suggestion IS to tell them to change majors, but usually they already know this much once they're showing up all teary-eyed about it. They then need help figuring out WHAT major to focus on, and how to break it to their parents.

If they come to me soon enough, I can also often get them the help they need to salvage the grade or withdraw just so it doesn't drag down their GPA even if the subject isn't important for their major or career anymore. If they wait until a couple weeks before finals, sometimes the only advice I can give them regarding the course itself is to spend their time studying for their other classes to do the best they can in them, and don't bother studying for my class because there is no grade they can get to pull them out of a D or F. Afterall, it's sort of human nature to make that one last desperate attempt, to cram as much as they can in the class they're doing worst in, and take time away from the classes they're still doing well in, and then not only still fail the class they're struggling with, but end up dragging down their grades in the other classes along with it.

Afterall, the vast majority of students who get into college are smart kids, they just don't always make good choices at the beginning and need a little more time to mature and figure out what it is that makes them happy and that they do well. And, if their parents are pushing them to do something they don't want to do, sometimes all they need is another person who is willing to sit with them and go over what courses they're doing well in, what majors would require those courses, and what types of career options they would have if they followed one of those majors.

Really, for the students who do want to be biology majors or go to med school, or who are in med school, I want them to do the best they possibly can...this is especially true for those of us teaching med students...a lot of physicians practice relatively close to the school from which they graduated...it's in my own best interest to ensure these med students are the best possible so when I need to see a local doctor and it turns out to be a former student, I know they will do a good job taking care of me. But, for a student who really doesn't want to be in that major, I really don't want them lingering and miserable just because their parents are pushing them into it...they only drag down everyone. It is best for them to find a more suitable major as soon as possible so they don't lose time and end up graduating late, which is only going to make their parents more unhappy with them.

One of the more interesting major switches was a student who actually liked biology, but just couldn't do it...she struggled, no matter how much extra help or tutoring she got. It just wasn't her thing as much as she wanted it to be. But, she was a fantastic artist, and doing well in art classes she was taking, but had the sense to realize that art for the sake of art wasn't very promising for a career to support herself. After some lengthy discussion and some time mulling it over, the final decision she made was to become an art major with the plan to become a science illustrator...someone who understands just enough about the biology to work with scientists and provide them with illustrations for textbooks, presentations, publications, etc. Now that is something that makes an art major employable, and allowed her to incorporate biology into her career without being very good at it.
elephantorz
#26
Mar29-08, 05:49 PM
P: 35
I...I just don't see the logic here.

You want to invest in money, um, why are they holding you back?

I'm not religious, so I guess I don't see it, my brother wants to be a surgeon, to "save lives" and he believes that what he is doing is good, and by good I mean above what others do.

But he's not exactly the nicest person around (don't get me wrong I love him), you gotta keep things in perspective, otherwise you're actually losing your humanity, I dislike biology too, but I can do it, have my parents pressured me? In a way, yes, since I was very little they "thought" I was going to be a computer scientist, turns out I love physics more than CS, but I want to apply it to something useful.

You have to do what you want to in life, otherwise, you will let others live through you, instead of you living your own life.
Curious3141
#27
Mar29-08, 11:47 PM
HW Helper
Curious3141's Avatar
P: 2,944
Quote Quote by iBankingFTW View Post
I'm 16 and a junior in high school and it's crazy. My parents are pressuring me to be a doctor it's not even funny, lol. I try to reason with them and I really don't understand why they think doctors are such "god-like" people, lol. I mean, I really love math and numbers and can work well with money and I like economy so I'm really interested in investment banking. I tell them all the facts of how if money is an issue for my future, ibanking yields more money, I tell them I love to do it, I'm good at it (I hate ad suck at biology. It doesn't interest me), and I'll be a lot better at something I enjoy. And now, the thing is, they are accepting the fact and they'll pay for my college but they don't support me with it.

Yeah, that's it. Anyone have any similar experiences.
Follow your heart. My parents pressured me into doing Medicine, and it hasn't made me one bit happier to have caved. I've made the best of a bad thing by segueing into Microbiology after becoming a medical doctor. I'm looking into doing a doctorate in Mathematical Biology, but whatever I do from this point on will always be a compromise.

My parents are ethnically Indian too - and to answer a question not yet asked with a paraphrase from an oft-quoted Math-themed movie : "With a dot, not feathers".
Poop-Loops
#28
Mar29-08, 11:50 PM
P: 863
Quote Quote by Danger View Post
the same applies to all of the staff on PF, and a lot of the regular non-staff members.
'bout time I got some recognition around here.
scorpa
#29
Mar29-08, 11:57 PM
P: 372
My parents never really pressured me to do a particular career, they just wanted me to get some "letters behind my name". I think pretty well anything I would have picked within reason would have been fine with them. Neither of them went on to post-secondary school so they were just happy I went at all, I ended up going to university but they would have been just as happy with a tech school or college. I actually have a bit of the opposite problem, I have aspirations to get a PhD and become a clinical chemist but they don't want me to, they think I will become a "professional student" or something. They want me to quit after my bachelors, and I'm not sure if that is what I want or not.
Snazzy
#30
Mar30-08, 12:54 AM
P: 459
I used to live in Scotland before moving to Vancouver in 2007. My mum used to tell me, 'You have to become a doctor, you want to become a doctor, don't you?' and I didn't want to break her heart and I told her that I didn't know what I wanted to be. I still don't have that drive to become a doctor. My brother is in dentistry in Australia. Luckily for him, he loves dentistry. As for me, I still haven't a clue what I want to be, and I have to pick my major for second year in a few months time. I used to be passionate about astronomy, but the maths and physics has turned me away from it. I prefer to work hands on rather than with a pen, paper, and calculator.
Danger
#31
Mar30-08, 02:39 AM
PF Gold
Danger's Avatar
P: 8,964
Quote Quote by elephantorz View Post
my brother wants to be a surgeon, to "save lives" and he believes that what he is doing is good, and by good I mean above what others do.

But he's not exactly the nicest person around
A lot of surgeons, like a lot of fighter pilots, are that way. I think that it's almost essential to those professions, since any sort of affinity for other humans can be counter-productive. A surgeon can't afford to get invested in the patient as an individual because it could cloud his/her judgement, and leave him/her dwelling upon one patient's well-being while treating another. A fighter pilot can't afford to think of the opposing pilot as a person, or he might hesitate before firing.
That's not to say that either type of person is uncaring in general; it's just that a clinical approach is necessary in their professions.
Regardless of your brother's personality, if he really wants to be a surgeon and is skilled at it, he will probably be a really good one and will benefit society by his presence in the field of medicine.
Einstienear
#32
Mar30-08, 03:03 AM
P: 9
Told my mother what I wanted to become (physics lecturer) and she lept with joy, but when I told my father that I will not take over the Nahas construction company, He almost lept and died.

yes yes, most of us have this problem, amazing how many kids are here.
Gib Z
#33
Mar30-08, 06:41 AM
HW Helper
Gib Z's Avatar
P: 3,352
Quote Quote by iBankingFTW View Post
I'm 16 and a junior in high school and it's crazy. My parents are pressuring me to be a doctor it's not even funny, lol. I try to reason with them and I really don't understand why they think doctors are such "god-like" people, lol. I mean, I really love math and numbers and can work well with money and I like economy so I'm really interested in investment banking. I tell them all the facts of how if money is an issue for my future, ibanking yields more money, I tell them I love to do it, I'm good at it (I hate ad suck at biology. It doesn't interest me), and I'll be a lot better at something I enjoy. And now, the thing is, they are accepting the fact and they'll pay for my college but they don't support me with it.

Yeah, that's it. Anyone have any similar experiences.
That situation is uncannily similar to mine, except I'm going into pure math and I'm not that bad at bio, nor particularly dislike it. Other than that, every things the same.
George Jones
#34
Mar30-08, 07:16 AM
Mentor
George Jones's Avatar
P: 6,232
My parents didn't pressure me to pursue any particular career.

My father died in my last year of high school, and he just wanted me to be well-read. He didn't care whether this came about as the result of formal education, or as the result of my efforts away from school.

My mother did put some gentle pressure on me to do well in school. She did this largely because of her own unfortunate experience with school, an experience about which she was still bitter sixty years after the fact.

My mother was from a very poor family of nine children, and her mother said that the first girl who finished grade eight had to give up school in order to help with the day-to-day work involved with maintaining such a large family. My mother excelled at and loved school, and she had a sister a year older than her, so she wasn't worried. However, my mother did so well at school that she skipped a grade, and her sister did poorly at school and failed a grade, so my mother ended up a grade ahead of her sister. My grandmother did not make an exception; my mother had to quite school when she finished grade eight. In effect, my mother was punished for doing well at school.

I understand why my mother wanted me to pursue formal education as far as possible.
elephantorz
#35
Mar30-08, 07:47 AM
P: 35
Quote Quote by Danger View Post
A lot of surgeons, like a lot of fighter pilots, are that way. I think that it's almost essential to those professions, since any sort of affinity for other humans can be counter-productive. A surgeon can't afford to get invested in the patient as an individual because it could cloud his/her judgement, and leave him/her dwelling upon one patient's well-being while treating another. A fighter pilot can't afford to think of the opposing pilot as a person, or he might hesitate before firing.
That's not to say that either type of person is uncaring in general; it's just that a clinical approach is necessary in their professions.
Regardless of your brother's personality, if he really wants to be a surgeon and is skilled at it, he will probably be a really good one and will benefit society by his presence in the field of medicine.
I agree, I just don't think what he does (or is going to do) is godlike or better than what an artist does or an engineer, or any other profession, I think we need everyone, not just surgeons.
Astronuc
#36
Mar30-08, 08:48 AM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,827
Quote Quote by Snazzy View Post
I used to live in Scotland before moving to Vancouver in 2007. My mum used to tell me, 'You have to become a doctor, you want to become a doctor, don't you?' and I didn't want to break her heart and I told her that I didn't know what I wanted to be. I still don't have that drive to become a doctor. My brother is in dentistry in Australia. Luckily for him, he loves dentistry. As for me, I still haven't a clue what I want to be, and I have to pick my major for second year in a few months time. I used to be passionate about astronomy, but the maths and physics has turned me away from it. I prefer to work hands on rather than with a pen, paper, and calculator.
Consider then astrophysics or applied physics or EE so that one can build/operate instruments for observing/studying the universe.

Any science and engineering (applied science) will involve math and physics, otherwise one is just a technician, not that that is bad. I prefer to mix the theory (math and physics) with application (hands on/tinkering).


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Dropping out of college to pursue career Career Guidance 21
What is the right field to pursue? Academic Guidance 1
Should I pursue Math? Academic Guidance 1
Where can i pursue? Academic Guidance 0
Anyone pursue science as a *second* career? Career Guidance 10