It is in our popular cultures to encourage people to follow their dreams and life’s goals. What if those dreams leads to troublesome future? What if the dreams are unrealistic or impossible to achieve? In my opinion, when it comes to education, it is important for the students to make decisions that makes sense for the future rather than just chase dreams because in Canada, the higher education is not free and even if it is free you will abuse the free educational system by jumping from one to another.
What makes your choice of education viable to yourself and the community? Well, whatever the program you take, it should have a piratical value to the social and economic development of the world. Unless you are one of the exceptionally smart individual with enough patience to get through hard set backs and difficult times, the choice of your educational route should be a good one. The point is if a person choose to follow a program in applied science & engineering or related area, even with a low GPA it is quite easy to find a job and maintain the position for a long run. Compare this with arts programs and research programs where if you fail on one simple step could lead to nowhere, in applapplied science & engineering even with some set backs it will be easy to get back on your feet.
With the world economy is now mostly driven by advancement in science and technology, more jobs are generated in practical applications of theoretical concepts than anything! For example Geology and Geophysics have came a long way in terms of contributing the social and economic development. A major part of the Alberta (Canada) economy depends on geo scientists employed in the areas of environmental control, petroleum, mining, geo technical, water management and many others. Another example would be engineering programs where not only modern day, but also historically contributed to our human civilizations in a positive way. From civil to mechanical to chemical to geo technical engineering and everything in between, the world economy has created millions of jobs across the continents. These types of programs create, yes create a real valuable product or a provide a valuable service as opposed to stock broker who work on trading. Yes, stock brokers are important to economy too, but the individuals in applied science and engineering play a much important role in our society.
If you are a person who is into a lot of theoretical aspects of science over the practical side you can go in to the research field or go in to areas such as medicine where a student is expected to be exceptionally good at academics. The highly qualified professionals such as doctors play a major role in our society along side with Geologists, farmers, Engineers, Teachers and others. The key common factor across all of these educational streams is that they all have a positive contribution to the society. This is where I don’t like the service sector such as stock market, sales, etc where there is a thin line between what is a real service and what is a useless product/service to the community!
When a student choose a degree program I think he/she should pick an area that will support our community in a positive way. Arts are OK too, but it is highly competitive like medicine and very few make a good living out of it and often end up with jobs that has nothing to do with the program you followed at school. Medicine and research is good, but again, it is hard to succeed in these areas because with a one simple mistake the dreams can be vanished in to the thin air. I know people who dropped out of even in middle of medical school, which is such a waste of life. The middle ground on education in the past was in farming and now it is in science and engineering. It is a happy medium in terms of difficulty for most of the students around the world.
The main point of posting this article is to highlight the fact that following whatever your dream will not satisfy the needs of life. If your dreams can produce outcomes that will provide you will a stable good (not necessarily high) paying jobs, that what you should follow. The advice to all average level person that I can give could be summarized like this: If you like art, take Architectural Science not Fine Arts. If you like Math, take Business not Pure Math. If you like both Science and Arts, take Geology, not Technical Theater. If you like Physics and Math, take Engineering, not Physics and Math double major!