Is the current, so-called generation still up for taking on a ‘save the world’ job, or are they simply too cynical to care about such sentimental matters? The “Y Generation” saw the economic recession with its own eyes and felt it deep in its heart when they also saw their parents losing their jobs, fighting bankruptcy, struggling for better health insurance and wonder at night what they were going to do about the house mortgage. And this generation of young future professionals started to think if money is everything they should worry about, or if it wasn’t the case to re-orient themselves to more satisfying jobs, ones that could have a real impact on the world, and ones that would mean something and leave a bit of their presence behind for others to benefit from. In a money-desperate world, such altruistic desires might sound superficial, as everybody has at least one bank rate to pay and some children to feed, but according to a recently published Pay Scale College Salary report, the young generation believe that people working in some specific domains can change the fate of mankind and can influence the future of the next generation.
The ‘Save the World’ Jobs
Specifically, the study compiled the answers of over 1.4 million graduates from over 1000 schools in order to assess their vision upon future jobs, best salaries, favorite places of employment and fields which can contribute to further human development. There is no wonder that technology was the nominated field of interest which could both pay very well and influence man’s future (and especially medical technology), with education on the second place, although the young ones are aware that nobody made fortunes out of teaching. But the young graduates also chose other employment fields they feel would positively contribute to human development, even if some of them don’t pay as great as a job at Google. Their preferences stirred towards:
- Medical assistance
- Special education, social services, primary teaching
- Medical technology
- Sports medicine and athlete training
- Biomedical engineering
- Child and family studies
- Biblical studies
- Molecular Biology
- Health care administration
The shift: right or wrong?
Some years ago, if you asked the college graduates, many of them wanted to become surgeons, lawyers, business men, to find their place in advertisement, IT or everything financially related, from bank officers to economists and stock market players. Money took precedence over save the world jobs. There is an interesting shift in the young generation’s views and principles, as this inclination towards less well paid jobs, but ones with higher personal, intra-personal and social emotional impact seems to become more present and intense in the last years. Katie Bardaro, chief economist at Pay Scale says everything is a matter of choice. The Y generation can lean towards more meaningful, satisfactory lives in the detriment of earning big money, or they can choose well paid fields to ensure a comfortable and care – free living.
The practical approach
What about the future, analysts asked themselves, as young people of today seem to follow an unwritten law of not taking anything with you in the afterlife, but leaving something behind being what matters most. A possible explanation is that these graduates realized that there is no guarantee for the future, so it is better to make their lives as important for others and for the world as much as they can. However, the question still hurts: will these young professionals really make a contribution to the global economy? Will they survive the changes? How will they be able to face the cruel truth of buying cars, owning homes, pay for their children’s college fees and afford optimal medical care for their old parents? Are we going to see a new breed of “happy in poverty” people, settling down with what they can get but being satisfied about their contribution to the general well being, or is it just a teenage natural optimism that will wear off in time?
Food for thought
The answer is still far ahead from us. Among the less meaningful and “world saving” jobs and professional fields, the study’s respondents nominated the movie industry, the fashion industry and the advertising one. Paradox or not, these are among the best paid fields on the market even in our recession – stricken days. Maybe the most cynical of us would shrug our shoulders and say these optimists will change their minds soon enough, when they will have to face real life and real problems. Maybe the most cynical of their peers already applied to jobs and internships in IT companies and financial firms that will aid them to reach a successful career and a comfortable bank account. But maybe, this is the new face of the world: a subtle, but powerful switch from an individualistic attitude to a more “by the people, for the people” one. And how wrong would it be, really?