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Old 09-01-2019, 10:12 AM
F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Baltimore or less
Posts: 4,216

People being criticized for pursuing lucrative careers

I'm 60, and when I was college age, people who chose careers in medicine or law would routinely be told by peers, "Ah, you just wanna make a lot of money!" (I actually heard it a few times myself, majoring in engineering.)

There seemed to be an ethos in the baby boom counterculture that lower-paying work which paid less (school teaching, social work, etc.) was a higher calling. "Following your dream" was also considered more enlightened than making big money.

It was easier to feel this way amid the economic prosperity that early baby boomers graduated into. If you got pretty much any college degree before around 1965, you would be able to get a middle class job right away.

Within a few years, you couldn't expect to get a decent-paying job with a philosophy degree. So it was less common for people to be scorned for choosing a practical career to avoid taking poverty vows.

Today, people studying to become physicians are generally looked at as being devoted to service rather than money-grubbers. (Admittedly, less so with aspiring lawyers.) This may be due to changes in the compensation for physicians: AIUI certain specialties (surgeons, anesthesiologists) are still paths to wealth, while general and family practice are not. (Still not poverty though).

But I can't remember the last time I heard anyone criticize a young person for thinking about income potential in choosing a career. The sixties have been over for a long time.

Last edited by F. U. Shakespeare; 09-01-2019 at 10:16 AM.