February 15, 2011

February 15, 2011

Two Roads Diverged

In this economy, those of us with jobs are grateful, and those of us without jobs would give much to join the former group. Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but it can make your misery a lot more comfortable. I believe Marie Antoinette lived on pastry and diet soda until she was beheaded, right?

However, a recent WSJ (we’re like *this*, so I abbreviate) article claims that the five best jobs, based on “based on income, working environment, stress, physical demands and job outlook” are:

1. Software Engineer
2. Mathematician
3. Actuary
4. Statistician
5. Computer Systems Analyst

(In case you’re wondering, the bottom five are taxi driver, roofer, lumberjack, ironworker, and roustabout. Tempting, I know!)

You’re smart, so you’ve already noticed that the best jobs have a definite left-brain theme. Math. Computers. Math. The message to the right-brained is clear: you are not the future. And, okay, we get that. Art and literature aren’t going to beat China. We’re not going to sing them to death. (Once the robots take over, I imagine the arts will be completely disregarded as we hail our new metallic overlords. S’okay; creativity had a good run.)

For those of us either employed by or practicians of the arts, fret not. The need for a servant caste will always exist. I’m thinking the dancers will do best, since their muscles are already developed. One day of hard farm labor would totally going to kill me; this is why I will pledge allegiance to the robots early.

Unfortunately for young people, the difference between studying what you love to do (e.g. music) and what will actually get you work (e.g. accounting) has never been greater. If Robert Frost were writing now, I wonder if he would still take the path less traveled by?

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: