Read this interesting article on 'Decline and fall of engineers'. It is depicting the world wide phenomena that has been occuring as more and more career-paths are becoming popular. Three points to highlight are :
1. Lot of engineering students do go to MBA. Last year, in IIM Bangalore, 80% of the IIM graduates ( not engineering graduates) were found to be Engineers. Are engineers going ahead to become MBA's? Does that mean that these engineers leave Engineering because they realise that their career-path choice was wrong? Or does it mean that they leave engineering path to chose higher 'paying' path of management? I have met both type of engineers - some who are enamored by money, and some who chose to go away from engineering because they found Engineering is not their cup of tea. And how can one blame the money-seeking engineers, because even Maslow's need of heirarchy tells us that man strives first to fulfill his need of security and money, before he strives for satisfaction and actualisation!
2. Rise of humanities, liberal arts and design as career-paths. This is happening both because many students and parents are choosing their career paths instead of following treaden paths; but it is also happening also because these paths have become financially rewarding. As the markets have matured, these professions have become well paid. Their is a discernible shift from 'behind the hood' engineering industries to human-interface industries where behaviour scientists and designers are at the forefront. Success of a company like Apple is one example.
3. Remuneration ratio of 10-40-50 is shifting to 20-60-20 in many professions and industries: As a profession matures in the market, the remuneration ratios shift. When a profession is immature, only 10% of the top performers get the best salaries, 40% get average and rest of 50% are languishing in almost poverty. Think of cricket before 1980's or music in 2000 ! ( in India). Even the best of the cricketers had to work in a company to sustain themselves ! As the profession matures, the industry shifts to more balanced ratios. Even if one does not reach the top, one can still earn enough. It becomes more and more easy to move into these professions.Today, even without playing test match, today's cricketers earn a lot. The same phenomenon is happening with other professions in humanities, designs and others in India.
Take-away to learn
What is more important is reaching and remaining at the top 20% of the group. That does not depend on what career you choose. Even if you choose the most paying career, that is not enough if you fall in the bottom 20%. Contrary to popular belief, it is not enough to choose career paths based on one's 'passion and liking'; because even passion dies if not fuelled. More than anything else, your ability to remain in the top 20% depends on how you shape your career-path actively and how you utilise your personal life and people life to re-fuel your work-life.
Career does not happen automatically by just choosing it; it has to be shaped consciously and constantly.