Reporter's job fifth worst; software engineer's best - PTI, New York
Dad: Son, it's time for you to get serious and start thinking about a career. I've decided to send you to the US to study. You must get a good job there and earn lots of dollars.
Dad: Good. You'll be a software engineer, of course.
Mum: Mrs Sharma's son is one, Mrs Verma's daughter is one and look how much money cousin Gullu makes in Silicon Valley.
Son: I hate coding.
Dad: Nonsense. CareerCast, a consultancy firm, has ranked 200 jobs in the US according to their attractiveness and software engineers top the list.
Son: Dad, I want to become a hotshot investigative reporter. I want to write stinging exposes of people in high places and uncover the truth.
Mum: You want to expose your dad?
Dad: Did you know reporters are ranked no 196 in the list, beneath waiters, butchers and even dishwashers.
Son: Oh. Can I be a TV broadcaster then?
Mum: Of course, son, you're handsome.
Dad: TV broadcasters have a marginally better score than butchers. But the report says welders make more money and have much less stress.
Son: I love music, dad, couldn't I become a disc jockey?
Dad: Disc jockey is ranked at no 180. Better than being a maid, which is no 182. But garbage collectors are doing much better, the job is ranked no 160. Funny that, I would have thought some reporters should get a similar ranking.
Mum: No son of mine will be ranked lower than a garbage collector.
Son: Okay, okay, how about fashion designing?
Dad: Ummm…let's see. Ah, fashion designer, it's ranked at no 133. But the hiring outlook is bad and stress is relatively high. Carpenters and truck drivers score better.
Son: Could I have a copy of that report please?
Dad: Sure, here it is. Why don't you follow in my footsteps and become a senior corporate executive?
Son: But dad, it says here that senior corporate executives are ranked at no 116, while a sewage plant operator is at no 114. The pay is lower, but the stress is less and the hiring opportunities greater.
Mum: You'll become a sewage plant operator only over my dead body.
Dad: Why not study medicine, look at the amount of money doctors make. The survey ranks surgeons at no 45, psychiatrists at no 42 and physicians at no 40.
Son: Dad, you have to slog your butt off to become a doctor. Not my style at all. Why not study a lot less and become a nurse, they're at no 38, above the doctors. The work environment, physical demands and hiring outlook is better, although the money may be less. Or, hey, this is interesting, a chiropractor is at no 19, I could try that.
Dad: Why not become a human resources manager? It's ranked no 3 and you can have a great time firing people.
Son: OK, here's the deal. I'll settle for rank no 4, dental hygienist. It says here that they assist dentists.
Dad: Hmmm…it's a high rank, the salary's not bad, low stress, lots of jobs. OK, pack your bags, son.
Mum: My son, the dentist's assistant? How will I ever face my friends again?
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.