JAN 12, 2010 1:27am ET

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One of the most overused movie plot clichés goes like this: Parent has beloved child and great plans for same. Child is reared and rigorously trained (sports, finance, medicine) but comes to hate parental plans and craves to be something else. Tension builds to crisis and child tells off parent. Parent is hurt but comes around to realize everyone is different and tells relieved child to just be the best at whatever they choose to do.

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Comments (10)
There is no point trying to direct someone toward a career without knowing their strengths and interests first. It's as important to choosing careers as aiming is to target shooting, but we turn just as deaf an ear to that need as we do the critical need for quality metadata. You don't need to direct someone toward a job they will love, you need to direct them to jobs that utilize a range of talents thay actually possess. People naturally enjoy doing things they succeed at and feel rewarded by; they get in the flow, and it doesn't seem like drugery.

Just like in the IT world, ready set, go then aim mentalities are a terrilbe waste of resources.

Roy Langer IT Analyst

Posted by Roy L | Wednesday, January 13 2010 at 3:01PM ET
I agree with your suggestions of analytics and metadata. I studied engineering in college (Dad's idea) but was not interested enough to pursue it as a career. I somewhat resented being pushed into engineering but I was decent at it and had no other ideas of my own at the time.

It also never occurred to me that I would find a job doing data quality analytics or end up as a data steward, and it took me a while to get to this point. The analytical approach and problem solving skills I learned in college have served me well in every job I have had along the way.

Who knows what a kid might be interested in doing for a careeer when they are only in high school or college? If they did have a clue today, that idea might not be viable in the future and there's a good chance their eventual career does not even exist yet. All you can do as a parent is encourage them to build a foundation that will allow them to be successful and that should include math, science, analytics and even metadata if they want to compete the global market.

Posted by Michael M | Wednesday, January 13 2010 at 3:33PM ET
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