Cultural Perception and Career: Role of Cultural Values in Career Decision-making
Are you aware of how much your culture affects your choice of a career? Many people overlook this aspect of their situation because they’re too busy studying and working hard to get through college or graduate school. But it’s a fact that where you’re from and how you were raised have a huge impact on what you end up doing for your major form of work later in life. For starters, different cultures have their own ways of viewing the role of formal education in a person’s life. Moral, cultural, and family values all meld together to influence young minds when it comes time to choose a career path.
In any case, it’s good to know what factors led you to choose the career you selected from hundreds of options. Take time to figure out the culture-based criteria you have used, or are in the process of using, to pick a job track. Gender often plays a key role, as do many of the newer trends in today’s fast-growing global community. Consider the following topics as you assess your own place within a specific culture, era, and family situation.
The Role and Purpose of Education in Different Cultures
Some cultures emphasize formal education more than others do. Until just a century ago, it was common for adults in most nations to either carry on a family business, become farmers, or enter the military service as soon as they finished their early education. Of course, those days are gone, but culture still has a profound influence on life choices and how people choose to earn their living. In much of the West, graduates are expected and encouraged to choose a path of their own, unconnected to the wishes of parents, siblings, or teachers. In other parts of the world, the family connection is much stronger, and youngsters often team up with parents and continue a family-run business or farm operation.
The Career Choices of Financial Dependents
Young adults, and older teens, who are headed to college often need financial help to do so. Often, these folks live with their parents and are considered financial dependents according to the laws of their country. In some ways, that’s a big advantage because students can fill out loan applications and demonstrate financial need. Unless their parents are exceptionally well off, it’s usually possible for the applicants to get enough money to cover education expenses toward a degree. Laws vary greatly all over the world, but in many developed nations it’s possible for young people todeclare legal independence from their parents and thus qualify more easily for a higher loan amount. Unfortunately, most of the major financial institutions consider the fact that an older teen lives at home as being, technically, a state of dependence.
What kinds of career choices do these folks make? The list is almost endless and runs the gamut of whatever colleges and universities offer. Some of the most common selections include general business, pre-med, engineering, nursing, the sciences, mathematics, liberal arts, pre-law, accounting, finance, management, and education as preparation for a teaching career. Later, after graduation and a few years of working, it will be possible for those once-dependent students to consolidate all their student loans with a private lender. In fact, there are plenty of different finance options open to anyone who owes on their education. The beauty of consolidation is that it simplifies multiple loan contracts into one, with one monthly payment and one interest rate.
Culture-Based Criteria People Use to Choose Careers
In much of Asia today, the tech fields are enjoying the top tier of prestige in employment choices. In the West, fields like law and medicine still top the list, but tech sectors like engineering and IT are making big gains. Every culture has its own criteria for what constitutes an honorable and respected career path for educated adults.
Gender and Career Selection
Until the mid-1900s, gender played a much more vital role in what educated adults did for their livelihoods. Just two generations ago, in fact, the vast majority of nurses were female while nearly all doctors were men. Likewise, even blue-collar jobs in plumbing, construction, and others were invariably occupied by males. Today, that is far from true as nearly every employment category has seen a more equal mixture of men and women.
How New Global Trends Are Affecting the Jobs People Choose
The technological revolution of the past four decades has done a lot to change what graduates choose to do with their lives after they earn diplomas. For instance, it’s becoming more common for degree-holders to work at home in highly technical jobs for international corporations. Some of the largest financial and IT companies hire thousands of workers every year from more than a hundred nations. The fact that national borders no longer mean as much as they once did is a major part of the new world order in career selection.