But what qualifies as a sustainable career choice vs. a non-sustainable career choice? Whose opinion/experience carries the most weight? Obviously no one wants their kid to dream of being a pan handler but what makes the dream of being a chef any less than the dream of being a doctor (not saying you said that, just asking that question as an example that relates to this particular post)? Plenty of chefs enjoy their jobs and make a decent living. If a child wanted to be one why wouldn't their parent assume that he could be one of the successes instead of one of the failures. We all know that a lot of kids drop out of med school. And that the incidence of depression and even suicide among doctors is the highest in history. Why don't parents who push their kids in that direction ever assume that their kid could be one of those? Rhetorical question, I know. Just food for thought. I really do think that for many (maybe even most) this is more about snobbery and self pride ("my kid, the doctor") than anything else. FWIW there are loads of college grads with degrees in fields they and their parents thought were tickets to success sleeping in their parent's basement as we speak. It's not only those kids who majored in Egyptian Anthropology. There are never any guarantees. IMO everyone deserves permission to try. Sometimes it's the support of loved ones that is the difference between success and failure.