Friday, June 29, 2007

What to Study to Make Money and Be Happy

I am on the verge of completing my MBA in General Management but the concern I have is choosing the right combination of electives. Where I live, Finance is the most sought after career path but I’m not comfortable with math and numbers.

Do you think I should still go ahead and choose something in Corporate Finance? If I do and I’m given a position that depends on careful numeric analysis, won’t my inefficiencies come out? Which leads me to the most important question, Are International Marketing, Strategic Human Resource Management and Public Sector Management marketable electives, i.e., can I get a relatively good job with these?

by Alexander Kjerulf, Chief Happiness Officer

That's a great – and very fundamental – question. How do you choose what to study?

A recent study asked 1000 college graduates in Denmark how they had chosen their studies and arrived at two very interesting findings.

1: Study what you like and you’ll get a job you’ll like.
It turns out that the people who chose studies they were interested in were much more likely to be happy with the jobs they then got. This is not surprising at all - study something that interests you and you’re more likely to end up working with something you like.

2: Study what you like and you’ll make more money!
But interestingly, people who chose their studies based on interest were also more likely to be happy with their salaries than the people who had chosen their studies based on how much money they could make.

So choosing your studies for money means you enjoy work less – and it also means you make less money!

Makes sense, no?

I also have to say that to me, choosing your studies based on potential later earnings seems… hollow. Do you honestly want to spend your work life just chasing money instead of doing what makes you happy?

So find out what will make you happy at work. Then do that.

Alexander Kjerulf – The Chief Happiness Officer - speaks and consults on happiness at work all over the world, because loving what you do is just that damn important!

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