paulkevinmurphy
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Hi Guys,

To try and help answer WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER? I wanted to share my take on 16 careers from the in-depth interviews I did with 100 graduates 10 years out of university below:

Accounting
– Great qualification to have on your CV, can open doors for you in lots of companies anywhere in the world
– The big 4 firm graduates get a great opportunity to easily travel and work all around the world having that big name on their CV
– Once you are an accountant it can be difficult to move into more exciting work
– It pays well in comparative terms
– The hours are pretty good usually compared to other professions
– It gives you great exposure to how different companies are run.
– It pays well compared to other professions, especially as you get more senior.
– The hours are not too bad, likely to be 9am – 5/6pm, in comparison to banking which is likely to be 9am – 7pm.
– It’s not much fun compared to other departments in a company.

Business Owners/Entrepreneurs
– You are your own boss and can reap the rewards of your hard work.
– There can be a lack of support, and it can be difficult to delegate.
– The pay can vary, some do very well, others struggle to break even.
– You are never off the clock.
– It sounds like a lot of fun, doing something you are passionate about.
– All the people interviewed were happy to step out of their comfort zone.
– It can be quite stressful as the business depends on you.

Commerce & Industry
– There are lots of different career paths within commerce and industry.
– The hours are good when compared to other industries.
– You get up close to the business whether it’s sales, manufacturing, etc.
– It can be very rewarding as you see how a product is made, or a company makes its profit, etc

Compliance
– It pays very well.
– There is a great social side to working in financial regulatory bodies.
– One of the reasons why regulatory bodies can be such good places to work is they are not trying to make money.
– Depending on the industry you are regulating it can be very long hours, i.e. investment banking.
– You can get to work on insider dealing cases with the police investigating fraud!

Creative
– There are lots of drinks and boozy lunches, and team trips away.
– It is very competitive to get good roles.
– There seems to be a lot of politics compared to other professions.
– There are lots of roles in creative industries
that aren’t 100% creative, i.e. planning, account management, etc.
– It’s long hours; you are never off the clock.
– Clients can be quite demanding.
– Working as a personal assistant can be quite a good route into the industry.

Engineering
– It can be long hours.
– There is a great scope to work and travel with it.
– Jobs can be quite dependent on how the economy is performing.
– There is a good social side to it.
– Some engineering can be very lucrative, i.e. oil and gas, highways, pipelines etc.
– There is great satisfaction from seeing something built.
– You can move from different types of engineering quite easily, i.e. water, rail, road, etc.
– Nearly all the engineers who have worked abroad wish they had done even more.
– A lot of engineering is updating reports, and spreadsheets, it’s not as exciting as you may think.

Health
– Seeing a patient recovering can be very rewarding.
– There are lots of nights and weekend working.
– Some specialisms within medicine take 15 years of studying
and working before you are a qualified consultant.

Human Resources
– HR is often underappreciated by people who don’t know the value that it can add.
– Dealing with difficult people is tough.
– Psychology and human resources are quite closely related.
– Recruitment can be very lucrative if you are good at it.
– In-house recruitment is a very good way of getting into human resources.

IT
– There are several types of IT jobs: IT technicians, business analysts, project managers, IT specialists, software developers, etc.
– It pays well and is good fun.
– You don’t have to be a coder or very technical person to work in IT. You can be a project manager or a business analyst and a lot of your job will be people management using your softer skills.

Investment Banking
– It can be very corporate.
– There are long hours and demanding deadlines.
– It’s competitive when it comes to getting a good role.
– There are a lot of different departments in the bank.
– You can be limited to living in cities as that’s where the jobs are.
– It pays very well compared to other jobs, even other finance jobs

Law
– It pays well, but you do long hours.
– The lawyers I interviewed found it quite hard to switch off
– Being a lawyer for a company is a lot more structured than in a practice.
– Studying law is very different to practicing law.
– Your days can be really varied.

Management Consulting
– Provides great exposure to senior leaders in a broad range of companies.
– You get to work with very smart people.
– You could be sent anywhere working at the client site.
– It can be long hours, due to client and manager demands.
– Your experience can be very dependent on the client/manager you are working for.
– The smaller consulting firms are very different from the big prestigious ones.
– Problem-solving and adding real value for clients can be extremely rewarding.
– There is high turnover as people burn out after years of doing long hours.
– People who make the switch from industry to consulting find the deadline-driven nature of it difficult.
– It’s a great option if you know you want to work in business but are unsure as to the area.

Sales
– Marketing roles could get very busy around promotion times like Christmas.
– There are always promotions to keep you busy.
– Working with cool brands and companies can be great
– It can prove difficult to sell to people who don’t want your product

Science
– It doesn’t pay that well.
– A lot of jobs involved you being stuck in a lab all day long.
– Academia is a well-trodden path in the science world.
– Science and engineering are closely linked.
– There are fantastic careers available in pharma to people with science backgrounds.
– A lot of people who work in pharma are contractors. It can be quite lucrative.
– Ph.D.’s can be a lot of hard work without necessarily a guarantee of a job at the end of it.

Project Management
– It is fast-paced and deadline driven.
– There is a lot of teamwork involved.
– It can be quite enjoyable all working towards a common goal.
– It suits people who get bored very easily.

Teaching
– Good hours, good holidays, probably good fun, but stressful, repetitive, and not paid that well.
– You are not confined to cities or countries, so can go and work as a teacher in a lot of places.
– It’s possible to travel the world as a teacher.
– The teachers I interviewed seemed pretty invested in the kids and seemed to really enjoy it.
– Dealing with the parents was a tricky part of the job which I never thought about!

Are you any the wiser as to what is the best career?! In summary, the careers that are stressful and long hours usually are paid the best. The ones that are more interesting, and not stressful usually are not that well paid. It’s also worth pointing that the industry can make a difference too. For example, the industries that make a lot of profit i.e. Pharma, Oil & Gas, and popular Consumer Brands will have more relaxed atmospheres than working for some Health, Retail, Construction or Facilities companies where their margins might be under more pressure.

I hope the above gives you a feel for the 16 professions discussed by the 100 graduates 10 years on from college/university in my book.

Hope it helps!
Paul
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shadowdweller
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"The careers that are stressful and long hours usually are paid the best" - I'm not sure this is strictly true; a stressful job is largely subjective, and plenty of people will find far more stress in a lower paid job than they may in a higher, and vice versa too!

I do like the outlines of each of the sectors though, a very interesting read :yep:
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Duncan2012
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(Original post by paulkevinmurphy)
in my book.
The Amazon reviews look great and I suspect this will sell well, looks like you've found a niche in the market that careers advisors don't cover. Good luck!

Oh, FWIW, the 'S' in MSP is successful not special.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by paulkevinmurphy)
Hi Guys,

To try and help answer WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER? I wanted to share my take on 16 careers from the in-depth interviews I did with 100 graduates 10 years out of university below:

Accounting
– Great qualification to have on your CV, can open doors for you in lots of companies anywhere in the world
– The big 4 firm graduates get a great opportunity to easily travel and work all around the world having that big name on their CV
– Once you are an accountant it can be difficult to move into more exciting work
– It pays well in comparative terms
– The hours are pretty good usually compared to other professions
– It gives you great exposure to how different companies are run.
– It pays well compared to other professions, especially as you get more senior.
– The hours are not too bad, likely to be 9am – 5/6pm, in comparison to banking which is likely to be 9am – 7pm.
– It’s not much fun compared to other departments in a company.

Business Owners/Entrepreneurs
– You are your own boss and can reap the rewards of your hard work.
– There can be a lack of support, and it can be difficult to delegate.
– The pay can vary, some do very well, others struggle to break even.
– You are never off the clock.
– It sounds like a lot of fun, doing something you are passionate about.
– All the people interviewed were happy to step out of their comfort zone.
– It can be quite stressful as the business depends on you.

Commerce & Industry
– There are lots of different career paths within commerce and industry.
– The hours are good when compared to other industries.
– You get up close to the business whether it’s sales, manufacturing, etc.
– It can be very rewarding as you see how a product is made, or a company makes its profit, etc

Compliance
– It pays very well.
– There is a great social side to working in financial regulatory bodies.
– One of the reasons why regulatory bodies can be such good places to work is they are not trying to make money.
– Depending on the industry you are regulating it can be very long hours, i.e. investment banking.
– You can get to work on insider dealing cases with the police investigating fraud!

Creative
– There are lots of drinks and boozy lunches, and team trips away.
– It is very competitive to get good roles.
– There seems to be a lot of politics compared to other professions.
– There are lots of roles in creative industries
that aren’t 100% creative, i.e. planning, account management, etc.
– It’s long hours; you are never off the clock.
– Clients can be quite demanding.
– Working as a personal assistant can be quite a good route into the industry.

Engineering
– It can be long hours.
– There is a great scope to work and travel with it.
– Jobs can be quite dependent on how the economy is performing.
– There is a good social side to it.
– Some engineering can be very lucrative, i.e. oil and gas, highways, pipelines etc.
– There is great satisfaction from seeing something built.
– You can move from different types of engineering quite easily, i.e. water, rail, road, etc.
– Nearly all the engineers who have worked abroad wish they had done even more.
– A lot of engineering is updating reports, and spreadsheets, it’s not as exciting as you may think.

Health
– Seeing a patient recovering can be very rewarding.
– There are lots of nights and weekend working.
– Some specialisms within medicine take 15 years of studying
and working before you are a qualified consultant.

Human Resources
– HR is often underappreciated by people who don’t know the value that it can add.
– Dealing with difficult people is tough.
– Psychology and human resources are quite closely related.
– Recruitment can be very lucrative if you are good at it.
– In-house recruitment is a very good way of getting into human resources.

IT
– There are several types of IT jobs: IT technicians, business analysts, project managers, IT specialists, software developers, etc.
– It pays well and is good fun.
– You don’t have to be a coder or very technical person to work in IT. You can be a project manager or a business analyst and a lot of your job will be people management using your softer skills.

Investment Banking
– It can be very corporate.
– There are long hours and demanding deadlines.
– It’s competitive when it comes to getting a good role.
– There are a lot of different departments in the bank.
– You can be limited to living in cities as that’s where the jobs are.
– It pays very well compared to other jobs, even other finance jobs

Law
– It pays well, but you do long hours.
– The lawyers I interviewed found it quite hard to switch off
– Being a lawyer for a company is a lot more structured than in a practice.
– Studying law is very different to practicing law.
– Your days can be really varied.

Management Consulting
– Provides great exposure to senior leaders in a broad range of companies.
– You get to work with very smart people.
– You could be sent anywhere working at the client site.
– It can be long hours, due to client and manager demands.
– Your experience can be very dependent on the client/manager you are working for.
– The smaller consulting firms are very different from the big prestigious ones.
– Problem-solving and adding real value for clients can be extremely rewarding.
– There is high turnover as people burn out after years of doing long hours.
– People who make the switch from industry to consulting find the deadline-driven nature of it difficult.
– It’s a great option if you know you want to work in business but are unsure as to the area.

Sales
– Marketing roles could get very busy around promotion times like Christmas.
– There are always promotions to keep you busy.
– Working with cool brands and companies can be great
– It can prove difficult to sell to people who don’t want your product

Science
– It doesn’t pay that well.
– A lot of jobs involved you being stuck in a lab all day long.
– Academia is a well-trodden path in the science world.
– Science and engineering are closely linked.
– There are fantastic careers available in pharma to people with science backgrounds.
– A lot of people who work in pharma are contractors. It can be quite lucrative.
– Ph.D.’s can be a lot of hard work without necessarily a guarantee of a job at the end of it.

Project Management
– It is fast-paced and deadline driven.
– There is a lot of teamwork involved.
– It can be quite enjoyable all working towards a common goal.
– It suits people who get bored very easily.

Teaching
– Good hours, good holidays, probably good fun, but stressful, repetitive, and not paid that well.
– You are not confined to cities or countries, so can go and work as a teacher in a lot of places.
– It’s possible to travel the world as a teacher.
– The teachers I interviewed seemed pretty invested in the kids and seemed to really enjoy it.
– Dealing with the parents was a tricky part of the job which I never thought about!

Are you any the wiser as to what is the best career?! In summary, the careers that are stressful and long hours usually are paid the best. The ones that are more interesting, and not stressful usually are not that well paid. It’s also worth pointing that the industry can make a difference too. For example, the industries that make a lot of profit i.e. Pharma, Oil & Gas, and popular Consumer Brands will have more relaxed atmospheres than working for some Health, Retail, Construction or Facilities companies where their margins might be under more pressure.

I hope the above gives you a feel for the 16 professions discussed by the 100 graduates 10 years on from college/university in my book.

Hope it helps!
Paul
Found my competition... Gonna be writing a book and website guide too

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gjd800
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Philosopher for me. Almost always boss.
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Unknown-99
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The best career is a career that makes you happy.
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Student-95
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(Original post by Unknown-99)
The best career is a career that makes you happy.
Not if it doesn't pay enough for you to support yourself and your family.
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Kakemono
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IT all the way. Cybersecurity analyst or just work for Google as they have the highest employee satisfaction ratings in the UK.
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Unknown-99
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(Original post by Student-95)
Not if it doesn't pay enough for you to support yourself and your family.
If your career is making you happy I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume it's probably paying you enough to support yourself. People think they have to choose between a career that pays well and a career that they enjoy but why can't they have both?
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Student-95
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(Original post by Unknown-99)
If your career is making you happy I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume it's probably paying you enough to support yourself. People think they have to choose between a career that pays well and a career that they enjoy but why can't they have both?
Generally speaking, nobody is going to pay you to do the things you enjoy. There are some exceptions but they usually involve lots of luck and/or natural skill.
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Unknown-99
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(Original post by Student-95)
Generally speaking, nobody is going to pay you to do the things you enjoy. There are some exceptions but they usually involve lots of luck and/or natural skill.
I don't necessarily mean doing your passion/hobby as a job but a job doesn't have to be something you dread doing every day or something that makes you miserable. It's possible to have a job that you enjoy or interests you and that provides a healthy income. Unfortunately, most people are rushed into choosing a career early on and are pressured to go to university straight after school so people rarely find a job that interests them.
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