In the past few years, a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators have come into the world of technology and found their way into the business world, including a few who were born and raised in Silicon Valley.
But some of them have had to make tough choices about whether to invest in tech or go back to school for a degree that doesn’t require them to work.
“When you have a child in this industry, you’re probably not going to want to have a degree in tech,” says Andrew Kornell, a senior lecturer in the School of Business at the University of Adelaide.
“It’s not like you have to go and get a PhD in computer science, which is the kind of thing you’d like to do.
You might want to work with some of the big names in tech, and that’s OK.”
“So why do I think some parents want to send their kids to university and get degrees in technology?” says Kornelell.
“They’re probably thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to get a degree and I’m not going out and being a computer nerd or whatever.’
And that’s great.
You can do the right thing, and there are lots of good options.”
He adds that “some parents want their kids out of school, and some don’t.
Some have chosen to send them to university, some don.
And you have the option of working at a career-focused institution.”
The first time a parent sent their child to university Kornells was when he was six years old, and he recalls a conversation he had with his then-wife.
“We’d gone to school, but we’d been taught to work from home, and she had a different idea about what she wanted from us as parents,” he says.
“And so I said to her, ‘What do you want to do with your life?’
And she said, ‘Well, I want to go to university.’
And I said, Well, then why don’t you go and study in the U.K.?
And she thought, well, I’ve got an extra semester of school to go.”
In a study that he published in the American Journal of Public Health, Kornels and his colleagues found that about two-thirds of parents who sent their children to university said that it made sense for them to do so.
And they found that “the more students went to university for an additional two years, the more likely they were to continue going to school beyond two.”
So what is the point of getting a degree if you can’t get a job?
Kornllell says it can be a “very difficult” decision, but he’s not sure why parents are “asking themselves the question” about whether they should send their children into the workforce.
“Maybe it’s that they’re trying to make the most of their time and resources, and it’s something they feel is necessary to get their kids into the life they want to lead,” he explains.
“There’s no evidence that people who have kids in technology are going to be happier, more productive, or better off in the future.”
But Kornella points out that he and his co-authors also found that some people who were more likely to be out of the workforce or looking for a career in technology were also more likely than others to have children out of wedlock.
“The one thing that is consistent across the studies is that people with children out, and in, the workforce have lower earnings than those without children out,” he notes.
“But there are a few caveats here.”
The study also found “that there is a range of factors associated with children not attending university that is likely to have an effect on income.”
For example, “a family’s education may be linked to their ability to find a full-time job,” which may contribute to the gap in income between those with children and those without, he says, noting that there are other factors that are also associated with education that “do not have a significant impact on earnings.”
In addition, “the presence of a spouse or partner in the workforce may reduce income, as well as the likelihood of children out working, as children are more likely in the labour force.”
There are a lot of variables involved in determining whether a parent is a good decision for sending their child into the work force, says Kennie Stavropoulos, director of the Centre for Child and Family Development at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Toronto.
The study was conducted among a nationally representative sample of parents in the Toronto area who were surveyed between 2009 and 2014, and the sample included those who had not had children out by the time the researchers studied.
It also included parents who had had a child out by age two, so they may have more recent experience in the work environment.
“What we’re trying in this study is to ask parents how they’d feel about sending their children out to