I am a 17 year old student starting college next month. Over the past years, my physician parents and I have been discussing job potential in finance. FYI, I've always been a good student in high school. Numerous extracurricular accomplishments, top 5%, respected by teachers, academic awards etc.I'm not an idiot, as you can tell. And I know what I need to do in order to get a top Wall Street job (internships, activities, grades, interests and other things).
As you probably guessed by now, they want to become a physician. However, the field does not interest me so I chose finance instead. This has been creating tons of tension in the family. They argue that getting a degree in finance or economics means unemployment or crappy jobs. I reply by mentioning the potential salary in investment banking (even though money isn't exactly my #1 factor to be honest) as a 1st year financial analyst is $110K - $150K and it progresses exponentially from there. They allude to the "100,000 finance graduate per year" (exact words) and the average salary according to studies is $40K or somewhere in that proximity.
I go on to mention that the finance major in my school has the highest employment rate and one of the highest average base salaries (without signing bonus or end year bonus...and it totally beats $40K by a long shot) out of all programs in the college. Yet they believe I "will be a failure who will never make more than $20,000 a year at most" (again, almost exact words). When I mention investment banking again, they say that being a banker at a prestigious firm is equally as unfeasible as becoming a football or basketball star.
Not only that, but they claim physicians make more money than investment bankers. Looking at average salaries, that is true...to an extent.....I mention that base salaries for bankers are low, but bonus makes up for it and such bonuses are not mentioned in salary statistics because they are not base salary.
Furthermore, they claim that "financial analysts" caused the crisis in 2008, even though analysts are the lowest rung in the bank. Then they mention that bankers are criminals, get sued a lot, and many are in jail. On the other hand, very few doctors go to jail because they are so altruistic and kind.
Now, what do you guys think? If you had the choice to do it all again...would you do medicine or banking (assuming no debt is incurred)? Do any of you have stories regarding a similar situation? Is my logic wrong, or are my parents wrong?
You can constructively criticize me or my parents, but please do so CONSTRUCTIVELY.