Friday, February 29, 2008

What career should you choose?

Serious advice. Obviously you won't get that from me. But how about from one of the most respected economists in the world? It may sound like a made up name, but Dr Hal Varian has had a long career in both business and academia, and he suggested this answer at the Freakonomics site:

If you are looking for a career where your services will be in high demand, you should find something where you provide a scarce, complementary service to something that is getting ubiquitous and cheap. So what’s getting ubiquitous and cheap? Data. And what is complementary to data? Analysis. So my recommendation is to take lots of courses about how to manipulate and analyze data: databases, machine learning, econometrics, statistics, visualization, and so on.

Unfortunately, that description does not match any of my top five jobs. Fortunately, it all sounds very familiar.

PS Unsurprisingly, Hal Varian now works for Google.

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