Adams hoped his children would go into disciplines that promoted nation-building, such as “mathematicks,” “navigation,” and “commerce.” His plan was that in turn, those practical subjects would give his children’s children room “to study painting, poetry, musick, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelaine.”
.. Once financial concerns have been covered by their parents, children have more latitude to study less pragmatic things in school.
.. Kids from lower-income families tend toward “useful” majors, such as computer science, math, and physics. Those whose parents make more money flock to history, English, and performing arts.
.. Last year, Quoctrung Bui of NPR’s Planet Money pulled data from the National Longitudinal Study and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and noticed that doctors and surgeons tended to come from families with lower incomes than musicians and artists. When compared to their parents, doctors on average improved on their parents’ income by 40 percent. Artists, though, trailed their parents’ earnings by 35 percent.