When I completed my A levels in 2009 and was getting ready to go to University, I remember distinctly that a lot of my friends were going to China to study medicine. I often wondered how many of them actually wanted to be in the field.
Studying in Mauritius is not easy. As a third-world country, with a practically inexistent social and welfare security system, you tend to grow up with the pressure of having to perform academically so that you can maximise your chances of getting a decent job later in life.
I rebelled against that. I was mostly interested in computers but, in Mauritius we have to study other subjects until university where you can then specialize in the field you want. It was hard and I did barely enough to pass by. In retrospect, that wouldn't have been such a smart decision if being in tech wasn't so favourable as it is now.
Parents, in Mauritius (and I wouldn't discount that my parents were also similar - maybe that has changed now) tend to teach their children early on that being a doctor, lawyer or engineer is something that they should strive for. The education system is also quite tailored for that, in some sense.
Of course, it was a different generation and I wouldn't want to be too critical of their biases and beliefs but the outcome is that we end up with entire generations that somehow still believe that this is the only way to maximize their financial gains and, most importantly, status in the society in the future.
A lot of Mauritians are more interested in playing status games than actual wealth creation. I've seen so many luxury cars in the few weeks I've been in Mauritius that it did not make sense to me how in a country where the average income is roughly a little less than $1000 (USD), they could afford them.
Coming back to the friends who studied medicine, I know quite a few of them who are now trying to re-skill themselves: a lot of them in tech. And, if I'd ask them why they decided in the past to study medicine, the answers usually vary but a common theme was always pressure: from their family and society, in general.
I still believe that being in tech is one of the fastest ways to achieve financial independence, especially if you're in Mauritius. The ability to work remotely for organizations who'd pay you 6 or 7 times more than what you'd earn in Mauritius, is life-changing for many since Mauritius is by no means a cheap country.
However, and obviously that's not the only way. Blue collar jobs such as plumbers, painters and electricians were previously looked down upon by our society but are now becoming increasingly lucrative. There's also such a scarcity of highly-skilled blue collar workers on the island that the few who are there can command very high wages.
I only hope that our generation can put our egos aside and teach subsequent generations that there's so much more in life than being in what's usually considered high-status jobs.
P.S. Apologies for the clickbaity title.