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Career of children more important than their happiness in life for India's middle class parents: HSBC survey

Counterview Desk
A global survey by top international bankers, HSBC, has suggested that most Indian parents professional success more important than a happy life for their children. Titled The Value of Education: Learning for Life, the study, which is based on a survey of 5,500 parents across 16 countries in the world, says that 49 per cent of them said a happy life for their children was important, worst in the world.
Interestingly, the study also finds that, by sharp contrast, to 51 per cent Indian parents career success is more important for their children than all other countries, with the sole exception of Mexico. According to the study, this in sharp contrast to how parents in the developed countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia think.
To achieve the sought-after careers, Indian parents want their children to continue their education in university and to graduate level more aggressively compared to any other country of the world. Almost 90 per cent of them, the largest proportion globally, said that a master’s degree or higher would help their child achieve their life goals as adults.
Not only are the parents willing to pay more for higher studies of their children, the survey has found, they are even willing to rope in grandparents for additional funds. Further, they are willing to take loans. However, at the same time, the report comments, parents often “tend to underestimate how long it will take their child to repay their university debts.”
Interestingly, the survey shows that while parents across the world want their children study medicine, in India, they want them to pursue engineering degree, especially computer engineering. And, if the survey is to be believed, they are willing to pay to extra amount for their children’s education to achieve it this. Seven in 10 Indian parents participating in the survey said they would do so.
According to the survey, the US and UK are much less likely to pay for extra academic support for their kids – only about 25 per cent of them said they would do so. Also, their view that university education is too expensive is also quite strong – 71 per cent of them in the two countries think this way.
The survey was carried out in March-April 2015, and appears to have involved largely middle class parents from India. The study says, “Parents in developed economies are more likely to take into account their child’s individual strengths when considering a desired occupation.”
Carried out keeping in view the reach out to parents wanting loan, the study adds, “Parents in India – a country renowned for its emerging technology sector – are more than twice as likely as the average to want their children to go into a job in computer science.”

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