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Careers before family for degree seeking women

by Kristin Ching, staff writer


Having a family is the last thing on Susanna Wong’s mind right now. For the near future, her priorities are school, work, and training for a career in advertising.

“I don’t want to work so hard for nothing,” she said. “I do not want to be a housewife.”

Wong, a 25-year-old student at HPU, is one of several women who are putting motherhood on the back burner. However, while they are focusing on their career first, they are still considering having a family later in life.

According to a Census Bureau survey, almost half of women of peak childbearing age plan on having two children. The bureau, which surveyed women from ages 18 to 34, found that 47 percent wanted two children and 10 percent did not want children at all. These results rang true for several women on HPU’s campus as well.

This year, Wong will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. She wants to work for two years in the creative department of an advertising firm before going on to art school for her master’s degree. After that, she said she plans to work for at least another couple years before having a family of her own.

Contrary to the majority in the survey, Wong said she ideally wants three children because “that’s the size of my family right now, and I think it’s good.” She is willing to work part time when the kids are young, but she always plans to keep on working. “I don’t want to give up my career.,” she said.

Many other female students are also focusing on their career. Masako Shindo is concentrating on earning a master’s degree in science and information systems at HPU. “Right now I never think about having a family,” she said.

Shindo, 28, is one of HPU’s many international students from Japan. She said if she were to have a family, she would want two children because she grew up as an only child. “I wanted to have a brother or sister,” she said. She is also reluctant to leave her career. She said even if she had a family, she wouldn’t want to quit her job. “Maybe if I have 10 kids.”

Another student said she wants to concentrate on work first, family later. Elisa Sussman, 21, wants to pursue a career as a voice-over actress. She plans to finish her bachelor’s degree in speech communication and set up her career before starting a family. She also thinks that two would be a good number of kids to have. “Single children tend to be pretty spoiled and they always need someone to play with,” she said.

However, Sussman said she doesn’t want to have kids for a while. “I have hopes and dreams and goals that I don’t want to put on hold right now.”

A younger student also said she eventually wants a family with two children. Brittney Pavao is just starting her college education at 17. She plans to blend a career in nursing and family life with help from her future husband, she said. “Hopefully my husband will help me and we’ll take turns.”

Earlene Dowell, 36, and a mother of three, believes that higher education is worth the work. She is also getting her master’s in communication at HPU. She plans to take time off when her youngest child is old enough to go to daycare and then she’ll have a career. “A bachelor’s always gets you a better job. You do that so your will children have everything they need, Dowell said.”



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