The Pros and Cons of pursuing the Big Four careers

If you’re in one of these four classic jobs for Asians or thinking of going down this route, here’s our list of the good and bad for each.

Every quarter, Cold Tea Collective will focus on a new theme — highlighted by select articles, content, and events. Our topic for Fall 2019 is “Business and Entrepreneurship.” 

Growing up in a traditional Asian home or even just having sat down at dinner with extended family, you’ve undoubtedly been ask-told to pursue one of four careers:  a doctor (or anything in medical), accountant, lawyer, or business person.

A passion-driven career in the arts? Forget about it.

For all those who are on the path of pursuing or have achieved one of the Big Four, we are jealous. For everyone else, keep fighting the good fight. 

But is having a job in these four major Asian career paths worth it? We’ll let you decide with our (cheekier) list of pros and cons.


Photo credit: Pexels


  • The obvious, such as, you get to help people, and restore those who are sick.
  • You make bank on those paycheques. Don’t even try to be humble about this either.
  • Your parents can brag to all of their friends that their child is an MD.


  • Your parents will not stop calling you for medical advice — for themselves or for their friends.
  • You will be one of over 100 Dr. Lee’s (or Chan’s, or Wong’s).
  • There will always be a better and more successful Asian doctor than you.


Photo credit: Pexels


  • Say hello to professional money management skills and investment techniques.
  • Get great interest rates! (We think … we’re not in finance.)
  • You’ll definitely find a job somewhere, even if you’re not that good at it. Bonus hiring points if you wear glasses too from all that studying.


  • Get ready to never stop having conversations about investment tips, taxes, mortgage rates, and budget sheets.
  • Numbers. So many numbers.
  • No one cares about your job when you talk about it at parties. But everyone will look at you to calculate how to split the bill at the end of group dinners.


Photo Credit: USA Network


  • You basically get to be an Asian Harvey Specter, with not-as-great hair.
  • You’ll always know how to dispute a ticket or be able to use lawyer lingo when arguing with your relatives.
  • You can legitimately throw down the phrase, “Lawyered.”


  • You’ll be expected to provide free consultation to all of your friends, family … and family’s friends.
  • You’ll be so busy, you won’t have time for anybody. Not that anyone “trusts” you anyways because, well, you’re a lawyer.
  • People will think you’re cheap if you don’t pick up the tab, every time.


Photo credit: Unsplash


  • Name one person who doesn’t look great in a suit.
  • All your connections will be through business school, with friends in high places.
  • Starting a business (and bossing people around) is inherently in our DNA.


  • The corporate ladder never ends. Or if you own a business, there will be plenty of sleepless nights — but it’s O.K., you’re Asian, you’ll still have good skin and smaller eye bags.
  • Your dad, who was probably also a business owner, will have an opinion about how you should be running your own business (and how you’re probably doing it wrong).
  • You’re not the real deal until you get an MBA.

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