People from our parents' generation laugh about the shortsighted advice given to them when they were college-age kids ready to start building their lives. They say that all their parents, teachers and guidance counselors encouraged them to go to school and study law, medicine and engineering. Why? Because the nation needed its doctors, lawyers and engineers in those days, so they assumed there would be jobs waiting for them. Just a few years down the road, the professions America really needed were teachers, nurses and computer programmers. It's not that our folks were intentionally misguided, just that they were given well-meaning but ultimately outdated information. As for our generation, we got a similar, if more troubling, serving of bad advice.