OK I'm not planning an equine career, mine is nearly over!
Here is my take on things as someone who has been in the industry for a long time and someone who has seen a lot of equine careers go by the board.
First off, when I started (in the UK) there was no such thing as 'degrees' in equine studies. The only qualifications you could get were Pony Club D, C, B and A tests or the British Horse Society exams Assistant Instructor, Instructor and Fellowship.
You learned your career by working at a stables gaining experience, low wages but plenty of tuition and hard work.
Now there are all these fancy colleges to go to, plenty of pieces of paper to prove that you are 'qualified' in one of the many careers in horsemanship. However, as an employer, this piece of paper means nothing to me.
What I and many other employers, have found, is that these qualified at college/ university, have the ability to learn the practicalities but lack the experience and more often than not, the experience, to carry things out.
I can truthfully say that working with horses is hard work, little pay, long hours but in its own way rewarding. I would not have been as happy doing a more monetary rewarding career.
I would say that anyone entering the industry looks at the truthful practicalities of it all. If you say. Qualify as an equine masseuse how many people are going to want to use you on a daily basis?
Comments like this from Twohearts "I really would like to be a Therapist for disabled children. Teach them how to ride and use there body again."
This tells me that one of the hearts is in the right place but, to say "use their bodies again" means that they do not realise that A) many have never been able to use their bodies and B) most will not ever use their bodies as God designed them to be used.
It means that Twohearts is going to go into teaching handicapped without seeing the realities of it. (Not that I want to put you off, it can and is very rewarding)
Colleges can never give the realities of working with horses. There you are working with your peers, having only one or two horses to care for. Those horses are selected for their temperaments. Reality is that in the working world you will have a lot more to do each day, on your own, none being chosen for their temperament.
I am forever seeing that people want to be 'equine vets' when there is no such thing. A vet has to qualify by knowing about all animals and then, after a few years experience, can specialise in horses. Ask any vet who has been doing this if they would choose the same career, and it is doubtful they would (by the time they are in their 50's) they would say they would because the hours of driving and night time call outs get to them.
I would suggest that anyone entering the horse industry as a career, looks at the realities of it all.