Quite often college kids are too concerned with finding a career they believe will be fulfilling and rewarding, even if it means they won’t make as much money as some of their peers. The problem with this philosophy, you’re probably going to be at home more often than work (there’s 168 hours in a week, and you’re only at work 40-50 hours). By putting yourself into a career where your earning potential is lower, you’re basically centering your life’s happiness around work, instead of on your free time. Let me explain a little more blunt, you may be happy at work, but if you’re broke, that’s all you’ll have. Instead, if you bite the bullet, get an education in the road more challenging, like medicine, finance, accounting, or something similarly mundane, the work will certainly be boring, but the pay will be much greater – and you’ll be able to enjoy life outside of work because of your financial freedom. Not to mention, your chances of early retirement will likely increase – allowing you to enjoy life after work much longer than others.
More important, medicine, finance, accounting type jobs are in far greater demand and are quite often more stable in times of recession. You see the marketing folks being laid off much quicker than the accounting folks from my experience when the tough gets going. Granted, it’s not always about the money, and money certainly doesn’t guarantee happiness, however, it makes living and doing what you want much easier. Also, when considering a career, think about where we are going as a country (hint, our population is aging and we’re about to have more people entering retirement than ever before). Now, top levels in certain careers can pay extremely well (like marketing), but it can take a very long time and extraordinary talent to reach those levels – instead of choosing marketing as your major (if that’s what you like), take it as a minor – and pursue a change down the road after you’ve learned the other higher paying aspects of the business).
Having said the above, here’s my list of careers you should consider and those you should avoid, if you care about having the money to do what you want outside of work and to have a chance for early retirement:
Good Career (major) choices (challenging careers):
Bad or Poor Career(Major) choices (easy fields):
- Art (you can practice Art when you get home)
- Carpentry/Plumbing (it’s going to suck to get old)
- Real Estate (you don’t need a college degree to do this)
- Any other major you consider to be an easy-degree