Internship definitely helps. My GPA was so bad I was embarrassed to tell anyone, but one internship landed me another, then landed me a full time job, and now I could go where ever I want. If you don’t have GPA or internship, I’d say you might be screwed and your starting point after graduation will be much lower than those with internship experience or good GPA. There was a point I felt like my life was over and I’ll never be able to get a job after graduation. There were also thoughts of working at McDs or a sales rep at the mall.
I like your blog , it’s very helpful. Can you suggest me a major that will guarantee me a high salary ( without having to spend too many years at collage) I am considering Nuclear Physics , but it requires 50-60 hours per week. I want to enjoy my money before my 30’s. I’m 17. It doesn’t matter how difficult the school will be , I have most of the grades equivalent to A and one or two equivalent to B+ , I live in Albania. Thanks and keep going with your good work!
Love this story! I finished college in 3 years back in the 80’s because of AP/community college credits and stayed another year to finish my Master’s degree (which was required in my state for professional certification). And I swam fast and got money to help each year. I also got my entire doctorate paid for which was awesome! Not an engineer though – a teacher, but still got me to FI earlier than many!
I think this post is totally on point. Starting from high school, you are paving the path. I also think choosing the right career is key. I have been a court reporter for 18 years, and my best year I made 270k, and in my worst year, I made 160k. Even with taking time off to have a baby, last year I still made 140k. I also think it’s true you have to hustle. I have recommended becoming a court reporter o so many people! But none of them have wanted to put in the effort to train and work their butts off. I turned 40 this year and also became a millionaire. Greatest feeling! And I didn’t have to sleep with someone not as good looking as me, LOL! Love your posts. Keep up the good work.
2.My neighbor is a master electrician and has brought me upon many side jobs with him where i have really learned alot about the electrical trade. Much more then at my day job. He really likes me and i know he wants too start his own business and he wants me to work for him full time one day, however i dont know what he plans too do with me, will i be partner or just a worker? i know he wont screw me but ive heard that partners are a waste of time, build yourself not someone else. however starting a company i know is a much bigger task then it seems and he has the experience and knowledge that i dont have yet, i know he is willing to teach me but this is a big commitment and in the end all my hard work could go into his pocket. however that experience is what could differ me from all the rest everyone i know does the standard work for a bigger company learn nothing and go up north. Even from the little bit he has taught me i have used to do my own side jobs and make 60 to 70 a hour, and i know he can teach me so much more.
This is interesting to me because I just accepted a medical sales job with a great company and there is a lot of opportunity, however I left a job I really miss (didn’t realize how much I liked it until I left). Although the income potential is high in med sales, I’m really not liking the lifestyle of being on the road all the time. I also moved to a new place for the job and don’t know anyone so that doesn’t help either. Is it better to stick it out and see if something changes or accept that I made a career mistake and try to get out asap? I guess I get torn between going after a good opportunity vs going back to a job with less potential but maybe something I’d enjoy more.

I definitely agree on taking as many AP classes and college classes as possible. I did 13 APs in HS and 2 college classes. My only regret is I didn’t take fewer AP and more college classes. An AP class takes 1 full year and an exam you have to pay for at the end of the year. The college class takes 1 semester and usually the school district pays for it… and the classes are usually a lot easier than an AP exam.

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The only thing to skip is the fancy school because most of my colleagues went to midwestern state schools. To Sam’s point, many engineers see an MBA as a way to move up when they get stuck and wonder “what’s next”… depending on circumstance, I’ve found this to be a bit of an illusion without a total career change. Anyway, I’m self-aware enough to admit that the glad-handing and corporate buzzword stuff isn’t my strength, so I’m happy to chill in the very low 6 figures with reduced effort now that I’ve mastered the job. To get ahead, I leveraged simplistic living/frugality (65% savings rate) as opposed to further career growth.
As a service provider to several different types of business owners over the past 25 years, I think it is not the education but rather the execution of process and people that make the difference. More times than not I have seen educations get in the way of continuing education than not. Truly the learning or connection making does not stop at school and to imagine that it only starts there is foolish.
With the oil crash, I’m not sure petroleum and chemical engineering is the best choice anymore. Though I would DEFINITELy say “STEM” degrees give you way more bang for your buck than arts degrees. I’m a computer engineer turned published children’s author, so I’ve been in both fields. Engineer is gruelling and doesn’t have the emotional payoff that writing does, but man is it lucrative. For those who don’t like engineering, they could work there for 10 years, make enough to retire early, and then do whatever their little heart desires. It worked for me and it was worth it. Can’t easily do that with most arts degrees. If I had to choose again, I’d definitely choose engineering…or accounting.
I was really surprised not to see unions mentioned at all in this article! You talk about steps and lanes a little but what raises the wage is the collective bargaining process which doesn’t means unions get everything they want but they have a lot more power and knowledge about the employer’s financial position than an at-will worker bargaining on their own.
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You got a good article here but a lot of points are way off in real world sense. Any monkey that can read and regurgitate information can graduate with a high gpa. The real truth behind success is thinking outside the box. I’m 22 avg student yet run a successful business (100-120k/yr) while in college. With this article your saying go from box to box first your in an educational institution spending all your time and effort getting A’s then your working for someone in a corporate box. Let your bank account be your resume. The world needs more entrepreneurs


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I could talk about unions forever, Alice! I didn’t in this post because I didn’t want to get too lost in the weeds for people who aren’t part of the profession. My parents are both retired union workers, and I will be part of a union for as long as I can be. Sadly, the right-to-work nonsense is rubbing off, and we just got a letter from our union saying that it is now optional to be part of a union. I have to be honest and say that teachers’ unions (at least in our area) aren’t what they used to be. But as long as I can, I will fight for mine. So glad you spoke up, Alice! Your building is lucky to have you!
John loved the post (though petroleum is not all it’s cut out to be)… my buddy started at 125k + 25k signing in 2015. Was laid off 9 months later (got a 3 month severance). So he made 150k for 9 months worth of work but now he can’t find a job and he’s been looking about a year now… Electrical, Computer, and Chemical are very safe paths to quick bucks (assuming you have stellar grades – I graduated with a 3.9). Petroleum can have that boom, bust cycle that can screw the new guy! Not saying don’t go into it, just know the risks! And remember work your ass off – ADD VALUE to your company and make yourself INDISPENSIBLE so they won’t lay you off.

Want to earn a six-figure salary? Choose your next career path carefully, and get ready to make a serious investment in education. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, only 55 out of 818 listed occupations offer median salaries of $100,000 per year or more—and 53 of them typically require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Things to note – in senior year I applied my scholarship to do my first year of my MBA in finance at my university. At 23 I bought an apartment complex which gives 10%+ ROI. At graduation in December I’m eyeing to be pulling 140k before my 24th bday. So that’s been my journey. To a high net worth ~130-140k + a ~ 140k income at 23. My issue is I’ll have a NW still around 140k at 24 (because I’m living it up this 1 semester woot woot and not saving much for 4 months). So I’m troubled figuring out how I can turn 140k + my high income to 1 million before 28 to keep pace with Sam. When school finishes I plan to buy more apartment complex’s continue to buy index funds, save over 95% still and get back to working on a project and finance site as I’ll have more free time with engineering school over finally. Still with that, I’m not sure how to make 860k in 4 years… thinking I’ll have to go to finance or consulting and pray for big bonuses to make it happen because otherwise I’m not sure how to keep up with Sam :) any ideas people?


Personally, I don’t hate the job at the giant tech company, but it’s also something I don’t want to be doing for very long. Along with my wife, we’re taking the approach of living simply and saving ~70% of our income so we can walk away from it all financially independent in 5-10 years if we choose. If any of my side projects take off, we might be able to move onto a more digital-nomad type of location independent life even sooner than that.
Get good grades, go to a top school, get hired by a prestigious company in IT, finance or become a doctor, lawyer, engineer. DUH!!! Nothing Earth shattering that I didn’t know. If you don’t have the aptitude for those careers, you’re screwed for 100K salary I guess. Actually, you can become an entrepreneur, buy a franchise, write and sell a screen play to a hit movie, write a best seller, or offer specialized personal services to rich people (chef, trainer). Of course there’s also pornography. The sex trade makes billions.
This isn’t a cheap product that you can buy on the off-chance that it is useful. Instead, the full product costs $1,997. Yes, really. It costs almost $2,000. You can also pay in two payments of $1,100, which are 30 days apart. I'm sorry, but I really can't justify purchasing, or recommending that you purchase a product for two grand. I've purchased two-thousand-dollar products before and they have never been worth it. The most I've paid for a product and been satisfied with it was around $500.
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