I agree a persons entry level career potential really does start in 9th grade as they try to rise to the top of their class. But as John mentioned in his article, after a few years your work performance and aptitude is the largest factor in determining future salary, not someone’s educational background. A degree gets you a job. Your experience and performance get you to be the high income earner though.

Second, I gave hired a lot of summer interns over the years as well as people just coming out of their bachelors. Degrees from top schools do matter. Sorry, but they do. Not necessarily Ivy league, but we all know the to- programs in our fields and the best internships go to people in those programs. A lot of internships are gained through connections and connections come from professors and people known in their field so where you are in school matters. That said, going your first couple years ar a community college is a great strategy to save money and figure out what degree you want to oursue. Transfering to a right program is easier and smarter than getting in as a freshman.

It’d be hard for Google to argue with this content not adding value. After all, some of the guides have received close to 10,000 shares and have been used by the brands themselves to educate their own customers. Generally speaking, each guide takes about 40-50 hours to produce, and is benchmarked to beat the best existing piece of content on the topic in virtually every aspect (from design and share-ability, to page speed and on-page SEO).
Of course there are some drawbacks. Learning to fly isn’t cheap. Another $50,000-$100,000 on top of the costs of a college education is realistic for most. But just as with college tuition, there are loans available to help pay for flying education. And one can flight instruct part-time while attending college to not only help pay for classes, but also gain valuable flight experience. Obviously the military, either active duty or national guard, is another potential option for defraying the costs of flight training.
Wow, these salaries and success stories are amazing, and making me wonder what I did wrong. I earned my BS in Computer Science in 1986. Now, after an MBA and an MS Risk Management, two lay offs, a few missed/blown opportunities, and the Great Recession, my 2013 annual salary is exactly the same as 1999 – well under $100K, in a mid-sized, mid-cost, coastal FL city.

I have a relatively similar story. I am a 24 year old with a Computer Engineering degree. Did well in high school, scholarship to a good public school and I’m now making ~140k plus bonuses and stock options. I currently live on the east coast, but know tons of college friends in silicon valley making even more (although the cost of living is much higher).

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!
Nice post John and great to see your stuff here on FS! I have a similar path as the one you described just for biomedical engineering. I’m not making six figures yet but hope to be soon within the next few years and would like to ultimately end up in more leadership/management roles. I think the engineer path is a great one but for people who don’t like the route you described I think plenty of routes through healthcare, finance, and of course the professional schools are great to go through as well.
Here’s how Amazon Associates works. People Googled “gifts for writers,” then clicked on the ideas we shared in our post, which took them over to Amazon.com. Regardless of whether they bought that item we recommended, they then continued to do their holiday shopping, stocking up on all sorts of random gifts, from electronics to clothing to books. And because they clicked on our link initially, we earned somewhere between four to 10 percent of whatever they spent on Amazon during the next 24 hours.
There are tons of free certifications that you can get that aren’t the “real deal” certifications like CCNA on the technical side or PMP on the functional side. But they are useful. They would be a great talking point for an interview. Maybe you took a Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing course (free), or learned how to use Salesforce (free on their trailhead training site).
As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.
In the United States, the highest earning occupational group is referred to as white collar professionals. Individuals in this occupational classification tend to report the highest job satisfaction and highest incomes. Defining income based on title of a profession can be misleading, given that a professional title may indicate the type of education received, but does not always correlate with the actual day to day income-generating endeavors that are pursued.
The Patent Office is an ideal place to work for engineers looking to start a side gig. I went to law school instead (poor choice maybe, but I wasn’t reading your blog back then). Depending on the economy, the Patent Office pays for law school as well. They didn’t pay when I was there during the recession, but because the salary is good I was able to go to a top IP law school (George Washington) with only $30k in loans, which I paid off within a year of graduating.
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
Just a quick note on the consulting firms you listed. Although the Big 3 are obvious to include in the list, I would certainly remove Booz Allen Hamilton, and even Arthur D. Little. Booz Allen is notorious for under-paying, especially when compared to much better firms. Booz Allen is also primarily a Federal contractor with very limited commercial work (granted their non-compete with Booz & Co. [now Strategy&] is over) – commercial strategy/ management consulting out-pays Federal counterparts.
You are enjoying your cup of joe post hangover morning raking in money talking to these people. Trying to sell them on your own personal ideas….While Google and everyone else hand you money for marketing…..Its making you money by the second. When, reality here, these people are looking to forward their progress in life. They are in need of help. And you are making money on it. Good for you. That, my friend, does not even take a high school diploma to do. So, anyone looking to truly progress in life, monetarily or just for basic want of progression in life, which most of us under the 100k range deal with on a daily. This is not the place for you. Unless you are looking outside of the box and taking notes on his blog set up and advertisements.
Thanks for the tips, Tiffany! It was very helpful. I just started my blog about a month ago and just signed up for Shareasale. I do have a further question. Do you know what blog post on Shareasale’s blog, gives me the best information in getting started and what I need to do? I am finding it hard to navigate my way through and really get an idea of the best way to start. It’s all quite overwhelming. Or is there a post that you have to guide me better?
Great post, I also liked your one on starting a fashion blog. Do you have a post on affiliate linking through social media? I’m pretty confused on whats acceptable, especially for Pinterest. It seems Shopstyle {Shopsense} and rewardStyle seem to work on Pinterest. I started my website on Weebly.. so I am making the oh-not-so-fun transition over to WordPress currently.
If you are blogging to make money and haven't read this book, you are in for a treat! Co-authors Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett lay out all of the details that the aspiring blogger needs in order to begin earning money at blogging. The book also pulls no punches in telling the readers how much work they will have to put in and how remarkable their blogs really must be to draw advertising dollars. Professional blogging is indeed full-time work, make no mistake. Darren and Chris have created in this manual a detailed roadmap for new and experienced bloggers alike who might have unique idea for a blog and enough passion and material about the topic for the long haul. I've got a blog and now I have a million new ideas about how to make the blog more "can't live without it" for my current subscribers and how to reel in more new readers. The book is an easy and enjoyable read. I read the entire thing in one cross-country flight. The sections of their book that I found most useful were the chapters on income and earning strategies, how to write a blog, blogging for a niche, blog networks, blog promotion and marketing, and the secrets of successful blogging. If you're a blogger, this is a book you shouldn't be without. The authors make all of their income from blogging and this book brightly lights the way for the anyone who aspires to be a pro blogger.
An aspect I enjoy from the job is when the team you’re working on all comes together to present a final story. Each person (geologists, other engineers, economics) has their part and supports each other. Being a global industry, I’ve also enjoyed meeting people from all parts of the world. I’ve been able to travel about 8 times internationally..another perk (depending on the person) I did not really touch on.

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I’m currently looking for ways to get my MBA covered (at a top 20 – my company will pay the local state schools no problem) and work too, to further accelerate my way into management and chase down a 250k+ job before 30 (excluding investments). Similar to what John said most people at my company only work 40 hours a week. I work closer to 50-60 on average but that is by choice to learn more skills while I am young and is not required. High tech is where it is at for sure.
In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).
Jerry is a young aspiring Internet Entrepreneur who started his online business at the age of 18. He is currently a Full-time Affiliate Marketer at Wealthy Affiliate, a community to help anyone start their own online business without prior experience. He actually achieved Financial Independence at the young age of 21. Read more about his story here!
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