Its all relative to what you need, I was in Sales (Corp 401k and Pension) right out of college and made a 200k a in the early 90’s with consistency then had years where I made 1m in my early 30’s. However I hated it. I was smart and banked it in the lucrative Boston Real Estate market and in my late 30’s left sales and took a more boring desk job with less travel and more time for my kids. I made about 100k +/- a year for but put together a nice traditional pension. In my early 50’s, after my kids graduated college (Yes I did pay) I finally took my graduate degree (Masters in Urban Planning) and put it to work as a planner in a suburban town, where my staring comp dropped to 65k, now in my late 50’s I am the Dir of Planning for a small city making about 160k and happy in my work for the 1st time ever! Also the benefits working in government are 10x what they ever were in Corp America. Do what you love

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.
I was just searching around on the net and found this blog. I saw an ad for inside sales that paid 50k as a base and FULL benefits 401K and all. With commissions it would max out at 85k if you hit quota according to the ad. Tempted to apply but when I see what is at home although Im not at 100k yet (not even close) I am not going back to the cubicle farm. Working for someone else will not get me to the 150k mark. This blog has given me more motivation!
Otherwise, explore all of the ways that you can take classes or gain skills online, some for very little or no cost to you other than your time. If you find yourself doing this at the start of your career, the financial cost might be a bit much to bear at first. But no matter how much I learn about investments, it seems pretty clear to me that the one that consistently pays off in any market condition is the one we make in ourselves.
While grades aren’t everything, they do an excellent job of sticking out in a pile of resumes and getting your foot in the interview room. For example, I absolutely sucked at networking. I remember attending some welcome reception and walking around the room for 5 minutes before going back to my hotel room!  However, because I had a 4.0 GPA, I still got invited to over 25 interviews that semester. As a result, I became a Level 99 interviewee primed for dominance the following recruiting season.
In recent years, college tuition costs, which have been growing faster than the rate of inflation for more than two decades, have slowed a bit. According to the College Board’s annual Trends in College Pricing report from 2014, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at a four-year public university increased by 2.9 percent between the 2013-2014 school year and the 2014-2015 school year to $9,139. The past two school years were the first since 1974-1975 in which increases were less than 3 percent (not adjusted for inflation). That doesn’t mean college is cheap.
You’re right that there’s tons of variables in teaching. I used to work at a Title 1 school that was almost 90% free and reduced lunch/low income. I would still work there today if it were up to me, but their funding was so bad. 🙁 It’s also interesting to look at how teachers are paid. We live in a very high COL suburb *for the Midwest*. But that’s also why my salary is so high. My district can pay what they do, at least in part, because of property taxes. It gets far more complicated when states have universal salary schedules and other things I don’t really understand 😉
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 think in my case it was pure ignorance (high school me). Sure, I could memorize books well, but I had no real connections. I had no experience getting a job. I had no clue how loans worked. I didn’t realize what an in-demand skill was. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is true for more high school students. My girlfriend on the other hand, ended up working for a top consulting firm after getting her masters in corporate finance! While she didn’t know that much about job market, she had really solid parents and great mentors. I think that can make a huge difference.

I got an email saying that he guarantees that you will make money with the Seven Figure Franchise, and quite frankly, that’s a pretty bold claim if you ask me. One of the things that really makes me suspicious about this, or any product of this tipe is that they don’t mention the price straight up front to people. I don’t have $4000 just laying around to purchase this, and even if I did, I would invest it into something like my Internet radio station and promoting it. Yes, I own and run an Internet radio station that plays country music, and it is a very professional-sounding station complete with jingles, and lots and lots of great country music.
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