First of all great article John, and thanks for sharing your story. What Vicki says about her kids resonates with me. My parents limited me to schools I could commute to. In the back of my head I always knew that was better financially, but it was still tough to think of what I was missing out on. I still got by and had a blast in school so it worked out. Everything is what you make of it.
I am writing you this comment in great desperation as I need your advice in something. I graduated from university with a GPA=2.6. My objective was to get recruited at one of the big four auditing firms (Delloitte, PWC, KPMG, etc). Obviously, my GPA is not sufficient to get enrolled. However, I am planning to work hard in studying for my CIA program (certified internal auditor). If i complete it and acquire a high score in the CIA examination will I have a chance at Delloitte perhaps? or Am i scewed? i will also embark on the CISA program as soon as i complete the CIA. PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME asap. Thank you for your kind attention….
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!

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.


I earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Masters in Management. The University I attended didn’t offer petroleum engineering but I do have several friends that were ChemE’s, as we used to call them. I agree that my ChemE friends who went into the oil industry definitely started out with highers salaries. But from my perspective these guys are working significantly more than the standard 40 hours a week contrary to what the article proposed.
Another advantage public schools have is their far broader acceptance of AP and community college courses (remember Step 1?). After all of my credits were applied, I entered college as a junior and graduated in 3 years instead of 4. That’s an extra savings of $10,500 or $50,000 if I were smart enough to get into a school like MIT. I’m not even including room and board and textbook expenses. Absolutely huge.
Not that I recommend this as a permanent lifestyle, especially if you want to have kids some day, but you could always take one of those “Most Dangerous Jobs” as an oil platform worker, Alaska crabber, etc. which pay well, or even get into a decent skilled job in a manufacturing facility with a base of say, 50-60K after a few years, but work every shift of overtime you can get your hands on. Granted, I used to see many people miserable doing this, but they were bringing in 6 figures as a mechanic, pipefitter or in some cases, even HS level line workers. Finally, you can get a side job – like blogging!
This forumla you have makes sense for some people, but not all. Case in point – I went to a college in the midwest that no one has heard of, graduated with a 3.2 GPA, and at the age of 29 closed the year with a $110k salary. My boyfriend went to one of the top 10 public institutions in the country, graduated with a 3.8 GPA, and last year earned about $20k. Yes, having a degree from a top-tier institution may have increased my current salary even more, but I think had I gone that route I would have went into a less exciting career and given myself less chances to fail. Instead, with my average academic background, I’ve been able to live out many careers in my 20s – as a business journalist, and then in a variety of roles in startups where I could put my writing skills to use. I learned how to negotiate and that’s why I’m making six figures today (and I also have a sizable stock package that could be worth more a few years down the road.) My salary clearly has nothing to do with my academic performance. Sure, Google would never hire me because I don’t meet their hiring criteria, but who needs Google when you can start out as one of the first employees of a startup and help make that startup worth hundreds of millions of dollars?
I think you are on the right track about his willingness, or lack thereof to relocate. Knowing him, he is quite passive and possibly only limiting himself to local options. He has interned and maintained good grades. Despite his lack of ambition and possible reluctance to relocate, I am still surprised that he is having such a hard time finding something local as if there are no jobs in NY in Chem Eng field at all. Any advise I can pass on to my passive friend other than relocating?
I never advocate relying on affiliate income as your only form of revenue, or starting a blog with affiliate sales as your only monetizing strategy, because for most bloggers it amounts only to pennies, maybe dollars, and even that isn’t consistent. Sure, you might earn a few bucks here and there or a credit to put toward a service you use regularly. While every dollar’s welcome, of course, and this type of affiliate earnings can supplement other income, it’s not enough to support a family.
I am glad to know that Affiliate Marketing is not dead as was presumed in early 2012 when Google pushed out harsh update targeting affiliate sites. I agree the article or blog post needs to be detailed and videos result in more conversions. I personally got succeeded more by adding videos to affiliate content. Anyways Glen all the tips you mentioned have been deployed by me on my blog and they work pretty well.
Every time I got stock from my company I tried to sell as much as I could every year and diversify into other asset classes like real estate. The banking industry stunk, and I didn’t want my career, salary, and stock to all be tied to the stock market. But stock grants as part of my bonus kept coming faster than I could sell. My old company stock is down 50% this year alone!
I am currently 24 and have above a 100k salary, but fall within the category of a financier. I work at a company that invests debt and equity into medium sized businesses. I also invest in equities on the side while managing my blog. I think I followed the post well, other than the fact that I didn’t go into engineering. I had to work very hard, get very good grades and develop my analysis skills to get where I am today. I love reading sites like this to continue to learn ways to boost my income and to hear from other like-minded individuals!
I believe for many people including myself, the elusive passion that yields happiness and fulfillment is still unknown even well into adulthood. Personally, if money wasn’t a factor I’m not sure what I would be doing…and that’s what I’d like to figure out. In the meanwhile though, building financial independence can provide options down the road and keep you flexible.
“Ultimate” is right! Thank you for this thorough and thought-provoking post. I have yet to venture into affiliate marketing; I’m standing in the doorway, thinking of how to connect my interests and knowledge to an appropriate product. I feel I’ve read plenty to get me started once I have a product, but this is the hardest part, isn’t it? I have just subscribed to Blog Tyrant and will continue to follow Viper Chill — I just want to put all this information to work, and soon!
… ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name (i.e., not just “Section 2.1”), and that your page includes a “table of contents” which links to the individual anchors… you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.

LOTS of people feel the way you described in terms of being trapped and not being able to move up. I’d argue through, that in a lot of the cases engineers are kind of awkward, while also being kind of arrogant and entitled. I’ve experienced person after person express dislike for their job or inability to get promoted, but they don’t get company paid for masters degrees, they don’t get PMP certifications, they don’t even do the work of applying for other jobs, they just whine about it…
I get the feeling it is actually easier than we think to make a salary up to $200,000 a year because so many people in this country are basically LAZY and feel they are entitled to a certain standard of living with little effort on their part. Not saying everyone is, so don’t take me wrong. I’m guilty of it myself at certain times in my life. Therefore, the folks who strive to achieve the principles that you’ve outlined in your article are way ahead of the pack, just by making an effort. As the saying goes…The cream rises to the top.
Thanks for reigniting my spirit bro. Affiliate marketing is the game changer when it comes to making money on your blog.I neglected it at the start but now i really see it as a necessity. In 5 months i have earned twice waht i made with PPC(Adsense) to be precise. Selling poducts and getting commisions brings the highest cash. Will be around some other time to check out your write ups. Hope to see you on my blig some day too. Cheers.

The one section I found really useful was the monetizing section where the authors explain all about choosing the right ads, affiliate programs and other revenue streams. While I'm sure there's more complete info on this (it could be worth an entire book), it was a good introduction and gave me guidelines if I ever have to do something like this myself.
Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.

If you have an inclination to chemistry, biology, can present your science well and work well across line functions, the biotech / pharma industry is a great place to build a career. And it’s not cyclical. Huge unmet need in so many diseases and the constant demand for more efficacious medicines will always require innovative young scientists to come to the fore.
Alright, so I started doing construction work for my parents as they remodeled their house. They paid me 10 an hour. This probably started when I was ~ 13. Then I started lifeguarding at 15 and did that until I was 16 (2 summers). I would work about 60 hours a week during that time + continue to work construction on my days off from lifeguarding. Between 13-16 I was able to stockpile ~25k. I used 10k to buy a BMW cash at 16 (which I still drive to this day). The car was a depreciating asset for sure. So I went into junior year of high school with about 15k in cash and a 10k BMW (which was worth 15k but the market was falling out under itself so the dealer sold to me because I had cash and he needed money).
It therefore becomes apparent that the majority of households with incomes exceeding the six figure mark are the result of an economic as well as personal union between two economic equals. Today, two nurses, each making $55,000 a year, can easily out-earn a single attorney who makes the median of $95,000 annually.[24][42] Despite household income rising drastically through the union of two economic equals, neither individual has advanced his or her function and position within society. Yet the household (not the individual) may have become more affluent, assuming an increase in household members does not offset the dual-income derived gains.
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.
100k in the Bay area is like 50k in most of the country adjusted for cost of living. I really wish we used adjusted salary more frequently in the US – including welfare, taxes etc. So many T10, T20 B schools are graded based off average nominal salary, which drastically overstates NE and California B-Schools in terms of their value due to their typical placement location.
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.
4. Go back too school, probably the worst choice of all but i cant see myself being a laborer for ever, i hate working outside in the cold and after doing construction for 6 years now my body already feels achy compared too when i was younger. Ive had many injuries from hard physical labor and it scares me that one day i might not be able to do my job, and support my future family. as well i am bored with being a electrician so many of my friends are in school drinking coffees learning about interesting things and being around girls while I’m out in the cold working my ass off. Now i know i am making school sound glamorous and I’m sure its a lot of hard work, but i actually have thoroughly enjoyed Electrical school and am sad this is my last year. after this its work everyday and that thought depresses me, but making the wrong decision and going back to school for another mediocre job and go into debt when i can make all this money now depending on the route I take. I don’t know what i should do.
There are less than 10 orchestras in the US that pay $100k or more. Depending on the instrument there are only about 0 to 5 position openings total (5 being maybe violin, 0 is maybe a tuba position) per year from those top orchestras. Each year, there are thousands of graduates from top music schools and they compete for that position in auditions. I auditioned and failed so many times I lost count. Of course when the economy sinks, the number of auditions decline even more. (orchestra tries to save money by hiring temp subs instead which is detrimental to the artistic quality)
My prediction is that the next big thing will be Google using the referring page to pick up keywords instead of the anchor text. Anchor text is too easy to game. There are already people saying that they are getting better results when a referrer links straight to their home page with their site name instead of any keywords. The keywords are now in the referring post.
No wonder even after 8 years of trying soooo many programs I am still where I have been for all these years – a NEWBIE! Frankly I do not see Wealthy Affiliate to be my way out. I can see it is a non-specific info-overloaded, with steep learning curve to overcome. After all these years I have yet to find a specific ‘do this first then this’ step by step tried and tested program that I can confidently follow to earn some decent income. What a shame!
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