Let me start by saying that this article is a BIG FAT GENERALIZATION. I know it is. It is not meant for everyone, and not meant to say it is true about everyone. It’s just meant to help the thought process along a bit and give you perspective. Nothing more and nothing less.
We all want to become what makes us most happy, what makes our parents proud, and what will eventually be able to give us the life we hope to have someday. The practical side of all of those assumptions is that the path you start on may not always be the one you end up taking as life progresses. In fact, the major you start with in college may change several times by the time you are a senior.
The “trifecta” is finding a job that you love doing, you happen to be really good at it, and it happens to make a lot of money. I know many of you are not looking for just the big bucks. I respect that. But consider this:
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
-Norman Vincent Peale
It is an underrated quote, but so applicable when it comes to going after anything in life.
When selecting a major in college, some of the popular ones are often: business, english, biology, marketing, computer science, psychology, political science, engineering, economics, finance, history, etc. No matter what you pick to start with, the best recommendation I can give you is try to specialize in something. When you graduate with a general major and you go to look for a job after graduation, you are placed in the same pool of applicants that also picked that same general major. If you specialize in some way or add a minor, or add any unique skillset to your arsenal…all of a sudden you are no longer in that same pool of applicants – you are in a smaller, less general pool. You have set yourself apart and may catch the eye of an employer looking for an out-of-the-box background.
Also, if you come from a wealthy family and money is not too much of a concern for you, then you can let the chips fall where they may. However, if you happen to be in the opposite situation and want to make as much money as possible and cannot afford to make a not-so-great choice when it comes to choosing a career, my suggestion would be to pick a job that is not cyclical in nature.
A cyclical industry is a type of industry that is sensitive to the business cycle, such that revenues generally are higher in periods of economic prosperity and expansion and are lower in periods of economic downturn and contraction. (Investopedia.com)
Pick a job that will always be needed no matter what happens in the economy (for example: hospital jobs, contractors, engineers, lawyers, etc.) Examples of jobs that are within industries that are cyclical are: airlines, hotels, tourism, automobiles, etc. This is a bit subjective, but you get the idea.
One of the most practical methods of picking a job based on its pay is to skip googling specific jobs and their average pay. Instead, what you should do is go to a jobsite like: ziprecruiter.com, indeed.com or monster.com and see what jobs are currently on the market and how much they are offering to fill certain spots. It is also important to ask questions to people SPECIFICALLY in the field you are interested in and get an understanding of how hard it is to find a job in that field – or what it takes to grow in that field. Sometimes, you can find yourself graduating from a program or a university and learn the hard way that breaking into that field is harder than you anticipated, or that the jobs are few-and-far-between, or that the ladder is quite steep.
Generally speaking, entry level jobs in advertising, journalism, and fashion (to name a few) have pretty low base salaries. Entry level jobs in the fields of engineering, finance, and banking will usually be higher. When it comes to becoming a doctor, personally, I would try and be sure to be a doctor that specializes in something. If I am going to go to school for that many years, l want to be in a position to earn as much as I can, since I will be close to 30 years old before I graduate and start making enough money to pay off my ridiculously costly student loans that I have accumulated along the way. There is a big difference between what a general practitioner and a surgeon makes, for example.
Lastly, I will just leave you with: hard work and the right attitude will certainly aid you in making it any field. However, I am more of the mindset of working smarter not harder. I also want to make an educated decision when it comes to picking a career path because I am totally not about to invest years of my life in one direction only to end up wishing I took a different path.
By: Dear Miss Penny