What are some profitable careers?

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no_name
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What are some profitable careers?

Post by no_name » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:13 pm

For someone who is a boglehead and in college. He is in jr. college and taking rigorous math, science, and foreign language classes. He plans to transfer to a 4 year university and do ROTC.

I would like you to share your expertise.

Thanks in advance.

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fundtalker123
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by fundtalker123 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:18 pm

Founding CEO of microsoft

no_name
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by no_name » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:20 pm

fundtalker123 wrote:Founding CEO of microsoft
Even better, founding CEO of Apple.

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supraacumen
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by supraacumen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:26 pm

If he is already leaning toward STEM, my bias is toward engineering, as the nation is expected (if you believe CNN and such articles) to have a shortage of engineers to meet national defense requirements by 2018. I personally went the mechanical engineering route for a BS/MS, and I am taking classes part-time for an electrical engineering MS. In looking back at the two fields, (assuming he has no preference either way) I think there is more opportunity in electrical engineering, but this is just one opinion.
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tyrion
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by tyrion » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:36 pm

What subjects does he like? It's always easiest to be successful at something you are fully engaged in.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Balance » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:36 pm

supraacumen wrote:If he is already leaning toward STEM, my bias is toward engineering, as the nation is expected (if you believe CNN and such articles) to have a shortage of engineers to meet national defense requirements by 2018. I personally went the mechanical engineering route for a BS/MS, and I am taking classes part-time for an electrical engineering MS. In looking back at the two fields, (assuming he has no preference either way) I think there is more opportunity in electrical engineering, but this is just one opinion.
I have been hearing the same thing about engineers. Most of my friends here in the Bay Area are software or telecom engineers. Another area you may want to look at is healthcare. Nursing, health care administrations, physical therapy all look good for the foreseeable future. Main thing is to find something that you really like to do and are passionate about.

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Watty
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Watty » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:51 pm

It sounds like it is going towards a technical field so that within that it is really important for him to do what he is good at and is a natural fit for his personality.

He will of course want to be aware of what is in demand but that might be best in focusing his degree and not choosing what to major in. For example if he likes something like civil engineering but the market is weak (just making this up) he might be able to see that it might be generally weak but that some subspecialty of it has stronger demand.

The approach that I took when I was in college was to work on a degree with a very strong minor that is different but complements the major and to keep the door open for either switching majors or getting a double major. Depending on the degrees this isn't has hard as it sounds since many of the math and science classes will be required for either degree so there is a lot of overlap.

In my case I was majoring in Geology with a strong Computer Science minor. Partway through college it because clear that I was not real strong in Geology but the Computer Science came naturally to me. At the same time the boom/bust cycle for Geology work was heading into the bust cycle so I switched majors to Computer Science with a minor in Geology which worked out well. It turned out that I never really used the Geology but if the Geology job market had been stronger then I might have either gone for the double major or at least gotten a computer job related to Geology.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by jd88 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:00 am

Software Engineering is an excellent career option (of course I'm biased since I'm a coder). The industry is still growing well, and most of companies are excellent places to work with fantastic pay/benefits. But, as other people have said, no point in doing something you don't really love, which is why I consider myself to be so lucky

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market timer
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by market timer » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:09 am

If doing ROTC, maybe a career in the military?
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by tludwig23 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:09 am

The most profitable career will be the one he loves and has a passion for. Having a large retirement portfolio is meaningless if you've spent 40 years watching the clock and the calendar. Do what you love.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:21 am

By what I read on this forum, medicine. Seems like every doctor and his mom has a couple million.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by yobria » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:23 am

Anything that can't be outsourced to India.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by stemikger » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:37 am

I don't believe job security exists with any field any longer. So having said that, I would find something you have a passion for and make it work. I think this is going to be the new trend and in the long run it would be better because people will be doing what they love and not chasing the illusion of job security.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Heir-A-Parent » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:32 am

Okay, where to start. First, things have changed a lot in the past ten years, mostly due to the explosion in the cost of graduate education. A lot of careers that were once safe are no longer safe, and a lot of careers that were once gainful no longer are. This might sound like heresy to older posters, but this is what I am hearing from the troops on the front lines of the employment marketplace (I am 29).

Law is out. Do not go to law school. If you do not get into a top 14 law school, you will not get a salary high enough to repay your loans within a cost-effective span of time. If you do get into a top 14 law school, do not expect to make partner. Partnerships are out and corporations are in. You will be a highly paid employee for 3-6 years and then you will have to find greener pastures at lower pay. Law is fast becoming one of the worst careers because it costs a ton to get started and the market is beyond saturated. Did you know that only half of JD holders actually practice law? The rest gave up on the profession, or is it a job now?

Alternative to law: accounting. No graduate education is needed, and the career is not bifurcated between "prestigious" and "non-prestigious" tracks. It's more meritorious than law and is a better career for someone who is unsure of what they want to do since the entry costs are lower.

Medicine is out. Do not go to medical school unless you are a top student with a realistic shot at becoming a specialist and you actually want to be a doctor. How do you know if you want to be a doctor? Would you mind being around the sick, elderly, and obese for the rest of your life? Would you want to serve these people? If you get squeamish at this thought, then take a pass on medicine. And oh yeah, the debt is absolutely crushing. Student loan rates are not cheap and have not been cheap for about 8 years. The stories of 1-3% student loans are long gone. Expect 6.8-8.5% student loan rates, with most of those loans being unsubsidized, meaning interest gets capitalized during both school and residency. Unless you are getting help from elsewhere or are preternaturally thrifty expect to go into forbearance during residency. You will pay about $500,000 in principal and interest for a medical education, and will lose out on average of maybe $400,000 in lost income from the training. You better be able to recoup those costs in practice to make the career financially worthwhile.

The reason there are a lot of wealthy doctors on Bogleheads is because things were different 40 years ago. First, medical education was super cheap - and easier to attain - than today. Second, the expansion of Medicare initially led to a windfall for physicians in the 80s and early 90s. That windfall has petered out and now there are doctors who are literally indentured servants bound to their profession and hospital by debt. Don't believe the hype about medicine. That profession is experiencing a secular decline.

Alternative to medicine: nursing. Similar to accounting in that it only requires a bachelors degree. Nurses are in super-high demand because hospital administrators have recognized them as able to deliver many of the services that physicians deliver at lower cost. However any squeamishness that goes along with medicine goes along with nursing, and probably moreso.

Personally I would suggest nursing, unless you like numbers and can handle sitting on your duff at a computer for an entire day (harder than it sounds).

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by sport » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:22 am

If, and only if, one has the right personality for it, commission sales can be very lucrative. However, I believe most sales people are not all that successful. But if you are really good, you can make very good money. It doesn't have to be questionable areas like a stock broker or life insurance. Those who sell big ticket items, like industrial equipment, can do very well.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:30 am

Software engineering. Requires no graduate school (even college is optional). Starting pay in the major cities is around $120k (salary + bonus + equity), but could be more if you are lucky (you join a startup and it does well) or good (raises + bigger bonuses), and will go up as your equity refreshers pile up. A fair number of people at Google earn $200-300k, for instance.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by rainyday1 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:59 am

Capital Markets sales positions at major banks/investment banks.

But the Goldman guy who resigned publicly this week was exactly right. You mostly work with a bunch of jerks who get promoted because they "produce" so much. It's demoralizing to see the good guys (who actually try to do what's right for customers and for their employer) continually get pushed out in favor of top performers you can hardly stand to be in the same room with. If you can stand it for a few years, it's a great way to build up a nest egg and move on to something you actually enjoy.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by staythecourse » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:30 am

Only a hunch, but would suggest fields that can't be outsourced that the person likes/ love. Lets face it we don't all love our jobs, but a good paying job that you like helps one be able to do other things they love in their off time.

Good luck.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by imagardener » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:31 am

The partner to a "profitable" career is one that is in demand so that a job exists. I've done some career research for a STEM event my non-profit group held for girls and found this site: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm Salary info is in far right column.
The list changes every now and then (it just changed last month).

You will not see a lot of math oriented careers there (Marketing Analyst perhaps) but quite a lot of science/health careers.

His list of math, science and foreign languages brings to mind a career with the FBI, CIA or US Foreign Service. One of the STEM role models we had is ex-CIA. Her undergrad and grad degrees were in Economics with other grad work in data processing (I may not be expressing this area of study correctly). She emphasized the foreign language component. Profitable? I think the pension aspect would equal a million-dollar portfolio.

I agree with "follow your heart" for a career but if he has no set goal then it helps to have a list of jobs to imagine and/or reject. Also helps to talk to someone in the field so they can tell the realities of the job.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by sjb19 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:41 am

supraacumen wrote:If he is already leaning toward STEM, my bias is toward engineering, as the nation is expected (if you believe CNN and such articles) to have a shortage of engineers to meet national defense requirements by 2018. I personally went the mechanical engineering route for a BS/MS, and I am taking classes part-time for an electrical engineering MS. In looking back at the two fields, (assuming he has no preference either way) I think there is more opportunity in electrical engineering, but this is just one opinion.
IMO defense contractors and military R&D in general are somewhat paralyzed right now with budget concerns, whether or not they are justified. Living thru it is not terribly fun. That said, longer term EE is a great degree and can be used in a surprisingly large variety of positions in different industries.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Mortgasm » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:45 am

no_name wrote:
fundtalker123 wrote:Founding CEO of microsoft
Even better, founding CEO of Apple.

Gates made 10 times (at least) what Jobs did.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by AT11 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:51 am

Medicine is a great career with opportunity for life time learning. Help others and make lots good friends. Have good income. Can go in multiple career directions. I don't of any unemployed physicians who had good skills. You don't need borrow so much if attend state med school. I know multiple MD's who had their loans repaid by hospital. Would redo my career for sure.

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supraacumen
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by supraacumen » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:14 am

sjb19 wrote:IMO defense contractors and military R&D in general are somewhat paralyzed right now with budget concerns, whether or not they are justified. Living thru it is not terribly fun. That said, longer term EE is a great degree and can be used in a surprisingly large variety of positions in different industries.
You are correct that many contractors and R&D positions are paralyzed with budget concerns; however, the level of work is certainly not dying down. Even if the defense budget were to be decreased by 10%, the overall numbers (corrected for inflation) are on par with the post-Reagan buildup. Now, if the OP's son is 4 years out from working (jr. college plus time spent in 4-year school), I do not see the current budget paralysis as a big factor, as the nation has more demand for scientists and engineers than are being supplied. In any case, time will tell whether my outlook is overly optimistic or not. My main reason for originally bringing up national defense work is that the work cannot be outsourced. Regardless of the current budget situation, this is an important point.

As for the EE degree, I definitely agree that there are a large variety of positions that open up. It seems that EE can lead to work in computer science, controls theory, electronic packaging design, etc.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by SP-diceman » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:53 am

Politician.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by milestogo » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:25 am

Actuary or petroleum engineer. Almost every graduate in these 2 areas got a 6 figure job out of college. Maybe money won't make you happy but not having enough sure won't make you happy either.

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Project management

Post by Marmot » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:29 am

If someone has the skills and experience they have a career for life. I am a Human Resource manager and have really seen the growth of these positions in the recent 5 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Ma ... ofessional

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Agentwilder » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:38 am

I guess I'll speak up for the Military.

Finish whatever technical degree interests you the most. An O-1 starts out around $34K/yr and in 4 yrs earns $60K/yr as an O-3. That is just taxable pay, add 30% in untaxed allowances. There are other pays that can add up too.

A 3 year tour earns you the GI-Bill and VA Home Loan while some services offer student loan repayment, bonuses or even paying for college before you join.

20 years earns you what I consider a generous COLA adjusted pension with plenty of time for a second career if desired.

Other good Boglehead pros: TSP (roth TSP soon I hope), Generally lower tax bracket, job security (not as good as it used to be), tax free pay in certain areas, Savings Deposit Program, paid training, automatic advancement (to a point), 30 paid days of leave per year, etc, etc.

Yes it can be dangerous, you certainly give up some freedom and you will likely spend time in undesireable locations (I write from Afghanistan).

It's my experience that you give up a great deal to recieve these benefits, in ways you can't imagine when you sign up. There are other benefits, also difficult to understand until you're all in. I don't think it's for everyone but in my opinion it's definitely worth a look.

**Not a recruiter, never have been.

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verbose
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by verbose » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:48 am

TheEternalVortex wrote:Software engineering. Requires no graduate school (even college is optional). Starting pay in the major cities is around $120k (salary + bonus + equity), but could be more if you are lucky (you join a startup and it does well) or good (raises + bigger bonuses), and will go up as your equity refreshers pile up. A fair number of people at Google earn $200-300k, for instance.
I wonder which major cities pay $120K for an entry-level software engineer? Remember that salaries are highly geographical. Major cities in the Midwest don't pay this kind of salary for entry-level. I'd guess entry-level here is somewhere around $70K.

But software engineering is still lucrative. It pays better than engineering, in general. I have a degree in mechanical engineering with ten years of experience in software development. I've discovered that engineering pays less than software, even when I'm doing the same thing (software development) with the title of engineer.

Yes, college was optional. I'm not sure if it still is. Without college, it's a tough road to that first job. Probably the best road to software engineering sans degree is to sell your own software (iPhone or other mobile app, web sites, etc.) and use it as your resume.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:51 am

Agentwilder wrote: ...Yes it can be dangerous, you certainly give up some freedom and you will likely spend time in undesireable locations (I write from Afghanistan)...
They have INTERNET in Afghanistan now? Nice!
Isn't there also a lifetime HEALTHCARE COVERAGE benefit for folks who have been in the military for a while? How many years of service does it take before that kicks in?
Attempted new signature...

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by DaleMaley » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:00 am

As an engineer with an MBA.............I would still recommend Mechanical or Electrical engineering. After working a couple years, go to night school and get the MBA.

My son graduated a few years ago with a EE degree........and was still able to quickly find a good job...even with the downturn then. He finishes his MBA this summer.......through night classes.

My daughter got her accounting degree about 2 years ago.........she also found a job very quickly.

If you are good in math and science.........engineering should be a good natural fit.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by momar » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:03 am

Chemical engineering usually is the most profitable degree for an undergraduate engineer, on average. Maybe software/comp sci will/has passed this, though, not sure?

If graduate school is an option, I'll note that a lot of people I work with would get a PhD in Materials Science if they had to do it again. Not because of the pay, but because of the utility when working at a research laboratory (lots of flexibility, very multidisciplinary, can fit in and fill in gaps on many projects). I do think that the future for Materials research is enormous and is only being scratched right now. I'll also note that Materials is not as competitive for graduate school as something like EE.

As for pure science, skip the Physics and Biology and become a Chemist.
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by norookie » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:07 am

8-) A Co. or LLC., proprietorship, or barber shop, on the side or FT where :dollar is your problem. :mrgreen: J/K. However know how to speak the top 3 languages is always beneficial, English, Spanish, and a basic chinese open many doors toward opportunities for diversification of your wealth/income stream.

[inappropriate comments edited by admin alex] :oops: THANKS! really!
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Watty » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:11 am

yobria wrote:Anything that can't be outsourced to India.
Yes it happens but the fear of it is overblown at least in the IT field.

I work in IT and my son just graduated with a Computer Science degree in December and is now working as a software engineer so I have been keeping up with the trends.

Up until the current recession the fear of outsourcing and the stories about people losing their jobs in the dot com bust had really hurt the enrollment in college IT programs which has acutally made a shortage of new graduates even in a recession. There are actually a lot more people employed in IT today in the US than at the top of the dot com bubble. Things like outsourcing may reduce the IT job market by a percent or two a year at most (just guessing) but the IT job market is growing at a much faster rate so there is still good net growth.

Some ares of IT will be hurt more than others so it might change the types of jobs available in in IT but that is changing all the time even without outsourscing.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by scrabbler1 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:31 am

I worked for 23 years in the actuarial field. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s it was rated #1 by the Jobs Rated Almanac although it slipped a few spots after that. I did not major in math, statistics, or actuarial science but I had a strong math, computer (mainframe, this was the 1980s), and business background, all of which were very attractive to my employer.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Harold » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:44 am

milestogo wrote:Actuary or petroleum engineer. Almost every graduate in these 2 areas got a 6 figure job out of college.
Actuaries do fine -- but that's overstating a bit.

http://www.dwsimpson.com/salary.html

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by HornedToad » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:14 pm

verbose wrote:
TheEternalVortex wrote:Software engineering. Requires no graduate school (even college is optional). Starting pay in the major cities is around $120k (salary + bonus + equity), but could be more if you are lucky (you join a startup and it does well) or good (raises + bigger bonuses), and will go up as your equity refreshers pile up. A fair number of people at Google earn $200-300k, for instance.
I wonder which major cities pay $120K for an entry-level software engineer? Remember that salaries are highly geographical. Major cities in the Midwest don't pay this kind of salary for entry-level. I'd guess entry-level here is somewhere around $70K.

But software engineering is still lucrative. It pays better than engineering, in general. I have a degree in mechanical engineering with ten years of experience in software development. I've discovered that engineering pays less than software, even when I'm doing the same thing (software development) with the title of engineer.

Yes, college was optional. I'm not sure if it still is. Without college, it's a tough road to that first job. Probably the best road to software engineering sans degree is to sell your own software (iPhone or other mobile app, web sites, etc.) and use it as your resume.
None, he's vastly over-exagerating unless by entry he means several years after college when you are now a competent software engineer. The 120k example is possible with PhD or possibly a masters if you are outstanding and get in a very well paying company but the average is much lower than that for starting salary. Besides, for equity vesting it really takes ~3-4 years before you're getting good money out of by having multiple years vesting.

That said, I'd still recommend software engineer or accounting as good starting careers where the college degree directly prepares you for your career.. And Software Engineer is such a broad term that there's really a lot you can do with it: programmer, prog. analyst, data architect, data warehousing/ETL, etc.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Mortgasm » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:27 pm

no_name wrote:For someone who is a boglehead and in college. He is in jr. college and taking rigorous math, science, and foreign language classes. He plans to transfer to a 4 year university and do ROTC.

I would like you to share your expertise.

Thanks in advance.
I think you are asking the question in a way that won't get you the advice you need. There are lots of profitable careers, but which ones are realistic to target? If you want to form a strategy, you would pick the careers that have higher wages and are in high-demand.

Overall the medical profession still does extremely well.

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_104.htm


That said, I don't really think the best strategy is to use tables like this. So I wouldn't even ask myself the question. You have to do something you like, preferably love, or work will be a long hard slog.

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:33 pm

TheEternalVortex wrote:Software engineering. Requires no graduate school (even college is optional). Starting pay in the major cities is around $120k (salary + bonus + equity), but could be more if you are lucky (you join a startup and it does well) or good (raises + bigger bonuses), and will go up as your equity refreshers pile up. A fair number of people at Google earn $200-300k, for instance.
Which major cities are you talking about? Even during the tech boom I only know a few people who managed to get $100k starting in Silicon Valley. In Atlanta, the current entry-level rates (we hire a bunch of them at my company) are in the $50-60k range depending on how impressive your interview is. Even 10 years out, only a minority are earning more than $100k.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Boglenaut
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Boglenaut » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:34 pm

My neighbor just started pharmacy school. Looking at starting pay, increase demand as the population ages, difficulty in outsourcing, license requirements making HB1 competition harder, that seems like a good bet. Of course, nothing is a sure bet.

If I were starting out, I would look into it. This is not my field though, so I am just guessing. Any phamacists here?

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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Colorado13 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:06 pm

Check out Payscale.com's list of Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary -- not that I'm suggesting a field of study/career only for earnings potential, but here are some numbers:

Starting Median Pay Mid-Career Median Pay

Petroleum Engineering $97,900 $155,000
Chemical Engineering $64,500 $109,000
Electrical Engineering (EE) $61,300 $103,000
Materials Science & Engineering $60,400 $103,000
Aerospace Engineering $60,700 $102,000
Computer Engineering (CE) $61,800 $101,000
Physics $49,800 $101,000
Applied Mathematics $52,600 $98,600
Computer Science (CS) $56,600 $97,900
Nuclear Engineering $65,100 $97,800
Biomedical Engineering (BME) $53,800 $97,800
Economics $47,300 $94,700
Mechanical Engineering (ME) $58,400 $94,500
Statistics $49,000 $93,800
Industrial Engineering (IE) $57,400 $93,100
Civil Engineering (CE) $53,100 $90,200
Mathematics $47,000 $89,900
Environmental Engineering $51,700 $88,600
Management Information Systems (MIS) $51,000 $88,200
Software Engineering $54,900 $87,800
Finance $46,500 $87,300

TheEternalVortex
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:27 pm

verbose wrote:I wonder which major cities pay $120K for an entry-level software engineer? Remember that salaries are highly geographical. Major cities in the Midwest don't pay this kind of salary for entry-level. I'd guess entry-level here is somewhere around $70K.
This about the salary in SF Ba, Seattle, NY and similar areas. Also, the $120k includes bonus and equity, base salary is less.

SP-diceman
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by SP-diceman » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:33 pm

Colorado13 wrote:Check out Payscale.com's list of Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary -- not that I'm suggesting a field of study/career only for earnings potential, but here are some numbers:

Starting Median Pay Mid-Career Median Pay

Petroleum Engineering $97,900 $155,000
Chemical Engineering $64,500 $109,000
Electrical Engineering (EE) $61,300 $103,000
Materials Science & Engineering $60,400 $103,000
Aerospace Engineering $60,700 $102,000
Computer Engineering (CE) $61,800 $101,000
Physics $49,800 $101,000
Applied Mathematics $52,600 $98,600
Computer Science (CS) $56,600 $97,900
Nuclear Engineering $65,100 $97,800
Biomedical Engineering (BME) $53,800 $97,800
Economics $47,300 $94,700
Mechanical Engineering (ME) $58,400 $94,500
Statistics $49,000 $93,800
Industrial Engineering (IE) $57,400 $93,100
Civil Engineering (CE) $53,100 $90,200
Mathematics $47,000 $89,900
Environmental Engineering $51,700 $88,600
Management Information Systems (MIS) $51,000 $88,200
Software Engineering $54,900 $87,800
Finance $46,500 $87,300
I guess Economics doesnt pay? :)

TheEternalVortex
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:34 pm

HornedToad wrote:None, he's vastly over-exagerating unless by entry he means several years after college when you are now a competent software engineer. The 120k example is possible with PhD or possibly a masters if you are outstanding and get in a very well paying company but the average is much lower than that for starting salary. Besides, for equity vesting it really takes ~3-4 years before you're getting good money out of by having multiple years vesting.
At the major tech companies (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, NVIDIA, Amazon, etc.) this is the market wage for new college grads. A typical offer is salary of $90-100k + signing bonus of ~$10k + 10% expected bonus + $40-80k equity/4 years. PhDs get about 20% more.

bmelikia
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by bmelikia » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:38 pm

no_name wrote:
fundtalker123 wrote:Founding CEO of microsoft
Even better, founding CEO of Apple.
Don't do that. . .you'll die young. . .
"I would rather die with money, than live without it...." - Bogleheads member Ron | | "The greatest enemy of a good plan, is the dream of a perfect plan." | -Bogle

TheEternalVortex
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:38 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
TheEternalVortex wrote:Software engineering. Requires no graduate school (even college is optional). Starting pay in the major cities is around $120k (salary + bonus + equity), but could be more if you are lucky (you join a startup and it does well) or good (raises + bigger bonuses), and will go up as your equity refreshers pile up. A fair number of people at Google earn $200-300k, for instance.
Which major cities are you talking about? Even during the tech boom I only know a few people who managed to get $100k starting in Silicon Valley. In Atlanta, the current entry-level rates (we hire a bunch of them at my company) are in the $50-60k range depending on how impressive your interview is. Even 10 years out, only a minority are earning more than $100k.
In SV it's rare to make less than $100k in total compensation at major tech companies. Actually I don't know of a single person that does, although perhaps it's theoretically possible. Typically the LOWEST starting salaries are in the high $80s, plus bonus and equity of another $20k.

FafnerMorell
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by FafnerMorell » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:44 pm

I've been happy with my career in electrical/computer engineering. As a side note - from what I hear from other engineers, expect just about any engineering job to involve a fair amount of software writing (or at least being an incrediably-knowledgable-expert user of software) - even folks doing petroleum engineering spend a lot of time on the computer (e.g. writing Perl scripts to transform data from one source to another).

The foreign language angle can be very useful - often you're needing to communicate to customers across the globe, and being able to speak at least some of the other language can help in forming relationships.

Now, some folks will point out that you're not necessarily going to be making $120k right out of college with an engineering degree (unless, perhaps, it's petroleum) - and while that's true - I don't see a lot of careers which really offer that at the end of a 4 year degree. I'd be very leery of any advice along the lines of "Go into X, because I'm jealous of how much those people make". There's always a lot of "the grass is greener on the other side" in career discussions.

I would strongly encourage doing a co-op (engineering-term for internship) if you can - getting that initial job in the field is 80% of the battle, and take advantage of what your college/university can help with there.

stan1
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by stan1 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:03 pm

Some people won't like this, but the best defense against outsourcing is being good at what you do PLUS having a good attitude and good people skills. It's not good enough to just have good technical skills. You have to always be trying new ways to add value -- saving the company money, improving the product, generating revenue. Top performers are much less likely to get outsourced than average to below average performers. It seems like 90% of people think they are above average, but in reality only 50% are above average and only 10% are exceptional enough that someone will go to bat for you. Find something you like, be good at it, and show passion so that you are in the top 10%. It's not a guarantee, but its the best you can do.

I think mechanical, electrical, or a math/science-based software engineering is a good choice. Coders will get outsourced, but the creative people who come up with ideas will not. Accounting is a good choice. Agree with earlier comments about law and medicine being only for the truly dedicated. Other medical fields such as nursing, radiology techs, or anesthesia techs are good -- but there are some risks: young people can get good salaries, but there isn't as much pay growth potential as there is in other fields (e.g. an RN with 25 years experience doesn't necessarily make much more than one with 5 years experience). Plus there is burnout.

Pinotage
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Pinotage » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:16 pm

Boglenaut wrote:My neighbor just started pharmacy school. Looking at starting pay, increase demand as the population ages, difficulty in outsourcing, license requirements making HB1 competition harder, that seems like a good bet. Of course, nothing is a sure bet.

If I were starting out, I would look into it. This is not my field though, so I am just guessing. Any phamacists here?
Do not recommend.

The number of pharmacy schools, and the capacity of previously exisiting schools, has expanded rapidly over the last 5 - 10 years. As in a close to 50% increase in number of graduates. Supply has gone way up and demand has faltered. Many programs have yet to even graduate a class. The job market is contracting very quickly.

Combine the rapidly worsening job market with long educational path (minimum of 6 years in school, most students spend 8 years), increasing need for residency (1 or 2 years post graduation) to get hospital/clinical work and a high cost of education and you have a bad bet.

jd88
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by jd88 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:19 pm

HornedToad wrote:
verbose wrote:
TheEternalVortex wrote:Software engineering. Requires no graduate school (even college is optional). Starting pay in the major cities is around $120k (salary + bonus + equity), but could be more if you are lucky (you join a startup and it does well) or good (raises + bigger bonuses), and will go up as your equity refreshers pile up. A fair number of people at Google earn $200-300k, for instance.
I wonder which major cities pay $120K for an entry-level software engineer? Remember that salaries are highly geographical. Major cities in the Midwest don't pay this kind of salary for entry-level. I'd guess entry-level here is somewhere around $70K.

But software engineering is still lucrative. It pays better than engineering, in general. I have a degree in mechanical engineering with ten years of experience in software development. I've discovered that engineering pays less than software, even when I'm doing the same thing (software development) with the title of engineer.

Yes, college was optional. I'm not sure if it still is. Without college, it's a tough road to that first job. Probably the best road to software engineering sans degree is to sell your own software (iPhone or other mobile app, web sites, etc.) and use it as your resume.
None, he's vastly over-exagerating unless by entry he means several years after college when you are now a competent software engineer. The 120k example is possible with PhD or possibly a masters if you are outstanding and get in a very well paying company but the average is much lower than that for starting salary. Besides, for equity vesting it really takes ~3-4 years before you're getting good money out of by having multiple years vesting.

That said, I'd still recommend software engineer or accounting as good starting careers where the college degree directly prepares you for your career.. And Software Engineer is such a broad term that there's really a lot you can do with it: programmer, prog. analyst, data architect, data warehousing/ETL, etc.
Starting salaries for people who are graduating undergrad *this* year at top-tier companies such as Facebook/Google/etc is 100k + 20k+ signing bonus + 10-20k bonus/year + 30-40k/year in RSU grants for 4 years. Probably a little less for folks in up Seattle to account for lower cost of living.

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: What are some profitable careers?

Post by Devil's Advocate » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:31 pm

Physician Assistant is a great career.

"Employment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 39 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Projected rapid job growth reflects the expansion of healthcare industries and an emphasis on cost containment, which results in increasing use of PAs by healthcare establishments" http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos081.htm

Make good to great money and have a life work balance.

DA

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