Best careers for people about to enter college?

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Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by fredflinstone »

In the past few days, we've seen some interesting threads on various white-collar careers (law, medicine, finance).

It seems clear that many newly-minted lawyers cannot find work, and similar stories are cropping up in other white-collar professions. It's harder and harder for young architects, veterinarians, graphic designers, musicians, artists, academics, and journalists to find jobs. Typically, the number of people seeking such jobs is greatly outnumbered by the number of qualified applicants.

Even in STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering, and math), I have heard anecdotes of biologists, chemists, programmers, and engineers with impressive credentials unable to find work, or, alternatively, unhappy about jobs with low pay, high stress, and long hours.

An increasing number of doctors are unhappy, too, due to very long hours, declining pay, declining autonomy, increased malpractice risk, and increased paperwork/bureaucracy.

All of which raises the question: What are the best options today for bright young people who are about to embark on their careers?
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

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This thread is off-topic for this (and other) sub-forums and locked (not personal nor actionable). See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

- It must be actionable. You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation.

See the example in the referenced thread.

The previous two threads Why are so many physicians unhappy with their careers? and Is law no longer a viable career option for young people? are now locked.

Bear in mind that this forum is focused on personal investing, which reduces the number of topics that can be discussed. The above threads are general comments, as explained in A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT.


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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by LadyGeek »

After a PM exchange, the OP has clarified that his intent is to ask on the behalf of his children. IOW, "What are the best options today for bright young people who are about to embark on their careers?"

This thread is now unlocked.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Whether this is his "best" path or not, my soon-to-attend college son is going for math and physics. It is not guaranteed that he will start a career there, but employers of all flavors like people who can handle high level math and physics (besides, those are his passion). He is not interested in medicine, law, or engineering.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by abuss368 »

Accounting and obtaining a CPA.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by mephistophles »

Undertaking.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by livesoft »

It is ironic that all the hue and cry for more STEM teaching and lack of competiveness of the US in some of these fields accompanies the fact that STEM heavy places like Merck are laying off lots of folks: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/busin ... rkers.html

Although perhaps a lowly, less lucrative engineering field, it seems to me that civil engineering is going to be around quite a while because of infrastructure replacement, LEED building, and construction cannot be outsourced. However, C.E. has been taking it on the chin for a number of years, too.

All I can say is that there is always room at the top.

OTOH, these old videos in the "Did you know?" series are always fun to watch, such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY

Oh, and I will throw this career out there: Internet Security Expert.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by nimo956 »

These types of majors will probably open up the most options in terms of seeking employment post-graduation:

Computer Science
Math
Econ
Physics
Operations Research and Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

That said, as long as you are smart and have a good technical background, you can do well anywhere. I know English majors at MBB and Philosophy majors at Wharton.

The most successful person I know started his own business. He's really just a very good salesman. He started out working for someone else and then decided that he could make more doing it on his own. I don't think they really teach that in college though (although accounting/entrepreneurial classes might help).
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by bigred77 »

As a relatively recent graduate myself i would advise bright high school seniors to consider the following

1.) Engineering (I favor Mechanical, Electrical, or Petroleum)

2.) Accounting (with CPA)

3.) Finance/Economics

4.) Statistics



I think medicine can be a great field but majoring in Biology or a Pre-Med major in undergrad can be risky if you don't get in to Medical School for whatever reason. Also, thats such a LOOOONG time to be a student/resident/fellow.

I think Law School is a good career only if you get accepted to a top 14 law school or get a SUBSTANTIAL amount of scholorship money to a "regional" law school.



If I could go back 10 years and talk to 18 yr old Bigred77, I would tell him to go to OU or UT and study Petroleum Engineering. Get in a good entry level rotational engineer training program with an Exxon or Chevron for 3-5 years. Apply to the best of the best full time MBA programs and if I don't get accepted there, do an employer sponsored PT program at UT or Rice. Wait till 30+ to get married and have kids.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by abuss368 »

If you go with accounting get the CPA or you will never go as far. The odds are that much greater. The CPA program is very very intense but it opens many doors and opportunities.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by lostInFinance »

At the risk of expounding on the obvious, if you're in STEM, it's important to go to at least a top 20ish school. A lot of companies are outsourcing their low and mid level engineering work overseas. CS is another bimodal career field, with the grads who get jobs at Google and Microsoft pull in $100k to start, while the average starting salary is probably about $55k. Also, if your kids wanted to start their own company, I would think Stanford's pedigree and connections could help with raising money from VCs.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

lostInFinance wrote:At the risk of expounding on the obvious, if you're in STEM, it's important to go to at least a top 20ish school. A lot of companies are outsourcing their low and mid level engineering work overseas. CS is another bimodal career field, with the grads who get jobs at Google and Microsoft pull in $100k to start, while the average starting salary is probably about $55k. Also, if your kids wanted to start their own company, I would think Stanford's pedigree and connections could help with raising money from VCs.
I think characterizing those who get jobs at Google and Microsoft as the end all be all for CS graduates is very shortsighted. In fact I would say based on the people I know in the field, where you get your CS degree (or if you have one) seems like it matters very little. Especially in today's world where demand is high for talented programmers and IT people.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by webslinger »

just to be a little different.....

I think that almost any choice of study in higher education can lead to a satisfying, valuable, and productive career.

It is difficult to gauge what course of study a student entering college should pursue based on what is hot or in demand today because those things may be in low demand four years from now. Likewise, it is difficult to anticipate what will be of value in four years by extrapolating or speculating on future needs. Companies move faster, they are more nimble, communications is ubiquitous, competition is global etc

My thoughts are that a student should take as many different courses in as many disciplines as possible to get the broadest exposure. The major should be one that gets them the most excited (whether it is the subject matter, the enthusiasm exhibited by a professor, etc).

My major advice is that the student also go beyond the college curriculum and spend each summer (and a semester or two) as an intern (or summer employee) at a company, non-profit, government office or other entity. It is important that each of these experiences culminate in some tangible achievement and productive output (however small),

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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by fredflinstone »

webslinger wrote:I think that almost any choice of study in higher education can lead to a satisfying, valuable, and productive career.
Yes, but some majors are much more likely to lead to a job than others.
About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed ... Broken down by occupation, young college graduates were heavily represented in jobs that require a high school diploma or less.

In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000) ... College graduates who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history and humanities were among the least likely to find jobs appropriate to their education level; those with nursing, teaching, accounting or computer science degrees were among the most likely.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Colorado13 »

Sort through PayScale's lists of majors to find out which majors have the highest salary potential (which should not be the only criterion for making a career decision in my opinion) and which majors can impact the world.

http://www.payscale.com/college-salary- ... ng-a-major
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by lostInFinance »

On the entrepreneurship angle, a study showed that of 88 startups that got series A funding from the top 5 SV VCs over some time period, about 30 of them had founders that went to either MIT, Stanford, or Harvard.

http://www.reuters.com/subjects/series-a
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by lostInFinance »

3CT_Paddler wrote: I think characterizing those who get jobs at Google and Microsoft as the end all be all for CS graduates is very shortsighted. In fact I would say based on the people I know in the field, where you get your CS degree (or if you have one) seems like it matters very little. Especially in today's world where demand is high for talented programmers and IT people.
Maybe, where you got your CS degree matters little in Georgia, but the chasm between CS salaries in SV and Georgia is similar to the compensation difference between big law and the rest of the legal profession.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by fishnskiguy »

Any engineer from any school who goes to North Dakota and can't land a position paying $100K after three years on the job has major issues.

You go to the work. The work does not come to you.

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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by jackholloway »

I started in physics, then got masters level degrees on math and industrial engineering. I have worked in software development /software engineering in big data, finance, biotech, and internet data. I have always been able to find work, and some of it was lucrative. Most all of it was engaging, complicated, and fun.

My advice is to get a solid stem grounding, like math, engineering, or CS., as you can apply that knowledge to many fields, but it is very difficult to move into stem if you start late.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by joe8d »

My advice is to get a solid stem grounding, like math, engineering, or CS., as you can apply that knowledge to many fields,
Makes sense to me.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

lostInFinance wrote:
3CT_Paddler wrote: I think characterizing those who get jobs at Google and Microsoft as the end all be all for CS graduates is very shortsighted. In fact I would say based on the people I know in the field, where you get your CS degree (or if you have one) seems like it matters very little. Especially in today's world where demand is high for talented programmers and IT people.
Maybe, where you got your CS degree matters little in Georgia, but the chasm between CS salaries in SV and Georgia is similar to the compensation difference between big law and the rest of the legal profession.
There is also a chasm in cost of living going from Atlanta to Silicon Valley. I don't think the official cost of living numbers really capture how much more expensive a place like San Francisco is than Metro Atlanta.

I know of several successful programmers, some with CS degrees, some without. My perception of the field of programming is similar to the field of engineering... you don't have to graduate from MIT or Harvard (or Georgia Tech) to get a great job, and over a career it seems to matter little. The same could probably not be said of an MBA or Law degree where a pedigree opens doors to high paying jobs you would never otherwise get an opportunity to apply for.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by john94549 »

Contrarian that I am, I would suggest a field of study in which the student is engaged and challenged. This might be anything from plant biology to medieval linguistics to political science. College is not a trade school, nor should it be. The most depressing conversation I ever had with a high school graduate off to Mizzou was his explanation of why he never intended to take any "General ED" courses, you know, like English, Philosophy, Western Civ, or the like. "Who needs that?" he said. "I'm going to be an engineer."

I asked, off-handedly, if he had ever explored the field (unbeknownst to him, I had worked with engineers for many years, as outside counsel). "Nope", he said, "but it's just numbers."

Well, it's not. It's also about communicating, making proposals (in English, might I add), critical thinking, and execution of goals. The best engineers I ever met had not only a grasp of technical issues, but also a liberal education to round them out.

College is not a trade school.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Mingus »

fredflinstone wrote:In the past few days, we've seen some interesting threads on various white-collar careers (law, medicine, finance).

It seems clear that many newly-minted lawyers cannot find work, and similar stories are cropping up in other white-collar professions. It's harder and harder for young architects, veterinarians, graphic designers, musicians, artists, academics, and journalists to find jobs. Typically, the number of people seeking such jobs is greatly outnumbered by the number of qualified applicants.

Even in STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering, and math), I have heard anecdotes of biologists, chemists, programmers, and engineers with impressive credentials unable to find work, or, alternatively, unhappy about jobs with low pay, high stress, and long hours.

All of which raises the question: What are the best options today for bright young people who are about to embark on their careers?
Perhaps college is not the automatic answer for everyone anymore. Maybe we are well beyond a saturation point with college grads in relation to the amount of jobs out there. I read an article today that most of the new construction in homes are 3000 SF plus. They are this large to be big enough to house extended families. Grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and their two kids who cannot find work.

I'd say we need more carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. That is until the next building crash.

There will always be opportunities for above average people who are college graduates. But not everyone can be above average.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by supertreat »

http://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm is a good place to start
I believe computer science and it have a great future
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by staythecourse »

Mingus wrote:Perhaps college is not the automatic answer for everyone anymore. Maybe we are well beyond a saturation point with college grads in relation to the amount of jobs out there. I read an article today that most of the new construction in homes are 3000 SF plus. They are this large to be big enough to house extended families. Grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and their two kids who cannot find work. I'd say we need more carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. That is until the next building crash. There will always be opportunities for above average people who are college graduates. But not everyone can be above average.
100% agree. The biggest scam in this country i have said for a long time is higher education. The big newsflash is that not everyone needs or should get a college education. You want fields that don't/ can't be outsourced or be subject to reduced labor force by technological advancement? That is plumbing, electrical, and other vocational jobs (often one's with strong unions). This is where the common Joe/Jane should go. They would have NO debt, be making money earlier, often join a union with benefits, and have specific skill set that can be used to perform a real job. The cream of the crop then should go to college if you want to go into a STEM fields where the higher education makes sense to acquire the level of knowledge needed to be an engineer, doctor, lawyer, dentist, computers, etc...

The scam was selling that it is the exepectation the common Joe go to college and pay a ton of money to come out with a useless (economically speaking) degree to do fill a job that frankly a high school kid with some on the site training can do, i.e. sales, retail, service jobs, etc...

I'm not sure how anyone is surprised folks coming out with philosophy or art major degrees with 100k debt is slinging fries or selling clothes at Macy's. How could you expect any other outcome.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Watty »

You have to be a member to get to most of the information but your kids high school counselor may have access to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) data.

http://www.naceweb.org/

A lot of their public information is worth looking at so you should see what you can find on their website.

Going into a career just because it is considered the "best" will likely not work out well since they will likely not thrive and be highly considered in their field if they can stick with it.

There are some fields that might be good to avoid because of the bleak job prospects but within reason it is likey best to give a lot of consideration to what the kids are good and what they like doing.

One approach that I have suggested people use is to start out as if they were going to get a double major in complementary degrees and then switch to one or the other after a few years depending on what they are doing well in and how the job market looks in a few years. If they go on and get a double major that can work out very well too.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by JupiterJones »

fredflinstone wrote: What are the best options today for bright young people who are about to embark on their careers?
Define "best".

A career with high demand, where they're most likely to quickly get a job?

A career with high pay, where, if they get a job, it will pay really well right off the bat?

A career with great prospects, which might not pay much now, but has the potential to pay a great deal later?

A career that the person has passion about?

A career that the person has talent for?

In practice, "best" is a combination of several of these, in different proportions for different people.

Job surveys will help you with the first of these criteria. But those last two are really important, and often overlooked in discussions like this.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by greg24 »

Computer science. Jobs are everywhere, pay well, and its interesting work, at least to some people.

Engineering is a great track, but it seems like you have to move where the job is. I don't think moving for a job is a good idea.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by gerrym51 »

Rich heir would be best!
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by takeshi »

JupiterJones wrote:Job surveys will help you with the first of these criteria. But those last two are really important, and often overlooked in discussions like this.
Definitely this. Instead of chasing the money and relying on odds, chase what one is passionate about and skilled at. The path may not offer quick rewards but it beats putting up with a career that one can't stand for a paycheck.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by The Wizard »

jackholloway wrote:I started in physics, then got masters level degrees on math and industrial engineering. I have worked in software development /software engineering in big data, finance, biotech, and internet data. I have always been able to find work, and some of it was lucrative. Most all of it was engaging, complicated, and fun.

My advice is to get a solid stem grounding, like math, engineering, or CS., as you can apply that knowledge to many fields, but it is very difficult to move into stem if you start late.
This mirrors approximately what I was going to say.
One needs an APTITUDE to go into STEM majors, but there will "always" be employment opportunities for the bright engineer/scientist, perhaps not always dead-center in your academic specialty...
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by rob »

As someone who has spent 25 years in IT/CS.... I suggest you look elsewhere UNLESS that is the only thing he can see doing.... it's not what it used to be by a long shot and that covers far more than just salaries. I have an issue with the crux of the question however; I just don't agree you can pick different fields like this.... you have to pick a career based on some interest in the field.... it's not like a regular hourly job.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by MoonOrb »

Came in here also to endorse accounting, but more specifically, auditing. Here are some good things about auditing:

-generally consistent demand for auditors, and the more businesses are regulated, the more auditors will be needed
-auditing is more or less the same across different industries and businesses and geographical regions, so skills are transferable
-provides the opportunity for travel if that's something you're interested in
-compensation is reasonable: unlikely to make huge amounts of money auditing, but also unlikely to make very little money
-opportunties for variety, since auditors frequently have many different clients (even internal auditors), giving them the chance to learn about a number of different businesses (or in the case of internal auditors, to learn a lot of different things about their company)
-does not generally require much in the way of highly technical knowledge or incredible math skills
-opportunties for entry-level positions


There are also some not-great things about auditing, but among professional jobs that are still generally pretty available, it compares pretty favorably. My wife has been an auditor for more than 15 years now, has never had trouble getting a job, very rarely works in excess of 40 hours a week, gets paid pretty well to do it, and has been happy with her career choice.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Gleevec »

If youre interested in medicine, being a doctor is great. Sure things are changing, but that's true of everything (law, finance as already stated). CompSci/engineering jobs are getting outsourced, and software has changed the name of accounting as well.

There is not a perfect career out there, but if youre good at what you do youll be fine. And to be good at what you do, you have to have an innate interest (and aptitude) in that field.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by arthurb999 »

I think you should align your career goals with your talents... pick something you are good at and enjoy doing... then find a marketable career to match.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Riverstwo »

I think Medical Writers have very good careers and can make a lot of money. The Pharma industry is always coming out with new drugs that need to be written about to the FDA and will pay good money for well written documents. You can work from home as well. You'll need some background in understanding medical/biological terminology and a background in technical writing or journalism.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

abuss368 wrote:If you go with accounting get the CPA or you will never go as far. The odds are that much greater. The CPA program is very very intense but it opens many doors and opportunities.
Ye of little faith. One can do many things with an accounting degree. A CPA is handy if you wish to provide attestation statements and audit companies. One does not need a CPA to become an internal auditor, CFO, CEO, Treasurer, risk and credit functions, compliance,etc. A CPA is not a guarantee and if you were to obtain a CPA then going to work for one of the Big Four would be especially helpful if you want to target employment with your audit clients, on the flip side though having practical experience with a select industry will make it that much harder for you to break out and enter into a different industry (audit retail clients - want to work for Big Oil or a major broker dealer - you may know SKU's, but what do you know about reserves and derivatives?: good luck!), accounting juniors rarely get to select the industry they want to audit - they are placed where the need is greatest and the competition is fierce!
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

fishnskiguy wrote:Any engineer from any school who goes to North Dakota and can't land a position paying $100K after three years on the job has major issues.

You go to the work. The work does not come to you.

Chris
That can be said of most employment.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by wadefish »

Rather than "following one's passion" in college, Scott Adams (of "Dilbert" fame) suggests coming up with a "system" for success.

This article, Scott Adams' Secret of Success: Failure, is an interesting take on success, and might apply to those just entering college.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by rogermexico »

Planet money just did a podcast related to this with some new survey data on salary as a function of a person's undergrad degree. If I recall correctly, highest salaries for undergrad only degree were practically all engineering degrees. You can find the full report on the georgetown website (which is based on a newly available census data... just if you google "what's it worth college majors". I'm in STEM (physics) and unemployment rate is really low among my peers.
Obviously you need to match it up with students interests and talents, but the full report might help with that. Even if the person is dead set on performance art, it would be good in setting realistic expectations.
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Hector
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by Hector »

If I was going to start after high school again, I would double major in comp science and finance.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by JupiterJones »

Then again, how many of us are actually doing for a living what we majored in?
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by KyleAAA »

lostInFinance wrote:
3CT_Paddler wrote: I think characterizing those who get jobs at Google and Microsoft as the end all be all for CS graduates is very shortsighted. In fact I would say based on the people I know in the field, where you get your CS degree (or if you have one) seems like it matters very little. Especially in today's world where demand is high for talented programmers and IT people.
Maybe, where you got your CS degree matters little in Georgia, but the chasm between CS salaries in SV and Georgia is similar to the compensation difference between big law and the rest of the legal profession.
I would say it matters a fair amount in Georgia, as well. Around here, there are those who went to Georgia Tech and there are those who went anywhere else. GT seems to count for more than Stanford or MIT around here. I'm not sure I've ever worked for a company where less than half my coworkers were Tech grads.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

KyleAAA wrote:
lostInFinance wrote:
3CT_Paddler wrote: I think characterizing those who get jobs at Google and Microsoft as the end all be all for CS graduates is very shortsighted. In fact I would say based on the people I know in the field, where you get your CS degree (or if you have one) seems like it matters very little. Especially in today's world where demand is high for talented programmers and IT people.
Maybe, where you got your CS degree matters little in Georgia, but the chasm between CS salaries in SV and Georgia is similar to the compensation difference between big law and the rest of the legal profession.
I would say it matters a fair amount in Georgia, as well. Around here, there are those who went to Georgia Tech and there are those who went anywhere else. GT seems to count for more than Stanford or MIT around here. I'm not sure I've ever worked for a company where less than half my coworkers were Tech grads.
So KyleAAA would you say that there is a large difference in average salary between a programmer straight out of school in Atlanta from say UNC or UF vs GT?

I work in engineering with GT graduates, and there is no difference in salary for those starting out. And in my field, the variation in performance of those who go to a specific school is larger than the difference in performance from one school to another.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by placeholder »

Question is are there GT grads because that's who they want or who applies? Where I work there are few GT people but lots from various local schools with engineering programs.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by reggiesimpson »

Computer science.
Oil and gas.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by KyleAAA »

3CT_Paddler wrote:
So KyleAAA would you say that there is a large difference in average salary between a programmer straight out of school in Atlanta from say UNC or UF vs GT?
No, but it's definitely easier to get an interview in the first place, especially for junior positions.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by lostInFinance »

3CT_Paddler wrote: There is also a chasm in cost of living going from Atlanta to Silicon Valley. I don't think the official cost of living numbers really capture how much more expensive a place like San Francisco is than Metro Atlanta.

I know of several successful programmers, some with CS degrees, some without. My perception of the field of programming is similar to the field of engineering... you don't have to graduate from MIT or Harvard (or Georgia Tech) to get a great job, and over a career it seems to matter little. The same could probably not be said of an MBA or Law degree where a pedigree opens doors to high paying jobs you would never otherwise get an opportunity to apply for.
If you look at this thread, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 7&start=50, someone who hires software engineers in the bay area, says experienced programmers can make up to $300k and even relatively junior employees can bring in $200k. In Atlanta, I'm betting you don't know any one writing code instead of being in management that makes $150k unless they're independent consultants. I doubt that many of the new grads getting hired at Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. went to tier 2 or tier 3 colleges. Of course, you're still free to argue that the 2x salary bump doesn't compensate for California's COL.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by ThatGuy »

3CT_Paddler wrote:There is also a chasm in cost of living going from Atlanta to Silicon Valley. I don't think the official cost of living numbers really capture how much more expensive a place like San Francisco is than Metro Atlanta.
Stanford would agree with you. For a renter in SF, they calculate the poverty threshold as $36,349 for a family of four, for a difference of 59% with federal poverty rates. Santa Clara & San Mateo counties are 51% and 60% off according to that paper.

Of course, almost the entire change in COL is housing. If one bought 30 years ago everything else other than housing is barely more expensive than the rest of the country.
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Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

Post by berntson »

This chart summarizes data from a great report (http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hp ... mplete.pdf) that college students and their parents should read before choosing a major.

Image

Some students are passionate about subjects that come with clear career tracks and high earning potential. Those students should just follow their interests. Students who are passionate about subjects without a clear career track or high earning potential (artists, philosophers, English majors, and so on) should consider double-majoring in their subject of choice and something more "practical."
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