Merry Chrismukkahwanzaa and Happy New Year!
At a recent holiday party I ran into an old co worker who was also laid off after our company went under in the "Great recession". He was going to do a paralegal program, but the decided on nursing. He is now an RN and makes over $35.00 an hour. Plus, he makes overtime pay which should bring him around 100k a year easily. The guy in the warehouse went back and did electrical training. He is now working with an electrician and trying to get into the union. He told me that his boss has his own electrician business and makes over $230,000 a year. I asked him if his boss wouldn't mind using another apprentice<grin> !
I have been working various jobs to make ends meet, taking classes in another in demand profession and trying to figure out what to do with my life. Recently, I ran into a prelaw student from UCSD and he told me that he is hell bent on going to law school and that all these "Scamblogs" are just BS! He thinks that the job market for attorneys is great, and that lawyers who can't get high paying jobs are just lazy! The naive pre law student seriously thinks that all lawyers make over $100k a year starting! He is in for one rude awakening. I told him that if money is his only motivator then FUCK LAW SCHOOL. If you want to make money , and lots and lots of money, there are 5 options that you should consider. They are..
1.) - Health Care -
Good economy, Bad economy, Recession, Depression...People are always going to get sick, have babies, go to the ER, get cavities and need prescriptions. Become an MD, Pharm.D. Dentist, Optometrist, Physical therapist or Nurse. Even if you don't do a high end doctorate program in health care, there are always tons of jobs for nursing assistants and other jobs. Even if medicine gets socialized (which I doubt it ever will), you will still be able to make a decent living wage. Health care is the best recession proof industry to find a job. It is completely inelastic to every political, economic and social factor.
2.) -Sales -
While it may be cyclical, even with the economy, if you are good in sales you can make a lot of money. I know sales people at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Auto dealerships and pharm reps who make a ton of money. My other friend sells adult toys wholesale and pulls down over 120k a year at trade shows and conventions ( and no she is not hiring!)
3.) - Accounting-
We have all heard that old joke about death and taxes being the only two things guaranteed things in this world. Accounting is a very very hard major. In most undergraduate business schools there is a horrible attrition in Accounting. Many people either go to Finance , Business Economics or Marketing/Management. However, accounting is great because its a professional undergraduate degree and even if you never go on for an MBA or grad school you can still become a CPA and make a decent living. I read somewhere that experienced accountants make an average salary of $80k a year. This is good money considering the fact that you will never need grad school debt and every company needs an accountant. Also, they are usually the last people to get laid off in bad times.
Not all of us are very good at Math & Science, but if you are then major in Engineering! Getting a BS in Engineering a professional degree and you will average around 65-85k a year STARTING in various fields. The best fields in engineering are chemical, computer, civil and electrical engineering. There are always jobs in government, private industry and R&D firms. Engineers make a good salary and many go back to get MBA's and make great money in management. You do hear stories of how glamorous it is to become a "patent" attorney, but those jobs are far and few. There are many more opportunities in private industry as an Engineer.
I know that we are living in an era where parents, professors and society constantly pushing more higher education, but you can make a great living in the trades. I think everyone should be somewhat educated, be aware of the globalized modern world and have a strong understanding of liberal arts. However, just because you have a college degree or even a graduate degree, it does not mean you should scoff at people who work in trades. I know plumbers, electricians, and other people in trades who make tons of money. If I could go back in time, I wish I joined a trade myself and made a lot of money like the electrician making 230k. While it may not be a prestigious as a JD, MD, Ph.D. etc., you do make great money and you will always find work. Just because something isn't very "White collar", it doesn't mean its a bad profession to be in!
So all you pre law students looking to get rich, these are your best bets at earning good money, with stable jobs and lots of opportunities. If you can, avoid law school and all legal education programs like the plague!
- The Poor Paralegal