The summer is in full bloom but the beginning of another school year is not that far from now, which means you’re one year closer to graduating and starting your career. What you do throughout the school years, though, can significantly influence how successful you’ll be in your career.
Careful selection of your educational program is required to make the best use of your student years. The decision you make now will determine, to great extent, your future career path and financial well-being.
You will want to take courses that interest you and for which you have a natural talent. When choosing between two areas of study, why not take the path with the highest reward-to-cost ratio?
In other words, do the math: How much is your education going to cost, relative to the income potential? For example, dental hygienist versus dentist: The typical dental hygienist will earn $40,000 to $70,000. A dentist may make five times as much. Consideration must be given to the higher level of academic achievement required, the number of years before becoming licensed to practise, and the amount of debt upon graduation. Both of these choices are a solid career choice.
Do not ignore college and trade school offerings. Some of these offer solid career options with good earning potential. If you think that skilled trades are limited to carpenter, electrician, plumber, or welder, think again. A quick web search for skilled trades turned up an alphabet soup of viable options, including the following career options: accounts payroll administrator, dental chair-side assistant, legal assistant, massage therapist, pharmacy assistant, and video game designer.
Choose Your Courses Strategically
The smartest students are strategic. They take a strategic approach to reach desired career goals and will spend considerable time researching not only his or her course options but also the career paths available after graduation, the expected pay scales, and potential employers. He or she conducts research online, talks to guidance conselors, consults older friends already in the workforce, and seeks professionals in his or her fields of interest. The strategic type finds the organizations doing the type of work he or she is interested in. He or she contacts these organizations, asking to speak to someone who can provide advice on what he or she should be doing now so he or she is ready to enter the workforce upon graduation. Most people like to be helpful, so contacting people in the industry is a surprisingly useful way to get acquainted with a potential future employer.
What you do about your future career when you’re still in school will either help you to get a better job, or put you at a disadvantage compared to those students who actively prepared for joining the workforce. It is the first step you can take to take control of your finances.
Whether you’re about to graduate from high school or university or already have your diploma, or are simply trying to make it on your own for the first time, there are certain financial skills you need to get ahead in life. If you want to acquire them, read No More Mac ‘n’ Cheese! by Lise Andreana. No More Mac ‘n’ Cheese is available through Self-Counsel Press, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and in better bookstores.