It’s Never Too Late to Change Course
It’s that time of year again when summer is winding down and students head back to school. Whether you’re a new student or returning for another semester many lingering questions remain for many college students: “What am I going to do when I graduate? Will there be a job waiting for me? What if I don’t like the opportunities my degree affords me?”
While many first and second year students may not have begun to ponder this, it won’t be long before the realities of life begin to set in. But what does that degree you pursue really mean? Am I locked into a predestined career because I chose the wrong studies? Of course not, in 2013 a Career Builder study showed more than thirty percent of college graduates at age 35 never held a position in their degree field. That study also showed almost half of graduated students didn’t take a job in their degree field right out of school.
So, what does this mean to you? While it’s clear you have choices in life to do or be who you want, the choices you make in school can dramatically impact your future earning potential. Even within technology jobs there can be a wide range of starting salaries based on which type of technology degree you pursue. Just take a look at this comparison from the PayScale College Salary Report:
|Starting Salary||Mid-Career Salary|
|Information Technology Degree||$72,400||$123,000|
|Electrical Engineering Degree||$118,000||$145,000|
$45,000 is a pretty dramatic swing in income but even if the difference was less dramatic, $25,000, those numbers are even more staggering than you may think when you consider the time value of money and the lifestyle you’ll want. A difference of $25,000 a year or roughly $960 per pay check ($25K / 26 pay periods) makes a big impact on buying a car, house, travel, building a family, the list goes on. It’s enough to graduate from a $30,000 car or roughly $550 monthly payment to a $60,000 or roughly $1,000 monthly payment while still saving responsibly. Maybe more importantly consider purchasing a home. For every $500 more a month you can afford, you can get around $100,000 more in home purchasing power. These are rough numbers but hopefully the point is clear. What you choose to study now can make a big difference in your lifestyle after college.
So, what’s the point of all this? Simply this: You have a choice and it’s never too late. From the immortal words of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant,
“Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”
You can make a big difference now by making an investment in your education. With many years of experience interviewing and hiring technology talent I’ve learned all walks of life can have a passion for technology and many of them don’t even study technology while in school. But had they, and more importantly had they picked the right degree, they may be much closer to a dream they saw for themselves when they left for school.
Our UDig talent team talks with thousands of candidates a month and while we never turn away enthusiastic, high energy, passionate, talented technologists regardless of their degree, you have to wonder, are they earning their full potential?
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