You are in your first year of college. You are ambitious and motivated. You want to be rich because you know money will bring you freedom and prospects that you would not have otherwise. You have skills that you can use to be a competent business person, teacher or sales professional. What should you study? What careers have the best chance of bringing you wealth?
We never know what the future will bring; which changes in the business landscape will cause some careers to shine while others dry up. Some careers have staying power while others are trendy for a short while (think dot-com bubble here). The careers often chosen by the wealthy continue to provide a solid living. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012 there were 33 broad occupations that pulled in a mean annual wage of at least $100,000. Of these occupations, 85% percent fall into the groups listed below. These are the six-figure career areas that have the best chance of propelling you to wealth.
The wealthy like sending their children to business school for good reason. Almost half of the occupations in these four groups fall in the area of management. Chief Executives top the list with a mean annual wage of over $176K. But you don’t have to be a CEO to be prosperous in this field. The occupational titles run the gamut from Natural Science Managers to Marketing Managers and Human Resource Managers. If you enjoy working with people, and you have good communication skills and critical thinking ability, this might be the profession for you.
Medical occupations have always been popular among the rich. In 2012, if your title was Physician or Surgeon, you pulled in an average of almost $200K per year. But money isn’t the only reason healthcare is an attractive career choice. Doctors work closely with patients to discuss ailments, run tests and prescribe treatments. They improve people’s lives on a daily basis by diagnosing issues and promoting healthy living.
Do you like designing products? Engineers improve society by solving complex problems in practical ways. They use science and math to devise creative consumer solutions or to construct breathtaking building structures. What you earn in this field will depend on your emphasis. The BLS reported that Petroleum Engineers earned on average almost $150K, while Chemical Engineers’ earnings were closer to $100K annually. Regardless of the concentration, engineers are rewarded handsomely for their contributions.
Computer and Math
If you like solving puzzles or troubleshooting technical issues, this may be the career for you. Computer and math professionals are often scientists who collaborate with others, but also have plenty of time to work independently. If you lean towards introversion, enjoy solving difficult/interesting math or logic problems and appreciate working with data, this may be a satisfying vocation.
When you get right down to it, some careers are more lucrative than others. They may require many years of study and preparation, and long hours of work, but in the end the financial rewards are plentiful. Are you ready for the challenge?