We know that money isn’t everyone’s primary motivator but these days, when it comes to picking a future career, it’s something everyone needs to consider. Why? Simple. We live in complicated times and money doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to. For many, buying a house is prohibitively expensive, retirement isn’t on the cards until nearing 70, and the possibility of (another) major financial crisis looms on the horizon. Maxing out your job-related earning capacity begins to seem less like a materialistic obsession and more like simple good sense.  

So, if you’re just starting out in your career, how do you make sure you pick a job with a good financial outlook? Today, we take a look at some of the best-paying jobs out there and take a guess at how easy it’s going to be to rise to the top.

Medicine and IT are top of the list

If you take a quick look at some “highest paying job” rankings, you’ll see that in the US, medical professions easily take the lead. Over the pond, the careers are more varied, but there’s a trend towards IT and law. Even though this looks different, there’s a noticeable similarity here - all these jobs take a long time to get good at. This means that when you’re assessing your options, you need to get strategic about when you will start raking in cash and when you’re going to really need it.

Get strategic about when you’ll see the cash

If you don’t want to be a poor student for a long time, most of those medical and legal jobs are going to going to be off limits. On the other hand, if you have alternative means of making money while studying, or you think the slog is worth the effort to become a doctor, this might not dissuade you.

If medicine doesn’t rock your world, you might be interested in a shorter degree and a quicker route to getting a foot on that financial ladder. If that sounds more to your liking, take a look at careers in the business and programming worlds. They tend to be shorter but both sectors also offer lots of very well-paid opportunities once you have some experience under your belt.

On the job training is the route to financial gain

If you take this shorter, more direct route to the world of work, you have to be aware that only a small percentage of graduates are immediately accepted into a well-paying job. That’s not necessarily a problem, however, if you accept that you’re going to need to carve out some specialist skills to push you up the salary ladder.

A 4-year degree on its own isn’t particularly impressive, but team it with a few years of experience, perhaps a second language, an interesting niche, or some extra qualifications, and you’ll quickly find you can demand more money in recruitment situations.

When it comes to extra qualifications, don’t make the mistake of thinking that an MBA is the only way forward. Modern educational organizations realize that the über-traditional MBA isn’t for everyone, and offer a much more flexible range of graduate programs. Take a look at Hult International Business School, for example. They offer programs like MAs in Marketing and Disruptive Innovation, which are going to appeal to a much wider audience.

It’s time to get specific

How much money you’ll make shouldn’t be the main concern when it comes to picking a future career, but it would also be naïve to suggest that remuneration doesn’t matter. If you’re at a point in your life where you’re making choices about your career, the biggest favor you can do yourself is to sit down and have a really strategic think about when you’re likely to make money, when you’re likely to need money, and how your chosen career shapes up.

If you’re young, this might be a big ask, but it’s definitely worth your time. Think about how much money you’ll need to retire, buy a house, invest, or travel - there are many online calculators that will help you with this. Then plot them out on a timeline so you’ll see - best case scenario - when you’re likely to need money most (bearing in mind the magic of compound interest!) and when you might be able to take a step back.

Once you have the facts clearly in front of you, it will be easier to know if you can sacrifice financial fluidity while you study or if you want a better balance of study/money and are happy to “level up” as you progress. Either way, it’s a worthwhile exercise and your future self (and your future bank balance) will thank you for it!

 

Published by Daphenee Plaisir