Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a crystal ball that would tell us what to expect in our lives? On the other hand, we might not want to know everything. We’d see that fender-bender we’re going to have on campus trying to park our brother’s new car, the “F” we made on that science test, and the job we lost. Perhaps it’s better that the future remains unknown to us for now – but at the same time, we all want to be able to have a reasonable level of understanding of what might lie in the future, especially when it comes to estimating our future income opportunities.
Mark Cuban said in an interview last year that he had “no idea” how much money he was going to be making today. His father was a car upholstery repairman! But he found a niche related to technology (software reviews) that had an audience and moved from that to becoming a pioneer in internet radio. Over time, he learned that it was hard work, not ability or funding, that helped him reach such heights.
Now a billionaire and celebrity personality on ABC’s “Shark Tank” show, he advises other young people how to go for their dreams, keeping in mind that it is hard work that will bring you to success faster than luck, money, or support from others.
Of course, everyone needs a little help sometimes, and that’s okay if you have to borrow money from parents or friends, as long as you can pay it back.
Remember that there are many roads to success. It’s okay to work for a year or so and decide what you really want to do. You may develop a greater appreciation for continuing your education in a certain field by working in the real world for awhile. However, if you’d rather start your postsecondary education right away, that’s fine.
There are ways to predict your potential future income by peering into the current and trending salaries in different career fields.
Look at these statistics on BLS.gov and Payscale.com for example. Check out these links that preview the predicted salaries of three jobs: Financial Examiners, Computer Programmers, and Teaching careers. Study these statistics and bookmark these sites to refer to often. They give you a great idea of how much you can expect to make once you graduate from college.
Remember, also that you do not have to stay with your goal if you discover it is not going to pay off. Just make the change soon enough in your college program that you do not waste money on a degree that you from which you won’t benefit.
It’s okay to change your mind. Be sure to do your own research ahead of time to save time later and stay on the path to success.