Of course, law school is being increasing dropped from the wish list. Not only is it difficult to earn a living with a JD. The loan debt is incredible. According to the American Bar Association, for public institutions it is about $84,000. And for private, it is about $122,158.
But other degree programs are also taking it on the chin. For example, those who aren't naturally talented in STEM subjects could opt for the two-year MFA. It presented a lovely cocoon in which aesthetic concepts and acquiring artistic know-how dominated. However, the word is out there also: The$100,000 experience also is followed by a good job. Here is my deconstruction.
The MBA is an iffy investment. Research and anecdotal evidence show that the payoff isn't really worth the opportunity cost (two years out of the job market) or the doors it will open. One might do just as well entering the managers' training program in a large retail corporation, having it provide course work/tuition reimbursement, and catching free business tutorials online.
Medicine still ensures a better-than-middle-class wage. One can parachute in at any level, ranging from nurse to medical doctor. However, there is the STEM issue. Can you do science? And, there is the personality factor: Can you work well with so many diverse constituencies, ranging from the powers that be to sick folks?
Being an entrepreneur isn't for everyone, although acting entrepreneurial is necessary for survival. As Alex Rich chronicles in Abovethelaw.com, document reviewers have to know the hustle moves in that game.
What I have toyed with is studying to become a humanistic minister. Every now and then I peek into the Harvard Divinity School curriculum as well as what local training/ordination programs are provided by local spiritual institutions. Of course, the standard compensation is low - in the 30s.
But, that credential can become the platform for building a lucrative psychic practice. For instance, in Salem, Massachusetts, Angelica of the Angels primarily is staffed by those with ministers. Here, as you can see, a 15-minute reading ranges in price from $30.00 to $40.00. No, you won't make the heading-toward-$2,000-an hour which Ted Olson picks up, but you can access the traditional American Dream.
My New Year's Resolution is: Think differently about a career path. You might also consider fresh options. It's more difficult to make a good buck.