Income for High School Dropouts vs. Various College Degrees

Income and Unemployment by College Degree

The table above compares the top 5 US college degrees with the bottom 5. For a closer look at the analysis done by BankRate to reach their conclusions, see here.

… actuarial science was the most valuable college major, according to the analysis by, which analyzed 162 degrees based on their average incomes, unemployment rates and the proportion of people in each field who hold degrees higher than a bachelor’s.

Actuaries analyze statistics and calculate risk levels for insurance companies. With an average income of $108,658 and a 2.3 percent unemployment rate, it’s a safe bet for the future, researchers found. And only 22 percent of actuaries felt the need to earn higher-level degrees.

‘Being an actuary is the best job in America because you get paid like doctors and lawyers, but you don’t have to work with blood or visit your clients in jail,’ said Krzysztof Ostaszewski, director of the actuarial program at Illinois State University. __

In general, a bachelors degree in STEM fields will pay off better than bachelors degrees in softer fields such as fine arts, liberal arts etc.

High School Dropouts that Out-Earn College Graduates

If you are in a hurry to earn a good salary, there are high school dropout truck drivers in Texas who earn over $140,000 a year, and young welders who earn salaries near $150,000 yearly in oilfields from New Mexico to North Dakota. There are several career fields open to high school dropouts which offer salaries just as high or higher than any college degree listed in the table above.

High school graduates/dropouts can begin earning big money while their college-going friends are racking up college loan debts into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Consider how long it would take a fine arts major to pay off college loans amounting to $300,000 or more.

Incidentally, some of the wealthiest people in the world are dropouts from either high school or college. The goals, the vision, the resilience, the anti-fragility all come from within in such cases.

the only way to become really rich financially and really rich personally–in other words really, really rich–is to start your own business. Even if it’s just on the side. Even if it’s just a slightly stepped-up hobby.

There’s no reason not to. You don’t have to quit your job right away; in fact, you probably shouldn’t. (One of the best ways to minimize your risk is to keep your full-time job while you build your foundation for success.) Plus the basics of starting a business are easy; you can do it in one day.

Here’s the deal. In return for less freedom, less control, and less fulfillment, every day you go to work for someone else your upside is always capped and your downside is always unlimited.

The downside for entrepreneurs is also unlimited–but in return, they enjoy the possibility of an unlimited financial upside and an unlimited personal upside. __

Most Entrepreneurs Do Not Achieve Great Wealth, But Aim for Independence

Entrepreneurs need self-discipline and strong impulse control.

Small business owners often pay themselves modest salaries, while perhaps building the value of their business for a lucrative sale in the future.

The most common path to riches in the US — or any free society — is via business ownership and commerce. Many business ventures will fail in the first year or so, for many reasons. Those who achieve great success often transcend multiple failures on the way.

A small business can be anything from a daycare in your home, to a custodial service, to an owner-operator freight hauling service. Small businesses may earn into the millions of dollars per year — or much less, depending upon the service being offered and the particular expertise involved.

Here is the average outcome for small business owners:

Business owners earn an average salary of $38,568 to $91,440 per year, according to 2011 data. Additionally, business owners make between $1,030 and $14,293 annually in bonuses, $4,925 and $39,833 in profit sharing and $4,880 to $30,000 in commissions. Hence, a business owner can earn a total income of between $49,403 and $179,196 per year. The Wall Street Journal indicates that small-business owners and executives earn average annual salaries of $233,600. However, the salary figures for company-employed executives probably make the average considerably higher. __

But if you consider yourself to be above average and want to shoot for the stars, aim higher.

In Opportunity Societies, the Sky’s the Limit

If you are only capable of thinking in terms of “jobs,” then working under small-minded people and accepting what they think you deserve may be the best you can do. It is certainly the mainstream way of thinking, which has allowed colleges and universities to grow rich from their credentialing monopolies. It has also allowed corporations to grow fat, lazy, somewhat high-handed, and broadly incompetent.

But if you are able to match your skills to the larger set of real world demands — some of which may not have yet been detected by anyone else but you — then your possible upside may be very high indeed.

Prepare for the best and the worst. Hope for even better. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

More: In the US, all-time record high small business optimism

The National Federation of Independent Business’ small business optimism index hit the highest level in the survey’s 45-year history in August.

Small businesses are planning to hire more workers, raise compensation for current employees, and spend more on capital investments according to the index

Juanita Duggan, the president and CEO of the NFIB, attributed much of the increase to President Donald Trump and the GOP’s economic policies.

There is no question that the change of policy in Washington has everything to do with the increase in the optimism index,” Duggan told Business Insider.


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