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Want a Good Job? Develop Your Math Skills

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If you are looking for a good job, you might be wise to consider getting a good education in math and engineering. While the value of a college degree being widely debated these days, you might find yourself wondering if it is worth the trouble. The truth, though, is that some college degrees are worth more than others, and if you are looking for a stable job with good pay, an engineering degree of some sort might be just what you need.

Web sites like PayScale offer rankings of how much you can make at different jobs, with a fairly low amount of experience, and a four-year degree. If you are looking for some options, here are some of the jobs on the list:

  1. Mechanical Engineer: My uncle is a mechanical engineer, and even though he was laid off during the recession, it didn’t take him too long to find a new job – one with better pay. According to PayScale, you can make $73,200 a year after three years of experience. Get a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering, and you can work for design firms, auto manufacturers (my uncle worked at Ford), the government and a number of other places.
  2. Electrical Engineer: The field of electrical engineering is wide, from the development of small electronics, to specialization in certain power systems. A good electrical engineer, after four years of experience, can earn around $84,700 a year. That’s not a bad return on investment, and it is a salary that can pay off most student loans.
  3. Manufacturing Engineer: This is an interesting aspect of engineering that many people don’t think about. Yes, you need to have a strong grasp of math and engineering principles. But, at the same time, you also need to understand logistics and the global marketplace, since your job will involve gauging competition, increasing productivity, and improving design.
  4. Financial Advisor: In these challenging economic times, it’s probably not surprising to see the financial advisors can do quite well, earning around $93,900 after four years of experience. However, it is important to note that there is often some additional education required – especially if you want a particular designation. You will need to take tests, and be properly certified, and a four-year degree in a finance or business related field probably won’t hurt.
  5. Software Developer: I was kind of surprised to see this one on the list. However, it looks as though you can make about $82,400 after four years of experience. Software developers are likely to be in high demand since our society is becoming increasingly reliant on computers and technology. Bonus: In some cases you can work from home. One of my best friends from high school got a four-year degree and a little experience, and now he works from home developing software for a major Internet property.

As you can see, there might be some instances when a college degree can pay off. My brother in law is working on an advanced engineering degree to specialize in nanotechnology. When he graduates, he’ll make more than $70,000 – right out of the gate. With the right combination of education, training and experience, you really can make a good living, and be able to afford your student loans.

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3 Responses to “Want a Good Job? Develop Your Math Skills”

  1. Cole Brodine says:

    I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Graduated in 2005. I now work in central Nebraska for a utility. I started at $54k right out of school with only an internship for experience and now make pretty close to what the article specifies. (A little less, but cost of living in rural Nebraska helps make up for it)

    Don’t forget that most Engineers work for companies that have nice benefits and retirement plans. I already get 14 days of vacation a year!

    Just goes to show you don’t need an Engineering degree from MIT to live well.

  2. Nancy says:

    Thank you for these pieces of advice. Wonderful articles!

  3. Michael says:

    I have a degree in Electrical Engineering…

    I have 4 years experience and can’t find a job willing to give me more than the average starting salary (~$60k).


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