College Education or On-The-Job Training or Both?
October 24, 2018 - On-The-Job Training vs. A College Education By Investopedia
With the difficulties new college graduates face repaying student loan debt (now a cumulative $1.5 trillion in the United States), many are questioning whether the cost of higher education is worth the potential reward of a bigger income. After all, two of the richest men in America, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, do not hold college degrees. While both went to Harvard, neither earned a diploma, and they benefited from on-the-job training as founders of Facebook and Microsoft, respectively.
But Wait! College Does Pay Off
As the cost of college has risen, so has the demand for college graduates along with the economic penalties of not holding a four-year degree. According to 2016 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, weekly earnings for high school graduates were $692. Those with a bachelor’s degree earned $1,156, and those with a master's degree earned $1,380.
This is a huge wage gap, and the differential reflects a shift in the nature of the workplace: There are fewer positions involving physical labor like manufacturing and farm work and more knowledge-based jobs, like programming and marketing, where a bachelor’s degree is required or preferred.
Not convinced that making twice as much as someone without a degree is worth going to college? Consider the study that MIT economist David Autor published in the journal Science back in 2014. Autor showed that, after all the costs associated with a college education were factored in, the holder of a degree over a lifetime of earnings came out $500,000 ahead. Not a bad deal for a four-year investment. On average, a public university costs approximately $26,000 (in-state); a private one, $51,000.
On the flip side, high-school graduates are increasingly being penalized in a knowledge-based workforce. According to CNBC reporting on findings by the Economic Policy Institute, college graduates earned 56% more than high school grads in 2015. This is the largest gap seen since 1973. Unsurprisingly, today’s high-school grads are more than three times more likely to live in poverty than their predecessors.
Not All Degrees Are Equal
But what about holders of two-year associate degrees or people like Zuckerberg and Gates who have some college? Unfortunately, according to the Pew study, two-year-degree holders hardly fare better than high-school graduates with median earnings of $819 per week.
Of those holding bachelor’s degrees, according to GetEducated.com, the most lucrative majors in terms of income for 2018 are Management Information Systems (average salary $158,000, expected growth 15%), Marketing (average salary $131,180, expected growth 9%), Economics (average salary $101,050, expected growth 6%), Business Management (average salary $97,230, expected growth 6%), Finance (average salary $81,760, expected growth 12%) and accounting (average salary $68,150, expected growth 11%)
What On-the-Job Training Offers
But what about learning on the job. Is real-world experience preferable to an academic education? On-the-job training is often free, or you may be paid. Unfortunately, many formal training programs have fallen victim to corporate spending cuts although there are still fields where hands-on training is available.
Industries in which guilds and unions dominate, such as construction trades like plumbing, carpentry and electrical, have traditionally offered apprentice programs as a means of entry. All three major unions for electricians, for example, offer paid apprenticeships with on-the-job and classroom training. There is similar training for the growth fields of telecommunications installers and green-energy technicians. However, these are not casual commitments. All of these industries require at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning, with some requiring as many as 4,000 to 6,000 hours.
The U.S. government has put a focus on high-tech apprenticeships as a fast track to a middle-class paycheck, with the Department of Labor pledging $175 million in grants in 2016 to develop public-private apprenticeship programs in biotech, healthcare, information technology and high-tech manufacturing. Programs resulting from that funding should start appearing over the next few years.
Chefs and other kitchen staff often start their careers by learning and earning through a combination of hands-on training and classroom work. Although culinary school is an option, it is not a requirement. The American Culinary Federation offers formal, multiyear apprenticeships, while some vocational training programs place students in internships.
Another option for on-the-job training for white-collar work is sales. Real-estate brokerages and telephone-sales operations typically offer real-world training.
Probably the most extreme form of on-the-job training is entrepreneurship where starting your own business teaches you how to manage employees, cash flow and inventory while simultaneously marketing your new business and negotiating with suppliers and customers.
The Bottom Line
Measured by statistics, the decision to get a four-year degree is clear. Even if getting a diploma means taking on substantial debt, research suggests that over throughout a career, you will still come out ahead financially even if you opt for the most expensive route such as a private college. However, you are an individual – not a statistic – and where your interests, ambitions and aptitudes lie should ultimately determine your approach to higher education and whether your career path begins with academia or with real-world experience. It is possible to become wealthy with only a high-school diploma; it is just a lot less likely.
Today’s Top-Paying Freelance Jobs
October 16, 2018 - Top Paying Freelance Jobs By Investopedia
Which are the top-paying freelance jobs of choice today? And do they allow a person to make a living solely as a freelancer? According to a recent report by CareerCast, such a thing is possible in the “gig economy.”
Today’s Top-Paying Freelance Jobs
The website looked at wages and projected growth from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that some freelance jobs pay average hourly rates that allow people to make a full-time living or at least supplement their income in a meaningful way. Here are 10 of those high-paying jobs.
Accountant – With a median salary of $67,290, or more than $32 per hour, this is certainly a viable alternative to the daily office environment. An accountant’s busiest time is from the New Year to the end of tax season, but there’s plenty of other work throughout the year.
Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician – From work at TV and radio stations to setting up sound systems at concerts and parties, these freelancers operate the complicated equipment involved in making everything sound amazing. Their median salary is $41,780 per year, or about $20 per hour.
Carpenter – You already know what a carpenter does, but did you know that freelance carpenters make a median salary of $42,090, with a projected 10-year job growth rate of 6%? Not bad if you enjoy working with wood.
Delivery Truck Driver – With Americans doing more shopping on Amazon and other online sites, delivery drivers won’t find an absence of work, though the median yearly salary, $27,760, is the lowest on this list.
Interpreter/Translator – Business is more global than ever. It’s not uncommon for companies to have remote meetings with people who are hearing impaired or speak another language. Freelance interpreters and translators earn a median salary of $44,343, with a projected growth rate of nearly 29%.
Management Analyst – Companies always want to do more with less. Management analysts advise them on how to create a more efficient and cost-effective process. With a median salary of $81,320 and a projected growth rate of 14%, management analysts can work outside of a traditional company and make a great living.
Multimedia Artist – Graphic designers, videographers and others who produce media continue to be in demand in the gig economy. Median salary is $64,308, with a projected growth rate of 5.23% over the next 10 years.
Occupational Therapist – Who helps patients recover from illness, injury or chronic conditions? Occupational therapists. With a median salary of $80,150 per year and a 27% growth rate, there’s plenty of work for freelancers.
Web Developer – Somebody must create the websites you visit every day. Freelance web developers work from home on large and small projects, either as part of a remote team or on their own. Median salary is $65,100, and the 10-year growth rate is 24%.
Software Developer – Computers, cars and many of the devices in your home run on software, and the people who create the programs for them can make more than $100,000 per year. With a projected growth rate of 17%, it’s no wonder that online coding schools and other initiatives to teach people how to program are so prevalent.
The Bottom Line
Some jobs work better as freelance positions than others, but all of the above jobs are sure to see continued demand and have proven success in the gig economy. Start by freelancing after hours. As your business grows, you may end up calling yourself CEO just a few years down the road.
The Top Global Education Systems
October 03, 2018 - The Top 3 Educational Systems In The World By Investopedia
When countries across the globe entered into a period of economic recovery during 2010, it became increasingly clear that emerging nations were bouncing back far quicker than their more established Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) counterparts. For example, while the global recession of 2008 and 2009 left more than 15 million American citizens unemployed and home-owners nationwide facing the burden of negative equity, nations such as China, Korea and India found that they were experiencing rapid growth as their respective gross domestic products (GDP) soared.
Top 3 Educational Systems In The World
It was generally accepted that this was because these developing nations were less damaged by the original financial crisis, as they were not encumbered with significant debt before the events of 2008. Not only this, but countries such as China and India did not officially enter a period of recession, and instead suffered solely from diminished economic growth. However, nations that experienced a quicker than expected economic recovery also performed outstandingly well in the World Education Rankings released in 2010, which suggests a correlation between prospering economies and financial sectors with strong teaching systems.
By mid-2018, the top three educational systems in the world were South Korea, Finland and Japan. This is based on developmental levels including early childhood enrollment, test scores in math, reading, and science in primary and secondary levels, completion rates, high school and college graduation, and adult literacy rates. Note that China remained in the top 10 at number 6, but India was no longer placed in the top 20 countries for education.
The Bottom Line
The link between countries with outstanding educational systems and strong financial service sectors is becoming increasingly prominent, and the speed with which nations recovered from the effects of the global recession also showcased extraordinary robustness. In terms of defining why the educational systems employed by these nations have proved so consistently successful, it is interesting to note that each is extremely federated and flexible and far removed from the centralized model favored historically by developed nations.
In relation to how these systems have benefited each nation's financial service sector, the global educational rankings reveal that students in the top educational countries have showcased an exceptional and consistent understanding of core mathematic principles. This outstanding level of numeracy forms the foundation of any financial sector job or service, and when coupled with evolved higher educational programs and diverse vocational courses it helps to develop a wide portfolio of skills to suit private banking and lending organizations. This is certainly something from which nations like the U.S. and the U.K. can learn from as they seek to establish long-term economic growth and stability.
Invest2Success Investment Advisory Stock Picks
Free Trial - Receive daily low-risk high-reward SP500 NYSE Nasdaq buy-long and short-sell stock picks that are experiencing strong increasing and decreasing earnings, that include buy sell entry, stop-loss, take profit area price targets, and trade management information to your email inbox.