job search

Researching Jobs and Salaries

adults college students young adults

The professional world offers an extensive array of career paths catering to different interests, skills, and aspirations. Some popular career options include:

YouTube Rock Star: Just kidding. if you want it, go for it. But it does not happen easily.

Information Technology (IT): From software development to cybersecurity, IT careers are diverse and in high demand.

Healthcare Professions: Nurses, doctors, and various allied health professionals contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities.

Business and Finance: Careers in finance, marketing, and management provide opportunities for individuals with a flair for commerce.

Creative Industries: Graphic designers, writers, musicians, and artists contribute to the vibrant landscape of the creative world.

Trades and Vocational Careers: Electricians, plumbers, and technicians play crucial roles in ensuring the functionality of our daily lives. These are jobs where we need more skilled talent every day.

Entry Costs

The entry costs associated with different careers can vary significantly. Traditional four-year degree programs may require substantial tuition fees, but alternative paths like vocational training or online certifications could offer cost-effective entry points. It's crucial to consider not only the financial investment but also the time required for education and skill development. Many people have 2-5 careers over their lifetime. You might dream of one job forever, but you will change as life goes on.

Know the Benefits

Job seekers often weigh the benefits associated with a particular career when making decisions. Benefits may include:

Job Satisfaction: Finding fulfillment in one's work is a crucial benefit that contributes to overall job satisfaction.

Competitive Salaries: Some careers offer competitive salaries, allowing individuals to achieve financial stability and pursue personal goals.

Work-Life Balance: Certain professions prioritize work-life balance, providing employees with the flexibility to maintain a healthy personal life.

Career Advancement: Opportunities for career growth and advancement can be a motivating factor for professionals seeking long-term success.

Environment: Do you want to work indoors in a climate-controlled environment? Do you want to be on the road? Do you want to work with your hands and be outdoors? Everyone is different

Job Security

Job security is a significant consideration when choosing a career. But it doesn't exist these days like it did for previous generations. While some industries, such as healthcare and technology, offer robust job security due to high demand, others may be more susceptible to economic fluctuations. Researching the stability of the industry and understanding potential job market trends can help individuals make informed decisions about their career choices.

Workweek Structures

The typical workweek structure varies across industries and professions. Some careers may adhere to a standard 9-to-5 schedule, while others, like those in the hospitality or healthcare sectors, may involve irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Remote work options and flexible schedules have become more prevalent in recent years, providing professionals with increased work arrangement choices.


Create a Monthly Budget

Building a realistic monthly budget is a key component of successful financial planning for college and beyond. Let's assume you want to live on your own someday. So you need to consider

  • Income
  • Rent
  • Food
  • Bills
  • Transportation
  • Fun

Save some time and check out this great Living Wage Calculator by MIT. Understand what it costs to live in any area. You might be comfortable being single and living in a tiny apartment or having multiple roommates for a long time. You might have dreams of having a family.  Who knows. It's really up to you how you want to live.  But you do need food and a roof over your head.

Check the Market

  • Pick 10 jobs that might interest you
  • Check for current salaries on your based on experience. Go to or
  • Check for actual openings in your area to see what the market is like. Go to

Other Options

Here are some options to consider besides a typical 4-year degree.

  • Many jobs offer entry-level positions where they are willing to train you.  Try them out
  • Take online courses
  • Pay in-state tuition
  • Go to a certificate program or Code Training boot camp instead
  • Consider a trade and vocational school
  • Go to a community college for 3 years then switch to another school to graduate
  • Look at local trade school options
  • Go to college for 1 year and see if the price is worth it
  • Are you eligible for free tuition programs through your parent's work?
  • Is there a job you could take that pays for tuition?
  • Do you want to be a business owner instead?

More and more these days there are endless options out there for making money and living your life. A traditional 4-year college is not the only option. Go ahead, Explorer! 

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