I’m sure that at some stage we’ve all questioned our career choices to date. Those weeks where nothing seems to go right and you find yourself thinking “there’s got to be an easier way”. In my younger years, before I came to terms with the fact that I was mostly unemployable outside of recruitment, I’d have this crisis of self most weeks. This was the early days of the InterWeb. Back then, type in “Get Rich Quick” into Altavista and you were inundated with multi-level, pyramid marketing schemes, where a hapless dial-up internet user could make $10,000 a day by selling a worthless “E Book” to other wannabe dot com entrepreneurs.

As I grew older, and the InterWeb grew more sophisticated, I continued, albeit less frequently, to “check in” on ways to make a quick buck. Having learnt that sadly, for most of us, serious moolah comes from serious hard work, my focus moved towards which industry¬† and job could keep me in caviar, Champagne, and cocaine. This week, being one of those weeks, had me up to my old tricks.

A quick search (on Google this time around) shows that according to Glassdoor, the top 5 paying jobs in the US are as follows:

  1. Physician
  2. Pharmacy Manager
  3. Pharmacist
  4. Enterprise Architect
  5. Corporate Counsel

So basically, your best chance of securing a lucrative job in the US is to go to university (which will leave you with a nice US$37,000 debt on average – it’ll be multiples of this for med students), and study either medicine, law, or IT. This may get you comparatively rich, but it certainly doesn’t sound quick. It actually sounds laborious and drenched in self-sacrifice. YUCK.

What about here in Aotearoa? According to SEEK, the top 5 are:

  1. IT Manager
  2. IT Architect
  3. Insurance/Superannuation Manager
  4. Mining/Resources/Energy Manager
  5. Real Estate/Property

This list seems slightly more doable. There are still a fair few that require years of study, however, judging by the service I’ve historically received, the barriers to entry into the real estate market are pretty damn low. Perhaps we have a contender? In reality (or realty?!), I know enough about the industry to know that for every Estate Agent slaying Grey Lynn, there are 20 knocking on doors in Ranui, many never picking up a single listing before calling it quits. I’m back to the drawing board, and by that, I mean Google.

I next stumbled across a fascinating study by Scarlatti, which followed the careers and income of school leavers from the age of 19 to 32. I’ll allow you to click on the surprisingly interesting interactive website here, but the findings are summarised as follows:

“School leavers who enter ITO training have higher incomes than university graduates into their late twenties. By the age of 30 school leavers who enter apprenticeships in one of the Women in Trades ITOs had earned $145,000 more than their university counterparts. After age 30 university graduates begin to earn more than apprentices however when considering cumulative income apprentices have higher net worth into their late thirties.”

and…

“At the age of 28, males are shown to be $165,000 ahead of their average university counterparts”

So there you have it. To make as much money as quickly as possible, perhaps we should be encouraging loved ones to learn a trade, not slope around Dunedin for 4 years with a bad haircut. And as for me, if I had my time again, would I swap the leather compendium for a tool belt? No chance. I’m a soft-handed office jockey who hates burly men shouting at me.

If I wanted to get rich quick, I’d just be an IT recruiter.

^SW

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