Why did you choose the field of study that you are in? Did you choose it because you really like the field or because you were expecting to make a lot of money? Well you should know that a lot of different careers are actually going to take you several years to make any money at all. That’s because you need to consider the fact that you paid to get that degree and therefore that job in the first place. What you want to consider is the ROI or Return on Investment that you are going to get after you take out that loan (and pay off the loan) for your college education.
What is ROI?
The return on investment is the amount of money that you are going to make in your lifetime (calculated based on an average lifetime and the average wage of someone in your field of study) compared to how much money you’ve invested. The investment amount is calculated based off the average amount that someone who obtains a degree in the same field pays for that same type of degree. You want to make sure that your ROI is going to be sufficient to offset what you’ve spent for the degree you’re getting.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to be working in a particular field only so you can get the money. You may find that your ROI isn’t very high but still enjoy the field that you’re in. It’s up to you to decide if that number is good enough for you. Make sure you’re considering all of the costs you have in your education and then work from that number. Are you at least going to get back the investment that you made in a reasonable amount of time?
You should consider the different types of careers out there and understand that each of them is going to have a different breakeven point. For some careers such as being a licensed practical nurse you would only need a certificate. In order to ‘break even’ you would only need to work for 7/10 of a year. In five years you would actually make 589% of a Return on Investment. This means that the career would be extremely lucrative for someone who is interested in it.
On the other hand, a career as a public defender for example would take approximately 6.3 years for someone to reach the breakeven point. This is because a public defender position requires a Juris Doctorate degree which costs a lot of money and for someone who gets that degree and takes a low paying job such as public defense it’s difficult to make enough to pay back. This is the type of job that you have to really enjoy and really want to make a difference in or you will spend a lot of time regretting the fact that you are not making much.
For a lot of different careers you don’t have to spend too much time working in order to get a good return on your investment. What you need to do is make sure that you are willing to spend the amount of time that is necessary. In most instances this will be between two and three years but it’s always possible that you will need to spend even more time in order to finally achieve your breakeven point and truly make any money at all. Keep in mind what you’re willing to do without earning anything at all before you spend the money to get a degree that won’t allow you to make anything for many years.
In the end only you can say what is worth the money that you are putting into your degree. Only you can decide if your dream job is worth spending all the time and effort it’s going to take for you to reach the breakeven point on your earnings. Remember to look up what your lifetime earning potential really is as well since this is going to ensure that you are able to support yourself with the money that you will make.
Personally my degree is considered pretty average. I spent about $100,000 on a Bachelor’s Degree which is right about the average for that type of degree. My one year ROI is actually expected to be -76% which means I’m actually going to lose money for the first year. On year five my ROI will be 32%. In all it will take about 3.8 years to just reach the breakeven point. This is about average for a number of different careers and thankfully I really like my field of study so I’m all right with not earning much of anything until I get to that almost four year mark.
I had to take out a loan in order to get that degree so this means I’m going to have to spend the money to pay back that loan and during that time I’m not making enough from the career I’ve chosen to actually recoup my losses. As a result, I’m going to be paying for something that’s not making me any money. Sure it’s not really a lot of fun but it’s something that I really enjoy doing so I’ve decided to do it anyway.
If you still need to get a loan then make sure you’re checking out the application here. Make sure you’re also looking at the information we have on paying back your student loans once you’ve completed your degree. After all, most jobs aren’t going to get you making any type of real profit until you’ve been at them for some time. Methods of paying back your loans are quite varied however so make sure you’re checking out the different options in our article right here. You want to enjoy your future career so make sure that you’re going to be making enough money to stay happy with it for the rest of your life.