Is Computer Science a Good Major? Pros and Cons

As a former recruiter for tech startups, a lot of people ask me "Is Computer Science a good major?"

If you're wondering whether Computer Science is a good degree and career to pursue, this article is for you.

In short, I think Computer Science is one of the best majors you can choose and has better career prospects than 98% of other choices, but it's not for everyone. So I'm going to explain who it's for, who it's NOT for, and why.

This will help you decide if you should major in computer science or not.

Is Computer Science a Good Major? Pros And Cons

Computer science is a good major in terms of expected demand and career growth, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting 13% industry growth from 2020 to 2030. Average salaries for computer and information technology jobs are $97,430 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to a much lower median wage of $45,760 for all occupations.

However, computer science jobs and a computer science major are best-suited for certain types of people.

Not everyone is going to be happy working as a computer scientist or software developer, and it's costly and time-consuming to obtain a computer science degree (like any degree) and so careful thought and consideration should be taken by any new prospective computer science students.

Who is a Computer Science degree good for? (and who should not enroll in a Computer Science program?)

If you hate math and hate analytical thinking and problem solving, you're always going to be in the bottom 50% of workers in software engineering or computer science.

If this is the case, I don't recommend pursuing a degree in computer science.

Maybe you can find a low-tier company and be average in that company, but the pay won't be great and you won't be working on anything very exciting or meaningful.

And that negates some of the big benefits of why you should major in Computer Science in the first place! (more on this coming up).

So don't do it just because your dad told you to, or you heard you can make $100K a few years after school (you can).

Because if you hate this stuff, you'll be miserable and won't be the guy making $100K anyway. The top companies hire people who LOVE this stuff and are passionate about it.

Now, if you like problem solving, you like math, you like learning in general... you'll enjoy Computer Science. All the benefits above are true, and you will enjoy the career paths that Computer Science offers...

Types of Jobs You Can Get With a Computer Science Major

If you major in Computer Science, are motivated, do some side projects on github during your senior year to show you care about this stuff, and are willing to go work in a big city like New York, San Francisco, Boston, LA (or even a smaller city like Austin, TX), you will earn $100K quickly (within a couple of years).

There's no question that computer science majors are some of the highest-earning recent grads in the modern workforce.

Here are some of the specific career options available to a computer science major...

You can do mobile app development (iOS or Android)

This can be game development, mobile-focused companies (like Uber), or companies with a website that also have a mobile app (for example a bank or financial institution).

You can join a digital agency and do a variety of projects, or go work for a single company

I recommend option #2. Digital agencies tend to burn people out, and once you're in... it's harder to get hired by a tech company with a single product. So if it were me, I'd just start there.

Whether you join an agency or a company with a single product or platform, you have some choices of what type of programming to specialize in...

You can focus on front-end (the part of the website you can see as a visitor) or back-end engineering (how the interface you see interacts with the database and all the information you can't see). Or some people do both, which is known as "full stack" development.

You can do web development, or build software that the public doesn't see - like an internal dashboard that a company's employees use.

You can get into data engineering and data science too. This area is becoming HUGE and these people get paid a TON.

It's normal in New York (the city where I was a tech recruiter for startups) to see a good data engineer with a few years of experience making $150K or more for base salary. I'm talking about someone in their 20s who isn't managing any people. Not bad, right?

Other high-paying positions that computer science graduates can obtain include:

  • Information systems manager
  • Network administrator
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Data analyst

The job outlook is excellent for all of these careers, as many of these positions relate to new technology that companies find themselves needing more and more help with.

And in my experience as a tech recruiter, all of these jobs have the potential to earn six figures.

Next, let's talk about why people can earn so much money after they major in computer science...

There's a Talent Shortage in Many Computer Science Careers

Tech companies, particularly startups, are starving for talented people with a four-year computer science degree. A certificate from those coding bootcamps that take 12 weeks is NOT the same... you don't walk out with the same fundamental understanding of computer science, algorithms, etc... and companies know this.

Sure, you can do a 12 week bootcamp and be a decent web developer, but you're not going to get hired as an engineer at Facebook or Spotify or anything like that.

Anyway, my point is these companies have millions of dollars in funding from venture capital firms. They're not trying to save $20K on your salary if you're motivated and have a Computer Science degree from a good school. They're trying to find awesome people who will build their product and make it a huge success.

This means you'll get paid very well, especially if you change companies once or twice in the early portion of your career.

Long-Term Career Outlook for Computer Science Majors

There are quite a number of exciting and high-earning career options after you get a degree in computer science.

In the long term, if you want to lead people, you can eventually manage an engineering team or department.

If not, you can look into something called software "architecture". A good architect can make $180-200K without managing anyone.

You can also create a product and found a company yourself.

Computer Science is an outstanding career path right now, and if you’re going to a decent school in terms of the Computer Science program, you will have companies chasing you after graduation if you're in a mid-sized or large city.

Other Perks of Majoring in Computer Science

1. Tech companies treat their software engineers like KINGS

If you join a tech-focused company like Spotify, Facebook, Apple, etc. (not a job where you're doing software engineering for Walmart, etc.), you will be treated like an absolute king.

Most of these companies let you wear jeans, give you free food, and lots of other perks. Not all, but most.

Is this going to change in the next five years? No.

The world is being built by tech. More and more products are becoming "connected devices" - physical products that have a software component and connect online. Thermostats, refrigerators, cars, etc.

We're not just talking about websites and mobile apps here.

Plus e-commerce is becoming massive. Amazon hires some of the best software engineers in the world to keep their systems running smoothly.

There are going to be so many new areas like this, along with all of the traditional areas that require great software engineering talent (finance, gaming and entertainment, virtual reality, SaaS, etc.)

So this means that employers will have more and more demand for people with computer science degrees and other related degrees (like data science, information technology, etc.) in practically every industry.

For an overview of all the different types of IT jobs, read this article.

2. High likelihood you can work remotely

This isn't guaranteed and depends on the company, but of all the professions out there... software engineers have one of the easiest paths to getting to work remotely.

Other careers where it's somewhat likely you can find a remote job:

  • Skilled writing (copywriting, medical writing, etc.)
  • "Inside" sales (phone sales)
  • Customer support (low-paid. Not recommended!)

Back to software engineering though. Why will you be able to find a remote job if you major in computer science?

Your skills will be in high demand, and your day-to-day work doesn't really require being face-to-face with your colleagues anyway. That's a good recipe for being allowed to work from home or anywhere else you want.

Which Schools have the Best Computer Science Programs?

Here is a list of the top 50 CS programs in the US. If you decide to major in Computer Science, try to go to one of these schools.

Overall, Computer Science is a very good major for many types of students, and it's what I'd choose if I were starting my adult life over.

However, the question of, "Should I major in Computer Science?" is complicated and depends on your interests, personality, motivation, and what other options you have. 

However, in general, Computer Science is a very good major that's incredibly useful and will give you the opportunity to build things that are shaping the world and being used by millions of people.

And you'll be very well-paid doing it.

Also, if you want to be an entrepreneur in the future, a Computer Science background will be useful there too.

(The only thing I'd say is more useful is knowledge of marketing/selling, but those are things you need to pick up in the real world anyway. The stuff they teach in schools on these topics is NOT going to help you start a company or succeed as an entrepreneur. And you can find a co-founder who's a marketer or salesperson anyway, if you don't want to learn this stuff).

Conclusion: Is Computer Science a Good Degree and Career?

As a former tech recruiter, I can say with a high level of confidence that Computer Science is an excellent choice and is a major that leads to high-paying entry-level opportunities, but also fantastic long-term career options and growth paths.

Students graduating with a degree in Computer Science over the next decade will have some of the best opportunities of any degree and can go on to pursue in-demand, lucrative careers in fields like software engineering, artificial intelligence, data science, and more.


where to learn digital marketing online

The 9 Best Places to Learn Digital Marketing Online

where to learn digital marketing online

The opinions and assessments shared on Career Sidekick are our own. We may earn commissions from purchases made after visiting links on our site.

If you're wondering where to learn digital marketing online and the best ways to do it, you're in the right place.

Digital marketing is one of the best careers to get into right now in terms of hiring demand and pay. And I'm going to share multiple online marketing courses, plus other ways to learn this valuable skill.

We'll start with courses, because online courses are the best way to learn digital marketing if you don't have friends/colleagues already in the space.

This field is evolving FAST so you'll learn more up-to-date info in an online course versus a book or university program.

Here are the best online courses in digital marketing...

9 Best Courses to Learn Digital Marketing Online

1. Udacity

Udacity offers an excellent online marketing training called Become a Digital Marketer, which is one of their "Nanodegree" programs designed to take you from zero experience to being ready to land a digital marketing job and succeed in the role.

With no experience required and frequent discounts offered, this is one of the best ways to learn digital marketing on a budget, while still getting all the benefits of a premium course (structured curriculum, real-world projects, top-notch instructors, and even career support).

Udacity digital marketing course - one of the best ways to learn online marketing

Udacity's digital marketing course takes three months to complete at 10 hours per week, so it's very feasible to take this digital marketing course while working a job, too.

Subject matter includes marketing fundamentals, content strategy, social media marketing and advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), display advertising, email marketing, and much more.

This is one of the more well-rounded, broad marketing courses and does an excellent job of providing you with a strong foundation in all of the essential aspects of digital marketing, so that you can go get a job immediately and then build further upon these digital marketing skills to create a long-lasting career.

I can recommend this as highly as any of the digital marketing courses on this list and it's a fantastic choice for anyone wanting to break into this career.

See current pricing and discounts HERE.

2. Digital Marketing Career Blueprint

You'll need two things if you want to find a job in digital marketing.

  • You need the skills.
  • And you need to demonstrate to employers that you know these skills so they'll hire you.

Plenty of courses teach digital marketing... but not all of them show you how to get job offers with your new skill set...

That's why this is one of the top courses I recommend for getting a career in digital marketing... because it helps you actually get a job and get paid with your skills. 

I've spoken with the course creator, Seth, and was impressed with his knowledge of digital marketing and exactly what employers look for when hiring in this space.

(As a former recruiter, it's very rare to talk to someone who doesn't come from an HR or recruiting background yet still understands job searching so well. Seth knows his stuff!)

When I started learning digital marketing after quitting my job, I wish I had a resource like this to help me.

The course is like a digital marketing "fastlane" that takes a lot of the guesswork out of learning digital marketing and finding a marketing job, so you can just follow the steps to get hired.

And he offers a free introductory course so you can try it out without paying. Here's where to join (and this is the #1 course I recommend, by far):

FREE MINI COURSE: How to Get a $60K/Yr Career in Digital Marketing

recommended course to learn digital marketing online

After you sign up for the mini-course, you're going to find out:

  • Why digital marketing is such a high-paying, in-demand field
  • The specific skills within digital marketing that employers want MOST
  • How to learn the necessary skills to get hired for a digital marketing position, 100% online

After this free mini-course, Seth offers a paid membership where you level up to more advanced trainings. These expert trainings take you step-by-step through learning these skills in-depth and getting job offers.

But you can start for free, which is a great way to learn the basics, make sure this career path is right for you, and then decide for yourself if you want to keep learning with the premium material. 

Start for free HERE

3. LinkedIn Learning

This is one of my favorite options for learning ANYTHING online because you can pay one low, flat monthly fee and get access to every expert-led course on the platform (and they have thousands).

There are multiple courses on the platform dedicated to learning digital marketing and finding a job, but you may need to go through two or three courses to get all the info you need.

Since it's all available for one flat fee, this is still a good option to consider.

I wrote a detailed LinkedIn Learning review here, which explains how to get a free month and how to find relevant courses.

The marketing courses here aren't going to teach you as much about how to find that marketing job after you learn the skills, though, which is why I encourage most people to take the course that I listed #1 in this article!

4. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google

Google offers a course where you can learn the fundamentals of digital marketing through their "Digital Garage" learning program.

The course is completely free and contains 26 modules designed to teach you the fundamentals of digital marketing and set you up to find an entry-level job in this field.

The course includes exercises, real-world examples, and more. It also comes with a recognized certification when you complete the course.

google digital garage free online marketing course

Note that from everything we can tell, this seems to be designed for UK/EU citizens.

However, the fundamentals of digital marketing are the same anywhere in the world, so you'll still be learning the skills that are valuable to employers even if you're US-based. 

You can get started here

5. HubSpot Content Marketing Course

Now, content marketing is just one subset of digital marketing. 

So in this course, you won't be learning advertising. 

You'll be learning how companies create content (videos, blog articles, social media posts, etc.) to drive inbound leads and get interested people coming to them!

The course takes about 4 hours to complete and is totally free, so it's a great option if you want to get started and learn the basics of content marketing. This is valuable to know even if you end up getting a broader digital marketing job where you're handling advertising, too.

The course also contains 11 quizzes so you can make sure you're absorbing everything.

Sign up for free here. 

6. Wordstream's PPC University

This is one of the best free online courses for learning the paid advertising side of digital marketing.

(Digital marketing can include content marketing, which I mentioned earlier - like blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. But it also includes paid advertising. You know -  those ads you watch BEFORE your YouTube video plays).

This is one of the most valuable parts of digital marketing for many companies because they can control the number of leads they get.

If they want more leads, they just spend more on ads. You don't have that level of control with free content online.

And the best course to start learning the basics of paid ads is via Wordstream's PPC University

7. Alison Diploma in E-Business is a site featuring free online courses from leading industry experts/companies. 

And they've had over 13 million students since being founded.

Their diploma in e-business is published by Google and takes around 6-10 hours to complete. And it's completely free

Now this is a broader, more general course than some of the digital marketing courses mentioned above, but it's a good way to build a foundation in online business.

You'll learn about business websites, how to get a business website found on Google, how to build a loyal fanbase online, online content marketing, paid advertising, online analytics and reporting, and much more.

These are all niche areas that employers pay a LOT of money for.

Each of these skills individually can be a $50K-$100K a year skill set if you build it up and become a master at it. 

Enroll in the free course here to get started. 

8. Udemy

Udemy is another online learning platform that's similar to LinkedIn Learning (mentioned earlier).

It's  worth a look if you're trying to learn digital marketing from scratch and break into that field, or if you're relatively new in the field and looking to boost your skills.

You can browse their courses here.

Note that Udemy frequently runs sales where many or all of their courses are available for $10. I wouldn't recommend paying more than $10 for a Udemy course because of this.

Also, make sure the course you choose includes information on how to find a job in digital marketing, rather than just the technical skills.

9. SkillShare

While a course is the best way to learn digital marketing, it doesn’t mean you need to shell out hundreds of dollars to enroll in a good program.

SkillShare is a reputable, low-cost online learning platform where you can learn a variety of skills, and it's one of the best options for how to learn digital marketing without paying a lot.

You’ll still benefit from going through organized, structured courses instead of feeling like you’re on your own, but you’ll pay a small monthly fee instead of a big enrollment fee.

SkillShare also offers 14 days for free here.

You’ll find multiple marketing courses on the platform, so I suggest looking at the number of students and reading the reviews, and then reading about the instructor’s background to make sure they’re truly an expert in the field.

How to Decide Which Digital Marketing Course is Best for You

Now you’re probably wondering, "What is the best digital marketing course from the list above?"

The digital marketing course you choose should depend on your specific situation and there isn't one best course for every type of person.

To determine which course to choose, consider your budget, time available, and preferred learning style.

Also consider free vs. paid, and the refund policy of paid courses. Since some of the options above are free, you can use them to get a taste of whether you enjoy learning about digital marketing. Then, you can invest in one or two paid options after.

Though, if you’re sure you want to learn digital marketing to start/grow a career, then you can't go wrong with the first two options on our list above. Both are excellent and well worth the cost.

Other Good Ways to Learn Digital Marketing Online

Now that we looked at where to learn digital marketing via a course, let's talk about some other options.

There’s a lot of free info online about digital marketing, and I do think there’s a ton of value in that, too.

So you can learn digital marketing online via platforms like YouTube, blogs, podcasts, discussion websites like Quora, and more.

But along with that, I think you’ll have the best results (and the best success in finding high-paying jobs) if you also take one structured course that takes you through the learning in some sort of method and order!

OR - if you have a few colleagues you can talk to. That's ideal! If you can find at least one or two people in your network who are already digital marketers, or are trying to learn this skill along with you, then it's going to be a lot easier.

You can share ideas and concepts you're learning. You can also pass along great resources for learning digital marketing as you discover them! (For example, if you find a great YouTube video sharing a new tactic within this field).

So that's something to keep in mind and try to get for yourself!

Are Courses the Best Way to Learn Digital Marketing? Or Are Other Ways Just as Good?

Still, I recommend enrolling in at least one course above. It can't hurt, and it's likely to rapidly accelerate your learning because you'll have a proven, organized structure to follow.

I used to try to avoid paying for anything, and just learn 100% for free by “scavenging” for info online.

It did work to some extent (mainly because I had the network aspect that I just talked about - I knew a few other people who were also learning digital marketing, and I was able to share ideas and resources with them!)

Still, I would have saved a lot of time and hassle if I had simply added one digital marketing course to the mix!

So I’m not someone who recommends going out and buying five courses. There’s so much good free info on the web. You DON'T need to do that.

But one course can make a big difference in how fast you can learn digital marketing and how quickly you find a job with your new skills.

Starting Steps: How to Learn Digital Marketing Right Now

Now that you know where and how to learn digital marketing online... what should you do next?

Our advice: Don't overthink it. Pick one or two courses that look interesting, and start going through the material.

Also, think about if there's anyone in your network that you can share this learning experience with! Would anyone else be interested in taking a course in digital marketing and learning this skill? Or, is anyone already working in marketing who might be able to mentor you?

And finally, start looking through free online resources like YouTube, Reddit, Quora, Facebook groups, and more, because you can find some great gems and info there, too (admittedly, mixed in with a lot of junk and bad info sometimes, which is one thing you don't have to deal with in most premium courses!)

No matter how you start, the key is to just begin. Most people over-analyze and never get started. They say they'll learn digital marketing "someday." 

Just start and take action!

If you follow the steps above, you'll be on your way to a new, high-paying career in digital marketing.

If you already have a job and are busy, you can set aside an hour each night to start going through one of these courses. 

And if you're unemployed or a new graduate looking for your first job, then you could do even more time per day. Pick an online digital marketing course, go through it, and see if it's a good fit for you. 


To conclude, I'll share my personal experiences and how I learned digital marketing, to give you some idea of what's possible and where to begin! And then I'll wrap up by sharing the top 4 reasons I think this is one of the best careers you can get into right now.

My Digital Marketing Story and Personal Experience in the Field:

A few years ago, I quit my job as a Recruiter.


I wanted more freedom and the ability to work for myself.

I planned to grow this blog - CareerSidekick enough to support me full-time, but that takes time... and I needed money!

I had a couple of friends who were working as marketers at the time and recommended I try it, so I did.

And it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done!

It allowed me to earn $50+ per hour, set my own schedule, and learn in-demand skills that employers are desperate for. 

And getting started was much faster than I expected.

Why I Recommend A Career In Digital Marketing

If you're unhappy in your career, just starting out, or looking for something new, here are the four reasons I recommend learning digital marketing and getting into this career:

  1. High starting pay: High-demand, low-supply, and massive growth make digital marketing one of the highest entry-level salaries available. I chose to do this work as a freelancer and made $50+ per hour, and full-time jobs typically start at $50,000-$60,000 per year.
  2. It’s a new field so you don’t have to catch up to people who have been doing this for decades. Almost everyone doing this is relatively new!
  3. Because it’s so new, you don’t need any specific educational background. You just need the skills employers are looking for, and the ability to prove you can do what they need. Once they see you can solve their problem, they WILL PAY YOU. NO DEGREE NEEDED.
  4. This is one of the highest-demand skills in any industry. Employers can't find enough talent. The current employees at most companies don’t know much about this field, and employers are desperate to find people who can bail them out.

And this industry isn't going anywhere! Companies are doing more and more marketing online.

You know all of those blogs you read? Those emails in your inbox? Those ads on Facebook and YouTube? That's all because of highly paid digital marketers.

And there will continue to be a talent shortage because digital marketing isn't taught well (or at all) in most traditional schools.

And while there are other great careers out there... like software engineering... they're much tougher to break into.

So now you know why I recommend this field so highly, and you know my top choice for where to learn digital marketing online in a way that will prepare you to find a job in this field!


best jobs and careers for recent college graduates

The 9 Best Jobs For Recent College Grads

best jobs and careers for recent college graduates

In this article, I'm going to walk you through the best jobs for recent college grads who want to earn more money, have better job security, and find fun/interesting work.

After years of working as a Recruiter, learning about different positions, hearing what different jobs pay, and studying employment trends... these are what I feel are the best jobs for recent college graduates.

The Best Jobs For Recent College Graduates

1. Software Developer

Software development is one of the best jobs for recent college graduates because of the high pay, rising demand, and perks that many employers offer.

This is a great option for anyone even remotely interested in technology and software.

Let's start with the most obvious reason this career is recommended to so many college graduates:

Software engineer positions pay extremely well.

Some software engineers earn $100K+ after just two or three years in the field.

And demand is rising as more of the world's businesses rely on software. (Even businesses that have been around forever like UPS).

And while you'll have a leg-up on the competition if you majored in computer science, it's not necessary or required for all jobs in this field...

Many top tech companies like Apple no longer require a four-year degree for their software engineer positions

And there are many coding bootcamps and schools teaching this skill set in a matter of months rather than years.

And some of them help you find a job after graduating as well.

Note: I'd also put careers like data science and data engineering into this group of some of the best entry-level college graduate jobs.

I expect the demand (and pay) for these positions to be as good as software engineering in the coming decade and beyond, even if they aren't quite as popular of a choice.

I'll cover that later in this article.

2. Digital Marketer

Don't want to learn programming? No problem!

There are a couple more great careers for recent college grads with any degree, and digital marketing is one of them.

At this point, every company knows they need a digital presence, even the very old-fashioned companies that traditionally relied on offline marketing.

(Go try to find a single large brand without social media accounts. You can't).

And as companies get on board, they're realizing they need a lot of help in this area.

Specific work in this field includes creating and managing online advertisements (on Facebook, Google, Instagram and more)... managing "organic" social media posts (non-paid ads - regular posts that companies put out to their followers.

There are many other areas as well, including website optimization, email marketing, and much more.

It's also a relatively new field so you won't be competing against people who have 20-30 years of experience.

Some of the most knowledgeable digital marketers are in their 20s right now.

So you can earn a great salary ($50-60K within one or two years, and much more over time) in this field.

If you want help getting started in this field, I wrote an article about the best places to learn digital marketing online. 

3. Salesperson

Sales is another one of the best careers for college graduates, and one of my personal favorites.

I heard a statistic recently that 70% of billionaires got started in sales.

I'm not sure if it's true, but I don't doubt it...

Sales teaches you incredible skills - like persuasion, and resiliency (after you get hung up on a few times or yelled at once or twice, you realize it's NOT a big deal and life goes on).

And you can earn a ton of money. It's without a doubt one of the best careers for recent graduates who want to earn a lot quickly.

In one of my first jobs after graduating college, I was on the customer service team and sat right next to the sales team...

The top salesperson in the company made $2 million a year.

He lived in Mexico on a beach with his wife.

The second-best salesperson made over $1 million a year.

And they were doing it with college degrees in English and History, not Business.

You DON'T need a business degree to get most of the best business jobs as a recent college graduate.

That's why sales is one of the best jobs for recent graduates who want to earn 6 figures or more.

One warning: Not all entry-level sales jobs are created equal...

The best sales jobs for recent college graduates are business-to-business (B2B) sales roles.

In these positions, you'll be closing larger deals, which means more potential money in YOUR pocket.

Other business people are also typically more reasonable when you're trying to sell to them, versus regular people/consumers.

If you go into B2B sales, the typical base salary will be around $35-65K, and there should be a commission structure too.

Avoid positions that pay 100% commission and zero base salary, especially as a recent college grad or entry-level job seeker. 

There are definitely some scams out there, and they'll often pay no base salary.

So you're better off finding a position that pays a mix of base salary and commission.

4. Account Manager

In many companies, an Account Manager is a mix between customer support and sales. Account managers typically work with business clients and maintain their existing relationships, but also work to sell clients on adding new services, too.

If you want to gain exposure to a variety of business skills and earn a high starting salary, then Account Manager positions are a good entry-level choice.

If you want this type of job but can't find it at the entry-level, there are a few other popular jobs that can lead to this career. Look for positions in customer support and customer relationship management, but just make sure it's business-to-business (B2B).

5. Data Analyst/Data Scientist

If you have a background and interest in math, then data science is one of the best job choices and career paths to consider.

You may have heard the term "big data". Large companies have more and more data - about customers, the market overall, and competitors - and they need data scientists to help them make sense of all this data.

In fact, it's so much data that humans could never analyze it all, so they need help creating software programs, scripts, and systems that analyze the data and spit out meaningful insights for the business.

That's where data scientists (and data engineers, which are similar to software engineers) come in! If you love math and technology, then this could be the career for you. And it's certainly one of the top jobs for college graduates in terms of earnings - many data scientists earn an average salary of $100K-$150K or higher. 

6. SEO Specialist

I mentioned digital marketing above, and one sub-topic that's in high demand now (and I expect this to continue) is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In this role, you help companies get their website to appear high in search results on Google and other search engines. This brings the company more business leads each day and can last for years, so companies are willing to pay great money for an SEO Specialist or SEO Manager.

This isn't a topic taught much (or taught well) in universities, which means you can learn this yourself via an e-learning website like Skillshare and obtain an entry-level job no matter what you majored in.

And if you choose a career in SEO, you can likely work your way up to a six-figure salary within a few years, even as an individual contributor.

7. Nurse

Nursing is a great occupation that can average around $50-60K in some cities, which is a great entry-level salary for a non-business field.

But you need a nursing degree.

So if you found this article by searching for the best jobs for recent college grads, then the last thing I'd recommend is going back to get another degree if you don't already have a degree in nursing. Yet if you do have this degree, then rest assured that it's a career with a great average salary and good job security.

8. Engineer

Various types of engineering jobs will pay extremely well right out of college. But like Nursing, you're going to need a specific degree to get started.

So again- if you happen to have a relevant degree, you can earn great money in areas like these:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Etc.

Plus as an engineer, there's an opportunity to work at some of the most exciting companies. For example, SpaceX hires a lot of engineers both for their software and rockets.

But I realize most people don't have an engineering degree, which is why the jobs I listed earlier don't require any specific degree.

9. Accountant

Accounting is one of the best entry-level jobs right out of the gate in terms of salary.

(I've seen recent grads in Accounting land jobs with a starting salary of $45-55K with no experience).

And there are some good career paths forward...

You could continue earning more and more with this by becoming the head of an accounting department, a Controller, or CFO (Chief Financial Officer).

But many accountants get stuck at the "Staff Accountant" level forever.

And I personally just don't think the work sounds very interesting.

However, I know some people out there love accounting. I studied Finance in school and took enough Accounting courses to know I'd never want to do it.

But if you majored in this field and want an accounting job, go ahead and try it!

The starting salary will be good, you'll learn a lot about how businesses operate, and you can also switch into a finance or sales/marketing role if you decide accounting isn't for you.

Along with accounting, you can consider similar jobs like Financial Analyst, too.

Why Business Jobs Are Some Of The Best For Recent College Graduates...

You may have noticed that the majority of the jobs above are business-related.

Why do I recommend business jobs for recent college graduates?

Well, business jobs tend to be some of the best-paying jobs for recent college graduates.

And they also offer some of the best growth opportunities as you move forward in your career. The skills you learn in these jobs will help you no matter what you go on to do.

I also like recommending business jobs for recent college graduates because these positions will typically accept people with a variety of degrees/majors (as long as you can convince them you've got what it takes to succeed in your interview).

Are These The Only Good Jobs For College Graduates?

No - there are certainly other good jobs for new grads.

However, the jobs that I mentioned above are the BEST right now in my opinion, and some of the most popular jobs that people recommend.

That doesn't mean there aren't good choices for you, though.

For example, being a recruiter isn't a bad job or career choice, especially when looking for entry-level positions as a recent graduate.

I personally learned a ton working as a recruiter, was well-paid, and it gave me the knowledge and inspiration to start this website which turned into my full-time business now!

Yet I didn't put "recruiter" on the list because I feel working as a salesperson or account manager is better (and very similar, even though most people don't realize it).

It's okay if you choose a career that's not on this list

If you're passionate about an area not mentioned above, you should go into that instead, and you'll probably succeed with it!

Passion goes a LONG way toward motivating you in your career, helping you stand out and get promotions, etc.

As long as you don't take a total dead-end career path, you'll do fine if you're passionate about something.

In fact, in the jobs I struggled in very early in my career, the whole issue was I had zero passion for what I was doing. (Customer service, client support, etc.)

I was miserable...

...Not because the work was particularly tough. It was just that I couldn't care less about what I was doing!

So every little thing became stressful and difficult.

You'll be much happier and more successful if you find something you actually care about doing. That's the big takeaway here.

Use the list of best entry-level careers and jobs above as a guideline if you recently graduated, but don't think you have to follow one of these options, because you don't.


top 10 best blue-collar jobs for high demand and high pay

Top 10 Blue Collar Jobs for High Pay and Demand

top 10 best blue-collar jobs for high demand and high pay

If you're looking for the best blue collar jobs for high pay and high demand, then keep reading. I'm going to list 10 of the best-paying blue collar jobs that employers are looking for right now so you can target the top areas in your blue collar job search.

Then we'll look at the median annual salary for these jobs so you'll know exactly which ones pay the most.

Let's get started...

Different Types of Blue Collar Jobs

There are five blue collar job categories. These are:

  • Operators (power plant operators, gas plant operators, subway operators, etc.)
  • Technicians (Nuclear technicians, auto mechanics, computer repair technicians, etc.)
  • Public Service (Police officers, detectives, firefighters, etc.)
  • Skilled Trades (Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.)
  • Laborers (Warehouse workers, janitors, construction laborers, etc.)

Operators, technicians, public service workers, and skilled tradespeople all require a good amount of training, which makes their earning potential a lot higher. However, most labor jobs don't even require a high school diploma, so these are more entry-level positions.

Now that you know the general types of jobs you'll encounter in your blue collar job search, let's look at which ones are best for high pay and getting hired quickly (demand).

Top 10 Blue Collar Jobs for High Demand and High Pay

Blue collar work has historically been less respected and desired, but many of these jobs pay more than the typical college graduate makes. Below are the top blue collar jobs that are both in demand and pay a high median annual salary.

1. Electrical Installers and Repairers

If you like working outside and don't mind heights then electrical power line installer and repairer might be the career for you. With this job, you'll be installing and repairing telecommunications cables throughout your local area. Training includes a three-year apprenticeship as well as a good amount of work experience.

As far as jobs on this list go, power-line installers and repairers have a higher median annual salary. However, you will encounter some hazards on the job, including dealing with high voltages and working at great heights. Electrical power-line installers and repairers are also often on-call, meaning if there's a storm and some lines go down you might get a call in the middle of the night to go fix them.

2. Aircraft Mechanics and Service Techs

This is an ideal job for anyone that loves aviation. Aircraft mechanics and service techs perform scheduled maintenance and repairs on airplanes, jets, and helicopters. Most people in this line of work go to technical school to become qualified. However, some simply learn through on-the-job training. Either way, you'll need to pass an FAA written exam to become certified.

While you'll most likely be hired by an airline, as an aircraft mechanic you might also end up working for the government, the military, or a private company. Depending on your job and where you work you may choose to work on multiple types of aircraft or specialize in just one.

3. Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers To enter this field, you'll need to complete a four-year apprenticeship program which requires you to have a high school diploma.

Once you're certified you'll mostly be reading elevator blueprints, locating malfunctioning components, and repairing cables and motors. The job requires a lot of problem-solving, so if that's something you enjoy you'll likely excel in this line of work. Elevator installers and repairers also have the highest median annual salary on this list.

4. Pile Driver Operators

As the name suggests, these workers operate pile drivers, which are used to drive piles into the ground to provide foundation support for buildings, bridges, and other structures. While a formal education isn't necessary, you'll need some sort of training to perform this job. In most cases, that will be a three to four-year apprenticeship in heavy equipment operation.

As a pile driver operator, you'll do more than just operate your machine. You'll also maintain the equipment, perform inspections, and keep records. You may also be responsible for supervising other workers. This job requires you to work outside most of the time, which can be good or bad depending on the weather.

5. Petroleum Pump System Operators

A petroleum pump system operator sets up, maintains, and controls the refining units at an oil refinery or large ship pumping station. Most workplaces will want you to have a high school education. After that, it generally takes a year of work experience to be trained for the position.

This is a busy job and involves using handwheels to direct the flow of oil. You'll also need to inform other team members when to open and close valves and check flow rates. The job is fairly physically demanding, as equipment will regularly need to be installed and moved from one location to another.

6. Police Officers

This line of work isn't for everyone, but if you're passionate about making your community a safer place to live you might want to think about becoming a police officer. For this career, you'll need a high school diploma (a bachelor's degree is recommended but not required), be at least 21 years old, meet certain physical standards, and attend a police academy.

Police officers perform a wide range of duties, including responding to emergency calls, arresting suspects, collecting evidence, and testifying in court. It goes without saying that this job comes with some pretty serious risks. However, if you're up to the task it can be extremely rewarding work.

7. Construction and Building Inspectors

Construction and building inspectors review commercial and residential buildings to ensure they comply with building codes. A college diploma in engineering, architecture, or construction is required. It's also a good idea to have experience in a trade, such as plumbing or carpentry.

As a construction and building inspector, you'll be required to approve any building plans before construction can begin. You'll also do on-site inspections while projects are being completed to ensure all the work is done properly. In most cases, you'll be employed by the government, but in some instances, you might be hired by a construction company.

8. Telecommunications Equipment Installer

For those interested in tech and IT jobs, a telecommunications equipment installer might be the ideal job. You'll travel from place to place installing, maintaining, and replacing telecommunications equipment. Requirements vary, but most people in this line of work have a certificate or two-year degree in electronics or computer science. Some technical schools offer courses specifically for this line of work.

You'll spend most of your time helping homeowners and businesses set up their communications equipment. You'll also need to perform repairs. Technology is known to fail at inconvenient times, so it's not uncommon for telecommunications equipment installers to work nights and weekends on occasion.

9. Powerhouse Substation and Relay Repairer

Powerhouse substation and relay repairers maintain and repair equipment used in generating systems and service relays. Most people in this profession have a certificate or diploma from a community college or technical school. Hands-on training is also a must in order to gain the necessary skills.

This is the perfect career for people who enjoy problem solving and love working with their hands. You'll spend most of your time locating, identifying, and solving electrical issues. In addition to performing repairs, you'll also have to maintain records and document your activities so others on your team know what work has been done.

10. Power Plant Operator

This job is responsible for controlling power generating equipment in a power plant. Depending on the type of plant you're working at the equipment might be fuelled by coal, natural gas, or a nuclear power reactor. No diplomas or certificates are required, but employers usually favor applicants with some post-secondary education and a solid understanding of math.

Power plant operators are in charge of monitoring power generating equipment, performing regular checks for operating problems, regulating the flow of power, and stopping and starting equipment as necessary. As this job has a high median annual salary it's often seen as one of the more desirable blue collar jobs.

What are the Highest-Paid Blue Collar Jobs in America?

While all the jobs listed above pay a good salary, there's still a big difference when it comes to the salaries they offer. Here are the top five highest-paying blue collar jobs in the US, ranked in terms of median annual salary:

  1. Elevator Installer: $84,990
  2. Power Plant Operator: $81,990
  3. Petroleum Pump System Operator: $74,180
  4. Powerhouse Substation and Relay Technician: $71,191
  5. Power-Line Installer and Repairer: $61,276

(Median annual salaries compiled from various sources including the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

As you can see, many of these jobs out-earn positions that require a college degree. When you consider that most of these positions require less training and education, and allow you to enter the workforce sooner, there are quite a few advantages to blue collar work.

Differences Between White Collar and Blue Collar Jobs

The terms "blue collar" and "white collar" were coined in the 1920s and 30s. In those days, laborers usually wore blue denim shirts while those who worked in offices mostly wore white dress shirts. Even though work attire is no longer so cut and dry, the terms are still frequently used today.

Blue collar work is generally considered to be any job that requires manual labor and working with your hands. While these roles are usually associated with an hourly wage, there are a number of jobs that also pay a yearly salary. White collar work refers to jobs done in an office, usually in front of a computer, and almost always comes with an annual salary.

Examples of white collar jobs:

  • Staff accountant
  • HR associate
  • Digital marketing manager
  • Lawyer

Examples of blue collar jobs:

  • Power plant operator
  • Aircraft mechanic
  • Police officer
  • Telecommunication equipment installer


There are plenty of high-demand blue collar jobs out there if you're interested. Many find these jobs far more interesting, and as we've learned some of them pay quite well. In the end, choose a career you know you'll enjoy and that suits your strengths.

More ideas: 18 jobs and careers that don't require a college degree.


What to Know About Sales Jobs Before Taking One

What to Know About Sales Jobs Before Taking One

What to Know About Sales Jobs Before Taking One

There are a few things you should know about a sales job before taking one. If you're considering a sales career, don't worry - this article will take you through EVERYTHING you need to know about working in sales.

The reality is: Most people don't know what a sales job is like. You don't learn much about this in school. 

Most people learn about career paths like Finance, Accounting, Science, and Engineering.

Because schools cannot (or do not) teach sales techniques, you're usually introduced to the option.

So let's get started... here's what you should know about sales before you take that job!

Everything You Need to Know About Sales

Sales jobs are a pretty well-kept secret...

I can't name many other jobs where you can earn millions with just a bachelor's degree, and I've seen multiple salespeople making 7-figures FIRST hand with "random" bachelor's degrees like History, English, etc.

And you can also forget the stereotypes about how a career in sales requires an outgoing or extroverted personality because it's simply not true. Being a great listener is a powerful skill to have for working in sales. 

So those are some of the perks or best parts of working in sales, but there are also a lot of misconceptions...

Working in Sales Isn't What You Think It Is

Here are the top 5 skills that are most important to succeed in a sales job:

  • Great listener
  • High emotional intelligence/empathy
  • Intuitive and able to read people's reactions
  • Not afraid to address tough issues as they come up, or dig deeper to find someone's true feelings about a subject
  • Tough-minded and able to bounce back from rejection or continue through a tough day or week

Forgot the movies you've seen like Boiler Room. Very few people cold-call anymore. Forget 'Always Be Closing'. It should be 'Always Be Building Relationships and Earning Credibility/Trust'. And that does NOT take an outgoing or loud personality.

How Much Money Can a Salesperson Make?

It's not uncommon for people in sales to earn more than $100,000, and sometimes many multiples of that amount in B2B (business to business) sales.

This is possible because many sales roles are paid commission in addition to base salary, which earns them a percentage of the deals they close. This creates an unlimited upside in potential earnings.

Sales is one of the best ways I've ever seen to make money without an advanced degree and without 'paying your dues' and climbing the corporate ladder for years or even decades.

Sales is one of the few jobs where you're paid for the results you deliver, not the amount of time you spend in the office. If you're unsure why, here's an article I wrote specifically on this subject.

I know what you're thinking now: 'Being paid commission is too unreliable. I can't have that kind of risk'. Well, plenty of good sales jobs have a base salary of $50K-60K.

That's hardly unreliable, in fact, it's more than a lot of people are paid in total. Add in commissions and you're earning hundreds of thousands if you find the right company and industry. What industry? Check out the next two sections.

Other Benefits of Sales Jobs You Should Know About:

High pay isn't the only benefit of a job in sales. Other perks include:

  1. Many people in inside sales work remotely or at least have some flexibility to work from home. All you need is a phone and computer!
  2. You're pretty essential to the company, so you're a lot less likely to be laid off during company struggles.
  3. Sales is a very transferable and valuable skill so you can change industries or companies relatively easily, although you'd have to build a new network of course.
  4. You'll develop a lot as a person by working in sales. You'll have to leave your comfort zone and push yourself, and you'll experience massive personal growth because of it... much more than in other jobs/industries. This is true of being a recruiter, too, which I experienced myself. 

The Downsides of Working a Sales Job

I've mentioned some of the benefits of working in sales above, and I'll share even more coming up. But this wouldn't be a good article on what you should know about sales jobs if it didn't include the downsides, too. 

So let's talk about some of the negative aspects of sales jobs now. Here's what to know about sales that isn't so great...

First, it's very high-pressure.

There are goals and quotas and you're always chasing.

And failing to meet your goals consistently can even cost you your job. Sales is one of the few jobs where you can be fired just for not being great at it. Usually in other positions, you have to be really making mistakes to get fired, but not in sales. In sales, if you don't close deals, you're costing the company money and they may fire you.

This won't happen right away, don't worry. A good company will train you very well and be extremely patient as you learn the basics of your role.

But if it's been six months and you're still not closing any deals, they might have a talk with you about how sales might not be the right fit for you.

Sales jobs are also competitive. Sales teams tend to be full of Type-A personalities — people who love to compete.

It's not unusual for many sales teams to be filled with people who played sports in school, etc.

Now, I mentioned earlier that you can be quiet and introverted and still succeed in sales, and that's 100% true. But you need to be able to survive on a team where most people aren't like you. That's the key. You're not going to be surrounded by other introverts in sales, even though you can be a huge success as one!

Those are the major cons or downsides you should know about sales jobs. Otherwise, it's a very good career.

The Best Type of Sales Job to Take (and What to AVOID)

You should focus on corporate sales (also known as Business to Business or B2B sales). This category usually holds the best sales jobs.

The opposite would be Business to Consumer (B2C) which could include selling phones at Verizon, selling cars, etc. You don't want to sell to individual consumers for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that individual consumers don't have that much money. How are you going to close a $10 million deal with a single person? You're not. A single company? No problem.

There are two main types of B2B sales jobs: Inside Sales and Outside Sales. Inside salespeople are office-based and primarily contact people via phone, email, etc. Outside sales involves travel, meeting face to face, etc. An inside salesperson will meet people face to face occasionally depending on the job, but this is usually quite rare, sometimes not even once per month.

Whichever you choose is up to you. Be sure to find out what the job involves when you apply though. The job description should specify. If you see travel mentioned, the job is outside sales.

What Industry or Company Should I Look For?

To find the best sales jobs, look for companies with high margins and high profitability. They can afford to pay you more commission!!

Software companies are an example of a very high-margin business. They have large upfront R&D costs to develop a piece of software, but once it's done the cost to create and package a CD with software loaded on is less than a dollar. It's pure profit at that point, and they can afford to pay you a hefty commission because each sale you bring in is money right in their pocket (and your pocket).

Any company that's profitable and earning a high margin is a good place to work in sales. Here are some areas to try:

  • Commercial real estate
  • Business Software
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Telecommunications
  • Any service with a recurring subscription or ongoing fees (just make sure the commission structure continues to pay you for this!)

Warning Signs to Watch for in a Sales Job

If you decide to look for your first job in sales, be careful to select a company that offers a good training program and a comfortable base salary while training. Avoid the companies that pay only commission and no salary, or companies that require you to start as a temporary employee to try it out. These companies will hire many people regardless of whether they think they can do the job, and they risk relatively little if somebody fails.

You want a company that's going to invest time and resources into making sure you succeed! A good company with a healthy sales organization will trust in their ability to train you and get you up to speed, and will have no problem paying you a fair salary during this training period and beyond.

When interviewing, ask a lot of questions and make sure you understand the compensation structure. Interviewing for a sales job is different than most interviews. You can ask questions about the compensation structure and it's not considered 'off-limits' usually. Try asking what the top earners made last year. Ask what the average person earns in their first and second year. Questions like this will paint a clear picture of what you can accomplish if you put in the effort.

That concludes everything you should know about sales jobs before starting one. If you think sales might be a good career choice for you, give it a try. You won't know if you don't try it, and you'll be learning very valuable skills that you can take with you in your career even if you decide a career in sales isn't right for you. 


how to get into project management career

How to Get Into Project Management Without Experience

how to get into project management career

The opinions and assessments shared on Career Sidekick are our own. We may earn commissions from purchases made after visiting links on our site.

If you're trying to become a project manager but have no experience, then this article is for you.

I'm going to take you step by step through how to get into project management, the top skills you'll need, how much money you can expect to earn, and more.

Let's get started...

How to Get Into Project Management: Key Skills

Succeeding in project management takes certain skills. Whether you're looking to transfer to a project management job in your current company or apply for a position with a new company, you'll need to convince an employer to give you the opportunity.

So to get into project management and land that first position, you need to demonstrate the abilities below during an interview, or at least convince the person interviewing you that you're capable of learning these areas:

1. Leadership Ability

I've spoken with a lot of project managers over the years of working as a recruiter. One of the common challenges they talk about is leadership. It's difficult because the people you're overseeing don't report directly up to you usually.

You're responsible for guiding their efforts when they're assigned to your project, they have a different boss that handles their performance reviews, hiring, firing, etc. For example, a software engineer might be assigned to your project but their direct manager would be an engineering manager.

It's harder to get somebody to buy into your leadership and follow your guidance when you don't do their year-end review.

As a project manager you'll be responsible for project budgets, timelines, goals and milestones, and delivering the final result. That's a lot of responsibility to have. When you factor in not being the direct boss of anybody working to help you reach these goals, leadership becomes one of the biggest challenges and one of the most important skills to have.

So if you want to know how to get into project management, start by developing a leadership style where people genuinely want to work with you. Don't lead based on the fact that you're higher up in an organization than somebody else. Because as a Project Manager, you won't have this to lean on.

2. Organizational Skills

You're responsible for a ton as a Project Manager. I hinted at a few areas above like goals, timelines and budgets. You're also in charge of dividing up the work among your team to achieve the best results. So it becomes pretty important to stay organized.

Nobody else is going to track the milestones on your project. Nobody else will determine what the priorities are or what needs to be done next. It's your job. People assigned to your project, and upper management in your company will look to you for these answers.

There might be multiple pieces of the project being worked on simultaneously. Each piece takes different amounts of time. Sometimes one portion has to be finished before another piece can be started. Planning all of this out takes skill and organization. Adjusting as things change unexpectedly is a skill as well (see #3 below).

So if you want to get into project management, look for ways to demonstrate your ability to stay organized. Think of some examples of times you've performed well with tasks like this. You can mention these in an interview. One of the best interview tips I can offer is to prepare specific facts and examples to back up these claims.

Also, try to take on more responsibility like this in your current role to prepare for a job as a Project Manager. Whatever your current job is, make it your goal to know what the priorities are as well as when different tasks need to be done. Don't wait to be told or reminded. Find out, and prioritize your own day or week around this.

3. Flexibility

Keeping calm under pressure and staying flexible when the unexpected occurs is going to be an important skill if you want to get into project management and succeed.

Things rarely go as planned. You won't see many projects that run from start to finish without encountering some roadblocks. So the ability to adjust and react when the situation changes is essential.

Your team will be looking to you for guidance when this happens. You may have to shift the priorities, delegate different tasks to different people, etc.

Nobody else will be able to do this for you. You're responsible for the project.

So in a job interview for a Project Manager position, you may want to mention a time when things didn't go according to plan but you were still able to reach a positive result by adjusting in the moment.

How to Get Into Project Management with No Experience

If you have no experience as a project manager, you can still launch a project management career if you take the right approach. Below, I'll outline some steps to follow if you want to work in project management but don't know how to start.

Choose an Industry

Many industries utilize project managers, from biotechnology to manufacturing to software.

So before you begin learning project management, it's recommended that you begin to think about what sectors or industries interest you. While some of the training, courses, and certifications project managers need will apply across many or all industries, there is also some industry-specific knowledge you'll need to pick up.

And after beginning your project management career, it'll be easier to continue within that industry than change verticals, so it's a good idea to think about which industry you'd like to work in before starting toward your goal of beginning this career path.

Consider Starting as an Individual Contributor

In my experience as a recruiter, it's rare for an employer to hire an entry-level candidate or recent graduate into a project management career path. Instead, they'll hire or promote people who already have experience.

So before you build project management skills, consider taking an individual contributor job in the industry that you'd like to work in.

I did this myself in the field of recruitment. I got hired as an entry-level recruiter, then got promoted to senior recruiter, and only once I had mastered the individual role was I promoted into a project manager job.

At this point, I was managing the projects of three other recruiters, but I wouldn't have been effective in this role if I didn't understand their work. And I built this understanding by doing this work myself before being promoted.

So you're going to have an easier time of becoming a project manager if you can demonstrate to an employer that you've been successful as an individual contributor first. Or, seek a lower-level project management position, such as project coordinator.

Project coordinators handle smaller components of a project such as scheduling meetings, facilitating communication between people and groups, sending reminders, etc.

This role would expose you to project management work and help you demonstrate to employers that you're ready for a project manager position next.

Enroll in a Project Management Course/Certification

When it comes to project management education, there isn't a college degree that prepares you for this career.

However, there are plenty of online courses and certifications to help you show employers that you're qualified to manage projects (while also helping you build up the project management skills needed to succeed in the job).

So once you've built up some basic knowledge of an industry and worked as an individual contributor, you can start building project management skills via job-specific trainings.

Project Management Institute provides a number of courses, such as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) program and their Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

However, these courses are best suited for those with some basic project management experience already. If you haven't held any project management roles, even at the coordinator or associate level, then you'll do better with an entry-level course such as PluralSight's Beginner's Guide to Project Management.

That course above is one of the best online certifications to get into project management. 

After becoming a project manager or project management associate/coordinator, you may want to get a CAPM certification, PMP certification, or other advanced project management certificate.

However, if you don't have any projects under your belt and truly have no experience, then a simpler, introductory course like the beginner's course above is a better choice.

From there, you can land your first job in the space, build up some hours of project management work, and then take a more advanced course to obtain a PMP certification or CAPM certification and advance your career further.

Network With Other Project Managers

Don't pursue project management as a solo journey. Building a strong network can help you hear about opportunities and land job interviews, and as you talk to people, you'll also gain insights into the types of industries and companies you'd like to work for, the skills to start focusing on building, etc.

So send LinkedIn messages to project managers and ask if they have any advice for an inspiring project manager.

Ask one simple question to start because that's the best way to get a response, but you can ask more after building a relationship.

Topics you can ask about:

  • How they got their first project manager job
  • If they recommend pursuing a career as a project manager now that they've experienced it
  • Whether they recommend a specific course/certification to help you become a project manager
  • Which industries they think are best for new project managers right now

Don't send a cold message on LinkedIn and ask for them to introduce you to a hiring manager right away. However, if you start with a simple, clear question, you'll be able to meet project managers and build your network online.

Of course, if you have access to in-person events and meetups, take advantage of that, too. Go to talks, meetups, etc. Ask similar questions to those listed above and build relationships.

That way, once you're ready to pursue a project manager role, you'll be able to ask your network if they've heard of any opportunities.

The stronger your network, the faster you'll be able to become a project manager.

Be Persistent

It can take time to get your first role in project management because it's a vital role in most companies and they're very careful about who they hire or promote into the position of project manager.

So even while following the steps above, you may find that the process takes longer than you expected. You'll need to be patient and persistent in order to achieve this goal. You may need to overcome certain obstacles and rejections, too.

Maybe you need to pivot to a slightly different industry to find a company that will give you a shot as a project manager. Maybe you need to continue working in a different role while job searching on the side.

If project management is the career path you want, then don't give up on pursuing it. If you network and talk to other project managers and you ask them how long they worked before landing a role in project management, you'll find that many people spend years before landing their first project manager role. The wait is worth it, so don't stop trying.

Is Project Management a Good Career?

Project management is a great career for people who enjoy interacting with others, working in an important role, and earning a high income. Project management is also an excellent career choice because it gives you the ability to work in a range of industries and transfer industries if needed.

Here are some key reasons you might want to consider a career in Project Management:

  • Ability to take ownership of large projects from start to finish
  • Interact with many groups/areas in your company
  • Ability to earn 6 figures, often with just a Bachelor's degree (and experience of course)
  • Variety of work and challenges, unlikely to be boring
  • High visibility in your organization

Average Project Manager Pay

The average project manager earns between $56,000 and $77,000, according to top salary websites including and, with the most experienced project managers and/or project managers in top-paying industries earning as much as $170,000 per year.

So while it can take time to become a project manager and land your first role, especially without prior project management experience, you can expect to earn great money once you get into project management.

You'll have great options for promotions and career growth beyond your first project manager role, too. In most organizations, you'll be able to step up to a Senior Project Manager role, or someone who manages other project managers and project coordinators instead of managing projects yourself.

Conclusion: How to Become a Project Manager

If you follow the steps above, you'll be on your way to obtaining your first project management role. Project management is a high-paying, rewarding career, but takes time to get into.

The typical person starting their project manager career has taken time to learn an industry, perform work as an individual contributor, and only then became a project manager. This is the path I recommend following to get started in a project management career.


What is an IT job - guide

What is an IT Job? (Full Guide with Salaries)

What is an IT job - guide

You've probably heard that IT jobs offer high pay and fast career growth, and it's true in most cases. 

But what are the best IT jobs? And how do you get these positions?

In this article, we'll look at:

  • What is an IT job?
  • What are the typical salaries for these jobs?
  • What type of background do you need for these positions?
  • Which IT jobs pay the most?

Let's get started...

What is an IT Job?

IT stands for "Information Technology". IT jobs are positions in the fields of computer software, hardware, data storage/retrieval, and computer support. Information Technology is a fast-growing industry that offers many high-paying jobs and career growth. It's also one of the best fields to find remote work. 

(If that interests you, see our list of remote job boards here.)

Now that you know what an IT job is, let's look at how to get into this field and what types of specific jobs are available.

What is a Typical IT Job Salary?

Because IT is such a broad field with many types of jobs, the typical IT salary can range from $40,000 up to more than $200,000. Your salary as an IT worker will depend on your role and how much technical knowledge is required, as well as the type of company you’re working for (tech-focused companies and financial institutions tend to pay their IT staff more).

Is a Specific Background Required for IT Jobs?

IT is such a broad industry that you can break into it with virtually any background... including without a college degree. 

However, there are some positions that do require a specific background. For example, you're going to be very unlikely to get a Data Science position without a strong background in mathematics - usually a formal education (Master's degree or Ph.D.)

However, while certain IT jobs do require a particular background  - virtually anyone can break into some part of the IT industry and take part in the high pay, rapid growth, and relatively good job security.

To help show you how this is possible, let's look at some specific types of IT jobs below. You'll see that it's not just programmers - you can work in customer support, IT help desk, and more.

Examples/Types of IT Jobs:

1. Software Engineering

Becoming a software engineer is one of the most common ways to get a job in IT.

Many people get a Bachelor's degree in computer science to start, but it's also possible to land a great software engineering job by being a self-taught programmer or going through a coding bootcamp, which typically takes a few months.

Some employers strongly prefer software developers and engineers with a formal 4-year education, but many others don't care. 

The key is to be able to show your ability - by creating software and doing real projects that you can show to employers. 

Typical Salary for Software Engineers:

Depending on your seniority, the type of job you obtain, and the industry it's in, a software engineer can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000+. I'd say that $50,000 is on the VERY low end and would most likely happen if you work for a company that isn't very technology-focused, and has you in more of a support role.

So that's one tip to boost your salary as an IT worker: Find a software-focused company where your work is vital to what they're doing. If you can do this, you'll earn more money in your career. Or, find a financial institution. They always seem to pay their software engineers a lot, based on what I've seen working as a recruiter. 

2. Web Design

Every website and web application needs a design team, along with the engineering & development team.

So if you don't want to learn programming but still want to have a part in building technologies and influencing how software progresses, then web design could be a good IT job choice for you.

Like software engineering, there are formal degrees and academic programs that help prepare you for this, but it's also possible to be self-taught or take an accelerated program that is not part of a 4-year university degree.

Here's an example of a formal degree that does lead to this type of IT job, though (seen on LinkedIn):

IT jobs and careers - required education for web designer

Average Salary for Web Designers:

According to PayScale, the typical web designer will earn an average of $50,000 per year. It's possible to earn more ($70,000+) as you gain experience or if you find an employer where web design is particularly important to what they do.

3. Cyber Security Expert

We've all read about security or data breaches by now... usually multiple times per year. These mistakes are costly for companies, and they're investing more into staff that can help secure and protect their data from hacks and other malicious activity online.

This type of IT job does require an advanced background and training, though. Some universities offer a degree in cyber security - either a Bachelor's or Master's degree - which will help prepare you for this career.

This is also an important focus within military operations, so it's possible you could study IT and hone your skills in the military as well if that interests you.

4. Data Science & Data Engineering

These are really two different types of IT jobs, but we'll combine them here to make it easier to explain.

The basic idea is: Companies are collecting more and more data - for advertising, for strategic decision-making, and more. Some of the biggest and most profitable companies on earth, like Facebook and Google, and have practically built their business on collecting data.

So these companies need data scientists to interpret and work with the massive data sets that they're collecting, to make the information useful and helpful. 

And they need data engineers to write programs and scripts to process and work with the data... because you can't do it manually at the scale that these companies are operating at.

Data engineers are quite similar to software engineers (mentioned at the start of this list of IT jobs), except with a narrower and more specialized focus.

Expected Salary for Data Scientists and Data Engineers

It's very common for data scientists & engineers to earn $100,000+. It's also possible to earn above $200,000 in either field.

These people have the potential to earn their company a lot of money, and therefore are paid extremely well. It's also a difficult skill set that requires an understanding of software as well as advanced mathematics, algorithms, statistics and more. 

5. Server/Database Engineers and Administrators

Every time you see a website or app, there's a lot going on that you can't see - mainly, how the "front end" or the piece that's visible is interacting with the database to store information, retrieve information, etc.

And this has to happen QUICKLY for most websites/apps. Think about when you type a search into Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn... and how quickly those results come back. But for you to get those results, the website needs to retrieve info from its database.

And there are professionals who create the code and architecture of these databases, and people who oversee them and make sure they're running smoothly, too.

Typical IT Salary for Server/Database Jobs:

The salary you can expect to earn will vary depending on your specific role and type of company. It's possible and common to earn more than $100,000 in this field, though. 

An engineer who is building the server architecture or creating the system will typically earn far more than the person who is simply maintaining it. It's a more advanced skill set that requires more training and experience on average.

6. IT Support/Help-Desk

If you don't have a fancy degree or a desire to work in a cutting-edge field like data science, but you've always liked IT and technology and want to be involved, you could look into IT help desk jobs.

In this type of IT job, the staff work to ensure that all employees and systems in a company can continue to operate and have working technology. 

When I was working as a Recruiter and had trouble setting up my new headset to make phone calls, an IT help desk technician came and did some troubleshooting at my desk.

When my computer wasn't letting me sort my emails the way I wanted, I messaged the help desk staff and they responded with a solution.

And this type of job will allow you to work in any industry. The staffing agency that I worked at had IT support staff. Banks have IT support staff. Non-profits have IT support staff. You get the picture! So you're not just limited to software start-ups and tech companies with this IT career choice. 

Typical/Expected Salary:

These might not be the highest-paying IT jobs, but they can still pay quite well and it's possible to earn $100,000 or more as a Director or Head of IT Support for a larger company. 

The average base pay for a Help Desk Technician is $41,842 according to Glassdoor.

7. IT Customer Support

In this type of IT job, you're working with the customers/clients of your employer to troubleshoot tech problems and help them use the product they bought.

So while IT Help Desk (mentioned above) is there to help a company's employees, IT Customer Support is there to troubleshoot problems for customers.

In this job, you'll typically take incoming phone calls or emails and respond to help solve customer problems.

This can be a good entry-level tech job and will allow you to advance into other IT areas as you grow your career. 

For example, you could become a team lead and focus on managing a support team, or you could become a Project Manager and lead new initiatives and projects in the company once you understand their products/services well enough. 

IT Customer Support Salary:

On average, you can expect to earn $44,619 as a support specialist, according to Payscale.

However, this number will vary depending on your city/location and industry. So it's possible to earn more than $50,000. This can increase further after a year or two on the job and a promotion to Team Lead, Supervisor, etc. So while this field doesn't pay as well as some other IT positions that we've looked at, it does offer room to advance!

Which IT Jobs Pay the Most?

The IT jobs that pay the most are jobs involving building/growing the company's core products and services. In a technology company, this includes software engineering, systems engineering, product management, and more. Positions involving maintenance, support, testing, and quality assurance (QA) will typically earn less.

Less-Technical Jobs Available in Software Technology Industry

If everything above sounds far too technical but you still want to work in a start-up or software tech company, don't get discouraged. There are a lot of business-related positions in these companies, too.

For example, you could work in sales & marketing or product management. I've spoken to quite a few Product Managers as a recruiter (which is different than a Project Manager, believe it or not), and many earned $100K-$150K. These people aren't writing code or building apps and software products. Instead, they're managing the improvement of a specific product or group of products over time... through planning new features, gathering customer feedback, coordinating with design and development teams as they roll out new features, etc.

So there are far more jobs in tech than just the IT positions we looked at above. And they pay very well, too. 

And the best part is - many of those jobs can be obtained with a business degree, or virtually any college degree (or in some cases, without).

Summary of Career Opportunities in Information Technology

We've talked about the different career opportunities in IT above, how much various positions pay, and what it takes to get into them.

To choose the best career for you, think about the following factors:

  • What interests you
  • How much time/money you're willing to spend on education
  • What your strengths are as a worker

And the examples of IT jobs and careers that we looked at earlier are just a small sub-section of the total opportunities in this industry, so keep that in mind.

If you like the idea of working in Information Technology but you're not sure one of the career paths above is quite right for you, then I recommend using this as a starting point to continue your research and continue finding out about more of the possibilities.

Tech & IT is a massive, fast-growing industry that's only going to see higher demand and higher pay for its workers in the coming decades. Now is a great time to be looking into Information Technology careers and exploring the options. 

More resources:


Good Careers That Don't Require a College Degree

18 Good Careers That Don't Require College Degrees

Good Careers That Don't Require a College Degree

Most people will tell you that you need a four-year college degree to land a high-paying job or career.

But is it true?

Not in today's job market.

There are plenty of good jobs that don't require a degree yet offer high pay and strong job growth.

We're going to look at 18 good careers that don't require college education (including some that pay $100,000 and above with just a high school diploma).

Here are the best jobs that don't require college...

1. Salesperson

Many sales jobs offer an average salary near six figures, often without requiring a degree.

These jobs and their exact pay vary... for example, you can be a car salesman, or you can work in an office selling software to other businesses (this is known as B2B sales, or business-to-business. Whereas selling cars is B2C, or business-to-consumer).

B2B typically has the potential to earn more but will have more employers requiring a four-year college degree. Not all though!

Each employer will have their own requirements in terms of educational background.

And sales jobs have the potential to pay very well because you often earn commission along with a base salary, which means the employer pays you a portion of each sale you bring in.

(The percentage varies depending on the profit margin of what you're selling. I'd recommend looking to sell something that's very high margin like software subscriptions if you want to earn $100K+)

Also, this is a type of role where many companies look for entry-level job candidates. So if you need to get a job with no experience, sales is one of your best options.

Once hired into an entry-level sales role, the employer will provide you with job training which includes observing and listening to experienced salespeople.

I think that sales is one of the best careers to start right now, period. (Among all careers, not just among careers that don't require college).

If you want to learn the basics of sales and get started in this field, I recommend taking a course on Skillshare, which I reviewed here.

2. Software Developer

Software developers can also earn six figures, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a current average salary of $110,140.

And this job absolutely doesn't require a degree anymore. There are many programmers who skipped college and are self-taught or went to coding bootcamps instead of pursuing a four-year college degree.

Like with sales, each employer will have its own educational requirements when hiring software developers, but more and more companies are dropping the need for a college education.

CNBC recently reported that Google, Apple, and 12 other notable technology companies no longer require a four-year degree to land a job!

This makes software engineering one of the best, highest-paying jobs without degree requirements.

Software engineering is also one of the best jobs out there for long-term job growth.

If you're interested in getting started as a software developer, here are 18 of the best coding bootcamps to choose from.

3. Digital Marketer

Many top-earning digital marketers have nothing but a high school diploma. They're either self-taught or enrolled in digital marketing courses rather than spending four years to obtain a general college degree.

Digital marketing is a high-paying field that leads to great job opportunities, whether you freelance or seek full-time, permanent employment.

You can also specialize in a variety of fields, like social media marketing, content marketing, paid advertising, and more.

If you want some idea of what this type of job can grow into in the long term, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that one manager-level role in this field, an Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager, earns an average of $141,490 per year.

4. Real Estate Agent

Many successful real estate professionals don't have a college education. Instead, they obtain a high school diploma and then proceed to get their real estate license and begin working.

This allows them to jump into the real estate industry at a relatively young age since jobs in this field often don't require any more formal education.

Like salespeople (mentioned earlier) real estate agents and brokers earn a commission or percentage of the deals they close, so your earnings can be very high (hundreds of thousands of dollars) if you are successful in this business.

Typically, if you earn commission in addition to base salary in your job, you have the potential to earn more than those who are just paid a flat salary in their career.

Because this job is typically centered around one city or location and requires you to build a network, it's best to choose this path if you plan on staying in your city or region for a long time.

However, it's possible to relocate and build up a network again if you need to. 

5. Network Specialist

A Network Specialist is a technician that works within a company's IT department to ensure communication networks and systems remain functional without any downtime.

They analyze network performance statistics, monitor and maintain network security, and more.

This is an important job since practically every company communicates digitally now and requires constant up-time for their phones, internet, and more.

This job does require a specific set of technical and computer knowledge, but most employers don't require a four-year college degree in order to obtain this position. They're often more concerned with your specific, job-related skills.

Network specialists earn a median annual salary of $56,708 according to PayScale.

6. Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators watch over and maintain power plant equipment to ensure that everything is functioning properly to generate power safely and reliably.

The median annual pay for this career is $85,950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and operators typically only need to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for the job.

Of course, plenty of on-the-job training will be required to learn about the equipment you'll be working with, safety regulations, and more.

If you choose this career, you can expect a mix of classroom job training and hands-on instruction with the equipment and control panels that you need to use.

good careers without a degree - power plant operator

7. Skilled Trades

Jobs in the skilled trades (plumber, electrician, locksmith, etc.) are often overlooked by people considering college or traditional office jobs, but the fact is: Skilled trades jobs often pay very well and almost never require a college degree (in fact, many don't even require a high school diploma, although your job search will certainly be easier if you have one).

If you master your craft and specialize in a certain area (for example, commercial plumbing), you can earn six figures.

There are very few higher-paying jobs without a degree, especially if you don't want to work in an office! (We mentioned sales and software development earlier, as well as real estate. Those can potentially pay more, but you'd be in an office setting).

Read more about the best blue collar jobs and skilled trades jobs here.

8. Automotive Technician

This profession is another excellent option if you want to earn a high salary with no degree and without having to sit in an office!

Instead of requiring a degree, employers in the auto repair industry look for job-related knowledge, and often provide job training, too.

So if you're mechanically inclined, this is a career worth considering. You should also be comfortable with computers for this career choice, since more and more automotive work is done by diagnostic computers these days. reports that the median annual salary for an Automotive Mechanic III is $58,628, so it's possible to earn very good money after progressing in this field.

You can earn more if you specialize and become an expert at a certain type/brand of vehicle, too. (Each brand is slightly different, and the whole auto repair industry is becoming more computerized/digital - so a true specialist is required to diagnose and repair modern car engines).

9. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists earn a median annual salary of $75,574 and can make up to $95,000, according to

To get started in this job, you'll just need an associate's degree and the required licenses/certifications in dental hygiene, which are faster and cheaper to obtain than a four-year college degree!

Note that there are also bachelor's degrees available in dental hygiene, so you should compare and consider both options when planning your career.

10. Respiratory Therapist

There are a variety of medical jobs that make good careers and don't require a college degree, and respiratory therapist is one of them.

However, some education and training is required. To become a respiratory therapist, you will need to complete an associate's degree in respiratory therapy.

However, this two-year commitment certainly beats four years of college. Associate's degrees are relatively inexpensive because they're offered by community colleges.

Tip: A great way to discover even more good jobs without degree requirements is to go browse a few community college websites in your area and see the list of programs they offer. They likely offer job training for a variety of fields - including some we mentioned above, and some new ones.

11. Medical Records Technician

Medical records technicians manage and organize patients' health information and data... including lab data, x-rays, and more.

To obtain this job, you'll likely need an associate's degree which requires two years to complete. Then you'll need certifications.

Still, this is a much cheaper path to a high-paying career than getting a bachelor's degree! So if you're interested in working in the medical field, this is a great option to consider.

Median annual pay is lower than most options we've looked at previously, though. reports that the median salary is $37,887.

12. Commercial Pilot

A bachelor's degree is not required to be a commercial airline pilot. Some airlines require it, but others do not.

Many commercial airline pilots earn six figures, and the median annual wage is $78,476 according to PayScale.

Other websites cite this number as being even higher. For example, The Houston Chronicle said in 2018 that the median salary for commercial pilots was $130,059.

While the stats on expected salary vary, it's clear that this is one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree.

You do need to attend flight school and will receive plenty of job training. Air safety is taken very seriously. But you'll likely be able to pursue this right after high school while skipping the four-year degree.

aviation careers - top paying jobs that dont require college degree

13. Air Traffic Controller

If you want to earn a high salary and work in the aviation industry but don't want to be a pilot, then air traffic control is a good career to consider.

Air traffic controllers communicate with pilots on the ground and in the air to ensure safety and prevent collisions and risky situations.

The job can be stressful and demanding, but you'll be rewarded financially for this. The median annual pay for air traffic controllers in 2019 was $122,990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

14. Loan Officer

Loan officers work for banks, credit unions, and other money lenders to help borrowers when applying for loans.

They most typically help people with mortgage applications (in fact, you may hear this professional referred to as a "mortgage loan officer") but they assist people in applying for other loans, too.

The minimum education requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent. (Some individual employers may require a bachelor's degree, but it's not the industry standard).

You will receive job training and be required to understand how loans and other basic financial instruments work, as well as the relevant laws and regulations, but these can be learned without obtaining a degree.

In terms of median annual pay, we looked at various sources and saw a range of numbers, but the general consensus seems to be that you'd earn a salary between $45,000 and $70,000 per year.

So this is a relatively high-paying job considering you just need a high school diploma.

15. Elevator Mechanic

If you're mechanically inclined, one more career option to consider is elevator installer/repairer.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this job pays a median annual income of $84,990, making it one of the best-paying jobs on our list.

As far as getting into this career, you'll just need a high school diploma or equivalent.

After that, you'd want to look for an apprenticeship to begin learning the job-related skills. You may also need to obtain licenses as a final step, depending on what state(s) you're going to be working in.

16. Retail Store Manager

I began my career working as a cashier at Whole Foods Market (before they were acquired by Amazon). This was more than a decade ago, yet even then, the store manager made more than $80,000.

Department leaders (like the head of customer service, produce, meat and fish, etc.) all made approximately $20-22 per hour... and were on the path toward potentially becoming store leaders.

So if you don't mind having to work some odd hours and weekends (which is normal for practically everyone in retail), and don't mind interacting with customers, then don't overlook retail store management.

It's one of the top-paying jobs with no college degree and is often overlooked because many people don't realize how much store managers earn.

17. Executive Assistant

Executive assistants are different than administrative assistants. They're typically assigned to help one executive in a company including preparing reports, scheduling meetings, organizing tasks, and more.

They may supervise other administrative staff members, too.

Executive assistants earn a median annual salary of $68,744, according to 

And you only need a high school diploma to get started.

18. Small Business Owner

33% of entrepreneurs never went to college, according to FounderJar.

And becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner is one of the best ways to earn a high income without any specific education.

There are millions of small business owners in the US... selling products and services both online and via physical stores, and when people buy from their businesses, nobody is asking the owner, "What college degree do you have?" or "Why didn't you continue with your education after getting your high school diploma?" In fact, you don't even see the owner of many businesses.

A career in entrepreneurship isn't right for everyone, but it's a great option for some people. I transitioned from office worker to small business owner (Career Sidekick is my full-time business) and it's the best thing I've ever done.

If you're unsure how to get started with this, here are 25 lucrative side-hustle and small business ideas.


We've now looked at some of the highest-paid jobs without needing a degree. If you want a job that makes the most money with the least education, this list is where to start. 

As a next step, narrow down the list to a few options that interest you most and then do more research into the requirements.

Also, think about what type of job you'd enjoy. Do you want to work in an office or outside? Do you prefer working with technology/information or with people?

There are good careers without a degree for both of those types of jobs. (For example, real estate agents need to be great with people. Software developers don't).

Also, consider your previous skills and experience. It's easier to get hired for a job if you have some relevant skills or training already.

Like this post? Pin it to save for next time you need it!

careers that don't require college infographic


Highest paying business jobs

8 Highest Paying Business Jobs

Highest paying business jobs

If you're looking for high-paying business jobs/careers, this list will help you immediately.

We're going to cover 8 of the highest-paying jobs you can get with a business degree (or even without) so that you can pick the right business career and earn more.

Highest-Paid Business Jobs:


Average salary (sales manager): $102,816 (according to

Sales is one of the best careers you can aim for if you have a business background.

The base salary is just the start. I've seen salespeople bringing home seven figures per year.

One reason sales is such a lucrative career is because you can earn commissions on each sale you make. If you're good, the sky's the limit for your earnings.

Many other salespeople earn comfortable high-six-figure incomes.

Even if you're not aiming for the stratosphere, the average median salary for a sales manager is $127,490, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

You don't only have to take on pure-commission gigs, either. Plenty of sales jobs pay base salaries of $50K-60K.

In fact, I recommend you avoid jobs that only pay commission, as these can often be scams.

By the way, your business background will come in handy in any sales position.

That's because the best-paying sales jobs are business-to-business (B2B). With business experience, you have a leg up on other candidates when convincing companies to hire you.

You know what that means: Use your business knowledge to sell yourself as the best candidate.

If you're the type who likes to work from home, you'll like that many inside sales jobs are fully remote. (Inside salespeople contact prospects via phone and email instead of traveling and meeting face-to-face.)

And not only can sales make you a pretty penny, but working in sales is also an incredible springboard to whatever else you might want to do in the business world. Some of the best entrepreneurs today started off in sales.

Management Consultant

Average salary: $90,495 (according to

Among the highest-paying jobs for business, management consultant might be one of the most interesting.

Put simply, the role of a management consultant is to solve problems. Wherever companies need to improve performance or operations, that's where they need your analysis and recommendations the most.

If you're still a student, you may be in luck: Many consulting firms find hires from undergraduate programs and business schools.

Many firms also hire professionals with already-established careers as well. If that's you, see if you can get advice from someone in your network who's in management consulting.

This role might be ideal for you if you're strong at analyzing data and creating comprehensive narratives of where a company needs improvement.

Your role will involve conducting business studies, using mathematical modeling to make predictions, creating marketing plans, and more.

You'll need social skills as well; interviewing employees and presenting your findings to executives comes part and parcel.

If you're the type of person who likes a fresh challenge, you'll like that you get to work with different companies (basically, whoever needs help from your firm). 

At the same time, management consulting is notorious for long hours, lots of traveling, and heavy stress from having to meet tight deadlines.

If you're not too rattled by those, though, you could find management consulting to be your perfect career.

Project Manager

Median annual wage: $94,500 (according to 

The project manager is exactly what it sounds like: You shepherd projects through from start to finish.

You're in charge of the daily operations of the various people and teams assigned to work on your particular project(s).

When I worked as a tech recruiter, I regularly saw project managers make $150,000 or above in base salary. Of course, this was in New York City, which pays far above the national average, but it still gives you a sense of how much qualified candidates can earn for this role.

In your role, you'll make sure each project is completed on time, according to specifications, and within the allotted budget.

This career is an especially good pick if you're an ace with planning and organization. Since the job entails directing team members toward a goal, your communication skills need to be top-notch, too.

Luckily, if you have a business background, you likely have all of those bases covered.

You can get into project management with just a bachelor's degree; for example, a business management degree is a fine choice.

If you already have experience organizing projects to completion, you may qualify for a project management position right away.

Otherwise, you might want to build up your experience slowly, taking on leadership roles for projects within each of your jobs.

Don't feel like you have to be trapped in an office to be a project manager. Many project management jobs can be done 100% remotely, as long as you're prompt with your communication.

Marketing Manager

Median annual wage: $135,030 (according to

I actually got my start in freelancing as a digital marketer.

And, I'll be the first to tell you that it's a really good choice as both a side hustle and a full-time career.

As a marketing manager, you plan and direct marketing campaigns to sell more of your company's products or services.

That may involve skills like monitoring social media engagement, working with budgets, and collaborating with different teams to bring campaigns to fruition.

You can get your foot in the door with just a bachelor's degree — specifically one in marketing or a related field like business.

But your marketing skills are the most important factor. You want to show potential employers that you have a firm grasp on important areas of digital marketing.

That might include SEO, content marketing, paid media, social media, and more.

The good news is there are very clear paths to gaining experience in digital marketing. Here are some of the best places to learn.

Not only is marketing remote-friendly, but it's also a lucrative career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a marketing manager is $135,030.

It's pretty easy to see why: When you can generate attention for a company and thereby produce revenue, you become indispensable.

And since marketing, especially digital marketing, is such a fast-evolving field (each year we see new market trends) you're unlikely to see employers requiring an advanced degree for this type of position.

In this field, real-world experience is seen as being more important than a college degree by many employers... especially when it comes to start-up businesses.

Business Operations Manager

Median annual wage: $103,650 (according to U.S. News & World Report)

Business operations managers (BOM) often describe themselves as the “jack of all trades” — in a good way, of course.

As a BOM, you have insight into many different areas of the company, from on-the-ground teams to the C-suite.

In many ways, you're a type of internal consultant. You identify areas where your company can be more efficient, and you help streamline current processes.

At the same time, you function similarly to a project manager. With your communication skills, you get to know many different people in the organization and create alignment among teams.

This is a great business career if you don't really want to specialize, but rather have your hands in many exciting projects at a time.

BOMs commonly have bachelor's degrees in business administration. Different companies will have different requirements, and some may look for an MBA.

A good way to start your path to becoming a BOM is by aiming for entry-level management positions. In particular, build your experience with improving company processes and helping teams work smoothly.

And just in case you're wondering: Remote BOM positions are very common. So, they're perfect if you prefer to collaborate with colleagues from home. 

Financial Analyst

Average annual salary (hedge fund analyst): $132,579 (according to 

When researching the salaries for financial analyst roles, you'll find salaries across a vast range.

According to, the average salary is $63,195, whereas the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says it's $81,410.

Keep in mind these figures are for financial analysts at all sorts of companies and corporations, so your pay depends highly on the industry and type of role you land.

In this role, you'll gather and analyze data, build forecasts, and present your recommendations to leadership to help the company deploy capital wisely and make the right financial decisions.

That makes this position a good choice if you have a business degree.

For the highest-paying jobs, aim for analyst positions in the financial industry, such as hedge funds. An average hedge fund analyst's salary is $132,579, according to

As a hedge fund analyst, you'll help your firm make strong investments by generating investment ideas, building financial models, studying trends, keeping track of current positions, and more.

If you want to go that route, make sure you're deeply passionate about investing. You should be someone who trades on your own and/or follows the markets closely.

You may also want to look into getting a certification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

The implication is clear: If you want to make the biggest bucks, you'll need to go above and beyond.

Business Intelligence Analyst

Average annual salary (senior business intelligence analyst): $105,737 (according to 

If you're the analytical type, you might enjoy a career as a business intelligence (BI) analyst.

A BI analyst works with data — and lots of it. Your job is to gather data, analyze it, and prepare reports about it.

The ultimate goal is to help other people in your company make better business decisions.

When I worked as a tech recruiter, we had a team of 5 recruiters, and one BI analyst who supported our team (as well as other teams).

He'd come to us with valuable data, charts, and conclusions from our past work. Which clients (employers) were paying us the most money? Which jobs were we able to fill fastest, and therefore earn the most from?

Our BI analyst in this company was in his 20s and was earning six figures.

A bachelor's degree — in business administration, for example — is sufficient in terms of formal education. But you may want to pursue a master's degree in business analytics for an advantage over the competition.

Also, consider building your experience in database management and programming languages (Python is common), both of which will help you stand out. At the minimum, be comfortable/advanced in Excel.

Since your job revolves around data, the business intelligence analyst role is well-suited to remote work, too.

Human Resources Manager

Average salary: $90,419 (according to

Next on our list of highest-paying business jobs is the quintessential position for a “people person”: the human resources (HR) manager.

After all, that's exactly what the position entails. You'll be the point person for your company's recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of talent. You'll also make sure current staff is kept up to date on training.

You've got to be able to keep a clear head. There are always snags when it comes to employees, payroll, benefits, and paperwork. You'll be tasked with cutting through the confusion and making accurate personnel decisions.

You can get your foot in the door with a business degree, but many companies will want to see five years of recruiting or general HR experience before entrusting you with a managerial role.

To build your resume for the position, burnish your credentials in recruiting — for example, as an HR specialist or agency recruiter.

If you're the type who likes to work from home, you'll like that HR positions are increasingly becoming remote or hybrid.

What's more, there's a lot of room to grow salary-wise: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for HR managers is $126,230.

Can You Land a Business Job Without a Business Degree?

It's quite possible to land a business job without a business degree. Many business jobs require training and on-the-job experience, but are open to people who do not have a business degree.

And many companies in the business field simply look for any type of bachelor's degree in the candidates they hire.

I sat next to two top-tier salespeople in a job early in my career. Their degrees were in English and History. Both earned more than a million dollars per year, mainly from sales commissions, from selling business telecommunication services.

You'll also find marketing managers, operations managers, and other business professionals without a formal business degree.

However, some business jobs do require a degree in a certain field. Most financial and accounting positions will want to see you hold that degree, or at least a general business degree.

You're going to want a degree in accounting or finance if the job involves analyzing financial reports, for example.

Some management analysts and management consultants will also benefit from having a business degree, to understand a business's profit & loss and other statements before making recommendations as a consultant.

So, when it comes to the question of whether you need to be a business major to land a business job, it's a mixed bag, but I'd say that more than 50% of business jobs do not require a degree in business.

Examples of high-paid business jobs that often require a business degree:

  • Finance Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Accountant, Accounting Manager, etc.
  • Tax Manager

Examples of high-paid business jobs less likely to require a business degree:

  • Human Resources Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Any information technology jobs or positions centered around computer-related activities (if anything, these positions would require a degree in computer science)
  • Recruiter
  • Public Relations
  • Sales
  • Customer Support
  • Various business careers in the insurance industry
  • Various business administration jobs
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

In fact, you'll find some employers don't require any bachelor's degree for some of the above jobs. It simply depends on the individual company and industry.

You'll still find that most large businesses look for some type of bachelor's degree in the people they hire, but often, any degree is enough to get your foot in the door... whether business or otherwise.

Once hired, you'll receive all of the on-the-job training you need to begin a high-paid business career.

Warning: Skip the Master's Degree (In Most Cases)

For almost all of the highest-paying business jobs we've covered, you're better off getting an entry-level role as quickly as possible and building real-world skills, rather than pursuing a master's degree right away.

So new business graduates who just earned a bachelor's degree should almost always begin their job search, not pursue more education.

You can even find an employer to pay for you to pursue your master's degree in the future!

But one of the biggest mistakes I see is new graduates being unsure what they want to do, or struggling to find a job, and then thinking that simply staying in school and getting a graduate degree is a smart solution. You don't need more education.

Conclusion: The Highest-Paid Business Jobs

If you've read the list above, you now know the highest-paying occupations in the business world.

Remember that it's also critical for job seekers to play to their strengths, though. So don't just look at the salaries above; think about where your strengths and interests lie.

That's where you'll have a greater impact on a company's success and therefore earn more (through promotions, raises, etc.)

Top executives in all areas of business are paid well, and you'll only reach that top level by enjoying and performing well in your day-to-day work.

We left executive positions off of this list since most of those positions take 10-20+ years to obtain, but rest assured that all business executives are highly paid, from operations leaders to finance executives.

So use the salary range info above as a general guideline, but also choose a career where you'll enjoy the daily work and genuinely want to build a skill set, since that's how you'll maximize efficiency and career growth.

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Highest paid business jobs infographic


Are coding bootcamps worth it

Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It In 2022?

Are coding bootcamps worth it

The opinions and assessments shared on Career Sidekick are our own. We may earn commissions from purchases made after visiting links on our site.

If you're wondering whether you should pay for a programming bootcamp, then this article is for you.

After working as a tech recruiter, I'm going to reveal whether coding bootcamps are worth it, including:

  • What to expect from the coding bootcamp experience and what you'll get by joining
  • What jobs bootcamp grads can get
  • How much money bootcamp graduates earn
  • The average cost of coding bootcamps
  • The pros and cons of software engineering bootcamps vs. a four-year degree in computer science

Let's get started...

The Bootcamp Experience: What You'll Get

Coding bootcamps give you access to expert instructors and an organized lesson plan so you can learn software development in the shortest time possible (usually two to three months if you take a full-time schedule).

Bootcamps provide a nice middle ground between learning to code completely on your own (difficult and disorganized) and attending university for four years to study computer science (expensive and time-consuming).

Many of the best programming bootcamps also provide something that even universities don't: Job placement services and connections to top tech employers.

Universities have career services, but that doesn't compare to a coding bootcamp that specializes only in helping their tech graduates get hired for coding jobs.

So that's another big advantage that bootcamp grads benefit from, and that makes coding bootcamps worth it for a lot of people!

Below are all of the main benefits of joining a coding bootcamp:

Benefits of Joining a Coding Bootcamp:

  • Structured, proven curriculum so you finish job-ready with a complete set of software development skills
  • The opportunity to ask questions and interact live with instructors and classmates
  • Code reviews and feedback from peers and instructors
  • The opportunity to complete real-world projects and build a portfolio that you can show to employers upon graduation
  • Job placement services (Mentioned above. Not every software engineering bootcamp offers the same level of service here, though, so ask them about this!)

These are some of the reasons coding bootcamps are worth it for a lot of people. Now let's talk about what types of jobs you can expect to land after finishing a bootcamp for coding...

What Jobs Can You Get After a Coding Bootcamp?

Based on what I saw working as a tech recruiter, your best shot at landing a great job after finishing a coding bootcamp is in the field of web development.

I recommend choosing a bootcamp focused on this type of skill set for that reason.

From there, you can obtain an entry-level web development job which will pay approximately $40,000 to $70,000 per year.

This is a very rough estimate and will depend on your city and industry. (Many industries need web developers, from tech startups and financial institutions to e-commerce companies and more. Salaries aren't equal in all industries, though).

Whichever industry you join as a web developer, you can advance and get promoted as you learn and grow... becoming a Senior Software Engineer or even Software Engineering Manager over time and potentially earning $100,000 relatively quickly.

Are Coding Bootcamps Accredited?

Most coding bootcamps are not accredited. Instead, they teach job-specific skills to help you obtain a job in the technology industry. Fortunately, it's becoming less common for technology companies to require a degree or diploma from an accredited program. Many employers focus on real-world software development skills when hiring.

Hiring managers often look for projects that demonstrate your coding ability, which is what you'll be learning in a software development bootcamp.

However, because most online coding bootcamps lack accreditation, you won't be able to transfer to a college or university and pursue a bachelor's degree or other degrees with your credits.

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

The cost of coding bootcamps varies depending on whether the instruction is live or self-paced. Overall, you can expect to pay $15,000 to $18,000 for a fully-immersive, live coding bootcamp. However, most top coding bootcamps offer payment plans, so you won't need to pay the full cost upfront.

Self-paced options without live instruction are much cheaper. For example, Udacity offers a highly-rated Nanodegree program for $399 per month (or less if you pay for a couple of months of access upfront).

A couple of live bootcamps also offer deferred payment, where you pay nothing until you graduate. Then, once you land a job paying above a certain amount (usually $50,000 to $60,000 per year), you begin paying them back.

Examples of bootcamps offering this pricing structure include Lambda School and Hack Reactor.

You can read more about all of the bootcamps mentioned above in our list of the top 18 online coding bootcamps.

Can You Fail a Coding Bootcamp?

Yes, it's possible to fail a coding bootcamp. You'll be taught a lot of information, including one or more programming languages, in a relatively short time period. If you're unable to complete the projects and learn the material at the pace that the class is taught, you risk failing and being unable to graduate.

Because of this, graduating from a coding bootcamp requires a high level of commitment and focus.

If you can't commit to studying and putting in work every day (essentially, treating it like a full-time job), then you shouldn't invest in a full-time coding bootcamp.

Note that if you're currently working or have other scheduling constraints, some schools offer part-time and night class options! These options require less time per week and run for a longer period of time in terms of total weeks.

Also, there are self-paced options where it's impossible to fall behind. So if you'd like to learn at your own pace, look into an option like the Nanodegree program from Udacity.

Programming Bootcamp vs. a Computer Science Degree: Differences

Coding bootcamps are worth it for a lot of people, but it's important to know that bootcamp grads are not going to have the same skills as a four-year computer science graduate.

So let's discuss a coding bootcamp versus a computer science degree in terms of worth and value.

Computer science students study a lot more than just programming, and they're going to have a deeper understanding of this field.

They're going to be able to pick up new programming languages more easily, for example.

And you won't be viewed quite the same by employers versus someone with a computer science degree (including top employers like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.)

But tech companies have room for both types of workers! There are plenty of tech organizations that need good bootcamp graduates and look to hire this type of person!

And many top bootcamps have relationships with these employers and help you get interviews at these companies (ask the bootcamps you're considering if they help with this, and how).

So to summarize the differences...

In a coding bootcamp, you're paying less and getting educated MUCH faster, but the trade-off is that they don't go as far in-depth with theory and fundamentals.

You're not going to have the same understanding of computer science, data structures, algorithms, etc., which means you'll have to work harder to learn new programming languages, write very advanced software, etc. 

On the plus side, a coding bootcamp gets you job-ready much faster and for much less money.

It helps you build a foundation in a particular set of programming languages that you can use immediately in an entry-level role.

So coding bootcamps are still a great investment for launching a tech career. And you can learn more and more over time after landing your first job.

Putting It All Together: Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

Based on everything above, is it worth it to do a coding bootcamp?

If you want to land a job in tech without a computer science background, coding bootcamps are worth it in my opinion!

However, they're not a magic solution that will instantly find you a job. Coding bootcamps are only worth it if you're willing to put in the work and take responsibility for learning the skills and conducting your job search afterward.

These programs will teach you and help you, but they're not going to carry you through everything.

To learn this type of in-demand, high-paying skill in such a short time period requires a LOT of focus on your end.

You won't succeed in learning the material or getting a tech job if you can't commit to that.

However, if you put in the effort, you'll have a bright future and exciting career path.

Coding bootcamp graduates are well-equipped to obtain entry level software development jobs. And from there, you can continue learning and growing your career as a developer!

Plus, software development is one of the best fields to work in and will continue to be among the best in the coming decade, in my opinion.

This makes coding bootcamps a good investment and one that is worth the cost.

What to Do Next: Talk to a Few Bootcamps

If you're still unsure whether a coding bootcamp is right for you or worth the investment, I recommend contacting a few of the top coding bootcamps and talking directly with them!

Get in touch with their instructors in particular. This should be your priority, since that's who you'll be spending most of your time working with and learning from.

They should be able to give more information about what languages their bootcamp teaches and what types of jobs you can land with those skills. (And ideally, how they'll help you get hired).

Coding bootcamps are worth it for a lot of people in general, but some are much better than others depending on your goals, so talk to a few.

And if you know any bootcamp graduates, talk to them! Ask them about their experience. Were they able to find work? How quickly?

The steps above will help you know what to expect in each bootcamp so you can decide which one is most worth it for you!


How to Start a Freelance Writing Career - Become a Freelance Writer

How to Start Freelance Writing (No Experience Needed)

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Welcome to my guide on how to become a freelance writer and start a successful writing career.

I'm going to show you how to launch your writing business, get clients online, and start making money as a successful freelance writer even if you have no experience.

To save you time and hassles, I'll also share the mistakes I made along my path to earning $5,000 a month through freelance writing.

Finally, I'll reveal how much money you can expect to earn as a beginning freelance writer and which types of freelance writers make the most.

What is Freelance Writing?

Freelance writing is the act of being paid to write for people or businesses (i.e. clients) on a contractual basis rather than a full-time, permanent basis. Freelance writers can have multiple clients and can make their own schedules.

One downside to freelance writing is that you won't receive benefits and health insurance from the employer, since you're not a full-time employee. Freelance writers often make up for this by earning a higher wage than full-time, permanent employees. 

In my experience as a recruiter, the typical freelancer is able to charge 25-60% more per hour than their full-time counterparts. However, this percentage/gap between freelance writing pay and full-time employee pay increases as you gain more experience, so you might not see quite as large a gap when you start your freelance writing career.

Next, let's talk about how to get into freelance writing.

How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

Build Your Writing Skills

There's a myth that people are born great writers. The truth is if you want to become a better writer, then start writing a lot. You get there by practicing.

You can also take a writing course if you want to jumpstart your freelance writing career, but you can also learn to write by reading great writing online and practicing each day.

I was an awful writer when I started out.

I'm still not the world's best writer, but I do earn a full-time income from this blog.

But when I wrote my first few articles, they were terrible. My boss at the time had offered to help me and give me feedback on my writing, since I told her that I wanted to start blogging here at Career Sidekick.

But when I showed her one of my first blog posts, she told me that it was so scattered and disorganized that she couldn't even begin to help. She told me to rewrite the whole thing.

We all start as beginners. Step 1 to becoming a successful freelance writer is to write each day.

You also get there by reading great writing from other people, so you should do that as well if you're planning to start a freelance writing career.

It doesn't have to be books. You can read blog posts, etc. In fact, if you plan on taking writings gigs centered around blog post writing, then reading blog articles is more beneficial than reading books.

Don't worry if you have no idea what type of freelance writing you want to do, either. I'll help you with that throughout the rest of this article.

Choose a Writing Niche

One of the biggest mistakes that I see new freelance writers make is refusing to "niche down" or pick a specific area of focus.

They're afraid of limiting themselves so they chase every possible project and have no clearly defined niche.

These are the freelance writers who struggle the most to get clients and struggle to break past $1,000 to $2,000 a month.

It's alright to try many types of writing at the very beginning of your freelance writing career to see what you enjoy.

But once you've done that, I recommend picking one specific type of service to offer.

There are some big benefits to picking a narrow niche.

When you offer one particular service as a writer (like email copywriting, SEO blog writing, etc.) you get better at delivering the work and also at completing projects faster.

You also become better at pitching/selling your freelance writing services so you land more writing jobs with fewer sales calls.

In addition, you'll build up relevant testimonials in this one niche faster, since it's all you're doing. Then you're an even clearer/easier choice for your potential clients.

By niching down, you're giving yourself a smaller potential market but making yourself a much clearer choice for that market.

The bottom line is: Choosing a niche is a key step to start earning more money from your freelance writing.

I did this myself, first choosing copywriting, then niching down into just email copywriting. Each project was similar so I got the work done (and got paid) FAST.

Coming up, I'll share the various types of writing niches for content writing, copywriting, and more, so keep reading.

Lucrative Freelance Writing Niches

To help you choose a niche, here are some of the most common (and high-paying) freelance writing niches. I'll share more about which ones earn the absolute most later in the article.

  • Website copywriting
  • Email copywriting
  • SEO article/blog writing
  • Technical writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Business, sales, and annual report writing
  • Scriptwriting (sales video scripts and other scripts)
  • Manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Press releases
  • White papers

Get One Successful Project Finished Quickly

Once you decide you're interested in becoming a freelance writer, you should focus on getting your first client as quickly as possible.

Your first big goal should be to complete one project for a client so that you have a real result (and hopefully a testimonial) that you can leverage to get more clients. You can even build a case study showing the "before and after" of the project.

If you don't feel you're a good enough writer to earn a strong testimonial yet then practice and improve your writing skills more.

Then, do whatever it takes to land one writing gig to get a testimonial in your desired niche, even if you have to do it for free or at a deep discount.

It's going to be much easier to grow your freelance writing business once you have a piece of published work that you can point to and say, "I just completed a successful project where I did ___."

I did this and then used the testimonial everywhere... on social media, on my Upwork profile, and more.

Here you can see I led off with it on Upwork, just below the headline:

getting a testimonial to start freelance writing career

I'll talk more about Upwork and the other best ways to start getting freelance writing clients next...

Get More Freelance Writing Jobs and Hone Your Skills

After you've got one completed project and testimonial, you can leverage that to get many more.

You can do this via freelance marketplaces like, social media, word of mouth, referrals, and more.

The best approach for you will depend on many factors including your writing niche, whether you have any existing connections on social media, whether you have an existing network outside of social media, etc.

Overall, though, job boards and freelance marketplaces are a good place to begin. They're not the perfect long-term solution and you eventually want to be able to get referrals, send cold emails to pitch to businesses you'd like to work with, etc. But when starting out, job boards aren't bad.

The Best Freelance Marketplaces and Job Boards

The best freelance marketplace to grow your writing business is I personally built myself up from zero to $5K USD per month on Upwork, so that's what I recommend. You can read my full review of Upwork here, which has many tips on how to succeed on the platform as a beginner.

Additional resources:

I also have a list of 18 remote job boards here and many feature writing jobs.

Price Your Services High

You may be tempted to offer low prices as you build your freelance writing business online. However, after completing at least one project, I recommend pricing the rest of your writing jobs high.

Never compete on price! It's a race to the bottom that won't end well. It'll also attract the worst type of clients: Extremely cheap businesses who complain about every detail of your freelance writing work, request endless revisions, etc.

I can tell you from first-hand experience that the clients who pay more are easier to work with, more relaxed, and ask for LESS.

Aim to price yourself in the top 75-95% of the market. Price also implies quality. There are many business owners who simply look for the most premium, expensive service because they assume it's superior.

Just make sure your freelance writing abilities are at a solid level! I'm not suggesting you go out and trick business owners into hiring you when you're not competent. But once you're a competent writer, charge high and go deliver great results and communication/service.

That beats offering low-priced writing jobs and competing on price any day!

Set a Clear Revision Policy for Your Writing

In your first year of freelance writing, I recommend having a clear yet generous revision policy. I used to tell clients on Upwork and other job boards that we'd keep working on the project until they're completely happy.

I was working as a direct response copywriter, which is an area most clients didn't know much about. So they just trusted my writing and asked for few revisions. So this policy was never abused.

If clients started to ask for too many revisions, I would have changed my policy to something like two rounds of revisions per project.

So start generous, and then adjust. You'll land more new clients faster and more consistently this way, which is key to becoming a freelance writer that can support yourself full-time.

One other benefit to offering revisions: You'll get fewer negative reviews on freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr.

I was always able to maintain a 100% job success score on Upwork, and this is due to the fact that I offered revisions for free if a client wasn't happy.

Do everything you can to maintain a high job success score on Upwork if you end up using the platform as a part of your freelance writing business. If your score drops, it's difficult to win projects and climb back up.

Get Paid Up Front

One of the most frustrating parts of freelance writing, or any freelance work, is completing a project and not being paid. Or, having to chase a client for weeks to finally get that payment.

This happened once to me many years ago and I decided: "never again."

So I began asking for 100% of the payment up front. I did this successfully in blog post writing, email copywriting, website copywriting, and other content marketing services throughout my freelancing career.

Occasionally, if a client wasn't comfortable, we'd settle on 50-70% up front. That compromise is still fantastic for you as the freelancer. You know that no matter what, the client has already paid for at least 50% of the work.

If a client is resistant to paying 100% of the money upfront, simply say:

"I ask for payment up front on all projects. I don't stop working until you're satisfied, but I'm in the business of writing great content, not sending invoices and worrying about collecting money, so I do request that projects be paid in advance before I start."

If you're more comfortable asking for 50% up front, you can say:

"For payment terms, here's what I normally do: 50% up front, 50% upon final delivery."

Don't do any less than 50% to start! Ever. That's my advice for new freelance writers with no experience in collecting payments. 

And then don't even begin researching their project until you've been paid! Sure, you get on a sales call and learn a bit about this client and their needs, and you want to do some basic preparation for this call to impress new clients.

But that's for you, not them. Don't get off this sales call and start preparing for the job, writing down ideas for this client, pouring over every page of their website, etc., until you've been paid. That's just asking to have your time wasted. Start working for new clients when they've paid for your work.

Gather More Testimonials and Repeat

Testimonials will be your best friend as you look to become a successful freelance writer. Get written testimonials, video testimonials, case studies/examples, etc. Anything you can.

The best way to prove you'll do a great job for your next client is to say, "I just completed a project for another client in your niche, and we were able to achieve ___ result."

So don't stop gathering testimonials as you start and build up your freelance writing career.

Do You Need a Website to Become a Freelance Writer?

You do not need a website to start a freelance writing career. There are plenty of other online platforms like Upwork where you can build a profile and find clients, and you can also use LinkedIn to build a profile, show writing samples and testimonials, and bolster your online presence.

Creating a website takes time and effort, and almost nobody is going to be visiting your site at the beginning of your new freelance career.

So you're better off building your portfolio on sites that already have millions of visitors, like Upwork and LinkedIn, and then focus your effort on becoming a good writer, landing clients, and getting paid.

You can always circle back and create a website later, but to begin, I'd start by building out a LinkedIn profile (or customizing your existing profile) to suit your ideal freelance writing niche and then finding one or more freelance marketplaces like to build a profile on, too.

That's the quickest path to making money and being able to earn a full-time income through online writing.

By the way, you can read my best LinkedIn profile tips here.

How Much Money Do Freelance Writers Make?

Hourly Rates for Freelance Writers

If you choose to charge an hourly rate for your freelance writing, you can earn anywhere from $10 USD per hour to $100 per hour and above. Your hourly rate as a freelance writer depends on whether you're doing general content writing, copywriting, or another specialized type of work such as technical writing.

Freelance Content Writer Rates Per Word/Article

If you're a freelance content writer in your first one or two years of working, then it's common to charge 10 cents per word, or $100 USD per 1,000-word article.

However, more experienced freelance content writers with a great writing portfolio can charge much more. I've contacted writers recently for my own projects/needs and have been quoted upwards of 40 cents per word! So, there's certainly an opportunity to charge more money for your freelance writing.

However, you may be surprised to find out that the best-paid freelance writers don't charge per word, article, or hour at all...

Freelance Copywriter Rates

Freelance copywriters often charge per project or even receive a percentage of sales generated by their copywriting (if writing a product sales page, for example). For this reason, freelance copywriters are some of the top-earning writers in the world once they master their craft over the course of two to three years.

In particular, I recommend looking into "direct response copywriting," which is writing (both online or offline) that's designed to get a reader to take a specific action, such as buying a product, clicking a link in an email, signing up for a webinar, renewing their subscription, ordering a product via mail, etc.

I personally niched down into email copywriting and started charging a flat rate of $200 per email. I was helping businesses write B2B cold emails that they'd use to grow their own business, and I would sell a package of three to four emails at $200 per email.

I was no longer being paid for my time and could earn far more. I was able to create templates, too, so each project felt like it was half-finished before I even began.

This is a tip that deserves its own section, so I'll share more about this topic very soon. Let's recap what you can expect to earn in your first year, though:

How Much do Beginner Freelance Writers Make in the First Year?

In the first year, you can expect to earn between $20,000 and $60,000 USD from freelance writing. Your exact results will depend on the niche you choose and how successful you are in attracting clients. There's a learning curve to pitching freelance clients and landing gigs when you first start out.

Different freelance writers will also have a different learning curve depending on whether you've sold services in the past. When I started, I was fortunate to have done some phone sales previously for employers I had worked for. So I was comfortable getting on the phone with potential Upwork clients and closing deals.

If you have no prior sales experience, this is another area you'll need to become comfortable with and learn if you want to succeed in freelance writing.

The reality of your first year as a beginner freelance writer is that you can expect to spend 50% of your time obtaining clients and 50% doing the actual writing work. So writing is really only half of your job as you begin your freelance career.

How do Freelance Writers Get Paid?

As a freelance writer, you can use a payment processor like Stripe or PayPal to accept card payments from clients. You can also accept ACH bank transfers. I like PayPal because it allows you to sound a professional-looking invoice via email that the client can then pay via card or PayPal balance.

If you use freelance marketplaces like Upwork to start pitching and getting your first few paid writing clients, then the platform will handle payments for you. You'll simply add your bank details to receive your payouts.

As you get started as a freelance writer, you'll want to have a plan for getting paid, so iron out that plan before proceeding. It's just as important as deciding what you want to write and how you'll find clients.

How to Multiply your Earnings as a Freelance Writer and Grow Your Business

After you've had a good start to your freelance writing career, you should invest some time in creating systems, templates, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to help you complete each project faster.

This is yet another benefit to choosing one niche to operate in; it's much easier to create templates and give yourself a head-start on each new freelance writing project that comes in.

This also makes it much easier to hire other freelance writers in the future if you'd like to build an agency and grow your revenue further or keep earning the same while working less.

Since this article is about how to start freelance writing and become a freelance writer with no experience, I won't dive too much into building an agency and scaling to six or even seven figures potentially, but it's possible, and creating SOPs/systems is the first step.

You can create systems for getting clients as well as for completing the writing work.

Is Freelance Writing a Good Career Overall?

Online writing and freelance writing are fantastic career choices that allow you to work from anywhere and earn a relatively high income. I know plenty of freelance writers (mainly copywriters) who earn six figures per year or who have gone on to build writing agencies that earn six or even seven figures.

While your success and earnings potential do depend on the type of writing you choose and how good you become at selling your services and building efficient processes, there are enough good niches and types of writing that getting started shouldn't be a problem.

Plus, the difficulties in being a freelance writer would come with any other freelance career, too, such as software development or design. So, freelance writing is as good as any freelance career, in my opinion.

I also like how simple it is. You don't need an ultra-high-speed internet connection, the most expensive laptop, or constant contact with your clients. You typically take a sales call, arrange payment, have them send over some details about what they need, and get to work.

So being a freelance writer is also simpler and involves less back-and-forth with clients than most other freelance careers, in my experience.

I enjoyed this work thoroughly and took full advantage by doing some of my freelance writing work from Thailand, Vietnam, and other distant locations while still having my writing business based in the US.

Websites and Resources to Become a Successful Freelance Writer

Below are some of my favorite websites and blogs that will help you in your writing and freelancing.


A blog dedicated to copywriting, content writing, and mastering your craft as an online writer. They offer many free articles but also downloadable PDFs. I've used and saved these free PDF writing guides myself and they helped me tremendously.

Content Marketing Institute

CMI is a leading content marketing education and training website with articles covering a wide range of topics related to content marketing including SEO, social media marketing, and more. These will likely be key areas your clients are interested in if you plan on starting a freelance writing career online, and this website can help you build a foundation.

The Balance Small Business Freelance Writing and Consulting Resources

The Balance runs a number of large online sites on various topics (Small Business, Careers, etc.) and they have a thorough section of their Small Business site dedicated to freelance writing and consulting. This site can help you learn more about blogging, content marketing, how to break into freelance writing in general, how to earn more money from your writing gigs, and more.

Freelancers Union

The Freelancers Union offers a variety of information and services to help independent workers. Their content ranges from a contract-creator tool to free articles on topics like how to take vacation time as a freelancer and how to handle client onboarding. I recommend their blog in particular, which is the section of their site I linked to above.

They've also got an entire website section on resources for non-payment. But if you have read this guide to freelance writing step-by-step, then you know to get paid up front for each writing job, so this won't be an issue.

Upwork Articles

Upwork, the popular freelance job marketplace, also has a blog/articles section with a lot of high-quality content on how to win more writing gigs and succeed after you land a writing job, too.

Their blog articles are not just dedicated to online writing, since many other types of freelancers use Upwork, too. However, the website has a lot of very high-quality information that's relevant to starting out as a freelance writer. I've written some articles for their blog in the past, too:

Online Communities

I also recommend joining Facebook groups and Reddit communities centered around freelance writing. From there, you can start reading some discussions and asking any questions that you have. There are often many experienced people in these groups who are willing to "give back" and help new freelance writers. 

Just make sure to ask specific, targeted questions. Don't go on Reddit and ask, "How can I succeed as a freelancer?" That question is too broad and you won't get high-quality answers.

Instead, ask a question like, "Freelance writers: Which freelance marketplace has worked best for you this past year?"

Or, "Question for fellow online writers: How do you decide which writing samples to provide a new potential client when they ask to see a portfolio?"

Next Steps: Start Freelance Writing

Becoming a freelance writer takes practice and hard work, but it becomes easier over time and can be a high-paying freelance career for anyone willing to put in the work.

To start, get your writing ability up to a high level, and then go land your first client via the steps mentioned above. Everything else will become easier after that, and you'll slowly build your writing portfolio, your online presence, and your confidence as you pitch, close, and deliver more freelance writing jobs.


how much money do recruiters make - average recruiter salary

How Much Do Recruiters Make?

how much money do recruiters make - average recruiter salary

The average recruiter in the US earns $35,000 to $200,000 per year depending on the type of recruitment they do. The wide range in average recruiter pay is due to the two fundamentally different types of recruiters.

These two categories of recruiters are paid completely differently, which I'll explain coming up.

Here's what you'll learn in this article:

  • How recruiters get paid
  • How much money each type of recruiter can make on average
  • Which recruiting jobs pay the most

How Do Recruiters Get Paid?

There are two different types of talent recruiters: internal and external recruiters. And they're paid completely differently, with only one being able to realistically and reliably earn six figures and above.

Below, I'll explain both types of recruiters and how they're paid. Let's start with internal recruiters.

How Internal Recruiters Make Money

Internal recruiters (also called in-house recruiters) work within a company as a part of their HR department and help their employer find and hire people for job openings. A variety of types and sizes of companies utilize internal recruiters, including Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, and others.

Internal recruiters get paid a salary or hourly rate and typically earn $35,000 to $75,000 per year if working full-time. You'd need to become a technical recruiter to reach the higher end of the above salary range, though.

Technical recruiters can earn $75,000 per year because they specialize in understanding a certain type of job candidate in a technical field like engineering, software, law, nursing, etc.

As a contractor working on a shorter-term basis, an internal recruiter could earn even more — upwards of $50 per hour, which equates to $104,000 annually.

However, it's difficult for an internal recruiter to get paid much beyond the average salary ranges listed above, so if you want to earn more money as a recruiter, you should look into becoming an agency recruiter...

How External/Agency Recruiters Make Money

External recruiters, also known as agency recruiters or headhunters, work for a staffing firm that helps multiple companies find people to hire and fill their job openings.

One staffing agency and the recruiters working within it may help 20, 30, or more employers hire candidates.

Agency recruiters aren't paid a flat salary, typically. Instead, they earn commissions when they place candidates into jobs.

Because of this, the average recruiter salary will vary widely based on the success of the individual but could go upwards of $200,000 for an experienced agency recruiter.

Here's exactly how an agency recruiter gets paid, and how much a recruiter of this type can make:

When working for a staffing agency, a recruiter typically earns what's called a contingency fee, which is often 15-20% of the candidate's first-year starting base salary. The candidate does not lose this money; it's simply an additional fee that the employer (referred to as the client) pays the staffing firm.

Then, the recruitment agency typically keeps half of this commission and gives half to the individual recruiter. So an external recruiter's pay can add up very quickly.

How Much Technical Recruiters Make at an Agency (IT Recruiter Example):

In my last role as a tech recruiter, many of the IT jobs that my team worked on paid $160,000 and above. These included software engineering roles plus related fields like data engineering and data science.

If one of our team members placed a candidate into a job paying $160,000 per year, the 20% contingency fee would be $32,000. Split that with the agency and you're still taking home $16,000 as the recruiter who placed the candidate into the job.

This is slightly over-simplified but is a basic idea of how the system works.

And a good agency recruiter could make two or three "placements" (i.e. getting a candidate hired for a job) per month on average.

So in terms of how much money IT recruiters make, they can potentially earn $200,000 per year and above. This won't happen in the first year, but over time, it's possible.

This is true of other technical recruiters in other areas, too. For example, you could work as a science recruiter, legal recruiter, and more. All of these types of technical recruiters can earn an exceptionally high income when working within a staffing agency.

What Type of Recruiter Makes the Most Money?

If you want to get paid as much as possible as a recruiter, there are two important takeaways from the info above. We just looked at different types of recruiter jobs that can lead to a wide range in average salary, and to get on the high end of those ranges, you should always do two things:

  1. Work as a technical recruiter in a specialized field (like legal practices, IT, healthcare, etc.)
  2. Become an external/agency recruiter, not internal

I'll explain both of these in more detail plus share additional factors that can help boost your salary in a recruiting job.

1. Work as a Technical Recruiter in a Specialized Field

It doesn't take long to learn a specialized field of recruitment and you don't need to have the technical background of the candidates you're recruiting.

For example, I studied finance in college. Yet I became a technical recruiter in biotech and pharma, and then in software technology.

I've never worked in a science lab and I can't write a single line of code, yet I was a successful recruiter able to make a great living in these specialized fields.

And after choosing a technical field to work in, I recommend finding a high-end staffing agency that focuses on positions paying $100,000 and up.

How much does a recruiter in this type of role earn? In the first year, you'll likely be given a base salary of around $50,000 to $60,000, and then your commissions will replace that salary over time. The employer typically removes the base salary when it's more lucrative for you.

2. Work as an Agency Recruiter, not Internal Recruiter

As mentioned above, you'll only earn commissions and get paid for each job placement you make if you're working as an external recruiter/agency recruiter.

So if you don't mind a more challenging role and some fluctuations in pay, you'll be able to earn more over time with this type of recruiting role.

To summarize, recruiters earn the most money, especially in the second and third years and beyond, when they follow the two rules above.

However, this doesn't take into account stress and happiness on the job. I'm only sharing this information to reveal how much a recruiter can earn, and how to maximize this salary potential.

Here's more information on what it's like to work as a recruiter if you're interested in the bigger picture.

Contract vs. Full-Time Recruiters

Most of what I described is based on my experience as a recruiter who focused on filling full-time, permanent positions at companies.

However, there are also contract recruiters who help companies with their contract hiring needs by finding candidates for shorter-term positions typically lasting three to six months.

These recruiters are paid slightly differently by clients when it comes to the commission and placement fees. Rather than one big upfront fee when the client hires a candidate, they tend to receive an ongoing percentage of the contract over time.

Still, the rules above will help you maximize your earnings as a contract recruiter, too. Focus on becoming a technical recruiter hiring for a certain type of position and industry, and make sure to work in a staffing agency rather than for a single employer that's just looking to hire.

Those guidelines will help you get the highest possible salary for your skills.

Choosing the Right Market and Location

As one final tip, consider recruiting in a market that pays higher average salaries. Markets like Boston, New York, San Francisco, and others pay higher, so the percentage commission for each position you fill will be higher in direct proportion to that.

Conclusion: How Much Money Do Recruiters Make?

The average recruiter pay varies between $35,000 and $200,000+ depending on the following factors:

  • Is the recruiter a specialized, technical recruiter or a generalist?
  • Is the recruiter internal or external?
  • Is the recruiter focused on contract positions or full-time, permanent positions?
  • Is the recruiter working in a market with high average salaries?

You now know how much recruiters make and the most important factors that determine your pay if you decide to take a position in recruitment.

To find a job as a recruiter, apply to companies directly and use our list of best job search websites here.


Remote jobs that pay well

Top 10 Remote Jobs that Pay Well

Remote jobs that pay well

If you're looking for the top remote jobs that pay well, or wondering what remote jobs are in-demand... the list below will give you 10 great remote career choices.

The rise in remote work has created amazing opportunities to earn a high salary while working from home, but not all remote jobs pay well or lead to long-lasting careers.

Rest assured that the choices below are the best of the best when it comes to in-demand and lucrative remote jobs.

10 Highest-Paying Remote Jobs

1. Data Scientist

Average base salary: $96,589 (according to

Data science is one of the best and highest-paying remote jobs you'll find, but it's not an easy job to perform or an easy field to break into.

In terms of job duties, data scientists work to analyze/process data.

They're employed by both large and small firms, including the biggest social media sites, e-commerce brands like Amazon, and companies in many other industries from health care to logistics.

Since data scientists work primarily from a computer, there's no reason that this job can't be done remotely.

Turning this gig into a remote role is simply a matter of finding a company that allows remote work in general and then asking/negotiating to go remote.

To land an entry-level data science job, you'll want a bachelor's degree in computer science or mathematics, or you'll need to attend a software coding bootcamp with a specialization in data science.

If the hurdles to enter this field seem too much, keep reading for more options of easier high-paying remote jobs/careers.

2. IT Project Manager

Average base salary: $88,798 (according to

Project managers coordinate with multiple teams/people to ensure a project is completed successfully. Their duties include managing project timelines, budgets, quality of work, and more, while delegating the day-to-day work to others.

Project management is a high-paying role with job duties that can be done remotely in many industries.

Though, your ability to go remote in this career will depend on your employer's openness to the idea.

Project managers tend to have a lot of human interaction in their job duties as they coordinate and guide multiple project teams and people and sometimes even update customers/clients on project progress.

Since technology firms seem to be leading the way in offering remote benefits right now, your best bet at going remote as a project manager or project director would be to find a tech firm to work for.

IT companies tend to let more employees work from home, and they tend to pay higher for this type of work, too.

But if you're in another industry already and have some experience working on, coordinating, or managing projects, then there's no reason you can't ask to turn your current gig into a remote job in your industry.

3. Software Engineer

Average base salary: $87,797 (according to

As a former tech recruiter, I can tell you that many software developers earn $120,000 and above once they've gained experience.

Along with the high average salary, they receive quite a bit of flexibility and freedom from their employers, in general, since the work they perform is so critical to any tech or online company.

If you have some programming knowledge or are willing to attend a coding bootcamp to learn, then going into software development will get you one of the higher-paying remote jobs and will lead to an in-demand career.

This article covers whether a coding bootcamp is worth it.

After becoming a software engineering, you can also progress from an individual contributor role into a leadership role, such as software development manager/team lead, while still working remotely.

Or, you can move into project management. As mentioned earlier, IT project managers are highly paid and can work from home in some organizations.

4. Cyber Security Analyst

Average base salary: $76,754 (according to

Cyber security is a fast-growing field with a high average salary and great job prospects/job security looking forward.

As more companies do more business online, cybersecurity is becoming paramount for practically every organization, from online stores to social media sites to hospitals and health insurance organizations.

All of these companies have valuable data to protect and rely on cyber security specialists to ensure this data is kept safe.

While not every company will allow you to work remotely in this role, some certainly will. There's no fundamental reason that cyber security analysts cannot do everything in their job description in a remote work setup.

So if you have any type of technical background or an interest in learning about cyber security, this is one of the highest-paying remote jobs to consider and will certainly see a rising demand in coming years. (And likely a rising average salary with it).

One website that offers a solid "Intro to Cyber Security" course is Udacity. You can read my full review of Udacity here.

5. Business Analyst

Average base salary: $70,097 (according to

With an average salary above $70K, another great option for a remote career that pays well is being a business analyst.

Business analysts work within an organization to improve processes and systems through the use of data.

While many of the high-paying remote careers earlier on the list are tech-focused, this role is more business- and data-focused.

So a business analyst role is an excellent option to earn a high income while working remotely if you have a business degree or any type of business background.

I'll share more business-related options coming up on the list, so keep reading if you don't have an IT background and still want to find a remote job that pays well.

6. Digital Marketing Manager

Average base salary: $68,219 (according to

Any job in the field of digital marketing has the potential to become a lucrative remote career, so don't let the "manager" title here deter you.

I simply wanted to list the manager position on this list of highest paying remote jobs, since it's technically the highest paid, based on average salary.

Yet overall, I cannot recommend digital marketing enough as a remote career to consider.

I've seen people earning great base salaries doing:

  • Email marketing
  • Website copywriting
  • Social media management
  • Much more

From any of those positions, you can step up to a manager or director role, but it's okay if you don't have a digital marketing background and simply want to get your foot in the door with a remote job that pays well.

If so, an individual contributor marketing role will satisfy your goals.

Here are the best places to learn digital marketing online.

If I were 18 again and knew what I knew now, I'd only consider two careers: digital marketing or software engineering.

So I cannot say enough about how strong digital marketing is as a career choice that can lead to remote job opportunities and high salaries/high demand skills in general.

7. Systems Administrator

Average base salary: $63,131 (according to

Next on our list of best-paying remote jobs is another IT job: System Administrator, also called Network and Systems Administrator.

This person's job is to ensure that their company's computer networks are functioning properly on a day-to-day basis.

Depending on the size of the systems administration team and the size/setup of the overall company, workers holding this job could be allowed to work remotely or work from home.

Like many jobs in IT, more of this type of work is able to be performed online/remotely with each coming year. That's the trend we're going in, which is exciting if you're eager to work remotely.

It's possible in this role that if you rose to the director level or acquired another senior position in this field, you'd be asked to come back to the office to work on-site. But that's a problem you'd only have to worry about after acquiring many years of experience.

Also, by that time, it's possible that organizations would allow this entire department to be remote. Some companies are already doing this.

It's just slightly less likely that senior managers, directors, etc., would be permitted to work from anywhere in the world.

8. Technical Writer

Average base salary: $61,325 (according to

When I worked as a job recruiter, I was recruiting "medical writers". They're one specific type of technical writer (typically with a nursing degree or other basic healthcare background).

I spoke to one woman who was earning $150,000 per year while working remotely from a Caribbean island.

Years later, I started diving into the world of digital marketing and began speaking to direct response copywriters — writers responsible for putting together advertisements and other written materials (and video scripts) to drive more leads/sales for a business.

I quickly discovered that many of the top copywriters also earned six figures per year or more and worked remotely.

I've done more research on this and discovered that there are quite a few types of technical writing positions that earn a high salary, and since you're simply writing, almost all of these roles can be performed remotely.

Even the top content writers charge 40 cents per word or more if working freelance, or earn a salary at or near six figures if working full-time for a single company.

You can absolutely earn great money and work remotely as a writer, so don't discount this option.

9. Account Manager

Average base salary: $56,048 (according to

Any business that has clients or ongoing accounts needs account managers to maintain the relationships.

Such businesses include telecommunications companies, software as a service (SaaS) companies, and many more.

The job can almost always be done remotely, and this is also a career that you can obtain at the entry-level in some companies. They'll train you/teach you, as long as you seem like you have the following traits in the interview:

  • Good communication skills
  • Problem solving ability
  • Ability to work under pressure

Companies pay well for this type of work because a lot is riding on your success in the position. If you keep your clients happy, they'll stay for many months or years and continue to pay for whatever it is your business provides.

If you're a "people person" with more of a business background and/or great communication skills, and you want to earn high pay while working remotely, account management is a strong option to consider.

Sometimes, you'll be responsible for "upselling" clients to encourage them to spend more with the business, too, and you may be rewarded for that in the form of commissions and bonuses. So this type of role has some crossover into sales at times, in terms of job duties.

The difference is that salespeople bring completely new customers/clients into the business, whereas your duties would be focused on supporting existing clients.

Typically, the salesperson will "hand-off" the clients to an account manager once they're brought on board, so the salesperson can return to just selling.

Sales positions can also bring in a six-figure salary if you go into business-to-business (B2B) sales. And at times, these jobs could be done remotely, too. Look for "inside sales" positions if this sounds interesting, since those positions don't require you to go door-to-door or meet anyone face-to-face, greatly increasing the chances the job can be done remotely.

10. Web Designer

Average base salary: $52,114 (according to

Before a software developer starts building a website, they need a visual design. Colors, layout, dimensions.

And a lot of work goes into that design. The website has to be great for users. It has to be engaging. It has to make sense.

This is what web designers do, and they can earn a great income completely remotely.

On average, you won't earn quite as much as the software engineer/developers, but you'll still earn a great salary without having to learn to code. And working as a designer can be done from any location.

In my opinion, there's little to no concern about whether the actual job duties can be performed via remote work, so more employers are likely to say "yes" to the idea of you going remote.

Web design is an important job in many organizations and if you gain enough experience, it can certainly be one of the highest-paying remote jobs, especially considering you can start this career without obtaining an expensive degree.

You can find more careers that don't require a degree here.

Graphic designers also can earn a high average salary, so if you want to specialize only in creating digital graphics but not full website designs, then consider this as another high-paying, remote job option.

To learn these fields, I recommend an e-learning site like Udacity, which is cheaper and faster than traditional education/college.

Are These the Only Remote Jobs that Pay Well?

Absolutely not. There are far more jobs out there where you'll find companies hiring remotely.

Whether you've got a background in IT/computers, business and finance, or simply customer support/sales, it's worth looking for remote positions in your search.

There are completely different virtual jobs that didn't make this list. And there are jobs similar to some mentioned above, too. For example, I mentioned project managers. Well, product managers are slightly different but can also work virtually in many cases, and it's not uncommon for workers in this field to earn $100,000 or above after building up their skills for a few years.

And with each passing year, I expect more companies to stop worrying about the location of workers, which will lead to more workers being able to go remote.

Deciding Which High-Paying Remote Job is Best for You

If you read the list above, you now know multiple high-paying remote jobs in a variety of industries/sectors.

When choosing a field to pursue, I'd encourage you to consider the average salary but also whether the field interests you, and whether you have any existing skills to help you land that first job in this career.

You don't necessarily need prior experience or job-related skills to land a virtual job. But any skills or prior knowledge you do have will only help you.

If you don't have any prior skills, consider the type of background employers look for when hiring for the job, and the competition you'll be up against.

For example, if you try to become a data scientist, you'll be up against people with degrees in math and computer science. They have an advantage if you don’t have these in your background.

This doesn't mean you can't work in this career field, but you'll have a better chance of landing a high-paying remote position (and being able to earn promotions/raises in the future) if you look into a role that requires less technical education/background.

Even a web developer job would be a lot easier to break into and would be less reliant on a strong academic background, in my opinion as a former tech recruiter.

For this reason, I often suggest that clients study web development via coding bootcamps, rather than data science or other fields.

And if you look at a job like marketing, the duties are more reliant on real-world skills that employers will teach you in an entry-level role, or that you can learn on your own through a marketing course online.

So consider how well you'll be able to compete with other people in a given field, based on your academic background.

Researching Remote Jobs and Careers to Understand the Requirements

If in doubt, you can look on LinkedIn at people who currently have the roles you want and check their academic background and career path. How did they get to where they are?

If your plan is to attend an online course/bootcamp but you can't see any employees in top companies who have done this, that may be a red flag.

I suspect with data science, you may find this to be the case. You can handle some basic job duties with a coding bootcamp background, but you'll likely be limited in how far you can rise as you gain more years of experience.

But each industry is different and you should do your own research.

If You Can't Find a Remote Job at First, Look for Flexible Schedule Benefits

If you have the work experience, skills, and knowledge to land a virtual position but are just struggling to get an employer to hire you on a fully-remote basis right away, then you may want to look for a flexible schedule to start.

For example, find an employer who lets you work from home three days per week and come into the office for two days.

Sometimes, a company prefers to get to know an employee on-site at first and then become more flexible.

This is NOT always the case, though, so you'd still want to confirm in your interview that a company is open to letting you work fully remotely in the future.

Also, confirm with each employer whether they put any restrictions on location for their remote employees. For example, some fully-remote jobs will require that you stay within your home country while working.

Conclusion: Remote Jobs that Pay Well

You now know 10 remote jobs that pay a high salary and are likely to rise in demand in the coming years.

You also know how to research a company's current employees to see the path they took to get their positions.

Review the previous section of this article if you skipped down to here, because it'll share a great tip for making sure your career plan will work in the real world.

By picking a career with job duties that allow for virtual work and then building the skills employers want, you'll create the remote career you want.

Further reading:


good careers for introverts - high pay and demand

Good Career Choices for Introverts (High Pay/Demand)

good careers for introverts - high pay and demand

If you're looking for good career paths for introverts, then this article is for you.

There are quite a few high-paying, in-demand careers for introverts, including some that you wouldn't expect.

Below, we'll look at the best jobs for introverts, including business careers for introverts, creative careers for introverts, and even medical careers for introverts.

10 Great Careers for Introverts

1. Technical Writer

Average salary: $61,497 (according to

You may not think writers make a lot, but writers who specialize in certain types of writing jobs, like technical writing or copywriting, can earn six figures and above.

When I worked as a recruiter in the biotech and pharma industries, I spoke to medical writers earning $150,000 and higher, and they were working fully remotely.

These medical writers typically only had a bachelor's degree in nursing. So this is an example of one of the medical careers that introverts can pursue, where you can write instead of working in a hospital or other health center.

If you don't have a health background, you can go into all sorts of other forms of technical writing, where you'll have very little social interaction while earning a great salary.

Technical writers also write technical guides for products, technical reviews and reports, assembly manuals, user guides, and more.

Copywriters are another type of technical writer that earns a great salary. Copywriters who produce marketing materials (video scripts, text/content for online sales pages, social media ads, etc.) can earn six figures and above, just like technical writers. This is considered to be well above an average salary.

In all of the writer jobs above, you'll have few social interactions and are primarily paid to communicate ideas in writing, which makes writing an ideal career for introverts.

2. Software Engineer

Average salary: $88,280 (according to

Remember back in 2015 when everyone wanted to be a "coder"? Coding is the primary task of a software engineer and if your idea of a dream job is to create, test and monitor computer code for software programs, this might be the perfect job for you.

A big reason why so many introverts are software engineers is that they are usually left to work independently. Introverts thrive in this sort of setup where there is minimal social interaction and lots of quiet time.

I recently ran into a software engineer at a cafe who was from the Netherlands. He said he was a digital nomad and had been traveling for the past six months, visiting different countries and doing his coding through his laptop. This is the independent work that many introverts prefer.

One thing you should know if you're considering a career in this industry is that there are many different areas you can focus on:

  • There's "front-end" development, which has to do with what the user sees on the computer screen.
  • There's "back-end" software development, which is more about servers, algorithms and computer systems that aren't seen by the user.
  • And then there's "full-stack" development which focuses on both.

You could also choose to specialize in infrastructure engineering which is all about building out the layer underneath the back-end.

There are many routes you can take within the field of software engineering, all of which offer a high average salary.

You might also decide to be an SRE (Site Reliability Engineer) which is not so much about building the infrastructure but making sure the organization's information systems are running smoothly.

You can bet that the majority of your day as a coder will be spent staring at your computer.

However; many people with this career describe their workplaces as stimulating environments. There's always a new problem to solve and you're constantly collaborating with your fellow coders.

So, even though most introverts tend to need quiet spaces and alone time, there are still lots of opportunities for one-on-one interaction.

Further reading: Are coding bootcamps worth it?

3. Content Manager

Average salary: $60,976 (according to

"Content manager" is considered one of the best business jobs for introverts. Why? Most of a content manager's communication happens in written form: comments on blog posts, feedback on social media graphics, messages on collaboration apps, etc.

A content or social media manager might have a weekly video call with their team to plan out their organization's content creation schedule. However, the bulk of a content manager's day is spent focusing on the content itself. This is why it's the perfect job for introverted personality types.

Content managers are usually required to have at least two years of experience in marketing, project management or communications so if you are looking for an entry-level position, you might want to start as a content writer and then move up from there.

Important skills to have under your belt include SEO, basic coding, time management, data analysis and leadership.

The workload of a content manager depends on the size of the company. A small start-up might hire you as a one-person marketing team and put you in charge of creative writing, performing content audits, doing research, scheduling and publishing.

You also might be expected to create custom visuals, social posts and blog posts for the company's social media channels.

A larger company will have you focus more on editing, scheduling and publishing the content. You will also be in charge of coming up with ideas for content campaigns and approving any content your team produces.

Content managers are expected to lead a team of content writers, but not all introverts are comfortable leading a group, so this is something to keep in mind when considering this role.

One thing is for sure, job postings for content and social media managers are popping up across many industries. It's one of the most popular jobs for introverts with a relatively high average salary.

4. IT Manager

Average salary: $89,000 (according to

Information Technology or "IT" managers are often portrayed as being introverted personality types who spend their day in a basement tinkering at computers. There is a lot of truth to this stereotype, but in reality, an IT manager does so much more than just "fix computers".

IT managers are responsible for monitoring their company's information systems, recommending upgrades, overseeing IT policy, supervising projects within the IT team and setting up new software/hardware.

Since this is a managerial position, there will be some social interactions involved. However, most of these interactions will be within a small team of programmers and administrators, making this one of the best jobs for introverts who thrive in a more intimate work setting.

When it comes to qualifications, an IT manager will usually start out as a code writer or system administrator before being hired in this role.

Otherwise, a bachelor's degree in computer science may be required.

Key skills to have as an IT manager include a good understanding of computer languages, strong communication skills, whether that be written or verbal, and the ability to execute strategy development processes.

Since IT managers deal with both software and hardware, it's rare that they would ever work remotely.

So, if you are the type of introvert who likes a busy work environment while spending most of the day focusing on independent tasks, Information Technology Manager might be the perfect role for you.

Further reading: Guide to IT jobs.

5. Data Analyst

Average salary: $62,541 (according to

You may not have considered the data analyst career path for introverts before, yet it is one of the best jobs out there for people who prefer a quiet, autonomous work environment.

Data analysts are responsible for organizing data and translating complex information into a valuable conclusion for the benefit of other departments.

The type of data you might work with depends on the company. You might find yourself analyzing social media clicks, or amount of sales, or the location of online customers. The type of data will always be changing which makes this an exciting career option for introverts.

Data analysts will often collaborate with the company's marketing department as well as software developers.

Keep in mind, though, that these collaborations do not make up the bulk of a data analyst's workday, and the majority of work is done independently.

This is another business career that lends itself well to remote work. Many data analysts work exclusively from home, completing all of their tasks for the day from their laptops.

Before applying, make sure you are familiar with the specific software the company uses as well as the style of analysis you will be doing.

There are four types of analysis you should be familiar with before applying for a data analyst position: descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.

You should also be well-versed in analytics software like Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel and SQL.

In general, you should have some form of training in data analysis before applying, whether that be from a bachelor's degree or a data analysis course.

For a truly independent work environment, consider a career as a data analyst. It's one of the best jobs for introverts, and there are new openings being posted every day on job search forums.

Related high-paying career to consider that's also ideal for introverts: business intelligence.

6. Graphic Designer

Average salary: $47,032 (according to

With the social media and online business boom came the demand for more graphic designers. Graphic design is a great creative career choice for introverted artist-types who like the idea of working remotely and having a flexible schedule.

What does a graphic designer do? A graphic designer will spend most of their day sitting or standing at a computer, creating digital assets like logos, mockups, social media graphics and book covers using photo and design software programs like Photoshop and InDesign.

Graphic design is highly collaborative, which means that your piece will go through a lot of feedback sessions before you submit the final product.

This feedback will sometimes be given in person if you are working on-site, but most of the time it is done in writing through collaboration apps like Slack.

This is especially true if you are working remotely or if the marketing agency that hired you works with a lot of freelancers.

So, even though you will be communicating with many different people throughout the day, you are still primarily in your own zone, focusing on your graphic work.

Another reason this is such a popular job for introverts is that it doesn't require a high level of education.

An associate's or bachelor's degree is all you need to be considered and many marketing agencies will tend to value your creativity and portfolio over which university or college you went to.

I had a friend who completed a bachelor's degree in English and then decided to complete a two-year program in graphic design. Now she's working for one of the top magazines in the country and thrilled with the kind of work she gets to do.

You might receive a lower-than-average salary when starting out in graphic design, but there are lots of opportunities to grow in this field as you specialize and gain more experience overall.

7. Accountant

Average salary: $52,277 (according to

If you consider yourself good with money and quick on a calculator, then you might want to go for a career as an accountant.

Accountants are responsible for organizing, processing and reporting on the financial activities of a company.

Daily tasks of an accountant include: researching new accounting standards, writing financial reports, providing information for budgets, presenting accounts and reviewing financial statements.

Accountants usually work in a tight-knit team which includes the accounting manager and other accountants.

The average accounting department is usually pretty small with the majority of collaboration happening within this small group making "accountant" one of the best jobs for introverts.

Most accounting positions these days don't require a license. However, if you want to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), then you'll need to apply for one after you complete your bachelor's degree.

A lot of accountants report that their job gives them a healthy balance of interaction and solo work. If you want to work in a small team, but still focus on your own projects for most of the day, consider becoming an accountant. It's one of the best jobs for introverts.

Bookkeeping is another similar career choice for introverts that often requires less education, so that's one more introvert job to consider if you're numbers- and detail-oriented.

8. Digital Marketing Specialist

Average salary: $50,585 (according to

Digital marketing is a career field that offers many sub-areas that are well-suited for introverts.

These include:

  • Digital advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • Much more

You can also work as a general digital marketer, handling multiple areas above.

Digital marketing is a field you can learn online without a degree, or enter with just a bachelor's degree, and you can work your way up to six figures in salary relatively quickly.

You'll be doing most of your work in front of a computer, creating new strategies and marketing materials, analyzing data of past marketing campaigns, etc.

For less human interaction, I recommend looking into a digital marketing job for a company that is not in the marketing industry. For example, digital marketing for a clothing brand, an online software company, an online gaming company, etc.

Whereas, if you go to work for a digital marketing agency, you may find yourself with more interaction since you will be working for multiple clients instead of just one company.

9. Psychologist

Average salary: $80,848 (according to

I have yet to meet a psychologist who wasn't introverted. "Psychologist" is a perfect career choice for introverts who like to work independently, interact with people one-on-one and think deeply about interpersonal issues.

This is one of those high-paying careers introverts can't help but gravitate to.

There is a lot of freedom in the types of therapy that you can practice, and you will be working almost exclusively for yourself, whether that be from your own home or an office you are renting in a clinic.

A psychologist will spend the majority of their day in therapy sessions. Some choose to focus solely on individual sessions while others incorporate couples therapy, family therapy and even group therapy into their practice.

The education requirements for a psychologist are pretty extensive. In the US, a clinical psychologist is required to complete a master's and a doctorate degree after they finish their bachelor's degree in psychology.

If this sounds like too much time in school, you might want to consider becoming a therapist which only requires a master's degree.

Keep in mind that a psychologist will use medical research to diagnose mental health disorders whereas a therapist will not. However, both use talk therapy modalities like CBT, Psychodynamic Therapy and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy in their practice.

Psychologists earn a higher-than-average salary, making it one of the best jobs for introverts who want to earn a substantial income right when they enter the job market.

Other medical careers for introverts:

  • Medical writer (see #1 on our list above)
  • Medical billing specialist (you can read more about what this career involves here).

10. Blue-Collar Careers

Average salary: varies depending on role; can earn six figures over time.

Don't ignore blue-collar jobs as a career option for people who are introverted but want to earn a high salary.

Blue-collar jobs typically don't require a four-year degree and will have you working outside of the office.

These include jobs like: machinery operators, mechanics, repairers, carpenters, building inspectors, locksmiths, electricians, and more.

With many of these trade jobs, you'll have little human interaction and be working solo or with one apprentice or partner for the majority of the workday.

Of course, some of these jobs require physical strength, and so blue-collar jobs aren't perfect for everyone. If you prefer to sit in the office, this may not be for you.

Still, blue-collar roles provide an excellent, introvert-friendly career option for those who don't want a desk job.

And these jobs tend to have high demand and high pay without needing a degree.

Further reading: 18 good careers that don't require a college degree.

Conclusion: The Best Jobs for Introverts

Being an introvert in the workplace is not easy, but there are so many jobs out there that are well-suited to an introverted personality type.

When searching for jobs that are good for introverts, try to find positions that allow for lots of independence and the opportunity to work on a tight-knit team, or solo.

Management is also not out of the question for introverts, especially if most of the communication is done in writing or is only a small part of the workday.

There are many career options out there that pay an above-average salary and suit an introvert's lifestyle.

Related reading: Side hustles for introverts.


pros and cons of being a recruiter - working as a recruiter overview

Working as a Recruiter: Pros and Cons

pros and cons of being a recruiter - working as a recruiter overview

If you're wondering, "Should I be a recruiter?" then you're in the right place.

I've spent 5+ years as a professional recruiter, and I'm going to walk you through the pros and cons of being a recruiter so you can decide if it's right for YOU.

First, one thing a lot of people don't realize about what it's like working as a recruiter: If you're working for a recruiting agency, your job is basically sales.

I had no idea and thought it was mostly HR or match-making. I remember applying to recruiting jobs and writing in my cover letter about how I'd be great at figuring out where different people fit in an organization and matching them up.

I was WAY off - this is the last thing recruiting firms care about when hiring.

Don't worry, I'll explain everything below so you can learn what it's like working as a recruiter and how to get hired for the job!

The Pros of Being a Recruiter:

Pro #1: High Potential Pay with Only a Bachelor's Degree

Most recruiting agencies only require a bachelor's degree (or less) to become a recruiter. And you can earn six figures when you combine your base salary and commissions! I'll explain more about recruiter commissions in the next item on our list...

Pro #2: Get Paid for Your RESULTS with Commission

If you're like me, work feels a bit pointless when you're only earning a base salary. Do a great job, or a horrible job, and you get paid the same. That always drained my motivation.

So when I became a recruiter, I LOVED earning commission on top of my reasonable base salary.

You can expect a starting base salary between $30,000 and $55,000 as a recruiter in the US, but commissions can take you much higher.

You see, employers pay recruiters to "place" people into their jobs. So when an employer hires a job candidate that you brought to them, your recruiting firm gets a payout. And you get a percentage of that as commission, or at least you should!

(Note for job seekers: This commission or fee NEVER comes out of your starting salary. Don't worry. It's a fee your new employer pays to the recruiter in addition to whatever they've agreed to pay you, and it's just a one-time fee).

Pro #3: Flexibility and Control of Your Day

In both recruiting agencies I worked for, I was given a ton of freedom to prioritize my own day and decide what to work on.

This can be a good thing or a bad thing, of course. But if you're self-motivated and capable of planning your own day, this can be a GREAT feeling :) I absolutely loved it.

However, if you just want to push papers around and be told what to do every hour, you'd be happiest working as an internal recruiter for one company. That's more like a standard HR job.

Being a recruiter for a recruitment agency is much more sales-oriented. I'll talk about that next.

Pro #4: Learn Valuable Sales Skills

I mentioned earlier that if you work for a recruiting agency, you get a commission when you introduce a job candidate to an employer and they get hired.

However, you need to find those candidates, and many of them aren't actively looking for jobs. (Companies who are paying a recruiter want the BEST talent, which often means they want you to contact people who are happily employed).

So you're going to be chasing people who don't always want to talk to you... on LinkedIn, on the phone, and via email.

You learn fantastic skills through this, though. And you can take those skills to continue working as a recruiter up to earning six figures and beyond... or you can pivot into a different area of sales... go into business for yourself like I did, or anything else. 

Pro #5: Good Career Growth

As long as you join a good recruiting company that isn't failing, toxic, or just run by terrible managers, you'll have good opportunities to grow as a recruiter.

You'll have the ability to earn substantially more money in your second and third years of recruiting.

I started my first year as a recruiter earning a $30,000 base salary plus a bit of commission. I was quickly up to $42,000 plus a better commission structure in just my second year. I ended up earning $50,000-$55,000 in total compensation (base salary and commission) in my second year as a recruiter.

This was nearly 10 years ago, so you could expect to earn much more now, due to inflation and rising salaries over the past decade.

Pro #6: You're Not Stuck in One Industry

As a recruiter, you'll have the ability to work across multiple industries or switch industries if your particular industry has an economic downturn.

It's a very transferable skill-set. I mention elsewhere in this article that you could transition into sales after this. You can also transition into recruiting in any other industry.

It's pretty easy to explain to an employer in the interview that you'd be able to learn their industry, as long as you can show them you're a great recruiter in your current industry. The recruiting skills (i.e. sales skills) are what they care about most. 

Now let's look at some cons or downsides to working in recruitment. 

Cons of Being a Recruiter:

Con #1: Dealing with the "Ups and Downs"

Because you're essentially trying to sell people on taking new jobs and earning a commission for it, you're going to have some amazing weeks as a recruiter, but also some bad ones. 

You'll have weeks where NOTHING goes your way. Every candidate who said they'd send over their resume goes silent. You have absolutely nothing to show the employers you're working with. And that's not a good feeling.

So if you want to be successful as a recruiter, you need to have some mental toughness and be able to hand the bad weeks along with the good. It all balances out in the long run, but it's tough to remember that in the middle of a "drought".

Con #2: The Endless Grind

This was one of the biggest cons for me and a big reason I left my recruiting career behind to focus on this blog

As soon as you fill one position, you're moving on to the next one.  It never ends. There's always more work. More people to call. People to follow up with. New jobs to learn and study and begin working on.

This is true of any client-based business or service business, I suppose. But it's definitely a part of working in recruitment. 

Con #3: You're Never Really "Off the Clock"

In many recruiting jobs, you're expected to be available to answer emails or make a phone call into the evening if needed. 

It's normal for the most successful recruiters to take a phone call at 8PM if necessary.

You're constantly trying to get in touch with job seekers and candidates during the workday, but they're busy at their jobs at those same times.

So they get off work at 5PM or 6PM and start returning your calls and emails, just when you were planning on relaxing for the evening.

So that's a major downside of being a recruiter. 

Con #4: Recruiting is Essentially a Sales Job

Although you're not selling an actual product, recruiting is very similar to sales. Most people who ask "Should I be a recruiter?" don't realize how much "selling" and cold calling is involved. You're often calling people that aren't actively looking for jobs and trying to sell them on a job opportunity that they hadn't previously considered. Recruiting has more similarities than differences when compared with a typical inside sales job.

This can be great for some people, and you'll be learning a very valuable skill. (I'm SO glad I did all that cold-calling and cold-emailing. I learned ridiculously valuable lessons that I still use today to make money). 

But for some people, this is a turn-off, so it's worth mentioning as a con of being a recruiter. 

Con #5: Competition

If you're not at least a bit competitive, you might struggle to enjoy working in recruitment.

Like most sales jobs, there are quotas and goals to hit, and pressure that comes with that.

You'll also face competition from other recruiting firms; while you're trying to contact job seekers and present them to the employers you're working with, other recruiters from other firms are contacting them, too.

And only one person can place them into a job! So you will lose some commissions due to competition from other firms, which can be frustrating when you've put in a lot of time to working with a candidate. 

The best recruiters use this competition as motivation. If you hate competition, you might not want to work as a recruiter. 

Recruiter Salary: How Much Do Recruiters Make?

The average entry level recruiter salary is $30,000-45,000. Some firms may pay higher if you have prior work experience in a related field like sales. With commissions, you can end up earning $50,000 or more in your first year as a recruiter, and much more in your second and third years.

Over time, many recruiters go on to earn six figures. The top recruiters within recruitment agencies can earn $200,000-$300,000 or more through commissions.

If working as an "internal recruiter" for one single employer (not a recruitment agency), you can expect to earn a starting salary of $30,000-$60,000, but have the same uncapped earnings potential as an agency recruiter being paid on commission. 

The Bottom Line: Should You Become a Recruiter?

The answer to whether you should be a recruiter depends on many factors. If you enjoy helping people and are motivated by tangible goals and the opportunity to earn commissions, and can handle fluctuations in pay from month to month, then you might find recruiting to be a rewarding profession.

And it's one of the top ways to earn a lot of money with just a bachelor's degree.

However, if you want to check out at 5PM every day and rely on the same amount of money being deposited into your bank account each month, recruiting might not be what you're looking for.

If you're still wondering "Should I become a recruiter?" you can always try it for a year and see first-hand. That's the best way to see if you'll like a job.

Do You Need to be Extroverted to Work as a Recruiter?

You do not need to be naturally extroverted to succeed as a recruiter. Some of the best recruiters are quiet and introverted. Being able to listen actively and understand objections is one of the strongest skills you can have as a recruiter. The ability or tendency to listen more than you speak can be a very valuable asset to any recruiter. This is easier said than done!

However, there's one scenario where you'll pretty much have to be outgoing, and that's when it comes to networking and building contacts in whichever industry you choose to recruit in.

The ability to build trust and rapport as you develop relationships with candidates and hiring managers is what sets the best recruiters apart from the rest of the field. This becomes more evident after one or two years in the industry, when a recruiter will get calls from the same hiring managers and candidates rather consistently, resulting in a decreased need for cold calling.

The bottom line is this: There isn't one single type of person that is fantastic at recruiting.

Some of the best recruiters I've ever met are shy, quirky, and quiet. That's not to say that there aren't many outstanding recruiters that are loud, outgoing, and extremely attracted to large social gatherings.

This outgoing type of person is more the norm than the exception, from what I've observed. But there's room in recruiting for all personality types as long as you have the drive and determination to succeed. In the end, you'll get out whatever you put in.

How to Get Hired as an Entry-Level Recruiter

Now that we've looked at the pros and cons of being a recruiter, I'm going to share some tips on how to get hired for the job! Because I really struggled to get my first recruiting job because I didn't understand it was really about sales.

(If you don't know what I mean by this, go back and re-read the article, because I explain in detail why recruiting is basically a sales job).

So if I were doing it over again, I'd focus much more heavily on showing employers that I'm interested in the sales aspects of recruiting. Tell them that you're eager to learn cold calling, network-building, deal-closing, etc. 

They'll LOVE this.

And show a bit of a competitive nature. You don't have to be the most competitive person on earth to get a job as a recruiter, but if you played a sport in the past or can point to any other competitive activity you've done or enjoyed, it'll help persuade them to hire you. 

This advice above for how to get hired as a recruiter is relevant for cover letters as well as job interviews.

alternatives to college education after high school

11 Alternatives to College Education

alternatives to college education after high school

If you're looking for good college alternatives after high school, then this list is for you.

Below, I'm going to share multiple low-cost alternatives to college education that can lead to great career opportunities.

There's never been a better time to find career success without a bachelor's degree. Here's how:

1. Online courses and bootcamps

Many of the world's top employers like Google and Apple no longer require a bachelor's degree, and you can instead learn job-relevant skills through online courses/bootcamps.

Two of the top skills I recommend learning via online courses are:

The two options above are in-demand skills that employers pay well for, whether you take a full-time job or work as a freelancer.

And they're modern, fast-changing fields where employers are more likely to embrace a non-traditional, non-university background.

If the idea of learning digital marketing or coding doesn't appeal to you, then here's a list of more high-income skills you can learn.

The typical online course will range in price from below $100 to $1,500 and up. Some immersive bootcamps will cost $10,000 to $15,0000.

Still, that is a bargain compared to the traditional college tuition.

And through online courses, you learn job-relevant skills much faster. A college degree normally takes four years. High school graduates who go immediately into an online course can begin working in less than one year.

Some online courses, and especially immersive bootcamps, will leave you with more job search skills as well. They may help you build a portfolio, resume, and interview skills through mock interviews.

2. Community college

Community college has a bit of a stigma when compared to traditional college, but it can be a smart alternative to college and it's one I utilized myself.

When I finished high school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.

College was expensive, but I didn't want to just go to work with my high school diploma.

So I spent a year studying business/marketing at a local community college.

I saved a ton of money, built more maturity, and was able to work a part-time job and save money, too.

Then, when I decided a year later that I wanted a bachelor's degree, I was able to transfer my credits to a four-year university.

Most community colleges offer associate degrees (a two-year degree) but also allow you to transfer credits to a bachelor's degree program at a university.

That second option is what I chose.

So I saved money during that first year, transferred my credits, and entered college with more maturity and perspective. As a result, I didn't waste my money by partying and flunking out of classes.

I saw so many college students fail out of classes and not take their education seriously, despite spending so much money to be in college.

For this reason, I think that high school students can benefit from a year off between high school and college, whether it's to work, attend community college, or both.

3. Trade schools

If you don't like the idea of an office career or college degree, then consider attending a trade school to learn a blue-collar profession.

In a trade school, you can study to become an electrician, mechanic, and more.

Some blue-collar jobs can earn six figures rather early on, without a bachelor's degree, so trade skills make great alternatives to college.

You can begin to learn trade skills in community colleges (for example, my community college offered a program to learn to be an auto mechanic) but you can also find specialized trade schools as well. Look into both options in your local area.

To give you more ideas, here are the best blue-collar jobs by pay and demand.

4. Vocational schools

Vocational schools are similar to trade schools but include even more options. In a vocational school, you can study professions including:

  • Cosmetology
  • Law & legal assistance
  • Culinary arts
  • Health care
  • Much more

So vocational training programs are yet another way to start a new career without having to pay the high price to attend college or get a four-year degree.

5. Online college

A new trend in higher education is fully-online college, where you attend online classes and earn a degree from home.

These are often cheaper and provide high school graduates with a simpler, more convenient, lower-cost way to earn a four-year degree.

Be careful in researching online colleges, though, as the industry has had quite a few scams. You'll want to ensure that the institution is accredited before you pay for online classes, assuming your goal is to earn a bachelor's degree.

6. Apprenticeship

After attending a trade school or vocational school (mentioned earlier in this article), you can continue your learning through an apprenticeship.

While not formal education, an apprenticeship allows you to begin working in the field alongside a more experienced professional, so that you can start practicing what you learned via various technical schools like mechanic school, cosmetology school, etc.

Many professionals begin a lucrative career by being an apprentice. It makes the perfect entry-level job since you can earn money while studying from someone with years of experience.

So after completing one or more technical training programs, look to become an apprentice to launch your career.

If you already have some type of skill or experience in a technical field, it may be possible to find an apprenticeship without paying for any tech courses or training programs.

So the apprenticeship career path can also be a direct college alternative after high school for some people, especially those who studied job-related skills as a part of their high school education.

7. Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is another great alternative to traditional college education.

With traditional bachelor's degree programs you're paying money for classroom instruction. With entrepreneurship, you can begin earning money while learning.

And while in past decades entrepreneurship was costly, there are now ways to start an online business for very little cost.

So I consider entrepreneurship to be a good, low-cost alternative to college if you choose the right business model.

If entrepreneurship is a topic that interests you, consider using the money you'd be paying to college to launch a business idea.

If you have no business experience, take a few free online courses to learn the basics, or invest in a paid course.

There are online courses teaching how to start a digital marketing agency, how to start an ad agency, and all sorts of other online careers that make great alternatives to traditional education.

If you choose the entrepreneurship route, I recommend starting with a service business rather than a product business, since start-up costs will typically be lower.

You can work as a freelance consultant, start an agency, or find another way to provide a service.

You can provide all sorts of services, from freelance writing to graphic design to proofreading and editing.

You can even provide a local service like lawn care, dog walking, power washing, and more.

For more info, here's a list of lucrative side hustle ideas that can turn into full-time businesses.

8. Entry-level positions

I mentioned earlier that more and more employers are hiring people without degrees.

So if you want a traditional office career or other similar career path but just don't want to go to college, you could try to search and apply for positions right out of high school.

This costs you no money, just a bit of time.

Go look on LinkedIn and other large job boards to find entry-level job postings.

Some employers will require experience in their "entry-level" jobs which is unfair and frustrating, but plenty of employers post true entry-level jobs, too.

You can also search niche job boards. For example, if you know you want to work in marketing, you could take an online course in digital marketing and then look specifically on marketing job boards.

Talk to your network/friends/family to see if they have any job leads, too.

The bottom line is: If you want a job without an undergraduate degree, it can't hurt to just spend a week applying and see what's out there!

Consider looking for internships as well to gain some on-the-job experience and build your resume!

9. Obtain a real estate license

Real estate is one of the best long-term career options without college. You can out-earn many college graduates, even.

This career is best if you plan to live in one geographic location for many years, though, since you'll have to rebuild your network/clients from scratch if you move to a new state or city.

If you plan to live in your local area for a long time, then real estate is a great alternative option to college that also comes at a lower cost.

You could go on to work for a real estate company in your area, or even start your own business over time.

You'd likely start as a real estate agent but could then become a broker. You can also specialize in an area like commercial real estate instead of residential to set yourself apart and possibly earn more.

You don't need traditional college experience to start studying for your real estate license. There are separate courses that teach everything you need to know.

10. Military service

While not a college alternative that I'd personally consider, military service is an option where you can earn pay, learn skills, and receive help paying for higher education, too.

If your goal is to attend a traditional four-year college but you're struggling to afford it, military service can be an option to pay for your college in the United States.

I know many successful professionals who performed military service either before taking the traditional college route, or instead, and it's a viable alternative to four-year college after high school for some people.

11. Volunteer or teach abroad

Some countries will pay native English speakers to come teach English. You may need an English-teaching certification (TESOL), but not always a degree.

Depending on the country, a 3-6 month TESOL certificate will land you a job. Those who want to teach in an actual school abroad will likely need at least a degree if not a teaching degree, but to teach at a language school that isn’t part of the school system, a TESOL certificate is often sufficient.

You can also find volunteering opportunities. For example, joining the Peace Corps will give you a chance to experience life abroad, learn skills, meet people, and have your basic living expenses paid for a period of time.

According to the Peace Corps website, "You will receive a monthly in-country living allowance that you will use to pay for expenses as a volunteer."

You're not going to become wealthy doing this, but it's an interesting way to begin your professional life and may expand your horizons, help you build an international network, and identify the path you'd like to take in your future professional life.

Conclusion: College Alternatives After High School

Due to rising tuition costs and fewer jobs requiring a degree, more young adults are seeking alternatives to the traditional college education.

There are multiple routes you can take aside from college while still having access to great career paths.

If you read the list above, you now know 11 top college alternatives that you can pursue.


best industries for the future

The 3 Best Industries for the Future

best industries for the future

A big part of your career development will come down to the industry you're in. Whether you're reevaluating your options or preparing to enter the workforce for the first time, these are 3 of the best industries for the future.

These aren't niche industry ideas; these are large industries that are stable and profitable. At the same time, these top industries of the future are also innovative and exciting sectors that are positioned for growth.

These 3 industries offer stability and a proven business model, while still providing tremendous growth opportunity and upside potential in the near future.

3 Top Industries of the Future:

1. Technology

What and Why:

You've probably already heard, but the tech industry is booming. Some of the most desirable employers in the world are tech companies- Google, Apple, Microsoft, and more. This industry is stable and well-established, but is also responsible for some of the most exciting innovations that are occurring in the world right now. Tech is the best of both worlds- reliable and proven, but with an enormous amount of upside potential still waiting to be discovered. There are a lot of different niche areas within this industry too, from software to phones to computers and tablets. Technology is going to start showing up in more and more places in the future as this industry grows, including our cars, our houses, our offices, etc.

Some of the best paying technology jobs are for programmers and software engineers. But like any big industry, there are a wide variety of jobs available outside of these areas too.

Significant geographical regions within the US:

  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Austin, Texas
  • Las Vegas
  • Seattle

If you want more info on why tech/IT is one of the best and most promising future industries, released an in-depth IT industry outlook report here.

We've also recently published an IT job guide with salaries here.

2. Biotechnology

What and Why:

I might be slightly biased because this is the industry that I worked in as a recruiter, but I believe that biotech is one of the best industries to be a part of, and it will continue to provide excellent career opportunities in the future.

Let's talk a bit about what type of jobs are available in biotech, and then I'll share more about why it's one of the best sectors of the future for employment prospects and career growth.

Biotech is a bit different from the traditional pharmaceutical industry, although biotechnology products can often target some of the same diseases as traditional pharmaceutical drugs. Biotechnology uses living organisms (cells, proteins, antibodies, etc.) to treat diseases within the patient's body. In contrast, pharmaceutical drugs tend to be made up of non-living materials, and are designed by chemists rather than biologists.

If you have a science background or an interest in working for companies that are creating cutting-edge medicines to prevent and treat diseases, this industry is definitely worth a look! Biotechnology has a very bright future in the fight against cancer, thanks in part to newer innovations such as cell/gene therapy. You don't have to be a biologist or a scientist to work in Biotech either. Biotech companies need salespeople, engineers, quality assurance, etc.

Significant geographical regions within the US:

  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Boston
  • New York/New Jersey
  • Maryland/Washington DC
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego

3. Energy

What and Why:

Energy is already in short supply, and it's only going to get worse (or better, if you're one of the people working in this industry). With developing nations like China, India, and Brazil catching up to the US and Europe in terms of technology and energy consumption, the world's energy demand is going to skyrocket. Oil will continue to play a huge role in the world's energy supply, and other sources such as nuclear power and alternative or "green" energy will also be utilized more.

If you don't want to work in oil, coal, or one of the traditional areas, consider a career in "green" or renewable energy. You could look into solar energy, wind energy, or bio-fuels. It's almost a guarantee that we're going to have to use a variety of energies to meet the world's demand in the future, so most of these niches are a relatively good bet when choosing a career path.

Significant geographical regions within the US:

  • Houston, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • North Dakota
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California (for "green" energy).

Are These the Only Good Industries for the Future?

The 3 industries above are what we consider to be the best industries to work in the future, but that doesn't mean they're the only good options!

Don't get discouraged if you want to do something that's not on the list. 

There are many other good jobs and careers outside of the top industries mentioned above.

Digital marketing is one example of a fast-growing field that didn't make our list. 

Also, the 3 industries above are VERY broad, so you may be able to find an exciting job in one of those 3 top industries even if you didn't think it would suit you.

For example, there's so much within the field of Technology. There are graphic designers and artists, programmers, data scientists. There are sound engineers. There are video game designers. And much more.

So use this list of best industries to work in the future as a guideline to begin your career planning, but it's also okay if you have another career you'd like to get into! And the truth is - nobody knows what the future will look like with 100% certainty.