Updated: Oct 15, 2020
This article caught my attention today: Visualizing the Highest-Paid Job in Every State
In short, according to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, working in the medical field is where "the money is".
What does this have to do with education planning? EVERYTHING!
I'm sure you've seen the various news articles about how many college graduates can't get a job in their field after they graduate college. That's due to a poor major choice and using college to "find themselves". With college tuition skyrocketing, it's a very expensive trip to "find yourself".
Yes, the U.S. Government gives Pell Grants and other loan programs are available for just about EVERY course of study out there. But it's YOUR job as the parent and student to "underwrite" the financial feasibility of the opportunities AFTER the education is completed.
And the government CAN help you!
(Yes, it's true and don't be scared about it. It won't hurt you.)
It's called the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Here is the link: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/
At that link, you can search various KNOWN occupations by educational level, median compensation, number of new jobs expected, and occupational growth and demand.
Now, you'll notice that I did emphasize 'known' occupations. There are jobs that will be essential in the future that don't yet exist. I would have to believe those professions would be in the tech sector, but I'm sure there are others.
When I worked with cub scouts, another leader I worked with had a PhD (probably either in engineering or computer science, but I don't remember). He worked for Boeing. He told our cub scouts that the job he did, DIDN'T EXIST when he was going to college!
In my opinion, to prosper in California today and in the future, one really should have some form of higher education - either a degree (or more) for a dedicated field of study, or attended a quality trade school for more mechanical professions (that most people don't want to learn - such as plumbing, electrician, automotive, etc.). There are also other certifications gaining ground that can be very worthwhile - such as earning a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which can greatly increase your income in some of these fields. I think the days of "kicking the child out of the house at 18"... are largely over, at least in California. The competition is stiff, jobs are increasingly more specialized, and education is more important in the California economy. There may be other states that are "more forgiving" than California, if that's in your future. Educational planning is essential. Please take advantage of all available resources and help your children to make wise educational and career path choices.