According to Forbes Magazine, there are currently 1,210 Billionaires in the world. Contrary to popular belief, no movie stars, musical artists or even athletes make it into Forbes Richest list. In fact, the ruling class of Billionaires now found on the list are what most of us would term “nerds” or maybe even “geeks”. Big names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg were computer geeks long before they became household names.
Knowing this, maybe you should reconsider your career ambitions. It seems that more success is found by having usable skills, particularly when it involves technology, rather than being able to sing a love ballad or spout tears on cue. Here is a little comparison for you of the net worth of some of the more well-known celebs and geeks:
Steven Spielberg – $3 Billion
Oprah Winfrey – $2.7 Billion
J.K. Rowling – $1 Billion
Tiger Woods – $500 Million
Michael Jordan – $500 Million
Geeks (Forbes 2011 Richest list)
Bill Gates(#2) – $56 Billion (Microsoft)
Larry Ellison(#5) – $39.5 Billion (Oracle)
Larry Page(#24) – $19.8 Billion (Google)
Sergy Brin(#25) – $19.8 Billion (Google)
Mark Zuckerberg(#52) – $13.5 Billion (Facebook)
Steve Jobs(#110) – $8.3 Billion (Apple, Pixar)
After seeing the evidence, I’m sure you’re wondering where you sign up to become a computer geek! Surprisingly, four of those listed in the Geek section above were college dropouts—Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs. However, it wasn’t just because they were good computer programmers that they were able to have this level of success. They were also good businessmen as well. All of them pioneered a new facet of the technology world—software, search engines, and social networking. Then they were able to use their head for business to make the technology a world-wide success. While there are undoubtedly more internet-age industries to pioneer, most people choose to simply ride the wave these men have already started.
It comes down to two options for you: 1. Pioneer a new industry in technology and become a Billionaire, or 2. Get a degree in computer science, or something related, and have a very successful career working for one of the Billionaire’s listed above. Unfortunately, the number of people studying science and math in college is greatly declining. If you have a talent in these two areas (and even if you don’t!) you may want to seriously consider making a career out of it. You are guaranteed better job security and a higher salary than if you choose a humanities or artistic field.
You may not become a billionaire, but working in technology can be a lucrative career no matter which way you look at it. After health care and education, technology is quickly becoming one of the top industries. Professionals who know how to write programs are in extremely high demand. And, of course, this high demand means a very pleasant salary as well. The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median annual wage of computer software engineers at a mere $85,420—not bad for someone with only a four-year degree!
About the Author
Natalie Clive writes for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers aids individuals in determining if an online education is right for them, and guides them in their search for online degrees which can help them have the career of their dreams.