Not Rich Yet | Managing higher incomes

May/10

14

How the right kind of education pays off

Evolution of income

A while ago I decided to understand how our income evolved over time. The graph below summarizes a quick retrospective of how our pre-tax income evolved over the past decade. This captures life before and after grad school for both my wife and I.

How to read this chart

Blue and red show his and her histories. I am not quite ready to open the kimono fully, so I decided to index our income. So in 2000 we earned an income of x. Every subsequent year is shown as a multiple of x. For example, in 2010 we expect to earn more than 7 times what we earned in 2000.

Commentary

Funny enough, before I went to grad school, I was –  in my eyes –  making a ton of money, esp. compared to my peers who went to undergrad with me.  But as you can see, grad school and then finding the right job, had a tremendous impact on our income.

You can see a dip in income while I went to grad school, but while the Mrs. went to grad school, my income was growing so fast, her old income was hardly missed. But when she graduated, we really hit the accelerator pedal.

My second job was very fulfilling and paid decent, but income plateaued. My third job however has a nice growth curve to it, and I have experienced steady pay jumps annually.

The right kind of education pays

Neither my wife or I could have gotten our current jobs without going to grad school. I will show the math in a later post, but we both have earned our tuition investment back with ease.

That said, we both went to good schools, picked degrees that meshed with our interest, abilities AND that had a clear path to a career, and excelled in our careers.

Not every investment in education pays – I will outline they why and how in a later post.

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