Ask the Readers: What Could You Not Live Without?

Update: Hank Coleman of Money Q & A wrote a great post on why athletes go broke and why you are too. Check it out!

If you were broke and everything was being taken away from you, what is one material thing you could absolutely never give up?

This question was brought up by Heidi and Frank from a morning show I listen to on the local radio station. They were discussing Allen Iverson and his financial situation. Iverson is a famous basketball player (that’s the extent of my knowledge) and I guess he’s broke. Despite the money professional sports players make, some of them – *snicker snicker* manage to outspend themselves. According to the news Iverson spends over $360,000 a month while making only $62,500. Damn, I wish I could make only that amount! :)

Anyway… he’s spending $10,000 a month on clothes and $10,000 on groceries not including the $10,000 on restaurants.

What the hell? Who eats that much?!

Obviously the earnings are not enough to support the spending which will only lead to bankruptcy. His house is being auctioned off yet he plans on keeping his $400,000 Maybach luxury car. I guess for ‘players’ cars are more important than homes. Oh well, that’s really not for me to judge – I’m just trying to point out the facts.

No Life Without an Internet Connection

For me, if I were losing my possessions and there is a good chance I’d be left without anything very soon – the one thing I would absolutely never give up is my laptop.

It may sound silly, but a computer is all that would keep me alive if I were broke. With a laptop I could use free Wi-Fi to get online and make some money no matter what happens. Sure, I could probably do this in a library or something, but I’d rather chill at a coffee shop instead. I’d freelance for others through writing, web design, SEO services and consulting to start a new life.

What about you? What could you never give up if you were losing it all?

Allen Iverson

10 High Paying Tech Jobs Without a Degree in 2013

Ever wonder what kind of jobs without a degree are out there? I’ve compiled a list of 10 jobs that pay over $70,000 on average and do not require any formal education.

Note: none of the jobs below require a college degree, but this is not to say employers do not prefer a degree. In most cases, experience and proficiency is all that is required to get these jobs. In some of these, certifications are must-have prerequisites, however many of these certifications can be obtained without going to college.

10 Jobs Without a College Degree that Pay over $70k

1.  Ruby on Rails programmer$120,000At least 2 years of experience. Adequate proficiency.
2. Marketing Manager$75,000 - 120,000Experience (Usually 3 years or more) and adequate proficiency.
3. Web Developer$76,000 - 90,000Experience and proficiency.
4.   Mobile Application Developer$90,000Experience and proficiency.
5.  Software Engineer$89,000Experience and proficiency.
6.   Database Administrator$82,000Microsoft certifications, MySQL certification.
7.  Video Game Designer$80,000Experience and proficiency.
8.  User Interface Designer$79,000Marketing experience, best practices knowledge and graphic software knowledge.
9.  Computer Systems Analyst$79,000Experience, certifications (CISSP, MCTS, MCSD).
10.  Network Administrator$76,000Experience, certifications (Microsoft's MCSA, Cisco's CCNA, CCNP, CCIE)

You may notice that Ruby on Rails programmer is technically a web developer or can be better classified under a broader “programmer” category. However, I thought it would be best to list it separately as there is an incredible demand out there for programmers who specialize in Ruby specifically. The job is incredibly rewarding for those willing to learn the ropes and pretty much guarantees employment as long as you know what you’re doing.

Between the ten, there are four particular jobs that can be obtained through self-education and practice:

  1. RoR Programmer
  2. Marketing Manager
  3. Web Developer
  4. User Interface Designer

The others can be quite challenging and require extensive learning to pass difficult certifications. The good news is, some places do not require you to be certified. It all depends on the area and the type of market you’re looking to get a job in. Though, majority do look for certified professionals, and the difficult of certifications often drives people to go to school rather than study on their own.

Personal Preference

I would personally love to learn the Ruby programming language and become a Ruby on Rails (RoR) programmer. The low barrier to entry (compared to others) and a nice salary are  very attractive factors. Who wouldn’t want to make more money without going back to school?!

My biggest obstacle so far is … *drum roll* … myself! I’ve been making excuses to find time to learn even though there are plenty of tutorials and learning materials out there, including the premium course I purchased a few months ago and have yet to touch.

Would you consider pursuing one of these careers? If so, which one and why?

What Your Loyalty Means in Light of the Fiscal Cliff

Everyone is talking about the fiscal cliff. I don’t have to tell you about our current situation in this country, the debt ceiling issue, expiring tax cuts and the fight between Democrats and Republicans. You know all of this.

But what does this mean for you – a working man or woman who has dedicated your life to a promising career?

It could mean everything.

The difference between having a job and becoming homeless. Between feeling happy and ending your life. That’s what’s at stake.

The fiscal cliff means uncertainty – in the economy, and our personal lives. If politicians can’t agree on extending the cuts with “certain provisions”, we may be in for one hell of a ride.

For starters, we may repeat 2008. I’m sure you remember that year well. It’s when we went into a recession. Millions lost jobs.

Those of us who are employed could be next. Our companies won’t keep us around for being “loyal” for x amount of years – that’s wishful thinking. When it comes down to staying in business or going under, we are nothing but numbers.

If the Market Panics, People Lose Jobs.

But don’t take my word for it. Pay attention to what’s going on at work. Are there talks of delayed raises? That’s just code talk for “we have to see what happens in January to decide whether to keep you or let you go.”

Hearing rumors of mergers or acquisitions? You better know that means cuts.

Are you asked to train a new hire? That’s your replacement.

Money is all that matters. So when you feel nice and cozy at your job, thinking nothing is going to happen because you’ve been loyal for many years, don’t. The fiscal cliff may sound like a politician’s problem to worry about, but it affects us more than we care to think about.

With that I will end my random blabbing. I couldn’t help but say something about this issue seeing how the news is bombarded with fiscal cliff this, fiscal cliff that and nothing mentioned about what it means for American jobs. Yeah, taxes are important, but without a job there’s nothing to tax.

Are you tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff, or is this something that truly concerns you?

10 Fastest Growing Jobs in 2013

When I saw the headline “Fastest-growing jobs” with Home Care Nurse right under it on CNN Money, I wasn’t surprised. But, what did surprise me is the amount of growth this profession is anticipated to experience in the next 10 years – an enormous 70.5 percent!

Best Employment Opportunities

JobGrowth %PayEducation Requirements
1.  Home Care Nurse70.5$61,000Bachelor's degree (minimum)
2.  Medical Device Clinical Engineer61.7$80,400Bachelor's + Certification or Master's
3.  Meeting / Convention Planner43.7$56,000Prefer Bachelor's, experience is a must
4.   Marketing Consultant41.2$92,100Prefer Bachelor's, MBA (optional), experience is a must
5.  Marriage/Family Therapist41.2$56,800Master's degree
6.   Physical Therapist39$76,700Doctoral or professional degree
7.  Audiologist36.8$71,400Doctoral or professional degree
8.  Cost Engineer36.4$96,500Bachelor's degree + Certification
9.  Clinical Research Associate36.4$90,700Bachelor's degree, CRA certification (sometimes)
10.  Veterinarian35.9$81,300Bachelors + Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Growth % is based on projected growth between 2010-2020. Sources: CNN MoneyEducation-Portal.comBureau of Labor Statistics.

With baby boomers aging, more nurses will be needed. I recently did some research to find out what is happening in the nursing field. The reason behind this significant growth in home care nurses is not only due to the simple fact that baby boomers are approaching that age, but also because of our current economic stance on Medicare.

Healthcare Reform

Obama has been pushing to reform healthcare to include provisions for affordable nursing care. The so called CLASS Act was supposed to provide a voluntary program in which people could participate to set aside money for nursing care. Under the current Medicare policies, nursing facility stay is very limited. I can’t remember the exact figure but something like 100 days for a qualifying condition are covered by Medicare, the rest isn’t.

The CLASS Act was insolvent and Congress gave it the boot. With the rest of the law still hanging in threads to survive tonight’s election, it is not exactly clear how baby boomers will pay for care, but what is clear is that they’ll have to do it one way or the other.

Good Pay

Nevertheless, a real opportunity exists for those pursuing nursing careers. Currently, the median household income in the United States is $50,054 according to Huffington Post, a number much lower than the median salary for a nurse. With great pay, high personal satisfaction rewards and incredible benefit to society, what’s not to like about nursing?

NurseIt goes without saying that the job is not without stress. Nurses often work long hours in hospitals and have little or no flexibility in hours. However, according to a discussion on a popular nursing website, continuous care nurses who provide assistance at home experience much less stress and more flexible work hours.

I personally believe Nursing to be one of the best employment opportunities in 2013 and many years to come. Some of the other jobs in the chart look very promising as well, and perhaps a bit less stressful.

Are you currently working in any of these fields? What’s your take on nursing prospects for current nursing students?