Why Your Job Won’t Make You Wealthy

If you’re one of the thousands of graduates every year who earn prestigious degrees from top-flight schools, chances are your job won’t make you wealthy, and for a large segment of you, your degree could even handcuff you for life.  

Advanced degrees aren’t what they’re cracked up to be – not with the exorbitant cost of higher education. The high cost of tuition, along with the massive amounts of student loans taken on to fund these advanced degrees, are taking their toll on graduates – making it impossible for many ever to achieve financial freedom.  

The plight of graduates of master’s programs was recently highlighted in a pair of Wall Street Journal articles: ‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off and Graduates of Elite Master’s Programs Don’t Earn Enough to Pay Down Loans.

Here are some of the key takeaways from these articles:

  • Top universities push master’s degrees that fail to generate enough income for graduates to keep up with six-figure federal student loans. Example: Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000. Two years after earning their master’s degrees, half of the borrowers made less than $30,000 a year.
  • At New York University, graduates with a master’s degree in publishing borrowed a median of $116,000 and had an annual median income of $42,000 two years after the program. 
  • At Northwestern University, half of those who earned degrees in speech-language pathology borrowed $148,000 or more, and the graduates had a median income of $60,000 two years later.
  • Graduates of the University of Southern California’s marriage and family counseling program borrowed a median of $124,000 and a half earned $50,000 or less over the same period.
  • Despite having billions of dollars in endowments, top schools like Columbia do little to assist graduate students financially – sticking taxpayers with the bill when these graduates default on their student loans.
  • The only parties benefiting from the push for Master’s Degrees are the universities offering them. There is no fixed limit on how much grad students can borrow as part of the federal Grad Plus program, and it has become the fastest-growing federal student loan program and charged interest rates as high as 7.9% in recent years. The no-limit loans make master’s degrees a gold mine for universities, which have expanded graduate-school offerings since Congress created Grad Plus in 2005.
  • Universities, which receive their tuition upfront, have an economic incentive to expand graduate degree programs and face no consequences if students can’t afford to pay the federal loans after they leave.

My Key Takeaways

My key takeaway from these articles is that every institution that sells us the American Dream is a sham. From the universities who sell us on getting useless degrees to the corporations who sell us on slaving away in cubicles from 9 to 5 to the so-called Wall Street experts who tell us the only way to plan for retirement is through their products.  

Do you know what all these institutions have in common? They’re all benefiting at your expense. They’re the only ones making money while you slave away to pay back student loans until the day of your retirement, which is getting pushed out further and further for more and more seniors who have to keep working so they can survive in retirement.

Your degree, your job, and your Wall Street investments will never make you wealthy. They’re designed to make their promoters wealthy. The only way you can ever break away from the chains of the education system, Corporate America, and Wall Street is to take a leap of faith and invest in yourself. Learn about alternative investments – alternative ways to create income – because the fact of the matter is if you don’t find a way to generate additional income streams in your sleep, you will always be trapped in the same mousetrap everyone else is trapped in. 

Alternative investments offer the opportunity to earn above-market returns without the volatility and deception of Wall Street. And alternative investments that provide passive income streams are ideal for creating, growing, and maintaining wealth through the reinvestment of those income streams and the appreciation of the underlying assets and potential tax benefits. If you want to walk the path of the wealthy, ask those who have already walked that path to guide you. Ask them how to make above-market returns through cash-flowing tangible assets and how to retain more of what they make from significant tax benefits, and they’ll tell you how you can break from your job.



Mike Ayala has owned and operated mobile home parks since 2007, and has been active in construction and management since he was 15 years old. He graduated from the Associated Builders and Contractors 4-year project management program at age 22 and then became a licensed instructor. He is also the host of the Investing for Freedom podcast.