Want to be a Millionaire? Tech is a Better Bet Than Sports

CareersMoney
Posted By Terri Williams on February 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Want to be a Millionaire? Tech is a Better Bet Than Sports

Many people dream of being a professional athlete, basking in the adulation of a legion of fans and swimming in money. But if you’re really serious about accumulating wealth, your odds of becoming a millionaire are much better if you pursue a career as a technical engineer.

Don’t believe it? Check out these odds, according to a recent report by Paysa,

  • One out of 659 high school baseball players makes it in MLB
  • One out of nearly 12,000 high school basketball players ends up in the NBA
  • One out of 4,233 high school players goes to the NFL

Longevity is also a factor that should be included when weighing a long and successful career:

  • The average career length in MLB is 5.6 years with the lifetime earning potential of a little more than $2. 1 million.
  • The average career length in the NBA is 4.8 years with the lifetime earning potential of a bit more than $12 million.
  • The average career length in the NFL is 3.5 years with the lifetime earning potential of slightly more than $3 million.

A millionaire, by the numbers

Now, let’s compare those stats with those of a technical engineer and show how he or she can become a millionaire:

  • The average acceptance rate at engineering schools is 63 out of 100.
  • Six out of 10 tech engineering students graduate from college.
  • 97 out of 100 tech engineers find jobs.
  • Average career length for an engineer is 40 years.
  • Average annual salary is $125,418, which translates to more than $5 million during a 40-year career.
  • Tech engineers at Google could earn nearly $10.7 million over a lifetime.
  • Tech engineers at Facebook could amass overall earnings of more than $13.5 million.

Looking at the stats, it might be hard to understand why anyone who wants to be a millionaire would consider pursuing a career in sports. But Chris Bolte, the CEO of Paysa, understands the lure. “Sports is sexy – it’s high profile, entertainment, on TV, in commercials with whole cable networks dedicated to it – front page news … and technical engineering is not – at least not yet.”

However, Bolte says tech is becoming more mainstream, which will drive demand. “Already, the end products and companies such as Facebook and Google are well known, along with high-profile founders like Mark Zuckerberg.”

As more people become aware of the various opportunities and salaries in this field, in addition to seeing more profiles of the people and companies on the cutting edge of technology, Bolte believes there will be a shift in demand.

And even if students don’t have the explicit goal of becoming a millionaire, the tech field is excellent career choice. Steven Ostrowski, director of corporate communications at CompTIA tells GoodCall® that there are more than 500,000 open positions in information technology. “These jobs are available with companies of all sizes (small, medium and large) and industries, from coast to coast and border to border.”

It’s not just technical engineers that earn lucrative wages. “The average annual wage for workers in this field is $105,351 – more than double the average annual private sector wage ($51,654),” Ostrowski says.

A different kind of adulation

While a career in technology may not be as glamorous as one in sports, Ostrowski says it’s a mistake to believe that these IT professionals are sitting in a cubicle, closet, or serving room tethered to a computer screen. “While today’s IT professional is keeping the PCs running and the network online, this individual has a leading role in the use of mobile technologies, cybersecurity, big data, and the next big things to come along, too.”

Companies realize that IT has expertise regarding new technologies, so these individuals are sitting at the table, playing a prominent role when decisions are made. “Healthcare, education, government, finance, entertainment, sports and dozens of other industries are hungry for workers who think strategically, communicate effectively, have strong business fundamentals and are creative in identifying how to use technology to make a business operate more efficiently and profitably.”

For those concerned that IT may level off – it will, eventually, but don’t expect a leveling off anytime soon. “This is and will be a growing and job rich industry,” according to Bob Hadick, president of Russ Hadick & Associates, Inc – a member of the Sanford Rose Associates (SRA) Network. “With baby boomers retiring, and more and more companies using technology to replace parts of the workforce, there will always be a high demand for IT professionals,” says Hadick.

In fact, IT was recently named one of the great jobs of 2017. “And unlike sports, as an IT professional, you don’t have to worry about being on the field and getting injured, you don’t have to risk your career being cut short or compromised based on physical performance, and in IT, you have a hand in the innovation that is changing life for the better for a lot of folks while being compensated well,” Bolte adds.

However, he doesn’t want to dissuade those who are passionate about a career in sports. “If you really want a career in sports, being a non-athlete could be a great alternative since there are other roles, such as an agent, promoter, or manager,” Bolte concludes.

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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