Many of the highest-paying jobs require a substantial amount of education. While some may assume these careers are the best option for financial success, Kevin O’Leary, a business mogul and star on Shark Tank, believes that heading to college isn’t the only option for starting in a career that can help someone get rich.
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“I don’t recommend college for everybody,” said O’Leary, according to a report by CNBC. “The fact is, there’s a lot of trade schools that would help you make a lot more money.”
“Be a plumber, get rich,” he added. “Everybody has to have a plumber, even in a recession.”
O’Leary also recommends examining how much debt will be necessary to go to school and how that education will help a person pay that debt off.
“You have to think about education as an investment because it’s going to cost you money and it’s going to create debt for you in many cases,” said O’Leary.
Trade schools are commonly less expensive than many traditional four-year universities, particularly with out-of-state or private colleges.
In 2018, US borrowers owed a total of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. One survey even showed that 36 percent of college graduates felt that their education didn’t make taking on the debt worth it.
Many jobs that offer a strong wage don’t require a college degree, including many that O’Leary labels “pragmatic careers.”
“Think about all the trades — roofers, construction, home building,” said O’Leary. “There’s so much demand for this that people often overlook them saying, ‘I’m going to poo-poo that career.’”
“Why?” he continued. “You can get rich there a lot faster than getting a history major.”
O’Leary specifically recommends becoming a plumber or electrician.
“Every single building on earth wants to have electricity and plumbing working,” said O’Leary. “Think about it that way. I don’t care where you are, people are going to want your services.”
“Find something where people spend on it every single day.” he added. “These are careers that actually can help you provide for your family forever.”