Many a horror story has been heard about students racking up over $100,000 in debt, graduating from college and after an extensive search only finding jobs that pay in the $30’s range or after disappointment working retail or at Starbucks because of the benefits.
One such cautionary tale was reported in the Los Angeles Times.
“Jorge Villalba was a construction worker when the housing market began slowing in 2005, so the Glendale resident changed jobs and decided to invest in his future by going to college.
So far, the investment hasn’t paid off.[adToAppearHere]
Villalba, 34, owes $158,000 in student loans for his four-year degree in multimedia, 3-D animation and graphic design at ITT Technical Institute. He isn’t earning enough to keep up with the payments, so the amount keeps rising with interest.
He figured he’d get a great job and pay off the loans.
“It hasn’t happened that way,” said Villalba, who is married with two young children but can’t afford to move from their cramped one-bedroom apartment.”
In a July 2014 article, the Washington Post related “College borrowing increased during the recession when some families saw their incomes cut by a job loss or savings depleted during the market crash. Many of those families may have been locked into their school choices when the market crashed, forcing them to stretch their budgets to afford the schools, Ducich says.
The survey showed that high income families, those earning more than $100,000 a year, paid for 51 percent of college expenses during the latest school year by using their own savings and income, up from 45 percent the year before. Lower income families, those earning less than $35,000 a year, saw the share of costs covered by grants and scholarships increase to 45 percent from 37 percent.”
Many graduates, and people who took out student loans but never earned their degrees, are still struggling with debt. A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the average student loan debt held by 25-year-olds increased to $20,926 in 2013 from $20,326 in 2012, double the average debt load from 2003.
The employment news is not all bad though and like finding gold in the mountains, the trick is to know where to look.
For many of you freshman female collegiate wrestlers who have not decided your major, since wrestling professionally is not yet a career option, what is one field often over looked but that pays extremely well?
The answer is Transportation.
When this writer first went to Japan, my flight was to the extremely crowded Narita Airport located in Tokyo. When I visited again, Kansai airport, an engineering marvel was newly opened. Kansai International Airport is Japan’s second most important international airport, located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, 38 km southwest of Ōsaka Station. The airport was opened in 1994 to relieve overcrowding at Osaka International Airport, which is located in the densely-populated suburbs of Itami and Toyonaka surrounded by buildings and therefore could not be expanded. A man-made island was suggested and agreed upon.[adToAppearHere]
Construction started in 1987. A sea wall was erected made of rock and 48,000 concrete blocks. Three mountains were excavated for 21,000,000 cubic meter of landfill. 10,000 workers and 10 million work hours over three years, using eighty ships, were needed to complete the 30-metre layer of earth over the sea floor and inside the sea wall. A three kilometer bridge connects the island to the mainland.
The total cost of Kansai Airport is estimated to be $20 billion.
Imagine if you were an Engineer, City Planner or a professional who was a part of that project.
In a fascinating 2013 article la.curbed.com which provides news about Los Angeles neighborhoods from Altadena to Woodland Hills reported the region has a whopping 40 projects planned at staggering costs. Here are a sampling with their names, status, and costs.
1) Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase I light rail/ Construction/ $735 million
2) Expo Line Phase II light rail/ Construction/ $1.5 billion
3) Crenshaw/LAX light rail/ Construction/ $1.749 billion
4) Perris Valley Line commuter rail/ Engineering/ $248 million
5) Westside Subway Extension/ Engineering / $6.29 billion
6) Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2 light rail (to Montclair)/ AA/ $850 million
7) Gold Line Eastside Transit Corridor Phase II light rail/ AA/ $1.8 – 2.2. billion
8) Metro Green Line South Bay Extension light rail/ AA/ $555 million
9) Anaheim Rapid Connection streetcar/ Engineering/ $319 million
10) Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 3 (to Ontario Airport) light rail/ Future Plan/ $308 – 399 million
11) Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor subway/light rail/BRT/ Future Plan/ $2.468 billion
When you think about it, virtually every city in the United States and many around the emerging or prosperous world have transportation projects on the books to meet the demands of crumbling infrastructure and surging populations.
At any student level, you should think about a career in transportation but especially if you are a freshman. The variety of positions and the needs level are strong.
In the future we plan on focusing on more specific careers in transportation.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.