Education and Career Planning

When the rules no longer apply.


“Whatever you do, you need to get your college degree.”

“Get your masters while you’re young; you may not have a chance to go back for it later.”

“A degree from XYZ University will mean an exponential increase in income for a lifetime.”


This kind of thinking has been the mantra for many a family for decades.  The better the education, the better the career, the better one’s lifetime earning capacity.  No longer is it necessarily a formula for success.


Three dramatic shifts in today’s workplace are making an impact on the traditional approach to higher education and career planning. The old rules may no longer apply.  Let’s take a look.


First, America’s burgeoning economy has created a hiring environment where there are more jobs available today than people to fill them.  In the post-recession years circa 2009, companies were imposing ever stricter standards for hiring as a means to whittle down the stacks and stacks of resumes they received.  Back then, companies had the pick of talent.  Today, many of those same companies are reducing qualifications for hiring –– requiring only a high school or 2-year college degree, eliminating drug tests, hiring self-trained versus formally-trained workers, etc. –– in order to have a larger group of candidates from which to draw. Some companies also are loosening standards for promotions, filling management positions from within and, in turn, making room for easier-to-find entry-level workers.


Second, many of the highest-paying jobs available today require skills typically not part of a four-year bachelor’s arts and sciences degree.  Instead, they are positions demanding specific technological, mechanical or other skill sets.  To fill these slots, some companies have initiated or expanded their on-the-job training programs in order to ensure they have the precise talent they need.  It’s a win for employees who can learn lifelong skills on the employer’s dime while also earning a paycheck.


Thirdly is the growth of what’s known as the “gig” economy.  An increasing number of people are working on a contract or freelance basis, choosing their freedom in terms of time and client base over making a commitment to any one company.  Others are working from home, finding clients on a global scale thanks to online sites where they can share their talents and be compensated as a sole proprietor.


With this new reality, some parents and young people are left wondering if a college degree is all that it’s cracked up to be or if it’s necessary at all. It also raises the question, is the average cost of a college education, currently estimated at $9,970 per year for a public university in-state student, $25,620 for out-of-state students attending public universities, and $34,740 per year for private colleges, a smart investment? * 


If you have kids who are in college or nearing college age and are pondering their future path, a question we at Lenox strongly suggest you ask is, “What are your kids already really good at... what do they love to do... what are their natural strengths and talents?”


If the answer is they love academics, studying and research, that’s one thing.  College feels right for them.  However, if you say they can take a car apart and put it back together, or they’ve been doing basic computer programming since they were five years old, or they are more creative and amazing in the kitchen than chefs twice their age, you might have a blockbuster kid whose talents won’t necessarily be nourished via a traditional college education track.  It’s not that they shouldn’t experience a college education; it’s more that it might not result in the income, happiness or fulfillment they imagine.


Education and career planning are big decisions for families.  Our Lenox professionals are here to help you look at things from a number of perspectives –– financial planning for college, non-traditional options for skills training, career coaching, and the value of achieving both personal wealth and personal happiness.  It’s part of how we help generation after generation to FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE®.  Give us a call.  We’d love to tell you more.


* College Board, average cost of tuition and fees for 2017-2018 school year




At Lenox, we work with clients to help guide them through every aspect of their financial life –– translating personal strengths to financial strength, setting financial priorities, optimizing income, eliminating debt, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  We start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.


If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit to Fund a Life You Love.


Past Performance is not indicative of future results.


This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.