Should I look at a different career?

11 Replies

So I am currently 25 years old. I live in Orange County, California.

I am just learning the basics of real estate investing. I am about to finish my undergrad in history next fall. I am planning on obtaining my teaching credentials. After all teaching is the most I can do with a history degree. Apart from this the degree is useless if you were to do anything else. I am currently living with extended family. As of right now thankfully I have been able to live rent free due to the generosity of my family.

I currently work a part-time job earning $15.94 for about 25-30 hours a week with a monthly salary of about $1200-1300

As of right now I have managed to save about $6000 with about another $6000 in retirement and genera investing combined.

Eventually I would like to get more into real estate investing. The only thing is that given my current situation and also going into teaching at least here in California it doesn’t seem like I would be able to afford anything. The cost of living and the need for a down payment seem way too much.

Do you think I should be looking at another career? I do have an Associates in Business Admin. As much as I like teaching I am thinking about the practicality of looking at other career options such as being a financial advisor, working at a bank, or simply pursuing say a Bachelors in Business Admin. Since these tend to be higher paying careers.

I started my undergrad during the great recession, and early on I switched away from history because the average history major - at the time - made less than the average high school graduate with zero college. 

History is awesome and I love it, but the job market largely doesn't care that you know the various legends about where croissants came from, or have a strongly held opinion on if Christopher Columbus was a good guy or not.

What about making investing your full time career? No degree required.

Theres so many paths you can take.

Wholesaling, flipping, notes, buy and hold, short term rentals, the list can go on and on!

@Arturo Ortiz There's a lot of ways to be successful in RE. As a teacher you've got summers off and you could devote a serious amount of time to RE.  If that is what you want to do I would encourage you to finish up since you're so close.  If you want to pivot into a financial advisory career later on it really doesn't matter what your degree is in so that is still an option.

Todd Dexheimer started out as a high school shop teacher and he's an investor doing some pretty amazing things.

https://www.biggerpockets.com/blog/biggerpockets-podcast-248-shop-teacher-multifamily-syndicator-todd-dexheimer

Best of luck!

It's a big decision to switch degrees but it could be the better option. How are you paying for college? The national average student loan debt is $29K. Hopefully you're not spending much more than that. 

I agree with Kendra to focus on what you love, and aim to make it your career. 

@Arturo Ortiz I would not change majors, I would get the degree and graduate. From there I would network a ton to land a job in a field that is more lucrative than teaching, especially if you want to be an investor.

If you network you can land a job in tech as a sales person. I would recommend something like this vs just getting a normal history job

@Arturo Ortiz there is a lot of good advise in this thread. If you are graduating with no student debt you are already ahead of the game then most people around you. Graduate with your degree and if you truly do want to go down a different career path you can, it might mean a little extra work networking but it can be done! I have a friend who has a solid career in tech and he graduated CSULB with a degree in history. It can be done to build a career outside of your degree. Start networking, build relationships, be open to new opportunities (but don't always say yes), be patient, and hustle.

Here's my 2 cents...  I agree with those that advise that you graduate - you've come too far not to get the degree.  The degree - in anything - is mostly what you need.  And kudos for no debt!!  You ARE ahead of the game, especially saving $6K as well.

If you LOVE history, get a job teaching as you said.  And as someone else mentioned, take the summers to work RE.  Once you get to a point where RE is more consuming (and lucrative) than teaching, do it full time.

Also, once you graduate, I would move from CA to somewhere that has reasonably priced RE.  I'd by a multi-family with you living in one of the units. That will be the beginning of your RE career while also using degree.

Best of luck.

I am a newbie too, (still looking for my first property) but have been teaching for 3 years.  The low pay is in exchange for more flexibility (summers etc.). When I explained my situation to some experienced REIs, they said I don’t need to give up my job just yet. By the way, graduating w/o debt is a huge plus, trust me, it takes almost 30% of my take home to stay on my repayment schedule.

@Lisa Eckman

Thank you for this. I’m actually planning on doing this and moving out of California probably to Arizona.

I am thinking maybe about either getting my Real Estate license and doing Real Estate in the Summers to get some exposure while also taking the time to do real estate investing as well.