Despite being something almost everybody in the world wants, success can be notoriously difficult to define. For some it could mean having the income to afford a comfortable life whereas for others it could mean being able to buy various luxuries of the world. The complexity of the idea is also evident in the fact that success can be achieved through various means like formal education, inherited capital or native intuition but can be guaranteed by none. Most commonly accepted is the belief that higher education means greater chance of higher earning power and yet the relationship is not as simplistic as common sense may seem to suggest. So if you are looking for a partner with college education in the hope that he/she may provide you with a comfortable life, it is better to keep several things in mind.
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Financial stability in a relationship not only means being able to afford the comforts of life but also having the luxury of building hopes for the future. However not every single is lucky enough to find a millionaire as a partner. The next best thing of course is to look for a partner who has the potential for taking home a seven-figure paycheck. The traditional way to spot such potential is to look for a college degree, preferably from an Ivy League university. A general guideline in the modern economy is that people are rewarded when they can do things that take trained judgment and skill — things, in other words, that can’t be done by computers or lower-wage workers in other countries. Thus lawyers, doctors, engineers and financiers are some of the highest-paid professionals in the economy. These jobs depend upon finely-honed skills and specialized knowledge which require years of training. Success in these fields thus cannot entirely depend upon inborn intuition or natural affinities. For these reasons individuals who have emerged from highly reputed educational institutions and research faculties are highly likely to be successes in their professions and earn big money.
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During economically trying times in fact, when jobs are scarce and the assurance of job security even more remote, professionals often try to remain ahead in the competition by acquiring further education. According to numbers gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics1, full time enrollment in universities in the us increased by 38 percent, from 14.8 million students in 1999 to 20.4 million students in 2009, in the aftermath of the recession as more and more aspiring professionals get themselves enrolled in universities so that they add on to their resume and thus acquire an edge over competitors in the job market.
The popular belief that higher education equals higher income is even supported by actual figures. In the US, a college master's degree is estimated worth $1.3 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma, according to a recent report from the US. Census Bureau. The report titled "The big payoff: educational attainment and synthetic estimates of work-life earnings"2 reveals that over an adult's working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor's degree, $2.1 million; and people with a master's degree, $2.5 million. Persons with doctoral degrees earn an average of $3.4 million during their working life, while those with professional degrees do best at $4.4 million. The figures are based on 1999 earnings projected over a typical work life, defined as the period from ages 25 through 64.
While statistics bolster up long-held connection between education and income, things on the ground are often changing too fast to be factored in. Money in these times flows around the world so quickly, and technology changes so fast, that highly-skilled people who thought they were in high demand can find themselves uprooted. In the last couple of years, many media professionals woke up to the ugly reality of their work being subsidized when the newspaper industry began reeling under losses driven, in part, by the rise of Craigslist and the consequent loss of earnings from classified ads. Likewise China lends so much money to the United States that mortgage brokers and bond traders can become richer than they ever imagined for a few years and then, just as quickly, become broke and unemployed. These are among the many ways that higher education no longer acts as a guarantor of high income and especially a stable job. An article in the online edition of the New York Times3 explores the changing trend from until the early 1970s, when less than 11 percent of the adult population graduated from college, and most of them could get a decent job. Today however nearly a third have college degrees and still a higher education is no assurance that a professional will get and be able to keep a decent job. According to the article, “a bachelor’s degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability. To get a good job, you have to have some special skill — charm, by the way, counts — that employers value”.
This observation brings the discussion on what are the qualities that you can look for in a potential partner that can make for high income without the prerequisite of higher education. Foremost among them perhaps is a facility with computers. There are legends galore about technical entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell, all of who dropped out of college and instead went to make billions. Even if your partner is not a geek, if he/she has the willpower and enterprise to make it big, little can come in his/her way. Examples range from Richard Branson who not only did not finish school but went on to become a high-flying entrepreneur to Sheldon Adelson who dropped out of City College, New York to change the face of the casino business. Ultimately it is drive, ambition and plain old hard work that can keep the dollars rolling in, without or without a college degree. So whether you date an Ivy-League alumnus or a college dropout entrepreneur, your partner will need every bit of hard work, sacrifice and patience required to succeed in any profession.