The Student Room Group

All I want is money. Should I retake my A Levels.

Offer from Imperial to study Molecular Bioengineering (A* Maths A Chemistry A Biology/Physics), and Biomedical Engineering (A* Maths A* Physics A Biology/Chemistry), and UCL offered Biomedical Engineering (A Maths A Physics A Biology/Chemistry). But these are garbage degrees in terms of income, starting salary of a bioengineer is 30k, literally nothing. Should I retake my A Levels to include something like Further Maths, Business, Economics, Computer Science, then go get a tech or business/finance-related bachelors. Or should I endure this bioengineering degree and get a masters in a money or tech related degree. I don't know know if employers would care if I wasn't in on business/finance/tech from the getgo. Alternatively I could just start my own business, I think that's the most efficient wealth-builder, but should I do it whilst im in university or after I graduate? And what about the impending doom of AI, how is that gonna f*ck everything up? So many questions. All I want to do is be a millionaire.
(edited 2 months ago)
You can go into investment banking with any degree, including bioengineering. Also research has found within 10 years both STEM and non-STEM graduates have equivalent salary and career outcomes. Equally starting salaries don't tell you anything about long term prospects or salary outcomes.

You can live a comfortable middle class life as an engineer, and you aren't going to have any greater life satisfaction with a higher salary than an experience engineer will earn (as research has shown beyond ~£50k at the time, probably closer to £60k now, self reported life satisfaction plateaus as in line with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, your basic needs would have been satisified at that time with that income and further income is not going to fulfill higher psychological needs).

This is even before considering that unlike engineers, investment bankers are going to be expected to be pulling 100+ hour weeks of face time etc (where you aren't being paid overtime or anything like that) and having no personal life, while living in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. Whereas an engineer can live in a much cheaper nice small city somewhere up north or in the midlands and have their salary go a lot further.

The fact you seem to have done zero research, have no idea how to gauge salaries and progression relative to actual life expenditures, have set an arbitrary goal of "being a millionaire" which has no relation to any kind of life satisfaction, and don't seem to understand what the requirements are for the roles you want to do or even the degrees you would be considering, are all frankly bigger barriers to becoming wealthy or achieving anything really.

This reads as the thoughts of someone who has lived an extremely sheltered life and has very little awareness of the value of money or what else is important in life. There are also a lot of other factors that will change across the lifespan which will shift the relative values of what income you need to be financially secure, but in any case it is far less than earning millions a year.

Also, it's certainly possible for a middle class engineer to save up over their entire life time the value of a million or more (in fact I think it would be surprising if they didn't?) through property ownership, pensions, company benefits including stock schemes, etc. Which would make one a "millionaire".
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by ashton435532
Offer from Imperial to study Molecular Bioengineering (A* Maths A Chemistry A Biology/Physics), and Biomedical Engineering (A* Maths A* Physics A Biology/Chemistry), and UCL offered Biomedical Engineering (A Maths A Physics A Biology/Chemistry). But these are garbage degrees in terms of income, starting salary of a bioengineer is 30k, literally nothing. Should I retake my A Levels to include something like Further Maths, Business, Economics, Computer Science, then go get a tech or business/finance-related bachelors. Or should I endure this bioengineering degree and get a masters in a money or tech related degree. I don't know know if employers would care if I wasn't in on business/finance/tech from the getgo. Alternatively I could just start my own business, I think that's the most efficient wealth-builder, but should I do it whilst im in university or after I graduate? And what about the impending doom of AI, how is that gonna f*ck everything up? So many questions. All I want to do is be a millionaire.

Its great to be ambitious, but this all seems pretty short sighted.

"... 30k, literally nothing" - the UK median salary as of last year was just short of 35k, many would be very happy to start work earning just short of the median. It's easy to get wrapped up in reading about these people who are starting out of uni on extreme salaries, but this is simply not the norm - even for the most employable degrees (e.g mathematics, economics, computer science ect.), at the most prestigious universities (e.g Oxbridge, Russel Group ect.).

If you are solely focussed on money, you should consider how you can best use your passions towards employability. I.e. there's no point entering an industry you hate, simply for the money, as it will probably backfire. There are obviously some industries that pay more than others - but this often comes at a cost (e.g. insane working hours).

You probably shouldn't retake your A-Levels. Obviously this is different for everyone, but it probably won't help you as much as you think, and you may be better to focus on what you can do moving forward. The most sure-fire way of doing well is doing something you find interesting, because it's all well and good studying something with great earning potential, but if it's not something you are interested in - you will probably struggle.

On the question as to how AI will affect us all - I suppose that no-one really knows. I have personally studied AI, not directly, but as part of my degree, and I think that though it will certainly influence the job market in years to come, it's a technology that is very much in its infancy. In my opinion, it is wise to consider how AI and automation might affect your prospective job market, but you probably shouldn't place too much emphasis on this - I maintain that doing what you enjoy is never a bad thing.

Like the previous poster mentioned, investment banking is almost an easy route into a very high-paying field who essentially recruit from all degree disciplines, though with a significant emphasis on 'target' universities. But having known a few people who went down this route, it's not easy. It's a pretty intense and high-pressure environment that won't treat you lightly, it's also extremely competitive.

In my opinion, it's great to consider your career options early, but don't get too caught up in the money side of it.

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