Engineering is one of the most highly paid professions these days. A study on the educational backgrounds of billionaires revealed that 22% of the people on the Forbes list of the 100 richest people are engineering graduates. This means that one in five of the world’s billionaires is an engineer.
According to another study, 56% of engineers believe they will achieve the status of millionaires within their lifetime. They have good reason to be so optimistic. Engineering positions, especially those held by software engineers, are among the highest salaried positions in most companies.
However, becoming a millionaire is no easy feat. Software engineers must begin their path with a millionaire mindset and follow certain career paths to reach this status. Let’s explore this topic in detail.
1. Don’t Underestimate Your Talent as an Engineer
For the past few decades, the rise in technology has led to a great surge in demand for software engineers. Since everything these days, from our phones to refrigerators to our homes, has to be “smart,” technology companies quickly recruit software engineers and programmers straight out of college.
The positions come with their own set of stresses and problems like any other job, sometimes even more. However, the compensation can make the job worth the stress. Even people with no prior knowledge of software engineering can make their way to these positions.
2. Work Only with Reputable Companies
Some companies like Revature recruit people who wish to learn to program and put them through rigorous training, enabling them to develop and hone their skills. Revature then places recruits in positions where they work on real-world projects in different companies. They then network throughout their careers and make new opportunities for themselves.
In a further example, Microsoft is reported to have made 12,000 of its employees millionaires over the years. This goes to show that a high and steady monthly income from working at a big company can propel you toward becoming a millionaire.
However, not all engineers are able to become millionaires by working in a company. This takes very careful financial planning, frugal spending, and a lot—quite a lot—of saving. Software engineers who do not have the means or the inclination to do that need to explore other avenues for becoming millionaires. Luckily, there are plenty of other opportunities for engineers to live affluent lives.
3. Gain Equity at a Start-Up
These days, many small tech-based start-up companies are popping up around the world. A software engineer can start working at such a company and get equity.
Then, if the company has potential and grows quickly, all the people with equity in it can fare very well financially. This is a high-risk, high-reward process. But who better evaluates a tech startup’s potential for growth than a software engineer?
As just one example, when Apple went public, 40 of its employees became millionaires instantly. You can attribute this to sheer luck—or to their superior judgment.
4. Start as an Engineer and Become the CEO
If a software engineer works for a company long enough, they can make their way to the CEO position.
Engineers make very good CEOs as they can apply their knowledge to any problems they face. In fact, most of the Fortune 500 companies are run by engineers-turned-CEOs, and that too, rather successfully. The position comes not only with added responsibility but also more compensation. This can make an engineer’s dream of becoming a millionaire more achievable.
5. Start Your Own Company
An even better option is to start your own company.
A software engineer’s biggest advantage when starting a company is that they will not need venture capital funding. This is because the programmer is the most expensive hire for any company, and a software engineer’s own company acquires that for free.
If you can identify a unique problem then design and develop a technological solution for that problem, nothing can stop your company from succeeding. Moreover, since a lot of cheap and sometimes free software is available on the internet, the development stage has become much easier.
There is a huge market for teaching programming to students new to this field. Because of this skill’s unconventional nature, it is not necessary to teach or traditionally learn to program in the classroom of a university.
Many online resources are available to new students, and a lot of new material is being published.
However, there is a need for experienced professionals in this field to share their very valuable experiences with students and to teach them in a way that no book can. An engineer with experience can make great money in this area by working on the side for a platform that provides computer science education.
Something even better would be to build your own platform for teaching programming and related skills. This would require a very big investment of time and effort. But the returns would be equally rewarding. You could also further expand it to include teaching material and courses on other subjects as demand arises.
There are examples of software engineers who have developed mobile applications, usually games that have gone viral on the internet over a very short time.
Some developers have made very simple games that they published on their websites for free but were later purchased, granting them a handsome sum of money. The most recent example of this is a game called Wordle, which went viral instantly.
The game was beautifully simple from its idea to its execution. It was developed just for fun by an independent software engineer. It was then purchased by The New York Times, which compensated the developer handsomely.
If a software engineer can develop something like this that catches the attention of the masses, it could lead them to earn a considerable sum of money.
Become a Software Engineer and Enjoy a Comfortable Life
Out of all career paths available to people today, software engineering is one of the more lucrative fields. There are various job prospects in many companies, all of which pay very well.
Additionally, there are opportunities to create secondary sources of income through side projects such as teaching students how to code or developing mobile applications for sale.
Setting up your own company is also a viable option, as startups have a lot of room to grow in today’s tech-driven world.
In summary, software engineers have many opportunities to become millionaires and live comfortable lives even if they come from a humble background.