I need some career guidance please.


Are there any career options that pay at least 50K a year and can be studied for online, but that don’t require heavy math studies?

I’m trying to help guide someone with a career change, but she is absolutely lost when it comes to more than basic math.

So, any ideas?


I know many executive assistants who make that much. Many of the skills needed (like software, for example) can definitely be gotten online. There are classes at community colleges, as well. Granted, she won’t start at that salary, but it’s quite doable to get to that level.

It’s going to be hard to find a field where you can reliably start at 50k/yr immediately after completing online classes, math or no math. Currently there is a glut of recent college graduates, and for better or worse most employers will prefer to hire someone who attended brick-and-mortar classes, all else being equal.

That said, most employers will place a premium on real-world experience, so I would suggest looking for a field in which she could carry over many of the skills she’s learned in her current career.

Or… Commercial fishing. Get on a salmon boat in the Gulf of Alaska in the summer, by the end of the season she’ll have the contacts to get on a cod or pollock boat in the fall/winter. Salmon fishing is hard work, but trawling for cod or pollock is straight up easy.

What career is the person in now, and why does she want a change? Would she consider night classes? Would she be able to work as an intern for short periods? Is going to school full time off the table?

Expanding your professional networks is the key to a successful career change. Taking classes these days isn’t really worth much on its own, but getting to know your field and the people in it is huge. Starting with the friends you already have is a good way to get started- are any of her friends in a field she would enjoy?

But at that level it often comes with being able to do the budget work - not necessarily heavy math - but your executive may expect you to apportion out the training budget to his direct reports based off headcount.

She’s currently a resident care director at a senior living facility. She’s good with spreadsheets and stuff, but advanced math is a problem.

She’s got a toddler at home and works well over 40 hours a week at present. The pay isn’t bad, but the hours are horrid. She’s on call 24/7.

So, she was hoping there might be something she could do online late at night when the baby is asleep.

Without working to augment her basic math skills, there simply aren’t any careers out there paying $50k to start. Even the skilled trades ( my area of “expertise”) require that you be able to perform advanced calculations on occasion and you can make $50k a year without breaking a sweat or having a degree.

My advice: Have your loved one attend a community college and work on improving her math skills. If she doesn’t have a learning disability and she is willing to apply herself this should take roughly 1-2 years. After that, many careers will be open to her.

IT Support is a solid career choice and totally possible to work your way up to $50K within a few years

Project management? There are some education and work requirements to get a PMP or CAPM certification (depending on experience). And it costs about $1000 between the book and exam. But it typically pays $50k or more.

Probably a good fit for someone who already deals with spreadsheets and directs people.

I can see where that can be true, but I worked at four different companies (investment advising, banking, the arts, management consulting) at that salary level where I wasn’t required to do budgets or any math (beyond submitting expense reports). I did have a job at that salary level where I was creating budget spreadsheets and doing (basic) budgeting, but that’s because I had skills in Excel even though I SUCK at math. If I hadn’t had the Excel skills, then my bosses would’ve hired someone else (read: an actual accounting type) to do it, I just happened to be willing and able.

Definitely doable. IME, getting to that level has to do with achieving a position with a senior VP or C-level executive and higher level math was never necessary.

Depending on geography, accountants (even non-CPAs) will make 50k/year to start. The math requirement is no greater than arithmetic.

If she’s a resident care director - she could easily transition into an office manager of like, a law firm or other professional office. They will make that much as well. Not much career growth on that path however.

Thanks for all the ideas.

Are there any jobs in the health care industry that might work, anyone know? Maybe an ultra sound tech or something?

She might at least have some contacts in that industry.

If she hasn’t used this resource already, “What Color is Your Parachute?” is a wonderful book for someone looking for direction.

Thanks all. I’ll pass along your suggestions.

If you are math challenged, you’d bomb the whole stupid part of the test with all those ratios in it. I know more than one aspiring PMP who can’t pass the test due to earned value calculations.