It’s important to dream big.

It’s equally important to figure out if and how dreams can become a reality.

When people strike that balance, they can find work that they love, be employed regularly, and make enough money to achieve their financial and life goals.

How can you figure this out?

  1. We can do some research to figure what lifestyle we want, how much it costs to maintain that lifestyle, and if the career we are interested in will pay enough to maintain that lifestyle.
  2. We can also figure out if there are enough jobs available in a given field to get us and keep us employed by doing labor market information (LMI) research.
  3. Last, but not least, we need to look at how much education for a given occupation will cost and ask: how long it will take to pay back educational loans, and how much will that affect my ability to achieve my life goals?

The following resources will help:

MassCIS Reality Check Tools

Sign in as a ‘Massachusetts Resident’ and create a free MassHire Career Information Systems (CIS) Portfolio Account. Then go to the ‘Assessment’ section to find the ‘Reality Check‘ tool.  You can also look up the salary and growth rate of almost every occupation under the sun.  Also, you can compare what people make in the region as well as the state.

JumpStart Reality Checking Tool

Take a simple survey to get some feedback about how the lifestyle you want matches up with the career you are interested in.

Living Wage Calculator by MIT

Open the link above. Then click on a state and a county to find out how much you will need to get paid per hour (as a single person, single person with a child, etc.) to make a “living wage”. You will also find a breakdown of typical expenses and salaries for some of the more typical jobs.

CareerWise Dream Jobs Reality Check

Do you have a dream job in mind? Find out what your chances are of becoming a celebrity or professional athlete.

Education Debt Calculator & Resources by You Can Deal With It

Click the link above to find some additional tools to help youth get some perspective on education debt – including strategies for dealing with it.

The Cost of Living in Cities (Video)

This brief video provides information on how your finances could be affected by moving to a city.

Salary Search Tool

To find the typical salary for a given occupation.