1. Do I spend another hour watching TV after school, or do I study?
2. Do I go out on Friday to party, or do I work on my homework?
3. Do I choose to focus on getting into college, or not?
4. Do I choose to major in a STEM field, or do I major in a humanities field?
Those are the opportunities and the decisions. Those who can obtain a high-paying software job apparently made the most with what opportunities they had and made the right choices.
I kinda hate the way "privilege" gets thrown around a lot of the time, but this is pretty much the clearest sense of privilege here.
This is not an intelligent comment. The folks who succeed in getting high-paying software jobs are not privileged. They are the ones who are (1) able to identify where the good jobs are, and (2) take the steps needed to obtain that goal. I don't consider taking the time to learn software skills as some sort of "privilege". If you get a 100K job, it means you are good at it, not because someone handed you that job on a silver platter.
The average starting salary is $66K. Being average, it means that half the graduates are paid far less than that amount.
The fact that you don't understand the difference between "average" and "median" closely correlates with your other statement:
I'm paid well under that average
LinkedIn also noted rising skills trends in STEM, data, having a second language, and technical marketing.
But the most famous Montecito resident of all is Oprah. Ms. Winfrey owns at least two homes here, and last year her water bill almost topped $125,000. This year, it's about half of that, thanks to the dramatic measures she's taken to curb her use of the city water supply. But that doesn't means she's cutting back on water consumption. Noooo. She and many other celebs are now having their water imported.
It doesn't say where the water is coming from, though.
I don't know about Verizon, but AT&T takes care of its long-term customers. There has not been any indication that they will end the grandfathered plans.
If you have a PhD, you can play that off in one of two ways: (1) either you are generally very smart, or (2) you have expertise in a specific and valuable field.
For (2), if your field is in high demand, e.g. machine learning, computer vision, numerical optimization, etc., then just look for a job for this specific area. Big or small companies will want your talent if their business revolves around that field. Interviewers will drill you on that topic.
For (1), this is more difficult particularly if your PhD topic is general, e.g. programming language semantics or operating systems. Interviewers will drill you on hardcore programming questions because they think the number of years doing your PhD equates to professional software programming experience. I fell into this category and was drilled mercilessly by Google, Microsoft, and the like when I graduated. I also got the feeling that the interviewers were especially hard because they wanted to prove they were smarter than a PhD. Don't let that get you down, though. You worked hard for your PhD, and there is no reason you can't work as hard preparing for software engineering positions. Later in my career I landed such a job, and I owe it to focused preparation. Study the algorithms books (e.g. Cormen, et al.), master at least one programming language inside out (C++ or Java), read interview programming books (I recommend the one by Mongan, et al. as a starter), and know how to think on your feet at a whiteboard.
Anything cut to length will be too short.