What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Now that you know how much money you want to make.  Missed that blog?  Click here!  Now it is time to figure out what type of job you want. Click here to take a few different types of assessments to see what types of jobs interest you.

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How Much Money Do You Need To Make?

Ever play the game M.A.S.H. when you were a kid? Play the grown-up version to find out how much money you need to make to live the lifestyle you dream about.  Want to play M.A.S.H.?  Click here.

So what did your salary come out to be?  Mine was some crazy number like $300,000 dollars a year.  Try this site for numbers that are a little bit more realistic.

Here is another site that gives a different opinion on what a typical budget for a person who lives in Los Angeles, California.  Click here.

What if you decide to live somewhere else besides the Los Angeles area?  Click here to compare where you want to live with Los Angeles.

How Much do you have to make to be considered rich in the United States?  Click here.

Debt means a person spends more than they earn.  Check out the top 25 reasons a person goes into debt by clicking here.  Why would you go into debt?

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STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  You may have heard of this acronym a lot lately, it is very popular.  Students who study STEM are more likely to find a job, are in higher demand, and typically receive higher pay than their counterparts.

Unfortunately, STEM is still a collection of male dominated fields.  To help combat that there are many programs at Sussman that encourage girls to join these fields.


The Femineer program, created by Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering, was devised to inspire girls to explore and work in STEM fields. Girls at Sussman Middle School work on projects after-school and then show off those projects at STEM fairs at  Cal Poly Pomona.  Click  here for more information.

STEAMworks Summer Session

STEAMworks which stands for Science, Technolgy, Engineering, Art, and Math, is a summer enrichment program for students all throughout Downey. Summer classes are located at Price, Lewis, Unsworth Elementary Schools and Sussman Middle School. Students have the opportunity to spend time working on projects in the related fields mentioned above.



Project Lead the Way is a series of classes offered at Sussman Middle School that focus on the STEM fields.  Students at Sussman have a variety of classes to choose from like Medical Detectives, Green Architecture, and Automation and Robotics class.  These classes are offered for one semester.

If you hare any questions or need further information, please comment below.


Looking for a Good Technology Job?


A scrum master teaches and coaches a development team so that the team can be more productive and make a better product.  The scrum master does not manage the team but instead helps the team to self-manage.
Median base salary: $95,167
Number of job openings: 2,072


A systems architect is an Information Technology professional who creates networking and computer systems for a company.  The professional is responsible for creating, operating, and supporting the technology system used by a business.
Median base salary: $97,873
Number of job openings: 1,167


Median base salary: $98,353
Number of job openings: 263


An IT program manager runs a company’s IT department. Unlike an Information Technology Architect that creates the entire business’ system
Median base salary: $98,883
Number of job openings: 250


A data architect finds ways to collect and keep important information to help a business succeed.
Median base salary: $102,091
Number of job openings: 1,438


A solutions architect works on projects and is responsible for the overall design of the company’s websites and/or product. They also meet with clients, to help create new company designs and products.
Median base salary: $102,678
Number of job openings: 4,174


A software architect puts together a software system. They don’t have to be expert programmers but they must understand how the software works and which software is best for the solutions they are looking for.
Median base salary: $104,754
Number of job openings: 1,147


An Information Technology architect designs ways to upgrade an organization’s computer systems.
Median base salary: $105,303
Number of job openings: 250


A software engineering manager heads a team of engineers that maintains and creates software.
Median base salary: $109,350
Number of job openings: 1,011


An application development manager maintains business operations by keeping tabs on the company’s software. They also maintain, support, and upgrade existing software systems and applications essential to the business.

Median base salary: $112,045
Number of job openings: 516

Want to read the entire article?  Click here.

Be Careful When Choosing a Major

Colleges have a job to do and that is to educate their students.  A student’s job is to figure out which major will best serve the student.  Sadly, some students do no understand that those two goals are not the same.  There are many instances where students spend quite a bit of money for a college degree that will not get them the job they want.  It is very important for a student to research the career he/she wants, learn what is needed to get that career, and find how many jobs are really out there in the real world.  AVID 7 does three different college projects during the year to help students understand the importance of researching the career they want before starting college and before choosing a major.  I found this great article the other day that describes the top majors that are most difficult to find employment.  These are the degrees students should stay away from in the near future.  The numbers may change the closer a student attends college.  Remember to keep checking the data, a student’s future may depend on it.  To read 33 college majors where graduates don’t end up doing what they expect, click here!

Write Here, Write Now!

Learning to be a good writer is one of the skills taught in AVID.  But why exactly do we practice writing skills?  The answer is writing will be used more than any other subject we learn in school no matter what profession we decide to have.

According to a study from CollegeBoard, businesses are  spending as much as $3.1 billion on remedial writing training–annually. That’s because students completed school and did not learn how to write.


We need to practice writing and we need to practice it often not just to get good grades in school but also for our future jobs.  Lucky for Sussman Middle School,  our motto is “Write Here, Write Now”.


The Top Highest Paying Jobs in America in 2016

According to Glassdoor, who just released a list of the 25 best-paying jobs in the US for 2016.

Here are the top 10…

No. 10: Analytics Manager
Median base salary: $106,000
Number of job openings: 988
It is the analytics manager’s job to gather the data that business leaders use to make business decisions.  These mangers do everything from figure out how to find the information, choose the computers systems to create the data and figure out what information to share.

No. 9: Product Manager
Median base salary: $107,000
Number of job openings: 7,758
A product manager guides a team responsible for producing a product for the company. Tech companies frequently structure themselves with product managers who act as translators, figuring out what the business wants from its new tech products into instructions for engineers.

No. 8: Data Architect
Median base salary: $113,000
Number of job openings: 762
A data architect is a role that once belonged in the world of databases but has grown because of the big-data craze. Data architects design data-management systems, looking through all of a company’s potential data sources from inside the company and other sources and then figuring out how to gather, store, manage, and update that information.

No. 7: Data Scientist
Median base salary: $115,000
Number of job openings: 1,985
The data scientist has become a super-hot job as companies look to store more data and use it for more insights. The data scientist’s job is to run the computer systems used to store data and to find important information in the massive amounts of data collected.

No. 6: Systems Architect
Median base salary: $116,920
Number of job openings: 439
A systems architect designs complex technology systems for companies, which may include rolling out a new huge software system including new computers and networks needed for it to perform well.

No. 5: Applications Development Manager
Median base salary: $120,000
Number of job openings: 263
An applications development manager supervises a team of developers who may be writing software for home computers, big companies, or the web.

No. 4: Solutions Architect
Median base salary: $120,000
Number of job openings: 2,838
A solutions architect is a role that is often at the consulting arm of a software provider or tech company. This person helps design the computer systems that meet the customer’s need.

No. 3: IT Manager
Median base salary: $120,000
Number of job openings: 3,152
An IT manager is responsible for the technology used by companies such as their PCs, servers, and the software the company buys.

No. 2: Software Architect
Median base salary: $128,250
Number of job openings: 655
A software architect designs complex computer software.

No. 1: Software Development Manager
Median base salary: $132,000
Number of job openings: 3,495
A software development manager manages a software project from the design phase through completion.