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IT Consultant

Degree: Psychology

Most of the time, a degree in psychology is anything but “useless.” However, it becomes useless if, like Greg Miliates, you don’t finish graduate school. “I received my B.S. in psychology in 1990 from Michigan State University,” he told CNBC.com in an e-mail. “I attended grad school for two years, but decided to withdraw before I completed my master's thesis.”

After working at a nature center outside of Chicago and developing its website, he moved to Albuquerque and worked for eight years at a company that sold software to law firms. He then started his own IT consulting business.

“It took a few months to start getting clients, but after I got my first paycheck for consulting, I was hooked,” he said. “About a year after I formed my business, I realized that the time spent at my day job was getting in the way of how much I could earn consulting, and then went part-time at my day job for a few months before quitting it completely to consult full-time.” The risk paid off, and Miliates said that in 2011 he earned over $177,000.

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