Now more than ever, a formal education is needed to secure long-term economic stability in the world. As more and more people pursue college educations and advanced technical training, the costs of these pursuits continue to skyrocket. Increasingly, more people are having to consider the financial parameters of their desired careers; in order to be viable long-term, an education must pay itself off and then some.
To guide those who are seeking to maximize their education’s value, let’s examine 5 educational paths that students can take which will pay dividends over the long-term.
One of the most in-demand degrees presently, engineers are represented in virtually every industry. A wide variety of engineering specialties means that students can find careers in engineering that will place them in industries in which they find passion and interest. While the cost of a four-year engineering degree from a top-rated school can cost several hundred thousand dollars, engineers routinely earn $5,000,000 or more over the course of their working careers. While you’ll need to pass the EIT exam to work as an engineer as well, the ROI from an engineering degree is immense.
In a world driven by consumer demand, who stands to profit from the art of persuasion? As it turns out, marketing professionals have plenty of room for growth in today’s economy. Marketing graduates can expect to earn huge returns on their degree investments working in a plethora of unique fields. From small business to Fortune 500 companies, every business needs a marketing plan. By mastering the arts of psychology and persuasion, marketers help brands earn substantial profit: some of those gains inevitably pass down to marketing graduates who make it possible.
Information is the key to power in the 21st century. Technology is the key to the future. It should not be surprising then, that the career field of information technology is so lucrative. Many students who pursue IT degrees are able to do so without the need for high-cost or prestigious university experiences. Despite this, there are many IT fields where the annual salaries consistently rank about six figures; even for those just starting out, earning $50,000 per year or more isn’t uncommon. From networking and system management to employee troubleshooting, this degree field pays dividends and is worth pursuing.
Many people consider the high pay of doctors to be a gold standard in healthcare – yet the costs associated with earning a medical degree and maintaining a practice are also astronomical. In terms of quick relative ROI, nursing provides a profitable starting point for those interested in the world of healthcare. With associate nursing degree programs that can be earned in as little as 2 years, nursing graduates often are able to grab entry-level occupations that pay $40,000 or more per year. With plenty of future room for growth and postgraduate potential, nursing is a high-value field.
Last but not least, a career in mathematics cannot be overlooked when considering the potential long-term returns and upfront costs. A degree in mathematics – or one of its more precise fields – can yield huge salaries by the middle of an average person’s career, with even entry-level jobs often paying in excess of $50,000 per year. Mathematics graduates may pursue a variety of career options, including education, operations research, accounting and actuarial work. Many math graduates earn anywhere from $5 million to $10 million over the course of their working careers.
While most degree programs provide a real return on investment, some do a better job of paying off debt sooner. For those who are seeking to maximize their earnings relative to the costs associated with earning a degree, these 5 degree fields in particular deserve ample consideration.