The new semester is almost here and many students are going to campus to start their educations. Seniors in high school are preparing and applying to colleges. It’s exciting time for many students as they are working towards their careers.

Top Paying College Degrees

If you’re a high school senior, you may be wondering what major to sign up for when you go to college. One way people decide is by looking at the money graduates make on average.

PayScale released a report this year on the best paying college majors for undergrad degrees.  By far, if you’re an engineering major, you have some great potential.

  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Economics

If your major is not at the top of the list, that’s fine. You should be careful though about taking student loans. It can be hard starting off at low salary with six figure debt on you. Consider staying in-state and find the best school that you can afford. You can also be aggressive about hunting for grants and scholarships.

It sounds simple, but it’s difficult – find something that you love to do and make sure people are willing to pay. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to acquire a minor.

Take an Internship in Your Major

Learn from the ground up and be willing to do more than the job entails so you can gain the experience you need later on in your career. Don’t just put in more hours, though, you want to work smarter, not harder. Ask to help out with an interesting project or have lunches with collegues that have the skills that you desire.

They can become mentors, whether it’s official or not. The best part of being a college student, people will usually want to take you under their wings and help. You just have to be willing to learn and ask.

Create an Internship

If you can’t find suitable internship, consider freelancing your talents. Volunteer to help a local charity with their websites or help a small business with their bookkeeping. You can start small and build your way up to more complex projects. Build a solid reputation for being a solution provider.

You don’t have a big business (though that would be nice), you’re trying to learn the ropes. You want to be able to have some real world items to put into your portfolio and resume.

Start Your Career with Networking

Whatever your major, one of your most powerful tools to getting started on a career that you love is finding people who can point you in the right direction. Many jobs aren’t listed online or in the paperwork. It really does pay to know someone personally and professionally in your field.

Don’t be a nuisance, respect others’ time when you need something. Be willing to help out others as well. If possible, really get to know your professors. Befriending your professor can help tremendously as you’re benefiting from their knowledge. Many of the best professors stay current with their spheres of influence and could put you into contact with someone that can help you.

It’s possible to find a meaningful career that you enjoy. You just have to be willing to work for it.

If you’re a college graduate, what advice do you have on education and careers?