The Top 5 Highest Paying College Degrees

Graduation CapAn education has long been the method for improving social status and wealth. Over the centuries, it has become accepted rite of passage in Western societies to get a four-year degree in order to become a professional adult and join the white-collar workforce. I guess there’s something less stressful about having student loan debt rather than having to get pay day loans each week. 🙂

Many high school graduates flock to college campuses every year because the median college graduate earns nearly twice as much as a high school graduate. However, not all college degrees are created equal. Based on research from Georgetown, these are the 5 highest paying degrees by average median starting salary for an undergraduate bachelor’s degree.

Mechanical Engineering – $58,000

If you like to build stuff, this job is for you. Although you should know that instead of a hammer, you might be wielding some complex formulas. Mechanical engineers use math and physics to design and create everything from robots to toys. Starting median salary is at $58,000.

Electrical Engineering – $57,000

Do you see a trend yet? Engineering is a great degree to hold if you want a large starting paycheck.

Electrical Engineers start with a median salary of $57,000. However, with a graduate degree, you can nearly double your median salary to $106,000. Electrical Engineers live in the world of circuit boards, resistors and switches. If it has anything to do with electronics, there is an electrical engineer working behind the scenes.

Computer Science – $50,000

I type on this boxy-looking thing called a laptop, and for all I know it works on pixie dust and speaks Klingon. However, there are some individuals who understand both how to make computers and how to program them. Such skills will always be beyond me, which is why my college degree didn’t pay a median salary of $50,000 to start with.

Nursing – $48,000

People will pay a lot of money to stay alive. If you want to get into the “keeping people alive business,” but don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands attending medical school, spend 8 years in college and several more years in clinical and residency, then nursing is the degree for you. You can find out about accelerated nursing programs here, and upon graduation be qualified for a job with a median starting salary of $48,000 and one of the lowest incidences of unemployment – 4 percent.

Economics – $48,000

Not only is economics one of the five best-paying four-year degrees, it is one of the best degrees to hold if you want to be in the top 1% of wage earners in America. One in twelve economics degree holders earns over $500,000 in income each year. Economists analyze economic data to determine how businesses and economic establishments work. They command a starting salary of about $48,000.

I encourage any money-making idea that will boost your personal penny hoard, and most college degrees will help your collection of shiny copper.

Are Things Getting Better?

The folks over at Care One Credit recently sent me this infographic and I think it begs an important question, “Are Thing Getting Better?”

There are a number of economic indicators that suggest that we’ve turned a corner, but when you look at data from household surveys like this, the story is a little more depressing. Despite the fact that we’ve been gaining more than 100,000 jobs every month for the last three years, the number of homeowners requesting help with their debt rose 10% last year! That’s awful…

What are your thoughts on the economy? Are things getting better in your area?

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Home insurance: How to find the right policy for your needs at a competitive price

The vast array of options within the insurance marketplace can sometimes be overwhelming for even the savviest consumers amongst us.

Comparison websites are an extremely popular financial tool nowadays and can be a great starting point for comparing home insurance deals. They can give you an idea of the wide choice of providers available and how they measure up against each other in terms of cost and other factors.

However while comparison websites are a useful resource to have at our disposal, ideally they should not be our sole port of call in finding the most suitable policy for our needs.

It is important to remember that comparison websites compare certain aspects of policies, but not always those that may matter most to you individually. If you’re using them, make sure you also check the companies’  websites directly to read the full details of any financial product you’re considering. For example, some contents insurance policies may include a high level of cover for accidental breakages in the home or the temporary removal of items to short term accommodation, while others would not pay out anything in either scenario.

Although you can get an individual quote from several insurers at once via comparison websites, it is a good idea to get one directly from any companies you are particularly interested in. Make a shortlist of potential providers having done some initial research, and then get a quote directly from these companies. Different insurers will charge you higher or lower premiums based on a wide variety of factors so it is best to get a definitive quote from them in case anything was omitted during any online quote comparison. They will also be able to let you know which of their products is the most suitable for you and which additional extras you should consider based on your property, family size and lifestyle.

If you are looking for specialist insurance then this is something that should also be taken into account. RIAS Home Insurance covers the over 50s market. Other providers cover first time buyers or those living in a listed building or even on a house boat. Take time to research what specialist providers might work well for you – something that may not immediately be obvious from a price comparison site that lists both specialist and non-specialist providers all together.

Finally, although you will find plenty of helpful reviews and recommendations online, it is often difficult to assess customer service level without experiencing this yourself. Take time to call insurance providers or drop into their offices so you can get a taste of the quality of their service. You’ll thank yourself later.

Your Borrowing Power and Mortgage Rates…

By Betsy Falwell

How much can I borrow? It’s the first question most home buyers ask when shopping around for a home loan. I know it’s the first question I asked when I visited my mortgage broker a few months ago. And while it may seem like it should be a simple question with an equally simple answer, the reality is that the answer to “How much can I borrow?” is far from a static one.

Your Borrowing Power and Mortgage Rates

You’d think that if you went to the bank today and applied for a home loan, then did the same thing three months from now, that your borrowing power wouldn’t change all that month. After all, your job hasn’t changed, so why should your home loan status?

That, however, is not the case. The amount of money you’ll be able to borrow from a lender varies depending on current mortgage rates. In other words, when mortgage rates are up, you’ll be able to borrow less; when mortgage rates are down, your borrowing power will move in the opposite direction.

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Are Store Credit Cards Worthwhile?

Okay, so I’ve been holiday shopping and about a dozen or so times so far this festive season I’ve been greeted at the checkout by a cashier who wants to know A. If I have “insert store’s name here” credit card and  B. Would I like to sign up for one? Usually doing so results in an immediate benefit such as fifteen percent or so off my purchase that day. Of course, there are usually exclusions and so any big screen televisions or similar big ticket items that I’d like to buy would be exempt to such a large discount (but would probably be eligible for a somewhat smaller discount). Regardless, money off is money off and with so many looking to save (as well as Holiday shop) during tough economic times store credit cards may sound appealing. The question is, after the immediate discount are they really worthwhile?

It depends. The problem with these cards is that they generally come with hefty interest rates, which can nullify any savings you’ve received. If you’re saving fifteen percent one day, but paying twenty-nine percent or so in interest, it’s really not the best deal. However, like most credit cards the benefits are biggest for those who are able to pay off their balances each month, avoiding  paying interest entirely while  still enjoying all the benefits of the card. Unfortunately due to very large interest rates, if you’re not the type that’s in the habit of paying off your entire balance each and every month, no store credit card is likely for you. None I’ve found, at least.

If you are a full balance payer then you then you’ll want to look at  any yearly fees or other fees your prospective card comes with before adding it to your plastic shopping arsenal. According to Consumer Reports some cards worth considering are those offered by Gap, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta and Old Navy as they offer a fifteen percent credit on your first purchase as well as five points for each dollar spent at any of the aforementioned retailers. Furthermore, the Barnes and Noble card is given high marks, as it includes not only a twenty five dollar gift card, but up to five percent off purchases as well.

Free Courses for Establishing a Home Based Business

The Internet is filled with money making opportunities, and most are mediocre at best, if not down right fraudulent. I would like to tell you about one of the better opportunities I have come across, and it’s absolutely free so you really have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. This opportunity is offered by Kevin Potts, founder of the website CambridgeBusinessAcademy.com.

Before establishing this website, Mr. Potts worked in the corporate world, was involved with venture capitalists and was even a full time religious minister for 8 years. While growing his congregation from 200 to 600 he decided to return to commerce but combine what he has learned from his service to the community to providing help for entrepreneurs who seek to have a home based business.

As the following testimonial shows, Potts main influence was Tim Lowe, who is one of Europe’s top entrepreneur coaches, and taught him everything he needed to know about building a home based business with great success:

Currently, the CambridgeBusinessAcademy.com website has an honest promotion where Potts is giving away for absolutely $0 his comprehensive home business opportunity called The Money Mentor High Level Coaching System. The first coaching package is called Starting Point, and is a 10-video DVD series outlining the methods of setting up a home based business. The second is known as Life Changers and is an 8-video DVD series containing interviews with experts who have been tremendously influential in making Kevin Potts a successful home business entrepreneur. The third series is a called the Blue Print, which is a 60+ page report containing additional tips for success and the fourth series is known as Meet The Gurus, which is a 13-video series where experts specific to the home based marketing field provide their strategies.

It is important to note here that no information is kept hidden from people who sign up and there is no sales pitch, which is a rarity with top performing businesses. On the site, Potts states that this free offer could end without notice so take a look at the introductory video on http://www.cambridgebusinessacademy.com/ and proceed from there.

3 Ideas to Increase Your Wealth Short, Medium and Long Term

personalwealthLet’s increase our wealth so that we can live life the way we want to. Here’s a few suggestions that I hope you will find useful:

Short – Use A Cash Back Credit Card: I am a big supporter of these cards, because I put EVERYTHING on credit. No, I don’t need to, and no, I don’t ever carry a balance. I’m the exact wrong customer that the credit card companies want, but that’s fine. I pile all my purchases on the old cash back CC, pay it off in full at the end of the month, and then enjoy a percentage of my money back for things I was going to buy anyway. I spend a lot, so even a low percentage adds up. This way I get an interest free loan from using the credit card and paying the loan before its due, as well as free money as cash back, as an added bonus.

Short To Medium – Talk To The Big Boss Man or Woman: Realize that your superiors at work are not scary ogres, but instead are valuable assets which can be effectively used to increase your own monetary gain. And I hate to say it, but ass kissing works. If your boss likes you, then your boss will be more likely to increase your salary. Also, if your boss realizes that you are a needed asset, your stock again rises. The most important thing here is really communication. Ask for that raise, don’t just cross your fingers and hope it will happen — because. these days, it probably won’t. Push yourself forward, and provide the results that will make you an invaluable asset to those in charge. If that’s not possible, blackmail is your next step — just kidding.

Long, But Not That Long – Buy Real Estate Now: When the real estate market crashes it’s bad for everybody except those with money in the bank. There are ridiculously under priced homes out there right now, and some real steals going on in the foreclosure arena. If you have cash in the bank and some time before retirement you are missing out on a gold mine by not investing in the market during this low time. Notably, this kind of fertile ground for real estate investing isn’t likely to return anytime soon, if at all. Make the right moves now, and it could pay off ten fold.

Leave Your Ethics Behind!

For anyone looking for the funny angle to the current recession, I recommend reading Jeff Kreisler’s book “GET RICH CHEATING: The Crooked Path To Easy Street.”. The book covers numerous ways to cheat in various industries, which most people will find quite humorous. In his review, Terry Jones, an original member of Monty Python called it “a very funny book with a timely message”.

This book promises to impart you with such “practical” knowledge as how to:

* Take advantage of society’s apathy, ignorance, and celebrity bling worship
* Exploit friends, family, employees, the weak, the desperate, and the dumb
* Fake your own death and spend your windfall profits sipping Mai-Tais on the sandy beach

To get a glimpse into this fun with fraud book, check out this video: