College is expensive, and the times are changing. In fact only about two-thirds of the current generation are opting receive bachelors degrees or higher. And for those that do pursue higher education, the price tag is higher than ever, and it's rare that your degree doesn't come unaccompanied by a load of debt. That means college is a business and we've got to start thinking like businesspeople. If you're going to spend at least 4 years and mess up some comas, let's look at the numbers. Here are a few college majors with pretty high ROI.


Marketing

The American Marketing Association has defined marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." A four year education that costs on average $52,596 is the toll for a degree in marketing. Good news is, with an after tax salary averaging about $75-80,000 you can have those student loans paid off in as little as 5 years, and start making bank. Cue up the theme from "Mad Men"

4 years.

$52,596 cost of tuition

$74,935 after tax salary

5.3 years to pay back

$937 per month in loan payments

Engineering

Including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings the Civil engineering discipline deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, Civil Engineering has been around since antiquity is predated as a professional engineering career only by military engineering. Because civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and even in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies, work as a civil engineer is always abundant. 4 years of schooling for about $53,000, but with a salary that maxes out near $80,000, you should have it paid back in under 8 years.

4 years.

$52,596 cost of tuition

$76,286 after tax salary

7.4 years to pay back

$704 per month in loan payments

Economist

Practitioners of the discipline of economics study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and they also get paid to write about economic policy. Technically to be considered a major league economist you have to obtain your Ph.D., teach, and have published literature on economics. Then you're Ben Bernake and you run the central bank of the most powerful economy on earth.

While you won't be running the Fed or shifting the global economy with just your bachelors degree, with an average price tag of $52,000 and an average salary upwards of $90,000, we're sure you'll be just fine on your way to the top.

4 years.

$52,596 cost of tuition

$92,786 after tax salary

6.5 years to pay back

$785 per month in loan payments

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Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.

First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.

Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options

While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.

Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.

Master the Art of Finding Good Deals

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