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If you’ve ever thought about going to college, you know that paying for it can be a costly investment. Besides paying for tuition and books, you also have to factor in that you won’t be earning full-time wages while in school. So you want to make sure that if you go back to school, you’ll have a high return on investment. Getting bang on your college buck means – choosing to study for a profession that will pay off in the long run. The following professions all require a 4-year university degree, but salaries and opportunities for advancement varies greatly. Here are five professions that have a high ROI:

Nursing: In the next 10 years, Americans will face a critical nursing shortage as many nurses retire and aging baby-boomers require more nursing care. Already, nurses command a high salary, with wages starting around $39,000, and averaging $65,000 a year. Nursing graduates will have no problem getting hired, and will largely be able to choose when and where they work.

Construction Management: Construction management is an often over-looked college degree. In the past, many construction managers started working in construction right out of high school, and gradually worked their way up to management. Today, it is a real advantage to gain the experience and credibility that comes with a degree. Construction managers average $30,000 to $40,000 per year when they first start out, but can easily earn a six-figure salary as they gain experience and prove their skill.

Teaching: You may not have thought of teaching as offering a high return on investment. When John Quakerfield first contemplated a teaching career, he wanted to make a difference in the lives of young children, but didn’t expect to get rich doing it. He was surprised at the starting salaries of teachers in his area. “I started off earning $34,000 a year, and within a few years had worked up to $45,000,” said John. “And I’m doing something I love.”

Engineering: Many people are surprised to find out that to become an engineer only requires a 4-year degree. The course load is difficult and very intensive, but after four years, graduates can expect high starting salaries and a very good job market. The average starting salary for engineers is the highest on our list, at $63,000, with many engineers earning over $100,000 after working in the field for a few years.

Accounting: Accounting is another profession that requires only a 4-year degree to receive a professional designation. Accountants enjoy regular hours, and many have the option to work remotely and from home. Accounting grads can expect a starting salary of around $42,000 per year, with Accountant managers averaging salaries in the low six-figures.

If you are looking for your college degree to earn you the best return on investment, consider studying these majors when thinking about your future profession.

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