Don't lie: You want to make a lot of money. You've got to be in the right market and have the right skills, perspective and opportunities. If you take the right classes, network early and establish yourself as the best, dollar signs will be in your near future. Here are seven secrets that can help score you a fat paycheck after graduation.
Take the Right Classes
Engineering and liberal arts majors have one thing in common: To be successful, both need to understand the context in which people earn money. They have to be comfortable in a variety of areas and seek a well-rounded education, which means while in college take the right classes. According to Forbes, the six essential courses every university student should take are economics, statistics, computer programming, calculus I, communications and financial planning and management. These courses can teach students the roles of value and costs, and understand and manage data, make quick estimations, communicate effectively, and manage money.
Choose a Money-Making Major
You might have your heart set on a creative writing or philosophy degree, so keep in mind some college majors don't net big salaries. If you want to have a successful career doing something you love, do it. But if raking in cash is high on your list, you've got to choose a money-making major. The authors of “College Majors Handbook with Real Career Paths and Payoffs” — a detailed book linking College Board majors with careers — mined through Census Bureau statistics and college grad surveys and studies to find $53,976 as the median pay for grads working full time in 2010. But mechanical, chemical, computer and electrical engineering majors surpassed that number by at least $20,000. Pre-med nearly doubled it. To make the big bucks early on, you've got to be in the right industry.
Do More than One Internship
Completing several internships throughout a college career demonstrates initiative, and work ethic is what lands the high-paying positions. Internships enhance a student's resume, increase knowledge, skills and confidence, and expand professional networks. With experience and connections in place, grads won't have to take low-paying jobs after graduation to build what an internship could've done for them.
Start Networking Early
Top companies aren't looking to merely fill entry-level positions or hire interns for menial tasks — they are looking to land the best of the best, the top talent. As college graduates compete with each other for high-paying positions, companies are doing the same with each other. To establish themselves as worthy career destinations, companies are increasing their presence on campuses by participating in career fairs, educational development sessions and informational seminars. Aside from internship experience, job seekers should expand their networks by attending such forums and establishing an online presence — and do it early.