Monthly Archives: May 2016

How to Leading to High Salaries

The old expression insists that “money makes the world go ‘round.” And while we’d argue that other factors are also important when it comes to choosing a course of study, there’s no denying that the right major can give you an inside edge on landing a lucrative job.

Think your options are limited to medicine, law and business? Think again. There are plenty of other lesser-known majors with the potential to lead to big bucks in the future. Read on for a roundup of five degrees linked with top salaries.

1. Engineering
Engineering isn’t for everyone. After all, it takes top-notch STEM skills, a keen analytical mind, attention to detail, and the drive to take on big challenges to succeed in this field. However, those who do are positioned for high-paying careers as engineers.

In South Africa, for example, MyBroadband’s list of jobs with the highest salaries based on data from CareerJunction’s Salary Review, reveals that three engineering careers come out on top: mining engineers, mechanical engineers, and project engineers.

Keep in mind that the figures above, which reflect South Africa’s booming mining sector, also highlight regional differences — a phenomenon seen across all jobs and areas of the world. In the U.S., comparatively, jobs in petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering claim all of the top 10 spots for highest-paid engineering jobs, according to PayScale.

But even engineers who don’t work in the most lucrative engineering fields can expect to take home ample paychecks. Check out a comprehensive list of engineering degree options here.

2. Computer Science
We are living in a tech-centric world in which computing is part of everything we do. And while computers are used to solve the world’s problems across business, scientific and social contexts, they couldn’t do it without the people powering them. The great need for people with the skill and talent to work in this field results in an abundance of high-paying job opportunities. In fact, according to PayScale’s ranking of 129 college majors based on earning potential, eight computer-related majors claimed top 30 spots!

Meanwhile, the Association of Computing Machinery says, “Computing jobs are among the highest paid and have the highest job satisfaction. Computing is very often associated with innovation, and developments in computing tend to drive it. This, in turn, is the key to national competitiveness. The possibilities for future developments are expected to be even greater than they have been in the past.”

For more information on degrees in this red-hot field, check out Masterstudies’ complete list of computer science programs.

3. Architecture
Simultaneously an art and a science, architecture is an amazing discipline for people looking to embrace both their technical and creative sides. And while the path to becoming a professional architect may be a long one, those who pursue careers in this field get paid well to do so. In the UK, for example, “Architecture, Building and Planning” was ranked second by The Telegraph on its list of “Top 10 Degree Subjects By Lifetime Salary.”

4. Public Relations
Just because STEM isn’t your strong point doesn’t mean you can’t get a high-paying job. Consider public relations, for example. In today’s social and connected era, companies are realizing the value of maintaining a positive public image, and they’re willing to pay for it in the form of qualified professionals. In fact, public relations managers earned a top five spot in CIO’s analysis of “10 Top Jobs by Salary for Social Media Pros.”

International students, in particular, will find plenty of opportunities awaiting them in PR as companies angle to reach a world audience in today’s global economy.

How to Becoming a Diplomat

Diplomats or foreign service officers (FSOs) work in countries across the globe to assist citizens and further their countries interests and policies abroad. Depending on the career track, diplomats may work in consular services, economic interests, management, politics, or public diplomacy. Foreign service offices employ individuals with all different backgrounds and expertise because they need FSOs who are flexible, creative, and adaptable.

Foreign service positions are generally short-term, with assignments ranging from months to several years, but the one constant in diplomatic work is that FSOs must be able to adapt quickly and assess the priorities of a situation or project. While the job may not be as glamorous as it’s made out to be in movies and TV, FSOs have the opportunities to live abroad in a variety of countries and situations and get hands-on experience with new cultures, people, and societies. Foreign service isn’t for everyone, but for hard-working, motivated individuals with a desire to live and travel abroad, diplomatic employment is an exciting option. If you think that a career as a foreign service officer is right for you, here’s how to prepare for a job in foreign service.

1. It depends on your homeland

The track to diplomatic careers differs depending on where you call home, but in most countries, foreign service officers, or their equivalent, are subject to similar requirements. Many countries require FSOs to be citizens of the country they will be representing. In the US, FSOs must be between the ages of 20 and 59 to qualify for service. But in general, countries are looking for FSOs with diverse skills, qualifications, and personal aptitude because each position is unique and presents its own challenges. Diplomats work on projects related to everything from sporting events to disease outbreaks, education initiatives, and peacekeeping. There is no one skill-set needed for diplomacy, but a willingness to listen and understand situations is a must.

2. Some degrees give you an upper hand
In the US, diplomats hold a variety of education levels ranging from high school diplomas to PhDs, and in the US, the UK, and other countries the first step to qualifying for a diplomatic career is passing a general aptitude test. These exams normally assess a candidate’s overall knowledge, so it’s important that prospective FSOs brush up on things likemathematics, reading comprehension, and logic. But a solid foundation from a degree in history, politics, law, or human rights will be a plus. Most foreign service offices also recommend that applicants be well-read and informed on current events, government, and international politics – essentially, if you’re serious about a diplomatic career, you should be reading a lot of newspapers.

3. Brush up your language skills
In the US, foreign language proficiency is not required for a diplomatic position because all successful applicants receive language training before their first post. However, fluency in a second or third language, as well as international experiences, will help your application stand out. Languages like Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu are in high demand, but it’s more important to have strong written and spoken communication skills in your own language. After candidates have passed the entrance exam, most foreign service offices subject applicants to rigorous interviews and assessments aimed at identifying individual strengths and suitability.

4. Prepare for challenges…and competition
Foreign service is a challenging career. FSOs are always moving, which means that staying in touch with loved ones can be tricky, and for officers with families, the position can be taxing. But that doesn’t mean that foreign service is an unpopular career, and most foreign service offices have a large pool of new FSOs waiting for deployment as well as an established rank of officers, all of whom are competing for the choice assignments around the world. Placements are often given out based on rank, and new recruits should expect their first assignments to be in areas or regions that are more challenging than others. Successful FSOs learn to make the best out of tricky situations, know when to ask for favors, and work hard to succeed.