Advertising Jobs Lead List of Careers, Offering Best Return on Investment

PHOTO: Here are the best and worst college degrees based on return-on-investment.
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A new Bankrate study that estimates how long it would take to repay student loans according to career choice should help parents and students looking to invest those college dollars wisely.

With Friday's jobs report showing an uptick in the unemployment rate to 7.6 percent, students and parents need to put extra thought into which majors will offer the best prospects and return on investment after graduation.

Bankrate.com ranked 20 popular careers and related majors according to their median compensation and the amount of time it would take to repay student loans for each.

Jessica Patel, a personal finance analyst at Bankrate.com, said this was the first time the financial website had conducted such a study. Bankrate.com used the most recent data from the national Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"With student loan rates as high as they are now and student loan debt increasingly growing, we wanted parents and children to have a tool for the best jobs for the money," Patel said.

Catch up on the Student Loan Overhaul Debate

In July, federal Stafford loan interest rates are expected to double to 6.8 percent. The average amount of debt from the college class of 2013 is $35,200, according to Fidelity.

After studying 20 popular careers, Patel said so-called "stable" careers, such as doctor or lawyer, often failed to offer a higher financial return, because of their higher educational costs.

"You don't need a graduate degree or don't need to go to school for as long as you think to have a well-paying job," she said.

A job in advertising or marketing, which does not require a post-graduate degree, was the career with the least amount of time to repay student debt. Assuming that 10 percent of one's salary goes toward repaying school loans, a median salary of $107,950, a total higher education cost of $52,596 (tuition, fees, room and board) and a 6 percent student loan interest rate, it would take 5.83 years to repay student debt.

Of the 20 careers, the job with the longest loan repayment time was marriage and family therapist, which requires about two years of graduate school. Assuming a salary of $46,670, it would take about 34.67 years to repay student debt in that field.

Here are 20 popular career choices analyzed by Bankrate.com.

5.83 years to repay

1.
Advertising, Marketing, Promotions

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $107,950

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $10,795

7.08 years to repay

2.
Economist

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $91,860

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $9,186

8.50 years to repay

3.
Civil Engineer

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $79,340

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $7,934

8.58 years to repay

4.
Political Scientist

Minimum required years of higher education: 6

Cost of degree: $68,010

Median pay: $102,000

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $10,200

10.83 years to repay

5.
Pharmacist

Minimum required years of higher education: 7

Cost of degree: $92,421

Median pay: $116,670

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $11,667

10.83 years to repay

6.
Microbiologist

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $66,260

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $6,626

10.92 years to repay

7.
Physician: Family or General Practitioner

Minimum required years of higher education: 8

Cost of degree: $136,861

Median pay: $172,020

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $17,202

11.50 years to repay

8.
Accountant

Minimum required years in higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $63,550

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $6,355

12.42 years to repay

9.
Market Research Analyst

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $60,300

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $6,030

13.33 years to repay

10.
Lawyer

Minimum required years of higher education: 7

Cost of degree: $103,677

Median pay: $113,530

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $11,353

13.75 years to repay

11.
Dentist

Minimum required years of higher education: 8

Cost of degree: $139,298

Median pay: $149,310

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $14,931

14 years to repay

12.
Political Science Teacher: Post-Secondary

Minimum required years of higher education: 6

Cost of degree: $68,010

Median pay: $72,170

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $7,217

14.67 years to repay

13.
Public Relations Specialist

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $54,170

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $5,417

19.08 years to repay

14.
English Language/Literature Teacher: Post-Secondary

Minimum required years of higher education: 6

Cost of degree: $68,010

Median pay: $60,040

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $6,004

20.58 years to repay

15.
Zoologist, Wildlife Biologist

Minimum required years of higher education: 6

Cost of degree: $68,010

Median pay: $57,710

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $5,771

22.33 years to repay

16.
Librarian

Minimum required years of higher education: 6

Cost of degree: $68,010

Median pay: $55,370

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $5,537

21.75 years to repay

17.
Teacher (full-time)

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $43,400

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $4,340

27.92 years to repay

18.
Veterinarian

Minimum required years of higher education: 8

Cost of degree: $114,268

Median pay :$84,460

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $8,446

31.83 years to repay

19.
News Analyst, Reporter, Correspondent

Minimum required years of higher education: 4

Cost of degree: $52,596

Median pay: $37,090

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $3,709

34.67 years to repay

20.
Marriage and Family Therapist

Minimum required years of higher education: 6

Cost of degree: $68,010

Median pay: $46,670

Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary: $4,667

Read more about the College Class of 2013's $35,200 Average Debt.

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