Recent studies show that a degree in some form of higher education is directly linked to a higher salary, with university and college grads earning more during their first year out in the workforce than their counterparts who did not receive a post-secondary degree.

As technology advances and more careers in science, engineering and math continue to fuel the workforce, even those grads who receive degrees in humanities and social sciences saw higher incomes than those who choose to forgo school. This theory has been proven by researchers at The University of Ottawa who found that eight years after graduation, a social-sciences degree holder earned $61,900 on average, while humanities grads brought in $57,000.

That’s why in today’s economic climate, it is more important than ever to plan for life after high school, whether that means earning a certificate from a college or tech school or working toward an academic-centered degree at university. With that said, the price of tuition can be a burden for many families who are looking for ways to help their children achieve success in their career of choice.

In Canada, an effective way to fund higher education is by setting money aside as early as possible in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) through providers like Children’s Education Funds Inc. (CEFI).

RESPs are a smart way to save money towards post-secondary education, so that when your child is ready for school, the money is there to help pay for it.  Additionally, RESP funds can be applied for any post-secondary program that qualifies.

Next to determining how you and your child will pay for their higher education, choosing a career path is one of the toughest decisions a young person will make in their life. Of course talents and passions should be key factors, but it’s also good to know which jobs will offer the most reward based on the facts.

That’s where the annual Canadian Business Best Jobs ranking research can help.  The research takes into account factors like salaries, employment growth and future prospects to point students towards the careers that offer the greatest potential and the highest pay.  Not surprising, many of these jobs fall in health care, the trades and STEM industries.  But there are also some surprises such as the fact there appears to be a bright future for locomotive engineers.

Rounding out the Canadian Business ranking’s top 5 careers is the following: mining supervisors, power systems electricians, utilities managers, dentists and nurse practitioners, whose median annual salary is $104k.  Again, most of the careers that made the list require further education after high school.

When parents think about their children’s future, they see a higher education as a vital component to their children’s success.  As time goes on, the relationship between a post-secondary education and success will become more and more significant in our information-driven economy.

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