Whether you’re still in high school or you’re currently exploring majors in college, deciding on any career path can be an intimidating task. It can be even more difficult to choose when careers seem so similar and require years of education and training, like career options in therapy. Find out what your passion is, and discover the paths of success for careers in physical therapy and occupational therapy with the following infographic, Becoming A Therapist:
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How High School Graduates Can Find the Right College for Their Career Aspirations
Pursuing higher education is one of the most important decisions you will make for your future. It’s becoming more difficult for high school graduates to find rewarding careers. Postsecondary education can qualify you for more jobs and help you earn a higher salary. Discover these simple tips to learn how you can find the right college to achieve your career goals.
Determine Academic Goals and Needs
Students should choose a college that meets their academic goals and needs. It’s important to ensure that an institution offers a program that can train you for your desired career. If students plan on changing colleges in the future, it’s imperative to make sure those college credits can transfer. A traditional college might not be the right choice for working professionals. Many colleges offer online degrees for programs such as radiology technology. You can learn more here.
One of the best ways to find the right college is to speak with an academic advisor. These advisors can provide you with information about colleges in your area as well as top-ranked institutions across the country. It’s important for students to inquire about admission requirements such as grade point averages and test scores to ensure they are eligible for the program. Academic advisors can also help you determine the financial cost of attending a specific institution.
Research College Rankings
Whether you are pursuing a general business diploma or a prestigious law degree, it’s important to choose a college with a challenging curriculum. Popular magazines such as U.S. News and Forbes provide a list of top-ranked schools in the country. This is an excellent way to find colleges that could help you meet your academic goals. Students can also purchase a variety of books about top-ranked colleges, which includes admission and tuition information.
Verify College Accreditations
It’s imperative to verify the accreditation of a college before enrolling in a program. An institution can have a regional, national, or specialized accreditation. Students can verify accreditation through the U.S. Department of Education. The accreditation of a school can vary depending on the type of programs they offer as well as the quality of the curriculum. Some employers will not recognize institutions that are not properly accredited, which is why it’s important to be selective about the college you attend.
It’s important to find the right college to prepare for the career of your dreams. Colleges should meet your academic goals and be properly accredited. Students can learn about programs by researching college accreditations and rankings.
This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.
Engineering Employment Outlook [Infographic]
Deciding on a career path or college major is one of the most important decisions a person can make in his or her lifetime and can become overwhelming very quickly. One field that is often overlooked is engineering. Engineering today not only presents benefits such as high average compensation and financial security, but also offers a wide variety of roles that cater to various interests.
RevPart has created an infographic that highlights the different types of engineering career paths including job outlooks, what these engineers do, salary information and more!
This article was contributed by guest author Matt Davis.
4 Degrees for Students Interested in Civil Engineering
Civil engineering is a competitive field. If you want to stand out from other applicants, you might think about obtaining a minor or double major in addition to your regular civil engineering degree. Here are just four other areas of study that will complement your current curriculum.
Civil engineers rarely work alone. They coordinate with builders, architects, surveyors, accountants, insurers, risk assessment managers and many other professionals to ensure the safe and speedy completion of their projects. A business background will help you understand all of these areas instead of just one, and you’ll be better equipped to make the “big picture” decisions of your engineering endeavors. Consider a degree in business to make yourself a jack of all trades.
You’ll deal with a lot of environmental issues as you build bridges and dams. From soil tests to geological impact surveys, you’ll need to speak the language and understand the risks before you move forward with your civil projects. A minor in environmental engineering can help you with this. Not only will it broaden your knowledge of engineering in general, but it will also give you a strong foundation in subjects that are bound to come up in your everyday career.
An advanced degree in civil engineering will look better to hiring managers than a simple bachelor’s degree. The good news is that you can obtain an online civil engineering master’s degree with nothing but a web connection and a willingness to work hard, so even if you don’t have access to a brick-and-mortar school, you can still further your education and career prospects. Some programs will even accelerate your degree schedule so that you can join the workforce sooner.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, it pays to understand things like programming languages and database management. You might be asked to use a variety of software as you create, plan, alter, design and implement civil structures, and if you have a technical background in computers, you’ll find them a lot easier to utilize than the next person. A degree in computer science will also look attractive to hiring managers when paired with your already-intensive civil engineering studies.
These are just four potential degrees for civil engineers. There are many more, of course, but these ideas should be enough to get you started. Use them to obtain a well-rounded education that will open doors for you in the future.
This article was contributed by guest author Rachelle Wilber.
Out of High School? 6 Career Choices You should be Considering
If you just graduated high school, you’ve probably got no shortage of people trying to give you advice for your future. “The world’s your oyster! You can be anything you set your mind to be.” However, you have to realize that some of the professions you are interested in are either highly competitive, or don’t pay very well. If you want to move on to a high-paying career instead of moving back in with mom and dad once you graduate, here are six career choices you should consider.
1. Medical Careers
There is a worldwide shortage of nurses and trained medical professionals. This practically guarantees that you can find a job with a degree in the medical field. And, with most programs lasting only two years, you can get to work much faster than people chasing a four-year degree.
For example, ultrasound technicians with a two-year diagnostic medical sonography degree, made median salary of over $66,000 in 2015.
The average welder is 55 years old. That means that many are soon to retire, and the world needs welders for everything from construction to the fine arts. With a standard hourly rate of more than $17, welders have job security and command an excellent salary.
If you have an interest in law, you should consider being a legal assistant. You’ll work under a lawyer in a fast-paced, exciting environment. What’s more, the median salary for a paralegal last year was nearly $47,000.
As long as people have companies, they will need to communicate with potential customers. That’s where marketers come in. If you are looking for a job that allows you to be creative but also has a median salary of more than $60,000, you should consider becoming a marketing specialist.
It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! And the people who choose plumbing as a career seldom regret it when they bring home an average yearly salary of $49,000.
6. Auto Repair
As cars get more advanced, fewer people are able to fix their vehicles themselves. This, combined with a lack of mechanics, has contributed to a career with a median salary of $36,610.
These are by no means the only careers available to you, but they do offer great pay and job security. Whatever career path you choose, we wish you the best of luck for your future!
This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.
The Stigmatization of Online Education
Up until recently, my ideas about the stigma of online education were admittedly vague.
I earned my Master’s degree in an untraditional program. While I was in school I often found myself subtly defending the valuable aspects of online and low-residency education. I would tell new acquaintances about my studies and notice their unimpressed micro-expressions. A furrow here, a twitch there. It made them uncomfortable.
If their reactions seem unusual, perhaps it will help to place these interactions in the highly competitive academic city of Cambridge, MA just blocks away from the top Ivy League university in the world. This is my best attempt at making sense of the odd reactions I encountered then and continue to encounter to this day.
During my online graduate program, I generally met students from other universities who were in the midst of dedicating their lives to their studies, immersed in an academic reality where competition reigns supreme. Their words, not mine. A student in a highly competitive traditional academic setting has to climb the social ladder to make the best connections and get the best job after graduation. It might sound arcane, but it’s how the system works. If you put twenty highly ambitious people in a room together, things will get competitive. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this sort of competitive academic environment for sure, and every student must decide whether the benefits or the drawbacks carry more weight for them.
One negative aspect of this sort of academic sphere is that it so often fosters barriers between people – a sort of elitism that can’t be easily understood or untangled. When I’d go out to dinner with my roommate’s Ivy League friends, I’d find myself having to explain the value of my program before I could even be recognized as a fellow student, worthy of sharing in the discourse.
Of course most of us have to do this in our own ways everyday — whether in work, school, or social situations — it simply hadn’t occurred to me that my choice of program would add to the effect. And yes, I recognize the inherent privilege in all this.
It’s the awareness of that privilege that really inspires frustration when people expose their ingrained prejudices against online programs. I hadn’t fully butted heads with this attitude until I wrote an article entitled “How I Learned to Flourish in an Online Grad Program” on a higher education blog.
The article was benign at best, a simple description of why I chose an online program, the benefits as I experienced them, and a handful of practical practices to help online students thrive in their programs.
But, oh boy, did it ever piss people off.
While the article was far from perfect, I was surprised that the general idea of online education being competitive, and in some ways superior, to traditional academic institutions was so irksome.
One commenter, who taught in higher education for a period, took offense at my assertion that I chose an online program so that I could continue working to pay the bills. He took it (and the whole article, really) as an inherent slam against traditional universities, saying the need to pay one’s bills, which for me meant working full-time, was a weak argument that straw-manned online universities. Um, ok? I’d like to visit the worry-free reality he lives in.
In fact, the ability for a student to continue working while enrolled in an online or low-residency program is one of its most valuable assets. My dear commenter made a point to share his distaste for Arizona State University, which I’d mentioned as the forerunner for taking creative measures to bring online programs to the traditional university. Yeah, I guess partnering with Starbucks to cover their employees’ college tuition really is a crummy, “hack”ish thing to do.
The fact that he couldn’t understand the idea of utilizing one’s education as career training speaks volumes to the mindset. The degree that I earned was a Masters of Fine Arts in writing, and this gentleman supposed that if I really wanted a career, shouldn’t I have chosen a professional degree rather than a humanities degree?
One of the greatest gifts of my program was that it served as intensive training for balancing my daily work life with my creative work life. During the two-year period of my program, I worked two and a half jobs and learned how to prioritize my writing, every day, no exceptions. If that’s not career training for a writer, I don’t know what is. And that’s just my personal experience in my particular field of choice. There are endless similar stories out there.
I am hopeful that the voice of insecurity I’ve recently encountered is far from the voice of academia as a whole. There are academics in positions of authority who are working diligently to make education accessible to all people – even the ones who couldn’t historically afford the financial aspect or time commitment. What is the benefit of seeing an attack in every expression of someone else’s success?
The era of academic posturing is over.
Education that reaches across barriers has many different manifestations — from online ed to low rez to corporate partnership — and those who solely cling to familiarity will fall to the wayside as the nation’s collective level of education, awareness, and life experience surpasses anything any of us have ever known.
This article was contributed by guest author Katie Kapro.
4 Intrinsic Degree Programs for New Students
When starting out in college, many students struggle to find direction. A great degree can also make the difference between stagnation in the workplace and bountiful career advancements in new territories. Take a look at these four degree programs to increase your knowledge and carve out a future of leadership, innovation, and success.
If you’re tech-savvy, a degree in graphic design may be just what you’re looking for. Propel your future into the technological world of computers and design with such a degree. You can use your specialized knowledge to develop various artistic endeavors for ads, design, and much more. At the forefront of innovation, a degree in graphic design provides students with practical skills that apply to many industries, from medicine to education. Formal training in graphic design promises a stable yet mentally stimulating career with limitless possibilities. Most graphic designers are always busy with new projects and ideas.
Public Administration Degrees
Public administration is a field that most people don’t think of when students investigate degrees of interest. Through this degree program, you’ll succeed as a leader in public service and government policy. Earning a degree in public administration is one route worth investigating. It’s no easy task to facilitate widespread change, but an online master in public administration degree program can give you the tools to manage civil servants and organize projects. From fundraising to urban planning, there’s no end to the possibilities this degree affords.
With this kind of a degree, you would be analyzing market trends in the business industry. For those interested in this sort of thing, the possible applications for such a degree are endless. With entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy, you can push yourself to succeed. Pursuing an MBA or other business or marketing-related degrees can result in a wide variety of careers. From financial analysis to consulting, an MBA becomes the most valuable when combined with another area of expertise. This is especially true in the age of the internet, where managing a business is becoming more and more possible. Get ahead of the game with a degree that teaches you how to monetize your area of expertise in the global marketplace. Overall, business is a great choice for the entrepreneurial risk-takers of the world.
If you’re an eloquent speaker, an avid reader, or have an interest in writing, a degree in English could be for you. Whether you have a large vocabulary or not, well-suited writers are always valuable to every industry. Take a look at what other specific areas you might be interested in when it comes to the fields of English and writing. Many students choose to have an emphasis in literature, creative writing, or technical writing, just to name a few. Whether you’re studying the finer details of crafting a powerful speech, the distinguishing characteristics of poetry and prose, or you love technical details, English is a great field to go into for those that have in interest in it.
When it comes to establishing success that lasts, education is key. Taking the time to discover what’s right for you is paramount. With these four degree programs, you’ll have a sturdy foundation to grow your future and ultimately have a blossoming career.
This article was contributed by guest author Rachelle Wilber.
Aftermath of ITT Tech Closure – Factors to Consider When Choosing an College Program
The federal government’s decision to increase sanctions on ITT Technical Institute reinforced how choosing the right college can affect a student’s current and future prospects. In the aftermath of the Department of Education’s decision to bar ITT Tech enrolling new students utilizing federal aid, the institute decided to close all campuses and discontinue educational services leaving tens of thousands of students in limbo.
Now former ITT Tech students who have not completed their degree are faced with a tough decision:
• Attempt to find an institution that will transfer their credits.
• Petition for their federal loans to be discharged.
Both choices are not ideal.
Here’s the thing: it’s easier than ever to vet colleges. The internet has made school stats, credentials, and various other factors about the institution easy to discover. College education is too important, time consuming, and expensive to be a blind gamble. And the rise of public college online programs, has eliminated the need to enroll in a risky program due to geographic limits. With a little detective work, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
Below are four factors to keep in mind when vetting a school:
Not all student dropouts are the fault of the college, but higher than average drop out rates can be a sign of fundamental flaws in the school’s education or student support efforts. Individuals should not walk into a college program without knowing what percentage of students leave the college without a degree.
While it’s a gamble to attend a college with low graduation, at least you know what you’re up against. You can take measures to ensure you don’t leave the program with student loans and no degree.
You can get a sense of college graduation rates utilizing either the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard website or by doing a Google search of the schools graduation rate.
Check accreditation. According to an interview with Dr. RuthAnn Althaus, Ohio University Online MHA program coordinator, accreditation “provides assurance to students, their employers, and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) that institutions are meeting rigorous educational standards and are professionally sound.”
Enrolling in a program that is not accredited or has had their accreditation revoked for not meeting standards can have the following consequences:
• College’s ineligibility for federal funds (including federal student aid or tuition reimbursement programs.
• Inability to transfer college credits to other institutions.
• Not accepted as a degree by employers.
• Doesn’t grant entry into careers that require a degree (like nursing or engineering).
You can find accreditation info on the college’s website or utilizing this government database.
You also want to check if the college’s accreditation is in trouble. If a school fails to meet accreditation standards, it will be placed on probation. If the problems are not fixed, they might lose their accreditation.
You can check if a school is on probation by:
• Searching Google for a “Notice of Probation” for the school
• Searching for any articles about the potential loss of accreditation.
Switching schools can be a nightmare. The Department of Education analysis of college credit transfer rate revealed that around 40% of college students lost all of their earned credits when they transferred schools.
Students who start at one college and plan to transfer to another school should:
• Figure out if the college has a transfer agreement with any other universities. If they do, ask the college what you need to do to sign onto the transfer agreement.
• If you have a transfer college in mind, check the college website for a list of schools they have a partnership with. (Portland State University’s community college partnership page is a good example of what that page would look like.)
• Call the admissions office or transfer advisors at the school before you sign up for classes to sure your credits will transfer.
• Shop around to other colleges if your first choice won’t accept your credits.
• Check if the college is regionally accredited (most public universities) or nationally accredited (a lot of for-profits). Most regionally accredited universities won’t accept credits from nationally accredited programs.
Students who don’t plan to transfer schools, should still get a general sense of whether the credits will be transferable to a school you would reasonably want to attend just in case.
If you’re in enrolled in a school that is in financial hot water, you’re placing yourself in a precarious position.
Schools that are not stable financially face:
• The potential to lose accreditation due to not meeting financial standards.
• A loss of quality offerings to students.
• Hikes in tuition in an effort to remain afloat.
• Possible school closure.
The last point, school closure, can be devastating to students if the closure happens in the middle of the semester. Their transcripts will be marred by a semester worth of ‘incomplete’ classes which looks bad and might prevent student athletes from participating in sports.
You can check the financial health of your potential university by searching for the financial information in Google or checking for the school in one of the following articles:
• Private College Financial Health Grades 2015: Is Your Alma Mater At Risk?
• 159 Private Colleges Fail Education Dept.’s Financial-Responsibility Test
The fall of ITT Technical Institute should be a wake-up call that individuals need to expand how potential schools are evaluated before enrolling. The ads, recruiters, and website might market the school as a stellar institution, but colleges are businesses who are reliant on recruiting students to remain lucrative. It’s the individual’s responsibility to do a thorough vetting before enrolling.
This article was contributed by guest author Samantha Stauf.
Tips For Choosing A College Major You Won’t Regret
Choosing a college major is a big decision that will affect the course you take in life, and many students experience serious stress when faced with the decision. With looming debt and increased competition, it’s perhaps more important than ever to make an informed, careful decision on your college major so you won’t regret your choice after graduation.
Remember that whatever major you choose, it will not be the end-all of your career and life. You can always change careers later or go back to school, and many employers won’t care what your college major was once you have several years of work experience to draw upon.
Know Where Your Passions Lie
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when selecting a college major you won’t regret is whether or not it will enable you to follow your passion. Even if the numbers are against you, if you choose that more practical engineering degree over that fine art major, you might find yourself miserable in a poorly matched career. If you don’t know where your passions lie, take different courses and experiment while in college to see what resonates with you.
Research What Fields Pay Well And What Degrees Are In Demand
Yes, which majors are in demand and what careers pay well should be a factor in your decision. After all, it is likely that you will graduate with debt, as many college students do, and will need some way of paying that off. But it’s also important to remember that hiring trends and in-demand majors change, so take that into account when deciding. A bachelor’s degree in health information management, for example, can quickly lead to a rewarding career. Choosing a major that leads to in demand jobs and growing fields can make your post-college life much more enjoyable.
Other Things To Consider
Talking to or shadowing professionals currently working in the field or career(s) in which you’re interested is a great way to see whether or not a particular major is what you should be pursuing. You can also talk to recent graduates. Not only will connecting with people in various fields help you decide on a college major, but those contacts might be able to help you find or get a job later. Also consider things like whether it is in your best interests to pursue a graduate degree. For some bachelor’s, it is impractical, while for others it is necessary to get all the educational benefits and the best positions in the field.
Choose a major based on your passions, what degrees are in demand, and what careers offer the best growth and pay. Be sure to do research, either by speaking with professionals or recent graduates and looking at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You’ll be sure to find the best match for you.
This article was contributed by guest author Anita Ginsburg.
The 7 Best Master’s Degree Programs for Millennials
More millennials have finished college than any generation before them, and they are seeing economic payoffs as a result. While most millennials finish their educations with four-year degrees, they are increasingly choosing to attend graduate school. By pursuing a master’s degree in one of the following fields, millennials have the potential to increase their earnings even more and obtain a greater sense of job security in the future.
Advanced degrees in mathematics allow millennials to pursue careers in nearly any industry to find solutions to real-world problems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for people with advanced degrees in this field will rise over 20% before 2022.
Millennials with a passion for helping others can help the aging population lead more active lives while finding good job prospects in this field. In 2013, occupational therapists earned a mean annual wage of nearly $78,000, and the aging population of the United States means millennials with an advanced degree in occupational therapy will not struggle to find work.
Industrial Organizational Psychology
Corporations and businesses are increasingly turning to professionals with this advanced degree to solve issues in their workplaces. Employment in this field is projected to increase over 50% by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Millennials may use this advanced degree to study and analyze political ideas, trends and ideologies, and the demand for professionals with political science degrees is expected to grow by over 20% by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Pursuing master’s of science in electrical engineering gives millennials the skills they need to thrive in a world of rapidly changing technologies. Millennials with this degree may pursue work in industrial, academic, entrepreneurial or governmental sectors and do anything from designing antenna networks to creating optical communications or advanced computer networks.
Like Master’s degrees in occupational therapy, those in public health are in high demand due to the country’s aging population. Millennials with this degree can expect to earn a median salary of $84,000 per year following graduation.
The fast-paced world of finance is an ideal environment for millennials looking for an adrenaline rush. With a median yearly salary of $119,000 for graduates, this field is one of the most lucrative for millennials.
The key to making a master’s degree pay off for millennials is to choose a field that opens the doors to high-paying, secure careers. If millennials choose one of the aforementioned degrees, the investment will pay off long into the future.
This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.