How to Thrive in College Programs Geared to STEM Disciplines Reply

STEM careers count among the hottest and best-paying jobs around. A sampling of salaries for engineers on the Glassdoor website shows that the average salary for people working in this STEM field is just above $76,000 per year. It is salaries like these that make these fields attractive to incoming college students. If you’re entering a STEM-related degree program in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, here are a couple of tips to help you thrive in your new college environment.

Prep Courses

Most STEM fields require a foundation in the sciences and in mathematics. The early years of your education should be spent taking coursework in fields like biology, trigonometry, or geometry, (depending upon the demands of your program). If you aren’t sure which of these prep courses you should take for your major, be sure to talk to your guidance counselor or refer to your college catalog.

Specialized Knowledge

According the University of Illinois at Chicago website, regulations may play a role in how software like mobile apps for the medical field gets developed (or not). There can be issues pertaining to unclear regulations or privacy laws. If you’d like to use your STEM career to go into a specific field such as this, it might also be helpful to take coursework that deals with ethics or law in your future field. This specialized knowledge can help you define a career niche as well as help you make decisions about future internships.

Non-STEM Options

If you’re interested in a STEM career, but aren’t sure if you actually want to work in a STEM job, say as an engineer or a computer programmer, it’s possible to work in positions that support these types of jobs. For example, Ohio University offers a Master in Engineering Management.

This field of study builds on an engineer’s education and adds coursework in project management, communication, and engineering process improvement. This is just an example. Chances are there is a management or support position in your STEM field of interest. When you are looking at your STEM field, think about taking coursework that would support a STEM job. These skills allow you to work in your STEM field, but in a different capacity.

Soft Skills

A lack of STEM skills isn’t the only reason people don’t get jobs post-college. These graduates often lack communication, critical-thinking, or even creative skills. (In other words, they need more soft skills). While it’s important for you to get a solid foundation in math and science, don’t completely overlook classes like speech and debate, creative writing, or even art. Having these skills could mean the difference between getting a job after you graduate or not.

People who pursue STEM degrees position themselves to get good jobs and good incomes once they graduate. If you’ve committed yourself to getting a STEM degree, be sure to take coursework in both basic math and science—as they relate to your field—as well as classes in disciplines that teach you soft skills.

Additionally, if you know you want to work in a STEM field, it’s often helpful to know which one specifically in order to build the skills necessary to work within the regulations of that industry. Finally, remember that not all STEM-field jobs require you to have degrees in engineering or math. You might find a job in a support position. Be sure to take some classes that deal with these positions as well.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Evolving Healthcare: Top 4 Reasons a Medical Degree is a Safe Bet Reply

All careers evolve. It’s one thing that college students should always keep in mind, especially as they’re preparing to make a choice of major. One field that seems like a safe bet is that of medicine. Below are just a few of the reasons why these degrees will likely continue to pay off for many years.

The Field Will Always Exist

Medical care certainly isn’t going anywhere. As long as there are people, there will be a need for people to care for them. While jobs will inevitably be lost to field changes and technology, there will never be a point where humans aren’t needed to care for humans. Knowing that there is a kind of stability in the field is one of the best reasons to pursue a medical degree. After all, it’s nice to know that your job won’t ever really be rendered obsolete.

The Medical Field is Huge

The medical field is bigger than you might think. While the average person immediately thinks of doctors and nurses, there are dozens of highly-specialized technical positions that must be filled in the industry. Medical lab technicians, for example, are in high demand across the country. Pursuing a medical degree of any sort is a great way to look at the careers available in medicine. The availability of NP, BSN, and MLS online programs also allows for greater flexibility in pursuing these careers. The sheer scope of the field makes it more likely that jobs will stick around for the foreseeable future.

Medical Professionals are in Demand

Medical professionals are more in demand than ever, as there is a huge shortage of primary care providers. This means that for at least the next several years, those who hold medical degrees will have an easier time finding work than most of their similarly-educated peers. As demand increases, so too will the number of jobs available for properly-trained candidates.

Changes in Technology are Creating New Jobs

Having a medical degree will also give degree holders access to jobs that don’t even exist yet. Simply being in the field will give medical workers a chance to be on the cutting edge of employment, working with new technologies and using new techniques. Those who pursue degrees today will be able to use them in ways that might not even be imaginable in the current field.

Your medical degree can help you find a job that’s in demand and will pay well. It will also let you become part of a community that’s not going anywhere in the near future. If you’re looking for something that’s relatively future-proof, medicine is the first place to start.


 

 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter  or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

4 Things You Can Offer Businesses After Graduating with a CS Degree Reply

If you’re fascinated by technology and thrive on intellectual challenges, a career in computer science may be the best option for you. This can be a demanding field and is certainly not for everyone, but it leads to more opportunities and rewards than many other professions. Here are four key benefits you bring to an employer when you’ve earned a computer degree.

Provide Value to Many Industries

In our increasingly technical culture, computers are vital to every organization. Software programming, digital marketing campaigns, websites, data processing, and many more computer fields are essential to the success of modern business in every industry. An employee that demonstrates in-depth understanding of computer systems and concepts is an asset to any company, whether it’s a major bank or a local clothing store. With specialized skills such as programming or network security, you’ll always be in demand.

The Future of IT

Computer science applies to an ever-increasing range of needs and devices. Apart from traditional notions like desktops and servers, computing is integral to our phones and communications, as well as to the new era of smart devices. This can include anything from fitness wearables to smart appliances. Tomorrow’s homes will likely have 3-D printers, robotic servants, and AI controlling the lights and AC. With a current computer science degree, you’ll be empowered to help shape industry to meet these demands.

Fast-Growing Information

With enormous amounts of data now being collected via sensors, cameras, scanners, and interactive websites, every organization is looking for ways to organize and leverage this information. Every company is struggling to both monitor and forecast its operations to understand their customers and gain a business advantage. As a computer scientist, you can work on the hardware, software, and techniques that make timely analysis and data-driven decisions easier. This is a need of crucial importance to today’s companies.

Make the World Better

It isn’t just profit-driven businesses that need computer professionals. Non-profits, education, healthcare, and government are all looking for digital solutions. This provides them better tools to serve the public. For instance, after the NYPD first implemented computer analysis, crime dropped by 12 percent in the first year. As a computer scientist, you can help society to develop digital solutions that will save lives.

Computers are amazing tools that can help immensely in every aspect of life. Becoming a computer specialist means you could have a dramatic impact on any organization you choose to work for.


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can follow her on twitter and LinkedIn.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Learning to Teach: 4 Tips for Students in an Education Degree Reply

Being a teacher can be rewarding. You will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students that you teach. Without teachers, there would not be any other profession. There are several things that you will need to do in order to prepare for a career in education.

Talk to Your Professors

Professors have been in the education field for a long time. That is why they can offer you valuable advice. They can give you tips that will help you connect with your future students. Your professor can also give you ideas that will help be creative in the classroom.

Volunteer

There is a lot that you can learn from being in the classroom. However, there are some things that you will not be able to learn until you get experience in the classroom. You can get experience by volunteering at different schools in your area. You will learn how to interact with students. This also looks good on your resume.

Employers are not just looking for someone with good grades. They are looking for someone who already has experience in the education field. It is a good idea to work with students of different ages.

Prepare for the Praxis Tests

You will have to take Praxis tests before, during and after your education training. That is why it is never too early for you to start preparing for these tests. You can take practice tests. There are also courses that will prepare you for the Praxis tests.

The tests are daunting. They are one of the main things that will determine whether you can teach. However, the more you prepare, the easier it will be for you to ace the tests. If you’re planning on an advanced degree, it’s not a bad idea to double up. Taking an online MAT course while you study for the Praxis Test can help you learn practical applications for everything you’re studying.

Accept Feedback

You will receive a lot of feedback once you began student teaching. Regardless of whether the feedback is good or bad, you should use it to improve your teaching experience. Any advice that you get can be used to improve your teaching experience. You can integrate the advice that you get into your daily activities and lesson plans.

Starting a career in education can be challenging and exciting. You talk to your professors and volunteer at a school in your area. You will also need to start preparing for the Praxis as soon as possible. Furthermore, it is important for you to accept feedback that you get and use it to adjust your teaching style.


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Degrees in Demand: Demystifying 4 Popular College Programs Reply

If you’re serious about attending college and pursuing a personally and professionally rewarding career, it’s important to think about what type of degree program you should pursue. Luckily, there are several popular college degree programs that will make you an incredibly marketable job candidate when you begin to apply for positions with a specific company.

Below you’ll find a short outline regarding four of the most popular college programs available today.

Business Degrees

One popular college program that might benefit you is a business degree. This program provides you with a wide range of skills that will prove helpful to employers from multiple industries.

For example, business degree programs typically provide students with coursework that increases their understanding of key company optimization strategies like conflict resolution, public speaking, and time management.”

Note that there are multiple fields under the umbrella of business that an individual can specialize in. As noted in ThoughtCo., some of them include:

  • Consultancy
  • Financial Services
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Insurance
  • Operations Management
  • Human Resource Management

Note that there are now many educational institutions that will provide you with the opportunity to earn your business degree online. An online MBA degree program can provide a bit more flexibility than a traditional degree.

Nursing Degree

Another popular college program that you may want to consider as you prepare to further your education is nursing. Nursing degrees are valuable for multiple reasons, one of which is that the job outlook is excellent. As noted in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate within the field is faster than average (16%).

Another great benefit of this degree program is that pay is competitive. Specifically, the average annual salary for nurses is $68,450. Higher educational facilities are pleased to provide aspiring students with the degree programs necessary to become a licensed nurse.

Finance Degree

If the fields of business and nursing don’t catch and keep your attention, consider the value of obtaining a finance degree. As noted in Forbes, finance is one of the top three degrees that employers are looking for these days.

Note that there are a wide range of positions that you can obtain with this degree. An example would be a financial analyst. Some of your other options would be an accounting executive, budget analyst, and economist.

Computer Science Degree

As with finance, computer science degrees are in high demand. This makes sense given that more and more businesses make use of technology to complete the daily tasks that keep their companies running. Some of the basic courses you might take while obtaining this degree include computer architecture, logic and computation, data structures, algorithms, programming paradigms, and computer programming.

Pursue Your College Career Immediately!

If you’re serious about making prudent educational decisions that will lead to a rewarding career, now is the time to think about which degree program would be most appropriate and advantageous for you. Review the information found in this quick reference guide to determine which of the most popular college programs would be right up your alley.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Digital Degrees: How to Thrive in an Online College Program Reply

Online education has opened up many opportunities for people who need a flexible and affordable way to study. There are now digital degrees in every conceivable subject. As with any type of education, however, it’s important to do your research and choose the degree program and institution that’s right for you.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of an online college program.

Pursue Online Studies in an Organized Manner

Although online studies are extremely flexible and convenient, in some ways they requires more discipline than a traditional degree program. You have the freedom to create your own schedule. However, this also means you have to find the right place to study and avoid distractions.

Be careful that you don’t approach your studies in a manner that’s too casual. Create a consistent time and place for studying and stick to it. While you’re attending online classes or completing assignments, stay away from social media, your phone and other distractions.

Consider Healthcare Degrees

The healthcare industry is booming. There is actually a shortage of people to fill many positions in this field. There are ample opportunities for nurse practitioners, physical therapists, pharmacists, laboratory assistants and others in the fast-growing medical field.

One of the most convenient ways to pursue a healthcare degree is online. You can find lots of quality digital degrees that will prepare you for a lucrative healthcare career.

Research Online Degree Programs in Unexpected Subjects

While you can certainly get an online degree in healthcare, business administration, computer science and other popular fields, there are also dozens of other possibilities. You can prepare for a career as a casino worker, forest ranger, sports agent and many other less typical jobs.

There may be online degree programs you’ve never considered. For example, an online bachelor’s degree in safety prepares you for a job that helps keep employees safe at work. The possibilities are endless.

Take Advantage of All Available Resources

When you enroll in an online degree program, you have many helpful resources at your disposal. Many of these can help you succeed in your coursework and avoid feeling isolated. For example, you should not hesitate to contact instructors with questions and comments.

Most online courses provide ways for students to connect as well. When you have study partners and ask each other questions, your online course is more like a traditional class. Every digital degree program has its own features and benefits. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these so you get the most out of your studies.

Online education has come a long way over the last decade. You can now study almost anything online that you could study in a traditional classroom. By identifying the degree program that matches your goals, you can earn a degree at your own pace and study wherever and whenever it’s convenient for you.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Work And Play: 3 Degrees That Would Allow You To Travel Regularly Reply

Starting a career doesn’t mean you have to settle down. Frequent travel is becoming an occupational feature for professionals in a variety of industries. As private companies and public organizations continue to expand their reach on a global scale, there are many different types occupations that require travel on a regular basis. Individuals who crave an on-the-go lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to check out new destinations should consider one of these 3 degrees to prepare themselves for their dream job.

Diplomatic Studies

Virtually all nations on the planet employ numerous diplomatic staff to maintain relationships with other countries and international organizations, but there is also a rising demand for the skill-set in the private sector. Students of diplomatic studies often focus on a particular aspect of their field as they advance their degree, like international commerce, issues regarding terrorism or cyber diplomacy. Students who are interested in a career in diplomacy should also consider learning one or more foreign languages to establish niche expertise. Schools like Norwich University offer advanced degrees to students, including a diplomacy degree with several specialization options.

Accounting And Business Management

The language of finance and business is spoken around the globe. Companies frequently span national borders to take advantage of new markets and grow their enterprise even more. Businesses need educated financial professionals to study and connect with suppliers, potential acquisitions and other entities associated with their employer. Public accounts employed by regulatory or other government agencies can also find themselves on the road frequently. They may travel to different locations to conduct thorough reviews and audits of a particularly organization, which requires access to physical files. Business management consultants also spend a lot of time on the road, since they usually work on temporary contracts with a number of different companies.

Journalism And Public Relations

Whether you work for the media or with them, there are many positions that involve travel to a wide range of destinations. Journalists may spend months or years in other countries reporting on diplomatic developments or an emerging news story in the region. Professionals who bend their career towards public relations may also find themselves traveling to manage events, connect with media influencers and perform other essential responsibilities for their clients. Individuals interested in this career may pursue a degree in journalism, public relations or similar communications program.

If you want travel to be a part of your professional life, then there are plenty of options to consider. While there will certainly be opportunities to enjoy fresh scenery and exciting destinations, these careers are also demanding and can be stressful from time to time. A career on the road is not for everyone and can have a negative impact on family life, so it’s a good idea to discuss this decision with loved ones before launching off on a new adventure.


Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

5 Degrees That Can Help You Combine Everything You Love Reply

It is estimated that only 13 percent of the American workforce loves what they do. This is no way to live life, so consider the five following degrees that can combine work with what you love.

Communications Degree

Approximately 87 percent of people that work from home are happier than those that do not. This is likely due to the fact that you get to set your own schedule, and you can spend more time with your family. A telecommunications degree might help you achieve this goal though this is just one option.

Health Care

Some people feel good when they make a positive impact on others. One field that can provide you with the opportunity to help others is the health care field, which makes a health administration master’s degree a good choice. Something like this is especially a good choice if you are interested in the business world as well as the world of healthcare. It really is amazing how many degrees mix topics like this.

The Business World

Some people out there simply cannot deal with others telling them what to do. This is where a business degree might come in handy. This type of education gives you the tools to start your own business so that you can be in charge and, ultimately, be a lot happier. Sure, it may take a lot of work to get a business off the ground, but a person who desires to work on their own will be happier with this challenge than working under others.

Philosophy of Economics

An economics degree may be the right choice for those who are interested in learning how the economy works. This type of degree can open up all sorts of opportunities such as politics, law, or even a position in the business world. It is the kind of degree that can lead to various types of careers just in case you are not sure what you want.

Environmental Degree

You may be one of those people who are interested in finding a way to help humanity as a whole, which means that a job in agriculture might be the right choice. This encompasses information about biology, humanity, politics, and agricultural science. You might end up working for a company working to solve world hunger, and everyone wants to be in the forefront of that problem.

There is no doubt that there are other degrees that might satisfy the true calling of your soul. The key is to ask yourself what you really want, and look for degrees that can help put you where you really want to be.


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. Kara recommends looking into diplomacy programs for more information on degrees that can help save the world.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Choosing the Right Degree: When it Matters and When it Doesn’t Reply

Confusion , Direction , ArrowPicking the right degree in college can be a difficult decision. After you graduate, you will want to be happy with your decision and be able to get a job in a career field that you enjoy. However, you don’t necessarily have to make the decision right away. Most colleges will want you to declare your major by the end of your second year, so you’ve got some time to explore your options.

Take an aptitude test.

Every college will have an advisor’s office, and I would be surprised to hear if everyone didn’t offer some kind of aptitude test to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Take multiple aptitude tests at your school as well as online to narrow down your choices.

These tests are great for figuring out what careers are right for you right now, but also keep in mind that college is a place to learn and improve all of your skills. So even if the aptitude test doesn’t coincide with what you actually want to do, they are still helpful in giving you suggestions and ideas for determining your future.

Don’t worry about it right away.

Being undecided or undeclared for the first couple of years in college is OK. Not everyone should or does know what they want to do their first years in school. The majority of your first two years in college will be spent on general requirements and prerequisites for your upper division classes anyway. While you want to take the right prerequisites, plan on taking classes that help you explore opportunities and will also steer you in the right direction.

Research career paths.

Career paths are just that: a path towards a career. These paths aren’t exact and you will be able to take multiple roads to get you where you want to be. The majority of students will end up changing their major throughout their first couple of years, and quite a lot of graduates will end up working in jobs that aren’t directly related to their major.

When you are researching career paths, keep this in mind. In other words, research online and talk with people who work in that field and see what they majored in and how they got to be where they are. For entrepreneurs especially, the path to their success will come from a plethora of different backgrounds. LinkedIn is a great place to start – look at professional’s profiles and see where their academic and work experience has taken them.

Talk with your mentors, parents, and teachers.

Your family, mentors, teachers, and school counselors will know a lot about you and have a lot of knowledge about the world. Reaching out to these folk will help give you ideas about what degree is the best for you. Ask them about their past experiences and tell them to be honest about their advice. You’ll learn more than you think when you listen to their nuggets of truth.

Considering graduate school or an advanced degree?

The one time when you will want to have a definite idea of what you want to major in is if you plan on going into a specified career. For example, if you want to go to medical school you will have to major in a small number of specific degrees to have the knowledge and prerequisites to pass the MCATs and get into a medical school.

There are certain advanced degrees that don’t absolutely require a degree in the same field to get into, though. An MBA for example will typically take any bachelor degree graduate as long as they pass the required entrance exams and show an aptitude to succeed in their program through the admissions essay and qualified experience.

Keep an open mind.

More than anything keep an open mind as you never know what kinds of opportunities will present themselves and what you might be interested in. Take classes that help you both explore your interests and things you don’t know are your interests yet. Never been in a school play but always wanted to? Take an acting class as one of your liberal arts requirements and see what you think. College isn’t only about preparing for a career, it’s also about experiencing things you never have before.

College, Careers, and Choosing Your Path Reply

online1We’ve seen several articles over the past weeks focusing on college choices as they relate to career success, including which majors lead to the highest and lowest incomes after graduation and whether or not the country’s oft-discussed shortage of STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Math) majors is actually an issue. My colleague, Brendan Conway, examined both of those topics on this very blog last week – be sure to check out his insightful work here and here. More…