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Degrees That Lead to Best Paying Jobs

Multiple factors come into play when choosing a college major. Your primary challenge is to find a degree program that will qualify you for a career doing the type of work you enjoy.

Another consideration is how much money you can expect to make in your first job. You want to be able to pay off student loans as soon as possible, and begin living the life you envision. Here is a look at the degrees that produce the highest starting salaries for graduates.

Overview
It likely comes as no surprise to any college-bound student that degree programs in science and business lead to some of the best-paying jobs. It also is commonly understood that a high salary is not among the rewards of being a teacher or social worker.

Engineering is at the top of the list. Employment in one of this discipline’s myriad specialties featured an average starting salary of $63,000 in 2013. Computer-science majors and business grads were next at $60,000 and $54,000, respectively. Beginning jobs in communications paid $43,000; math and sciences, $42,700; education, $40,000; and humanities and social sciences, $37,000.

Keep mind that these are average figures, with some positions in each field paying more than others. The statistics were compiled by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit organization based in Bethlehem, Penn. It connects private companies seeking employees with career-placement offices at universities.

The NACE study, commissioned by The Associated Press, used information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and private sources like the Job Search Intelligence firm. Data was obtained from nearly 90 universities and colleges.

Engineering
The education and expertise required to be an engineer are not the only reasons that such jobs pay the most money. It is also because of the demand for engineers. Employers continue to report a shortage of qualified applicants for positions in this field.

Of the 10 college majors that lead to the highest salaries, seven involve engineering. Ranking in first place in 2013 were graduates with degrees in petroleum engineering. Their starting pay averaged $96,200. Computer engineers placed second among all graduates, at $70,300. Coming in third were chemical engineering majors, at $66,900.

Students of aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering tied for the fifth-highest starting salaries. They earned an average of $63,900, the same as that paid to mechanical engineering graduates. Next on the list were those who majored in electrical, electronics and communications engineering. They got an average of $62,500. Engineering technology, at $60,900, placed eighth among all professions.

Others on the List
While engineering jobs dominated the list, the study found several other disciplines that paid extremely well. Computer science degrees netted the fourth-best starting pay ($64,100). Finishing ninth and 10th were business management information systems ($60,300) and logistics and materials management ($59,500).

The degrees that led to the lowest-paying starting salaries are those in child and family studies, $29,500; elementary education, $31,600; social work, $31,800; athletic training, $32,800; culinary arts, $35,900; horticulture, $35,000; and theology, $34,700.

Salary Trends
Students who graduated in health sciences in 2013 saw the largest spike in pay, making 9.4 percent more than in 2012 to raise the average to $50,000. Business degrees netted about about $54,000, 7.1 percent more than they did the previous year. Salaries for education graduates were up 5.1 percent to about $40,000, while those for computer-science majors rose 4.3 percent to $60,000.

Beginning jobs in engineering professions paid 4 percent more than in 2012. The smallest increase, 1.9 percent, was reported in the humanities and social sciences. Starting salaries for those careers were about $37,000 in 2013.

However, some social-science professionals are in demand. The starting pay for sociologists soared 10.8 percent in 2013. Criminal justice majors earned 8.1 percent more than in the previous year. At the other end of the scale, those with degrees in the arts made 3 percent less, averaging $35,600.

Conclusion
In general, salaries for college graduates are on the rise. NACE reported that those who received bachelor’s degrees in 2013 received an average starting salary of about $45,000, a 5.3 percent increase from the previous year.

However, the study also found that 53.6 percent of 2013 graduates either did not have a job, or were considered underemployed, as of April that year. This demonstrates the value of earning a degree in a field that needs qualified professionals.

6 Ways to Earn a Living as a Writer

Do you have a way with words? Is it easy for you to express yourself in writing? Are you a reader who enjoys how words and sentences are structured to communicate ideas? Perhaps you are the sort of student who excels at crafting essays and compositions. If writing is one of your strengths, you may want to consider a career involving those talents.

There are numerous ways to earn a living as a writer. You can go it alone, as an author or freelance writer. Or, you can work for one of the many businesses and organizations that need people who know how to use words effectively.

Becoming a Writer

If you like to read novels, poetry, nonfiction books, articles on websites, and other materials, you are already a student of writing. Being a prolific reader may be the best kind of training. By studying the works of others, you can see how words are used and ideas are organized. You can appreciate how writers create images in readers’ minds through their clever use of the language. You also will learn how writing styles vary among journalists, authors, advertising copywriters, and others.

Some people are able to get writing jobs, or work as freelancers, without having obtained formal education. However, it is common for employers to require at least a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. Graduates of other degree programs also may qualify, and specialize in writing about the subjects with which they are familiar.

Self-Employment

More than two-thirds of those who make a living as writers work for themselves. The most glamorous type of self-employment is becoming a published author of books. Penning the “great American novel” is a dream and goal of many writers. However, this is often the culmination, rather than the start, of a writing career. Most people need to obtain significant life experience, as well as training and education in the field, to become published authors.

You can also work independently as a freelance writer. Articles and other content are needed for websites. Print newspapers and magazines pay privately employed writers by the word or piece. This work enables writers to find jobs involving subjects with which they have expertise. Writers sometimes specialize in certain areas of interest.

News Media

One of the best ways to gain experience as a writer is to submit stories to local newspapers. These publications often need someone to cover community events or rewrite news releases. You may be able to get a summer job or part-time position.

Newspapers employ full-time and part-time reporters to cover a wide range of news topics. Writers at larger papers specialize in local government, education, sports, and other fields. While some people with only high school diplomas get reporting jobs, a journalism degree is frequently required.

The highest-paid positions in a newsroom are those of editors. To become an editor, you will probably need at least a bachelor’s degree in journalism, as well as years of experience as a reporter. Copy editors are advanced proofreaders who not only correct spelling and grammar, but also make suggestions regarding writing structure and style. Large newspapers have editors in chief, who supervise city editors, news-wire editors, assignment editors, sports editors, and others.

Television and radio stations, as well as online news media, also employ reporters and editors. Like newspapers, they need professionals who are adept at writing advertising copy, as well.

Other Publishers

Books, magazines, and websites offer jobs for writers who have proven ability as editors. Copy submitted by writers needs to be proofread, corrected, and sent back for revisions. Other positions in publishing include assistant and associate editors, copywriters, dictionary editors, editorial assistants, promotional assistants, and researchers.

Nonprofit organizations produce magazines, newsletters, news releases, and public-information documents. Large groups’ national headquarters employ teams of writers and editors.

Corporations

Large businesses need a variety of written materials, internally and for public consumption. They hire writers to create trade magazines, employee manuals, newsletters, news releases, reports, and speeches. Jobs are found in communications, publications, and public relations.

Technical writers are specialists who produce instruction manuals, software documents, and other detailed materials. Advertising departments hire marketing specialists to write promotional copy. Other corporate writing jobs involve greeting cards, scripts for television shows and commercials, and advertising slogans and songs.

Government

Local, state, and federal government entities churn out legislation, reports, and other documents on a regular basis. Government positions also include speech writers, press secretaries, and technical writers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writing jobs employed 129,100 people nationwide in 2012. Their median salary was $55,940 per year, or $26.89 per hour. The pay varies widely, depending upon the type of writing and the employer.

The BLS predicted that the rate of job growth for writers would be just 3 percent (3,800 additional positions) between 2012 and 2022, much less than that of the average occupation. Some types of employment, like print newspapers, are declining. On the other hand, the number of writers needed online is growing. New sites, which require articles and other content, are being created all the time.

If writing is what you do best, there is a multitude of possible careers to explore. Find one that involves subject matter with which you are interested and knowledgeable. Get some experience and education, and read the works of other writers. With persistence, you will be able to find a way to put your writing talents to work.

4 Things to Consider Before Selecting a Career

“If you love what you do , you don’t have to work a day in your life”

One of the biggest decisions you will ever make is selecting a career. This choice is likely to determine the college you attend, the degree program you enter, the kind of job you get, and the qualify of life you enjoy in the future.

There are a number of things to consider before committing yourself. You need to understand yourself, research careers that interest you, and take into account the costs and benefits of various professions.

1. Self-Analysis

Ask yourself some questions. What do you most enjoy doing? What are your strengths and abilities? What activities interest or inspire you? Are you an extrovert who likes working with people, or would you prefer a more independent job? Do you thrive under pressure, or prefer a low-stress environment?

Think about the high school subjects in which you got your best grades, the extracurricular activities in which you excelled, and hobbies that give you satisfaction. Perhaps you have had a part-time or summer job involving duties you enjoyed. These experiences should paint a fairly clear picture of what you like and the things you do well.

Students have widely varying interests, talents, and personalities. Everyone is not suited for the same types of employment. Take an honest look at yourself, and cross off your list of possible careers those that do not fit you. Ask a high school guidance counselor, teacher, or other adult you trust to rate your strengths and give you feedback on potential occupations.

A number of career-assessment tests and quizzes are available online. They measure your aptitude for various sorts of jobs, and help you identify aspects of your personality that would lend themselves to certain professions. Because your psychology plays a major role in determining what you like and dislike, some of these tests pose probing personal questions. The Career Key, the Myers-Briggs test, and the Strong Interest Inventory are among the career self-assessments you may want to consider taking.

2. Research

Look up information about jobs that match your interests, skills, and personality. Conduct web searches of words and terms related to the subjects and activities you enjoy. Find out about employment opportunities involving those things, and compile a list of careers that you find intriguing.

Research job descriptions and other information about these careers. Speak with professionals in the fields you are considering, and ask them about the joys and challenges of their jobs. Volunteer or get an internship doing work related to a career that you find interesting. The more you learn, the easier it will be to reduce the number of potential jobs on your list.

3. Costs and Rewards

It should come as no surprise that high-paying professions tend to require substantial investments of time and money. For instance, medical doctors must earn bachelor’s degrees, complete four years of medical school, and then obtain several years of specialized training before they are finally allowed to practice.

You are obviously interested in knowing how much various jobs pay. A lucrative occupation may enable you to pay off your student loans much more quickly. While everyone wants to make a good salary, the amount of money is more important to some people than it is to others. How much does it matter to you?

Keep in mind how much it costs to get the education and training required for a career. Find out which colleges and universities offer degree programs in the field. Are the schools far away, or could you save money by commuting from home?

Do not be discouraged by high tuition rates, at least not until after learning about all the financial-aid opportunities. Scholarships, grants, loans, and other types of assistance are available from the federal government, states, colleges, and private organizations. You may find that your preferred career path is not as expensive as you initially feared.

4. Job Prospects

Another factor is the number of jobs expected to be available in a profession in the future. The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the sources you can consult for such predictions.

Having a degree will not mean much if you can’t find a job in the field. Learn about a career’s trends to get an idea of future job prospects. Try to figure out whether an occupation will continue to provide the salary level you require.

There are many things to keep in mind while going through the process of selecting a career. Do not forget to continually ask yourself, “Is this something I can see myself doing every day for the rest of my life?” No matter how much a job pays, you are not likely to be happy if you don’t like the nature of the work.

Finally, remember that nothing is permanent. You can always change your mind, though it could be costly to do so. Many students change their majors during their college years. Others opt for different professions after they have worked for several years in their degree field.

If you follow all the steps, compile the necessary information, and make wise decisions, you may find yourself with a career that you love.

Job-search, the term itself has become so clichéd that today even Googling it will land you up with a million search results. A zillion career experts with numerous opinions, each guaranteeing you the most desirable job offer and there you stand, stuck in a dilemma to make the best pick.

It might seem a bit rudimentary, but before putting any step forth, you need to get your basics in tune. Hence, mentioned below are a few such tools that either have been overlooked or not at all considered during your job hunt campaign so far. So, without further ado, just give them a good glance and try whatever it takes to incorporate these into your routine. Who knows, it might just click right!

Digital Tools to Brand Yourself

In this technical era, gone are those days when you had to post a copy of your resume to different companies. The corporate world today runs online and that’s where you need to make a mark. The recruiters in most of the corporations hire employees by getting their databases from search engines like Google and Bing.

You need to start by giving it a try and searching yourself on various search engines. Tools like Trackur and Google Alerts can prove quite handy in the same regard. You can view and control the quantity of information, you want to let out in front of HR professionals mapping and sourcing candidates.

In addition to this, you can also use your social media accounts and a personal blog to make your online presence more efficacious. To sum up the point, ways are numerous, it just depends on your approach and the efforts invested to boost your digital image.

Most Significant One: The Networking Hack

Sources round the globe suggest that networking is one of the most crucial tools that can benefit any job-seeker. While it’s true that vacancies are let out up for grabs amongst job-hunters, but to be truthful, chances that way are quite bleak. What you need to tap is the ‘hidden job market’. Companies in most of the countries today are going for referrals instead of walk-ins. Hence, it becomes imperative for you to collaborate with people through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Moreover, you can also build and nurture a healthy professional network, just by being a regular participant at various networking events. Meet people, learn more about your industry and make it a regular affair to have conversations with them. As pushy as it may sound, this really works in favor of those hunting for the right internship or employment opportunity.

A Track of All Your Accomplishments

Although there’s a specific section in your resume talking about the medals you hold in the academic arena and all the accolades you’ve won during your time as a student, but is that it?

There sure are ways you can pump up the efforts and make it way more conspicuous. What todays employer looks for are success stories during the walk of your career and this is what you need to target. It proves to be quite a fruitful method, considering the fact that it gives the employer an idea regarding your capabilities and the way you react when tackling adverse situations.

For instance, being an online marketing expert you might list increasing the web-traffic up by 25% as an achievement. But, it does little for a skeptical manager. What you need is to lay down the whole story and explain, how you were up for the task and the challenges you faced while hitting the required target. This way he’ll get over every modicum of inhibition hovering above his head.

Obviously, these were things you always came across but ignored, somehow. What you need at present is the implementation of these ideas to increase the bandwidth of alternatives you may score. Good luck!

10 Health Careers That Don't Require a Medical Degree

The booming health-care industry is expected to continue growing at a rate far exceeding that of most other fields in the coming decade. A growing population, especially the rising number of seniors, is creating additional demand for the services of many kinds of medical providers.

Students interested in a career in health care may find the educational requirements daunting. Surgeons and other doctors, as well as some other medical professionals, must complete four years of undergraduate studies, resulting in a bachelor’s degree in a life science; four years of medical school; and several more years of internships and residencies. The academic challenges posed by this lengthy process, not to mention the high cost of graduate study, are prohibitive for many students.

Fortunately, there are health-care occupations that do not entail such an intense commitment. To get some of these jobs, all that is needed is a certificate. For others, a two-year associate’s degree or four-year bachelor’s degree is sufficient. High school students planning to enter medical careers are advised to take science and math classes like biology, chemistry, physics, and algebra.

Here is a look at just 10 of the numerous health careers that do not require medical degrees.

Cardiovascular Technologists
These professionals perform diagnostic tests to detect illnesses, diseases, and disorders of the heart, blood vesssels, and lungs. Procedures in which they are trained include ultrasound, pulmonary-function and lung-capacity tests, electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, and balloon angioplasties. Cardiovascular technologists help doctors analyze test results and determine the necessary treatments.

To get this job, an associate’s degree is a typical requirement. Many students obtain bachelor’s degrees to enhance their employment opportunities.

Clinical Laboratory Technologists
This type of technologist is a scientist who conducts and analyzes diagnostic tests of bodily fluids and tissues. The tests reveal the cause of patients’ diseases and disorders, and aid doctors in making diagnoses. Clinical laboratory technologists work exclusively in labs, without contact with patients.

A bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science, allied health technologies, or a related field is generally needed. Master’s degree programs are necessary only for those seeking lab-management positions.

Medical Laboratory Technicians
These professionals rank just below clinical laboratory technologists. They assist in conducting diagnostic tests of patients’ samples. This involves the use of computers, microscopes, and other sophisticated medical equipment.

Most employers require technicians to have associate’s degrees in clinical laboratory science. Those with degrees in related fields, such as nursing, may become lab technicians by completing one-year programs in general laboratory knowledge. Some employers hire technicians who have earned certificates, rather than degrees, from hospitals or vocational schools.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
This technologist uses ultrasound equipment to create images of patients’ organs and other internal parts to detect diseases, illnesses, infections, and disorders. Sonography is a particulary fast-growing field, as the procedure is less intrusive than x-rays and increasingly preferred by patients.

To work in this occupation, a two-year allied-health degree and completion of a one-year ultrasound-technology program are required. Two-year associate’s degree programs in sonography also are available. Professionals with other medical degrees may qualify as ultrasound specialists by completing one-year certificate programs.

Health Care Social Workers
This position involves assisting people in dealing with diseases, illnesses, and disabilities. Health-care social workers educate patients about their conditions, teach coping methods, provide mental-health counseling, and refer patients to medical specialists. The families also receive counseling, while the patient is hospitalized and after returning home.

To get an entry-level job, a two-year bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or sociology is often required. Some employers call for master’s degrees in social work, which takes an additional two to four years, followed by residency training. Some universities offer doctorate degrees. These social workers must complete a training program featuring hundreds of hours of field work.

Health Information Technicians
Managing patients’ records and other data in a medical facility is the main responsibility of this professional. Paper and computer files pertaining to financial information, treatments, diagnoses, medications, and exam results must be accurate and up-to-date. Technicians work with insurance companies and other third-party payers, and code medical information for security and billing purposes.

There are several ways to become a registered health information technician (RHIT). Students may take a six-month certificate program in medical technology, or a two-year associate’s degree program in health information management. Four-year bachelor’s degrees in health information technology also are offered by accredited colleges and universities.

Licensed Vocational Nurses
Supervised by registered nurses and doctors, LVNs provide direct health-care services to patients. They monitor vital signs like pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate, and body temperature; collect blood and tissue samples for diagnostic testing; dress wounds and replace bandages; treat bedsores and administer enemas; and help patients stand, walk, eat, bathe, and change clothes.

One-year certificate programs, at community colleges and technical schools (and some hospitals), provide the necessary education to get this job. The programs provide on-the-job training, as well as classwork. Many LVNs obtain two-year associate’s degrees.

Physical Therapy Aides
This job is an entry-level health-care position. PTAs support, move, and lift patients. They educate and train people in rehabilitation methods, help them use orthopedic devices, and provide therapeutic treatments. Aides also have clerical and janitorial responsibilities in the rehab clinics, therapists’ offices, and nursing homes where most of them they are employed.

In many cases, the only educational requirement is a high school diploma or general-equivalency degree. The chances of getting a good job may be improved by taking classes in physical therapy and fitness. Community colleges and technical schools offer certificate programs for aides. Online certificate courses also are available.

Radiology Technicians
Also called x-ray techs, these people obtain x-ray images of patients’ organs and other body parts. Doctors interpret the images to determine the cause and extent of illnesses, diseases, disorders, and injuries. Technicians explain diagnostic procedures and position patients on examining tables.

Successful completion of a certificate program in radiology technology qualifies a student for this position. Such programs are offered by colleges, universities, community colleges, technical schools, and hospitals. Online study is another option. Associate’s degrees at community colleges give students additional credentials, as do bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic technology at larger institutions.

Respiratory Therapists
These professionals work under the supervision of doctors to treat patients who have breathing problems and cardiopulmonary ailments. They order diagnostic tests, then provide therapy to relieve patients’ symptoms and restore their functions.

To practice respiratory therapy, the minimum education requirement is an associate’s degree. To work at a hospital or in emergency medical services, a bachelor’s degree may be necessary.

Newspapers Still Offer Many Careers

A variety of professionals is needed to produce a print newspaper. Careers in the field involve writing and editing, financial operations, administration, sales, marketing, graphic arts, circulation, and production.

The decline of the newspaper industry in recent years has been well chronicled. The number of jobs is down considerably from the days when most people got their news from the daily paper. However, it remains a huge industry. Newspapers are publishing online editions, which enhances future employment prospects. Here is an overview of career options provided by newspapers.

Publisher
The top job is that of the publisher, who supervises all departments (news, advertising, circulation, production, and the business office). This career often requires a graduate degree and significant experience. Publishers do not always have backgrounds in news reporting, but they generally hold business degrees.

Editor
The news department is led by the editor (formerly called editor-in-chief), who reports to the publisher. The editor determines the stories to be covered, assigns reporters and photographers, and edits stories. The hiring and firing of newsroom employees is also part of the job description.

With the publisher’s approval, the editor makes policy decisions regarding reporting, writing style, format and page layout, and employees’ duties. Editors usually have the final word in deciding the positions that papers take on their editorial pages, though publishers and owners sometimes get involved.

Other Editors
A large daily paper may have a dozen or more lower-ranking editors. Those called copy editors are proofreaders who ensure that stories contain correct spelling and grammar. They are also fact checkers and newswriting-style experts, who ensure that reporters’ copy complies with rules set forth in books like “The Associated Press Stylebook” and the “Chicago Manual of Style.” The guidelines cover punctuation, capitalization, word usage, sentence structure, and other matters.

An assignment editor decides which reporter should do a story. This person schedules everyone in the newsroom, making sure stories requested by the editor get done on time. Staffers heading city, state, and national news desks are among the other types of editors. There are also editors who specialize in sports, editorials, business, lifestyle, and other news sections.

A small daily or weekly may not offer any of these positions. Some of them employ only an editor, copy editor, and sports editor. Though experience and proven ability may suffice, a journalism degree is typically required to be an editor. English majors also may qualify.

Reporter
The people who research and gather information, interview people, go to public meetings, and write newspaper stories are reporters. General-assignment reporters must familiarize themselves with a wide array of subject matter. Beat reporters are assigned to certain kinds of news, like the courts or the schools. Reporters may specialize in covering sports, law enforcement, business, and other types of news.

It is possible to get a reporting job at a small paper with no education or experience. Just being a decent writer, willing to work for low wages, might be enough. However, a degree in journalism or English is usually preferred. Applicants are asked to provide samples of their writing.

Photographer
Some beginning photographers (like writers) see newspapers as an entry-level opportunity; a way to hone their skills and get their work published. Photographers frequently accompany reporters to news scenes, to take pictures that complement the stories. They shoot everything from artistic nature scenes to buzzer-beating basketball shots.

Newspaper photographers may operate on a general-assignment or specialty basis. They are responsible for obtaining some information (like the correct spelling of the names of people in a picture), and may be asked to write captions (called cutlines). Proven ability and experience are more helpful than a college degree in getting the job.

Page Layout
A staffer who writes headlines, and determines the arrangement of stories and photos on a page, is called a layout editor, page designer, or compositor. The editor provides direction as to which news should have the most prominent placement. For instance, the top stories go “above the fold” on Page 1.

Modern newspaper layout is done on a computer screen, using a program like Pagemaker or InDesign. Advertisements are placed on a page first. The percentage of space remaining for news content is called the news hole. At small papers, the editor or copy editor may be responsible for page layout. Educational requirements vary.

Advertising
A newspaper could not exist without advertising, the major source of income for print papers in the United States. (In some countries, subscriptions bring in more money than the ads.) A big paper’s advertising department includes a manager, clerk-receptionists, sales agents, and graphic artists. Business majors, like administration and marketing, are appropriate for these careers.

Circulation
Newspaper businesses, unlike online news operations, must manually deliver a tangible product. Circulation managers conduct promotional campaigns to increase the number of subscribers. They supervise carriers, ensure that newstands and dispensing machines are stocked, and see that subscribers receive their papers.

This position requires multiple skills, such as employee management, marketing, and public relations. Degrees in related fields may improve the odds of employment, especially at large dailies.

Production
A newspaper’s pressroom, where the product is printed, employs several types of workers. Someone has to be in charge of the operation, of course. This person supervises staffers, oversees equipment maintenance, orders supplies, and meets production deadlines.

Others run the printing press, monitoring ink levels and other settings; and bundle newspapers for the carriers. These are considered manual-labor jobs that do not require post-secondary education, though an experienced pressman is highly valued because of the expertise required.

Business Office Staff
Bookkeepers, accountants, payroll managers, clerks, receptionists, human-resources staff, and cashiers are among the employees that may be found in a newspaper’s business office. Other clerical staffers are needed to pay bills, issue invoices, and file reports. Employers prefer applicants with business-related education and retail-sales experience.

Information-technology jobs also are available. A large paper may have a business-systems manager, desktop-systems analyst and specialist, networks-operations expert, networking systems analyst, other tech-support staff.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the number of jobs available for reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts will decline by 7,200 (13 percent) between 2012 and 2022. Other newspaper employees also are seeing dwindling opportunities, as advertising continues to shift away from print publications.

The good news for those interested in newspaper careers is that jobs are still provided in nearly every community. The industry is down, but not out. As Mark Twain said, “The reports of (its) death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Choosing the right career path

Are you fresh out of high school and filling college applications?

Confused about choosing your majors?

Well, you are not the only one. It is a daunting task for many. But, you need to understand what will work best for you.

Understand Your Interests

Your first step in contemplating your career choice is to evaluate your interests and aspirations. It is easy to settle in a career that comes along your way only to realize that it isn’t what you want. If you thoroughly understand your interests, you can choose a path which best aligns with what you like to do. For example: if you are artistic and good at drawing or painting, you can choose a career as an architect, artist, or designer.

Identifying Social Needs

You need to know if you are a peoples person or too shy to work as part of a team. These behaviors can also influence the choice of your career. If you like to deliver value from behind the scenes, a career in actuary or accounting may be suitable (if you are good with numeric also). If you are energetic and moved by others needs, social work or marketing may be your field.

Research

When you understand your interests and evaluate what you would like to do, start gathering information about it. Visit the university or college and talk to professors and counselors. Attend career expos, and if those aren’t available then use the internet to learn about different careers and what they entail.

Understand the subjects that each career path has to offer and how they would relate to your interests; whether you would like to study those subjects. Once you think you have made a list of possible careers you can opt, talk to professionals in those fields. Firsthand knowledge of others experience in the particular field will give you a better understanding of the practical side of it.

Speaking to Career Counselors

Talk to your career counselor. Talking to someone before making your decision can help you clarify any queries and concerns. The counselor can also tell you about more careers and the college options for their availability and criteria.

Taking a Test

There are many tests which help in identifying possible careers based on your interests and personality. One popular test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Seek help when undertaking a test to understand and interpret the results and be cautious as many tests are also paid.

Long-Term Goals

Choosing a career is like choosing the route you would like to take into your future, where you would build a life for yourself. So, it is extremely important to be rational and open-minded about the decision to take. Have a vision and know your end point where you want to be. The position you would like to have or the income you want to earn. Tracing those steps backwards will help you clarify your starting point of choosing a career.

Intern or Volunteer

Utilize your summers in acquiring an internship or volunteer work. The practical exposure will help you clear any doubts and also pave way for a future job. It will also help to further develop your skills and introduce you to work ethics and environment.

In the end, never be afraid to step up and seek the right information to make the best career choice for you. Make phone calls and get in touch with people who can guide you and provide useful information. Don’t shy away from talking to your counselor and do not make assumptions about any particular field. Be open in your assessment approach and along the process develop an understanding about yourself also.

The Path to Becoming a Teacher

Teachers play crucial roles in society, sharing their knowledge with students and training them to succeed as adults. Education is an ancient and noble profession that is among the most popular college majors.

The path to becoming a teacher begins in high school, or even earlier, when students begin thinking about the profession. This process continues through stages of preparation, education, and certification.

You may want to be a teacher because you have been inspired by instructors in your school. Perhaps there is an academic subject that you love, and would like to teach to others. You could have a gift for relating to children that makes you well suited for a life as an educator.

1. Preparation

If you are in middle school or high school, you may already be considering education as a career. This is when you begin exploring the possibilities, and determining whether you have the necessary skills. In addition to research, you need first-hand information from teachers you respect. Ask why they chose the profession, and which aspects they like and dislike.

Your grades are important, as they are major factors in getting college placements and financial aid. If your grade-point average is too low, it could be hard to find a college that will accept you. Exceptional marks, along with high scores on the ACT or SAT, could pay large dividends.

It is recommended that prospective teachers take a variety of liberal-arts classes in high school. Challenge yourself with difficult courses, and sign up for college-prep programs. During this time, decide whether you want to teach in elementary, secondary, or special education. The level you choose affects the classes you should take.

In determining which academic subject to teach, you might want to do some market research. Instructors in certain subjects are in greater demand than others, which influences job availability and salary. At last report, those most needed were math, biology, chemistry, and special-education instructors. Social studies, health, and physical-education teachers were in the least demand.

2. Post-Secondary Education

The educational requirements for teachers are similar, with some differences, in the United States and Canada. States and provinces, rather than national governments, determine rules and procedures. All jurisdictions in the two countries mandate bachelor’s degrees, which typically entail four years of full-time study.

Selecting a college or university involves a number of factors, like tuition rates, academic requirements, degree programs, school size, and location. Do not immediately rule out a college that appears to be too expensive. Explore all the possible types of financial aid. The United States has a Federal Teachers Loan Forgiveness Program for students who agree to teach certain subjects or work in low-income areas. Some states also offer incentives to attact more people to the profession.

Education majors take an array of general-education classes, with an emphasis on the grade levels they anticipate teaching. While in school, they often work as student teachers to obtain on-the-job training. U.S. students seek undergraduate degrees in the subjects (like math, science, or English) that they plan to teach. They also must complete pedagogy coursework, which covers educational theories and practices.

An alternate route is to complete two years of college, then transfer to a four-year teacher-education degree program at a university. Online courses also are available. Some states impose additional stipulations regarding teacher-preparation classes. Receiving student-teacher training, as well as passing an exam in your subject area, are commonly mandated before you are allowed to apply for a teaching certificate.

Canadian undergraduates must obtain a specified number of credits, which varies by province, in education-related courses. A bachelor of secondary education degree takes another year or two of studies.

3. Certification

Nearly all public schools, and many private institutions, require their teachers to have professional certification. Procedures vary, but states usually administer the PRAXIS exam or a basic-skills test. A passing grade qualifies you for a teaching certificate in that state. Most states have incremental levels of certification. You could work for three to five years with preliminary, or provisional, credentials. Continuing education and experience are required to earn professional or permanent certificates.

In some places, this process is complicated. For instance, starting teachers in Michigan and some other states hold “initial” certificates that are good for one or two years, then can pass some exams to get six-year “provisional” credentials. These certificates must be renewed three times, involving more classes and exams. With further continuing education and professional development, an instructor may earn a “professional education” certificate. Veteran teachers can qualify for “advanced professional education” certification.

If you are certified in one state, you might be allowed to transfer the credentials to another state. However, such reciprocity agreements are not accepted in all jurisdictions. To become certified to teach in Canada, you need to show your qualifications to a provincial education department or College of Teachers. You also must past an exam.

Teaching children has many rewards, though the financial benefits are not as attractive as those of many other professional occupations. If you successfully navigate all the years of education, training, and certification, you can look forward to a gratifying career. As a teacher, you will find yourself in a position to positively influence young people, and help them achieve their own goals in life.

Making Money - Options for Part Time Jobs

University fees are rising each year and funding is increasingly sparse. Most students have to consider part-time jobs to earn a little extra cash to support their studies. Part-time employment can also help you develop teamwork, organizational and time management skills. It provides students an insight into working life and helps prepare them for their careers. Given below are a few employment options available to university students today:

Computer lab attendant or tech jobs

Computer labs in universities often need tech support or lab attendants and this is an ideal job for someone who is tech-savvy. This type of job usually pays quite well and it also provides students valuable real world experience if they are planning a career in the IT industry.

Library jobs

Most universities have library jobs listed on campus that students can take advantage of. Library jobs are much more than just checking out material and helping other students with their requests. These jobs require secretarial duties, data entry, inter-library loans and use of the library’s search system. Libraries also offer a very low-key, comfortable environment to work in and are therefore excellent opportunities for students.

Gym jobs

A very large number of universities today have gyms and these can provide good part-time opportunities to students. College gyms usually have a huge demand for employees who can organize equipment, provide customer service and perform other management related functions. Students can also take up jobs providing personal training or taking aerobics, yoga or other fitness classes at the gym. For those who are fitness savvy and a little experienced, this can provide an excellent income opportunity.

Dorm desk attendants

Although it is one of the most overlooked jobs, a desk attendant job in university dorm is in fact one of the best opportunities available on campus. Usually the job is quite slow paced and does not require a lot of hours. It provides students good experience while providing a higher income potential.

Teaching assistants

PhD students and a few master’s students can make a good amount of money as a teaching assistant within the university. These jobs are usually quite well paid and also offer an insight into the academic profession. Teaching also helps students learn better and helps them develop several transferable skills that will prove to be useful later in their careers.

Off-campus jobs

There are also several good part-time job opportunities available off-campus. Local employers usually recruit part-time and casual employees or busy periods like summer and Christmas. Jobs in retail, hospitality and even part-time office jobs allow students to network in their chosen field, gain valuable experience and earn money while at college.

While there are several ways in which students can earn money at college, it is also essential to manage time well and ensure that they have enough time available to dedicate to their studies. Most universities recommend their students to work no more than 15 hours a week so they can manage all their academic obligations.

Work Study Balance - Getting it Right

Even student loans and scholarships are sometimes not enough to cover all your college expenses. For this reason, many college students have full or part-time jobs. This is a reality of modern life, and those who are able to manage working and studying at the same time, find the experience rewarding. If work begins to get in the way, it is best to seek another job or reschedule your school workload.

If you are a new college student who is unemployed, you can start looking for a job when you get your course schedule. There are actually many job opportunities for college students, and some of them can be found right on campus. Many colleges provide their students with employment to help make ends meet.  These jobs include library monitor, campus administration, tour guide, or working in the campus bookstore. Other good part-time job options for university students are:

  • Teaching assistant: Some college seniors and postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching college freshmen. The job may also include helping out during exams and grading papers. Talk to a professor to find out if there are openings available.
  • IT technician: The campus office or nearby businesses sometimes need people with technical skills to help in maintaining their computer infrastructure. Keep an eye on the notice board and check the classified ads to see if companies are looking for workers with the kind of skills you have.
  • Production assistant: Many local playhouses or theater companies are always looking for people to help in staging their events. The college’s drama group might have positions available as well.
  • Fast food worker or wait staff: Some college students work part time in the restaurant industry. Those lucky enough to get jobs in high-end restaurants can make a lot of money in tips.

Many college students who want to work will have to do a lot of searching before they find a job. Most of them do not need to earn a lot of money. The important thing is that the income helps them to cover additional expenses like rent or food.

Managing Work and School

No matter how small the job is, it will not be easy for any student to do it while giving enough time to their studies. The following tips are helpful in learning to balance both school and work, whether they are working full-time or part-time.

  • Set clear goals: When you have a sense of what you want to achieve this will help to keep you focus. Goals help to motivate you and keep you aware of what needs to be done and when. Do not hesitate to treat yourself as a reward for accomplishing each goal.
  • Develop time management skills: This is important if you expect to do your job and fulfil you school obligations. Create a timetable, and make sure that your job does not clash with your classes. Assign some time for studying for tests and completing assignments.
  • Get enough rest: You will not be able to do well at work or in class if you are not sleeping enough and getting adequate rest. As a working student, you may have to skip some of the partying and other types of entertainment.
  • Ask for advice: Your faculty advisor, professor and even other students can offer a lot of guidance to help you maintain a balance between work and school. Do not hesitate to talk to someone if you are having problems, especially if you cannot meet your deadlines.
  • Talk to your employer: Make sure that your employer knows that you are attending college. Some business owners will do their best to help their workers who are studying by offering employees more flexible working hours. They might even provide time off to study for exams.
  • Join a study group: This is a good way to catch up on those topics you missed because you were late for class or were unable to attend classes.  Study groups also help you better understand topics you may have difficulty understanding.

College students who exercise are better focused and less stressed, so this is especially important if you are working and studying at the same time. So it is also a good idea to join the gym to help keep you stress level down. As a college student who is working, you will need to learn how to say no to family and friends sometimes. Remember that your goal is to complete your studies successfully. You should not let personal tasks and activities get in the way unless an emergency is involved.

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