Archive for the ‘Majors and Minors’ Category
Finishing your sophomore year of college can elicit the sense that your life is halfway over, the real world is too close for comfort and its all downhill from here. You might feel stuck or lack direction. You might be eager to start a job in lieu of studying all the time. Don’t fret, future college juniors. Make these final two years count by focusing in on future and fun.
Focus on Your Future
Choose your major. If choosing a major is something you have been avoiding, spend time this summer deciding so you can be ready to go in the fall. You still have two years to complete it, and chances are you’ve already completed some prerequisites.
Become an Intern. This summer and next summer should most definitely be spent in part preparing for a career post-college. Internships are the perfect tools to explore career options and make connections.
Visit the Career Center. It will give you direction if you feel lost or overwhelmed by the world outside your campus. You may find new ways you could apply your skills or different routes others have taken.
Don’t Forget About School. Yeah, like that could happen! But don’t get too wrapped up in career planning. You’re still a student, so make sure classes and attendance are your top priorities.
Focus on Fun
Dive into Extracurricular Activities! While extracurricular activities can sometimes be just resume padding, try doing one that you eagerly attend and have fun with, even if it’s not directly related to school work. Try something new!
Make a To Do List. A fun one! Think about all the wonderful things your campus and surrounding area have to offer in terms of fun. Make a list of the things you haven’t done that you would like to do in the next two years. Then get going!
Study Abroad. Junior year is often the year most students choose to study abroad. This summer, take a look at the programs your school offers and pick one that peaks your interest. There’s no better time to travel – when you’re young and surrounded by a group of friends.
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Congratulations, College Freshmen! You did it. You completed your first amazing, scary, challenging and rewarding first year of college. Now, time to prepare for the next three. Sometimes it’s going to feel like doing an obstacle course, uphill, with no end in sight. Here are a few things to remember as a Sophomore that will make those next three years manageable and fun!
PICK A MAJOR.
If you haven’t chosen a major yet, sophomore year is the year to do it. The sooner you choose, the sooner you can register for the necessary classes and find internship opportunities. Keep in mind, you can always change your major. Don’t rush this decision, but choosing something will give you direction and clarify what it is that you want to do with your time in college. Visit Cappex for great tips on choosing a major!
MEET WITH YOUR ADVISOR.
Your advisor will ensure you are registering for the necessary prerequisites and help you find the right major for you. It’s good to just check in with them, too. It’s easy to forget about other class requirements when you’re already focused on your current class schedule. On that note…
GET PREREQUISITES OUT OF THE WAY.
Use your sophomore year to take prerequisite courses that you’ll need for graduation, no matter what major you choose. Many colleges require foreign language or math courses in order to graduate. Do these now! Then you won’t have to take them as a senior focusing on more specialized classes.
PREPARE FOR INTERNSHIPS.
Research internship options that interest you. Even if you don’t know your major yet, doing some preliminary sleuthing might clarify what you really want to do when you aren’t a student any more. It will also inform you of opportunities available and deadlines for future reference.
Focus. Focus. Focus. It’s easy to get distracted or discouraged as a sophomore or junior in college. Schoolwork is probably tougher than you’re used to, or maybe there’s just more of it. Keep going! Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal: proudly graduating with a degree you earned through hard work.
Find something outside of schoolwork that excites you! Join a club or start a group – just make sure it is fun and you enjoy being a part of it. Homework and classes are overwhelming enough. Find a hobby that lets you explore something new, but keep it light and positive.
Are you a college sophomore? Do you have any insider tips on choosing a major or staying focused? Join the discussion at Cappex!
Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions you will make in college. For some students, this is an easy choice based on passion, skill or necessity. For others, it’s a less direct path that requires some research and reflection. By keeping your future career in mind, your major might choose itself for you!
Think about salary.
If you are driven to make a lot of money post-graduation, research lucrative career paths and find out what majors correlate to these jobs. According to a recent NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) survey, the highest paid majors of the 2011 graduating class were engineering (petroleum, chemical, computer, mineral) and computer science.
Think about jobs realistically.
Just because you major in something that could make you a lot of money, do not bank on jobs being available for that industry. The job market is very competitive these days; if you narrow your focus on one field and neglect taking courses outside of your chosen major, you simultaneously narrow your job opportunities. Be sure to take a few courses in school that make you a well-rounded applicant. Minors are excellent tools to add depth to your resume and display your knowledge in multiple fields.
Think about internships.
Internships are terrific testing tools. First, they allow you to test your major in a hands-on environment. No matter what your field of study, there is some form of internship out there for you. You can even look into internships outside your focus to boost your resume and gain great new experiences. If you are undecided, try an internship somewhere that just genuinely intrigues you. Perhaps it will sway you in a more specific direction.
Second, internships connect you to people who may be able to hire you in the future. Your co-workers and fellow interns will be contacts you can reference when you begin your job search. Many employers hire interns that perform well because they’ve built up a strong relationship and trust. Due to the competitive nature of the job market, skill alone may not earn you a position somewhere. It takes networking and time to make a strong impression. Start now!
Think about geography.
Are you willing to move for your job? Is there a specific city in which you dream of living? These factors may have a huge effect on what you study. Marine biology will certainly plant you along a coastline, while musical theater will plop you right in the middle of New York City. Consider where you may want to move after graduation when considering your major.
For more information on majors, minors, and all things college, make a profile on Cappex today!
Choosing a major is a big deal and a hard choice. Most students don’t have the ease of going into college knowing exactly what they want to be doing the next forty years of their lives–those that do are rock stars of decision making, though!
If you don’t know exactly what you want to study in college, it may be helpful to think about majors that lead to lucrative careers. The Daily Beast recently published an article about the most useful college majors based on research from Georgetown University that charted two years of census data to determine the likelihood of positive financial returns in relation to college majors in conjunction with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about employment projections.
Still, choosing a major based on future monetary prospects isn’t the only factor that should go into your decision. Being able to head to class excited about what you’re learning is worth its weight in gold. So, hopefully financial success and passion with what your studying wind up going hand in hand. But in a rough economy, knowing you’ll have job stability might just be worth it for you.
Here are thirteen of the most useful college majors:
Unemployment, recent grad: 4.0%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 1.9%
Earnings, recent grad: $48,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $64,000
2. Mechanical Engineer
Unemployment, recent grad: 8.6%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 3.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $58,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $86,000
3. Electrical Engineering
Unemployment, recent grad: 7.3%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.2%
Earnings, recent grad: $57,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $90,000
4. Civil Engineering
Unemployment, recent grad: 8.1%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.5%
Earnings, recent grad: $50,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $81,000
5. Computer Science
Unemployment, recent grad: 7.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.6%
Earnings, recent grad: $50,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $81,000
Unemployment, recent grad: 6.6%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.2%
Earnings, recent grad: $44,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $72,000
7. Marketing & Research
Unemployment, recent grad: 7.3%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 6.0%
Earnings, recent grad: $37,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $65,000
Unemployment, recent grad: 6.1%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.1%
Earnings, recent grad: $40,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $71,000
Unemployment, recent grad: 6.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $43,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $65,000
10. French, German, Latin, and other Common Foreign Languages
Unemployment, recent grad: 7.9%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $32,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $50,000
Unemployment, recent grad: 7.0%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $37,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $60,000
12. Elementary Education
Unemployment, recent grad: 4.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 3.4%
Earnings, recent grad: $33,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $40,000
Unemployment, recent grad: 9.4%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.7%
Earnings, recent grad: $48,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $76,000
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Choosing a college major can be a very stressful time. While some people apply to specific programs in college and go to college knowing what they want to do, others really need to learn more about themselves before picking a major. Remember, college majors are important but they won’t necessarily push you into a box for the rest of your life. Don’t freak out! Many music majors can go to med school and pre-med students can wind up at law school.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
What do you love to do?
Think really hard about what you love to do. Picture the classes you get excited about going to. Classes you get excited about doing the reading. Is there a major that involves many of these things?
What are you skilled in?
Be honest with yourself. What are you good at? What classes have you always excelled in? More often than not, these will overlap with what you love to do. Remember, majors can lead to a field. You wouldn’t want to base your career on something that you aren’t good at.
Do you already know what job you want to do?
If you know what job you want to do after you graduate, look into what majors best prepare you for that job. Talk to people in that field. For example, if you want to be a political journalist, maybe journalists you meet will tell you not to go to journalism school but to be a history/polysci double major and write for your school paper.
Planning on Grad School?
If you’re planning on going to grad school, look into what types of majors they want. For example, if you want to go to medical school, you probably want to be a pre-med-related major. If you want to go to a certain class of law schools, find out what types of majors they like. Put yourself in the best position possible to get accepted to the grad school of your dream.
Ok remember, DON’T FREAK OUT! College majors can be important (especially if you are planning on going to a specific graduate program that requires a specific major). However, if you are getting a general liberal arts degree, your specific major might not affect at all your success in life in whatever field you want to go in to. Pick something you love, are passionate about, and will put you on the path to success in a career you want to start.
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If you happened to catch a few minutes of the evening news in your residence hall lobby, or overheard recent unemployment statistics at breakfast one morning, you might be questioning your college major. For those of us who have chosen to follow our passions for the arts or humanities, that questioning may have turned into full blown panic. Is this field going to be realistic when I graduate? Will I be able to find a job? Should I change my major to something in demand? Should I add another degree? Am I just wasting my time and money here?
The thought of not being able to find a job after graduation is something that haunts college students, especially those who are about to graduate this spring. But before you do anything crazy, consider the following:
Don’t let the news scare you: You’ve wanted to be a music teacher since you were nine years old. You can play six instruments, have been the star of every musical in high school, and are about to graduate college with high honors. Don’t throw that away for a science degree because the news is showing budget cuts to the arts. If you’ve spent years working toward a career, don’t abandon it over a few months of scary unemployment stories.
Think outside the box: College students often make the mistake of assuming what they major in is what they learn. Psych majors learn how to be psychologists and education majors learn how to educate. Defining what you learn by the title of your major is limiting. Instead, think about the courses you’re taking and what skills you’re gaining from those courses. What does your college major require you to know and be good at? It’s these skills and abilities that will someday get you a job.
Become your very best: Despite what the statistics and news stories may indicate, there are jobs out there for everyone in every major. They’re just harder to get than before. You can improve your chances by becoming your very best when it comes to your field of study. Instead of coasting through your classes until you get your degree, take the extra time to master concepts you know your classmates have problems with. Spend a few extra hours in lab. Save your notebooks from previous classes, and browse through them once in a while. Read extra material on your field of study that hasn’t been assigned to you. By taking the drivers seat when it comes to your passion and your education, you’re going to know more and you’re going to do better.
A degree is never useless: There are many people who find themselves incredibly happy in careers where they didn’t necessarily earn their degree, because the skills they learned to get the degree took them there. In addition, some entry level jobs only require that you have a bachelors degree without considering the subject in which it’s in. Despite what you’ve majored in, having a degree will always make you more marketable than not having it.
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Future business women of America! Our culture puts a lot of pressure on students to go to the best Ivy League colleges so that they can get the best jobs and make the most of their careers; but just because you’re not at or going to an Ivy doesn’t mean you won’t be calling the shots in a big way in your future. As Beyonce so poignantly said:
“Who run the world? Girls.”
Here’s where Forbes’ top women CEO’s went to college:
CEO of Kraft Foods
Undergraduate college: Cornell University
Rosenfeld not only earned her B.A. in psychology from Cornell, but she also earned her Ph.D in marketing and statistics there as well.
Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Undergraduate college: Franklin & Marshall College
Schapiro was the first woman to be the permanent Chairment of the SEC. She was appointed by President Obama in 2009.
CEO of Xerox
Undergraduate college: Polytechnic Institute
Super cool lady, Ursala Burns, is not only the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company, but also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company.
CEO of Avon
Undergraduate college: Princeton University
First generation Canadian-American, Jung rose to the top through her positions at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and currently, Avon.
Former CEO of Yahoo!
Undergraduate college: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Bartz was once told when she requested a transfer to 3M’s headquarters that “women don’t do these jobs.” She sure proved whoever said that to her wrong!
CEO of Well Point
Undergraduate college: Texas Tech University
Braly received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University in 1982 and her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law.
CEO of Archer Daniels Midland
Undergraduate college: Penn State
Taking on her role as CEO, Woertz commented, ”I’m outside the company, outside the industry, outside the family, outside the gender expectations.”
CEO of Anglo American
Undergraduate college: Skidmore College
That geology major IS important! Carroll earned her B.S. from Skidmore in geology and then went on to earn her masters in geology from the University of Kansas. She didn’t stop there; she then went on to earn her MBA from Harvard.
CEO of Dupont
Undergraduate college: Tufts University
Kullman studied mechanical engineering at Tufts and then earned her master’s degree in management from Northwestern University. Moral of the story? Your major in college doesn’t dictate your future career–it only helps to inform it!
Former CEO of Global Wealth & Investment Management for Bank of America
Undergraduate college: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Krawcheck oversaw the largest wealth management business in the world at $2.3 trillion in client assets.
Are you interested in a future in business? Find your perfect college match that will help you reach your goals!
If you’re like most freshmen and sophomore college students, you either haven’t chosen a major yet, or you’re rethinking the major you did choose. You may have even already changed your major once and are considering changing it again! The fact is, most college students don’t walk into their first lecture knowing what they want to do with their lives, and four years later, walk across the stage, diploma in hand, with the same plans. It’s just not that simple.
In college, you will uncover talents you didn’t know you had. You will become interested in subjects you didn’t even know existed. You may realize that despite how hard you try, there are some things you just were not meant to do. You may also discover something you enjoyed on a high school level isn’t so much fun at the college level. Academia is full of doors of opportunity swinging open, left and right, and you’re being asked to pick just one and follow through? For the rest of your life? How can you be sure which is the right door?
Of course choosing a major is overwhelming! So here is a list of tips to consider when choosing your college major:
If you have no clue:
- Get your mandatory core classes out of the way. This will free up your schedule in the following semesters so when you do choose your major, you will have time to really focus in on it, and simply enjoy doing what you love all day, everyday.
- Start at a community college. This will allow you to get your feet wet in some classes that interest you without breaking the bank.
- Take time away from school. By taking a few months to travel or work, you’ll be more in touch with what subjects you start to miss and why.
If you have some clue:
- Do your research. Talk to students in the major, professors, and individuals who have the job you someday seek. Never rely on how the media portrays a particular career.
- Make your college catalog your best friend. Here you will find all the courses you are required to take for any major. Read their descriptions. If you’re bored to tears or if you’re already completely lost, chances are, you haven’t found your major.
- Visit your career center/liberal arts department. Most campuses have councilors and/or programs there to advise students on choosing a major including working with you to help get in the classes you need, when you need them, so you can graduate on time.
Things to remember:
- Your major should be a combination of something that interests you and something you’re capable of doing. Choosing a major you can’t stand just because you’re good at it won’t bring you happiness or satisfaction. Choosing a major you love but can’t handle won’t bring you success.
- Choosing a major in a field that is flourishing might land you a great job after college, but if that field doesn’t excite you, what’s the point?
- Your major should not be dictated by anyone except yourself. While family members and professors may wish to steer you in a particular direction, it’s your life and your future.
- Your major is not your identity or destiny. You can continue to pursue many other doors of opportunity through clubs, organizations, and as hobbies. You could graduate with a degree in one area, and use it to contribute to something completely different. Your major isn’t a lock-down on your life.
- Everyone hates their major at some point, often right before exams. If you’re considering switching majors, take time to seriously consider if you’re truly uninterested and/or incapable, or if you’ve just had a rough week.
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The play’s the thing!
At least at these colleges it is.
According the The Princeton Review, the best college theater scenes aren’t on the Great White Way. Nope, the #1 best college theater is in Allentown, Pennsylvania. So if you’re thinking about majoring in theater arts, or you just happen to be patron of the stage and live theater, these are schools you should most definitely consider:
1. Muhlenberg College
Notable theater-related alumna: Michael McDonald, costume designer and 2009 Tony Award and Drama Desk nominee for Hair.
2. Drew University
Notable theater-related alumna: James Van Der Beek from Dawson’s Creek! (Apparently he didn’t graduate though…). Also, Aileen Quinn, who played Annie in the originally motion picture.
3. Bennington College
Notable theater-related alumni: Bennington is stacked with famous alumni including Alan Arkin, Anne Ramsey, Carol Channing, Justin Theroux, Holland Taylor, and Peter Dinklage (from Game of Thrones!).
4. Yale University
Notable theater-related alumni: Just to name of few (there are so many) alumni, there is Patricia Clarkson, Paul Giamatti, Elia Kazan, Paul Newman (graduate school), Liev Schreiber, and THE Meryl Streep.
5. Wagner College
Notable theater-related alumna: Molly Burnett, star of Days of Our Lives.
6. Emerson College
Notable theater-related alumna: Jay Leno and Denis Leary.
7. Northwestern University
Notable theater-related alumni: Ann Margret, Warren Beatty, Zach Braff, Stephen Colbert, Cloris Leachman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Seth Meyers…and there’s a lot more where that came from.
8. Carnegie Mellon University
Notable theater-related alumni: Holly Hunter, Ted Danson, and Ethan Hawke.
9. Indiana University – Bloomington
Notable theater-related alumni: Screenwriter and Emmy Award winner, Elliot Baker, Sarah Clarke, aka Bella Swan’s mother, and Andrew Katsulas, aka the One Armed Man in The Fugitive.
10. SUNY at Purchase College
Notable theater-related alumni: Parker Posey, Susie Essman, Zoe Kravitz, And Josh Hartnett.
11. Brown University
Notable theater-related alumni: Laura Linney, John Krasinski, and Emma Watson also had a stint at Brown.
12. Knox College
Notable theater-related alumna: Vir Das, the famous Bollywood actor.
13. Kenyon College
Notable theater-related alumni: Allison Janney, Paul Newman, and Josh Radnor.
Whether you’re a theater student or not, do you make sure to take advantage of the performing arts on campus?
I took a couple, something on dinosaurs (which, to my surprise, did have more than one lecture simply stating, ‘And then they went extinct’) and one on Harry Potter. And you know what? Those professors know what they’re doing because I actually learned a lot more than I bargained for–a lot of information on how rocks form, which is WAY more exciting than it sounds, and a bunch of themes in British literature that even J.K. Rowling herself is not immune to (probably because she knew what she was doing while she was writing the best books ever).
What’s super neat-o awesome about a liberal arts education is that you can take a class on the metaphysical mechanics of Doc Brown’s time machine in Back to the Future, and you will leave knowing so much more about the world than you could’ve possibly expected. That’s the beauty of the liberal arts; it’s not just black and white. That’s why it’s important to study different mediums to discuss language, philosophy, science and history. Even if one of those fields is your major, there’s a good chance there’ll bee some cross-pollination (see what I did there?) You’ll have to know how to study history if you’re an English major and vice a versa.
So when you’re looking through that course guide, don’t just skip over the flashy pop culture courses because you think you won’t get anything out of them; you most definitely will.
On that note, here are 11 popular culture classes being offered this semester at colleges across the nation. Do any interest you?
1. Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963
What it’s about: Taught and conceived by Professor Michael Allen, this Mad Men class will assign students to watch episodes of the popular TV series, which Allen believes accurately portrays American life in the 1950s-60s.
2. South Park and Contemporary Social Issues
What it’s about: Dr. Baron (Philosophy) and Dr. Raley (Sociology) of McDaniel College are using South Park–a show which has never shied away from tackling the big social issues from its own point of view–paired with historical and contemporary texts, theories, and concepts from sociology and philosophy to understand and discuss contemporary social issues.
3. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame
University of South Carolina
What it’s about: Students who take the course with Mathieu Deflem will focus on relevant elements of the societal context of Lady Gaga’s rise to fame, with students better able to engage in scholarly thinking about relevant aspects of popular culture, music, and fame.
4. Zombies in Popular Media
Columbia College Chicago
What it’s about: This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Instruction follows an intense schedule, using critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figures many incarnations….beware…
5. Wordplay: A Wry Plod From Babel to Scrabble
What it’s about: Professor Joshua Katz teaches this course with the goal to bring together interesting reading, thoughtful scholarship, and hands-on revelry in the exploration of the ludic side of language. Linguistic play is part of many people’s normal experience (think of the daily crossword puzzle and the excitement that surrounds the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee) and yet it is widely considered a trivial pursuit, often childish (Dr. Seuss and counting-out rhymes) but sometimes abstruse (James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov).
6. “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing
What it’s about:This course challenges the general conception that being distracted, i.e. students with A.D.D, infringe on “knowing”. T he course is all about ways of knowing, so it embraces the fact that we are distracted as a culture, why are we distracted, how can we embrace it and how do we get back to the thing that we were doing in the first place
7. What if Harry Potter is Real?
Appalachian State University
What it’s about: This course asks questions about the very nature of history. Who decides what history is? Who decides how it is used or mis-used? How does this use or misuse affect us? How can the historical imagination inform literature and fantasy? How can fantasy reshape how we look at history? The Harry Potter novels and films are fertile ground for exploring all of these deeper questions. Wingardium leviosa!
8. The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur
University of Washington
What it’s about: The course explores the philosophical, historical and literary influences of the late rapper and activist, Tupac Shakur.
9. Goldberg’s Canon: Makin’ Whoopi
What it’s about: Simply said, it’s a symposium on the career of Whoopi Goldberg.
10. Philosophy of Star Trek
What it’s about: Taught by Associate Professor Linda Wetzel, this course will go at light speed discussing topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments will be assigned.
11. Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z
What it’s about: The course is taught by Michael Eric Dyson, who wanted to seriously investigate the fuss behind Jay’z rhetorical impact.
Do any of these classes pique your interest? What class would you want taught?
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