Archive for the ‘Internships, Career & Life After College’ Category
Earning potential is one of the big reasons for getting a college degree. But the difference in how much you can make in certain fields is surprising. We hear a lot about how getting a STEM degree can give you more job opportunities and better pay, but is that actually true? It does look like people with math, engineering, and computer science degrees are raking in the big bucks compared to people who study education and social sciences. Here’s a look at the average earnings for some popular college majors.
Still trying to decide which major will fit your interests and still give you the ability to earn a living? Take our Careers and Majors quiz to find out what’s right for you.
The medical field is booming with opportunities for employment. You may not consider yourself the type to become a nurse or doctor, but there is still a place for you somewhere in the medical field if you have an interest in helping others. Here are five reasons to check out medical program options.
The Field is Wide Open
A job in healthcare is a secure one. The field has been identified by the US Department of Labor as one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. More than 2 million healthcare professionals will be needed all over the country by 2016. Medical science has made it possible for people to live healthier and longer, and the increase in population has resulted in a huge demand for medical care.
Diverse Career Choices
Even if you don’t see yourself as a physician or or nurse, there are still many opportunities available, such as a lab technician, medical records assistant, dietician, physical therapist, and many other interesting and lucrative careers.
Freelance opportunities are available for such occupations as medical transcription, and there is a wide choice of healthcare environments to work in, including day care, home healthcare, nursing homes, and schools.
Opportunity for Advancement
Because of the shortage of people in the medical field, there is more advancement opportunity than in other fields. With experience or extra training, healthcare professionals can move laterally from one position to another, or vertically to a higher position. The possibilities for advancement are endless.
With something as simple as an associate’s degree in the right specialty, you could make between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.
The Chance to Travel
In many industries, it’s difficult to find work when you move to a new state. That’s not the case in the medical field. There is so much demand for healthcare professionals that jobs in other states are relatively easy to find. Many other countries need healthcare professionals as well, so participating in a program like Doctors Without Borders gives you the chance to see the world while helping others.
The Opportunity to Study Virtually Anywhere
Regardless of whether you want to apply to a program in your city or in a different state, chances are you will be able to find a program that suits your needs there. The demand for healthcare workers means more schools are opening up programs in the field. Online courses are also an option for those who can’t be on campus all the time. Some programs with online options, like a bachelor’s degree in sonography, can be obtained in as little as 24 months.
If you’re interested in a rewarding, stable career that can take you anywhere, the medical field just may be the place to look.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. 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.
image credit: istudentnurse.com
Letters of recommendation. The elusive cousin of resumes and cover letters. While they’re not always invited to the party, they are generally welcomed as a nice surprise when they show up. They convey—possibly more than anything else—your work ethic. It’s important that your recommendation letters evolve as you take each new step in your academic and professional career.
Who to Ask
Letters of recommendation are required for many college and scholarship applications and many volunteering opportunities. Think about the position or institution you are applying for and select letter writers that know your character and skillset the best. Some of those people may include:
- Teacher: A teacher you’ve had at least a class or two with will be able to speak to your general work ethic, personality, determination, and willingness to go the extra mile. They are a good person to ask to write about your history of academic achievements.
- Volunteering coordinator: Do you have previous experience volunteering? If you worked closely with a supervisor or volunteer coordinator during your experience, they would be a perfect candidate to write about your willingness to help and your dedication to a specific community.
- Employer: Juggling a part-time job with school, extra-curricular activities, and volunteering says a lot about your ability to balance multiple things at once. Your employer will be able to talk about your punctuality, your enthusiasm to succeed, and how well you work with a team.
Recommendation letters are going to be important for three main things: internships, graduate programs, and your first out-of-school job. Even if a letter of recommendation isn’t specifically asked for, it is not a bad idea to have a few written up on your behalf to bring them with you to interviews. Not only does it show that you are a person worth vouching for, but it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile.
- Academic advisor: Most colleges require each student to have an academic advisor. This is someone that should know your academic history as well as your passion for your field. Encourage them to write about your thirst for knowledge and excitement learn new things.
- Internship supervisor: A supervisor from a previous internship is the best person to recommend you for your next internship. If you implemented any changes or created a project during your internship, ask your supervisor to mention that process and how it helped their business.
- Mentor: If you’ve found a mentor in college, you should absolutely ask them to write you a letter of recommendation. Depending on your relationship, this is someone who will know what kind of work and activities you’ve been involved in, what you want to do in the future, and who can speak to what you’re capable of—chances are it’s a lot!
How to Ask
Writing a good letter of recommendation is no easy task. Once you decide who you want to ask, you need to take into account their schedule, how well they know you, and what they are best suited to write about. Follow these tips for a smooth process.
- Be courteous: Writing one of these letters takes time. Make sure you ask if they’d be willing to write the letter at least a month before you need it. This gives plenty of time for them to come back to you with questions and work through multiple drafts. It also gives you time to find someone new if for some reason they say no or have to back out. It is your responsibility to let them know upfront of any deadlines or special requirements for the letter.
- Be helpful: In order to write a great letter, your references will need details. Make sure to supply letter writers with a copy of your resume and cover letter, as well as the position description if the letter is going to be for something specific. You should let your writer know if you want them to mention specific pieces of information. It’s important to let them feel free to write their true opinions, but it’s never a bad thing to tell them why you are asking them to write the letter and what you think they can best speak about. Think of this as an opportunity to have someone else talk about things you couldn’t fit in your resume.
- Be thankful: The process isn’t over when they hand you their letter. Make sure to look it over (unless it’s required to be sealed) and verify that it’s relevant and what you need for your application. After you’ve sent it off, be sure to thank your writer. An old fashioned thank you note is the best way to go, and mention how much it meant to you that they were willing to vouch for you and help you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re applying for a scholarship, a new job, a graduate program, or you just want something to supplement your resume, a strong letter of recommendation can set you apart from other applicants. Not only does it show your ability to build and maintain working relationships, a well-written letter gives potential employers, colleges, and scholarship providers an idea of your past achievements and work-ethic. To ensure a useful and relevant letter, ask someone who has a history of working with or advising you to write a recommendation. Provide the writer with examples of your work, an updated resume, and a brief description of the position or organization you are applying to.
Holly King is a recently graduated writer living in Salt Lake City, UT. When not scouring the internet for updates in business, lifestyles, and technology, she is tending to her garden and trying to perfect the world’s best egg sandwich.
image credit: colorado.edu
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