Archive for the ‘Majors & Minors’ Category

5 Things to Look for in a Real Estate Education Program

Categories: Majors & Minors

Whenever a house, apartment, or condo is rented, sold, or leased, you better believe a real estate professional had a hand in the transaction. And while you may not realize it, life in the real estate industry is much more interesting and varied than most people imagine.

Many realtors don’t work in the traditional format. Real estate agencies represent only a small part of the industry, and there are countless pathways into exciting career trajectories. Your choice of education program will affect your experiences and opportunities.

With so many options for a degree in real estate, how are you supposed to make the right choice? Well, that’s why I made this guide. Consider the following five tips when weighing your options for real estate education programs.

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1. Check That the School Is Nationally Recognized
Accreditation becomes extremely important where education is concerned. If your school isn’t a part of the recognized network, find another one. Why? Because accreditation matters and employers know it.

Students coming from schools that are backed by qualified accrediting agencies are typically well-received by recruiters because the designation implies the school:

  •         Is financially sound
  •         Is staffed by skilled instructors
  •         Presents its courses as advertised

2. Find out if State Exam Pass Rates Are Above the Standard
Not all programs are created equal. Many fail to live up to the real estate commission’s standards.

A recent summary report showed that more than three-quarters of all schools in North Carolina were operating below expectations, with fewer than 70 percent of students passing. This statistic will vary from state to state, but it’s something to keep in mind whether you’re applying to study online or on campus.

3. Ask About Student Support
Communication either makes or breaks a school. When your assignments and academic record are on the line, you need the confidence of knowing that everything will run smoothly. Ask about student support available at the school, and make sure you’re comfortable with what they offer.

Look for institutions that offer comprehensive continuing education courses that develop your skillset long after you graduate. A reputable school should help you acquire the licenses you need to practice real estate.

4. Make Sure the Course Is Flexible
Do your research ahead of time to avoid overcommitting. Understand that different courses lead to different job markets, so you’ll want to focus in an area that interests you.

For example, self-employed real estate sales agents can expect the sector to increase by 11 percent or more over the next seven years with the creation of 38,000 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If your preferences change, you’ll want to be able to talk to your adviser about switching your focus next semester.

5. Check to See if Financial Support Is Offered
Some schools, but not all, provide students with flexible repayment options to ease the financial burden of an education. You can also apply for scholarships to drive down the cost of a degree.

Even though college seems expensive, a 2015 report from the National Association of Realtors states that graduates can expect to earn $45,800 a year on average.

Keep in mind that there’s not a single perfect real estate education program. The best course for you will be the one that fits most, if not all, of your personal needs. As long as you take the time to review the program before enrolling, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the perfect fit.

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and blogger focusing on education and career advice. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a blog for young professionals on which she shares advice for finding career happiness and success. Subscribe to Sarah’s blog newsletter and follow her on social media for more great tips. 

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6 Amazing Interior Design Colleges

Categories: Majors & Minors

Who hasn’t spent an afternoon binge watching home makeover shows? It’s a rite of passage if you’re at all interested in interior design and decorating. But watching and critiquing the rooms on TV isn’t going to help you if you want to be a designer yourself – you’ll need a college degree for that. Here are some of our favorite interior design colleges.

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Location: Menomonie, WI
Size: 9,000 students

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  • At UW-Stout, class work includes collaborating with architects and construction professionals, meaning you enter the workforce with real-world experience.
  • Students are awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships each year – how’s that for making college affordable?
  • There’s always something to do! Join one of the more than 150 student organizations.
  • The program focuses on commercial and residential space design, allowing you to expand your skillset.
  • Find out your chances of getting into University of Wisconsin-Stout.

La Roche College

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Size: 1,100 students

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  • La Roche requires you to complete an internship before graduating, allowing you to make great contacts and network with industry pros.
  • Courses focus on holistic design – does something fit in with regard to a person’s aesthetic, emotion, and utilitarian needs?
  • Campus is only 15 minutes from the heart of Pittsburgh, so you get to enjoy the big city’s restaurants, museums, sporting events, and arts scene.
  • Find out your chances of getting into La Roche College.

Woodbury University

Location: Burbank, CA
Size: 2,000 students

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  • Woodbury stresses that design is more than a coat of paint and new couch. That’s why you’ll get a more comprehensive understanding of design by taking classes on furniture design, architecture, social science research, and more.
  • The Interior Architecture BFA is part of Woodbury’s School of Architecture, meaning you’ll get a stronger understanding of architecture and how it influences design.
  • With campuses in both San Diego and LA, you’ll be able to choose where you want to study.
  • Students have 24-hour access to their dedicated workspaces, so if inspiration strikes in the middle of the night, you’ll still be able to work on a project.
  • Every single class of 2013 grad is currently employed in interior architecture.
  • Find our your chances of getting into Woodbury University.

Marymount University

Location: Arlington, VA
Size: 3,500 students

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  • Dream of owning your own design business someday? Marymount works business courses into the curriculum so you’re prepared for entrepreneurship.
  • You’ll learn to use industry-standard software while also perfecting your drafting and sketching skills.
  • Classes on sustainable design make it possible to do what you love and know you’re helping the earth while doing it.
  • Find out your chances of getting into Marymount University.

Chaminade University

Location: Honolulu, HI
Size: 3,000 students

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  • Chaminade offers the only accredited environmental and interior design program in Hawaii. If you want to study design in paradise, this is your school!
  • When you’re living in Hawaii, you probably want to spend time enjoying the sunshine. That’s why Chaminade’s curriculum acknowledges the relationship between the indoors and out.
  • The focus on sustainability is huge.
  • The average class size is only 19 – there’s plenty of room for individual attention.
  • Calculate your chances of getting into Chaminade University.

Indiana University

Location: Bloomington, IN
Size: 42,500 students
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  • IU encourages students to take on internships and gain valuable real-world experience and connections.
  • The school has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and several major furniture companies, giving you more insight on how these organizations operate.
  • College Ranker listed Bloomington as the best college town to live in forever – there’s always something going on on or off the IU campus!
  • Find out your chances of getting into Indiana University.

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Becoming Beethoven: 5 Reasons to Study Music in College

Categories: Majors & Minors

music collegeMusic has been scientifically proven to benefit your health. It can alleviate pain, reduce depression, and increase brain activity. Music is an integral part of the human experience, and there are many reasons why studying music in college is beneficial and rewarding.

Music is one of the best ways to express and develop creativity. Playing an instrument, composing music, and applying music theory are great ways to express yourself. Most musicians and music teachers report higher job satisfaction because of the flexibility they enjoy every day. Studying music in college guarantees your career will never be boring.

Increase Intelligence
Studying music may not increase your IQ or SAT score, but it will increase your overall intelligence. Most people traditionally associate IQ with math, science and logic, but human intelligence is much more than that. In fact, Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner lists music as one of the seven basic human intelligences. Gardner’s famous “Multiple Intelligence” theory states that intelligence is actually divided into different areas, such as music, communication and interpersonal skills. Music also increase spatial intelligence – the ability to accurately perceive the world and create mental pictures.

Practice Makes Perfect
Music is a performance-based art that will increase your discipline, teamwork skills, and self-confidence. Music is driven by objective results that are based on public feedback. Learning an instrument and studying music theory will naturally drive you to perfection. Performing music in public will teach you how to manage anxiety, encourage you to improve your skills, and teach you how to take risks.

Music has always been a part of the human race. Learning music opens a whole new world of different styles throughout history and different cultures. It’s almost a second language because it is universally shared by all people around the world. Being able to appreciate different forms of music is an excellent way to learn about other cultures.

The beauty of studying music is that it must be done both independently and with a teacher. That is, music can be studied at both home and school. Therefore, any inspiring musician can take advantage of online schools through getting an online music education degree. Online programs usually offer on-campus classes as well.

Studying music has a number of benefits. But perhaps, the most important reason to study music is because music can imprint on the mind and the soul, and that is where music will last forever.

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

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