Paying for grad school
How to compare loans for grad school vs. undergraduate school – here is a good article covering that topic.
It can be very helpful to know what jobs are hiring before you choose your major in college. Why major in a subject that will lead to little potential of a job. Remember you will likely have some loans to repay and you’ll need a good salary to make those payments.
If you want to look at a list of the 100 top jobs in 2018 – click HERE.
If you want to see the list of the best companies to work for in Pennsylvania in 2019 – click HERE.
Career Clusters and Job Potentials
Below are 16 career clusters and two example jobs in each cluster. There are many other options to consider. Keep this list in mind as you plan your college major and consider career options.
- Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources – Animal scientist, Petroleum technician
- Architecture and Construction – Solar energy specialist, Interior designer
- Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communications – Telecommunications specialist, Graphic designer
- Business, Management & Administration – Entrepreneur, Human resources manager
- Finance – Purchasing agent, Loan officer
- Education and Training – Elementary and secondary teacher, Corporate trainer
- Government and Public Administration – National Security specialist, Foreign service professional
- Health Science – Pharmacist, Phlebotomist
- Hospitality and Tourism – Event planner, Travel coordinator
- Human Services – Child care director, Cosmetologist
- Information Technology – Systems administrator, Web designer
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security – Emergency dispatcher, Legal assistant
- Manufacturing – Welder, Safety coordinator
- Marketing – Account executive, Database manager
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – Drafter, Electrician
- Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Career Cluster – Air traffic controller, Automobile service technician
Bachelor’s Degrees with Shrinking Opportunities
“All degrees aren’t equal,” says Anthony Carnevale of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. He and others compared dozens of degrees to the employment rate for recent graduates. The list below are for jobs that did not have many job opportunities in 2014.
- History — The market for historians, preservationists and appraisers is small and usually consists of consulting jobs that do not offer long-term employment.
- Fine Arts — This degree is broad. If you want to design or write, you’ll need a graphic design or creative writing degree. Skill is more important than a degree for paint artists.
- Economics — College economics is based in theory, but employers want applied abilities. Finance and accounting majors may win economics jobs because of their specific career skills.
- Anthropology & Archeology — These are fascinating degrees with high unemployment. There is not much demand for fieldwork, and teaching requires more than a Bachelor’s degree.
- Information Systems — This major had the highest unemployment rate of all studied. Once a system is in place, the need for long-time computer services is reduced.
Bachelor’s Degrees with a Bright Outlook
In the same study, they found these careers to be good with job opportunities!
- Elementary Education — As long as kids are born, teachers will have a job. Baby-boomer teachers are retiring, which opens up the job market.
- Finance — No degree guarantees employment, but a finance degree plays a role in a wide variety of in-demand, well-paid jobs that companies depend on.
- Hospitality Management — Hotels and resorts always need good managers. With this degree, the door opens to a variety of other jobs in hospitality.
- Marketing and Market Research — Marketing is the key to survival for most businesses. Their use of social media opens up more opportunities.
- Computer Science — With the rise of e-commerce, organizations couldn’t survive without employees who majored in computer science. If you add a couple of internships to your diploma, your pick of jobs gets bigger.
About to Graduate from College?
- Start to look at job options in the fall of your senior year. Don’t wait until the spring when you think it’s time. By then many places are already finished hiring. In the fall you can start to go on interviews, just tell them that you won’t be ready to start until May or June of the following year. Most companies get that.
- Use your college’s career placement office. Become best friends with the folks there.
- Go to any career fairs that you see posted. The more the better. If your major lends itself to lots of job options then great. If you aren’t in a great major for job options you’ll need as much exposure as you can get.
- Line up some interviews with companies that you don’t plan to work for. Why? It’s never good to interview with a company where you want the job if you’ve not practiced interviewing with someone else first. It’s just good to have a few general interviews under your belt before it really counts.
- Get your resume ready well in advance of graduation. You can always alter it as needed, but if something comes up you want to be ready.
- Get names of anyone you interview with and write them a handwritten thanks letter a few days later. Get their business card, if possible, for correct spelling.
- Most importantly, for any resume, application, or thanks letter: proofread, proofread and proofread again! Even one small spelling or grammar mistake can tank a candidate. Then find someone to look at the materials and proofread them for you.
Getting your first “real” job can be tough, because employers want experience, but you don’t have that experience. Use these helpful tips to land that first job.
- Connect with your career center. You may turn a job you see there into a different job you want.
- Use more than one online job board. If you’re looking for a job in accounting, look for job boards about accounting jobs. For other careers, look for their job boards.
- Identify companies in your career area. Look on each company’s website for job openings.
- Don’t dismiss temporary employment agencies. Temp jobs are great for gaining experience and getting your foot in the door with a company.
- Volunteer. Any volunteer experience can serve as a source of networking contacts. Ideally, volunteer in an organization related to your career choice.
- Get out of your house and introduce yourself. It’s tempting to look online for a job, but people hire people.
- Clean up your online dirt. Potential employers look at your social media, so show your best side.Nothing is ever private on the Internet, despite privacy settings.
- Stay connected. Your friends with a job may be able to help you secure one, too. Many companies offer incentives to employees who refer applicants.
- Keep in mind that any job is better than no job at all. An interviewer prefers to hear you are working, rather than hanging out just looking for a job.
For many more tips on finding and keeping a job – go to the Job Assistance page on this website.
Finding and Applying for a Job
Sixty to seventy percent of all people find their jobs through networking. This often comes as a surprise for job searchers who believe online ads, newspaper classifieds, or job placement agencies are the best way to locate a job.
Become a good networker. Some individuals, especially those just starting a career, resist networking because they want to “make it on my own.” Don’t allow this thinking to get in your way of finding the job you want.
- Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job and ask them to contact you if they hear of any openings. One referral often leads to another, and then to another. You may be several people removed from the first referral by the time you locate a job you actually want—and an employer who wants you.
- Start with the easiest network—your family, friends who work already, parents of your friends, neighbors, those you work with in a part-time job, and people you meet casually. A lacrosse player, for example, knew that one of his coaches worked at a company the player was interested in. He asked the coach whom he should contact at the company, and the coach said, “Give me your résumé at the next practice, and I’ll take it to our human resources recruiter.”
Compile a personal inventory. A personal inventory is a written statement of all the facts about you that might be of interest to a hiring company. It’s made up of information you may be unable to recall instantly when you need it for an application, résumé or interview, and it will keep you from making mistakes about important facts.
Create a winning résumé. The purpose of a résumé is to help you get an interview. It provides a prospective employer with a brief summary of how you match a job. Your challenge is to make yourself stand out.
- When a résumé is read by a human, it gets only a few seconds of attention on the first review before being placed either in the “Review Again” stack or the “Discard” stack. Organize and format your résumé carefully.
- When a résumé is read by software, the computer searches for “Keywords” used in the job description. Find the description’s keywords and use them.
Are You Considering Grad School?
1. Start thinking about your graduate school finances early.
Before you even begin applications, you should understand what loans you already have and consider what your financial situation might look like as a graduate student. If you’re considering graduate school at the same institution you attended for undergrad, look for opportunities to get graduate credit while you’re still an undergrad. Sometimes as an undergraduate senior, your university will allow you to take graduate courses that counted toward your master’s degree. This can save you thousands in future tuition expenses.
2. Learn about the different types of federal aid for graduate students.
Your federal aid package will probably be different than what you were offered as an undergraduate. FAFSA4caster can give you an idea of what types of federal aid you will qualify for. Graduate students have a variety of federal student aid options and are considered independent on the FAFSA. Make sure you complete your FAFSA on time. You might have to complete it even before you know your admission status.
3. Seek funding opportunities at your particular university or graduate program.
Individual schools offer a variety of graduate funding options such as scholarships, graduate assistantships, and graduate fellowships. These are sometimes a more significant source of aid for graduate students than federal aid. When you’re trying to decide on a graduate program, make sure you compare the types of funding offered to students. Once you commit to a graduate program, proactively seek funding opportunities from your program or university.
4. Be proactive and stay on top of everything.
Story’s like this can happen to you: “I enrolled in a graduate program at the same university as my undergraduate study, so I expected a smooth transition. A few weeks after I committed to my graduate program, I received a notification from the university saying I was ineligible for financial aid. After a moment of panic, I realized there was no way that this could be true. It turned out that there was confusion in the school’s computer system because I was enrolled as both an undergraduate and a graduate. The problem was easily fixed when I called my school’s financial aid office. Despite submitting my FAFSA and all other paperwork correctly and on time, I still ran into a few speed bumps.” With grad school, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure that everything is submitted correctly and to follow up when necessary. Being proactive can make the financial aid process go much more smoothly.
You can get additional information about financial aid for graduate students in the Financial Aid for Graduate and Professional Degree Students brochure.
5. Get a job first.
Sometimes it’s better to work for a few years before going to graduate school. You can take your work experience into your classes and they might be more meaningful. There are also many opportunities for students to get their jobs to help pay for graduate school. Even if the job offers to reimburse 20% of the cost, that’s real money. And it might be more. Sometimes the reimbursements are based on your grades so be sure to confirm that in advance. And sometimes the reimbursements require you to stay at the job for a specific period of time once you graduate. If you don’t like the job then this may not be a good option. But having the work experience and the financial commitment from your employer can be a huge advantage for you.
Things Successful People Do by Age 30
“If you do the easier things first, then you make a lot of progress.” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Age 30 may seem a long time away. But, if you hope to be successful by age 30, you need to start working on your future now.
Getting Ready for Age 30
Learn to handle your finances. Use money from your job for the things you need, and then think about extras you might want and wait to buy until you can afford them. You’ll be broke if you spend more than you earn.
Identify failure and move forward. Some failure in life is inevitable. Knowing when you’re about to botch something and backing off will save you money and stress.
Organize properly. If you become successful, you will be busy. You’ll have to learn how to prioritize and schedule. If you don’t organize, you’re not likely to see good results.
Maintain important relationships. Food, water, and oxygen may sustain life, but, to prosper, you need to value all your connections.
Be persistent. When things start to fail, we become insecure and start to doubt ourselves. Instead of dwelling on defeat, be persistent at finding a solution. Don’t give up.
Actively work on your flaws. It’s not about being the best; it’s about being better than you were yesterday. Work on your flaws so you can improve.
Rely on a leap of faith as a last resort. Your decisions need to rely heavily on excellent research and planning. Being successful means getting the most satisfying results with the fewest personal sacrifices and financial resources.
Figure out how to adapt. Without the ability to adapt to situations, you will not be successful. You may be a great singer, for example, but, if a job in a band is not available, find another way to make money as a singer.
Ask for a second opinion. No one knows everything, even though some people pretend they do. Ask for advice, get feedback, accept others’ opinion, and try out ideas that may not be your own.
Ways Successful People Increase Their Productivity
Do you want to be average? Or do you want success bad enough to stay on top of your game? The tried-and-true ways of successful people shown below can make you more productive.
They get out of their comfort zone. To be successful, you’ll have to take risks, expand your horizon and try new things. You may experience some anxiety and stress, but you’ll improve.
They keep learning. Imagine if Bill Gates stopped learning and growing after he gave up on college. He didn’t settle. He expanded his mind and founded one of the biggest companies in the world.
They feel okay about asking for advice. Asking for advice is not always easy. It can be bad for the ego and make us feel insecure and defensive. But not asking for advice limits you, keeps you to what you know already.
They don’t get lost in details. The small details are easy, but they cause us to ignore the big picture. If Henry Ford had focused on small details, he might have built a great engine, but no car.
They don’t lie to themselves. Lying to yourself and making excuses is easy. It’s much more difficult to accept your problems and do something about them.
They don’t delay asking for feedback. Sometimes you can’t see the answer that is right in front of you. You gain a lot, and you don’t lose anything, if you ask for feedback quickly.
They don’t follow. They lead. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” is a famous saying. Successful people don’t always follow someone else to the finish line. They lead to the finish line.
They don’t let the past determine their future. The past will never change, and that’s not bad because you learned from it. You can think big, no matter what happened in your past.
They don’t hang around negative people. When you hang with negative people, you start to see things negatively. Successful people don’t let anyone keep them from achieving their dreams.
How to Write A Resume Without a Lot of Experience
Sometimes when you go to apply to college you’ll be asked to include a resume. OR are you in high school and want to get a summer job and need a resume? Have you about ready to graduate from college and are starting the job search? Where to start with the resume???? Here are some good samples to follow. As always – PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD!
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