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Applying to College (High School)


Applying Early
How many schools should you apply to
Princeton - News - Elite Colleges Not Necessarily Best Ticket to High Earnings
SuperCollege college admission and scholarship tips and strategies
The Atlantic November 2003 The Atlantic College-Admissions Survey
Tips for finding your college match
Your Online Guidance Counselor

Spring 2004 Articles

Exploring Majors
http://www.providence.edu/Career/Students/Exploring+Majors.htm

This article is talks about the difficulty of choosing a major and the importance of self assessment and exploration before making a choice. It talks about common myths and the why these myths aren't true and gives clearcut steps about researching your major. Steps include working with your college advisor, maintaining regular contact with academic resources who can help you, developing a list of top choices and researching those choices, and not ruling out a major based on strictly on career concerns. Resources for helping a student to identify a major are listed, including online resources.

Collegeview Career Center
http://www.collegeview.com/career_planning/index.html

This site is directed towards high school students helping them to understand what career opportunities are out there, what education is necessary in order to enter these careers, and how to choose a career. Through this site a student can begin the process of planning a career path starting their freshman year in high school. It identifies specific actions students need to take each year in high school to launch them on a career path in college. This site offers detailed information with links to choosing your career, education and training, self assessment tests, skills and tools and career resources.

"What Can I Do With a Major In..."
http://career.berkeley.edu/Major/Major.stm

Each major field of study contained data from recent college students who had graduated with a degree in that field. The data included the percentage of those who went on to graduate school (including the school and the degree they pursued) and the employment results of these graduates (including a list of their employers and the title of their position). The data also included a range of salaries for these grads. The information is easy to access and informative.

Why Your College Major Matters
http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-959,00.html

This article starts by stating that some people view major as the most important factor in proceeding to a career while others see the major as building universally acceptable skills.
What's important is the time frame. When you graduate from college, your major is important for the first 3 years at least, because it dictates the scope of career opportunities that are available to you. After you start at your first job, you build skills which transcend your major. After 5 years, your major has no importance, the degree becomes a minimum requirement. The article goes on to say that you invest 4 years to study a subject in detail and you will be successful in what you have invested in.

JobHuntersBible.com
http://jobhuntersbible.com/counseling/fgmcounsel

Because Richard Boles is an author whose advice seems timeless and highly regarded, when I came across this article as a way to look at the field of online personality and career assessments, I was immediately attracted to it. I think it is part of a great site listing many of the good sites for these things, all categorized. The article that I read by him was “The Fairy Godmother Report on Test and Advice Sites”. It addresses his opinion on whether online career counseling is helpful. He believes that there are good sites for interactive tests, articles dealing with career issues, career manuals, and answers to job-hunt problems delivered by “truly competent career counselors” for free. Yet, he still thinks the total effectiveness of solely using online career counseling is 10%, the other 90% either not needing any help or needing more personalized help.

Boles’ one complaint is that he thinks a lot of the advice on detailed answers to common job-hunting problems such as resume writing is either “dead-wrong” or superficial. He says, “this defect would go away tomorrow if these ‘personnel experts’ had to go out and find a job themselves tomorrow.” Question: How do you react to this statement for yourself since as college counselors we are in some ways needing to be ‘personnel experts”?

Majors & Careers
http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/0,,4-24-0-0,00.html

The College Board webpage on Careers and Majors is loaded with links to articles and worksheets that assist students in determining their path after high school. The information includes topics such as the future job market. There is a list of top ten careers based upon job creation and which fields those jobs will be in. This might help a student when they start deciding which major to choose. There is a link that helps students figure out what type of job they could pursue with the various majors. Another link provides information about jobs and the college degrees they require. The article gives a list of sample jobs for two year colleges, four year colleges, and beyond four years. The webpage gives links to a tremendous amount of pertinent information but could add a few “worksheets” so that students could have a hard copy of their time spent on the web.

Your Soul's Work 
http://www.yoursoulswork.com/voice_and_vocation.htm

Jason Smith, the author and creator of the website has a M.A. from Pacifica Graduate Institute and continues to study with C.G. Jung Institute in Boston.  Smith's premise distinguishes between "speaking" and "listening". One must weed out the voices of family and friends and enable the singular voice of oneself to be heard. Smith employs poetry to endorse his perspective.  This is a valid point, but it might be difficult for a teenager to understand and employ. The majority of students with whom I work still reside in very traditional households. Their families guide them and therefore tell them what career path to chose. Secondly, if a seventeen year old does listen to their voice, do they have the knowledge to make an informed decision? What do they know of the 55,000 careers available?  What do you think of Jason Smith?  Is this a valid premise for teenagers?
Do we have time to employ this approach with our students?

Exploring Majors (from Career Services at Providence College) 
http://www.providence.edu/Career/Students/Exploring+Majors.htm

The college major does not necessarily define one’s career path.
-All majors develop core sets of skills that can be applied to a wide variety of careers.
-You do not need to know “what you want to do with the rest of your life” before choosing a career.
-Be sure your information on how majors connect to careers is accurate, e.g. to work in communications you not necessarily have to major in communications.
-Well-rounded liberal arts education that develops such things as good writing skills, research skills, and communication skills; and practical experience can prepare one for many careers.
-Career ideas usually change. Select a major that will develop you as a broadly educated individual.
-Enhance you major with a minor or an emphasis, e.g. English major with marketing.

National Association of Colleges and Employers -  JobWeb.com—Career development and job-search advice for new college  graduates 
http://www.jobweb.com/Resources/Library/Career_Pursuit/Career_Action_Plan_103_01.htm

This article does an excellent job of presenting to a student the benefits of engaging in the career assessment process. Often, students do not take the assessment process seriously resulting in random responses that are not well thought out. Consequently, the usefulness of the assessment feedback becomes significantly diminished.  An overview of various types of assessment tools is also provided in this article. It gives the reader a clear understanding of the specific criteria each tool evaluates and how to interpret the results.

Choosing a major - choosing a college major is nothing to take lightly. It’s a major undertaking? By Mark Rowh College Bound article from Career World Magazine
http://articles.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0HUV/is_5_31/ai_97176882

How to choose a major is the topic of this article. Students should be aware that choosing a major is not an easy process and should be sure to take enough time to make their choice. Students should take the time to read the college catalogs carefully for specifics as to what majors are offered and when a student needs to declare a major. The article recommends that students take their time toward self-discovery and not rush into a major. The choice of a major may or may not be related to eventual career goals. Certainly, if you are hoping for medical school, a science major would be in order, this is not the case for students wishing to go into law. There are many resources for exploring major of interest some are; informational interviews with people in the field, shadowing someone working in the field your interested in, internships, volunteer opportunities, sampling different elective classes, visit the career counseling center on campus and career interest inventories. Changing majors is not uncommon but should be thought through in order to avoid problems later on like delaying graduation.

Ethics and Regulations of Cybercounseling 
http://www.ericfacility.net/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed446326.html

This article basically outlines a debate that many people are having regarding cybercounseling. The questions/problems that may arise during cybercounseling need to be dealt with and at this time, few states have set any regulations for cyber counselors. Licensure and qualifications are not necessarily required yet it is a growing field with a relatively large clientele. I found this to be a very interesting topic and I think you will too.

Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. 
http://www.quintcareers.com/choosing_major.html

This article urges students “not to panic”. He lays out a step by step plan that can assist a student in assessing and choosing a career. The steps include interest assessment, ability assessment, values, career exploration and a reality check. The final step is narrowing the search and making a choice. There are a lot of links to websites as well as some worksheets. A list of suggestions is also included.

So What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 
http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/articles/grads/bestEntry.asp

The article I read discussed the notion of first jobs for the 22 year old which has many angles that are interesting. I think it is an old fashioned notion that when you get out of college you do something productive with your life. Many of our parents took a job that they planned on having for 25 year. Grandparents always ask what the 22 year olds are doing after graduation and when you say that they are going to Australia for a year to find themselves you get very strange looks. I think that some students need their GAP YEAR after graduation. You may need time to figure out what is your "island of competence" and what is going to be your current passion.

Exploring Majors
http://www.providence.edu/Career/Students/Exploring+Majors.htm

Summary:
- This article incorporates Providence College's resources and the questions that are crucial for incoming freshmen. The article does a superb job of simplifying the myths and misunderstandings of choosing a major.
- Undeclared advising: explaining that choosing "undeclared" is not a negative one.
- Common Myths: a breakdown of wide-spread myths on college majors.
- Enhancing Your Major: a small lecture on what students can do to explore and gain experience about their interested major.
- Our Resources: lists out events and organizations that students can explore on the Providence campus.

http://www.iccweb.com/
Click on "Career Advice Articles Library"
Click on the article, "Choose Your Major As You Choose Your Best Friend" by Steve Bohler

This article is appropriate for teenagers who feel pressured to choose a specific career or have questions about what they want to study in college. I enjoyed reading the author's personal story about how he chose a career based on income rather than passion. I think it is beneficial for teenagers to hear this message while they are evaluating their options. I especially liked the suggestions that the author provides to help high school students choose an appropriate career:

1. Don't feel pressured into a decision.
2. Take a variety of electives that you are interested in.
3. Research different careers and talk to people who have the jobs you are considering.
4. Assess and evaluate your individual strengths and preferences.
5. Pick a major that interests you and has a variety of job possibilities.

Collegeview Career Center
http://www.collegeview.com/career/career_planning/index.html

I decided to review the Collegeview Career Center website because I found it to be a very straightforward and practical career planning site. The career planning section is part of the larger Collegeview site which is a search engine for college, financial aid and career searches.
The Career Center is comprised of 12 different topic areas with many articles and additional links to explore. The career planning area has an excellent step-by-step approach for high school students to follow that will guide them through the career planning process during their 4 years of high school. Additional areas will assist students with occupational searches and a career directory. There are also tips on resume writing, interviewing techniques and job hunting skills.  Much of the information that is contained in the career planning area would also be useful for college students as well, as they continue to plan their careers.

Why Your College Major Matters
http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-959,00.html

The article I chose and read dealt with how important your major actually was in your life. The article discussed that, in the long run, one's major choice was not all that important, but that it would usually serve as a potentially career boosting start. In summary, the article suggested that your major choice could have a major impact at the start of your career endeavors and so it would be of great benefit to the students to take their major choice seriously and take some time to pick carefully what they wanted to spend the next several years studying.

Pre-Law, Pre-Med, and Business Majors Picking the Right Major for the Right Career http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-31364,00.html

The article focuses on pre-law, pre-med and business majors. In the very short article, it focuses on the coursework needed to enter post-bac programs rather on completing a specific major. This is a great article to share with students who don’t understand the “myth” that pre-law and pre-med are actually majors.

Free Online Tests Dealing with Careers 
http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/counseling/ctests.shtml

Not all career assessment tests are created equal. This article is a great simple approach to assessing the assessors. It is especially important as with all web sites to understand the roots of the site, its authors and its purpose. Having the ability to scrutinize these tests and intelligently evaluate them is as important as taking these assessments.

Why a Small Liberal Arts College Could Be Your Kid’s Best Choice By Joy Castro, 15 August 2003 http://liberalarts.wabash.edu/cila/home.cfm?news_id=1254

This article addresses the reputation of the “small liberal arts” schools as being expensive and only for the rich. Many affluent parents send their kids to private liberal arts schools because they know the many doors that the liberal arts opens. Many college bound students will go to large public schools out of fear of costs jeopardizing the needs of a student and quality, (in some cases). The article is suggesting the reputation of liberal arts is for the elite, rich and famous.

New financial aid programs are helping disadvantaged students. In the early twentieth century, and in some areas of the country the immigrants, minorities, and the poor are pushed into vocational education schools. Hopefully the new programs will attract theses students and empower them into leadership.

The small liberal arts colleges provide a very nurturing environment, face to face interaction and small group discussion. It opens up many doors for different career options. The LA pushes students to explore and use critical thinking which can be used in all careers. At a liberal arts school you will observe students in class debating ideas with peers and professors. The advisors are asking “What are you interested in?” and offers many options. Encouraging students to think in many different ways is what liberal arts is all about. The Greek meaning for liberal arts is liberty and freedom.

A solid liberal arts program provides texture, nurturing, critical thinking and life long skills. Students of the 21st century will change their career an average of eight times during their working life. The need to have a flexible mind, tolerance of ambiguity and ethical complexity is learned over and over again in a small liberal arts school.

The following is a great site in support of the Liberal Arts. The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts has its homebase on the campus of Wabash College in Indiana. The site has a wealth of information and you can also sign up to get it's eletronic newsletter which comes out a couple times per year.

http://www.liberalarts.wabash.edu/

Career Colleges & Schools: Options for Life After High School 
http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-31371,00.html

This article addresses pros and cons of specialized colleges and explores the variety of available programs and finding the right one based on cost, credentials and quality, and faculty and student body. It explains the importance of considering all options.  It is a simple and straight-forward account for the student beginning consideration of this option.


Winter 2004 Articles

Trying to Figure Out Career Plans and College Majors
http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/articles/plan/ReadyOne_plans.asp

The article outlined the importance of implementing a career search and career assessment in assisting students in choosing a college major, and ultimately the college of their choice.  I liked how the author was hesitant to place too much emphasis on picking a career so early in a student’s life, and how the job market and job descriptions of each career may change from now until they are out of school.  If we only look back 5-6 years we can see an ever changing landscape as to how many jobs are performed.  My position, as a school counselor, has changed immensely and we now incorporate the internet for research, applying, and making contact with colleges and college personnel.  Something that was non-existent only 5 years ago. 

This article emphasized that students should work on preparing an action plan in order to match their career self-assessment with proper resources that will allow them to research different majors and schools.  Although the article ended with a plug for an advanced career counseling component through this company, the information that was free of charge was pertinent and useful.  There were a series of links for more specific information about the general career aspects that were discussed in the article.  The website, and in particular this article, was easy to navigate or find, and the information was up-to-date and correct!  It also did an excellent job of addressing the population that this article is aimed at, namely students.  All in all the entire career component to Princeton Reviews website was very well organized, and extremely useful.  This article was one that highlights many of the issues surrounding career exploration and related it to college majors.  It certainly met its purpose and goal and then some!

Myths & Facts about College Majors and Careers
www.pueblocc.edu/advise/advise_myth.htm

This article succinctly dispels many myths related to college majors and their purported relation to future careers and graduate school. The article is a reassuring one-sheet designed to lower student anxiety. My favorite fact dealt with the mythic correlation of academic major and its primary role in future career success. The author explained that career preparation is holistic and includes a college major and “internships, jobs, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work…in developing your skills and abilities.”
 

Why Your Major Matters And How to Choose Just One
http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-959,00.html

The article starts with stating that there is some considerable debate at to how important choosing your major is. Some believe the skills you build are universally valued, some believe the major you choose dictates your opportunities. The article breaks down these two beliefs by time frame.

Long Run:
a.        in three years of work experience, you degree begins to fade into the backdrop of your resume.
b.        after five years, it is relegated to the fine print.
c.        five and beyond, it is a minimum requirement for employment.

Near Future:
a.        you need to start somewhere, a series of unrelated jobs won’t launch a career.
b.        you need to be pointed in the right direction
c.        the major you choose can help to direct your career.


The article prepared for your career today if you had picked a completely different field of study?goes on to tell all the reasons why choosing a major is a serious decision (expense-both money and time, additional degrees—Master’s, PhD’s) and should not be taken lightly and decided on quickly. Putting off this decision can result in delay of graduation, and an unwise, convenient choice later to be regretted.
 

Reality Checks for Career Planning
http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-8585,00.html

I always seem to find myself coming back to College Board for many different things. It's a reliable, credible source, and it is kept up to date with timely information. I liked this article in particular for its simplicity. Many of the other articles I read, although informative, didn't seem to be as user-friendly for students. I can envision asking students to read this article, make their lists (in the section entitled "So What Can (or Should) You Be Doing Now?") and then use those lists to spark a good dialogue about future planning. I liked the emphasis on flexibility; reminding students that it's perfectly all right to not know what they want to do or change their minds about a previously held idea is very important. I also lliked the paragraph called "Satisfaction, not status, is key." I have had students, male in particular, tell me that they would love to go into what they see as lower paying professions, such as teaching or occupational therapy, but they feel they need to have a higher income. Software engineering may yield a higher income, but that doesn't guarantee job satisfaction or happiness. That said, my discussion question is: how do we, or should we, encourage students to pursue a career path in which they seem truly interested if the prospects for employment in that field or salary projections are poor?

“Career Pressures Mean No Time for Exploration” by Kemba Dunham of the Wall Street Journal
http://www.collegejournal.com/jobhunting/searchstrategies/20040304-dunham.html


From the moment they enter college, more and more students are much more concerned about job skills and are following academic paths that are much more career-oriented than in years past. This viewpoint is attributed to students having watched the dotcom crash, a recession and lay-offs, as well as having concerns about paying off heavy student loans. This attitude has affected the intellectual life of campuses and has changed expectations that students have for faculty and for the colleges themselves.

College and Career Quest Exercise
http://www.njsca.org/col/colquest.htm


This is a worksheet that students can use to guide them through beginning to look at careers, college majors, and college choices. The worksheet asks students to take a career inventory, research those careers, what you can do with those careers, and then look at colleges with those majors. I liked this site because it is very comprehensive, going from searching for a career to looking for colleges with that career in a short worksheet.

Exploring Majors
http://www.providence.edu/Career/Students/Exploring+Majors.htm

The article discusses how to go about searching for a major and also what not to do. The section on the common myths on choosing major was especially interesting. The articles points out several important facts. One is that what the student majors does not limit the student to the field. The article also describes in details the methods on researching for one’s major in. There’s a section on how to enhance one’s major. I think this section is important in that just major in a certain major limits one’s options. I believe that the student must do extras in order to further his or her career options. The articles also points out other resources available at Providence College, but I believe that most of these services are available at other schools as well. At the end of the article, there are many very useful links provided by the website. Overall, I felt that the site was very informative and straight to the point.

This exploring majors page was written with care and understanding of the difficulty of deciding on a "career". It was loaded with resources and counseling assistance, offering students with undeclared majors and extensive list of resources to search. I think this page was an excellent introductory page for the student who is conflicted and an excellent resource for our class.
 

While this article is meant to outline the services available to students at Providence College with Undecided Majors, it makes some interesting points.
1. “Your major does not necessarily define your career. All majors develop core sets of skills that are transferable to a wide variety of career areas.
2. Guidence is available at Providence from summer orientation through declaration of a major, which must be made by March of the student’s sophomore year.
3, this article stresses that students should choose a major that will broaden there education, not just what will get you a job.
4. “There’s plenty of time to explore and reality test your options.”

Other advice to students include: developing a list of top choices and research them, do not rule out any options based strictly on career concerns, speak with department chairs and program directors in areas of interest and speak with other students.
 

Career Key Personality Summary
http://www.careerkey.org/english/you/hollands_home.html

The article summarizes the basics of personality theory and relates it to career choice. It describes each personality type, and shows which other types are related, as well as gives concrete examples of professions considered matches for each type. Read the three links from the main page. There are many other links and a self-assessment here as well. The article is on The Career Key website

When I Grow Up: Five Tips For Those Who Still Don't Know What They Want To Be."  by Valeria Young, the publisher of Changing Course (www.changingcourse.com)
http://www.search4careercolleges.com/articles/whenigrowup.asp

It has been my experience that many students want to explore different majors and career options but they do not know where to begin. This article helps people to think about blending a career with their passions in life.
Tip #1. Make your career fit your life, not the other way around.
Tip #2. Put happiness first, skills second.
Tip #3. Look back to discover your future.
Tip #4. Go on a clue hunt.
Tip #5. Enlarge your view.

It has been my experience that students worry about money when they are thinking about careers. Valerie suggests that money will come when you are doing the right thing. I think that this might be a hard sell to some families but it is a nice idealistic way of thinking.

Don't let old assumptions hamper your success
http://www.search4careercolleges.com/articles/assumptions.asp

The author, Peter voigt, explains that as part of his master's thesis, he began look into the generalizations made about college majors and the careers they lead into. He uses an example of a girl who loves her artwork and would love to do it as a career but thinks that there is no money in it.

He feels that students make these assumptions based on false or misleading information. He thinks it is a shame that students are abandoning their dreams based on misinformation. I totally agree!

He states that we find ourselves believing things that parents, fellow students, family members, etc. are telling us about career salaries and opportunities. It seems impossible to put your finger on "who" actually stated the facts that they relay onto students.

I agree that we should do our own investigations into our futures and follow our hearts. I have had many people ask me "Can you really make a living by college counseling kids?" I answer them emphatically "Yes!"

Interim or Gap From Fastweb
http://fastweb.monster.com/flash/content/focus/story/2242.ptml?ID=HR8BINUAMGBZ&IDT=1078863477&IDH=692DBE3C26877A5EEE101E48315F356E

Collegeview Career Center
http://www.collegeview.com/career/career_planning/index.html

Linking to the Collegeview Career Center link there were a variety of simple basic articles to help get students focused on thinking about career. I liked it because the articles were less major focused and more work value focused. The articles talked about learning that takes place in school and how they can translate into the world of work. They were short, simple and to the point. I think these are a great resource and I will implement some in our sophomore career exploration curriculum.

The Princeton Review “Top Ten Jobs for your Career Type
http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/articles/plan/tenjobs.asp

A very brief article with helpful links that offers a “career quiz” with 24 questions. Not an in depth assessment but a start. There is a list of the top 10 jobs for people who like to keep learning and as it says in the title, career matches for your personality or preferences. I would categorize this article as fun and interesting but I doubt that any serious life changes would come of it.

America's Career InfoNet Career Resource
http://www.acinet.org/acinet/library.asp?category=1.2#1.2.

The reason I recommend this site is that I think that the video clips will appeal to students and give them a visual concept of what various careers entail. While the list of careers that are available there may not be encyclopedic, it is quite extensive. I do think that the majority of the videos are more applicable to those students who are entering trade schools or apprenticeship programs rather than 4-year college programs. However, there are a substantial number of videos for careers requiring a college degree. I think this site offers a great variety of information for students of all backgrounds.

Four 2 Explore Careers
http://www.42explore.com/careers.htm
This article is packed with useful links to many sources for career information and exploration.  Many of the links specify grade level appropriateness, which is very helpful in utilizing your online time efficiently.  High school counselors and academic advisors developed many of the links.  I would definitely consider this site a useful tool for preparing our final project.I focused my attention on the http://www.careerkey.org/english/  link for the discussion part of the lesson.    

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
http://www.todaysmilitary.com/explore_asvab.shtml

The ASVAB is a nationally normed multiaptitude test battery developed and maintained by the Department of Defense.
The ASVAB Career Exploration Program helps one to identify the things you're good at, are interested in, and the things the military can offer you. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program is a tool to help students identify and explore potentially satisfying occupations and to develop effective strategies to realize their career goals. In addition, students learn career exploration and planning skills and decision-making skills, The program provides students the ASVAB Career Exploration Guide, which includes a self-scoring interest inventory and the OCCU-FIND. The interest inventory provides students with RIASEC-based interest codes that they can use to identify potentially satisfying occupations. The OCCU-FIND organizes and presents relevant information about occupations of interest to help students identify tentative career choices and is linked to occupational information for approximately 500 civilian and military occupations. The Web site also provides students with downloadable exercises that will guide their career exploration and planning. For example, a Coursework Planner helps students evaluate the appropriateness of their current high school program of study, determine what they need to do to graduate, and enhance their career-related skills while still in high school.  A segment of our high school population is not necessarily college bound. For some, it is one way to actually find a career and go to college. This assessment is available to all high school students (sophomores, juniors & seniors) at no cost. It is given by the US Military and does not require a service commitment.
Is college the answer to each and every high school student?


Career Articles - Fall 03

Adventures in Education

Web site:

http://adventuresineducation.org/highschool/hs_goal.cfm

The Adventures in Education site has many articles for students, parents and counselors about career planning, college planning, financial aid and beyond. I particularly like the step by step approach they take with career planning. For high schoolers they have a Develop Career Goals area full of great information. The first two sentences would be comforting to any student. "Is that feeling in the pit of your stomach fear— or excitement?

With all the career possibilities out there, choosing your life's adventure can be a bit scary— and exciting. Calm down. You don't have to decide on the perfect job right now. Take some time. Head in a general direction that fits your interests. You can adjust your route later on."

Step by step they take students through the development of a career plan, appropriate testing and course planning, finding the right kinds of schools, applying, financing your education and getting a job. Many of our students use the Getting a Job section for help with developing a resume and what to expect when going for an interview.

 


I found Quintessential Careers - Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. a very informative and detailed article on the process of finding a college major and a possible career.

http://www.quintcareers.com/choosing_major.html

In the article, Dr. Hansen, who by the way is the Webmaster of Quintessential Careers, offers an important piece of advice by saying that above all else when going through the college and career process do not panic. His advice says that college itself is all about choosing a major, thinking about a career, getting an education. There is no need therefore to rush toward a decision. He goes on to state that even though some students enter college with a declared major, many times they change their major at least once if not several times during their college career.

The article list steps one can take in the journey toward discovering that ideal career path. The author also suggests that your major in college is important for your first job after graduation only, because people change careers about four or five times over the course of their lives and no major exists that can prepare you for that! Therefore, do not panic!

The steps in the process however include:

l. Self-assessment of your interest
2. Examination of your abilities
3. Examining what you value in work
4. Career exploration
5. Honestly evaluate your options and obstacles
6. Finally, narrow your choices and focus on choosing a major

In each of the above steps, Dr. Hansen gives resources to help in the process. Some of them are on the Quintessential site and others are not. Also, he list a number of books that are useful and tells students to take advantage of sources such as college course catalogs, professors, classmates, college alumni, family and friends and the college career center.

I found this site easy to follow and extremely informative - a lot of what he presents helps his own website, but I still found it appealing and helpful.

In step one, Dr. Hansen mentions the Quintessential Careers: Career Assessment to determine ones own interests. My question is how important do you think career assesments are and if you feel they are accurate and useful?

The fifth step asked that students take a reality check to see if the goals they have set for themselves are realistic. In your opinion are a lot of students detered from their goals because of family commitments, financial obligations, or the fact that they might want to have a profession that they do not have the skill for?


I chose the article “Using the Internet in Career Education” by Judith Wagner. http://ericacve.org/docs/pab00010.pdf I liked the “authoritative voice” in this article, because it contains a quick reminder of how to review a website, but also helped me to recall information I learned in the “Testing/Career Assessment” class.

The opening quote caught my interest immediately “If job seekers or career counselors choose not to participate in using the Internet as a key tool in career development, they may be cheating themselves and their clients.”

The article is broken down into several sections: - Identifying Websites – Evaluating Websites – Selecting Websites. Ms. Wagner lists 5 sites as beginning points for the job seeker, and suggests that we peruse the University of Pennsylvania’s Career Service Page – www.upenn.edu/CPPS .

On the professional side Ms. Wagner suggests checking out the Listserve VOCNET, to “listen” to the experiences and expertise of those in the field of vocational education. What was particularly interesting is that Ms. Wagner posted a question to the Listserve asking them how people were using the internet in career education, and she lists some of the results in the article.
 


With demand for nurses likely to increase in the coming years, I wanted to provide students considering a career in health care with information about the variety of types of nursing schools and nursing careers. Students often don’t know the difference between RN, LVN, and nurses aides. They do not know the differences between university based nursing schools, technical college nursing careers and post graduate nursing studies. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has websites that provide much of the basic information of this sort for students. For example, the site

www.aacn.nche.edu/Education/career.htm

gives basic answers to the questions above. They review the value of a BSN degree, describe job opportunities and opportunities for advanced programs in health care administration. They discuss salaries, work hours, credentialing and continuing medical education needed for health care professionals.
 


While researching the site http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/counseling/ctests.shtml There you will find an article entitled “The Seven Rules about Taking Career Tests” written by Richard Bolles.

Step 1: “There is no one test that everybody loves”. Some types whether they be “forced choice” or ranking yourself against others make some test takers uneasy. The form of the test has to fit the person taking it.

Step 2: “No One test gives ‘better results’ than another”. Your feelings about the type of test you taking can skew the results.

Step 3: “No test should necessarily be assumed to be accurate”. In other words don’t let the results of a test define who you are. Tests should be used to help you map out previously unexplored territory. If you are asking for more, you really are asking for too much!

Step 4: “You should take several tests rather than one”. This is where the rule of three comes in…you should take three or more tests.

Step 5: “Always let your intuition be your guide”. If the results of a test don’t sound right the probably aren’t right. If something peaks your interest, follow it. Listen to that still, small voice; it is your best guide.

Step 6: “Don’t let tests make you forget that you are unique”. The ideal way to take assessment is face to face and in person so you can talk to a counselor. Results seem to compartmentalize. You don’t fit neatly into one category. Just like your finger prints, there is no one like you.

Step 7: “You are never finished with a test until you have done some good, hard thinking about yourself”. Tests help put you on the path to discovery, but you need to do the footwork.
 


The article I will describe here is from the Providence College website: http://www.providence.edu/Career/Students/Exploring+Majors.htm

The title of the article is “Exploring Majors” and it was written to alleviate the fears of students entering a liberal arts college and still undecided about a major and/or career, as well as to provide some guidance for students in identifying an eventual major. Very early into the article the writer debunks the myth that you have to know “what you want to do for the rest of your life” before choosing your major. Instead, it reassures students that most career areas (and graduate schools) draw from a variety of majors. It encourages students to follow their interests, and to choose courses that complement those interests. Talking to other students in majors that one is considering and supplementing academia with practical internship experiences can also be beneficial.

I was particularly intrigued with the section on “Enhancing Your Major” which reads very much like a high school four year plan: develop a record of success in your academics; plan electives that complement your intended major and enhance your employability; take challenging courses; develop good written and oral communication skills, analytic abilities and computer literacy; and supplement coursework with extracurricular activities and/or volunteer work.

The article concludes by listing a variety of resources available to Providence College students both inhouse and online (from other universities).
 


INTERN BY DESIGN: CREATING YOUR OWN INTERNSHIP
http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/articles/internships/internshipDesign.asp

The article starts out…“Good internships are like good haircuts: easy to see, but not so easy to come by.” This piece emphasizes the popularity of internships. In addition, it encourages the student to create an internship of choice by contacting the desired company and offering his/her services as an intern. The article gives steps as to how to proceed:

1.) Select a person whose shoes you would like to fill.
2.) Research the person.
3.) Contact the person introducing yourself and the concept of being his/her intern.

The piece highlights how this “ad hoc” internship can prove rewarding for both the student and the “employer.” It cites an example of a student who created an internship position with a constitutional lawyer. The experience proved invaluable.
 


As the world of business continues to become ever more competitive, the need for an edge is crucial. An M.B.A. for example from a quality school might just supply an interested business student with such an edge. Specialization in Accounting, Commercial Banking, Investment Banking etc. can be accomplished with just such a degree. I would like to provide students with information that will enable them to make an educated decision on what path to follow in their business career.

The following article form The College Journal From the Wall Street Journal:

www.collegejournal.com/mbacenter/preparemba/20030527-montauk.html

"Should you invest in an MBA" is one of many articles on this particular subject matter. The article delineates the evolution of when a high school diploma was sufficient, then a college diploma, then an M.B.A. and now the "quality" of the M.B.A. program has become the determinate factor. This is known as the "degree creep." Further the need for students to distinguish themselves in their job as well as in their extra-curricular activities and experiences has become of paramount importance if they want the opportunity to be successful. The article will take a student through the determining factors such as cost, feasibility and merit.
 


I reviewed the Skill Development Summary link as I was interested in how high school students could identify skills needing development versus those they have already mastered. I accessed this site through Course Documents-Online Resources, clicked on Career Assessment and then clicked on Skill Development Summary. I could not find the exact URL for these pages. It appears as though it must be part of the site www.skillscan.net.

This site identifies skill sets in 6 major categories-Communication, Relationship, Leadership/Management, Analytical, Creative, and Physical. Under each cateogory are listed several specific skill sets. For example, Core Communication, Instruction, Persuasion/Promotion and Consultation/Influential are listed under the major category of Communication. By clicking on each skill set, a list of specific skill development activities comes up. The list is very specific and practical. However, not all of the activities would be applicable to students but rather to working adults.


http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-959,00.html

Why Your Major Matters (and How Do You Choose One)

This article, offered within College Board's College Search - Majors and Careers section, discusses how choosing a major impacts a student's life. Looking both at the short term and the long term, it presents the decision as a weighty one, and emphasizes that the decision doesn't need to be made too early. The article suggests taking the time during the first two years at college to do the research, to take courses in possible majors, and to talk to people in the field.
 


Technology-Delivered Assessment: Diamonds or Rocks?

http://ericcass.uncg.edu/digest/2000-02.html

This was a fairly interesting article talking about the use of technology in the area of assessment. The concept is that we all interact in some way or another, on a daily basis, with technology by just going online. And 95% of all public schools are equipped with computers and most have Internet access. So it only seems like a natural that technology and assessment should “shine like a diamond”. But under the wrong conditions and without proper care this combination can “be a rock”.
I will attempt to list the diamonds versus the rocks.

Diamonds:-Accessibility: various tests for various purposes (college entrance, course placement, certifications career decision –making, personality assessment-Immediate feedback: key advantage-More efficient testing: time and money saved by more accurate target of persons to test-Ability to assess higher order skills: more authentic conditions, real world simulation-Helping persons with disabilities: physically challenged have voice recognition, touch screen        

Rocks:-Lack of accessibility: Internet dependent on income, racial, ethnic and urbanicity-Test security problems: vulnerable to compromise-Concerns about test taker identity: person really the correct person?-Issues of privacy/confidentiality-Lack of information on the quality of the instrument-Problems with test comparability: different scores with different formats-Gender, racial and ethnic disparities- Reporting and interpretation: not appropriate-Lack of human contact: meaningful intervention (skilled counselor)-Issues of familiarity with technology: students who learn on computers have advantage on computerized assessments

So how do the diamonds get sorted out from the rocks? Everyone must be in constant awareness of the various issues that relate to the construction, production, administration and interpretations of tests through the computer or Internet. And there are many organizations that have produced policy statements and standards for testing so one does not have to recreate the system.
 


Making the Most of Your College Career Center

http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/articles/grads/careercenter.asp


I found this article on the Princeton Review website to be very informative. Entitled “Making the Most of Your College Career Center” this article dispels the myths behind a college career center and offers helpful tips on how to utilize its vast resources. Many students fail to use the resources that are available on campus either because they are unaware of what is available or because they are intimidated by taking that first step. This article explains why a college center is helpful to students in their career exploration search. Many of the reasons given are very persuasive: job listings, career assessments, workshops on career related topics, and interviews with perspective employers- and all of these services are free. The article is written in a way that offers advice to its readers- mainly college students. Straightforward and humorous, the article is one that is helpful for all students who are in college.
 


From Collegeboard

http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-959,00.html

http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,3868,4-24-0-229,00.html

I chose to summarize two of the better articles on the College Board website. I like their website because it is often a good, broad, easy to navigate starting off point for students in their web searches. I know most graduate from college Board stuff pretty quickly, but it is, nevertheless, a good starting point, and I figure that most students are there quite often for all of their SAT, SAT II, and AP work.

The 1st article talks about choosing a major and why or why not it may be important. There are points given in both directions - that it does not matter because the college education gives you the broad strokes you need and that is what employers are looking for, and that, as you gain a new skill set in a job, your major becomes less and less important, finally meaning nothing after a few years' experience. The flip side of the coin is that some jobs and employers are looking for specific majors and, so in the immediate post-college future, your major can have an effect depending on the field in which you intend to work.
The advice on how to choose a major is simplistic and obvious.


The 2nd article presents two stereotypical students and what their potential career choices (and major choices) could be if they went to college. This is a very simplistic article that illustrates one point and does it reasonably well : turn your interests into your job if you play your cards right during college. It's a point that too many kids ignore and abandon their truer callings because of that.


I chose the article “Exploring Majors” on the Providence College website. http://www.providence.edu/Career/Students/Exploring+Majors.htm.
Providence has an “Undeclared Advising Program” to assist students in choosing a major.
The article begins by reassuring students that a lot of people have trouble choosing a major, and that it’s not as important as a lot of people think anyway. Your major won’t limit your career opportunities as much as you might think — you should pick your major “based on what interests you and challenges you academically, and what you will enjoy studying.”
It goes on to give advice about enhancing your major by choosing electives and a minor, choosing challenging courses, and supplementing your academic work with extracurricular activities and volunteer work.
Finally, the article lists resources available for researching majors, including talking to students and department heads, software available for self-assessment and career exploration, and online resources.


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