The number of student loans and the amount owed on them is growing by the year. Over $1 trillion of student debt threatens to impact those borrowing to go to school for the foreseeable future. With concerns over debt, many people are questioning the wisdom of going to college. The question is even more serious when people start to question the value of what they study. Many people ask “what good is an education if a person will not directly use much of what is learned?”
There are benefits to getting a good education. The first is related to income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have less than a high school diploma have a median weekly income of just over $450. This number jumps for those with a college education, and those with a bachelor’s degree have a median weekly income of $1,053. This amount is well over double the amount that those without a high school diploma earn.
Employment prospects are much better for those who have more education. Those without a high school diploma had an unemployment rate of 14.1% in 2011. This number dropped to 9.4% for those who completed high school but did not go to college. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the unemployment rate in 2011 dropped to 4.3%.
Is an Education Useful?
The previous statistics show that more education is useful in terms of both general prospects for employment and the amount of money that workers make after getting an education. Some people will wonder what benefit a degree in the humanities or social sciences can provide considering the reputation these studies have for low-paying employment. One example is retail management. One of the leading economic sectors in the United States is the retail sector. With a wide variety of stores looking to sell goods to a wide marketplace, there is a need for competent management. These stores will frequently hire managers from within and require only a bachelor’s degree. This educational requirement frequently does not include a specific major. Any bachelor’s degree will work for some companies as long as there is also some experience in the industry that shows the possibility of improvement.
History and English are usually among the degrees that are frequently decried as useless in the real world. However, there are many career fields that a person trained as a historian can enter that are not related to history. Many organizations want researchers or people with communication skills. These are important skills that are transferable even though they may not be related to the major directly. Higher education of any type can provide critical thinking and analytical skills that many people in society do not have. Any advanced education is likely to open doors that are unexpected and unrelated to one’s college studies. Many times, these doors are quite lucrative and fulfilling.
With an increased emphasis on continuing education, companies are frequently on the lookout for trainers. People with an education degree may be a perfect fit for this job, even though it does not involve K-12 teaching, especially if they also obtained computer skills. The tools gained through an education are indispensable for this type of career. Even studying marketing can benefit people in ways that they may not think of. A personal trainer needs to market himself or herself to get clients. An aspiring author will have to market his or her book to publishers or the public if self-publishing. Writing skills learned through English classes can lead to freelance careers. Math skills transfer to just about any career that deals with money. The skills learned in school can benefit in ways not initially considered, thus making school an even more profitable proposition.
This article was penned by Karl Stockton for the team at petap.org. Visit them in the future to learn about PETAP online information technology schools.
4 Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays
The majority of scholarships need a scholarship essay to be applicable. This has to do with the fact that essays help scholarship committees get a feel for the kind of person you are. They also make it so students from different backgrounds with different accomplishments are equally applicable to receive a scholarship. So how do you write a fantastic scholarship essay? This article will provide 4 tips to get you started.
1. Determine the Theme
Depending on the essay, you may be required to develop a theme. If not, you’ll have to make sure that your essay fits the theme of the scholarship. For instance, if you’re applying to a sports scholarship, you should write an article that’s relevant to the world of sports.
If the scholarship provides you with no theme, there’s a simple way to decide what your theme should be. The theme needs to be inline with the award, scholarship, or organization. Usually, there’s a reason or a purpose why they’re giving out a scholarship. Your essay needs to be in sync with that reason.
2. Create Goals
In your essay, you should include some of your goals. Why do you need the scholarship? Why do you want to go to College? What for?
When you’re writing about your goals, think broadly, and consider what qualities the scholarship committee is looking for. This section of the essay can show a number of things. Here are some ideas:
- If the scholarship is named after someone, consider the traits of that person, and try to demonstrate those traits in your essay.
- Be optimistic and use present tense.
- Demonstrate balance between academic and family life.
- Talk about the things that contribute to your success.
3. Keep an Eye Out for Underlying Questions
Scholarship essays often have an underlying issue, or question that they’d like you to address. They won’t ask this question up front, they want you to dig deep and find it yourself. It’s important that you answer this question in a unique and interesting way.
Keep in mind that you’re one of many applicants. This is a competition where all the applicants have similar goals. This means the scholarship committee has to thumb through a large number of applications that all look very similar. Use the underlying question as a tool to make yourself stand out from the bunch. Prove to them that you’re the ideal choice.
4. Create an Outline
Before you even begin writing your essay, you should create an outline determining exactly what you’re going to say. Here are some benefits to writing an outline:
- With an outline, your thoughts will be clear, concise, and easy to read.
- The outline will guarantee that you cover all the points you want to cover.
- The points will be in the right order.
- You’ll have the freedom to build the essay in any way that you’d like, which can create a more dramatic and compelling effect.
After the outline is complete, write the essay, and then rewrite it. Do this to make double sure that there are no mistakes.
Guest post by Alexis, who writes on a variety of college and education topics.
I touched on a college essay writing service before, back in 2007. Overwhelmingly, commenters were not on board with using such a service because they were morally against cheating. Cheating only cheats yourself, learning is more important than the grade you get, etc. And that is definitely a popular opinion with students who value learning above all else.
But there are other students who value the destination more than the journey. And for those students is BookwormLab.com. This company is “an academic writing assistance agency that is here to help you out with all aspects of your studies”. Basically, a tutor that does your homework for you. I’ve never used this or any similar service, mostly because I’m way too broke, but it is intriguing.
One of the things that differentiates Bookworm Lab from other companies is they do a lot more than just essay writing. They offer all kinds of writing services like research papers, theses and book reports, but also power point presentations, book and movie reviews, and case studies.
Bookworm Lab also writes a blog that offers helpful writing advice and tips. Their blog is a good resource for college students, even if you don’t partake in their writing services.
Utilizing a service like this is legal in the United States, but is often against your university’s code of conduct. If caught, you might get expelled. But if you aren’t caught, is it okay? That is really the question for most college students – like Lisa Simpson, you will know you cheated. But do you care?
On a semi-related note, Bookworm Lab has a beautifully designed website. As a web designer, I love seeing well designed sites, especially when they’re educational. A lot of educational websites forget about aesthetics.
If you’re looking to do any post-graduate education, the odds are good that you’ll need to take the GRE, a standardized test that can best be approximated as the SATs for grad school. Everybody will have their own way of studying for the exam, but whether you’re looking for a Master degree in healthcare administration or a Master of Arts, there are a few pointers that can help anybody looking to do well and improve their chances of getting into the graduate program they want.
The earlier you start the more time you have to study. Also, the earlier you start the more time you have to ease into it. As soon as you know that you want to get into a graduate program make sure that the GRE is the exam that they’ll require and then start gathering study materials and begin working on your studying.
Know the Exam
Knowing the parts of the exam will allow you to study in a more effective way. There’s no use in studying biology when it’s not on the test. Math, vocabulary, and analytical writing skills are at a premium to focus your work on those areas of study to maximize your time.
Create a Study Program
There’s no standardized study program you should have, but having some sort of regimented program will definitely help keep you focused on the task at hand. Whether you study in the morning, after dinner, or just on the weekends, create a program that not only works with your study habits, but with your life.
Take Practice Tests
There are numerous practice tests available to those that want them, and it’s best to start taking them as soon as possible. Not only will this get you familiar with the layout of the exam, but you can time yourself to make sure that you’re completing all parts of the exam within the allotted time. Leaving a section blank because you didn’t have time means you don’t even have a chance of being right and getting credit for the question.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Our brains don’t process information as well when we’re tired to be sure to get some rest. Not only will this help you retain the information better, but if you’re well rested you’re more likely to want to study in the first place.
Balance Your Time
This goes hand in hand with starting early and having a study program. Both of those things will allow you to balance your studying with your life and will prevent you from cramming at the very end as you lead up to the exam. We don’t learn as well when we cram so giving yourself enough time to do the studying you want is crucial to learning the material.
Know Your Weaknesses
If your vocabulary is strong you might not need to spend as much time on it as you do your math and analytical writing skills. Be honest with yourself when assessing your weaknesses and adjust your study program accordingly to maximize the time you have to study.
Guest post written by Olivia R Solis, a teacher with a masters in education.
Textbooks are one of the most expensive costs for a college student, especially if you’re going into a major that is heavy on reading. If you’re a broke college student, finding cheap textbooks is a priority. It’s also not hard to do.
Do I need this book?
The first step is to figure out what books you need and how much you actually need them. I haven’t always used my textbooks, which led me to start asking the professor if the book is really needed. Most professors will be honest and tell you how much you need it. Sometimes you can get away with borrowing a classmate’s book if you only need the book a few times.
eBook or real book
Once you know you need a book, decide whether you want to buy a real book or an eBook. The upside to an eBook is obviously price and the downsides are that you have to read it on an electronic device and you can’t resell it at the end of the semester. Depending on your needs, make a decision.
Renting or owning
If you’ve settled on a real book, the next step is to decide if you want to rent or own the book. The upside to renting is it’s cheaper, but the downside is you can’t sell it at the end of the semester. If the book is going to be worthless at the end of the semester and you know this, go with renting. If you can sell it back to Amazon or another online marketplace with a textbook buy back program, own it.
Finding the best price
Throughout your search for a book, you will need to compare textbooks and find the best price…and the Internet is here to help. The easiest way to find cheap college books is to search websites for the ISBN and compare prices. There are tons of websites out there for you to compare prices easily and having the ISBN is the best way to do it.
I went to college a few decades ago, at a large public university, where it was consistently difficult to enroll in the classes I wanted. It may get easier at the graduate level but for this undergrad the “sold out” signs on classes were a consistent disappointment. It’s got to be a lot tougher today at least in the public schools, because the budget crunch/enrollment surge pattern has been repeated over and over, state after state. In my home state of California, it is virtually impossible to graduate in four years from a public university because of the overcrowding.
One of the options that students have today is online classes, from their own or another university. In recent years traditional schools have jumped on the distance learning bandwagon for a number of reasons. Many students are working significant hours and need the convenience of online access; schools can enroll more students in a class than there are seats in the classroom; and the technology has gotten to the point that most traditional universities feel they can deliver a quality educational experience online.
That gives students in many state universities the option of enrolling in classes that aren’t available on campus. The University of North Carolina, for instance, offers 240 programs of study in 22 academic disciplines, with classes drawn from all of its 16 constituent campuses. Many of the courses are intended for students enrolled on the campus offering the course, but there is also a roster of Carolina Courses Online open to all students who are academically eligible.
The State University of New York (SUNY) offers the SUNY Learning Network which is a virtual campus offering online courses, degrees, and certificates from 32 member schools, including both doctoral universities and community colleges. You can be attending college at one campus and enroll in courses from other schools.
Both Florida State University and the University of Florida have selected degree programs available; from FSU there are both undergraduate and graduate degrees and from University of Florida there are undergraduate completion programs and graduate degrees. One of the impressive efforts from the University of Florida is the online graduate level options in engineering, with over fifteen degrees and specializations ranging from aerospace engineering to industrial systems engineering to computer engineering.
Three states with three different approaches to online education from their public universities. If you are struggling with course access at your current school, public or private, you should take a look at the online options for classes that meet your needs. With a little legwork on the issue of transferability, you may be able to round out your college experience with an attractive distance learning option from your state university.
This post was submitted by Bob Hartzell, who writes on the changes in undergraduate education and on accredited online graduate programs for several websites.
With the current economic downturn, one industry that has not suffered as hard as the others is the healthcare industry. People get sick and injured even when the stock market is down, so there is still a strong need for medical professionals to take care of people. With the relative stability of the field, it’s no wonder that many college students are choosing to pursue health-related majors. Healthcare, however, is a broad term that encompasses everything from CNAs to nurses to medical doctors. With so many choices, it is interesting to take a look at which health careers are most popular among today’s students.
According to the 2011 Princeton Review, the ten most popular majors on college campuses today include three health-related fields of study: psychology at number two, nursing at number three and biology at number four (business administration/management was number one). These three health care majors have appeared in the top ten for several years and do not appear to be going away anytime soon. Many women business leaders have emerged and made a large impact on the healthcare industries within the last ten years or so.
- Psychology is a versatile field that can encompass a number of different titles and positions. To be a clinical psychologist, social psychologist, or developmental psychologist, one usually requires advanced training or even a doctoral degree, but there are many research and teaching jobs that one can take with just an undergraduate psychology degree. One-third of all psychologists enter private practice or have independent research firms. As of 2008, the average starting salary for a psychologist was $46,153 per year.
- Nursing is the biggest field in healthcare, and nurses still continue to be in high demand across the country. There are several different levels of nursing, including licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, and nurse practitioner. The LPN and RN levels, while important and relatively high-paying positions require only an associate’s degree and the successful completion of professional exams to be certified. The specific areas of practice available to nurses are virtually limitless. Some of the more popular areas of specialty include medical/surgical nursing, geriatric nursing, hospice nursing, home health nursing and emergency room nursing. There has been a well-documented shortage of nurses in the United States for over a decade and it will become more pronounced as women in leadership emerge from the crowd and help in hospitals and nursing homes around the nation. Retirement and assisted living establishments are common places for nurses to work, as are hospitals, but there are also many nurses who work in schools or corporations or travel to take care of people in their homes. The average starting salary for a newly-graduated nurse in 2008 was $41,173 a year.
- Biology is another broad field that includes several disciplines, such as genetics, medical research and biotechnology, to name a few. Biology is a popular pre-med degree for those who wish to go on and study to become a medical doctor. To qualify for a job in microbiology, biotechnology or research and development, it is helpful to have a graduate degree in biology. In 2008, the starting salary for a general biologist was $38,896 annually, while a biochemist received a higher compensation of $43,961 per year.
Beyond the “big three,” there are a number of other popular majors to help students become masters of public health. Radiology is very popular, as are some of the new and growing fields of study, including holistic health, environmental health, sports medicine and medical administration. The study of radiology provides graduates with the potential to get jobs performing x-rays or, with special certification, working as a CRT or MRI technician. Holistic health focuses on the psychological, spiritual, social and environmental health of a patient as well as the physical. Environmental health study is a path that leads to a career in the occupational health sector or in epidemiology. A degree in sports medicine can lead to a job with a professional or school sports team or a position in a specialty sports medicine clinic. Those who study medical administration are well prepared for a management job in a variety of healthcare arenas. They could also work in medical law or consulting.
Healthcare is a wonderful and rewarding field, perfect for those who wish to help people. The career choices are abundant, and many of them are in high demand. One of the greatest things about the field of healthcare is the wide variety of majors available for students. Whether they choose the more popular majors of psychology, nursing or biology or one of the new and developing fields like holistic health or environmental health, there are plenty of opportunities for students in the medical field.
This guest post article was written and provided by Marissa Krause who finished her Business degree this last fall and has begun working for a soon coming fortune 500 company.