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Need Help Choosing Your Future Career?

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Thu, May 5, 2016 @ 5:11 PM

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There are plenty of resources when it comes to planning for your future. Although you do not necessarily have to know exactly what you want to do when you enter college, it can certainly help. Many schools do not require you to declare a major right upon entry, but give you the opportunity to enroll in a variety of classes while you decide upon your eventual program. The majority of schools require you to declare a major at some point in your second year.

Some high school seniors may know what program or career they are pursuing from the start. This can help with the ultimate college decision, particularly if attending a specific program is important to you, but if you are not ready to choose your career, no worries. Many people even change careers (or majors) during their life. Here are some approaches you can take if you’re still considering your career and possible major of study:

Select a School With Additional Support

Some institutions cater specifically to freshman students who are undecided on their major. These may offer special programs that give students a breadth of knowledge in their first year and allow them to sample a wide array of courses. Other colleges may have additional, personalized support for freshmen, or offer sessions and presentations to help acquaint you with your various options. You might consider choosing a college with one of these helpful resources.

Be Open to New Opportunities

Your education is undoubtedly a time to discover. If you are unsure about your future career, why not explore all the possibilities out there? You can broaden your horizons by enrolling in unusual courses, or participating in a club that focuses on something unfamiliar to you. All of these steps give you a well-rounded education and just might introduce you to your dream job.

Consider Personality or Career Testing

When nothing seems to be your sole passion, you may want to look at career options from other angles. What are you good at? What professions fit with your inherent temperament? If you need assistance in this area, you can speak with a guidance counselor, career counselor, or even do some online research. The Internet offers plenty of career and personality quizzes that can show you what jobs may be naturally most enjoyable to you. And if you don’t find your ultimate career, you will still learn a great deal about yourself.

Give it a Try

If you’re considering a career but are unsure about it, head straight to the source. Learn everything you can about it, interview current professionals, and even visit or shadow at a workplace. If you’re feeling more serious about a specific occupation, you might even apply for an internship in the field. Real world experience is one of the best ways to help you determine the career which will fulfill you the most.

College Planning ABC can help you prepare for your future. Whether you’re ready to dive into a specific major or you’re still sampling the options, a college admissions expert can help. Contact our friendly team to get started today.

 

Tags: college planning abc, college consulting, College Planning News, Manuel Fabriquer, college majors

Manny, I want to become an Engineer!

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 11:17 AM
 

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Aspiring Engineers

So you want to be an engineer—good choice! It’s a career that’s fun, creative, challenging and lucrative. Moreover, as an engineer, you will play an important part in helping to improve the quality of life through innovation, research and design. At this point, you might be unsure as to whether you want to be a Civil or Mechanical Engineer, but there are things you can do in High School to better prepare you for the major. Bear in mind that you should follow a science and math-based track, however, you also want to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate to colleges by taking on more unconventional activities.

To better prepare yourself for this demanding major, try to incorporate the following:

Math and Science:-Your course list needs to be brimming with rigorous courses in math and the hard sciences. Make sure that your academic trajectory allows you to take the most advanced level math course that’s offered in your high school. Also, use your time to build your foundation in the sciences—particularly in physics and chemistry.  A well-rounded transcript will include accelerated courses in the following subjects:

  • Algebra II
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Language Arts
  • Pre-calculus
  • Physics
  • Second Language
  • Trigonometry
 

 

Become Bilingual or Trilingual!-We don’t just mean in French or Spanish. As an engineer, you will need to be fluent in a number of different programming languages. If you want to gain exposure to such languages, outside of a CS class, start picking up on C++ or Java. If you’re particularly ambitious you can try self-studying, or better yet, you can take a class in programming at your local community college.

 An Engineer with Fashion Sense- Sure, you’re good with numbers and you know quantum mechanics like the back of your hand, but so do a lot of other engineers. Rather than accepting another stereotypical geek, colleges are drawn to those who have diverse interests and talents.  Subjects such as fashion design or politics or entrepreneurship may seem peripheral to engineering, but they can actually serve as important complements. They demonstrate qualities such as creativity, leadership and civic involvement. So pursue all of your interests with passion and curiosity.

Job Shadowing-A lot of people have preconceived (or even misplaced) ideas of what engineers actually do. A valuable way of gaining insight into what engineers do on a day-to-day basis is to shadow an engineer and see how their working day unfolds. If you want to be more hands-on, then you can try pursuing an internship with a local company. Students in the Bay Area are in luck when it comes to finding an engineering opportunity. For many, companies such as Google and Cisco are a stone’s throw away, so take every advantage of this technological goldmine! 

For more information on careers and majors attend one of our upcoming events and come into the office for a consultation. 

I would love to see you.

Tags: strategies for college, attending college, college majors

How to Find Value in a College Education

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Balance resized 600As we begin the New Year recent consumer sentiment reports clearly show that Americans are clearly concern with getting value for their hard earned money. 

The last thing anyone wants is to pay for a product or in our case, an education, and not get value.

In my previous articles I have discussed and explored whether a college education is still viable.

 

The overwhelming evidence shows clearly the upside benefits both in personal growth and income potential for those individuals who possess a college degree. 

However, that being said, not all college degrees have the same market value.  Depending on market demands some college graduates will find perspective employers seeking specialized training, or simply avoiding certain degrees. Yes, that is right; there are certain majors that employers outright dismiss.

We can simply look at graduates who had majors that have the highest unemployment rates as a way of ascertain what the employment market doesn’t want.

Here is a brief list of the majors in 2012 with the highest unemployment rates:

  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Fine arts
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Physical fitness and Parks Recreation

What about the Liberal Arts major?

The liberal arts degree is one of the darlings of many colleges and universities.  This concentration can actually be traced back to ancient Greece where liberal arts were the subjects that men free from work were at leisure to pursue. Today, many of the subjects included in this major don't really prepare students for a particular job.

So, this major is a mix bag.  On its face, the liberal arts degree has been experiencing high unemployment (although not as high as the ones listed above).  The problem is simply the fact there are not many employment positions advertising for a person with this type of degree. 

That being said, graduates who fully understand the needs of prospective employers, and can translate their liberal arts education to meet those needs, are faring a lot better.  The degree does develop a student’s critical thinking and innovated skills.  Nevertheless, it will then be up to the student to show a perspective employer how those skills are a benefit to their business.

Beware of the school telling you what employers are looking for.

As could be expected, today there are many liberal arts colleges who have begun to shift their programs to meet the perceived demands of parents and students alike.  As I stated in previous blogs, we must remember that providing a college education is a business first and foremost.  That means that colleges will modify to the perceived demands of their consumers first, and to the job market second.  Therefore, they will play off your thoughts of what a good major is rather than what employers are looking for.

A common strategy used by many smaller schools today is to focus on getting  students in the door by offering what they do want, namely sports and extracurricular opportunities that might elude them at bigger schools. 

Next, these colleges will offer vocational subjects like business, criminal justice and exercise science that students and parents think will lead to better jobs. Then, once your student is enrolled, the school will look for other ways to add the liberal arts magic these colleges still believe in.

This is not something that happens at every college and university, but it is something that parents and students need to be aware of when considering a specific school.

Attending college and choosing the right major has become more complicated these days and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.  That is why you need now, to have the most up to date information, in order to make the best decision for your student, and get the complete value for all your efforts.

Do yourself a favor and accept my invitation to attend my next FREE college planning workshop.  You can’t afford to miss these timely presentations where I will share with you the critical information you need to get the best value from a college education.  Sign up now!

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Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college planning, college majors