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Jessica Socheski

The Top Five College Majors for a Successful Career

Picking the right college major extends far beyond four years of study. Your choice of study can either help you or haunt you when it comes time to graduate and embark on making your mark in the workforce.

While the decision is ultimately up to you, here are the top five college majors that can provide you ample opportunities in your career path:

1. Computer and Information Sciences
As one of the top majors, computer science degree courses provide students with the knowledge and essential skills in programming. With the world’s dependency on technology, this major leaves graduates in a market demanding for experts who are up to speed on the latest software engineering programs, codes, and numerical analysis. Additionally, the need for software engineers stems all over the country. If you are interested in travel or living in foreign areas, this is a great career path.

2. Political Science and Government
This area of study deals with politics, government, public policy, foreign affairs, political philosophy, and comparative government. Poly-Sci majors develop the ability to think critically about history and culture, and how the past determines the future. This field provides students career paths from law to politician to journalist. And, this field is every-changing and timely, which means the need for people educated in this study is demanding.

3. Economics
This area involves plenty of critical thinking and math skills, for economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and how it relates to the workings of the modern world. Students learn about choice; how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies choose to spend both time and money to allocate their resources. Apart from being an economist, economic majors can look down career avenues like business, law, public policy, and international studies.

4. English
Focusing on literature and language, a major in English can lead to a career in law, journalism, publishing, graduate studies, and many other opportunities. Students gain insight and critical skills when analyzing literature, which can be applied to real world situations. Additionally, the skills learned in the language side of the major guarantee that English majors are well versed in communication, both orally and written, which is appealing to many companies.

5. Nursing
Nursing is a wonderful college major for those who are interested in the medical field. This major is perfect for those individuals who are compassionate yet have a great mind for the intricacies of the medical field. Since nurses deal more directly with patients than doctors, nursing students must be able to tolerate the heartaches the medical field brings. However, because of the high demand for nurses in the medical field, most students are practically guaranteed a well-paying job after graduating nursing school in diversified fields like geriatrics, neurology, oncology, obstetrics, and pediatrics. Nursing majors take traditional science and liberal arts courses first, then dive into the world of nursing by taking clinical rotations at hospitals and other health care facilities. Certification exams are required after graduation before you can be officially registered.

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How Smart Students Survive Online Classes

4 Keys to Success in the Virtual Classroom

Summer is here! And for many college students, that means hunkering down in front of their laptops to get a few credits out of the way online. Summer is a popular time to enroll in online classes because their flexibility allows you to still have some life while making up much needed units that will help you graduate.

But the typically compressed time frame of a summer course combined with the self-motivation that the online environment requires can prove overwhelming to some students. So before you start struggling with classes, here are some smart tips for students who don’t just want to survive their online courses but want to succeed.

1. Engage

In most quality online education, class sizes will be much smaller, perhaps as small as only 20 students. The small class sizes combine with the fact that you must make up for face to face class time to require a higher level of engagement from both students and professors.

Most online classrooms are based around a discussion board. Rather than playing the lone wolf, make sure that you are active in chatting with your professor and other students. This demonstrates commitment to the class and a better level of both effort and comprehension—two things that speak volumes to your “invisible” professor.

 2. Work Ahead (or at least on time!)

In an online course, you can almost count on annoying technical difficulty. Whether it is your program freezing while taking a timed test or the computer deciding to arbitrarily reboot three minutes before your paper is due.

Perhaps the best strategy for these technical issues is to ensure that your technology at home matches all the course requirements. Next, try to stay on top of assignments. Not only is on time work impressive and better for your grades, but it helps prevent a technological issue from making your last minute assignment officially late.

3. Organize and Prioritize

Online classes are a little like home schooling. Students are required to learn the material through actually reading the textbook, reviewing slides and paying attention to any additional materials the instructor may post. This makes keeping track of deadlines and assignments a top priority. Study your syllabus even prior to the class’s start date and compose a daily plan of what homework and research should be completed.

Looking ahead to the due dates later in class will also help you to prioritize what projects need attention and when. Organizing helps to complete things on time and with success. Time management can be the difference between passing with flying colors and dropping or flunking the course.

4. Write Well

Writing skills are an integral part of an online course. This goes for papers as well as emails with your professor. Unless video calling is a part of your program, all interaction will happen via discussion board and email. It is critical that you communicate clearly and respectfully as this will be how you ask questions and make an impression of your teacher. Even if you are not in an English class, your writing skills will affect your success. 

With these tips you can navigate your online course like a pro. Enjoy the freedom to study on your own time. Just be sure you do make time to study.

Studying Online

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5 Great Shows to Re-Discover While Avoiding Homework

TV is the best way to avoid study guides and papers while hanging out with friends instead.

At my first day of new student orientation, a trio of girls and I bonded over the discovery that we not only knew what the Dick van Dyke Show was but we all loved it, too. TV shows have a way of doing that. Whether it is turning around to high five the classmate who just quoted Michael Scott in class or huddling around a computer screen to watch last week’s episode of New Girl, our favorite shows provide an experience to share. They also make for a great 45 minutes or procrastination when that paper due tomorrow is staring you in the face.

TV has always been an important part of the college experience, writes Samantha Suchland from UCLA. While our parent’s generation may have gathered around dorm room antennas to watch the early years of SNL, today’s students still tune in for Saturday Night Live. Except this time around, it’s not really live or even on Saturdays. It’s streamed online when we probably ought to be studying.  

The Shows We Forget About

Sometimes, in the midst of searching through a Netflix queue or local TV deals, it is easy to forget about classic shows that are definitely worth enjoying as reruns. Whether they’ve just recently left the air or date back a few decades, here are five fantastic shows to re-watch or discover for the very first time when you need a homework break.

1. The West Wing

The famous political drama that ran from 1999 to 2006, creator Andy Sorkin’s The West Wing followed the experiences of White House staffers during two terms of Josiah Bartlett’s presidency. President Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, and his star-studded supporting cast racked up a total of 89 Golden Globes before they left office.

2. Psych

Dule Hill was a cast member on The West Wing, and after his days as the no-nonsense personal, Hill switched gears to join the gang at USA Network’s detective comedy Psych. After eight great seasons, this screwball series wound down last March. Under Santa Barbara skies, psychic detective Shawn Spencer and his sidekick Gus help detective’s Lassiter and Juliette O’Hara solve cases and romp with a number of fun cameo appearances and too many quotable lines to count.  

3. The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart

And now for something completely different. Classic comedian Bob Newhart’s two sitcoms are, in my opinion, some of the best now lesser known character comedies. The Bob Newhart Show followed Newhart’s character of a psychologist with an assortment of patients, a dentist next door and a wife who was a teacher at home. His later endeavor, Newhart chronicled the antics the odd residents in a sleepy little Vermont town where the stuttering deadpanning Newhart character tried to run a bed hotel.

4. Seinfeld

Seinfeld will live forever as one of the greatest sitcoms running for a total of nine seasons before its finale in 1998. Creator and star Jerry Seinfeld plays an up and coming stand up comedian in New York City with a gang of ridiculous friends: Elaine, George and Kramer. The show poked fun at some of the annoying everyday occurrences in a city full of people. Often described as “a show about nothing,” Seinfeld’s humor was driven by superficial conflict and idiosyncratic characters like the Soup Nazi.

5. Lie to Me

Tim Roth starred in three seasons of Fox’s crime thriller Lie to Me. Roth portrays Dr. Cal Lightman, an expert in body language who solves crimes by reading people and is essentially a human lie detector. The show chronicles Lightman and his team as they play mind games to solve crimes.

With all these great and sometimes forgotten episodes out there, college students everywhere can find the perfect show for bonding together or distracting themselves from homework—or bonding over a distraction together.

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4 Tips to Career Success after College

How to build your resume now and get a job later.

Now more than ever, college graduates are finding that breaking into the job market is tough. Students are seeking out as many job opportunities as available. But with the current state of the economy, employers are able to pick and choose from the hundreds of applications with inexperienced graduates receiving the short end of the stick.

Though new grads have the knowledge, most students lack the experience that employers want. It can feel like a Catch-22 because it is hard to find a job without experience and just as difficult to gain experience without a job.  

But students who make the most of their time in school will offer advantages in the work force other graduates do not have. Here are some great ways to start building your resume while still in school. ­

Internships

Students are told time and time again to participate in internships, but students rarely heed this advice. Classes, jobs, and extracurricular commitments often leave students with little time to find and work a good internship. However, the experience gained in an internship is really critical to finding employment in the field they want after graduation.

Searching for the right internship can seem like an overwhelming process at first. But utilizing the available resources provided by your college is the perfect place to begin. Schools like South University online have professors, staff, and other resources to help students find and connect with pertinent internships that will allow them to develop their interests and even earn college credits.

Some employers believe that hiring recent grads proves too risky. They have found that inexperienced students can hurt their offices because although the graduates hold degrees, most lack a professional work ethic and good attitude. Because of this, many employers are hesitant to hire or even interview someone without any proven work experience.

Participating in an internship for even one semester will help assure future employers that you can conduct business in a professional setting with integrity and skill. And there is always the potential that the good rapport you establish in your internship can turn that temporary position into a full-time job at the same company post graduation.

Career Services

Most colleges offer a resource such as career services which lists different career opportunities for graduating students. Generally these listings come from local companies who have contacted colleges with the sole purpose of hiring entry-level graduates. The various available jobs extend from full-time open positions to marketing opportunities to research positions making career services a solid resource for graduating students.

Network

During the last semesters at school, networking with various companies can give you an incredible advantage. Students will show initiative by contacting employers and letting them know they will be graduating soon, are extremely interested in the company, and intend to apply for a position. And in researching and contacting prospective companies ahead of time, you will help to build your personal network of connections so that there is a web of contacts to catch you when school eventually ends.  

Volunteering and On Campus Jobs

Volunteering at a company, school, or office is generally a smaller time commitment but can hold equal clout on a resume. This sort of work can provide relevant experience while demonstrating that you care about the community. And because you are working for free, most places will be willing to work around student schedules and allow for flexibility.

Another way to gain work history but actually get paid comes from seeking out part time jobs that are relevant to you career path. For example, education majors who dream of becoming teachers can start building a resume now with a side job tutoring.  

Because of the difficult job market, students will find it beneficial to put their time in college to good use by seeking out internships, relevant jobs, and using school and professiorial resources to prepare them for a future career.

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