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The Benefits of Studying Abroad Begin in College and Continue Throughout Life

Berlin_Berlin_Brandenburg Gate_Siyanna Ahmadu
IES Abroad participants pose at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

The number of U.S. college students who received academic credit for studying abroad in the 2015-16 academic year reached a record high of 325,339 students, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2017 report. This was an increase of 3.8 percent from 2014-15.

Studying abroad provides students with the chance to learn about other cultures, make new friends, learn or improve their foreign language skills, and create lifelong memories. There are also career benefits to studying abroad, according to IES Abroad, a not-for-profit that has provided study abroad and internship programs to more than 125,000 students since 1950. I discussed studying abroad and its career and life benefits with Amy Ruhter McMillan, the senior associate vice president of marketing at IES Abroad.

Q. What are the long-term career benefits of studying abroad?

A. IES Abroad educates students to become global leaders through premier study abroad and internship programs, which offer students worldwide experiential learning opportunities that meet the highest standards of academic quality.

We’ve been measuring the career benefits of study abroad for years (including a 50-year-long study!), and we’re happy to report that more than 75 percent of IES Abroad students say their experience helped them develop key job skills.

By living and learning abroad, students develop highly sought-after professional skills—adaptability, communication, self-awareness, and confidence—that not only make them more hirable, but also launch their careers. Career benefits of studying abroad include increased hireability, higher starting salaries, jobs secured more quickly after graduation, and higher acceptance into grad school.

You can find more statistics and information on the benefits of studying abroad via the following resources on our website: Career Outcomes of Study Abroad Students, 50-Year Alumni Study, and Benefits of Study Abroad.

Q. Can you tell me about IES Abroad?

A. Founded in 1950 and based in Chicago, IES Abroad is a not-for-profit that has provided study abroad and internship programs to more than 125,000 students. More than 7,000 students study and intern with IES Abroad each year across IES Abroad, IES Internships, and Customized & Faculty-Led programs. The Study Abroad Foundation, a part of IES Abroad, also sends more than 1,000 students from China, Japan, and Korea to study or intern in the U.S. or abroad. IES Abroad offers 140 programs across 34 locations, and serves an academic consortium of 250+ U.S. colleges and universities. IES Abroad also offers $5 million in scholarships and financial aid. Learn more at http://www.IESabroad.org.

In regards to our programs, IES Abroad has seen a steady increase in the number of students studying abroad. In addition, for the past 10 years we have focused on diversifying the students who study abroad with us. As a result of targeted, sustained outreach efforts that we have made in inclusive advertising and programming, we have attracted more than 10,000 diverse students to study abroad with us—with the fastest and biggest increase coming from the Latino/Latinx student population.

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A longer version of this interview is available in my career newsletter, the CAM Report. It has been published for more than 40 years, and provides job-search tips and strategies, information on in-demand occupations and employment trends, and much moreClick here to read a sample issue and to learn more about subscribing. Here are just a few comments from our satisfied subscribers:

  • “I’m thrilled to have this material at my fingertips. I’m certain that many counselors and guidance directors feel the same way as I do–GRATEFUL!”
  • “We counselors get tons of literature and the CAM Report is one of the few that I take the time to read through carefully.”
  • “We look forward to our copy of your newsletter and fight over who will read it first.”
  • “Your newsletter really helped my son learn more about careers and get focused on what he wanted to do with his life.”

Copyright Andrew Morkes, College & Career Press/IES Abroad (photo courtesy of IES Abroad)

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What to Do if You Don’t Get Accepted to College

Stressed worker

Congratulations if you’ve been accepted by your dream college! But what if you’ve been rejected by your number-one college choice—or even all of the colleges you applied to?

Don’t despair. Hundreds of colleges and universities accept applications and admit students until the start of the fall semester. These students are those who were not accepted into their first- or second-choice colleges, those who might have missed the standard application deadlines, or those who needed to raise their grades their last semester in high school to qualify for higher-level schools.

Schools that accept applications after the typical stop date of March 15 are known as “Late Deadline” or “Late Application” schools. You’ll still need to meet application requirements (GPA, SAT/ACT scores, etc.), but there are many great opportunities at such schools. One drawback: the later you apply, the harder it will be to land institution-awarded scholarships and financial aid. So it’s important to get moving quickly. Here are some ways to discover “Late Deadline” schools:

  1. Just Ask. Contact colleges to ask about their admissions practices. By talking with people in the admissions department, you’ll also make valuable contacts that may come in handy once you apply to the school.
  2. Check Out the College Openings Update. The National Association for College Admission Counseling publishes its College Openings Update at https://www.nacacnet.org/news–publications/Research/CollegeOpenings. It provides information on more than 560 colleges that have available openings, financial aid, and housing.
  3. Use The College Board’s Big Future Website (https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search). Select “Test Scores & Selectivity” on the left, then select “Less Selective (>75% admitted)” or “Open Admission” to find a list of schools.
  4. Don’t Forget Public Universities and Community Colleges. Some public universities extend their application deadlines. Contact schools in your area for more information. Community colleges almost always accept applications until the start of the new school year. Before you enroll, make sure that your credits will transfer to a four-year school.

If you’ve been rejected by your dream college, don’t take it personally. Remember that, in most cases, this rejection has nothing to do with you. A record number of students are applying to colleges, which makes it even more difficult for top students to get into the school of their choice. The National Association for College Admission Counseling reports that the average acceptance rate at four-year colleges was 66.1 percent in 2015, down from close to 70 percent in 2000. Admission rates at top-tier colleges are traditionally very low. For example, Fall 2016 acceptance rates at Harvard University and Yale University were 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Looking for more advice on college admissions, majors, and financial aid? Click here to read a sample issue of our newsletter College Spotlight and to learn how to subscribe.

Copyright Andrew Morkes & College & Career Press (photo courtesy of Adobe Stock)

 

College Chancellor Touts the Benefits of a Career in Court Reporting

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A student in MacCormac College’s Court Reporting Program

Dr. Alexis Stephens is the Chancellor of MacCormac College (Chicago, IL), which established the first court reporting program in the United States. She was kind enough to discuss the career of court reporter and the program at MacCormac College with me. 

Q. Why is pursuing a career in court reporting such a good choice?

A. Pursuing a career in court reporting is an amazing choice for a few simple reasons. First, there is a huge demand for court reporters since 70 percent of court reporters nationwide are expected to retire in the next 20 years. The data analytics and market research firm Ducker Worldwide estimates that by this year, there would be a need for 33,200 court reporters, but there would only be 27,700 people trained to fill the positions. In Illinois specifically, we will need 1,990 court reporters by this year, but only have 1,730 people trained and available. In addition to their employability, in 2017, the median annual court reporter salary was $54,665, but some court reporters with more experience can earn up to $250,000! Finally, it is a field in which there are a lot more career opportunities than just that of being a court reporter. You can go into captioning (the closed captions you may see on TV or movies) as well as CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation), in which you can translate at major live events for those who are hard of hearing!

Q. Can you tell me about the court reporting program at MacCormac College?

A. The Court Reporting Program at MacCormac College was the first Court Reporting Program in the nation and was founded in 1912. In addition, due to the overwhelming need for court reporters in the field, we proudly boast that the employment rate for graduates of our court reporting program is at 100 percent for the past five years, and there’s no sign of that changing in the future! Visit www.maccormac.edu/programs/court-reporting-major for more information.

MacCormac College March 2016
Students in MacCormac College’s Court Reporting Program

Check out the following websites and organizations for more information on a career in court reporting: DiscoverSteno, American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, and United States Court Reporters Association.

A longer version of this interview is available in my career newsletter, the CAM Report. It has been published for more than 40 years, and provides job-search tips and strategies, information on in-demand occupations and employment trends, and much moreClick here to read a sample issue and to learn more about subscribing. Here are just a few comments from our satisfied subscribers:

  • “I’m thrilled to have this material at my fingertips. I’m certain that many counselors and guidance directors feel the same way as I do–GRATEFUL!”
  • “We counselors get tons of literature and the CAM Report is one of the few that I take the time to read through carefully.”
  • “We look forward to our copy of your newsletter and fight over who will read it first.”
  • “Your newsletter really helped my son learn more about careers and get focused on what he wanted to do with his life.”

Copyright, Andrew Morkes, College & Career Press (photos courtesy of MacCormac College)

The Recipe for a Long Life: Good Genes, Exercise….and a Healthy Dose of Creativity and Love for Your Career

Paleta y pincel de artistaHow long will I live? That’s the question we frequently ask ourselves—especially as we move past those “nothing-can-hurt-me” teens and 20s. The recipe for a long life typically includes the following ingredients: good genes, healthy living habits, and a little luck. But several recent studies have found that you also need to add a dash of creativity and a love for your job to improve your chances of reaching your golden years.

Creativity is good for the soul and the body. Although the cliche goes that creative people “live fast, and die young,” many musicians, writers, actors, and painters and other visual artists live long, productive lives filled with artistic triumphs—even into their last years. For example, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk, 102, published another book last year; 91-year-old singer Tony Bennett still packs concert halls; 96-year-old actress Betty White still appears on sitcoms and talk shows; 81-year-old bluesman Buddy Guy has nearly 40 concerts on his tour schedule in the next four months; the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright finished the design for the Guggenheim Museum in New York in his late 80s; the acclaimed photographer, musician, writer and film director Gordon Parks worked until his death at age 93; and Georgia O’Keefe created art until her late 90s. These examples tell us that working in creative positions (and in a career that one loves) keeps the mind and body young.

So what about the 90 percent of the world that’s not working in traditionally creative careers? There are many types of creativity, and many career fields require this trait, including law, medicine, engineering, and even finance. “The key,” according to an article on longevity in Time, “is finding work that calls on you to remain nimble, adaptive, even visionary, to invent ideas and solve problems on the fly rather than just responding to the same questions with the same answers again and again.”

Band performs on stageThe second part of the revised recipe for a long life is loving your job. Many people choose to turn away from their dream job (artist, video game designer, musician, teacher, actor, tour guide, etc.) to pursue careers that offer high salaries and job security. This is a mistake in most instances (unless real financial considerations come into play). It’s extremely important to find a job that you love—whether you’re making $20,000 as a community art teacher or high six-figures as a hedge fund manager. This is especially true if you are young, unmarried, have no children, and have the latitude to explore your interests before locking yourself into a career path. High college tuition and student debt may make this seem unrealistic, but there are many ways to pursue your dream while in college. You might double major in one practical field (business) and one dream major (music). Or you could take time off from college by participating in co-ops or internships in promising fields. Once you graduate, you might work in a traditional job while building an art portfolio, honing your photography or design skills, or pursuing graduate study or professional certification that can improve your income in fields that do not typically pay high salaries. The key is to have a plan, continue to learn and expand your skills, and not be swayed by jobs that offer high salaries, but do not fulfill your dreams.

It’s not too late if you’re already in the workforce and hate your job. If you aspire to be a musician, artist, writer, or other type of creative professional, you should continue to practice your art and begin to find ways to dabble while still paying the bills. Your overall strategy should be to start by dabbling, and gradually build your artistic activities into a full-time career. If you’re an aspiring writer, you need to get in the practice of writing every day. You should also start a blog, submit your work to literary magazines and contests, and find other ways to share your talents with the world. You could even publish your own book and promote it at literary fests and community events. If you’re an aspiring musician, consider selling your music online and launching a YouTube channel. Take every opportunity to play in front of crowds—whether that “crowd” is 10 people at a family party, dozens at an open-mic night, or hundreds at a community event.

There are no promises of success to working on your art. Success takes talent, hard work, and a lot of luck. I remember that at least 10 people in my Advanced Fiction Writing class in college were superior writers who were as good as any of the published writers I was reading at the time. Yet, I don’t think any of them ever became well-known writers. We all know bands and authors that should be way more well-known than they are.

Despite the challenges, embracing your creative muse may help you to live longer. And even if you aren’t lucky enough to live a long, healthy, and productive life, a dose of creativity (or a full immersion in the life of an artist) makes life more rewarding and fulfilling.

Copyright (text, except Time quote) Andrew Morkes/College & Career Press

Photos courtesy of DPC

An abridged version of this article appeared in my career newsletter, the CAM Report. It has been published for more than 40 years, and provides job-search tips and strategies, information on in-demand occupations and employment trends, and much moreClick here to read a sample issue and to learn more about subscribing. Here are just a few comments from our satisfied subscribers:

  • “I’m thrilled to have this material at my fingertips. I’m certain that many counselors and guidance directors feel the same way as I do–GRATEFUL!”
  • “We counselors get tons of literature and the CAM Report is one of the few that I take the time to read through carefully.”
  • “We look forward to our copy of your newsletter and fight over who will read it first.”
  • “Your newsletter really helped my son learn more about careers and get focused on what he wanted to do with his life.”

 

They Teach That in College!?: 4 Offbeat Majors That Lead to Good Careers-Part I

therapeutic horsemanship-Turbeville-best Josh

Toy Design, Comic Book Art, Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science…These are not your parents’ college majors. But they are paths to viable careers—ones being offered by a growing number of colleges and universities. Here’s a summary of what each major entails and a few of the schools that offer them:

1. Comic Book Art. Comic books are hot these days, with some being turned into television shows and movies. Also included with comic books are graphic novels, which address issues such as terrorism, racism, and bullying. Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust by Art Spiegelman, even won a Pulitzer Prize for literature. You can learn how to be a cartoonist by attending schools such as the Center for Cartoon Studies (White River Junction, VT), Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Minneapolis, MN), and the Savannah College of Art and Design (multiple locations).

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2. Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science. Approximately one in four people have a sleep-related disorder that significantly decreases their quality of life, increases their chance of stroke or heart attack, or makes them more likely to have an accident. That’s more than 81 million people in the United States. Neurodiagnostic and sleep science technologists record and study the electrical activity of the brain, peripheral nerves, and spinal cord; the function of the respiratory system; and the function of the cardiovascular system in order to help physicians diagnose and treat sleep disorders. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, offers the only bachelor’s degree in neurodiagnostics and sleep science in the world.

3. Therapeutic Horsemanship. The Therapeutic Horsemanship Program at St. Andrews University (Laurinburg, NC) is the first of its kind in the United States. Students who complete the program earn a bachelor of arts in therapeutic horsemanship, a degree that graduates can use to pursue a variety of equine-related career paths, including PATH International centers that “help children and adults with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse.” “The program is multidisciplinary in nature,” explained Pebbles Turbeville, an associate professor of equine studies and the director of the Therapeutic Horsemanship Program at the University, in an interview for my book They Teach That in College!?: A Resource Guide to More Than 100 Interesting College Majors. “Students take classes in anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, and exercise physiology to understand the human body; psychology and development to understand the human mind and development process; equine classes to understand how to manage and understand horses; and therapeutic horsemanship classes to understand the industry and how to teach.”

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4. Toy Design. If you’re like me (a parent of a young child), your house is filled with toys of all types and sizes—from classic Legos to Magna-Tiles to video games. When I’m not tripping over them, I’m marveling at the creativity and ingenuity involved in the art of making an interesting toy that keeps a child’s attention for more than a couple of minutes. There are nearly 74 million children in North America, and annual toy sales exceed $22 billion ($84 billion worldwide). These stats suggest that job opportunities for toy designers should be good during the next decade. Only two colleges offer degrees in toy design: the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

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These and 96 other college majors are covered in detail in my book They Teach That in College!?: A Resource Guide to More Than 100 Interesting College Majors. Click here to read the Introduction, Table of Contents, and a sample chapter, as well as purchase a copy. My book has received some great reviews. Here are a few recent ones:

Library Bookwatch
“They Teach That in College!? showcases more than 100 intriguing, unorthodox, and lesser-known college majors, such as Culinology, Expeditionary Studies, Music Therapy, Renewable Energy, and Zoo Science. Each major is spotlighted with an overview, contact information of colleges and universities that offer these majors, lists of typical classes and employers, and more. Over 60 interviews with college professors round out this exceptional and inspirational guide for surveying the possibilities of one’s future. They Teach That in College!? deserves to be in every high school and public library collection.”

Voice of Youth Advocates
They Teach That in College?! was selected as A Perfect Ten by the library journal Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA). The book, along with 10 other winners, was chosen from a total of 1,223 books reviewed by VOYA as earning the highest ratings for literary quality and teen appeal.

School Library Journal/Curriculum Connections
“They Teach That in College!? was included in a short list of recommended books in an article titled “Life (and Learning) After High School: Exploring the Options.”

Nationally Syndicated Career Columnist Touted Our Book in a Q&A Column in the Chicago Tribune
Q. DEAR JOYCE: As a college student, I don’t know what major to choose. Help? — D.D.
A. “You’re not the lone ranger on that question. An update of a book addresses it well: They Teach That in College!?: A Resource Guide to More Than 100 Interesting College Majors, by Andrew Morkes (third edition, College & Career Press). According to the publisher, the latest edition features nearly 40 new majors plus 62 new interviews with college professors. New majors include alternative fuels, commercial space operations, computational finance, film scoring, human-centered design and engineering, mechatronics systems engineering, and social media.”

Copyright (text) Andrew Morkes/College & Career Press

Photo 1 courtesy of St. Andrews University
Photo 2 courtesy of University of North Carolina at Charlotte/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Photo 3 courtesy of PhotosToGo

Consider a Career in Geriatrics and Aging

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The number of Americans age 65 and older will double from 35 million in 2000 to 70 million by 2030, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And the number of people age 85 and older is expected to increase from 4.2 million to almost 9.6 million. These statistics translate into some great career opportunities in eldercare (which is the fastest-growing employment sector in the health care industry). Geriatric physicians, nurses, and physician assistants will be in strong demand, as will physical therapists, recreational therapists, and diagnostic imaging specialists. Demand will also grow for home health care aides and geriatric psychiatrists and psychologists (as more people live longer and face depression as a result of health challenges and/or the loss of spouses and other loved ones).

You don’t have to pursue a career in health care to work with the elderly. Many other industries provide services and support to senior citizens. These include elder law, financial planning, fitness, travel (specialized tours for senior citizens), publishing, entrepreneurism (starting businesses that provide products and services for the elderly), and even architecture (designing state-of-the-art retirement communities, health care facilities, and nursing homes, as well as helping senior citizens redesign their homes for better accessibility).

Skills for success in geriatrics and aging careers vary by profession. “To be a successful gerontological nurse, you need a passion for the care of older adults, an understanding that it is a specialty, and a respect for the continued contributions of people as they age,” advised Mary Rita Hurley, past-president of the National Gerontological Nursing Association, in an interview with me about careers in aging. Dr. Benjamin Liptzin, the former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, believes that to be an effective geriatric psychiatrist, “you must be comfortable with people, listening to them, and have compassion for them. In order to get to this point you need an aptitude for science to get into and finish medical school. As a geriatric psychiatrist, it is important to understand the brain and other medical conditions, and all the effects of medication that older people take.” You can read interviews with Mary Rita Hurley, Dr. Liptzin, and other professionals in aging and geriatrics in our annual careers in aging and geriatrics issue of the CAM Report, our career newsletter for high school and college students, career counselors, and librarians. Click here to read a sample copy and to learn more about subscribing or to purchase a copy of the careers in aging issue.

Many positions in geriatrics and aging (such as health care workers) are available throughout the United States, but certain regions (such as the Southwest and Southeast) have higher senior-citizen populations—which translates into more job openings. Geriatric/aging associations and organizations such as AARP (www.aarp.org) can provide more information on top retirement areas in the United States.

Contact the following organizations for useful information on education and careers in geriatrics and aging:

Administration for Community Living: www.acl.gov

American Geriatrics Society: www.americangeriatrics.org

American Medical Association: www.ama-assn.org

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists: http://ascp.com

American Society on Aging: www.asaging.org

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education: www.aghe.org

Careers in Aging: Consider the Opportunities: www.aghe.org/resources/careers-in-aging (check out “Resources”)

Exploring Careers in Aging: http://businessandaging.blogs.com

Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association: www.gapna.org

Gerontological Society of America: www.geron.org

John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing: www.hartfordign.org

LeadingAge: www.leadingage.org

National Adult Day Services Association: www.nadsa.org

National Association for Home Care and Hospice: www.nahc.org

National Institute on Aging: https://www.nia.nih.gov

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: www.nhpco.org

Are there any specific careers in aging and geriatrics that you think I should spotlight in future blog entries?

Copyright Andrew Morkes & College & Career Press (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

College Scholarships Available for Foodies

scholarshipInterested in becoming a chef or restaurant manager? If so, there are college scholarships available to you prepare for these fields. Here are two to check out with application deadlines in April, May, and October.

The JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION offers more than 100 scholarships; its scholarship program is administered by Scholarship America. As of 2017, the Foundation had awarded more than $7 million in financial aid to almost 2,000 recipients.

High school seniors and current college students who plan to or who are currently studying the culinary arts, pastry and baking, hotel and restaurant management, food studies (including history, economics, anthropology, sociology), agriculture, sustainability, or food security at a postsecondary educational institution may apply. Scholarships are awarded based on applicants’ grade point average, extracurricular activities including work experience, letters of recommendation, and financial need.

Applicants must submit a completed application (available online) and academic transcripts. Two complete sets of application materials must be sent. Applicants may apply for up to three different scholarships. Some scholarships require the completion of an essay as a requirement for application. Scholarship amounts vary by scholarship. The application deadline is May 15, 2018.

The AMERICAN CULINARY FEDERATION (ACF) EDUCATION FOUNDATION, with the support of the American Academy of Chefs, offers several scholarships to students who plan to pursue college study or a food-related apprenticeship. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0; plan to enroll or be accepted into an accredited, postsecondary program in culinary or pastry arts; and have a career goal of becoming a chef or pastry chef. They will be evaluated on a 100-point scale that incorporates a variety of criteria such as GPA, essay, involvement with the ACF, and letters of reference.

Visit the Academy’s website to download a scholarship application. Scholarship awards range from $1,500 to $2,500. Application deadlines are April 30 and October 31 of each year.

 

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Looking for more information on college admissions, the best colleges, scholarships, and cool majors? If so, check out College Spotlight, my college planning newsletter. I’m proud of my newsletter, which has been published for more than 20 years. And it’s received many accolades over the years. For example, nationally syndicated columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy (Tribune Media Services) says that “College Spotlight delivers up-to-date reporting on career-related education resources that high school students need to make promising choices.” Click here to view a sample newsletter and learn more about subscribing.

Additionally, check out my book, They Teach That in College!?, to learn more about 101 interesting and cutting-edge majors.  Click here to read the Introduction, Table of Contents, and a sample chapter, as well as purchase a copy.

Copyright (text) Andrew Morkes/College & Career Press; photo courtesy of DPC