Essential Tools Every Student Writer Should Know and Have

Being a writer is a difficult job, especially when you rely on your skills for a living. You must be able to convey your ideas and make sure to relate to them in a manner that readers can understand. At the same time, you also have to ensure that what you write is believable and based on facts and information. Otherwise, you will lose your credibility and no one would want to read your work.

Fortunately, there are a lot of tools which writers can use. Although everything else still depends on your ideas and own style, these aids can help you make a quality output and assists in improving your work by making sure that the content is error free. Hence, here are 10 useful tools an experienced writer should consider looking into.

Plagiarism software

            With the wide-range of information available on the Internet, its no wonder how some people can lift a sentence or two on their papers and make those ideas as their own. In order to prevent being accused of plagiarism, then plagiarism checker Plagtracker is the ultimate tool to check any copyright issues. It has a unique checking algorithm that will immediately inform you if any of the sentences or

paragraphs is similar to other peoples work. Even if you did not copy anything while writing your content, there will be instances that your ideas are already conveyed by the other. Hence, it is better to make use of Plagtracker to make sure that nothing is duplicated. If you want further assistance, a minimal fee is required to purchase the program.

Visual Thesaurus

Google doesnt want you to keep repeating the same word all throughout your article. To avoid being penalized, then Visual Thesaurus is going to be your new best friend. It gives you the possible choice for every word typed, whether it is a noun or an adjective. To maximize this product, you need to pay for a subscription fee at a minimum price.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Typing, especially when youve been doing it all day, can be exhausting. Luckily, theres a speech recognition software that allows you to talk and your computer will do the typing for you. Simply say the words and everything else will be translated directly on your computer screen, accurately. Hence, it saves you more time and energy which can help increase your productivity.

Scribe

            SEO is a very important tool in writing online. If you want to generate the right amount of traffic in your site, then Scribe is essential for you. It follows an online marketing trinity of content, social and search, making sure that all SEO-related areas taken into account by Google will be covered.

Xmarks

It is an essential add-on that synchronizes all your passwords and bookmarks and at the same time, can be used for searching information, all for free. It will not help your writing career in a big way but it can contribute a lot as it saves you time which you can use to focus on your writing.

Dim Dim

            Through this web conferencing service, you are able to talk to your clients in real time while giving you an inexpensive way to share any documents in a secured network. However, it requires a payment of monthly subscription fee, which is still affordable.

Skype

In order to maintain a strong writer-client relationship, then this software should be installed in your computer. Skype is the primary source of communication for most clients since its easier and more convenient to use with no fees required.

Wridea

            Wridea promotes the idea of collaboration and brainstorming. You simply post an idea and categorize them in pages, ask your friends to give a feedback and encourage discussion and brainstorming among them, to make sure that your ideas get better. If youre geared towards the creative aspect of writing, then this web service is for you.

MS Word Macros

If you have a task that you do most of the time, then MS Word Macros can become handy. It creates a shortcut to a task that you repeatedly which can help you save some time and allows you to focus on more important tasks. You can even use this to organize your daily writing schedule.

Web SEO Analytics Tools

Definitely a useful tool for every writer, the Web SEO Analytics has the most complete tools that will help you meet Googles online content standards. It has everything you need plagiarism checker, keyword, link and domain tools, even Web SEO Analysis.

Although these tools can be useful, the important thing is to be able to provide an original and high quality content article that can attract readers all over the world.

Accountant Job Satisfaction

While accounting may appear to be a career that lacks in overall employment satisfaction due to a perceived tediousness, there are studies and surveys that suggest that crunching numbers may be more fulfilling than individuals may speculate.

According to a U.S. News and World Report annual 100 Best Business Jobs of 2013 survey the top five jobs based on data provided by the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) are:

1.  Market Research Analyst
2.  Financial Adviser
3.  Accountant
4.  Compliance Officer
5.  Bookkeeping, Accounting, & Audit Clerk

BLS data further shows that the median pay for accountants is around $61,690 (2010) or $29.66 per hour and that the number of accountant jobs in 2010 was 1,216,900. An employment change for 2010-2020 shows that an additional 190,700 are expected to be added for a total growth rate of 15.7 percent.

Are Accountants Relatively Satisfied with their Career?

Based on the BLS and US News information, one would believe that being an accountant is a very good career choice that pays well and offers stability and opportunities for growth. The role of the

accountant is important one, particularly after this country’s recent flirtation with economic disaster and the need for the books and records of corporations, banks and governments to better reflect what is being done based on substantiated, not phantom, accounting methods and practices.

The existence of five big and four narrow traits determined the career satisfaction of an accountant. These traits (by “big” and “narrow”) are:

Five Big Traits of Accountants

1.  Agreeableness/Teamwork
2.  Conscientiousness
3.  Emotional Stability
4.  Extraversion, and
5.  Openness

Four Narrow Traits of Accountants

1.  Assertiveness
2.  Customer-Service Orientation
3.  Optimism, and
4.  Work Drive

This suggests that the need for new accountants in light of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projection of nearly 200,000 new accountants for the profession by 2020 requires recruiters to focus on those individuals in possession of the above traits.

Big Five Personality Traits as a Predictor of Accounting Career Satisfaction

Personality tests have been administered by human resources professional, such as the well-known Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MPTI) as a way to assess ability and determine if a candidate will fit in the work environment. The big five traits are an adaptation of standard personality tests applicable to the workplace. Of the five big traits, emotional stability, which relates to a person’s emotional state on the job and their ability to adjust to their surroundings and function, especially when faced with stress and pressure, had the highest correlation to career satisfaction for accountants.

In addition to a high pay rate, accountants are also equipped with a steady employment rate that is expected to increase in the coming years. In an economy with an uncertain outlook, accountants and other similar positions are afforded job security rather than high unemployment rates. These factors, combined with personalities that function well under the conditions required for the position, are reasons that accountants have a high career satisfaction.

Ray Pilkington is a freelance writer based in Biloxi, Mississippi who concentrates his writing career on personal finance, taxation, tax reform, savings, economic development and other related topics; to learn more about taxation view the following information on R&R Income Tax.

Is College Worth the Expense?

When a former United States Secretary of Education questions the value of a College education, people take notice and start talking. This is exactly the question posed by William Bennett and David Wilezol in their new book, Is College Worth It? A Former United States Secretary of Education and Liberal Arts Graduate Expose The Broken Promise of Higher Education.

Bennett and Wilezol both agree that College is definitely worth it, but its not for everyone. The authors cite the cost of a quality education as well as the 50% unemployment rate for 2011 graduates. Similarly, Peter Thiel, one of the original investors of Facebook, believes that too many colleges are churning out more College graduates than our economy can handle.

The statistics are upsetting. A recent study showed that 45 percent of College graduates could not think or reason critically on complex issues. In addition, the study found that they did not learn any worthwhile writing skills in their first two years of their College education.

There is no doubt that the cost of College education is a cause for concern. Students are burdened with heavy student loans and the default rate on these educational loans is greater than ever. And the cost of education rises every year. Cost of a college education is increased 1100% since 1978. Today, one out of ten students will graduate with a student loan of $40,000 or more. There are many online services to get the most suitable loan offer from the ones who are in the top of lenders.

So, how can parents and prospective College students make the best decision as to whether College is right for them and how can they best minimize College costs and maximize their employ ability at the end of their College career?

Students should make a firm commitment to attend class and complete their degree on time

The statistics of Student loan default rates and excessive Student loan amounts are skewed as a result of Students that do not take their college career seriously and have not given serious consideration to whether they should have started College in the first place. Twenty nine percent of all students who take on student loans eventually drop out. This percentage has grown 25% in the last decade.

Less than 40% of College students graduate in four years. Fifty three percent of all Students graduate in 6 years. The extra two years in College substantially increases students total student loan amounts. A commitment and schedule, on the students part, to graduate on time would not only decrease a students overall loan amount, but would also mean that the student has a higher likelihood of graduating college since they will be closer to their goal.

Choose a degree plan that will serve you well into the future

We live in a different world today. With technology and the internet changing our lives daily, students should consider where the world will be in 10-20 years in deciding on their degree plan. There was a time when a student could simply study liberal arts and she would be sure to find a job. Now, with an abundance of unemployed graduates, a student should give considerable thought to her career plan.

A highly thought out degree plan will also serve to lower a students overall cost of education. Switching majors while in college can add years to a students eventual graduation date.

College is a costly commitment. Treat it as one.

Similar to a house or car, a college education is a costly expense. And just as you have to maintain a house or car, students should make a similar commitment to put the extra effort into their college education. Student should take classes that not only will allow them to graduate but also to learn things that will help them in their later career and life.

Students should also regularly attend class. After all, they are paying for this privilege. Students who are only looking to get that degree at the end will, at best, only have that degree. Students who put their heart and soul into college will come out of college a well-rounded individual who will be sought after by future employers.

A College education is still very much a worthwhile goal in 2013 as long as both parents and students sit down and establish long term academic goals. Costs can very much be minimized utilizing these goals. And with these goals in place, a student will be an employable asset for the rest of her working career.

Other Ways to Pay for College Besides Loans and Scholarships

Most parents rely on loans and scholarships in order to manage their child’s education expenses. In reality, there are other options, but few people are aware of them. Therefore, this article can help to highlight some of the options that can be beneficial for you. It can be useful if you’re looking for options to pay off college debt without complicating your financial situation.

Here are some of the effective tips to pay off your college debt without relying on student loan or financial aid:

  1. Stocks- Beneficial for your college savings portfolio: Tuition costs are incessantly increasing, faster than inflation. Therefore, stocks are considered to be the best way to save enough for the long term. You can start saving today to secure the educational future of your child. Therefore, parents can save money for a child who is approaching college age. You can effortlessly shelter your returns by switching your money into more bonds and cash. Once the bonds are matured, you can pay for college expenses with ease.
  1. Section 529 Plans: Can be an effective solution to your problem:

Section 529 plans are popularly known as the Qualified Tuition Programs (QTP). This plan is considered to be the best option for saving for your children’s college education. You can effortlessly use your savings to pay off your educational loans without relying on additional loans or other financial aid programs. Prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans are two types of programs under section 529 plans. When you opt into prepaid tuition plans, you lock in future tuition rates at in-state public colleges at current prices. Its usually guaranteed by the state. However, college savings plans are not rigid and do not offer a guarantee.

  1. Savings Social Networking Programs: Social networking sites encourage friends as well as family to contribute to a child’s college education. Some programs are designed for the donor like updates on the child’s academic progress. Therefore, the contribution of the donor can be used to encourage the student to get good grades and succeed in school.
  1. College Savings Bank: The CollegeSure CD is an FDIC-insured certificate of deposit that is aimed for the purpose to manage college expenses. This certificate is offered by a college savings bank. The interest on this CollegeSure certificate of deposit is similar to other CDs. The interest percentage is fixed for average college costs at maturity. Once a CollegeSure CD has matured, the family can use the principal and accumulated interest to pay off college expenses.
  1. Education Bond Program: Interest on certain savings bonds is tax free with the help of the Education Bond Program. Therefore, when you redeem bonds to manage higher education expenses, these savings are tax free.

Keep the above mentioned options when you’re planning to manage higher education expenses and want to use more than just loan and scholarship programs.

A Documented 4 Step Technique to Prepare for the CSET Test

The California Examinations for Teachers is needed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for you to get a teacher credential. A passing score demands extremely efficient CSET prep. That means cramming and forcing yourself to memorize tons of information in a brief time will never do.

Sadly, many test takers don’t know the most efficient manner to prep for the CSET, what test taking skills are required or what evaluation guides will cover the domains tested. They end up frustrated in exam preparation and then demoralized after they fail. Worse however, some turn out to be chronic test failures and lose their dream of being a licensed teacher in California.

Do not let that materialize to you.

You’ve invested a large number of dollars in college tuition and years from your life preparing to be an educator. You’ll want to toss out the window the idea that a $21 CSET test prep guidebook will be the only thing you need to study in order to pass.

How Should You Begin Your CSET Prep?

Before anything else register for the examination. Do not wait till you really feel you are ready before you really register. There will by no means be a perfect moment. Once you have registered and see the time ticking, it’ll create a force field which will compel you to prepare.

4 Top Notch Tips To Prep For The CSET Exam

1.) Know and understand the content of this assessment to save yourself from feeling lost and studying the incorrect information.

A.) What specific skills and knowledge will probably be tested in your specific exam?

B.) What domains and subsections account for almost all exam points? (Use this information to figure out exactly where you need to put most of your CSET exam prep time.)

C.) How is your test scored?

Understanding what sections of your exam account for by far the most} points will help you allocate your CSET test prep towards the content material knowledge that will increase your general test score the most. Further, understanding how the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and Evaluation Systems Pearson measure the tested competencies will can dramatically turbo increase your exam evaluation and also your probability of a passing score.

D.) What will be the format, structure and way CSET examination questions are worded?

Your exam will either have multiple choice questions, constructed response questions or perhaps a mixture of both. It pays to know how to answer constructed response questions. This can be a distinctive test taking skill you’ll need to discover and demo. Be very familiar with Constructed Response questions and in what format, structure and style to answer them.

E.) How much time is permitted to finish your specific CSET test? Calculate just how much time you have to answer each exam question. (Use this info to practice pacing yourself with practice exam examination question and how you can allocate your time in the test center.)

NOTE: Whether you are taking the science, social science, math, Spanish, Bilingual Authorization, Multiple Subjects Test or additional, most of this CSET prep information may be discovered in downloads from the official CSET (or Evaluation Systems Pearson) site.

2.) Locate The Best CSET Prep Books:

The best CSET prep classes, workshops, practice tests, flashcards, books and tutoring are produced by California teachers who passed your particular exam. After all, it doesn’t make sense to buy one of the most generally utilized preparation books when too many fail after utilizing these guides.

In fact, most authors from large publishers who create CSET prep books rarely ever took your exam! They’re not an expert within the Single Subject exam they’re supposedly teaching you how to pass.

3.) Create Your own Customized CSET Practice Plan:

You currently have other responsibilities each day and week. You will find lots of competing demands on your time especially when everyone expects a piece of your life with text messages, social media, emails and cell phones. Consequently, you must make CSET preparation a priority and put much less important activities aside until following your testing date.

You have to proactively schedule test practice time each week. Aim for at least 2 hours per day in case your exam day is really a month or less away. Allot a realistic amount of time for each area from the exam you’ll need to study.

Discipline yourself to close your pc browser, turn off e-mail, social media, text message alerts and cell phones. Do not get caught up within urgencies of the moment (which are not essential in the big picture) that steal your concentration and possibly your profession as a teacher.

Each interruption (whether a live individual, telephone call or perhaps a computerized communication) robs you of crucial CSET prep time. Typically, youll need 10-20 minutes after every interruption to obtain your mind in the state of concentration it was in before the interruption. As you can see following a series of continuous interruptions, your test prep productivity is in the gutter. It requires you three hours to complete what you could get done in 1 hours of uninterrupted time.

By the time you walk into CSET testing center you are only half as prepared as you’ll need to be in order to pass. Its too late whenever you realize your CSET exam prep time was lost in partials and piecemeal in the weeks leading up to your testing date.

You always need more time for prepping estimate now, so steer clear of procrastination by forcing yourself to plan and schedule test practice.

4.) Force Yourself To Put 80% Of All Your CSET Exam Prep Time Toward Your Weakest Areas:

Identify your weaknesses and strengths when it comes to the subject matter competency requirements. Strive to boost your understanding and skills in your locations of weaknesses.

Why?

You will increase your test score 2-5 quicker in each hour of reviewing low areas vs. making mediocre improvements in sections you’re currently proficient in.

This also applies for your weakest test taking skills too. For instance, in the event you tend to run out of time taking the exam, practice on pacing your self according to how much time you get for each test question. If understanding how you can format an effective essay in the Constructed Response questions is a challenge, double and triple your concentration and time enhancing that ability.

The danger is we always gravitate to topic matter and practicing abilities we currently feel comfortable in. The key to peak overall performance CSET test prep is forcing yourself to do whats not comfy, but necessary to ramp up your areas of greatest difficulty so you pass.

Use these CSET prep helpful tips from http://www.cateachingsolutions.com/csettestprep.html as a checklist to increase your productivity and quit risking a failing score. Just utilizing just one of these strategies regularly might be enough to pass the CSET test and get you in front of the} class.

Is Law School too Theoretical?

Many people involved in the legal profession now believe that law schools in the United States provide a legal education that is too theoretical and not practical enough. Somewhat surprisingly, those who protest of a lack of practical skills among recent law school graduates are judges and senior partners at law firms. Many of those who advocate retaining the theoretical nature of a legal education are law students.

Lack of Writing Skills 

Judges are becoming increasingly frustrated with novice lawyers who cannot write. They complain of legal briefs crammed with spelling and grammar errors, slang and poorly constructed paragraphs. They also complain of unnecessarily lengthy briefs containing unnecessarily elevated language. Judges often become frustrated with young lawyers who seem to be unfamiliar with the basics of courtroom procedures.

Senior partners at law firms also complain of poor writing skills among new hires. They also complain of freshly minted attorneys with poor people skills and poor math skills. They do not want to leave new associates alone with clients because they do not listen well enough to learn what clients want to accomplish. They are also unable to articulate a strategy for accomplishing the client’s goals. They often do not get along well enough with opposing counsel to be able to negotiate effectively. Senior partners are reluctant to let inexperienced attorneys handle trusts because they are inexperienced as to how to balance trust accounts. They also have issues with keeping accurate timesheets, thereby making billing problematic.

Law Students Want to Learn Legal Theory 

Many law students and the deans of law schools believe that new lawyers need to understand the reasons for the law in order to understand how to practice law. An attorney needs to understand the ideals of due process in order to understand whether due process has been followed or not. An attorney needs to understand what society has agreed constitutes property and what rights individuals have in regard to property in order to understand whether property rights have been violated. It is essential for law students to understand the theory behind contract law if they are to understand whether any particular contract is valid or not, or whether the terms of a contract have been violated.

Practical Skills as Requirements for Admission to Law School 

Perhaps law schools could do more to prepare law graduates for the reality of practicing law, such as through increased internship programs. However, most law schools do offer courses in legal writing and courtroom procedures. Many law students choose not to avail themselves of these courses. Many of the skills that senior law partners and judges complain that new attorneys lack may be beyond the scope of law school, or should be incorporated into the admission procedure for law school. A law student should have basic writing skills before he or she is admitted to law school. A law student should be able to balance and reconcile a bank account.

A lack of skills in interpersonal relationships cuts across all professions and occupations. It may be necessary for law schools to lead the way in remedying this situation, as law school graduates at some point in their law careers will need superior interpersonal skills. They will need to deal with clients, superiors and colleagues in law firms and judges.

Christian Sharpe is a freelance writer who focuses on legal education, legal history and assorted legal topics such as Securities Fraud, Financial Regulation, Banking Law, Corporate Law and others as well.

Story of Education – Student’s Perspective

Hello my name is Matt and I am about to share my TRUE story of education

Childhood Concept of Education

Since my early days of schooling, I was never into education like most of the kids. I tried my best to avoid studying, as much as possible, and spent time playing games. This is because of an obvious reason, that I found games more attractive and enjoyable. At this stage, I never thought of the advantages of education, and I think I wasn’t even told about that. All I was told by my parents is to socialize, enjoy with friends and teachers in your class. To sum up, it never makes sense to go to school till the 8th grade.

High School

Things have started to make sense but the world is not easy to conquer! You have to sacrifice a lot to make sure you stood good in class; you have to be very strict with schedule, life, and plans. However, this stage has almost the same intentions as childhood but with a bit of a knowledge that education is going to play a vital role in life!

Normal Concept of Teenagers about Education – College Life

This age seems to be more sensitive because:

  • Students are not that much in control of parents
  • Life seems to be more beautiful than ever
  • Your friends / social circle is very influential for you
  • And the most important point, students try to earn! Which is good for them and parents but it comes up with a whole new package. I personally think that the more you are exposed to jobs, the more you have the potential to get away with education.

Every student is not sharp, intelligent, and has the ability to maintain balance. I have a few friends who always wanted to earn more (I wish if they wanted to Learn more), and they did against the cost of their education for a specific time frame. But when I was done with the engineering degree I was earning far better than all those who didn’t pursue their education or is some cases hardly done with an associate degree to start earning as soon as possible. All of them were looking for a short term plan!

                                                                                         

 

Students Concept about Education

Even at college and university life, students were not able to understand the importance of education. For me, education is just to have a better career, and this reason is good enough to pursue for my engineering program!

What Actually Education is?

Education is not only about what degree you have. I have a strong believe that education gives you vision which is priceless. My parents used to tell me all the time that education will make you a man of honors and respect. This never makes sense for me. Now when I realize that education has actually makes me think like a sensible person. It not only makes you learn a skill and pursue a successful career, in fact it lets you make sensible decisions in life. The more you use your brain the better it will have thinking ability. Education is such a great things that it always reflects in you (from you work, family, decision, and analytical skills!) Also, that doesn’t matter which career path you have selected, the more you learn, and the better will be you!

The above mentioned point is the top most benefit of education; this is the difference that even differentiates between a proper four year bachelor graduate and vocational degree holder, which concentrates on a specific skill set. The purpose of wide range of courses in a bachelor degree is to create a coating of education on students.

Engineers, doctors and other professions that require four year degree program has a strong reason. I have done software engineering and during my span of four year degree program, I studied forty courses (5 per semesters), among those 40 courses, only 25% courses (10 courses) ever specifically related to software engineering. Why? Why I don’t just go for those specific 10 courses and get an engineering degree? This is because engineers and other four year degree program holders are respected more, not just because they have a specific skill set from specific courses BUT they have more analytical and mental capabilities, which is achieved thorough the continuer years of effort!

In short, you have to pay to get something, and what you pay for education is not even close of what actually you get! Its priceless!!!

Industrial Engineering: A Failsafe Degree?

Individuals seeking a new career path in the engineering field may contemplate earning a degree in industrial engineering, believing this industry offers failsafe job options. Are the job prospects as positive as most individuals believe them to be, especially in the present struggling workforce?

What They Do

Industrial engineers focus on the design, development, implementation, and improvement on integrated systems, taking into consideration people, information, materials, energy, and equipment. From the factory assembly lines to hospital operating rooms, industrial engineers help improve complex processes to eliminate wastefulness in a wide range of industries and production processes.

Opportunities

Industrial engineering offers individuals a wide range of career possibilities. The greater your experience and qualifications are, the more job opportunities are available to you; however, with the multitude of choices and much-needed commitment required in this field comes tough decisions that could impact your prospects. In order to increase your chances of finding a position as an industrial engineer, you need to focus on opportunities that are best suited to your strengths and skills, allowing you to be the most effective.

Industrial engineering is predicted to increase by approximately six percent between the years 2010 and 2020, which is less than the overall occupational average; however, being versatile in both the pertinent industries and work nature, industrial engineers are attractive to most employers because their work can help businesses increase efficiency through cost control. Besides playing a crucial role in providing a corporation with a competitive edge, industrial engineering offers individuals many positive prospects in this career.

Career Versatility

Industrial engineering offers a wide range of career choices. Because industrial engineers do not specialize in a specific field, as do other engineers, they can seek employment in various industries such as hospitals, major manufacturing industries, research and development corporations, and consulting and engineering services.

Industrial engineers focus on reducing a companys internal costs, which makes them a valuable asset to even the fastest growing industries. For those contemplating industrial engineering as a career choice, individuals need to take into account that finding a job in this industry may be hindered because many employment opportunities in manufacturing industries are projected to decline or only slowly grow through over the next few years.

Exceptional Pay

Those who are seeking a position as an industrial engineer can expect to earn a decent annual salary. The median annual salary for an industrial engineer was approximately $76,100, as of May 2010. Median annual salaries for industrial engineers in the top employing industries as of May 2010 were as follows:

Semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing – $83,620
Navigational, electromedical, control instruments, and measuring manufacturing – $81,850
Engineering, architectural, and related services – $80,990
Aerospace parts and products manufacturing – $80,940
Automobile parts manufacturing – $72,840

Promotion Opportunities

After obtaining the proper amount of experience, it is not uncommon for industrial engineers to be promoted to a managerial position. For those who are seeking a management position, industrial engineering offers an easy solution. Aspiring industrial engineers obtain similar business training and education as business students, and many times industrial engineers will minor in sales or businesses administration. Additional math, technology, and science training make industrial engineers more marketable to employers, and many will complete their educational experience by earning an MBA.

Nigel Cunningham is a writer and blogger currently penning articles for Allight Sykes, a company which supplies a range of products such as light towers, mining pumps and other equipment.

10 Ways to Narrow Your Career Focus and Major

Conduct career research to guide college endeavors

Most college students will change their major at least once, if not more often. This isn’t bad if it’s the first week of school, but if a student changes his or her career course three years into college, they’re going to suffer setbacks in several forms by having to pay for extra courses to fulfill the requirements of a new degree. The unfortunate truth for many college entrants is that they begin their post-secondary education without any idea of what they want to specialize in.

In many cases, these students could have saved themselves time, money and stress by doing research early on in their professional pursuits – even while they were still in high school.

Taking your career into your own hands

When refining one’s interests and targeting specific fields of interest, one of the worst things a high school or college student can do is place their future in the hands of a school guidance counselor. Considering the average of 457 to 1 counselor-to-student ratio is nearly twice the recommended ratio according to the American School Counselor Association, it is unrealistic to expect high performance by counselors under such conditions. Counselors are often tasked with a number of wide-ranging responsibilities not related to career counseling. Counselors are often trained to provide interventions and one-on-one counseling to students, but unfortunately, the constraints just detailed prevent them from providing comprehensive, effective guidance and advocacy for every students college planning. Discussing future prospects with a school counselor can still be beneficial, but if students and parents want to maximize their benefit, they need to be proactive.

In addition to resources like the College Readiness Indicator System, which is designed to support school counseling efforts by using data analysis to determine how ready for college a high school student is, parents and students alike need to actively conduct research and explore their options. Going on school visits, meeting with prospective college advisors, and doing other legwork can provide much more “guidance” than a school counselor has the time to offer.

Do some research to narrow down options

That doesn’t mean anyone has to map out the rest of his or her life at age 17. But narrowing down interests ahead of college can help a person focus general education in a way that best serves the most likely career paths. For example, if a student is interested in math and science fields, taking prerequisites and general education courses that work toward a Master of Science degree can make things easier once that specific degree path is determined.

Some career paths can be more complicated than others. The engineering field, for example, features a range of degrees and specialties that often appear similar on the surface but can be widely divergent from one another when the details are examined. Many students eventually entering into a construction management degree program settle on this career path after exploring their options in the field of engineering and construction.

Free resources

Because most college students want to prepare themselves for a profession likely to exist throughout the course of their working years, job outlook is a key consideration when narrowing a career search.
The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great resource for learning more about any profession a student might consider. From taxi drivers to government officials, a number of resources provide information spanning several aspects of each job, including the average pay, working conditions, education requirements, additional training, and — most importantly — the job outlook for that profession.

Construction management, mentioned above, is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to enjoy an average job growth of 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, a figure slightly above the national average for all jobs. That means students earning a construction management degree may experience average or slightly above-average job opportunities over the next decade.

In addition to job research, other methods of personal discovery are available, including job shadowing of construction management personnel to aptitude tests that gauge a student’s interests and skills and suggest fields that may be a good fit for them.

Putting the journey ahead of the destination

Of course, there’s a reason colleges force students to sample courses from a variety of professional paths and interests. It can be hard for students to know what they want to do when they don’t know all the options available to them. The ultimate goal for both students shouldn’t be choosing a career path as early as possible. Instead, early active exploration and research should be the emphasis. With those goals in mind – and a little patience backing those efforts – the career will come in time.

Degree in Petroleum Engineering No comments

Female engineer

The petroleum industry is experiencing robust and sustained growth as the international and domestic demand for petroleum products, ranging from gasoline to lubricating oil, continues to rise. Because of this, petroleum engineers are in great demand; some students have even been able to obtain well-compensated and secure employment before their graduation.

Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS ) estimates that there are over 30,000 petroleum engineers employed in the United States. The job opportunities for petroleum engineers are expanding at a robust 17 percent with over 35,000 positions expected by 2020. In addition, job openings due to retirement and other sources of attrition help ensure a wide range of opportunities for individuals seeking to enter this field. The BLS has also determined that petroleum engineers enjoy excellent salary and benefit packages, with the median annual salary for a petroleum engineer exceeding $114,000, while the upper 10 percent of engineers earn over $166,000. In many cases, these wages do not take into account very generous vacation, housing, and medical plan options.

Get Them Before They’re Gone

However, because the market for petroleum engineers is such a competitive one, and obtaining a skilled staff so vital to the effective exploitation of petroleum resources, many companies prefer to hire students before their graduation in order to avoid the risk that another business will secure the students services first. In addition, this competitive job market helps ensure that students and graduates alike can obtain very promising compensation and professional packages as a part of their hiring contract.

In addition, offering a job to a student who has not yet graduated can allow a company to help the student focus on those areas of expertise that the employer finds most important. Given the wide range of specialties within the field of petroleum engineering, this can allow a company to dramatically reduce the amount of training required for a newly hired engineer. It also allows the student to prepare him or herself for the job by learning about the employers corporate culture and mission.

High Demand means High Value

The growing demand for petroleum engineers is largely due to two factors. The first is the continued growth of the national and international energy development sector. The need for petroleum engineers, whether it is to work in traditional oil fields or to work in research and development for more efficient methods of oil extraction, has created an insatiable demand for highly qualified employees. Because of the specialized knowledge and skill base required to work in the petroleum industry, retraining other engineers for this field is unfeasible in most cases.

In addition, the highly skilled faculty needed to train students in petroleum engineering has created a bottleneck in the supply of new graduates. From 1957 until the last decade, enrollment in petroleum engineering programs suffered a steady decrease in class sizes. When coupled with retirement and other sources of attrition among currently employed engineers, this educational decline contributed to the current shortage of qualified petroleum engineers. While many schools are attempting to expand their programs, the need to secure experienced instructors and facilities places a limit on how quickly these programs can expand.

Although it is likely that the supply of graduates will eventually match the current demand, for the foreseeable future, petroleum engineering students will continue to enjoy excellent job and salary prospects offered by employers who continue to face a shortage of qualified engineers. Furthermore, the continuing expansion of petroleum extraction operations into previously untapped areas, coupled with the growing energy demands of the developing world, make it certain that this career field will continue to experience robust growth. This makes becoming a petroleum engineer an excellent choice for students seeking a secure career in todays business environment.

This piece was written by Eric Satterberg, a freelancer who concentrates on education, engineering, mathematics, science, oil and gas, energy, alternative fuel sources and other related issues; to learn more about engineering visit Audubon Engineering.