College Career Options
A background in accounting not only can lead to traditional accounting careers such as bookkeepers and auditors, but it is also especially helpful in related jobs such as appraisers, bank managers, budget officers, financial analysts, insurance actuaries, IRS tax collectors, loan officers, purchasing agents, securities sales agents, and underwriters. Because accounting knowledge gives you detailed expertise in how to make profits and minimize losses, as well as a broad understanding of business in general, it can also be an excellent foundation for advancing to leadership positions in a corporation or starting your own business.
Careers in accounting often fall into these main areas:
- Government accountants work for federal, state, or local public entities maintaining agency records and ensuring that income and expenditures are collected and disbursed according to all applicable laws and regulations. Government accountants may also audit private businesses that are subject to government regulations to make sure they are in compliance, or to guarantee that taxes have been filed and reported properly.
- Internal auditors review and analyze all of a corporation’s financial procedures, company operations, and internal controls to confirm that they are accurate, to make certain that they are in compliance with any corporate policies and government regulations, and ensure that they are not subject to waste, fraud, or mismanagement.
- Management accountants analyze, interpret, and keep track of all of the financial information of the companies that employ them, so that the chief executives have all of the data they need to make successful business decisions. Other job responsibilities can include asset management, budgeting, cost management, financial reporting, financial planning, performance evaluation, strategic planning, and new product development.
- Public accountants perform a wide array of tax, consulting, accounting and auditing services for their clients, who can be individuals, corporations, governments, or non-profit organizations. The majority of employees in these accounting careers hold CPA (Certified Public Accountant) certifications. They are therefore qualified for many areas of finance including corporate finance, estate planning, financial analysis, financial planning, forensic accounting (detecting and investigating fraud), and tax preparation and planning.
The stereotype of the “starving artist” is not quite accurate in today’s job market. Although competition in art careers is usually intense, and many visual artists use their skills only on a part-time or freelance basis, there are still many opportunities to have rewarding and even lucrative art careers, especially if you combine your artistic talents with computer technology.
The following are common careers in which visual artists can earn a living with their abilities:
- Advertising – Artists are needed in the advertising field to create billboards, brochures, catalogs, direct response advertising, magazine ads and inserts, newsletters, newspaper ads, television commercials, and Web banners. To be successful in this industry, you must be proficient with computers, able to conceive creative ideas quickly, work long hours, and respond well to deadlines.
- Animation/Special Effects – Animators and special effects creators are most often employed in the movie, television, and theme park industries, but also in CD-ROM, video game, and Web design. Animation can involve “stop-motion” techniques using clay, cut-outs, puppets, and models, but most modern animation is created digitally using computer graphics.
- Desktop Publishing – This is an excellent field for artists who wish to start their own businesses. It involves the use of a personal computer and electronic layout and graphics software to create business cards, bumper stickers, envelopes, letterhead, logos, name tags, posters, point-of-sale displays, promotional items, retail package designs, trade show exhibits, signage, and Websites.
- Fashion Design – Fashion designers conceive and create clothing and accessories. They must possess not only an eye for fashion trends, but also knowledge of fabrics; sketching and research skills; a willingness to travel to meet with manufacturers, suppliers, and clients; and the ability to work under deadlines.
- Graphic Design – Graphic designers use art, illustration, photos, and text to give eye-appeal or corporate identity to print materials such as annual reports, brochures, logos, packages, and signage. Their skills can also be used in other media such as animation, digital communications, films, and Websites.
- Illustration – Fine artists in these art careers illustrate books, brochures, textbooks, magazines, stamps, Websites, and many commercial items.
- Video Games – Video games are used in mobile phones, computers and television, arcades, and the Internet, and for military or employee training purposes.
- Website Design – This field can be similar to desktop publishing and involves many of the same skills and abilities.
Most of us think of pilots when we think of aviation careers. There are certainly many different types of pilots including agricultural pilots, charter pilots, commercial airline captains, co-pilots or first officers, corporate pilots, ferry pilots, flight engineers or second officers, flight instructors, helicopter pilots, and test pilots.
There are also many other careers in the aviation field, however, that do not necessarily involve flight. These aviation-related positions can usually be found in the following areas:
- Airlines – Positions with commercial, corporate, or private airlines can include air cargo handlers, aircraft refuelers, baggage handlers, cabin maintenance mechanics, engineers, flight attendants, flight dispatchers, food service personnel, ground attendants, maintenance personnel, mechanics, meteorologists, ramp planners, ramp service personnel, reservations sales agents, and ticket agents.
- Airports – Aviation-related positions with airports can include airport managers or directors, drivers, engineers, fixed base operators (retail firms located at an airport that sell aviation products or services such as aircraft refueling, engine repair, or flight training), food service personnel, fuelers, security screeners, service and maintenance personnel (to cut grass, remove snow, service runway lights, etc.), and terminal concessionaires.
- Federal Government – Aviation-related professions with the federal government are usually with agencies such as the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the National Weather Service (NWS). Positions include FAA air traffic control specialists, FAA electronics technicians, FAA engineers, FAA maintenance mechanics, FAA safety inspectors, NASA astronautical engineers, NTSB accident investigators, and NWS meteorologists.
- State Government – Most states have an Aeronautics Commission or Department, which usually consists of people with aviation connections or interests who are appointed by the governor to formulate policies about aviation activities within the state, such as airport design and operation, aviation promotion, and flight safety.
- Private Industry – Aviation careers can also be found with private industries, primarily those in the aerospace, defense, and technical services sectors, which employ aerospace engineers who design, develop and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles, and supervise their manufacture.
Banks safeguard deposits and provide financial services to both individuals and organizations. Although much of the banking industry is currently undergoing consolidation, it is still the largest provider of jobs in the financial sector. Banking careers can include the following:
- Branch managers oversee all of the on-going activities at their bank location including hiring and training employees, marketing products and services to customers, signing up new customers, and solving customer problems. Employees in entry-level banking jobs such as customer service representatives or loan officers can work their way up to branch managers if they possess strong interpersonal skills and motivation. Branch managers in turn can often advance to market managers who supervise all of the bank branches in a particular market.
- Credit analysts are entry-level employees who evaluate the financial condition of loan and credit applicants by researching data such as banking records, credit scores, and employment histories.
- Loan officers are the liaisons between a bank and its loan applicants. They are responsible for recommending loans that are in the best interests of both the applicant and the bank. These are often entry-level jobs from which employees can eventually advance to positions of greater responsibility.
- Mortgage officers arrange property mortgage loans between the bank and property buyers. This involves meeting with property buyers and real estate professionals, making credit checks, and working to find a loan that best suits the borrower’s needs.
- Trust officers set up and manage assets, such as company profit-sharing plans, school endowments, or pension funds, that are placed in trust with a bank by individuals or organizations.
Other banking careers can be found in accounting, cash management services, communications, debit card operations, loan servicing, marketing and advertising, operations, personnel, securities transfer, and wire operations.
The general term business, at its most basic level, means the providing of goods and/or services. In the United States, the primary means of production are mostly privately owned but goods and services are bought and sold in free and competitive markets. This results in an almost infinite variety of businesses and therefore of business careers.
Businesspeople are usually defined as salaried, educated workers who own or are employed by profit-oriented organizations. The following are some popular business positions:
- Accounting – monitoring long-term profits and losses
- Commercial Banking – providing banking services and loans to individuals and businesses
- Corporate Finance – maximizing a corporation’s profits while minimizing its losses
- Financial Planning – helping individuals meet their financial goals and plan their future
- Insurance – protecting individuals and businesses from financial loss through policies that reimburse them for losses
- Investment Banking – connecting investors with companies that need funding
- Real Estate – selling and managing properties or land
- Consulting – these business careers involve providing expert advice in a particular area
- Entrepreneurship – starting and managing new companies
- General Management – directing other people to achieve a corporation’s goals
- Human Resources – helping an organization manage its employees, including hiring, firing, training, counseling, and benefits
- Operations – directing all of the processes involved in producing goods or services
- Strategic Planning – designing a long-term plan to help a corporation attain its goals
- Advertising – persuading consumers to purchase a product• Market Research – analyzing the information, motives, and trends that influence the purchasing of a particular product or service
- Product Management – directing the marketing, branding, and development of a particular product
- Public Relations – creating a desired public image for a product, business, idea, or person
- Retail – business careers that involve selling merchandise from a fixed location
Almost everyone uses a computer at some point during their working day to help them accomplish certain tasks, no matter what their job involves or what sector of the market they are employed in. Because of the dominance of computer technology in all areas of business, regular careers are becoming indistinguishable from computer careers. True careers in computing, however, are those that involve the exclusive use of programming, databases, or some other aspect of computer functions.
Common positions in the computer industry include the following:
- Computer Operator – The duties of computer operators can vary depending on the policy of the organizations they work for, but these computer careers usually involve installing operative codes and controls on one or more mainframe computers according to the instructions of computer programmers. Operators also supervise the central consoles that oversee the functions of these computers, compile the records of any incomplete jobs or documented problems, and help programmers and analysts test programs. Operators often transition to other computer careers in databases, networks, maintenance, and user support by keeping up-to-date in continuing education and new technology.
- Computer Programmer – Computer programmers are the experts in the languages and codes that tell computers how to function. The programs they write can range from minimal codes that take only hours to create to very complicated instructions that can take years to complete. There are two types of computer programmers: Applications programmers create or modify programs for a particular purpose, while systems programmers, as their name implies, develop and troubleshoot entire computer systems. These computer careers also involve modifying existing programs and testing new ones.
- Computer Software Engineer – Like programmers, these computer careers are also categorized into two types according to their functions. Applications software engineers create and maintain packaged or customized software systems that help users perform specific functions. Systems software engineers help construct the entire computer system of an organization according to the specific needs of each department.
- Information Systems Manager – These professionals supervise the development and installation of all aspects of a computer system, including hardware, software, networking, programming, Internet maintenance, and security systems. Various types of systems managers include project managers, who calculate budget requirements for specific projects; LAN/WAN (Local Area Network/Wide Area Network) managers, who design internal networks; and Management Information Systems (MIS) directors, who supervise an organization’s entire computer system including the help desk.
Computer Science Careers
Computer science jobs utilize the underlying scientific and mathematical theories behind computing, rather than focusing on the specific applications that these theories can lead to. Computer scientists use their knowledge to devise new ways of using computers, and to develop successful ways of solving computer problems.
Careers in computer science can include the following:
- Internet Developers/Web Designers– Internet developers are computer programmers who implement Website designs through computer languages and set up specific functions such as shopping cart software. Web designers are creative artists who use graphics and animation software and media programs to design Websites according to the client’s criteria. Many times, however, these computer professionals combine both functions. Many Web designers/developers not only conceive how a Website will appear on the Internet but they also have programming skills that allow them to execute its design.
- Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts – These experts, also known as network architects, design and test systems such as Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), Internets, Intranets, and other data communications systems such as voicemail and e-mail. They also perform network analysis, modeling, and planning, which often requires the installation of hardware (such as cables, hubs, routers, and wireless adaptors) or software (such as network drivers). These analysts may also research associated products and suggest various hardware and software solutions.
- Programmer-analysts – These computer professionals are experts in both the programming and analysis of different computer systems. Computer science careers in this field involve helping to design and improve computer software as well as client-server applications, object-oriented programming languages, and multimedia and Internet technology.
- Systems Analysts – Systems analysts troubleshoot computer and technological problems for an individual organization depending on its particular needs, as well as ensure that computer systems within the organization are compatible with each other. They also design the appropriate hardware and software to allow connections through networking. These analysts usually work with specific systems, such as accounting, business, or engineering systems, as determined by the organization they work for.
- Webmasters – Webmasters, also called Website administrators, are responsible for the day-to-day performance of a Website. They maintain the hardware, database servers, and firewalls of the site, monitor security breaches, and correct errors on the site such as missing pages or images. They also assist with design and development, and work with the marketing department to ensure that the site reflects branding and content requirements.
Criminal Justice Careers
Criminal justice careers are not limited to only police officers and detectives, the positions we most often associate with this field. Law enforcement professionals are actually only one aspect of the criminal justice system, which also encompasses courts, jails, prisons, parole, and probation. Criminal justice positions are therefore numerous, and available at local, state and federal levels:
- Corrections Officers – Corrections or detention officers, also known informally as prison guards, oversee convicted criminals who are confined to correctional facilities such as jails and prisons, as well as those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. In addition to their guard duties, they also write and submit reports on inmate conduct, and any rule violations or security risks
- Court Clerks – Court clerks process legal records for a court of law, which can include duties such as creating court dockets, preparing and verifying case folders, and proofreading and preparing forms needed by the judge on the day of a hearing. Court clerks also file public records such as deeds, marriage licenses, and mortgages; swear in witnesses at a trial; and sometimes (if the court is small) take notes or minutes during a trial.
- Court Reporters – By using a stenotype machine connected to a computer system which converts shorthand symbols into print, court reporters are responsible for recording every official word spoken during a trial or other court proceeding, as well as at depositions and public hearings. Since the official transcript of a court proceeding becomes the basis for attorneys’ arguments and appeals, it is important that court reporters be scrupulously accurate.
- Forensic Scientists – These investigators gather and analyze physical evidence, such as fingerprints, blood, or skeletal bones, from crime scenes. These criminal justice careers also involve writing detailed reports which are given to and discussed with the law enforcement agency in charge of the crime. Forensic scientists are also often called upon to testify in court.
- Police Officers/Detectives – These criminal justice positions deal with the law enforcement segment of the system. Police officers make arrests, investigate crimes, collect evidence, and assist with emergencies. Detectives gather facts, conduct interviews, scrutinize the actions of suspects, and take part in raids and arrests. Often they specialize in a specific area of crime such as homicide or fraud.
- Probation Officers – These officers help rehabilitate parolees and individuals on probation by providing access to counseling, education, housing, and jobs.
Although closely related, the fields of criminal justice and criminology differ in their approach to crime.
Criminal justice does not usually concern itself with the underlying causes of crime. It typically confines itself to preventing and penalizing crime using the policies and practices of the court, corrections, and law enforcement systems. Criminology can also deal with the concrete aspects of the criminal justice system, but it is actually a social science that studies crime as a public phenomenon, including criminal behavior, causes of crime, and society’s responses to it.
In the same way, criminology careers are closely related to, and sometimes overlap, criminal justice careers, but focus more on the psychological causes of crime and various methods of rehabilitation. Although many criminologists choose traditional law enforcement careers such as police detectives or FBI agents, their skills can also be utilized in many different environments such as the educational system, private industry, and government.
Careers in criminology can include the following:
- Computer Forensic Criminologists – These investigators analyze the activity on a suspect’s computer or other digital storage media, including downloaded files, e-mails, and Internet usage, in order to find evidence, assess the suspect’s mental state, and reconstruct events.
- Forensic Psychologists – Forensic psychologists use their knowledge of psychology to help the criminal justice system function. They evaluate a defendant’s state of mind at the time of the offense and assess their competency to stand trial. They also provide treatment recommendations, sentencing advice, appraisal of mitigating factors or future risk, and estimation of witness credibility.
- Profilers – Criminal profilers review patterns of behavior in order to build a profile or description of an unknown offender. They study groups of people who commit specific crimes, and combine their common behaviors to pinpoint the offender’s likely age, gender, race, state of mind, and other psychological characteristics.
- Victim Advocates – Victim advocates assist the victims of violent crimes. These criminology careers involve conducting interviews with victims to assess their state of mind and particular needs, offering access to counseling and support services, conferring with practicing therapists and the state’s attorney in order to meet the victim’s specific needs, familiarizing victims with court procedures, and accompanying them to hearings.
Most doctors choose an area in which to specialize while they are attending medical school. Because of the advancement of knowledge about the human body, as well as the various diseases and conditions that can afflict it, the variety of doctor careers available is extensive:
- Allergists/Immunologists – These doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and problems related to the immune system such as allergies, asthma, and insect stings.
- Anesthesiologists – These specialists both administer the medications that will render the desired state of consciousness in the patient during surgery, as well as monitor the patient’s vital signs during the operation. They also provide pain relief in intensive care sections and maternity wards, as well as for patients with chronic pain.
- Dermatologists – Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and scabies.
- Family or General Physicians – These doctors treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from colds and flus to broken bones, usually for a clientele of recurring, long-term patients. They are often the initial experience with healthcare for most patients, and refer patients with more serious conditions to appropriate specialists.
- Internists – Internists diagnose and provide non-surgical treatment, such as medication and hospitalization, for problems that affect the internal organs such as the digestive tract, kidneys, liver, and stomach. Like family physicians, they act as primary care physicians or the first point of consultation for most patients, and refer more serious cases to secondary care.
- Neurologists – These doctors treat brain, central nervous system, and spinal cord injuries.
- Obstetricians/Gynecologists – This field involves overseeing women’s healthcare, including pregnancy, childbirth, and issues related to the reproductive system.
- Oncologists – Oncologists specialize in treating cancer. Many of them specialize further by treating specific cancers.
- Pediatricians – These doctors take care of infants, young children, and teenagers. Most of their work involves treating illnesses that are frequent in childhood, but they also monitor their patients’ overall development and growth. Some pediatricians also specialize in serious childhood medical conditions.
- Podiatrists – Podiatrists diagnose and treat disorders, diseases, and injuries to the feet and ankles.
- Psychiatrists – Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are medical doctors who have graduated from medical school and are allowed to prescribe medication.
- Urologists – These specialists diagnose and treat problems related to the urinary tract such as bladder and kidney infections and kidney stones.
Many students wish to pursue an education career because they were inspired and motivated by a favorite teacher during their school days, and they wish to emulate this admired educator by educating and inspiring other children themselves. While this is a commendable goal, it is not enough by itself in order become a teacher.
To have a successful career in education, you should posses the following personal qualities:
- Commitment – the willingness to dedicate yourself to your students and the teaching profession
- Communication Skills – able to convey information, ideas, and enthusiasm
- Compassion – a sense of empathy with, and concern for, other human beings
- Creativity – possessing originality, innovation, and resourcefulness
- Dependability – the ability to reliably fulfill all of your commitments
- Ethics – a sense of moral values or principals
- Flexibility – the willingness to adjust plans and actions according to particular needs
- Friendliness – an attitude of openness and sociability toward other people
- Individual Perceptivity – the ability to see each student as a unique individual throughout your education career
- Motivational Skills – able to inspire enthusiasm and curiosity in students
- Organization – the ability to make efficient use of available time
- Patience – persistence in reaching goals even under difficult circumstances
- Positivity – the ability to look on the bright side and see the good in any situation
- Sense of Humor – able to use wit and comedy to create unity in the classroom
An education career also requires you to undergo additional education yourself. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree and must complete a teacher-education program. If you wish to teach in public schools, you will also need certification or licensure from the state in which you wish to teach. Most private schools usually do not require licenses for their teachers, although they typically do require secondary teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree in the field they wish to teach, while elementary teachers must have a bachelor’s degree in childhood education.
Courses for those wishing to have an education career teaching kindergarten or elementary age-groups usually include art, literature, mathematics, music, physical science, and social science, as well as professional education courses such as educational psychology, educational policy and leadership, philosophy of education, and teaching methods. Candidates for degrees in secondary education usually major in the subject they plan to teach, as well as participating in a teacher-preparation program.
People with innate artistic or creative talent, along with an eye for the latest style trends, are often attracted to fashion careers, since they offer the opportunity to put their talents to use in glamorous environments.
Popular careers in fashion include the following:
- Fashion Buyers – Fashion buyers are responsible for stocking the clothes that a company or store will sell. Buyers work closely with department managers, fashion designers, and merchandisers to decide which clothing lines and fashions to sell, negotiate prices with suppliers, oversee the development of clothes targeted toward a particular demographic, ensure that the clothes are received on time from the suppliers, track the best-selling pieces in the store, and guarantee that these pieces are always available for customers.
- Fashion Designers – Fashion designers conceive of and create clothing, footwear, and/or accessories such as handbags, hats, and scarves for apparel wholesalers, costume design departments, fashion houses, or retail stores. They must possess an awareness of beauty; a good eye for detail; outstanding sewing and patternmaking skills; excellent sketching abilities; and strong marketing, sales, and presentation expertise.
- Fashion Editors – Fashion editors create and develop content for fashion-oriented publications such as magazines and newspaper sections, or other mediums such as photo shoots, television shows, or Websites. They work closely with the editor-in-chief to determine the overall direction that their departments will follow during a particular season. Some fashion editors choose to work on a freelance, per-contract basis, and many specialize in certain areas of the fashion industry such as accessories, apparel, or cosmetics.
- Fashion Merchandisers – Fashion merchandisers require a combination of creative talent along with strong marketing, advertising, and organizational skills. These fashion careers involve analyzing and tracking fashion trends, predicting consumer preferences, visualizing fashion lines appropriate for the particular season, supervising the creation of visual displays and the general appearance of a store, and receiving and storing apparel. Fashion merchandisers may also be responsible for monitoring profits and losses, devising marketing and advertising campaigns, and compiling inventories.
- Visual Merchandisers – Visual merchandisers, as their name implies, are concerned with the presentation and display of merchandise so that it is pleasing to the eye. They conceive innovative concepts for store and window displays, and then arrange and maintain them. They may also be responsible for the overall design and visual look of a store, as well as devising and organizing fashion events, markdown sales, and merchandising strategies.
In addition to at least a bachelor’s degree, certain personality traits and technical skills are also essential for those who want to be successful in a financial career.
- Commercial Banking – Those who wish to succeed in the commercial banking field need strong communication and people skills since they will be interacting with the public, as well as good written communication abilities in order to create understandable loan documents and credit analyses. They must also be detail-oriented, ethical, and conscientious. Since many banks are trying to build a brand image by recommending product lines aimed toward particular consumers, they also want highly-motivated, articulate employees who can explain the merits of these financial products to customers and persuade them to make a purchase.
- Corporate Finance – People in corporate finance need many different traits and skills such as problem-solving abilities, computer literacy, initiative, risk-management aptitude, interpersonal proficiency, good communication skills for dealing with the public, and a broad understanding of business. Since many corporations are now global in scope, it also helps to have an appreciation for different cultures and be fluent in a foreign language.
- Financial Analysis – Besides their analytical and mathematical skills, financial analysts must also have self-confidence, maturity, and the ability to work on their own. In addition, they must be computer-literate, detail-oriented, inspired by hunting out obscure facts and information, and good communicators in order to explain complicated financial data in an understandable way.
- Financial Planning – Probably the most important trait that financial planners need to be successful is the ability to make a wide variety of people feel comfortable, as well as be able to present financial concepts to their customers in easy-to-understand language. It also helps to have a streak of sales ability in order to persuade clients to accept a certain recommendation.
- Insurance – Above all, professionals in this financial career need to be able to interact well with the general public. They should enjoy being with, listening to, talking with, and helping other people. Since insurance involves risk management, it also helps to believe in caution.
- Investment Banking – In investment banking, personal qualities are almost more important than mathematic and analytical skills or academic training. Investment bankers need to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, a strong work ethic, the ability to get things done and complete projects, the capability to work in a team, and motivation to succeed. The ability to bluff well also comes in handy during trading.
While health careers can be exciting and rewarding, they can also be demanding. If you are interested in this field, there are certain personal qualities and skills to make sure you possess before finalizing your decision.
People who thrive in the healthcare industry usually have the following:
- Motivation to Help People – Some people enter healthcare because they are attracted by the lucrative pay it can offer, because they are skilled in math and science, or because they come from a family with a strong tradition of entering the medical profession. While these can all be valid reasons for becoming a healthcare professional, your main motivation should be a desire to help people by easing their suffering. This incentive will help to keep you going during tough times, and is the ultimate source of the emotional satisfaction that can be derived from healthcare.
- Strong Work Ethic – Working in healthcare often involves long hours and high levels of stress. You must possess endurance and the willingness to work hard in order to be successful.
- Emotional Strength and Resiliency – People in healthcare positions are often exposed to traumatic and disturbing circumstances during their work. You must have the emotional strength to deal with these situations and move on.
- Interpersonal Skills – Most health careers involve direct contact with people whose illnesses may make them frightened, emotional or otherwise difficult. You must have the ability to communicate with them clearly and sympathetically, also known as a “good bedside manner.”
- Math and Science Proficiency – Most healthcare professions, especially physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, and medical researchers, involve a certain degree of competence in math and science. If these areas are not your strong points, you may want to consider healthcare-related or allied positions, such as technicians or orderlies, who assist doctors and nurses but still have direct contact with patients.
- Knowledge of Strengths and Weaknesses – If hospitals seem too impersonal to you, or you are easily depressed by death and suffering, you may want to explore healthcare settings other than the traditional ones of hospitals, nursing homes, or hospices. You may opt instead for positions in schools, dental offices, pediatric offices, or a private practice. If you are not comfortable dealing with people, you will probably prefer medical laboratory or research careers. Know your particular strengths, weaknesses, and skills in order to find the right fit in the healthcare profession.
In addition to doctors, surgeons, and nurses, which are the positions we most commonly associate with the healthcare field, there are many other healthcare careers available in which you can apply your skills in a related field, or assist doctors and nurses while still having direct contact with patients. These can include the following:
- Health and Social Services – These professionals usually work in health-related settings that are supervised by managed-care organizations. These positions include alcohol or drug abuse counselors, case management aides, child abuse workers, community outreach workers, mental health technicians, and social workers.
- Health Technicians – These healthcare careers are part of what is called the allied health profession, which encompasses any medical workers other than doctors and nurses who have direct contact with patients in a clinical setting. Technicians are specialists who usually have completed one to two years of a training program in their field that stresses practical skills. These positions can include dental hygienists, dental laboratory technicians, emergency medical technicians or paramedics, medical assistants, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians.
- Health Technologists – These healthcare careers are also part of the allied health profession. Technologists usually have a four-year bachelor’s degree in their field which allows them to work in supervisory roles and move into more advanced levels of their profession. These occupations can include clinical laboratory, electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiogram (EKG), radiology, surgical, and ultrasound technologists.
- Home Healthcare – These healthcare careers involve administering medical care to patients in their homes to either re-establish health and/or functionality, or to provide as much comfort as possible such as in hospice care. It includes providing both medical and personal services for the patient or their family members. This profession includes homemakers and home-health aides, as well as many in the allied health services such as dieticians; pharmacists; physical, respiratory, and occupational therapists; and speech-language pathologists.
- Medical Billing – These professionals work with patients, medical personnel, and other office staff. They need basic computer and typing skills; knowledge of anatomy, medical terminology, proper form completion, and necessary coding; as well as strong customer service abilities.
- Medical Records Technicians – These healthcare careers involve organizing, maintaining, and evaluating patients’ medical records for accuracy and completeness.
- Pharmacists, Dieticians, and Therapists – These allied health professionals all require at least a bachelor’s degree if not a master’s, as well as licensure from the state in which they practice.
In general, the hospitality industry can be defined as the part of the service sector that provides the public’s leisure activities, such as food and beverages, lodging, recreation, and travel and transportation. Since there are so many categories in the hospitality industry, and different sectors within these categories depending on the skills involved, there are an almost infinite number of hospitality careers available.
Careers in the hospitality industry can be found in these four broad areas:
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation – These hospitality professions include professional sports such as auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer, and wrestling; cultural, educational or historical exhibits such as botanical gardens, historical sites, museums, nature parks, and zoos; live entertainment such as singing, dancing, and performing; and recreational activities such as amusement and theme parks, arcades, casinos, country clubs, golf courses, marinas, skating rinks, ski resorts, and physical fitness facilities.
- Food Services and Drinking Places – Fast-food eateries, cafeterias, snack bars, full-service restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, taverns, catering companies, concession stands, and mobile food services are all popular and common providers of hospitality positions.
- Hotels and Other Accommodations – This category includes campgrounds, bed-and-breakfast inns, hotels, motels, recreational vehicle (RV) parks, resorts, timeshare facilities, and rooming and boarding houses. The types of hospitality jobs available in this segment can vary widely depending on the services and facilities offered within the accommodations, and whether the establishments are limited or full service, budget or luxury.
- Travel and Transportation – Hospitality careers in this area include airlines; cruise ships; motor vehicle services such as buses, limousines, and taxis; travel and tourism agencies; and railway companies.
Information Technology Careers
Information technology (IT) is the study of computer information systems. In particular, the field of information technology uses this knowledge to devise new computer applications to meet the needs of various industries, the government, the legal system, and private individuals.
Information technology careers can therefore be very interesting ones which utilize the latest, state-of-the-art technology in this ever-changing field. Examples of some of these careers include the following:
- Computer Animation – This is the ability to create moving images using computer tools and techniques such as 3D foundations, character rigging, film editing, and game techniques. Specializations can include video and animation production, cinema production, and television production, which can lead to jobs in the advertising or entertainment industries.
- Computer Forensics – These information technology careers involve gathering, recovering, and/or analyzing a computer’s data, such as downloaded files, e-mails, and Internet history, in order to aid in legal investigations. Common tasks in these careers usually include retrieving information from hacked computers, searching computer logs for evidence of illegal activity, and producing reports on the information. These careers also frequently involve testifying in court.
- Computer Networking – This area of information technology has to do with the different ways computers interact with one another, and with other systems and devices. Examples of information technology careers in this area are computer network software engineers; computer networking consultants who develop, maintain, and update computer systems for corporations or organizations; social networking site developers; and Internet Service Provider (IPO) technicians.
- Computer Security – Computer security concerns itself with the protection and regulation of the electronic information that is exchanged between and stored within computers. Professionals in these information technology careers ensure that data-security and backup systems are working properly, and troubleshoot any problems that occur in these systems. Positions in this area can include security network analysts, systems administrators, and chief information security officers.
- Game Development – Game developers are software designers who design and create computer and video games using gaming networks and platforms, art tools, and myth and storytelling to create the virtual world of a game. They program game engines, design characters, flesh out stories, and invent controls and player interfaces.
- Multimedia Design – Multimedia design involves the use of several different media to communicate a message, which can encompass everything from storyboard planning to final editing. Jobs in this field include broadcast technicians, directors of photography, film editors, graphics animators, and special effects supervisors.
With the ever-increasing advancments in technology and its continuing reach into all areas of modern life, IT careers will only continue to grow during the next ten years. However, just as technology is continually changing, so are the skills that will be needed in those careers.
According to Computerworld magazine, the main abilities that will be needed in people pursuing IT positions during the next ten years are the following:
- Ability to Produce Value-Oriented Business Systems – Because of the rise in cloud computing, in which Internet-based services will perform the functions previously done by software on a personal computer, IT professionals will be expected to produce business systems that deliver value, instead of focusing on maintaining infrastructure.
- Combination of Technical and Business Skills – IT professionals will not only need technology skills, but they will also need to possess knowledge of the particular business processes the public needs and how to produce those systems in a profitable way.
- Data-Handling – By 2020, the amount of data generated each year by computers is expected to be 35 zettabytes (a term that recently replaced petabytes as the largest amount of digital measurement, and is equal to one sextillion bytes). IT professionals will be expected to be able to deal with and analyze these overwhelming amounts of data.
- Information Protection – In an age in which new technology also makes it easier to commit identity theft and impersonation, those pursuing IT positions will need to know how to secure digital information in order to confirm identities and protect privacy.
- Network Productivity Skills – When companies have downsized as much as they can, they will then rely on network systems consultants to help them utilize their technology in more efficient and productive ways.
- Risk Management – Increased technological innovation also means an increased chance of unforeseen situations. Those in IT careers will be expected to anticipate the likely ways in which new technologies may malfunction and be able to provide solutions for them.
Insurance careers involve providing protection from financial losses through the purchasing of policies that reimburse individuals or businesses for those losses. Insurance also involves calculating risk, and then transferring that risk from the customers to the insurance agencies through the written policies.
Major areas of insurance include property and casualty (insuring owners of homes and businesses against loss or injury), vehicle insurance, life insurance, and health insurance. The opportunity for advancement in insurance careers is tremendous, owing to the wide range of jobs available:
- Insurance Agents and Brokers – Insurance agents help their customers purchase appropriate policies and assist them with claims. Brokers are independent agents who represent more than one insurance carrier. Both must be licensed by the state they work in.
- Service Representatives – Service representatives are the intermediaries between the agents who sell policies and the insurance companies who write them.
- Actuaries – Actuaries analyze statistical data about mortality, disease, accidents, and disability and retirement, and then calculate the cost of providing coverage on people’s lives, health, cars, and property. They determine the required premium rates and how much cash the agency must reserve in order to pay future claims. They must be knowledgeable about general trends in society and any legislation that might affect risk. These insurance careers can take place in a variety of environments such as insurance companies, pension-planning organizations, third-party advisors, or the government.
- Claims Adjustors – Adjustors negotiate insurance claims for people who have experienced financial loss and help reach a fair settlement that is beneficial to all parties.
- Risk Managers – These insurance employees help identify the risks an organization faces and make recommendations for dealing with those risks, such as adopting precautionary measures or purchasing insurance.
- Loss Control Specialists – Loss control specialists try to minimize the occurrence of accidents and injuries by visiting businesses, factories, and other work areas to identify any possible hazards and give recommendations on eliminating them. If they work in health insurance, they may do such things as promote preventive healthcare practices in the workplace.
- Underwriters – Underwriters assess potential applicants’ exposure to risk to determine whether they meet the insurer’s standards, and then decide whether to extend coverage to them.
There are many ways to put your J.D. degree to use. Legal careers can be found both inside and outside of the courtroom, and all can be highly challenging and rewarding.
- Judges – Judges supervise courtroom proceedings, and interpret and apply the law to disputes presented before them in court. They also rule on admissibility of evidence and motions proposed by attorneys, instruct juries, pronounce sentences on defendants found guilty in criminal court, and decide liability or damages in civil proceedings. Outside the courtroom, judges research laws, write opinions and case decisions, establish courtroom rules and procedures, and sometimes perform marriages and prepare marriage licenses.
- Law Clerks – Although their title suggests otherwise, these law careers do not involve many clerical duties. Law clerks are degree-holding attorneys who assist judges with courtroom proceedings, discovery disputes, and settlements. They also review briefs, perform legal research, and draft documents such as trial briefs and memoranda. Law clerks can be recent law school graduates who perform a one- or two-year clerkship, but some become career clerks who are permanent members of a judge’s staff.
- Law Librarians – Law librarians collect, organize, and disseminate legal information to attorneys in law firms, law schools, corporations, and government libraries. They also perform research and instruct attorneys or law students on the use of business and legal resources, many of which are now electronic or digital in form.
- Law or University Professors – These law-related careers involve using your legal degree to teach law or certain aspects of law to students in a law school or university.
- Lawyers – Lawyers have passed a state bar exam and obtained a license from their state that allows them to practice law and give clients legal advice. Lawyers can perform their work primarily through paperwork in an office, or, for those who choose to become trial lawyers or litigators, in front of a judge and jury by arguing cases in a courtroom.
- Mediators – Mediators, also known as arbitrators and conciliators, negotiate settlements for dissenting parties who wish to handle their cases out of court.
- Paralegals – Paralegals assist attorneys by performing legal research, drafting documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, and sometimes assisting the lawyer in the courtroom. In fact, although paralegals cannot give legal advice or charge fees, they often perform many of the duties that practicing attorneys do.
Law Enforcement Careers
Law enforcement professionals are the initial component of the criminal justice system. Before being delivered to the courts and the corrections branch for trial and penalization, offenders must first be tracked down and apprehended. Because of an increase in national security, law enforcement careers are more available than ever:
- Customs Agents – These law enforcement positions involve inspecting people and products entering or leaving the country for prohibited items, which can include agricultural products, endangered species of animals, drugs, or weapons. Since the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the main responsibility of customs agents is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country.
- FBI Agents – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are responsible for investigating crimes on a federal level, which can range from cybercrime, bribery, and tax fraud, to murder, organized crime, and terrorist threats.
- Game Wardens – These law enforcement positions involve the protection of wildlife by implementing boating, fishing, and hunting laws. Wardens guard hunting and fishing areas, report on the condition of wildlife, investigate complaints, and participate in search-and-rescue operations.
- Police Officers – In general, police officers’ responsibilities are to attempt to prevent local crimes and apprehend violators. They make arrests, investigate crimes, collect evidence, and assist with emergencies. Some officers, known as beat cops, patrol a specific district to watch out for crimes in general. Others specialize in particular fields such as bomb disposal, dog handling, drug busts, or hostage situations.
- Secret Service Agents – These federal law enforcement careers can involve either investigation or protection. Some Secret Service agents provide bodyguard and general security services to the president, vice-president, candidates, heads of state, and other important people, while others investigate counterfeiting, identity theft, and other financial fraud crimes.
- State Troopers – State troopers, also called highway patrol or state police officers, primarily enforce motor vehicle and traffic laws on state highways. Besides issuing tickets for speeding or D.U.I. offenses, state troopers also assist with emergencies, investigate accidents, and arrest violators of any laws in their state.
- U.S. Marshals – U.S. marshals wield the widest-ranging authority of any federal agents. They are responsible for arresting fugitives, controlling and selling assets seized in drug raids, protecting federal witnesses and members of the federal judiciary, and transporting prisoners.
In a specific sense, marketing refers to the promotion of a particular product or company to a targeted audience. More generally, marketing can also involve the whole evolution of a product from conception to production to acceptance, including product research, pricing, and distribution. There are therefore a wide variety of marketing careers available:
- Advertising – Those in the advertising industry provide a wide range of services aimed at persuading the general public or a target audience to purchase the products or services of client companies. Advertising can range from low-cost strategies such as distribution of flyers or customized promotional items and the use of on-line mailing lists, to more elaborate campaigns involving national newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, television and radio commercials, and planned events.
- Corporate Branding – This is a specialty area of advertising in which a company’s name is applied to its products in order to familiarize customers with the products and create brand loyalty. Corporate branding usually works best with well-known companies whose products already have a good reputation for quality among consumers, since they then expect the same level of quality for any new products the company sells. Corporate branding can extend into several related areas such as family or umbrella branding, individual branding, store or private branding, and co-branding.
- Market Research – Market researchers analyze and test different segments of the buying public in order to evaluate which ones are most likely to buy a particular product or service based on demographics such as age, gender, income level, and location. Market research can be used to develop a target or ideal audience for a product, as well as learn how to make it more attractive to other groups.
- Product Management – Product management is a business function that involves the internal development of a product throughout its life cycle. Product managers discover gaps in the market that their product can fill; develop, create, and test a prototype of the new product; and oversee marketing, distribution, and release.
- Public Relations – These marketing careers involve creating a positive image or reputation for a particular product, service, company, or person. Although some PR professionals specialize in “spinning” adverse situations to a company’s advantage, the general function of public relations is to help the public and the media better understand the company and showcase its best aspects.
Before investing the time and money required to become a doctor or nurse, or otherwise work in the healthcare field, you should first make sure that a medical career is the right one for you.
Questions to ask yourself before embarking on a career in healthcare include the following:
- Do I have empathy and compassion for other people? – This is an essential component of a healthcare career, as it will enable you to treat patients with the humanity and sympathy they need when they are sick or injured.
- Do I have a strong desire to help other people? – Using your knowledge and skills to alleviate human pain and suffering should be the main incentive to working in the medical profession.
- Am I interested in how the human body works? – A fascination with the functions of the human body, as well as skills in science and math, are often the qualities that first lead students to consider a healthcare career.
- Do I have the emotional strength to deal with suffering and death? – Many people working in the medical profession must deal with pain, suffering, and even death on an everyday basis, in spite of their best efforts to help. You must be strong enough to handle any disturbing situations so you can continue to help other people.
- Do I have the endurance to put in long hours, both during school or training and at work? – Training for a medical career such as a doctor, including undergraduate school, medical school, and residencies or internships, can take from 11 to 16 years to complete, depending on the specialty you choose. Healthcare work itself frequently involves long, irregular hours, often in shifts. You must be willing to work hard to be involved in a healthcare career.
- Do I enjoy gaining new knowledge? – Anyone who holds a license or certification to practice in a certain medical profession must go through continuing education in the latest developments in the field in order to maintain that license.
- Do I know in what healthcare environment I would like to work? – A healthcare career does not necessarily have to be conducted in a hospital. Other settings where healthcare workers are needed include research laboratories, dental and ophthalmologist offices, schools, and private industry.
Besides its main purpose of defending our country, our military is also a source of education and job training. Because the military functions as its own separate society, there are many military careers available within it for both officers and enlisted personnel, which can act as the foundation for a future, worthwhile vocation in the private sector.
- Accounting – maintaining financial records, disbursing payroll, and validating military spending
- Arts, Communications, and Media – communicating information through the arts and the military media including newspapers, radio, television, video, public relations, and military musical bands
- Aviation – inspecting, maintaining, directing, and/or piloting military airplanes and helicopters
- Combat Operations – engaging and resisting enemy forces through artillery, assault vehicles, and infantry. These military careers include Special Forces such as Army Green Berets or Navy SEALS.
- Culinary and Personal Services – providing food service and recreational activities for military personnel
- Engineering and Scientific Research – researching and operating information-gathering technology and equipment such as satellites, spacecraft, and weather balloons
- Healthcare Practitioners – providing medical services to military personnel both on and off the battlefield
- Intelligence – gathering information about enemy forces through aerial photographs, electronic monitoring, and human surveillance
- International Relations, Linguistics, and Social Sciences – collecting, analyzing, and reporting information about foreign cultures, including translating written and spoken foreign-language material
- Law Enforcement and Security – these military careers include police and firefighters who investigate crimes on military property, and protect it from fire and other emergencies
- Legal Professions – prosecuting offenders and handling disputes through the military judicial system. Officers with law degrees can become part of the military’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
- Mechanic and Repair Technicians – maintaining and repairing military machinery and transportation vehicles such as aircraft, buses, ships, and trucks
- Naval and Maritime Operations – maintaining and piloting watercraft such as barges, gunboats, tugboats, ships, and submarines
- Transportation, Supply, and Logistics – arranging and implementing the transportation and delivery of necessary equipment, materials, and personnel
Nurses are one of the most essential elements of the healthcare system and will always be in demand. However, those who wish to succeed in nursing careers must have certain personal qualities right from the start.
According to the nursing resource site NursingLink, these are the top ten skills and personality traits that good nurses possess:
- Attention to Detail – Since even simple mistakes can be fatal in healthcare, following directions carefully is essential to nurses.
- Communication Skills – Nurses need to be able to clearly convey information from physicians to patients and vice versa.
- Compassion – This is an essential trait for those in healthcare careers, as it will enable you to treat patients with the humanity and sympathy they need when they are sick or injured.
- Emotional Stability – You must be strong enough to handle pain, suffering, and death without allowing it to become too personal or affect your own mental state.
- Flexibility – Since nurses often work irregular schedules, including overnight and weekend shifts, they need to be open to change.
- Interpersonal Skills – Nurses must be able to get along well with a variety of people so they can interact successfully with patients, physicians, other nurses, and medical support staff.
- Physical Endurance – Nurses work long hours, which often involve many physically-demanding tasks. You must know how to replenish your energy by paying attention to your diet, sleep, and overall health.
- Problem-solving Skills – Good nurses are able to assess whatever circumstances they are confronted with and come up with solutions.
- Quick Responses – Since every second can be crucial in healthcare, nurses must always be prepared for unforeseen situations so they can react quickly.
- Respect – Nursing careers involve showing respect not only to other medical staff, but also to your patients, the rules and regulations of the medical system, and toward varying cultures and traditions.
Oil and Gas Careers
Oil and gas careers can be found all over the world, from the United States and Canada to Russia, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Many positions in the oil industry, especially entry-level ones, can involve physically-demanding work in all kinds of weather, but the salaries can be very lucrative, particularly as you work your way up into areas of more responsibility. You also need to be good at following directions, mechanically-inclined, safety-conscious, and work well within a team.
If all of this applies to you, these are some of the oil and gas positions available to you:
- Chemical Technicians – assist scientists in testing solids, liquids, and gases extracted during the refining process and determining uses for them
- Derrickhands – handle the topmost section of the drilling string on oil rigs in order to repair it; also may be responsible for equipment upkeep
- Drillers – supervise the crews on oil rigs as well as operate the drilling and hoisting equipment and the driller’s console
- Gaugers – regulate the flow of oil into pipelines at wells, tank farms, and refineries
- Geologists or Geophysical Engineers – predict where substantial oil reserves may be found by taking rock samples and seismic readings to test for traces of hydrocarbons; also evaluate the accessibility and extraction cost of any reserves
- Line Walkers – patrol oil and gas pipelines and communications systems by car, foot, or horseback in order to locate and repair breaks, leaks, or damaged utility wires
- Motorhands – these oil and gas careers involve maintaining the engines that run the drills and other equipment on oil rigs
- Pipe Inspectors – use optical and magnetic scanning equipment to inspect casings, drill pipe, steel tubing, and other cylindrical oil well equipment for faults
- Pipelaying Fitters – align sections of pipe in preparation for welding
- Pipeliners – perform maintenance and repair on pipelines, pumping stations, and oil tank farms
- Refinery Control Panel Operators – run the control panel that manages all of the functions of refining and processing units
- Rig Managers – responsible for the all of the activities, crews, and drilling equipment on oil rigs
- Roughnecks/Roustabouts – perform cleaning, maintenance, painting, and rust removal on oil rigs
- Stationery Engineers – operate and maintain equipment needed to provide utilities for buildings or processing, such as generators, motors, turbines, and steam boilers and engines
Photography is a very competitive field, since many people enjoy it as a hobby and hope to be able to turn it into a paying vocation. According to employment resource site Monster.com, you should possess the following skills and personality traits if you are interested in pursuing a photography career:
- Ambition – Since most photographers work on a freelance basis, especially when they are first starting out, you must be tireless in seeking out opportunities for yourself and taking advantage of them when they appear.
- Business Sense – A successful photographer is also a good businessperson, with a knowledge of and ability to handle finances and marketing.
- Creativity – This is an essential trait for photography. Good photographers instinctively know what makes a notable shot and what they have to do with lighting and other equipment in order to capture it.
- Detail-oriented – Good photographers have a sharp eye for details and know which ones to include and which ones to edit out to make a great picture.
- Interpersonal Skills – Part of taking a good picture is putting the subject at ease so they photograph well. You should be able to know how to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera so they relax and show their best aspects.
- Legal Knowledge – You should have some familiarity with contracts, fees, copyright laws, and other legal aspects of photography, or know someone who does.
- Networking-savvy – Successful photographers build and maintain good working relationships with important people in the industry so that they can approach them about job opportunities.
- Physical Coordination – Photographers are constantly juggling different cameras, lenses, lights, and other equipment. In a photography career, you must be agile and sure-handed.
- Self-marketing Skills – It is important to build up a good portfolio showcasing your best pictures and the scope of your talent. You also need to be able to effectively sell your abilities to potential clients.
- Technical Skills – Another essential skill is expertise with various cameras, lenses, lights, and other photographic equipment, as well as with digital photo-editing software.
The difference between a psychology career and a psychiatry career is basically education level.
Both psychologists and psychiatrists can practice psychotherapy, conduct research, and treat a wide variety of mental health problems ranging from mild anxiety disorder to severe bipolar disorder. However, psychiatrists are medical doctors who have graduated with an M.D. degree from medical school, have completed four-year residencies which focus on a particular sub-specialty, and have the authority to prescribe medication. Psychologists hold either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. doctoral degree, which they earn after four to seven years of graduate study. They usually also complete a one- or two-year internship. Most psychologists in the United States cannot prescribe medication, and refer patients who could benefit from this therapy to a psychiatrist.
Counselors and clinical social workers also work in the psychology field, but usually hold master’s degrees, which in most states does not qualify them to set up their own private practices. These types of mental health professionals usually work in such settings as employee assistance programs, clinics, and group counseling.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in psychology, you must have compassion for people and a strong sense of commitment to help them with their difficulties. You must also have a deep interest in how people feel and think, not only as individuals, but also in groups such as families, or society at large. Since how people feel and think is reflected in how they behave, those in a psychology career must also be interested in observing human behavior.
Psychology careers can vary depending on the specialty in which you choose to focus your clinical or research skills. Each specialty concentrates on different behavior patterns, so the area you choose will depend on your particular skills and interests.
The following are some of the many different types of psychologists you can become:
- Child Psychologist – Child psychologists specialize in treating young children with mental health or emotional problems such as autism or clinical depression. They conduct an evaluation of the patient to determine if the disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance, psychological factors, or both. If the origin of the depression is considered to be chemical, medication can usually help. If psychological, the psychologist must then employ psychotherapeutic techniques to track down the source of the problem and help the child deal with it.
- Counseling Psychologist – Counseling psychologists are trained in a wide variety of basic therapeutic skills instead of focusing on a specialty, and usually help patients handle everyday stresses or mild disorders that prevent them from living a normal life. They analyze the patient’s relationship with their environment and the people in it, identify the patient’s positive aspects and personality strengths as well as their problems, and use behavioral coaching, group therapy, or psychotherapy to help the patient learn effective coping methods.
- Forensic Psychologist – These psychologists help the criminal justice system function. The specific duties of forensic psychologists can vary depending on what type of court system they work for, such as criminal, civil, or family. They can evaluate a defendant’s state of mind at the time of the offense and assess their competency to stand trial. They can also provide counseling services, treatment recommendations, sentencing advice, appraisal of mitigating factors or future risk, and estimation of witness credibility.
- Geropsychologist – Specialists in these psychology careers are the opposite of child psychologists. Geropsychologists concentrate on treating the unique mental health problems suffered by elderly adults (65+ years old). They assess whether the patient’s depression and anxiety are normal reactions to loss, illness, physical changes, or stress, or whether they are part of a more serious condition. They use cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic psychotherapies to help patients manage negative feelings.
- Military Psychologist – Military psychologists use cognitive-behavioral and/or exposure therapies to help military personnel and their families deal with combat-related disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury.
The main purpose of all sales careers is essentially the same: to provide the customer with the goods and services that best suit their needs and to earn money for the company that produces those goods.
Successful salespeople must be as knowledgeable as possible about the products they sell and be able to establish and maintain an extensive database of customers. In order to do this, you need to be outgoing, personable, highly motivated, willing to learn new information, organized, and able to handle rejection, which is an unavoidable aspect of sales. Since many salespeople work on commission, you should also enjoy challenges and be able to work well under pressure.
Although salespeople may be called by many different job titles such as sales representative or account manager, most sales positions can be divided into four main types:
- Corporate Sales – Corporate sales is also known as business-to-business commerce, in which businesses such as manufacturers and wholesalers, or wholesalers and retailers, buy and sell between themselves. This area of sales does not rely as much on methods such as unsolicited cold-calling, because corporate salespeople enjoy access to more information about their customers through close ties with their marketing department. Corporate sales also allow more room for customizing or upgrading the products being sold in order to maximize both customer value and company profits.
- Direct Consumer Sales – These sales positions involve direct contact with customers with no intermediaries. Also called agents or brokers, these sales representatives often meet with their customers in person whenever they are available, which often means working in the evenings or on weekends.
- Manufacturer’s Representative – These salespeople are assigned a territory and are usually free to make their own schedules. The amount of income they earn (which is usually commission-only) is determined by how many sales they are able to close and the size of each one. These sales careers also involve employing sales strategies such as direct cold-calling, along with prospecting methods such as attending trade shows and utilizing market research.
- Sales Management – Sales managers develop and execute the incentives and training programs for the people who do the selling, as well as promote company goals, project future sales, and assign territories. Sales managers usually command a larger base salary and receive no commissions, since they are not directly responsible for sales.
Science seeks to describe how the universe and everything in it works using experimentation, observable evidence, and measureable techniques. It includes many fields of study, so a well-rounded background in science can prepare you for a variety of professions. Many science careers are experiencing rapid growth, as advances in technology increase the demand for qualified employees.
Science positions can found in these areas:
Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Cartographers – collect data to make accurate maps
- Climate Change Analysts – analyze climate statistics to determine how changes will affect natural resources
- Environmental Compliance Inspectors – ensure that communities and businesses are following pollution regulations
- Geographers – study the climate, economy, and topography of particular regions
- Hydrologists – study and manage water
- Meteorologists – study and predict weather patterns
- Soil Scientists – evaluate soil conditions
- Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant Operators – run treatment plants that remove pollutants from water
Math and Computer Science
- Actuaries – analyze statistics to predict the risk of providing insurance coverage
- Computer Programmers – write the programs that make computers function
- Database Administrators – organize, access, and search computer databases
- Economists – study how resources are distributed among societies
- Mathematicians – these science careers involve studying mathematical theories, algorithms, and computer technology to help solve problems
- Statisticians – collect and analyze mathematical data to predict outcomes
- Agricultural Technicians – ensure the quality and safety of food
- Anthropologists – study the origins and cultural, physical, and social development of humans
- Biochemists – study the chemical composition of living organisms
- Medical Professionals – use medicine to heal disease, injuries, and illnesses. These science careers include dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, and veterinarians.
- Oceanographers – study freshwater and ocean environments
- Optometrists – provide vision care
- Zoologists – study and care for wild animals
- Astronomers – study the universe
- Chemists – develop new processes or products using chemicals
- Electricians – install and maintain electrical wiring
- Forensic Scientists – investigate crime by gathering and analyzing physical evidence
- Physicists – identify the basic principles and laws governing the universe
- Pilots – fly helicopters or planes
Last Updated: 03/25/2013