Monday, March 24, 2014

Unfamiliar Universities in the NCAA Tournament

This past weekend, the names of 68 colleges were discussed during the opening rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. We decided to provide some background information on a few schools that might be unfamiliar to college bound high school families.

Mercer University

The Bears of Mercer University were the talk of the nation on Friday afternoon after upsetting Duke. Mercer is home to nearly 4,500 undergraduate students. This Macon, Georgia school was founded in 1833 with an endowment from Baptist leader, Jesse Mercer. Today this secular school, which started with just 39 students has 3 campuses. The main campus located in Macon, a Savannah campus that houses the School of Medicine and graduate/professional education campus in Atlanta. The Princeton Review consistently ranks it in the top 10% of all colleges and universities in North America, stating in 2014 that "Mercer's exceptional reputation springs from its sound academic programs, excellent faculty, and modern facilities."

University of Dayton

Upsets of both Ohio State and Syracuse propelled the Flyers of the University of Dayton into the Sweet 16. UD, a private, research university located in Dayton, Ohio, was founded in 1850 by priests and brothers in the tradition of the Society of Mary and is one of three Marianist universities in the U.S. Located 69 miles from the state's capital (and Ohio State) in Columbus, UD was originally home to 14 boys and called St. Mary School for Boys. It now has over 8,000 undergraduate students on 388 acres along the shores of the Great Miami River. The University of Dayton ranks 115th on the 2013 U.S. News & World Report’s list of “National Universities while Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review ranked Dayton’s undergraduate program in entrepreneurship 18th in the nation.

Stephen F. Austin University

As a number 12 seed, Stephen F. Austin University shocked Virginia Commonwealth University in overtime to advance to the third round. Named after 'the Father of Texas', this Nacogdoches, Texas school was established in 1921 as a teachers college. Today, nearly 13,000 students reside on part of the homestead of another founding Texas father, Thomas Jefferson Rusk. It is one of four public universities in Texas that is independent of the University of Texas system.  In 2011, SFAU was ranked 71st in the Best Colleges in the West Region by U.S. News & World Report.

Creighton University

National Division I scoring leader, and the coach's son, Doug McDermott, helped propel Creighton University into the national lexicon during the men's college basketball season. Creighton University is a private, research university located just outside the downtown business district in Omaha, Nebraska. Its 132 acre campus is home to over 4,100 undergraduate students, with nearly fifty percent traveling over 400 miles to attend Creighton. The school was founded in 1878 as a gift to honor prominent Omaha businessman Edward Creighton. Today the school is affiliated with the religious order Society of Jesus and is governed by the Jesuit core values of pursuing justice, striving for excellence and service to others.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

4 (More) College Degrees for Post Graduation Employment

A few blog posts back, we wrote about some of the hottest college majors. Due to the favorable response, we decided to write about four more educational opportunities for post graduation employment.

Actuarial Science

Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Data science draws from the fields of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to assess the risk that an event will occur. They help businesses, such as the insurance industry and develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.

With the volume of computerized data rapidly growing, the Department of Labor project actuary jobs to grow 26 percent in the next ten years. Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries. Demand for physical therapy services will come from the aging baby boomer population and their need for more medical care. In addition, physical therapists will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

The college curriculum has recently changed in this field. Students now need to obtain a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy, while also being licensed by their state, in order to be able to work in the field. Many colleges have six-year direct admissions programs, where students combine their undergrad and graduate work.

Colleges are facing large amounts of applications for their programs due to the projected growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 36 percent increase in this field over the next ten years.

Sustainable Development 

With the explosion of green technology, organic products and the concept of sustainability grows in popularity, many students are turning their passion into a Sustainable Development degree.

Students studying this field have described coursework to be similar to environmental science but with more business and economic courses. Students learn that sustainability is attending to and combining the "Three Es:" environment, economy, and (social) equity. Sustainable Development programs work to achieve this by integrating academics with community engagement and outreach.

Students with this degree can have a variety of job opportunities awaiting them. Some of those possibilities are Construction Project Manager, Sustainability Analyst, Sustainable Design Professional, Energy Efficiency Analyst and Operations Manager.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting crude oil and natural gas from deposits below the earth’s surface, while also developing new techniques to extract oil and gas from existing reservoirs.

There are only 22 universities in which a student can choose to study petroleum engineering. But if they so choose to attend one of these universities, students can expect to study mathematics, chemistry, geology and physics. Students will receive education to use advanced computer systems to oversee automated drilling operations, as well as analysis of reservoir behavior.

According to the Department of Labor, employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 26 percent the next ten year. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth, as higher prices lead to increasing complexity of oil companies’ operations. This leads to the need for more engineers for each drilling operation. The entry salary for a Petroleum Engineer is near $85,000 and has the highest median pay of all college graduates according to USA Today.

To learn which schools offer these majors or to learn of other popular majors, contact us!

Are you aware of other college majors that represent particularly timely opportunities for students? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or comment on Twitter or Google+.