Category Archives: Career Decision Making

sfu_grads

Questions Answered: Should I transfer to a different school?

sfu_gradsQuestion: A bunch of my friends from high school and I got together over winter break. All of them went to big universities in our home state, while I went away to a small liberal arts college in a different state. They were all teasing me that I would never find a job with my degree because I go to such a small unknown school. I like my school a lot, and have made a lot of friends, but it is super expensive. Since I got back to campus, I’ve been stewing on all the teasing and now I am seriously thinking about transferring next fall! If I ask people at my school, of course they will tell me it’s a bad idea. And if I ask people at the public schools back home, I’m sure they will tell me it’s a good idea! So I kind of need an unbiased opinion? Will going to my small school make it hard for me to find good employment? ~ Jenna T.

Answer: Transferring schools is definitely a big decision and I applaud you for gathering information before coming to a final conclusion. While I currently work for a small liberal arts university, I graduated from a much larger public university, so I can absolutely appreciate the value of both types of institutions. Let’s take a moment to consider the pros to each:
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Changing Career Paths

Questions Answered: I’m a junior; is it too late to change my career path?

Changing Career PathsQuestion: I’m a college junior majoring in accounting. When I got to college I didn’t know what I wanted to major in so I picked accounting because my dad is an accountant. My grades are decent, but the more classes I take and accountants I talk to the more I realize I don’t want to be an accountant! I am pretty sure I want to pursue a career in higher education, maybe admissions or student life. I’ve been involved in res life almost my whole time in college and I really love it. What should I do? Should I change majors? Is it too late for that? ~ Tyrel H., Anaheim, CA

Answer: Realizing that you want to change career paths can happen at any time; in fact, it can happen several times throughout your life. Taking time to speak with professionals in a prospective career field, as you have done, can really help you make decisions about the career’s fit with your interests, skills, goals, and needs (financial, personal, spiritual, etc.). Interning or otherwise gaining practical experience in the career is another excellent way to determine if the career is a suitable fit.

When planning to switch majors, there is typically some amount of time and extra money that will be needed to make up pre-requisite courses and take the required courses for the new major. While this may set you back financially and in terms of when you graduate, in the long run, you will have saved yourself the potential emotional and financial stress of working in an occupation that is the wrong fit. Changing majors is an important decision, so speaking with academic advisors, career counselors, your parents, faculty/students in the new major, and professionals in the new career path is also important.
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Health Professionals

Questions Answered: What is the difference between environmental health, health care administration and health information management?

Health ProfessionalsQuestion: Can you explain to me what is difference between environmental health, health care administration, and health information management? Also the salary they make each year and which is the best degree are hire more? ~ Laura P.

Answer: Thank you for your follow-up question to our “What is the Difference Between Healthcare Management and Healthcare Administration?” post.  Here is some information about each of the occupations you asked about. You will want to do some additional research on each of these career fields as there are a number of occupational paths that can be followed in each. You will also want to make sure that your interests, skills and other personal attributes align with the path you eventually choose. (Check out our Getting to Know You series which explores various aspects of self-assessment, an important, but often neglected step of career decision making.)

Environmental Health

According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, environmental health professionals work to improve public health by identifying, tracking and addressing environmental risk factors.  Most environmental health professionals specialize in a particular area, such as: Reducing air, water, soil, noise or radiation pollution; protecting our food supply; improving safety in schools, public areas and the workplace; ensuring safe living conditions in housing; promoting public health with a focus on environmental hazards.   Jobs are available in government health agencies at the local, state and national levels, private industry, academic institutions, and international health agencies.
Salaries can range quite a lot, depending on the type of work that you would be doing, your educational background, credential and experience level: $44,550 – $143,700 (source)
Education options will tend to be found in the schools of Public Health within a university. For more information, see the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). (more…)

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From Student to Professional, an Interview with Darcy Eikenberg

We had the opportunity to interview Darcy Eikenberg, founder of career and success site RedCapeRevolution.com, about how college students can best make the transition from student to professional.

SC: Making the transition from college student to professional can be a daunting one. What should young professionals keep in mind as they make this transition?

DE: The most important thing to know is that even though you’re no longer in school, you’re still learning. Don’t believe the graduation hype that says you’re fully prepared for the world of work—you’re not. Yet. (Sorry.)

What you are fully prepared for, though, is to continue to learn and grow, and to discover and test new ways to apply your gifts and talents. In fact, many of the same rules that made you a successful learner in college still apply. Study hard. Ask questions. Play nice with others. Get involved. Get some rest.

You’ve been doing this for the past four (or more) years in college, so you’re already a veteran learner. Congratulations! Those who are constantly learning and growing are the ones who are succeeding in our new world of work.
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