The Top 5 Medical Schools in the US

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Medical schools are tough places. Not only is the education very intensive and impressive, and sometimes hard to digest, but the competition level amongst students is very high. Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor or a medical professional of any kind. In fact, it takes a rare breed of person to go after a medical degree and rise in the ranks of the medical profession. The person needs to take their studies seriously, be very smart, very dedicated and very driven. They need to handle stress very well, be dedicated to their job first and foremost and must have a big ego, as well as a streak of perfectionism. The life of a medical professional is indeed a hard and demanding life, and any student getting ready to enter that field- or is even just about it- must be prepared for all that comes with it. Medical school is a tough place to get into to- not to mention expensive- and it may even be a tougher place to finish once you get accepted into it. Here are some of the best medical schools in the country, according to studies that have been done by U.S. News, which conducts a study of medical schools every year based on MCAT scores, GPA, acceptance rate at the college, the student to faculty ratio and the grants that the school receives, in order to measure which schools are the best research facilities in the medical education world.

 

1. Harvard University (Boston, MA)

As if Harvard is not on the top of pretty much every list involving education, it is also on the top of the medical school list as the best research school in the country, and perhaps even the world. It is also one of the most expensive medical schools in the country- as it ranks in the top 10 in that category- but, it is worth it when you have a school that is as good as Harvard University.

(tied) 2. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

This is another very prestigious school on the list, and perhaps the most famous medical school in the entire country, if not the entire world. The school is slightly less expensive than Harvard, which beat it out for the top spot, but is much smaller and much more competitive because of that.

(tied) 2. University of Pennsylvania Perelmen- Philadelphia, PA

Tying with Johns Hopkins is a surprise on this list for anyone with just a cursory knowledge of medical schools. We all probably expected Harvard and Johns Hopkins, but very few probably expected the University of Pennsylvania to make it onto this prestigious list.

4. Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Yet another hot shot school on the list. Stanford is known for all-around academic excellence, and its medical program is no different.

5. University of California- San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)

UCSF is another sleeper to make it onto the list, and it is one of the cheapest schools on the entire top 10 list- being almost half of what the other ones are.

Roberto writes on tons of education related topics including ranking the best pharm d programs amongst other things.

The Current State of Special Education in America

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The history of special education began rather quietly after the end of World War II, when a number of organizations and parent-supported groups, including the American Association on Mental Deficiency, the United Cerebral Palsy Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, were formed in a response to the country’s lack of organized special needs programs in almost every school district. These grassroot initiatives and a number of relentless parents inspired a variety of changes, which eventually led to the current state of special education. The system isn’t perfect; there are several issues educators, students and parents alike face on a daily basis.

Bullying

Bullying has been a hot button issue for parents, teachers and special education student over the last few years. Children with exceptionalities seem to remain one of the chief targets of their more aggressive peers, mostly because of the perceived differences in appearance, manner and abilities these children possess. The problem is rampant and becomes all the more evident when seen through the scope of facts, figures and statistics. Here are a staggering few to consider:

  • According to the National Autistic Society, 40 percent of children with autism and 60 percent of those with Asperger’s syndrome have faced bullying in the past.
  • A 2006 study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that children with special needs, or those possessing behavioral, developmental or emotional issues, are targeted more often by bullies.
  • Children who possess ADHD, or other behavioral issues, are 10 times more likely to be the target of regular bullying by their peers.
  • A 2007 Mencap study found that nearly 80 percent of special needs children are bullied at school.

Currently, many school districts are working toward resolutions to stop the rampant plague of bullying that is occurring throughout the United States.

Lack of Funding

Several school districts across the United States are feeling the effects of budgetary shortfalls. In many instances, one of the first areas to feel the blade of the proverbial axe falling is special education. Many states are working toward creating budgets based on the number of special education students in particular school districts, instead of offering a proportionate level of funding, which is frequently the norm.

In particular, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill that would utilize a three-pronged system that classifies students based on the severity of their disability. If the bill is enacted into law, children with the most severe disabilities would ultimately receive additional funding. Unfortunately, changes of this magnitude are few and far between and many states are still struggling to meet the basic needs of several special education students.

The Need for Qualified Teachers

Aside from a lack of appropriate funding, several states are suffering through dramatic teaching shortages. Nowhere is this deficiency more apparent than in special education classrooms. The issue goes far beyond the standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act and the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which has left many otherwise knowledgeable, passionate teachers without employment simply because they lack the necessary education and credentials. The inherent stress that’s involved with working as a special education professional, coupled with a lack of funding and underwhelming salary prospects, has led many teachers to shy away from this specialty. According to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, nearly 98 percent of school districts list the need to recruit and retain special education teachers as a top priority.

The Role of Charter Schools

As public school classrooms become increasingly claustrophobic, many students, parents and educators are looking to charter schools to offer a more innovative, effective learning environment. Unfortunately, many of these same schools that were initially created to provide an alternative for parents aren’t enrolling nearly as many special needs children. Many critics believe that charter schools are refusing special education students to simply keep the budget under control and raise test scores. Many believe the admissions gap between charter and traditional public schools is great enough to warrant an investigation, which could become a reality in the near future.

If you’ve currently earned your Masters in special education degree and are concerned about the rigors associated with obtaining a teaching certificate, consider taking this crucial test online. Gaining your online teaching certification allows you to seek gainful employment in the field, without leaving the comforts of home.

This article was written by Alex Phelps who holds his degree in Special Education and is currently studying to become a board certified behavior analyst. Inspired by his brother and hero Jeff, it is Alex’s dream to work with children dealing with autism.

Adirondack Camp – Get Your Summer Refresh For The Next School Year

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The school year covers the most important part of the year. For most kids and young adults, going to school requires a lot of effort. It also becomes boring after a while because you have to do it almost every single day for decades.

Going in a summer camp will help you refresh and reinvent yourself. Your friends, family and neighbors will be amazed at your new you.

The most important benefits of going to a summer camp are:

#1: Make new friends.

Going to a summer camp is like living in another country. When you are put in this situation, you will have no choice but to adapt to it. You will learn how to make new friends easily and in minutes. You will learn how to main a socially positive vibe with people from all around the world. I learned the same thing when I lived in France and I can tell you that it was an amazing opportunity and it changed me forever.

#2: Become better at relating with people from different cultures.

You may look at your friends and notice the differences between you and them. It’s human nature to focus on the differences. But when you are going to meet people from entirely different cultures you will literally get shocked at the huge differences between you and them.

These types of experiences will help you learn how to accept others no matter how different they are from you. They will help you mature yourself faster and understand that are human beings don’t have to be like you.

#3: Learn a new language.

Studies have shown that people who speak at least two languages are smarter than people who know just their mother tongue. So it’s important to develop early on your language skills. The hardest foreign language to speak fluently is the first one you learn. The next languages are much easier because you already know how to learn a foreign language.

#4: Become exposed to new experiences.

People change when they deal with new experiences. Doing the same things each day doesn’t change people. It only makes them more conservative and adverse towards risk taking. Become exposed to as many new experiences as you can and you will become more independent and powerful as a person with each single day.

#5: Challenge yourself.

By challenging yourself, you will improve everything. You will gain more confidence. You will learn new things. You will become more adaptive to difficult situations and you will certainly become smarter and more creative.

#6: Take an adventure outside your familiar surroundings.

To get anything big in life, you will require a lot of persistence and a willingness to do unfamiliar things. Your familiar surroundings are like a prison that shrink your possibilities with each day. Many people spend most of their lives doing things they don’t like just because they are afraid to leave their familiar surroundings.

#7: Refresh yourself before the next school year.

Doing well in school doesn’t only require that you work as hard as possible. You also have to refresh and renew yourself if you want to be competitive the entire year.

Find a summer camp licensed by the National Camp Association. Don’t just choose a random one. Adirondack Camp is a wonderful camp both for boys and girls.

5 Money Saving Tips for Students

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Being a student can be expensive, especially if there isn’t a source of regular income outside of student loans. Higher fees and a more general rise in the cost of living during the recession have made it even harder to manage on a week to week basis without some serious budgeting. However, there are some simple ways to save money that should be explored. Students can also look towards making the most of special deals, and should think carefully about the potential benefits of insurance.

1 – Budget

A simple tip, but one that often gets overlooked, when a student loan arrives in a bank account, setup a direct debit to transfer money to a secondary account. This secondary account should be used to be for all your bills. New students particularly find it hard not to use their student loan as a license for going out and spending as much as possible on food and drink. However, this can quickly lead to students getting deeper and deeper into debt. The best way to approach a budget is to set a rough target for how much can be spent every week on food and essentials, while saving up for nights out. Shopping locally and avoiding takeaways more than once a week can help, as can only taking out cash for a night out.

2 – Look for Student Offers

Many businesses provide student offers that can significantly cut down on the cost of overall shopping. Some companies will even offer student rates on laptops, while others will discount cinema tickets and offer drinks promotions. Online shopping can also make it easier to find discounts, while all students should ensure that they have discounted train and bus passes. Looking for these deals, and taking advantage of student nights at pubs, will gradually cut down on costs.

3 – Get Insurance

Now, buying insurance may not seem like making a saving. However, students that have their items stolen from halls, or damaged as the result of problems with a student house, can stand to pay out large amounts of money to get replacements. Having a contents insurance policy in place can be a cost effective way to gain peace of mind. At the same time, precautions should be taken in terms of locking doors and closing windows when not in a room, as well as being careful around campuses with bags that contain laptops and other expensive items.

4 – Avoid Credit Cards

Credit cards are often a recipe for disaster when it comes to student finances. The temptation to buy a holiday, or to cover your reading list with a credit card and worry about the repayments later can be quite high, but should be avoided. The interest rates that stack up can be very problematic, and will lead students to fail to live within their means.

5 – Share Costs in a House

If living in a shared house, make sure that you agree on some kind of shared budget for household items like toilet paper or cleaning products. Don’t rely on one person to get everything, and ensure that people aren’t getting away with not putting in their fair share for communal items. Similarly, try to cook together at times, or put money together for a takeaway.

Author Bio:
Serena is a former student herself with a passion for higher education. She is currently working as a blogger with Lansdowne College, a London based sixth form college.

Top Ways For College Students To Earn Money Online – Including a Poker job

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There are plenty of ways for college students to earn money online. If you are a college student in debt or in need for more money, don’t despair. In this article, I’m going to share with you ways to earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month online.

The following are some of the easiest and fastest ways for college students to earn money online:

#1: Offer your writing services.

Do you know how to write a letter to a friend? Then you know how to write for the web. When you write articles, press releases, blog posts, reports, ebooks or other things for people, you can easily earn a few dozen bucks each day after school. That’s not bad for a college student.

#2: Transcribe interviews, youtube videos and more.

Transcribing means to write what it’s being said in a video or an audio file. Transcribing an audio or video file is a time consuming tasks. So, it’s more often than not outsourced. You need to know the language of the audio you are transcribing, to hear clearly and to be able to write fast. If you are a native speaker, you can even sell your services for more than $1 per 1 minute of transcribed audio.

#3: Become a live dealer at online casinos.

A live online dealer at a poker site is like a normal casino dealer who is interacting with clients over the Internet. She does pretty much the same things that a dealer from an offline casino does. This kind of job is mostly aimed at beautiful women. I’ve seen many live dealers and they were all hot women. I’ve never seen a man or a not so attractive woman.

#4: Teach other people your language.

Do you know at least one foreign language? If yes, then you can teach other people your language. Let’s say that you know English and French. You can find French people over the Internet who want to brush up on their English. Communicate with them and use Paypal to get paid and Skype to teach them live. Teaching other people your language pretty much means to talk with them in your language. The other stuff can be learned from books.

#5: Use fiverr and other alternatives.

Fiverr.com is a website that lets people sell little jobs to other people. Each job costs $5 and the sellers can sell multiple units of the same job at once.

#6: Learn programming on your own and offer your services.

Learning web programming can be great. You can learn html, php, python, java or ruby and be able to build other people’s websites and your own website. A programmer, even without a diploma, can earn more than $20 per hour if he’s fast and professional.

#7: Become a virtual assistant to a business owner in your field.

Frankly, most college students do not really know what they want to do with their lives in the future. Becoming a virtual assistant to a business owner in your field that you think you want to do will expose you to all kinds of valuable information. Even if you find out that it’s not what you want to do, it will still be valuable to you.

The above ways for college students to earn money online will help you earn at least a few hundred dollars each month in your spare time. Think of how you would use this new amount of cash and how your life will be different as a result. Get motivated and go earn some money. You can do it!

an education blog carnival – June 20, 2012

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Welcome to the June 20, 2012 edition of an education carnival.

Be a guest blogger here!

education

Bonnie Moore presents 8 Reasons to Go to Summer School – Hat Toss posted at 8 REASONS TO GO TO SUMMER SCHOOL.

Helene Schmidt presents The 10 Most Innovative Official School Smartphone Apps posted at The Best Colleges.

TB presents A Blue Collar Plea for Teachers posted at Blue Collar Workman.

A. Lee presents World’s Oldest Cave Painting in Spain posted at eArtFair . com, saying, “History is just being rewritten, with the oldest wall painting 15,000 years older than was previously thought, which in turn may mean that the Neanderthals were actually sophisticated people….. Learn more here…”

Greg Field presents 8 Great LGBT Scholarships posted at NerdWallet | Education, saying, “This is an awesome breakdown of LGBT scholarships, coinciding with Pride month. This article is definitely a good fit for an education carnival. Enjoy!”

Magali Rincon presents GMAT Test Dates Are Different From Other Standardized Testing Options posted at Success at School, saying, “If you’re hoping to get into business school, keep these tips about the GMAT in mind.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of an education carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Want more than a mention?  Write a post for us!

 

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an education blog carnival – October 17, 2012

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Welcome to the October 17, 2012 edition of an education carnival.

Be a guest blogger here!

Carter White presents 10 iPhone Apps that Help Young Kids With Math posted at Babysitting, saying, “Using technology to help kids learn the fundamentals of math is easier than ever, thanks to the powerful device that many modern parents carry in their pocket every day.”

Muhammad Irfan Zafar presents The Upsides and Downsides of Higher Education Dating posted at Experts Column.

Sharon Moore presents 10 Reasons to Consider Having Your Nanny Homeschool Your Children posted at Nanny Jobs, saying, “While the term “governess” began to fall out of style over the latter two-thirds of the twentieth century, the position is enjoying something akin to a modern resurgence today. Working parents that seek the homeschooling experience for their children but aren’t able to manage the task due to their own strenuous schedules are in search of nannies that can double as in-home teachers, causing what was once considered an archaic career path to gain popularity.”

Muhammad Irfan Zafar presents Managing your College’s Cook in the Oven Sale posted at Experts Column.

Muhammad Irfan Zafar presents On the Internet MBA Courses Are Worth Looking Into posted at Experts Column.

education

Muhammad Irfan Zafar presents Advantages of Getting Education On-Line posted at Experts Column, saying, “Learning has turn out to be virtually indispensable in modern business community these days. Therefore, in case you are not knowledgeable enough, you can improve your abilities. A college level education will facilitate you enhance your C.V and finding a healthier employment. Furthermore, you can obtain On-Line Degrees from Approved Institutions these days. There are lots of advantages to on-line schooling. Hereunder are given some of them”

Gayan presents How to Effectively Prepare for Your MBA Program Interview posted at CASH CAB.

Chris presents Kinesthetic Learning Strategies for Various Subjects posted at Kinesthetic Learning Strategies, saying, “How to help kinesthetic learners with language, literature, math, history & more!”

anisha@nerdwallet.com presents Questions for Parents: Is Homeschooling Right for Me? posted at NerdWallet | Education, saying, “Here are important questions to consider when choosing the appropriate educational path for your child.”

Want more than a mention?  Write a post for us!

 

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of an education carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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an education blog carnival – September 19, 2012

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Welcome to the September 19, 2012 edition of an education carnival.

Be a guest blogger here!

Sarah Tucker presents 10 Reasons Why Nanny Employers Should Hold Weekly Meetings With Their Nannies posted at 4Nannies, saying, “While setting aside time each week to meet with your nanny may seem like overkill, it actually can be quite beneficial to your working relationship.”

Molly Cunningham presents 5 Things to Teach Your Child About Riding the Bus posted at Live-In Nanny, saying, “When the time comes for your little one to begin attending school, it can be heart-wrenching to watch his tiny little form clamber up the steps of the massive school bus, knowing that he’s growing up no matter how much you may not want him to.”

Molly Cunningham presents What To Do If You Feel Like Your Nanny Is Taking Over posted at Live-In Nanny, saying, “Ideally, the relationship between a nanny and her employers is one that is close enough that she becomes a valued member of the extended family in addition to being an employee.”

Martina Keyhell presents Simple Steps to Help Kids Develop Helpful Study Habits posted at Become A Nanny, saying, “Teaching a child good study habits will not only make homework time easier, it will also help him earn better grades. Study skills are a foundational skill for school success, and what they learn in lower grades will serve them well for years to come.”

education

Ellis Rohomitz presents Fun Money Games For Kids posted at Fun Money Games For Kids.

Ellis Rohomitz presents Look Up Games For Grade 5 posted at Look Up Games For Grade 5.

Erica Brooks presents Is Tutoring Right For Your Child? posted at Healthy Family Matters, saying, “We all want our children to be healthy kids in all areas of their lives. As a parent, one of the most challenging experiences is noticing that your child is having a tough time with learning. However, once you recognize that your child might benefit from additional assistance, your child may actually begin to enjoy learning!”

Liz E presents The Freedom to Take on Something Bigger posted at Homeschooling in Buffalo.

Michelle presents Attending the University of Michigan was a Mistake posted at Mishfish13.

anisha@nerdwallet.com presents What’s Happened to Employment for College Graduates Since the Great Recession (2009-2011)? posted at NerdWallet | Education, saying, “Given that college grads face higher rates of unemployment than ever, is a college degree still worth it?”

Barbara West presents Tiny Tots-Caring For Our Children posted at Tiny Tots-Caring For Our Children, saying, “Children Are Our Future”

Want more than a mention?  Write a post for us!

 

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of an education carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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10 Ways College Students Can Save Money

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Attending college has never been more expensive than it is right now, and tuition rates are constantly on the rise. In fact, the average tuition rate for a four-year college program is around $21,189 per year. For a two-year college program, the price-tag is still pretty steep at an average of $8,533 per year. Then, you have to factor in the cost of books, which can run $100 or more apiece! Because of these crazy costs, many students are choosing to stay at home with their parents while they attend school, or considering other more affordable options outside of the traditional apartment or dorm settings. Whether that’s a step that you are willing to take or not, there are ways you can save money and still get an awesome education. We’ve provided you with ten tips for saving money while in school.

1.   Bank on Student Banking: Paying for your checking or savings account isn’t something you should have to do-at least not while you’re a student. That’s why many banks offer free student banking accounts. Some even have special options for students, such as overdraft forgiveness and protection, both of which can keep your account in the black even when you make mistakes. If your bank doesn’t offer free student checking, then there’s no shame in finding one that does. Also, look for a bank that doesn’t have a lot of hidden charges, fees, and penalties, as these can end up costing you a fortune if you’re not careful!

2.   Be Smart with Credit Cards: While many people preach that you shouldn’t have a credit card until you’re out of school, we know that this simply isn’t realistic for some students. Plus, there are perks to having a credit card when you’re younger; it can help you to start establishing good credit early on. However, if you do have a card, make sure you’re paying your bills on time and that, if possible, you’re making more than the minimum payment. This will help you to avoid expensive late fees and higher interest rates.

3.   Turn Change into Something Great: What do you do with your spare change? We’d be willing to bet that if you dug around in your couch cushions right now, you’d find more money than you expect. In fact, chances are you’ve got pennies, nickels, dimes, and even quarters all over the place! If you’re careful with your coins, you can turn them into big bucks! Collect and save them all in one place, then roll them and take them down to the bank. Some grocery stores even have machines that count your change and give you cash for them; just keep in mind that most of these machines do charge a fee.

4.   Buy Books Used, or Borrow if You Can: As we mentioned earlier, today’s textbooks are outrageously expensive! It’s pretty awful to have to pay a lot of money for something you’re only likely to use for a semester. That’s why we strongly suggest borrowing textbooks from other students whenever possible. Put up a notice in a very public place on campus, or post an ad online. Many students also sell their used textbooks cheaply, and you can often find used books online and in the student bookstore as well. Just act fast, as these tend to go rather quickly! If you absolutely can’t help buying a new book, keep it in the wrapper until you determine if it will actually be used heavily enough in the class to warrant its price. Still-wrapped textbooks can usually be returned for full credit at most student bookstores.

5.   Extreme Couponing: We know that most people think of couponing as something only done by little old ladies or crazed people who spend their lives clipping and saving, but a healthy dose of couponing can work wonders for a college student’s budget. Just browse through the local papers and clip out coupons you think you’ll actually use, and then use them! Always check the expiration dates to avoid missing out on a great deal.

6.   Forget Fast Food: Not only is fast food bad for you, but it can also add up to one expensive habit! The average fast food meal will cost at least $5, and if you do that even twice a week, you’ve wasted $10 or more. That’s $40 a month on fast food! You could buy a lot of Ramen noodles, fresh veggies, fruits, and other grocery-store goodies for that amount.

7.   Opt for Public Transportation: Sure, taking the bus might not be glamorous, but most towns’ public transportation lines make direct trips to major college campuses. Even if you have a car, think of all the money you’ll save on gas and parking by choosing the bus even a few times per week. Plus, you’ll be doing something good for the environment. Walking and biking are options too, ones that can help you to burn a few calories in the process.

8.   Designer Haircuts Are So Last Season: Getting a trim or some color at an upscale salon can be a fun way to pamper yourself. However, it’s also an easy way to waste money where you don’t have to. At least while you’re in school, frequent family shops that offer affordable hair-care services, or look around for local cosmetology schools, which often provide free or greatly reduced haircuts by students.

9.   Recycle: One way to quickly add to that spare-change jar you’ve started keeping around is to turn your cans, bottles, and other recyclables into a donation center. By bringing them in yourself, you’ll get a nice little profit. Plus, you can collect recyclable trash from others for even more money, and you’ll be helping the planet in the process.

10. Go Generic: As one final word of advice, always choose generic products over name-brand ones. Not only are they cheaper, but nine-times-out-of-ten you’ll find that they are every bit as good as their more expensive counterparts.

Byline

This article was written by DJ Sweetin for the team at www.civilengineeringcareers.org.

3 Things Every Student Should do Before Declaring a Major

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Choosing a career path is a lifelong decision. Many students waste time and money studying a subject before realizing they are in the wrong field. With so little life and work experience, how can college students avoid making the wrong first steps?

Research various fields of study and careers.

Few people are born knowing what jobs they are destined to hold. In high school, you may have dreamed about becoming a writer, a football coach or a business owner. Dreams are often vastly different from reality, so research is required to assure that you are on the right path.

During your first year, take a wide variety of classes. There is no need to jump into a major right away, which means you can take elective courses that can help you decide between a few of your top career choices. In addition to taking the classes, you will need to interview people who are already in the careers you are considering.  They can grant insight into the educational and experiential requirements that led to their success.

Research the job market and make predictions.

Students often make the mistake of entering a career without taking into consideration the future of the economy or the competitiveness of the field. Never lose sight of the fact that your collegiate education is an investment for your future.

Before you commit to a major, do a job search using the different degrees you are considering. Take note of any special skills or certifications that are commonly mentioned. Also, be aware of the regions that are offering the most jobs. You may need to save money in order to relocate after college. These areas can offer entry-level positions that will give you the experience to gain a higher-paying position in an area of your choice.

Forecasting is also something to consider. Do a simple Internet search with a five -year forecast of your career field. You will most likely find a variety of articles that will identify key determining factors of growth. Monitor trends in your field and respond to them as needed by obtaining a specialty focus or additional training.

For example, you could find that as a journalist you will be able to obtain more jobs with a background in photography or political science. You may also find that internship experience is required.

Research course requirements.

Even if you are passionate and committed to pursuing a particular degree, you should thoroughly research the requirements of your field of study. There may be a particularly challenging class that will require a significant amount of dedication. This may mean that you will be unable to hold a part-time job during this semester or that you will need to have a tutor.

By mapping out your course of study ahead of time, you can also spread more difficult classes throughout many different semesters to avoid overloading yourself. Many students can become overwhelmed when taking on too many demanding classes, which can lead to poor health as well as poor grades.

Katheryn Rivas is a regular contributor to Online Universities.com, a leading online university student resource for those interested in pursuing a distance education. She welcomes your comments at katherynrivas87@gmail.com.

Spotlight on the States: Five States for Teachers

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Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree in education and received your provisional teaching certificate you have some important decisions to make: Teach in the state where you earned your degree and first license or you can move to find the best teaching opportunities out there.

There’s no denying that some states are more teacher-friendly than others, offering higher salaries and benefits, as well as more opportunities and a greater commitment to education than others. When weighing your options, consider these five states as the place to start your teaching career.

Pennsylvania

Elementary and secondary school-level teachers will find plenty of job opportunities in the Keystone State, which specifically listed these areas as facing a critical need in the coming years. Pennsylvania is home to more than 1.8 million students and 3,000 schools in communities ranging from rural hamlets to the inner-city districts of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The opportunities in Pennsylvania are more than just plentiful – they are well-paying. School districts here pay an average of $3,000 more annually than other states and teachers earn an average of more than $50,000 annually. Pennsylvania’s state budget includes a high level of funding specifically for early childhood education, as well as technology for high school students, which demonstrates a high level of commitment to students of all ages.

In order to obtain your PA teacher certification you must possess either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education, as well as successfully pass the Praxis I exam and subject certification exams, plus completion of the application.

New Jersey

If high earning potential and opportunities for development are important to you, consider teaching in New Jersey. Teachers in the Garden State are among the highest paid in the nation, earning an average of $64,000 per year. Not only that, but demand is high – elementary and secondary level teachers are consistently on the list of the most in-demand professionals in the state.

Teachers in New Jersey can improve their skills and earn more money by participating in one of the state’s groundbreaking teacher development programs: the Highly Qualified Teacher Initiative and Teacher Mentor program. Those who want to teach in low income areas can qualify for grants of up to $4,000 a year to further their education.

Becoming a teacher in NJ, like most states, requires completing a teacher education program, passing the appropriate exams, and completing the certification process.

New York

New York has the highest average teacher pay of all of the states at more than $70,000 annually, not to mention plenty of opportunities ranging from small rural schools to inner city districts. New York has made sweeping changes to its educational system in recent years, meaning that now is a great time to get involved in a revitalized and energetic system.

Becoming a teacher in New York is slightly different than in other states. A bachelor’s degree is required, but instead of the national standards test the Praxis, NY teacher applicants must successfully pass the state-specific knowledge and practical skills tests.

California

Whether you want sunny beaches or snow-capped mountains, there is a place for you in California. With a population higher than that of Canada, California has plenty of teaching opportunities up for grabs. While the average annual pay is slightly less than some east coast states, at $63,000 per year, some incentives for teaching in high-demand areas are unbeatable. Qualifying teachers can get reduced rates or forgiveness on student loans, help with home purchases and bonuses of up to $20,000.

To become a California teacher, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, a passing score on a basic competency test, and a passing grade in courses on the U.S. Constitution, English language learning and computer technology.

Oregon

While Oregon teacher salaries are ranked 15th in the nation, averaging around $48,000 a year, the state offers a very low cost of living – an attractive option to those just starting out. More importantly, though, Oregon offers fabulous opportunities for teachers, including one of the best teacher mentoring programs in the country. Teachers looking to improve their skills and move up the ladder will find a place in this Pacific Northwest state, as teacher growth and development is encouraged by continued education requirements.

Though these are some of the best states for teaching opportunities, every state offers something for teachers. Once you finish your teacher certification program or degree, take time to examine the pros and cons of all states and you’ll find just the right place for you to begin your teaching career.

This guest post article was written and provided by Melanee Franks. Melanee received her Bachelor’s degree last fall and is now working towards her Teaching certificate.