Extra Steps You Can Take as a Student to Prepare Yourself for a Career

When the clock is ticking on your time in college, you might start feeling some pressure. 

You’re going to enter the job market soon, and if you’re like most college students, you feel completely unprepared.

Online career

It’s a natural feeling because, although you may have had jobs, you’ve yet to have a career. And these are two very different things.

But there’s really no need to worry. You’re more prepared than you think, and there are some extra steps you can take as a student to help prepare yourself for a career. 

Avoid Procrastination

This tip is kind of funny because procrastination is the art of avoiding things, and to be successful in any career (and in life), it’s important to avoid procrastination. 

It’s almost a double negative, but you get the point. If you have a bad habit of procrastinating, it’s time to break that habit. 

Try time blocking to get you back on track. Use your calendar to block out every task you have to do in your day. And be sure to include things that are fun too. This isn’t about creating a boring life. It’s about planning for work and fun, so you can make both things happen. 

Commit to Learning

If you’re going to be successful in your career, education can’t end at graduation. You must commit to becoming a lifelong learner. 

You don’t necessarily need to take night classes at a community college, but you should continue reading books from thought leaders in your industry of choice. And if there are any opportunities for professional certifications, consider them. 

It’s true that you may not want to look at another book for a while after the intensity of college, but it will help you grow as a person.

Volunteer

As you build your resume for your first real job after college, you’ll find it helpful to have some constructive hobbies. Volunteering has benefits that will help you develop personal tools like empathy and compassion, but it can also help you land your dream job. Employers look favorably upon candidates who commit to volunteering. 

Develop Healthy Habits

As you get into your career, you’ll soon realize the importance of remaining sharp. So, if you want to avoid being passed over for your first promotion, focus on taking care of your body and mind. 

After college, many people need to make some major changes to undo the unhealthy habits we develop. Taking an alcohol detox after college may help set you on the right path. At the very least, it’ll clean your system of alcohol, so you can begin better habits.

If you’re worried about what life will be like after college, know that you’re not alone. But there’s also no need to worry. Your first years in a new career will be exciting and full of life lessons that will stay with you throughout a lifetime. And just as you did in college, if you give it your best effort, you’ll do just fine. 

The Cheapest College Degree Programs in USA (For an American)

America, being a developed nation, takes pride in its brilliant education system and also puts it on the pedestal. Unlike other developing or third world countries, Americans do not place a monetary value on education. They educate their kids because it is necessary for their growth and development as a citizen. However, not all college degrees are affordable. To find the right college degree program, you do need to take time out and do the required research.

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What are the cheapest college degree programs in the United States (for an American)?

1) Bachelor’s in Economics

Economics is one of the cheapest fields to study in the United States. Bachelor’s in Economics is a course offered by almost all major universities in the country. If you are interested in working for a bank or a financial institution in the future, go for this degree. The undergraduate degree will make you eligible to apply for an entry-level position. The entire course will cost you around $15,000. 

2) Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Interested in learning how the human mind works? If you have a knack for knowing what others are thinking based on their actions and responses, you can make a living working in the field of Psychology. 

As a degree holder in this field, you can either work as an independent mental health counselor or work for a corporation like a hospital. A four years degree program in Psychology will cost you around $22,000. The University of Pittsburgh offers one of the cheapest programs in this field.

3) Bachelors in Music

Not interested in working in a 9-5 job after graduation? Want to build a career singing and writing song lyrics? The Bachelor’s in Music might be the right college degree for you. A lot of people interested in this field do not consider getting a degree as it is possible for an individual to learn music on their own. However, a degree in this field guarantees you other jobs related to music (in case you don’t make it as a singer or a songwriter).

Is getting a college degree worth it in 2020? Will it guarantee a high paying and secure job?

Interesting question! Most people these days go for a college degree without even considering the return on investment. Having a college degree does make you stand out from the rest, but with more and more startups accepting candidates based on merit and not on certificates, it is natural for you to question it’s worth. 

To answer your question, a college degree is absolutely essential if you wish to pursue careers like medical science, law, or engineering. You cannot practice medicine, law or build a construction project without having the proper credentials for them. On the other hand, if you wish to work at jobs like retail, manufacturing, or hospitality then you don’t need to go to college. Even owning a business doesn’t require you to have a college degree.

How to Buy, Sell and Rent Study Material

Are you going back to school? Or you are a first-year student at university?

In both cases, a student has to dish out a huge sum to buy new study material for the semester ahead. Until now you would have had to pay up to $500 at the start of each semester. Which is insanely expensive for a college student. In this post, I am going to share some creative ways to cut your costs dramatically.

Unless your student loan can cover the cost of textbooks, you would want to look for ways to get study material either for free or cheap. Also, not all study material is available online for free. Some courses require you to purchase books from a particular publisher. There is no escaping here.

Is renting a textbook cheaper than buying?

The good news is, if you cannot manage to pay a huge sum upfront, you can rent the books for one-fourth of its original price. Most university books are useless once the semester is over. You either have to store them on the shelf or look for potential buyers online. Which itself is a hassle. Hence, I recommend renting the majority of the textbooks and purchasing only the evergreen ones. Renting is always cheaper than buying.

Here are tips to buy, sell and rent study material

1) Rent textbooks for cheap on Chegg

chegg

Chegg is the only place where you can rent or buy a textbook at a 90% discount. Moreover, they also allow you to extend the renting period or keep the book if you want–by paying a few extra bucks. If you don’t find the book you are looking for(on Chegg), you can also use Amazon to purchase or rent textbooks.

2) PDF Drive

Almost all books these days are published in both paperback and digital form. Before purchasing or renting a book, do not forget to check for a free digital copy of that book. PDF Drive is a great platform to download eBooks in PDF format. Just type in the title or the name of the author in the search box.

3) Google search engine

Google is another clear choice for those looking for a free ebook online. You do need to apply a filter to get download links for the book you are looking for. Just type [title of book] filetype: pdf in the Google search box and you are good to go. Be aware of sites that ask you to create a free account. Most probably they will direct you to other spammy sites or ask you for a fee.

The bottom line

When it comes to university study material, it is wise to team up with your classmates. Create a Facebook group and start sharing whatever study material you have. Soon, others will chip in and you won’t have to spend a dime on buying or renting textbooks. You can also organize a book exchange meetup in your college.

Should I Join Rice Professional Mba Program? Is It Worth It?

Are you stuck at a dead-end job and are looking for a new career? Or maybe you want a raise at your current job?

A Professional Mba Program allows working professionals to pursue their higher education without giving up their job. Bear in mind that this program is designed for graduates with 1-2 years of work experience and not for senior-level executives. There is a separate course called Executive MBA for them.

This post is about the Professional MBA Program offered by Rice University, located in the heart of Houston. This is a 22-month program with evening and weekend classes. For those who want more relaxation in between lectures can opt for other 3 and 5 year programs. The university understands the fact that work can sometimes be soul-sucking. A 3 or 5 year MBA program provides space for those with difficult jobs to grow and excel at their own pace.

mba program

Should I Join Rice Professional Mba Program? Is this program designed for someone like me?

Whether you should join a Professional MBA Program offered by Rice Jones University depends on a lot of factors. Is your current employer supporting your decision to go for higher education? Are you unhappy at your current job and want to add a business degree to boost your resume? Whichever category you fall into, you should be willing to work hard throughout the program. And, as far as future job prospect is concerned, the only way is to network your way into a major company.

Secondly, do not join this program if you have a distaste for the Oil and Gas industry. Most of your classmates will be employees of major Oil and Gas companies. These companies(from Texas) send some of their top employees to this University so they could switch functions. Lastly, networking will feel like a piece of cake if you happen to have worked in the Oil and Gas industry before.

As far as the infrastructure is concerned, the classrooms are designed in a way to aid close communication and access between students and professors. You won’t find huge halls or auditoriums in Rice Jones University. Moreover, the teaching style for the Professional program is a lot different. It is quite slow and repetitive. This is to help you reinforce the fundamentals and concepts of business.

Is a Professional MBA Program worth it?

It is important to understand that an MBA program– whether full-time or part-time– is supposed to take your career to the next level, notably, management level. It is beneficial for those who already have proved themselves in a certain industry. For instance, someone with 2-3 years of experience working in the tech industry would benefit from an MBA. 

However, nowadays, an MBA program is looked at as a shortcut to success, particularly, by fresh graduates. People with no work experience are getting themselves enrolled without thinking about the consequences of their actions. This leads to disappointment later as after the completion of the course, their degree turns out to be useless and they have to work low-end jobs to repay their student loans. Do not make the same mistake with the Professional MBA program.

Best Careers for Bilinguals and Multilinguals

Are you fortunate enough to speak more than one language?

Maybe you migrated to the United States recently or you took classes to learn a new language. Being able to read, write and speak fluently in more than one language(being Bilingual or Multilingual) has a ton of career benefits that you will get to know when you join one of the following careers.

careers

Here are the best careers for Bilinguals and Multilinguals.

1. Human Resources Specialist

As a Human Resource Specialist, your job is to develop new relationships with potential employees, network, hire, conduct job interviews, screen candidates for the job interview, etc. All of the above tasks require you to have excellent verbal and written communication in one or more languages.

Salary: $59,180 per year.

2. Translator

Translator or Interpreter is another great career choice for Bilinguals and Multilinguals. Having the ability to speak more than one language is the only skill that qualifies for this job.

Salary: $47,736 per year

3. Teacher

Become a teacher of foreign languages if you have the ability to speak more than one language. A foreign language teacher specializes in one foreign language only. You can teach courses at the university or work independently on platforms like Udemy and SkillShare.

Salary: $63,129

4. Customer Service Representative

Working in the customer service department of an organization requires you to have excellent communication skills. You will also need to be able to speak multiple foreign languages(usually the ones where the customers of the organization you work for reside or belong to).

You don’t need to be an expert in multiple languages but should be able to help a customer out on phone or via chat. This job is well suited for multilinguals.

Salary: $38,037 per year

5. IT Consultant

Information technology consultant is one of the most lucrative career choices for Bilinguals and Multilinguals. However, it is not easy to become one. You need prior education in Information Technology or Computer Science; preferably a college degree. And also some experience working in the software industry.

An IT consultant has to travel and meet prospects and customers in many different countries. Multilinguals have better shot at excelling in this career.

Salary: $78,031

6. Diplomat

Diplomats are government officials who work for the foreign affairs department. Your job as a diplomat is to travel and meet high ranking people from all over the world. This is the right career for anyone who loves to travel and hate spending nine-ten hours each day in a cubicle. However, due to limited seats, there is massive competition for this job. This is what makes it the highest paid job on my list.

Salary: $87,245

Summary

The career choices listed above are for people who want to take full advantage of being Bilingual or Multilingual. And it makes complete sense as the competition in the job market is increasing day after day and job seekers are willing to learn new things that will give advantage to them over others.

Lastly, the salaries mentioned above are average salaries for a newbie or intermediate. The data is shown from reputed sources like PayScale, Indeed, and CollegeGrad.

How to Deal with Outstanding Student Loans

Student loan debt is so bad that it’s now considered a crisis, with over $1.5 trillion owed among 44 million borrowers in the U.S. alone. These astronomical numbers are second only to mortgage debt and a number of students are suffering with the burden of paying off student loans well into adulthood.

People who graduate with student loans are often trapped in a vicious cycle of constantly being in debt because of an inability to keep up with payments. Even if a student manages to find a job right after graduating, the income alone is often not enough to keep up with student debt as well as the standard cost of living (especially when rent is high). In turn, young adults resort to relying on credit cards to pay for basic things like food, transportation, internet, etc., pushing them even further into debt.

Student loan

So what can be done to offset the burden of student loans? While there are options out there, you’re going to have to do a little leg work to find them.

Debt Consolidation

Instead of paying off all of your loans from multiple creditors and at different interest rates, you can consolidate your debt into one single monthly payment. The Credit Canada debt consolidation program is a great option for people who need a helping hand when it comes to managing their bills and money.

You’ll work with a certified Credit Counsellor who can combine all of your unsecured debt into one monthly payment. They will also negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to either stop or lower the  interest on your debt. From there, they will work with you to create a plan with a specific end date as to when you will pay off everything you owe. To achieve this quickly complete a student loan consolidation form and compares rates to find reduced interest plans.

The goal is to create a repayment plan where you pay off your debt rather than just paying the interest on your debt. With a lower or zero-percent interest rate on your debt moving forward, every payment you make goes towards paying down the principle rather than just covering the interest. This is extremely helpful for people who have more than just student loans to deal with because managing other debts can make paying off your student loan much easier and more manageable.

Budgeting

A number of students are familiar with living on a budget, and it’s something that many adults are going to have to keep up with if they want to pay off their debts. There are a number of useful tools out there for building a budget that works for you, but the most important factor is that you stick with it. Easier said than done, but a budget is the number one way to pay off your debt and secure money for yourself in the future.

Hold off On Major Life Changes

While it’s not something anyone wants to hear, a number of young adults are holding off on major life events like getting married or buying a home in order to save money. With the average cost of getting married sitting at over $30,000, it’s no wonder that couples hold off from tying the knot. Buying a home and settling down to have children is even more expensive, so it’s best that you have your debts in order before even thinking about making these huge financial commitments.

Despite the grim picture, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Keep working towards your goals and you’ll eventually get there.