Social Entrepreneurship: A New Track and Minor

Students who want to use their business sense to serve others and make a positive impact on the world might be naturally drawn toward the field of social entrepreneurship.  What is social entrepreneurship, you might ask?  Check out this link from PBS.  Still interested?  You can review the course requirements for the Social Entrepreneurship track within the Entrepreneurship major or the Social Entrepreneurship minor.  For further information, visit the Majors Fair (which will also feature minors and secondary majors) on October 16th, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the 2nd Floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

Foreign Language Minors

A foreign language minor could enhance your academic experience and open up doors for global opportunities.  Baylor offers minors in:

Modern Foreign Languages

Classical Languages

While it is not foreign, I would also like to note that Baylor offers a minor in Sign Language Interpreting for students who would like to communicate with populations who use American Sign Language.  It is also important to keep in mind that the foreign language classes that you take to fulfill general education requirements at Baylor, may or may not apply to a minor.  Consult the Undergraduate Catalog or your academic advisor for more details on any of these minors.

How Studying Philosophy Can Help You Prepare for Any Career

I recently attended a presentation by Dr. Todd Buras, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Philosophy.  He enlightened the group on how, contrary to popular belief, the study of philosophy can help prepare students for just about any career out there.  He shared that at the heart of the discipline is the search for wisdom, as students are taught how to think critically, form logical arguments, and communicate effectively.  Obviously, studying philosophy aids in the development of the person, not just the acquistion of job-specific skills.  The faculty in Baylor’s Department of Philosophy encourage students to view the texts and issues discussed from a Christian perspective, challenging the argument that faith and reason are at odds with one another.  Here are some ways you could enhance your career preparation with philosophy courses at Baylor.

1) Take an introductory philosophy course.  Your academic advisor can help you understand how an introductory course would apply to your current degree plan or other programs you are considering.  Taking a course is one of the best ways to get a sense of what philosophy is about, while developing some of the skills described above.  There are currently four introductory philosophy courses.

  • PHI 1306 Logic
  • PHI 1307 Critical Thinking
  • PHI 1308 Introduction to Ethics
  • PHI 1321 Introduction to Philosophy

Unlike course sections in other disciplines, the introductory philosophy courses revolve around topics and readings of the individual instructor’s choosing.  Make sure you compare your options by reading the descriptions on the Department of Philosophy website before enrolling.  The descriptions are updated for each semester.

As an aside, philosophy courses can provide excellent preparation for standardized admission tests, such as the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT.  Logic and critical thinking are some of the key skills a student needs to employ to perform successfully on such exams.

2) Participate in a study abroad experience that includes philosophy courses.  Dr. Buras explained that philosophy courses can be taken as part of the Baylor in St. Andrew’s, Baylor in Greece and Turkey, and Baylor in Oxford programs.

3) Consider a major, secondary major, or minor.  Dr. Buras said that a student chooses to major in philosophy when they “love wisdom.”  Click here for more information on these academic programs.

Poverty Studies and Social Justice Minor

The Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative recently introduced a new, interdisciplinary minor called Poverty Studies and Social Justice.  Students must complete three required courses, plus 9 hours of electives.  The required courses are:

  • ECO 3355- Introduction to the Economics of Poverty and Discrimination
  • SWO 4322- Social Policy and Service
  • SWO 4315- Foundations of Social Justice

The nine hours of electives can be selected from courses in 29 different disciplines, such as Family and Consumer Sciences, Political Science, and Sociology.  For a full listings of course options, please follow the link above.

Career Spotlight: Reporter

Dreams of being on air or publishing articles for the world to read are common for students with a natural talent for communication.  The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) describes the work of reporters, pointing out that these positions can be in television, radio, online, and print media.  Reporters must be effective at meeting deadlines, since there is pressure to be the first reporter to break a news story.  The OOH suggests that job prospects in television, radio, and newspapers are expected to be hard to come by, particularly in major markets.

Since education and experience are vital components, students should seek out ways to obtain the professional skills they will need in college.  Baylor offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism-News Editorial, a program that also requires a minor of a student’s choosing.  A minor is available in News Editorial, for those students in majors other than Journalism.  Media-minded students might also be interested in courses in Film and Digital Media.  Students interested in on-air broadcasting who would like to beef up their presentation and interviewing skills might also choose to take classes in Speech Communication.

This wraps up our posts for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Thanks for your readership during our inaugural year.  We will resume posting on the first day of classes this fall, August 20.  We hope you will take the summer to peruse our old posts, explore career possibilities, and get some real-world experience.  Summer jobs, internships, study abroad, and volunteer work are all excellent resume-builders.  The Career Counseling office will be open during the summer sessions and between semesters, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions during that time.  Finally, best wishes on your final exams!

Careers in Music

Music can inspire emotions, dreams, and actions.  Many students find so much meaning in music that they want involvement in music to be their life’s work.  Classical musicians usually train from childhood, then go on to major in music at a university or study at a conservatory.  What about the rest of the musicians and music fans out there?

The Berklee College of Music has put together an extensive list of various roles within the music industry.  You can learn more about the occupations of musicians and singers, as well as many related occupations, by visiting the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  The University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Northern Illinois University have compiled list of links pertinent to students with interests in careers in music.

Students are required to audition in order to major in music at Baylor.  However, an audition is not required to minor in music or church music.  Non-majors may also participate in bands, orchestras, and choirs, as well as registering for music classes as a non-major.  For more information on programs through the School of Music at Baylor, visit their website.

Majoring in Statistics

The career counselors were recently paid a visit by Dr. Jane Harvill, Associate Professor of Statistical Science at Baylor.  She wowed us with stories of six figure salaries, telecommuting, and a broad range of employers where statisticians can work.  Here are some things to keep in mind if you are interested in applying your mathematical skills to help people make decisions.

First of all, the undergraduate major in statistics is appropriate for those who are strong in math.  That does not simply mean that you prefer math over English.  Statistics majors must take three calculus courses and linear algebra.  This major might especially appeal to students who enjoyed AP Statistics in high school.

Second, the list of fields in which statistics are used is endless, and many students choose to double major.  There is also a statistics minor available.  Dr. Harvill told us that statisticians work in government, quality control, market research, the pharmaceutical industry, academics, law, and the insurance and credit card industries…just to name a few.  Students majoring in biology, chemistry, astrophysics, sociology, and economics might find a statistics major or minor to be a nice complement to their studies.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in statistics can apply for jobs as technicians, but students are encouraged to pursue a master’s degree in statistics.  Two more years of school can lead to significantly higher salaries.  As an example, Dr. Harvill told us that technicians may earn a starting salary of $50,000 per year.  However, statisticians with master’s degrees may have six figure salaries.

Interested in learning more?  You can visit the Department of Statistical Science on the web.

Planning for an International Career

Many students come to Career Counseling uncertain about their majors and career goals, but confident in their desire to work in other countries or do work that is on a global scale.  Here are a few possibilities to consider:

Majors and Minors

Students who would like a major that is focused on other cultures and countries might want to explore:

Minors are available in Arabic, Asian Studies, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, Russian, Spanish, and World Affairs.

Of course, students in other majors can use their education and skills in other countries or for international organizations, too.

Check out the Meet the Majors podcast series for more information on many of these programs.

Getting Experience Abroad

If you want to work abroad, one of the best things you can do as a student is to acquire international experience.  Baylor offers many study abroad programs, which allow you to live in another country and earn course credit.  Visit this page for more information, and consider attending an information session.

An internship abroad is another option for learning more about working in another country, while beefing up your resume at the same time.  The friendly staff of Career Services can help you explore international opportunities related to your major area of study.

If your schedule limits you from taking advantage of these experiences, you can also add to your experiences by participating in cross-cultural experiences here in the United States.  There are even student organizations and programs devoted to these types of experiences on the Baylor campus!

Additional Resources

Goinglobal is a fantastic resource provided by the Career Services office.  Of particular interest might be the country guides, which explain hiring trends in those countries, as well as links for job postings in those countries.  If you have trouble getting connected to the site, please contact Career Services.

If you are feeling confused about what major might be best for your specific career goals, or you want to discover what international career might be the best fit for you, Career Counseling is available to guide you in your exploration.  We would be happy for you to begin your international journey here!

Forensic Science Minor

Inspired by television shows such as CSI and Bones, students often come to us with interests in forensic science.  Baylor offers a minor in forensic science for students with serious aspirations in this area.

Students are required to complete the following courses:

  • FORS 1390: Suvey of Forensic
  • FORS 2357: Crime Scene Investigation

The minor is rounded out with a student’s selection of FORS classes to fulfill the minimum number of hours, including advanced hours, for the minor.  Students can view the details of the minor on page 74 of the 2011-12 Undergraduate CatalogPossible courses a student could choose from are:

  • Human Osteology
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Death, Injury, and Physical Remains

Baylor’s Department of Anthropology, Forensic Science, and Archaeology (which houses the minor) emphasizes that the minor is only appropriate for those with a hard science background.  The department’s website states the following:

“It is suggested that students consider a BS major in Biology, Chemistry, Anthropology or Psychology.”

Click here for information from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences about pursuing a career as a forensic scientist.

Still interested in bringing criminals to justice, but not strong in the hard sciences?  Perhaps the criminal justice minor is for you.