Save the Date for the University-Wide Majors Fair

October 16, 2012 is a very important date.  From 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm, you will have the opportunity to meet with faculty representatives from more than 100 different academic programs at the University-Wide Majors Fair.  Students can gather information and ask questions about majors, secondary majors, and minors.  The event, hosted by the Department of Career Counseling, will take place on the 2nd floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center during Dr Pepper Hour.  Click here to view a list of programs that will be represented at the event.  This list is continuously updated as departments notify us of their plans to attend, so check back frequently.  We hope to see you there!

One Huge Factor That Can Affect Your Job Prospects

Day after day, students express their concern to me about job availability upon graduation.  They tell me that job availability is something they consider as they explore different career fields.  The most common approach to this concern is to research the occupations that are expected to have good job prospects.  While this data can influence decision making, it does not offer the full picture.  Students must remember the importance of being a strong candidate for jobs.  While gaining relevant experience is challenging when a student is unsure of his or her direction, there are certain skills that a job candidate will need to possess, regardless of major or career field. I am linking to a blog post in the Harvard Business Review titled “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.  Here’s Why.

I think a quick read of the post will help students understand why communication is one of Baylor’s General Education Outcomes.  English and Journalism majors have long known the value of using proper grammar, but all students can fine-tune these skills, knowing that they will be critical in the workforce.  Are you wondering what other steps you can take to prepare for your career, even if you don’t know what kind of career you want?

1) Visit Career Counseling to help you identify potential majors and careers.

2) Visit Career Services for a career coaching session.  The friendly staff can help you understand why and how to start gaining experience to plan for graduate school admissions, your first job, and beyond.

Professional Science Master’s Degree


A former student brought to my attention an interesting option for science majors who aren’t envisioning a fit with the traditional PhD or MD routes to a career in the sciences.  The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree combines science and business courses, preparing students for careers in research and industry.  Though this path was new to me, a quick review of the PSM website reveals that some of the most prestigious universities and institutes in the country (and abroad) are offering this option.  Regardless of your science discipline, I encourage you to check out the different program options to determine if there is an area of study that jumps out to you.  Exploring something unfamiliar to you might just be the first step in uncovering your dream job.

Career Spotlight: Geoscientists

Some people believe that geoscientists simply study rocks.  The scope of their work is actually much wider, including the study of any physical aspects of Planet Earth.  Meteorologists, oceanographers, paleontologists, seismologists, and volcanologists are all considered geoscientists, and those specialties only make up the tip of the iceberg!  Common tasks for geoscientists on the job are analyzing data and writing reports on their findings.  Fieldwork on location is a significant portion of the work for many geoscientists, which can be a selling point for students who don’t want a job that requires being at a desk every day.  The positive outlook for job growth in this field and strong salaries are also attractive.

If you are interested in a career as a geoscientist, you can pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology or Geophysics at Baylor.  Click here to listen to the podcast about the Geology major at Baylor.  The Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that job prospects will be best for candidates with a Master’s degree in geology.

For more information on a career as a geoscientist, please visit the websites that were consulted for this post:

Occupational Outlook Handbook

American Geological Institute

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: Medical and Health Services Managers


Medical and health services managers are also referred to as healthcare administrators or healthcare executives.  There are numerous subcategories within this profession.  Medical and health services managers focus on the business and regulatory aspects of healthcare, including the maintenance and analysis of patient information, managing budgets, overseeing projects, and ensuring that an organization meets applicable legal standards.  Work settings could include hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and outpatient facilities.  For students who are interested in working in a medical environment without an educational background in the hard sciences, healthcare administration could be a viable option

Some medical and health services managers enter the field with a Bachelor’s degree, but a Master’s degree is common in this field.  When trying to determine a relevant undergraduate major at Baylor, business and nursing majors are some options to compare.  A directory of accredited graduate programs in healthcare administration can be found on the website of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.  One particular type of medical and health services manager is a health information manager.  More information on career paths in health information management can be found on the American Health Information Management Association’s website.

For more information on Baylor’s MBA program in Healthcare Administration, click here.

Announcement: Late Night This Friday!

New students, take note.  Late Night is this Friday, and it is perhaps the best opportunity all year for you to learn about ways to get involved in the Baylor community.  Representatives from student organizations will be on hand to tell you about what they do and answer questions you have about plugging in with their groups.  Meaningful involvement in a student organization can offer opportunities to:

  • Engage in activities that you enjoy
  • Make new friends
  • Develop new skills
  • Explore your interests
  • Gain experience relevant to a potential career field

College is more than taking classes and preparing to get a job when you graduate.  This is a time to discover who you are and who you want to be.  You don’t have to wait until Friday to begin checking out your options.  You can start browsing the list of Baylor’s student organizations here.  Mark your calendar…Late Night will start at 9:00 p.m. on Friday and wrap up at midnight.  Click here for more details.

Back to School, Back to Major and Career Decision Making

Welcome to our newest Baylor Bears, and welcom back to our returning students!  I hope your summer provided time for rejuvenation, relaxation, and most of all…career exploration opportunites.  If you follow this blog, you will quickly learn that we advocate for major and career exploration even at the earliest stages of your college experience.  Why, you might ask?

The answer is that most of you will one day try to obtain a full-time job.  For the majority of you, your college degree on its own will not be the golden ticket to employment.  Your relevant experience and your network are critical components, too, and these elements cannot be developed overnight.  Our hope is that you have already started learning about yourself and seeking ways to gain exposure to and experience in the world of work.  It is important to remember that it is never too late to start, and this is an ongoing process.

Career development can be much more targeted if you have a clear goal in mind of where you are headed, even if the goal may change.  How can you obtain relevant experience if you do not know what is relevant?  Are you unsure of your major or career goals?  The Career Counseling staff are here to help you.  We offer a process designed to help you with self-exploration, major and career comparison, and action planning.  Our services are free and confidential.  Please take this valuable opportunity to invest in your future.  You can request appointments by visiting our website and clicking the red “Request an Appointment” button on the right-hand side of the page.  We look forward to working with you!