Category Archives: Majors

Career Spotlight: Social Worker

Do you dream of changing the world?  Many people with such a passion find a calling in social work careers.  Social workers focus on improving the quality of life for populations such as the elderly, those suffering from poverty, abuse victims, people who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, and those experiencing terminal illness.

Baylor offers an undergraduate degree in social work, the Bachelor of Social Work.  Baylor also offers a Master of Social Work degree for advanced study, and students with undergraduate majors in other areas can still apply to the graduate program in social work.  Students with backgrounds in psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and child and family studies might be particularly interested.

To learn more about the day-to-day tasks of a social worker, use the following links:

Description of a social worker– Occupational Outlook Handbook

Child, Family, and School Social Workers– O*Net OnLine

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers– O*Net OnLine

Healthcare Social Workers– O*Net OnLine

Majoring in French- New Podcast Available

Welcome back to campus on this rainy Monday.  Let the image above take you away to blue skies for a moment.  While you were gone, the Career Counseling department recorded a new podcast.  Click here to listen to the interview with Dr. Duran about majoring in French.  Did you know that French is the official language of 27 countries or that you can take courses at Baylor devoted entirely to the city of Paris?  You will learn all of this and more in this latest installment of the Meet the Majors Podcast Series.

Recreation and Leisure Services Major

Coming back to campus after a holiday break can be a challenge.  You are probably already dreaming about your next opportunity to be free from homework so you can focus on fun!  What if you could get paid to have fun and help others to have fun, too?  Students who major in Recreation and Leisure Services are preparing to do that.

In addition to helping people enjoy themselves through recreation activities, Recreation and Leisure Services majors learn about the educational components of recreation, as well as the contribution of recreation and leisure activities to an overall healthy lifestyle.  Students choose one of two tracks:  Church Recreation or Outdoor Recreation.

Examples of classes in the Recreation and Leisure Services major:

  • First Aid
  • Camp Counseling & Administration
  • Outdoor Adventure Activities
  • Leisure Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • Adventure Recreation Leadership
  • Principles of Church Recreation

Students with an interest in this major can click here to learn more.

International Studies Major

Students who are fascinated by other cultures and dream of traveling or living abroad might be intrigued by the International Studies major at Baylor.  Students take two core political science courses, as well as classes in Regional Studies and Global Issues and Institutions.  The major is truly interdisciplinary.  Students have much flexibility in choosing their major courses, which can come from 27 different course prefixes.  There are two versions of the major: General and Intensive.  Each requires advanced hours in a modern foreign language, and the Intensive version requires a study abroad experience or internship abroad.

The flexibility does not end with a student’s choice of classes to fulfill the major.  This degree can prepare students for a wide array of career possibilities.  Click here to read more about specific courses that can be used to fulfill the major, as well as relevant career options.

No, really! Which majors are more likely to get me a job?

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post with the assertion that any major can lead to a good job.  Some of you may not have been content with that answer.  The media is full of horror stories of Ivy League graduates who can’t find jobs upon graduation.  I would caution that we don’t know how the person has approached their career development.  To play along, I wanted to share this link to a Wall Street Journal table of unemployment rates by college major.

Many of the undergraduate majors in the top ten list of those with the lowest unemployment rates are offered at Baylor:

  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Nursing

Furthermore, Baylor majors could prepare students for graduate study or careers in other areas with low unemployment rates:

  • Actuarial Science
  • Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Pharmacology
  • School Student Counseling
  • Environmental Engineering

Follow the link above for additional ideas, plus salary data.

What Do Engineers Do?

Many students report that they are interested in the field of engineering because they are attracted to the good salaries and job growth projections.  Obviously, those are two major selling points, but what does an engineer actually do?

The Occupational Outlook Handbook states:

“Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet societal and consumer needs.”

Try watching a few videos to get a better sense of the day-to-day work of engineers:

Baylor students can choose a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Engineering with a Biomedical or Flexible option.  Excellent mathematical ability is a priority for students considering a career in engineering, as evidenced by the seven math/statistics classes required for the majors.  If a student is not eligible to begin with calculus, even more mathematical preparation would be necessary.

Would you like to learn more?  Listen to our podcast interview with Assistant Dean Fry from Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.

What Can I Do with a Major in Psychology?

The above question is one that I certainly raised as an undergraduate, despite my confidence that I would enjoy my major.  Family and strangers also felt compelled to ask where I thought my psychology major would lead me in life.  Now, more than ever, I believe that psychology can provide an excellent foundation for many careers.

First, I encourage you to evaluate if the major is a good fit for you.  Consider that psychology is a science.  As such, you will be required to complete courses in neuroscience, statistics, and research methods.  Also, keep in mind that many of the career options directly related to the study of psychology require education beyond a Bachelor’s degree.  Graduate programs typically have rigorous admissions standards and are quite competitive.

Let’s say that you have already confirmed that psychology is the major for you.  Baylor’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience has information on their website regarding a multitude of relevant career possibilities.  The site includes recommendations of specific psychology courses that could be most useful for students on various career tracks.  There is also a section dedicated to careers for students who do not continue their education beyond the undergraduate degree.

Some additional sources of ideas are:

Professional Writing Major

Students who love to write often seek career counseling, as they explore how to turn their communication skills into a solid job.  If you have wondered this, consider professional writing.  This is taken directly from the website of the Department of English at Baylor:

“The Professional Writing Program at Baylor University is designed to fill a workplace need for people who know how to communicate ideas clearly. Professional writers are in demand to connect information and products with those who need them. Students who finish the program work in a variety of government and industry jobs. They may work as writers or editors on a variety of documents-press releases, brochures, manuals, newsletters, marketing literature, proposals, reports, and WWW documents. Graduates of Baylor’s Professional Writing Program are employed by firms such as Southwest Airlines, Taylor Publishing Company, Steward and Stevenson, Exxon-Mobil, and The Young-Roehr Group (marketing communications).”

Professional Writing students have opportunities to take courses such as:

  • Writing for the Workplace
  • Screenplay and Scriptwriting
  • Writing for the Popular Market
  • Advanced Argumentative and Persuasive Writing

Students in the program also complete a required internship, where they put their writing skills into practice in a business or professional setting.  For more information on this major, visit the website for the Department of English.