Many university study abroad programs used to encourage students to study abroad during their junior year. This wisdom was based on the idea that most students would be well-established in their degree field, but would still have time upon return to take any additional requirements and still graduate within four years.
But the value of international education has outstripped traditional ideas of academic security, and more and more students are looking for ways to earn their degrees abroad. Still many students imagine that studying abroad multiple times or long-term is completely out of reach for the average student. Luckily, governments around the world realize the value of international students and campuses around the world are ready and waiting for students from abroad. So why wait? Grab your passport and read on to find out why you should earn your degree abroad!
1. It’s not expensive
Only 10% of American students study abroad, and one of the major deterrents is the perceived costs of international study. And even those students who realize the value of a study abroad experience often believe that their funds will only cover a short-term semester or year program. But the truth is that studying abroad doesn’t have to be expensive, and in some cases completing your degree abroad could be more affordable than staying domestic. Of course, there will always be countries, universities, and programs that can break the bank but if you choose wisely, you can study in one or more locations overseas without wracking up a ton of student debt. If you want to maintain a domestic presence, start by considering tuition-exchange programs. Your school’s study abroad office can help you identify programs where your tuition (and sometimes room and board) will be the same as your home institution. And you’re not limited to a single tuition-exchange experience, so can study psychology in the Netherlands, round off your Spanish minor in Peru, and complete your honors project in Indonesia without paying more for tuition than you would at home.
But what if you want to earn your entire degree abroad? Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many countries around the world where tuition is low or free for international students, and while living costs can vary from country to country if you do your research a degree abroad could cost a fraction of a four-year program at home. Universities inGermany and Norway are tuition-free, even for overseas students, and in Brazil, Slovenia, and France students at public universities pay only nominal fees. Some countries, like Poland, make it easy for international students to pay tuition feesgradually while others allow international students to pay the same low fees as domestic students.
2. You’ll learn languages
One of the biggest benefits of spending as much time abroad as possible will be the chance to learn new languages. It goes without saying that the longer you spend immersed in a language, the more likely you are to learn and retain your new knowledge. And the great news is, you don’t have to learn the language before you go! International students are a major resource for universities around the world, and you’ll find English-language programs in almost every country.Finland and Sweden both offer numerous courses in English, which means you can study sociology, or computer programming, or music by day, and practice your Scandinavian language skills after class. And while campus-hopping may seem counter-intuitive for language acquisition, for some students it’s the ideal way to perfect and diversify their language skills. For instance, students who study Spanish (currently the second most -spoken language in the world) can benefit from nomadic studies. Like English, Spanish varies according to country and region, so three semesters in Spain, followed by a year in Mexico, topped off with semesters in Argentina, Chile, and Honduras will give a Spanish-language student broad exposure to the variances of the language.
3. You’re not alone
Of course, planning to study abroad long-term or in multiple locations can seem daunting, and it doesn’t matter if it’s tuition-exchange or tuition-free, if you can’t figure out the logistics you’ll never get your feet off the ground. But don’t worry. Study abroad is a priority in many countries, and there are many resources out there for students who want to complete degrees abroad or campus-hop their way to a diploma. There are scholarships, like the Fulbright and Gilman programs, that work to send students abroad. The Erasmus+ Program focuses on student mobility in Europe and abroad. In the US, government organizations like Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs want more American students to study abroad. If you’re enrolled in a university, visit your school’s study abroad office to find out more about initiatives for study abroad, or find directly here the program that’s right for you.
If you’ve spent the last few years working on your postgraduate degree in science, you’ve probably accrued a staggering amount of impressive experiences. You may have published papers, worked as a lab assistant, attended conferences, taught and tutored undergraduates, contributed to groundbreaking studies, and most likely, you’ve completed an enormous amount of original research. But how can all this valuable experience help you get a job, and how do you present your skills and potential to prospective employers? First things first: if you’re applying for jobs outside of academia or research, skip the curriculum vitae (CV) and draft a smashing resume instead. A CV, especially a well-padded one, will only hold you back in the industry job market. Instead, follow these rules for creating an eye-catching resume that will have you up to your ears in interviews.
1. State your personal objective
One of the main problems with academic CVs is that they give too much information. Employers in industry are faced with dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants and they’re not going to hunt through six pages of publications, conferences, workshops, coursework, and research projects to figure out if you’re the right person for a consultancy position. Instead, state clearly at the beginning of your resume what type of position you’re seeking and why. Keep it short, simple, and on-target. Try: “Applicant seeks an engaging position as statistical analyst in nano-biology or bio-engineering” or “Seeking position as project manager in human-development and smart-city technology.”
2. Do your research
Other big mistakes that academic applicants make: outdated forms of address and information-overload on resumes and cover letters. The internet makes it easy, and practically mandatory, to research the position, corporation, and hiring team before you apply. And if you’re listing research skills as one of your qualifications, your application material should indicate that you are actually capable of finding all the relevant information. Demonstrate your research skills on your resume by only listing experience and qualifications that fit or enhance those required for the position. Address your cover letter to the hiring manager and try to use keywords from the job listing in your letter. Reference background and interests that are related to the industry. If your skills are not clearly applicable to the position, use the cover letter to demonstrate how they are transferable.
3. Highlight your skills
Speaking of skills, at this stage, your resume should be more about what you’re capable of than what you have done in the past. Forget about chronological education lists, publications, and awards and focus instead on experiences that demonstrate your abilities relevant to the position. If you’re applying for a position as team-leader, focus on your role in group projects and collaborative research. Considering a role as a consultant? Make sure your presentation, communication, and networking skills are evident. Don’t be afraid to include your advanced degrees, even if the position doesn’t require them. But if you’re worried that a Masters or PhD will be seen as over qualification don’t hesitate to focus on your transferable skills and play-down your academic achievements by moving them to the bottom of your resume.
4. Utilize Templates…
You may think that you know how a resume should look, but there are different styles for different jobs and sectors. Do a bit of research online and see what kinds of resumes are best suited to the position. Try livecareer.com or other resume-template sites to get an idea about the various styles and forms. Templates can also help you identify the kinds of information you should include on your resume.
Grad students spend the academic year working hard, and the prospect of a long break during the summer can be the driving force behind finishing end-of-semester projects or submitting a new segment of your dissertation.
But as tempting as it seems, unplugging completely during the summer holidays is a luxury most grad students can’t afford. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend your summer holed up in front of you computer or buried in research. There are lots of ways to make the most of your holidays and still have a fun, relaxing time away from classes and assignments. Use these six tips to inspire your summer productivity and have the best summer yet!
Summer is the perfect time to develop areas of your resume that may be lacking due to your busy schedule during the year. Of course, part-time jobs and internships make for great work-experience, but if you want your time to be more flexible or meaningful consider volunteering. Find a program where you can utilize and develop your unique skills. Coaching a local football camp will help hone your leadership and motivational skills. Language and STEM students will find that their expertise is in high demand for volunteer reading programs. Sociology students can look for volunteer work in community organizations that address local issues. And while some volunteer programs may require some long-term commitment, many opportunities allow people to work and participate as they are able leaving you free to work and play.
2. Set Some Goals
The school year can be intense, and it can be easy to develop bad habits or fall into a hectic work schedule. But during the summer you have the chance to reboot your life. As the semester comes to a close, assess the past year and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Did you pull too many all-nighters? Are you subsisting on a diet of cereal and take-out? Are your notes in a shambles because you never took the time to develop a workable system? Identify areas that need improvement and begin practicing good habits. Even a small goal, like taking a 30-minute walk every day will improve your mood, concentration, and energy levels, and if you establish good habits in the summer, it will be easier to keep them in the fall.
3. Read Widely
If your summer reading activity consists of filling your beach bag with paperback novels and magazines, and then promptly falling asleep under an umbrella, take a moment to reassess. If you’re like most grad students, you probably spend a lot of time reading during the school year and unless you’re studying literature or theater, your reading material probably leans more toward the academic side of things. But even if you need a break from primary sources or technical manuals, don’t waste your summer not reading. Go outside your comfort area and read things that will enhance your understanding of the world.
4. Consider Summer Semester
Of course, you need a break from classes, but summer semester can be the perfect time to earn some extra credits or take a class that you wouldn’t otherwise attempt. And summer courses tend to be smaller, more personal, and more diverse than regular semester offerings. Take the opportunity to learn the basics of German or computer engineering. Explore an area of your field that is outwith your research scope. Or if you want to max out a summer semester – enroll in a short-term study abroad program. The best part of summer courses is that they’re often condensed, which means you can get a semester’s worth of studying done in just a few weeks and still have time for relaxation.
Most of us were told that in order to get ahead in life we needed to go to college and get a degree. But you’ve done that. So why do you need a master’s degree? It’s true that for many jobs and fields, a BA or BS will suffice..at least at first. But the job market is increasingly specialized, and many graduates find that it’s difficult to enter or progress in the job market without an advanced degree. Here are five reasons you should consider post-graduate studies.
1. MAs are the New Bachelors
Thirty years ago, a bachelor’s degree in most subjects was the ticket to a job where you could gain experience and progress to higher levels of expertise. In fact, in the past job seekers with graduate-level degrees may have been considered overqualified, but things have changed. It’s not exactly a bad thing, but with increased college enrollment over the last few decades, the market has been flooded with skilled and qualified undergraduates. Now, employers are looking to hire graduates with advanced degrees, and while there are still plenty of positions that will accept bachelor’s degrees, some of the most desirable positions are going to recent grads with masters-level qualifications. A Masters will help you to stand out from the crowd and will show prospective employers that you have advanced skills and subject-expertise.
2. They Can Be Required
While many sectors favor post-graduate degrees, there are several fields in which a master’s-level degree is required. Obviously, education for doctors and lawyers goes far beyond that of a normal bachelor’s degree, but if you’re considering a career in therapy, library or museum sciences, economics, architecture, or various medical professions, you’ll find that an advanced degree isn’t optional. Speech and language therapists in the US need a graduate degree and accreditation. In the UK, ‘architect’ is a protected title and in order to practice students must complete five years of study as well as work experience. In the US, a growing doctor shortage means that there are more jobs for Physician’s Assistants (PAs) but you’ll need to earn a master’s degree from an accredited program first. While it may seem demanding, these positions require advanced training, specialization, and dedicated professionals, all of which can be developed through post-graduate study.
3. They Can Lead You Further
Some people decide to pursue a masters-level degree because they thrived in university studies and aren’t ready to enter the ‘real-world.’ While this isn’t a great reason to earn a master’s, if you have a knack for academia and are considering a career as a professor or researcher, then a master’s degree is a fantastic idea. Most PhD programs require candidates to have completed an MA or MS in a related subject, and a master’s program will give you the opportunity to find out if focused research and academic life are right for you. Remember that master’s studies are very different from undergraduate degrees. Students are often more independent and research-focused, and the course-work requires in-depth knowledge and original ideas. Master’s studies are harder and more stressful, but they’re often more exciting because you can focus on subjects that interest you.
4. They Help You Specialize
In fact, one of the biggest benefits of master’s-level studies is that you have the chance to focus your knowledge and hone your skills. This can be a huge benefit in the job market because industries and employers are often looking for highly-specialized candidates. It’s one of the reasons that Master’s of Professional Studies degrees (MPS) are in demand, but traditional MS and MA degrees are also attractive to prospective employees in a variety of fields. While some students enter into post-graduate studies directly from undergraduate degrees, many established professionals enroll in master’s programs in order to advance their careers or develop new skills. Lawyers often acquire advanced degrees (on top of their law degree) in order to focus on specific legal sectors, while MBAs are a sure-fire way to achieve success in the business world, especially if you focus on much-needed skills like technology.
International Museum Day was founded in 1977 to communicate to the world that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” And while most people associate museums with ancient history and art, museums are a lot more than receptacles for old things. Science and Technology museums throughout the world give visitors a chance to learn about and interact with some of the most important, ground-breaking, and breath-taking achievements of mankind. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are seven of the most inspiring science and technology museums around the world. They’re must-sees for STEM and humanities students alike!
1. Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany
The Deutsches Museum is one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. It was founded in 1903 and now houses 66,000m2 of exhibits dedicated to scientific endeavors. The museum is enormous, and its extensive collections require more than a single visit to appreciate. In fact, the museum recommends concentrating on specific attractions and offers expert-guided tours to help visitors access the information exhibits. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a scientist to enjoy a visit to the Deutsches Museum. There are resources, tours, and seminars geared towards children, adults, professionals, and students, and the museum’s DNA Visitors’ Laboratory gives guests the chance to do their own experiments.
2. National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., USA
In 1946, American President Harry Truman established the Smithsonian’s National Air Museum to celebrate aviationtechnology and innovators. In 1976, the museum was reimagined as the Air and Space Museum, and now houses aircraft, spacecraft, and more than 60,000 items associated with aeronautics. Exhibits include the Wright Flyer, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and other notable pieces of aviation history. But the museum isn’t just retrospective. The National Air and Space Museum is also home to on-going research in aeronautics, earth and planetary science, and space history, which means that visitors have the opportunity to see and interact with science in the making.
3. Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China
The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum may not be very old, but it’s impressive collections and inspiring vision belie wisdom beyond years. The museum opened in 2001 and now welcomes between 2-3 million visitors per year. Guests can wander through more than a dozen exhibition halls that house collections ranging from animal life to robotics. In addition to general science and technology features, the museum has three galleries devoted to Chinese science and technology. But that doesn’t mean the museum focuses on China or even Asia. Recent special exhibits included a film exploration of the North American Great Lakes, an African wildlife display, and a special forum on global climate change.
4. Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada
The Ontario Science Centre aims to inspire “a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the plant.” The museum works to engage visitors with exhibits and challenges them to question and explore. Exhibits include the interactive Science Arcade, The Living Earth where visitors can explore a rainforest and other natural wonders, and the introspective ‘A Question of Truth’ gallery which asks guests to reassess their assumptions. The Centre also features an impressive planetarium and an IMAX theater. And if that wasn’t enough, students can spend a semester at the Centre’s school where they can earn secondary school science credits!
Bad interviews are a sit-com staple like the time on Friends when Rachel literally kissed the interviewer at Ralph Lauren. Rachel managed to land the job regardless, but in the real world, mistakes during an interview are more likely to see you back on the job market than in a corner office. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, but there’s no reason that you can’t perfect your interview skills and avoid some of the most common (and problematic) mistakes made by job-seekers. Let’s count down the six biggest offenders and find out how to make your interview go off without a hitch…or a kiss.
If recent political events are any indication, egotistic displays of self-promotion may seem like a good idea. And yes, it’s a good idea to impress a potential employer with your skills and accomplishments. But there’s a big difference between giving relevant information about your abilities and self-aggrandizement. A good rule of thumb: answer honestly when asked about achievements but remain modest. You can also focus on areas in which you excel that also demonstrate your ability to work with or support others.
2. Answering but not asking
Think of the interview as more of a conversation than a Q&A session. Your future employer isn’t just interested in how you respond to questions – they want to see that you can interact with the information and think critically about both your answers and their questions. Most experts recommend coming prepared with questions about the position, the company, and other relevant issues, but don’t be afraid to ask a question if the interviewer presents new information that wasn’t available earlier. Actively engage with the interviewer, demonstrate your knowledge and interest, and show that you are willing to get the answers you need.
3. Not knowing the company
Asking questions is a good way to show that you’ve prepared for the interview. In fact, before arriving at the interview make sure to do thorough research on the company and its role in the relevant sector. A quick Google search is a good starting point – look for recent articles about the company, find out information about the company’s goals and potential, and if possible do some research on the person, or people, who will be conducting the interview. Make sure that you know as much as possible about the position – and if the role is new to you, or outside of your usual field of expertise, be prepared to give a clear explanation of how your current or past experiences make you a good choice.
4. Not paying attention
Interviews aren’t just about questions and answers, and as we’ve already established, you should approach the process like a conversation, or more accurately, a professional discussion. Think of the interview as a meeting, listen carefully to what the interviewer says, asks, and implies, and find ways to address their needs. Be an active listener, and use the tone of the interview to your advantage so that you can present information about yourself or your skills that will help the interviewer understand how you will contribute to the company.
Of course, few people can spend all of their time traveling. Why not? Because earning a living has to enter the picture at some point. But following your wanderlust and having a job don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Tourism, hospitality, and leisure studies prepare students to take on vital roles in this sought-after sector while simultaneously supporting the love of travel. Not sure where to begin? Read on for six of our picks for top destinations for tourism degrees.
If IKEA, ABBA and Volvo are the extent of your knowledge of Sweden, it may be time to broaden your horizons. Considered by many to be one of the planet’s most livable places, Sweden is known for its gender equality, gorgeous scenery (and inhabitants), rich history, and sustainability.
Sweden is also celebrated for its strong degree programs in tourism, including Mid Sweden University’s Master in Tourism Studies. This year-long program, drawn from leading tourism research entity the European Tourism Research Institute, offers degrees in two disciplines: tourism studies and human geography. Students learn through a number of different modes, including everything from independent research to field trips. And what better place to learn more about sustainable development than Sweden? Looking to do some travel of your own while you’re there? Mid Sweden University’s campus is situated in Östersund — close to both Swedish and Norwegian mountain ranges with easy proximity to Europe’s other leading destinations.
Switzerland has long been lauded as a premier international study destination for its unbeatable combination of quality of life and top universities. But did you know that Switzerland also has a legacy as the “birthplace of hospitality”? Home to the world’s first grand, palace-style hotels, Switzerland has played host to international luminaries drawn to everything from the country’s precision to its innovation.
More than 100 years later, Switzerland continues to set the standard in the hospitality industry, making it an unbeatable place to study tourism in programs like the Sustainability Management School’s Master in Sustainable Tourism and Protected Areas (MAM), The University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur’s MSc Business Administration in Tourism, ESOAD’s Master Européen de Management et Stratégie Touristique, and UIBS’s Master in Business Studies — Tourism and Hospitality Management.
3. The United States
More than 75 million people traveled to the U.S. in 2014, according to figures from the World Bank. And the vast majority of them need lodging, food, and other guidance along the way regarding how to best experience the country Lonely Planet describes as a “watercolor masterpiece.”
What makes the US a great place to study tourism? For starters, the breadth and depth of its offerings across hundreds of courses and programs, many of which are located in the country’s biggest tourism destinations. Factor in a commitment to innovation and top global rankings, and it’s no surprise that world’s most prestigious hospitality companies recruit grads with tourism degrees from the U.S.
As tourism to Thailand continues to rise, so does the appeal of hospitality studies in this vibrant and visually stunning destination. The recent boom in English language course in Thailand means there are plenty of options for English speakers — as well as those looking to hone their English language skills — amidst Thailand’s hospitality degrees.
Have a love of tourism and a mind for business? Consider the Bangkok School of Management’s MBA in International Tourism Management to position yourself for a leadership role in this red-hot industry.
France is one of the world’s most visited countries, with Paris alone laying claim to 45 million tourists annually. Why do so many people yearn to visit the city of lights? In addition to its amazing food, breathtaking architecture, and impossibly chic people, France is also known for its unparalleled offerings when it comes to tourism and hospitality.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a consummate learning experience, look no further than France’s tourism degreesfocused on everything from hotel management to global tourism with applications across multiple sectors including hotels and resorts, restaurants, spas, wellness centers, theme parks, and many others.
Once upon a time, the humanities reigned supreme in the halls of higher education. Philosophy, literature, languages, and rhetoric were seen as the pinnacles of learning and the world’s greatest minds were as comfortable with iambic pentameter as they were with the quadratic equation. But as society has shifted towards innovation and technological development, the human sciences are often neglected or disdained as soft subjects without practical application. But there’s a reason that the arts and humanities were the foundation of academia – and it’s not just because rhyme and music make memorizing the periodic table a lot easier. We’re not suggesting that students with STEM aspirations abandon the hard sciences, but here’s why a minor in a liberal arts subject could provide the balance that’s needed for future success.
1. Broaden your Career View
Science doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and even in the most sterile lab environment outside forces will have a big impact on the direction of your research and your job prospects. It may not be ideal, but the reality of the scientific world is that research funding is often dictated by politics, and scientific projects can be dependent on cultural shifts. Think about current events and the ways in which politicians leverage infectious diseases, climate science, and technological breakthroughs. And while science students often imagine careers in sterile, white laboratories, STEM subjects and the non-science world are constantly colliding. The recent Zika-virus outbreak in South America is a perfect example of the ways in which science, politics, social planning, and marketing must work together. STEM professionals need to understand not just how the natural world works, but how they can apply their knowledge and skills to real-world issues.
2. Communicate Clearly
Liberal arts won’t just help you apply your scientific expertise to problems, they will help you communicate with the non-science world. Face it, scientific and technological research can be difficult to understand if you’re not an expert. And just like Schrodinger’s famously misinterpreted cat, lay-people often misunderstand the scientific world, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Learning to write clearly, to construct a rhetorical argument, and to simplify complex ideas are essential tools for the modern STEM professional.
3. Understand the World and its Inhabitants
Neuroscience may teach you how the human brain functions and physics promises that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. But people are not just electrical impulses and their reactions aren’t always predictable. Literature, poetry, music, and art are all expressions of individual feelings and studying them can help students understand both the world and the minds of other individuals. And, ironically enough, this may be a more important skill for a scientist than acreative writing student. Scientists must understand how their work will effect both the world and individuals in order to innovate.
4. Reinforce Cultural and Ethical Responsibility
But understanding the world isn’t just about empathy and innovation. J. Robert Oppenheimer is famous for saying “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds” but the physicist was actually quoting from Hindu scripture. And as science and technology progress, it’s important to constantly reassess the ethical and cultural impact of the development. Doing this requires a thorough understanding of the literary, cultural, religious, and social influences that impact society. Reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein isn’t just an exercise in literary analysis and nineteenth century literature. The story questions the morality of scientific innovation and the responsibility of the scientist to both his creations and the world. Future scientists take note – the monster in Shelley’s horror story isn’t the creature.
The old expression insists that “money makes the world go ‘round.” And while we’d argue that other factors are also important when it comes to choosing a course of study, there’s no denying that the right major can give you an inside edge on landing a lucrative job.
Think your options are limited to medicine, law and business? Think again. There are plenty of other lesser-known majors with the potential to lead to big bucks in the future. Read on for a roundup of five degrees linked with top salaries.
Engineering isn’t for everyone. After all, it takes top-notch STEM skills, a keen analytical mind, attention to detail, and the drive to take on big challenges to succeed in this field. However, those who do are positioned for high-paying careers as engineers.
In South Africa, for example, MyBroadband’s list of jobs with the highest salaries based on data from CareerJunction’s Salary Review, reveals that three engineering careers come out on top: mining engineers, mechanical engineers, and project engineers.
Keep in mind that the figures above, which reflect South Africa’s booming mining sector, also highlight regional differences — a phenomenon seen across all jobs and areas of the world. In the U.S., comparatively, jobs in petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering claim all of the top 10 spots for highest-paid engineering jobs, according to PayScale.
But even engineers who don’t work in the most lucrative engineering fields can expect to take home ample paychecks. Check out a comprehensive list of engineering degree options here.
2. Computer Science
We are living in a tech-centric world in which computing is part of everything we do. And while computers are used to solve the world’s problems across business, scientific and social contexts, they couldn’t do it without the people powering them. The great need for people with the skill and talent to work in this field results in an abundance of high-paying job opportunities. In fact, according to PayScale’s ranking of 129 college majors based on earning potential, eight computer-related majors claimed top 30 spots!
Meanwhile, the Association of Computing Machinery says, “Computing jobs are among the highest paid and have the highest job satisfaction. Computing is very often associated with innovation, and developments in computing tend to drive it. This, in turn, is the key to national competitiveness. The possibilities for future developments are expected to be even greater than they have been in the past.”
For more information on degrees in this red-hot field, check out Masterstudies’ complete list of computer science programs.
Simultaneously an art and a science, architecture is an amazing discipline for people looking to embrace both their technical and creative sides. And while the path to becoming a professional architect may be a long one, those who pursue careers in this field get paid well to do so. In the UK, for example, “Architecture, Building and Planning” was ranked second by The Telegraph on its list of “Top 10 Degree Subjects By Lifetime Salary.”
4. Public Relations
Just because STEM isn’t your strong point doesn’t mean you can’t get a high-paying job. Consider public relations, for example. In today’s social and connected era, companies are realizing the value of maintaining a positive public image, and they’re willing to pay for it in the form of qualified professionals. In fact, public relations managers earned a top five spot in CIO’s analysis of “10 Top Jobs by Salary for Social Media Pros.”
International students, in particular, will find plenty of opportunities awaiting them in PR as companies angle to reach a world audience in today’s global economy.
Diplomats or foreign service officers (FSOs) work in countries across the globe to assist citizens and further their countries interests and policies abroad. Depending on the career track, diplomats may work in consular services, economic interests, management, politics, or public diplomacy. Foreign service offices employ individuals with all different backgrounds and expertise because they need FSOs who are flexible, creative, and adaptable.
Foreign service positions are generally short-term, with assignments ranging from months to several years, but the one constant in diplomatic work is that FSOs must be able to adapt quickly and assess the priorities of a situation or project. While the job may not be as glamorous as it’s made out to be in movies and TV, FSOs have the opportunities to live abroad in a variety of countries and situations and get hands-on experience with new cultures, people, and societies. Foreign service isn’t for everyone, but for hard-working, motivated individuals with a desire to live and travel abroad, diplomatic employment is an exciting option. If you think that a career as a foreign service officer is right for you, here’s how to prepare for a job in foreign service.
1. It depends on your homeland
The track to diplomatic careers differs depending on where you call home, but in most countries, foreign service officers, or their equivalent, are subject to similar requirements. Many countries require FSOs to be citizens of the country they will be representing. In the US, FSOs must be between the ages of 20 and 59 to qualify for service. But in general, countries are looking for FSOs with diverse skills, qualifications, and personal aptitude because each position is unique and presents its own challenges. Diplomats work on projects related to everything from sporting events to disease outbreaks, education initiatives, and peacekeeping. There is no one skill-set needed for diplomacy, but a willingness to listen and understand situations is a must.
2. Some degrees give you an upper hand
In the US, diplomats hold a variety of education levels ranging from high school diplomas to PhDs, and in the US, the UK, and other countries the first step to qualifying for a diplomatic career is passing a general aptitude test. These exams normally assess a candidate’s overall knowledge, so it’s important that prospective FSOs brush up on things likemathematics, reading comprehension, and logic. But a solid foundation from a degree in history, politics, law, or human rights will be a plus. Most foreign service offices also recommend that applicants be well-read and informed on current events, government, and international politics – essentially, if you’re serious about a diplomatic career, you should be reading a lot of newspapers.
3. Brush up your language skills
In the US, foreign language proficiency is not required for a diplomatic position because all successful applicants receive language training before their first post. However, fluency in a second or third language, as well as international experiences, will help your application stand out. Languages like Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu are in high demand, but it’s more important to have strong written and spoken communication skills in your own language. After candidates have passed the entrance exam, most foreign service offices subject applicants to rigorous interviews and assessments aimed at identifying individual strengths and suitability.
4. Prepare for challenges…and competition
Foreign service is a challenging career. FSOs are always moving, which means that staying in touch with loved ones can be tricky, and for officers with families, the position can be taxing. But that doesn’t mean that foreign service is an unpopular career, and most foreign service offices have a large pool of new FSOs waiting for deployment as well as an established rank of officers, all of whom are competing for the choice assignments around the world. Placements are often given out based on rank, and new recruits should expect their first assignments to be in areas or regions that are more challenging than others. Successful FSOs learn to make the best out of tricky situations, know when to ask for favors, and work hard to succeed.