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Note from the Editor


Top 10 Psychology Career Trends


What Can I Do With a Liberal Arts Degree?


Geography Jobs


10 Things You Can Do With an English Degree


Teaching Abroad


A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR “What are you going to do with that?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this question regarding my liberal arts degree (a BA in English and Classical & Medieval Studies). It began when I selected my major my sophomore year and persisted throughout my college career. Sure, it annoyed me when others asked it, but it also began to erode my confidence: what was I going to do with my “irrelevant” degree? It’s a feeling many liberal arts students share. As news of the tight job market continues to depress seasoned veterans and new workers alike, anxiety about finding the “perfect” job (or, heck, even a job) can take hold of even the most poised student of liberal arts. But don’t despair! Kim Nelson Career Advisor, Liaison to the College of Liberal Arts

As a liberal arts major, your education opens to doors to an endless number of career possibilities. With your studies’ focus on critical thinking, excellent writing and communication, problem-solving, analysis and careful reading, it provides you with the skills most desired by employers and most critical to career success. But, while you’re still in school, you have to think ahead in order to get the career focus—and real-world experience—that employers seek in top candidates. The first step is assessing your strengths and interests. From here, you can take your ideas for a test drive by participating in job shadowing, informational interviewing, volunteer work or internships. Finally, conducting a targeted and effective job search can help you find the career of your liberal arts dreams. And Career Services is here to help every step of the way. Stop by our office for a counseling session, attend an event, browse our resources online at or visit us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Search for on-campus or full-time, off-campus jobs using Jobs4Cats. Meet with hundreds of employers at one of our many job fairs. But most importantly, stay confident! You’ll find that your degree can take you to places you’ve never imagined. Career Services looks forward to helping you along the way. See you soon!

Kim E. Nelson Career Advisor, Liaison to the College of Liberal Arts





Assisting Bobcats in their career search

Our services are FREE to Texas State students & alumni

Upcoming Events Job Search Boot Camp LBJ Student Center Ballroom Tuesday, February 28, 2012 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Rock Yo Resume (Resume Critiques) The Quad Monday & Tuesday, March 26 & 27, 2012 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Spring Job and Internship Fair Strahan Coliseum Wednesday, March 28, 2012 2:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Liberal Arts Month April 2012 More info coming soon Nonprofit Fair LBJ Student Center Ballroom Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Freedom Ride Externship Day Austin, Texas Thursday, April 19, 2012 For info contact Career Services

Career Counseling Schedule an appointment or stop by our office during walk-in hours to speak with one of our career counselors to discuss career related issues and learn what you can do with your major.

Job Search Strategies Have an interview coming up? We can help you prepare with resume or cover letter assistance, interview strategies, employer research and more.

Career Search Search for jobs, internships and more in our FREE Jobs4Cats job database. Find information about on-campus interviewing and see who’s attending job fairs, too.


For more information, go to, write on our Facebook wall, or come visit our office in the LBJ Student Center 5-7.1. M–Th 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.–5 pm.

10 TOP



So you’ve decided to major in psychology, but what exactly do you plan to do after you graduate? Due to the economic downturn, competition for many jobs has increased dramatically. In order to compete in today’s market, it pays to carefully consider your career options and select a field that is in high demand. While salaries can vary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a faster than average growth for psychologists. The following are just a few of the psychology-related professions that have a strong projected job outlook. Consider some of these options as you plan your career path.



School Psychologist



Genetics Counselor

Career or Vocational Counselor Average Salary: $46,000 Due to the rapidly changing job market, many people are searching for a new job in their chosen field or even changing careers. Career counselors help individuals make career decisions and utilize tools including personality assessments, interest inventories and other evaluation measures. They often start by looking at a client’s interests, job history, education, skills and personality characteristics in order to determine which careers are a good match. They also help clients work on building skills, practicing interviews, improving resumes and locating job openings. Assisting clients who are dealing with job loss or employment-related stress is also common.

Counselor Average Salary: $71,100 Counselors help a people with a wide variety of problems, including marriage, family, emotional, educational and substance abuse issues. Nearly half of all counselors work in health care or social welfare settings, while another 11-percent work for state and local governments. While requirements vary, almost all states require at least a master’s degree in order to become a licensed counselor. Typical work settings include K-12 schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, mental health clinics and private practice offices.



Average Salary: $59,440 School psychologists work in educational settings to help children deal with emotional, academic and social problems. Thanks to increased interest in the mental health of children and federal education legislation, school psychology has rapidly become one of the hottest job trends. The demand for qualified school psychologists exceeds the number of candidates available, which means that job opportunities are plentiful.

Average Salary: $71,100 Genetics counselors help provide information about genetic disorders to couples and families. These professionals typically have graduate training in both genetics and counseling, and many have undergraduate degrees in areas such as psychology, social work, biology, nursing and public health. Genetics counselors often work with a team of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses and geneticists to offer support, guidance and assistance to families who have a family member with a genetic disorder or who may be at risk of passing down an inherited disorder to their offspring.


Forensic Psychologist


Clinical Psychologist


Average Salary: $59,440 Forensic psychologists apply psychology to the fields of criminal investigation and law. This has rapidly become one of the hottest psychology career trends thanks to numerous portrayals in popular movies, television programs and books. While the field may not be as glamorous as it is depicted in popular media, forensic psychology is still an exciting career choice with a lot of potential for growth. Forensic psychologists often work with other experts to resolve child custody disputes, scrutinize insurance claims, perform child custody evaluations and investigate suspected child abuse.

Average Salary: $63,000 Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose and treat clients suffering from psychological disorders. These professionals typically work in hospital settings, mental health clinics or private practices. Clinical psychology is the single largest employment area within psychology, but there are still plenty of jobs available for qualified professionals. In order to become a clinical psychologist, you must have a doctoral-level degree in clinical psychology and most states require a minimum of a one-year internship. Most graduate school programs in clinical psychology are fairly competitive.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Average Salary: $97,820 Industrial-organizational psychologists focus on workplace behavior, often using psychological principles to increase worker productivity and select employees that are best-suited for particular jobs. There are several different specialty areas within industrial-organizational psychology. For example, some I-O psychologists train and assess employees, while others evaluate job candidates. While there are some job opportunities at the master’s-degree level, those with a doctoral-level degree in industrial-organizational psychology are in greater demand and command significantly higher salaries.


Engineering Psychologist


Sports Psychologist


Average Salary: $79.818 Engineering psychologists use psychology to investigate how people interact with machines and other technology. These professionals use their understanding of the human mind and behavior to help design and improve technology, consumer products, work settings and living environments. For example, an engineering psychologist may work as part of a team to redesign a product to make it more efficient and easier to use in a work situation. Those working in academic settings report the lowest earnings, while those working in the private sector report higher salaries.

Average Salary: $45,000 to 80,000 Sports psychologists focus on the psychological aspects of sports and athletics, including topics such as motivation, performance and injury. The two major areas within sports psychology are centered on helping improve athletic performance or using sports to improve mental and physical health. Sports psychologists work in a wide variety of settings including universities, hospitals, athletic centers, private consulting practices and research facilities.

Special Education Teacher Average Salary: $47,650 While slightly outside of a traditional psychology career, the field of special education offers a great deal of opportunity for those who enjoy helping children. Special education teachers work with students with a variety of disabilities. In order to become a special education teacher, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher training program in special education. Because of the increased enrollments in special education programs and a shortage of qualified teachers, job demand is strong and expected to grow.



Can I DO With a

Liberal Arts Degree


Kate Lorenz,



Perhaps the most persistent -- and often most annoying -- question college students hear throughout their years (second only to “What’s your major?”) is “So what are you going to do with your major?” The truth, for many of them, is that they simply don’t know. And that is totally OK. While choosing a major will help you prepare for a career in a specific field, it can also provide a solid basis for pursuing a career in a seemingly dissimilar field. For example, history majors can go into government, journalism or even museum work, and it’s not unusual for theater majors to work in business. Before you think about what you’re going to do with your major, find out what you can you do with your major. Art: So daddy wasn’t thrilled when you announced that you were switching from pre-med to art history, eh? “At least I’ll be rich in spirit,” you offer as the smallest hints of tears replace the dollar signs in his eyes. But art majors aren’t necessarily destined to be starving artists. You can go into any number of fields, ranging from commercial art,media and photography to art therapy. If you’ve still got a place in your heart for scrubs, supplement your studies with psychology or counseling courses to pursue art therapy. If commercial art appeals to you, intern with a photographer, magazine or other media outlet and compile a portfolio as you go along. The same goes for studio art, wherein intern-

ing or volunteering for a museum will help you see the administrative side of this field. Biological Sciences: Lest you shy away from concentrating on the biological sciences (biology,microbiology, zoology, etc.) because you don’t want to go to grad school, know that there are plenty of career options for those with bachelor’s degrees in biology. Not only does an undergraduate degree prepare you for a career in the rapidlygrowing healthcare industry, it also qualifies you to work as a laboratory assistant, technician, technologist or research assistant. Should you feel the need to break out of the lab, you could also do non-technical work like writing, illustration, sales,photography and legislation by signing up for relevant electives, doing part-time work or interning. Psychology: Yet another major that seems to ensure that, unless you have a graduate degree, you’ll be reduced to spouting Freud to the patrons you serve at the local café after graduation. Not so. Psychology provides a strong liberal arts background, allowing graduates to pursue work in several fields like public relations, retail management, sales, market research, advertising and education. Again, it’s important to pursue outside interests in different fields, both to further your work experience and make contacts.

English: Majoring in English isn’t just for future teachers anymore. Those with a background in English have a variety of options when it comes to choosing their fields of work, including law,public relations, advertising, publishing and well, okay, teaching. English majors looking to work in law should obtain summer work at law firms and tweak their speech and debate skills. Picking up an LSAT prep book probably wouldn’t hurt, either. Foreign Language: Yes, you’ve taught all of your friends dirty words in three different languages, but what else can you do? Well, a lot, actually. For one thing, the government (including the FBI, CIA, Customs Service and the Library of Congress) is one of the largest employers of people with foreign language skills. Foreign language majors can also go into arts and entertainment by working at museums, book publishers and film companies, or into commerce and work at American firms abroad or international firms in the U.S. Travel, tourism, service and education are also popular industries for foreign language graduates. Try to become as accustomed to the culture of the language(s) you’re studying as possible, in any way possible, from studying or working abroad to renting foreign language movies and books.

Political Science: So you want to go into politics, but you’re neither an Austrian bodybuilder/movie star nor a former professional wrestler... that’s probably okay. In fact, some might say a more typical approach would be to supplement that political science major with participation in student government, a model United Nations or local political campaigns if they hope to go into government, law or politics. Other career options include journalism, non-profit work, business,broadcasting or education. A degree in political science can also be good preparation for postgraduate studies in psychology, law and business. Whatever your major, keep your options open by volunteering, interning, doing part-time work or taking classes in other areas that interest you. Involve yourself in community events and get to know local professionals who can give you contacts, advice and references. And the next time someone hassles you about what you’re going to do with your major, resist the urge to tell that person where you’d like to stick it; instead, say with every confidence that you have a variety of options to pursue, but you don’t want to narrow them down quite yet.




While a common question of those who are studying geography is, “What are you going to do with a degree in geography?,” there are actually many options and potential careers for geography majors. Geography is a major that teaches students a wide-range of useful skills for the marketplace. Employers value the wideranging computer, research, and analytical skills that geography students bring to work as employees. When job-hunting, it’s important to stress these skills you’ve gained during college. While there aren’t many job titles that are “geographer,” there are many types of positions that fit well with a degree in geography. Think about some of the options below as you begin your job search. Be sure to intern in any area of interests to get your foot in the door and gain valuable on-the-job experience. Your resume will be much more impressive if you have real world experience in the areas you’re applying for.



Urban Planner/Community Development Geography is a natural tie-in with urban or city planning. City planners work on zoning, land use, and new developments,

from a gas station renovation to the development of whole new sections of urban area. You’ll work with individual

property owners, developers, and other officials. If you’re interested in this area, be sure to take urban geography and urban planning classes. An internship with a city planning agency is essential experience for this type of work.

Environmental Management A plethora of environmental assessment, cleanup, and management companies exist throughout the world today. A geographer brings excellent skills for project management and the development of reports like environmental impact reports. It’s often a wide-open field with tremendous growth opportunities.

Demographer For the population geographer who loves demographic data, what can be more rewarding than becoming a demographer and working for state or federal agencies to help develop population estimates and present data? The U.S. Census Bureau is one of the few entities that actually has a position titled “Geographer.” Interning in a local planning agency will help in this area.

Writer/Researcher Undoubtedly during your college years you’ve spent time developing your writing skills and certainly as a geography major you know how to research! How about a career as a writer - you could be a science writer or a travel writer for a magazine or newspaper. The Freelance Writing site provides information to help you get started.

Marketing Along a similar vein of demography, marketing is a good career for those interested in taking demographic information and getting the word out to those who match the demographics you’re searching for. This is one of the more glamorous arenas a geographer can get involved in.

Cartographer For those with cartography course backgrounds may enjoy work as a cartographer. The news media, book publishers, atlas publishers, government agencies and others are looking for cartographers to help produce maps. This If you want to get your name out there, would likely require relocation. you could start by writing some great GIS Specialist volunteer guest articles for me and be City governments, county agencies, and published on this site. Let me know if other government agencies and private you’re interested and tell me a bit about groups are often in need of experienced yourself. GIS professionals. Coursework and internships in GIS are especially important. Teaching/Faculty Computer programming or engineering Becoming a high school or university geography instructor requires additional skills are very helpful in this arena - the education beyond your undergraduate more about computers and languages degree but it would certainly be you know, the better off you are. rewarding to instill your love of geography Climatologist with future geographers. Becoming a Agencies like the National Weather Service, geography professor will allow you to news media, the Weather Channel, and research the world of geography and add other government entities occasionally to the body of knowledge developed by need climatologist. Admittedly, these jobs geographers. usually go to those with meteorology Emergency Management degrees, a geographer with experience and vast coursework in meteorology and Emergency management is an underclimatology would definitely be an asset. explored field for geographers. Geography majors make great emergency managers. Transportation management They understand the interactions Like urban and city planning, there between humans and the environment, are opportunities in local government know about hazards and earth processes, but regional transit authorities or and can understand maps. Add in a shipping, logistics, and transportation bit of political acumen and leadership companies look kindly to someone skills and you have a great emergency with transportation geography in their manager. Get started in this field by taking background and good computer and hazard courses in geography, geology, analytical skills. and sociology and intern with a local emergency management agency or the Red Cross.

Librarian/Information Scientist Your research skills as a geographer apply particularly well to work as a librarian. If you want to help people navigate the world of information, this is a potential career for you. National Park Service Ranger Are you a physical geographer who needs to be outside and couldn’t even consider working in an office? Perhaps a career in the National Park Service is right up your alley? Real Estate Appraisal Real estate appraisers develop an opinion of value for a specific piece of property. The work involves research into appropriate market areas, the assemblage of pertinent data, and the use of various analytical techniques to provide an opinion that reflects all pertinent market evidence. This multidisciplinary field incorporates aspects from geography, economics, finance, environmental planning, and law. A solid foundation in geography is essential to a real estate appraiser’s success and typical appraisal tools include aerial photos, topographic maps, GIS, and GPS.




things you can do with an


An English degree is a broad and versatile degree which offers graduates a wide variety of career paths to follow. With an emphasis on communication and the written word, English majors learn to research, analyze and interpret information. They are encouraged to be critical and creative while exploring the many cultures of the world around them as well as the cultures that have come before them. English majors also study the history of the English language along with the beginnings of the 12


written word. They learn how and interviewing skills must be top language has developed into the way notch. we use words today and how it may most fields, it is important to change in the future. write and speak clearly and to see things from different perspectives. The following is from an article recently published in the New York A graduate with an English degree Times: who tailors those strengths to a particular job description can make “Companies are also seeking a strong case for being hired. evidence of communication and writing skills, analytical ability and An understanding of the human teamwork... condition gained through great literature can be helpful in can’t be casual about your job professions like social work…” search... your résumé, cover letter


Writer/Author/Journalist - A Natural With An English Degree The most obvious career path is writing whether it be creative, article writing, or journalistic. An English degree gives the writer a strong foundation on which to build a writing career. The new writer can learn a great deal by studying the works of established writers. Great fiction is the workbook of the novice writer and every book you read will teach you something about your own writing. An English Degree Can Prepare You For A Career In Television/ movies/radio

venues including manuscript and online editing. Editors are often proofreaders and ghostwriters as well and are needed in the business world as well as the publishing world.

daily basis, Librarians need a good understanding of literature, and also need the ability to research and analyze data. Business Communications With Your English Degree

An English Degree Gives You The The skills acquired as an English Skills To Be An Effective Teacher major are invaluable in the business Another obvious path for English world. Writing and communicating majors is teaching. Those with coherently, researching and a BA in English can teach at the interpreting information and critical elementary and secondary level. thinking are all valuable assets for Further education is needed for the successful business person. teaching at a higher level such as universities and colleges. Public relations

The field of public relations is Skills Learned With Your English based on effective communication An English major leaves college Degree Will Prepare You For A through both oral and the written with the knowledge to pursue Career In Law word. many creative writing endeavors An English degree can be a good including producing and writing for building block to the pre-education Research analyst television, movies and radio. of the law student. The ability to Researching information and research and analyze information knowing how to effectively apply can be invaluable. Also what lawyer it to the real world are skills Technical Writing With Your wouldn’t benefit from the capacity learned through the English degree English Degree to write and articulate well and be program. An offshoot of the creative writer adept at proper word usage with the would by technical writing which includes grant and proposal writing. facility to communicate effectively. TEN SKILLS ENGLISH MAJORS The English major can chose the GRADUATE WITH. concentration of the major such as Legal assistant •Ability to organize thoughts, ideas and materials creative writing, technical writing These same proficiency of research •Ability to analyze texts and interpret or teaching that best fits the desired and information investigation can their meaning career path. be applied to the job of assistant to •Ability to argue positions effectively •Ability to analyze the written word an attorney. •Ability to write in an articulate manner English Majors Make Great •Ability to research and explain the results Editors Become A Librarian With Your •Working knowledge of grammar The study of written language, English Degree and vocabulary word usage and sentence structure •Ability to be a creative thinker An English degree is a good gives the English major the •Ability to critically observe the world foundation for library studies. expertise to edit the work of others. around them Working with the written word on a Expert editing is needed in many •Ability to effectively communicate by listening to and questioning data





Over the past few decades teaching abroad has become a career choice for many native English speakers. Teaching abroad offers an opportunity to not only see the world, but to also get to know local cultures and customs. As with any profession, teaching abroad can be rewarding if approached in the right spirit and with your eyes open.

are from the UK and interested in teaching abroad on the continent - it’s no problem at all. Teaching Abroad - Asia

you are interested in an online course, you can take a quick look at my review of i-to-i aimed at those interested in teaching abroad. However, many people in the profession feel that the online certificates are not nearly as valuable as certificates taught on site. Personally, I think there are valid arguments that can be made for both types of courses.

Teaching abroad in Asia generally offers many more opportunities to US citizens because of high demand. There are also a number of job placement agencies that will help you find work in teaching abroad in Asia. As always, there are some horror stories out there, so beware and make sure to find a reputable agent. Teaching Abroad - Canada, UK, Australia and the USA

It’s been my experience that the United States offers the fewest job opportunities of any of the native English speaking countries. That might Finally, one important aspect is that be because of difficult visa restrictions. many of these certificate providers also In any case, if you are teaching abroad offer help in job placement. This can be in a native English speaking country, a very important factor when deciding you’ll find opportunities abound for which course is right for you in your special summer courses. As always, efforts to begin teaching abroad. rates aren’t usually that high, and in some cases teaching abroad also means Teaching Abroad - Job being responsible for a certain number Opportunities of student activities such as field trips and various sporting activities. Once you have received a teaching certificate you can begin teaching Teaching Abroad - Long Term abroad in a number of countries. It’s best to take a look at some of the more If you are interested in teaching abroad important job boards to check out the for more than just the short term, opportunities. As you will quickly find you should consider further training. out, teaching abroad doesn’t always In Europe the TESOL diploma and pay very well, but there are a number Cambridge DELTA diploma are of positions that will help out with Teaching Abroad - Training popular options to deepen your housing and transport. Make sure to teaching expertise. If you are interested Teaching abroad is open to almost check out these ESL / EFL job board in teaching abroad at a university level, anybody who has a bachelor’s degree. If sites when you start applying for a master’s degree in ESOL is certainly you are interested in teaching abroad to teaching abroad. advisable. broaden the horizons, there’s really no need to worry about getting a master’s Teaching Abroad - Europe Finally, one of the best long-term degree in ESOL, TESOL. However, it is opportunities for teaching abroad is important to acquire a TEFL or CELTA Teaching abroad requires different in English for Specific Purposes. This documentation for different countries. certificate when teaching abroad. The is often known as business English. For example, if you are interested in providers of these certificates usually These jobs are often on-site in various teaching abroad in Europe, it’s very offer a basic month long course that workplaces and often offer better pay. difficult to get a working permit if teaches you the ropes of teaching They are also much harder to find. you are not a citizen of the European abroad. While teaching abroad, you may want Union. Of course, if you are an to move in this direction if you are American interested in teaching abroad There are also online certificates to interested in teaching abroad as a and are married to a European Union prepare you for teaching abroad. If career choice. member, that’s not a problem. If you 15



Career Services Liberal Arts Magazine Spring 2012  

Career Services Liberal Arts Magazine Spring 2012