10 Hot Classes for Success in the Year 2020

Imagine the places you could go if only you knew what classes could take you there…

A zombie apocalypse might just destroy civilization before the year 2020. Hey, plenty of crazy things happen every day. If the zombie virus goes viral, only the best and brightest are going to have a chance at survival. Just in case, we’ve compiled a list of classes that you should take now to ensure you’re place in post-zombie apocalyptic society in 2020.

  1. Social Media Marketing, San Francisco State University

So knowing how to use social media in a way that benefits the company you work for may not be exactly breaking news to anyone. Almost every person currently looking for a job or working towards a degree of realizes the importance of social networking and promotion. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious class. With social media, more is more, and increasingly employers are expecting a higher level of knowledge when it comes to it.

  1. iPhone Application Development, Stanford

More and more these days, companies are being faced with the challenge of catering to a growing population of smartphone-owning consumers. These consumers require faster, easier, and more personalized ways to connect with any given business at any given time. Smartphone apps are the biggest trend right now that allow businesses 24/7 contact with consumers around the world, and like social media, it is beginning to fall to every employee to know how these apps work and how to make them better.

  1. Study Abroad

Technically, studying abroad is not a single course one can take to learn skills future employers might find noteworthy. However, seeing the world teaches students how to respect cultures other than their own, how to work with people who don’t come from the same background, and how to work in a foreign environment. All of these skills are increasingly necessary in a globalized world, where one day you could be talking to someone in Idaho and the next, someone in Switzerland.11-professor-graphics-hula

  1. Organizational Behavior, Georgia Tech

This course provides an introduction to how the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations affects organizational effectiveness. AKA it teaches students how to better conduct themselves in a business environment so that they are as productive as possible, while also teaching future managers how to make their company more lucrative.

  1. Gender, Leadership, and Management, Harvard

This class is focused on leadership and management from a gender-based perspective. Issues covered include leadership styles and their impact, understanding power, ethical decision making, workplace stereotypes, differences in communication, and approaches to teamwork. All of these skills are and will continue to be vitally important in the modern workplace.

  1. Foreign Language

Again, not one specific course, but still important to employers of expanding businesses. Just the fact that you know a language, even if it is not one the company currently needs to use, can be a positive sign to an employer that you can put in the work necessary to learn a foreign language down the road.

  1. Business Writing, University of Notre Dame

This course is designed to help people in the business world improve upon their writing skills. A common problem in the workplace is that employees cannot even draft polite emails, much less professional presentations. “For whatever reason, we are finding the business writing skill-set to be missing,” said Paula Hill-Strasser, an adjunct business professor at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. When preparing for a future career, students should take some time to hone their writing skills in the workplace that can not only just help them get a job, but also ensure that they keep it.

  1. Corporate Communication, Dartmouth

This mini-course explores the changing needs for communication in the business environment. It covers the ever growing environment for business, media relations, financial communications, reputation management and crisis communication.

  1. Peer Advising Program, University of Pennsylvania

This program, recently set up at Pennsylvania, is run by older undergraduate students for younger freshmen and sophomores. “While it’s great to see professional advisors and faculty, there are certain things that only a student can articulate,” Director of Academic Affairs and Advising for Wharton Scott Romeika said. Early responses have led to more informed students, who in turn make better course decisions.

  1. How to Develop “Breakthrough” Products and Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This course teaches students how to systematically create ‘breakthrough’ products and services for a company—a huge trend for businesses everywhere trying to find the next big thing. Shouldn’t that next big thing be you?

Content derived from the following article:


How to WOW the colleges with your resume experiences

As you consider college and start to narrow down your list of favorite schools, it’s time to work on your applications, cover letters and resume. Your resume should reflect, highlight and summarize your relevant skills and experience as it pertains to your college major, school of choice and your character. However, many college bound students get stuck on filling in the experience section of their resume; often claiming not to have any experience. Here are 5 tips to keep you moving if you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Any experience can be applicable if you consider it carefully. For instance, babysitting requires skills such as; time management, leadership and attention to detail. After all, it’s a challenge and requires skill to get kids to bed on time, influence them to do what you need them to do and all while keeping them from harming themselves or siblings. Mowing lawns, cleaning bathrooms and cooking all require similar skills as well as skills like operating machinery, customer service, meeting deadlines, planning and preparation. Get creative – break down your experience into general terms. Have a parent or another adult help you – most adults have been doing these kinds of tasks for years and can easily help you translate household skills into practical, general skills worthy of listing on your resume.4-professor-graphics-lawn-mow
  2. Find a part time or summer job or internship. Of course, if you have the opportunity to intern or work during summers or part time after school, you’ll have additional skills to list on your resume. Get online and check out local companies for opportunities that will work with your schedule. Check online job boards or walk into businesses and ask to speak with a manager to find out if they’re hiring. Ask friends, family, etc. to keep you in mind for opportunities and follow up with them regularly. Don’t get too hung up on what you’re doing as much as getting some work experience. Hard work, reliability and commitment are highly valued qualities and will translate well to any situation. Research internships online – now’s your chance to work on your research skills. It’s best to make a plan and stick with it when looking for a job or internship. Commit to 30-60 minutes a day after homework to research, network, follow up, etc.
  3. See a need and fill it. Do you know how to clean a house, mow a lawn, wash a car, care for animals or teach a skill or sport? Ask around and find out who needs one of these services. Put together a simple proposal that speaks to how you could fulfill a need – place an ad at your church, local newspaper or café to generate an interest in your skill or service. Volunteer at a daycare, animal shelter or nursing home. Get creative.
  4. Job search skills are valuable additions to your resume. Don’t forget about the skills and experience you learned and used to land a job. Maybe you talked with your parents, their friends and relatives and asked them to connect you with a work/internship opportunity – skills such as networking, follow up, research, writing, etc.
  5. Record your experience for a valuable resume. Take some time to think about the skills and experience you’ve used and developed to find and do a job and list them on your resume. If you’re working for someone, ask if they have a job description and take the job qualifications and duties from there and list on your resume. If there isn’t a job description – think about the work you are doing and write down what types of skills and experience have come in handy for you to do this job. Perhaps you could write a job description or ad for the job as an exercise in listing skills and experience you’ve gained, used or had in each of your jobs.

However you decide to go about adding to your skills and experience section on your resume; do so with thoughtfulness and creativity. Problem solving, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit are also great qualifications to have on your resume. Your resume is your first impression as well as the hallmark of your college career and beyond.

Marine Biology at The Evergreen State College

Are you a passionately independent thinker? If so, The Professor has news that will pique your interest.

Here in Olympia, Washington, The Evergreen State College issues no grades and has no course-of-study requirements. It’s a place where community-minded, independent spirits excel.

Instead of majors, Evergreen has “area of emphasis.” Students choose a traditional area of study (such as psychology or history) or a tailor their own degrees. Examples of student-designed courses include Media and Culture, Social Justice, and Somatic and Consciousness Studies.

One popular area of emphasis is marine biodiversity, offered by the Biology and Life Sciences department. Students learn about marine life, the sea as a habitat, how organisms live in and adapt to their environments, oceanography, field sampling methods, statistics, laboratory techniques, and data analysis. They design, write, lead, and analyze research projects that last several semesters.

After studying marine biodiversity, graduates often become employed in laboratories, universities, industries, or with non-profits. Many pursue teaching certificates and become science teachers. Others go on to careers in medicine or law. Evergreen claims a high success rate in placing marine biology graduates in professional and graduate schools.

To earn a degree, students complete 180 quarter units, similar to the unit requirements at typical college. Here, however, they choose which classes they’d like to take.

At Evergreen there are no grades. Instead, academic progress is assessed via narrative evaluations. The reasoning behind narrative evaluations is that they are descriptive and reveal the thinking processes behind students’ work. For each class, professors write evaluations, and students write self-evaluations. If they get stuck on this sometimes daunting task, the Writing Center is ready to assist by breaking down the self-evaluation process into manageable steps.

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With so many decisions to make at Evergreen, students often consult the Career Development Center, which offers structured approaches to career planning. The center assists both students beginning their studies and those about to graduate. It holds weekly “Job Club” and “Resume Review” workshops.

Evergreen has a specific set of expectations for students and graduates. Among them: assume responsibility for your own work;

participate collaboratively and responsibly in society; master communication and listening skills; and think critically, creatively, and independently.

Several course titles reflect these campus community values: Consciousness Studies, Community Studies, and Outdoor Leadership, just to name a few. Also reflecting these values are facilities such as an organic farm, community garden, and community-run bike shop.

Olympia, Washington, Evergreen’s home city, is an hour from the Pacific Coast and within day-trip distance to Seattle, Portland, and Mount Rainier. When not in class, students can be found exploring nearby woods or Puget Sound, running the campus newspaper and radio station, taking yoga or tai chi classes, or scaling the on-campus rock climbing wall. They also might be found enjoying Olympia‘s film society, farmers market, or food co-op.

Evergreen is a public liberal arts college with about 4,000 undergrads. Admissions are rolling, and the acceptance rate is about 98 percent. It’s ranked 27th on the US News & World Report Best Colleges report and in the Princeton Review’s Best 378 Colleges.

True to its enthusiastically independent spirit, The Evergreen State College, whose sports teams are represented by Speedy the geoduck — an enormous clam native to the region — consistently ranks on “weirdest mascot” lists.

To learn more about The Evergreen State College University’s application requirements and deadlines for marine biodiversity and other areas of emphasis, please visit www.evergreen.edu.

Introverts and College: Survive and Thrive

Personality type is important to consider when deciding on the college or university that is right for you, especially if you tend toward being introverted. It’s worth it to really think about yourself as an actual student at a particular university or college – to imagine how your natural personality type would approach your studies and your interactions with other people: students and professors alike.

More about you

Being introverted does not necessarily imply you are shy. It does mean that you are likely to naturally turn your focus inwards and, therefore, exert a great deal of energy when you have to deal with large groups of people.  It’s important to think about what this means for your choice of college. For example, the thrill and excitement that often characterizes a large, sport’s loving university means that, in principle, students who are more extroverted (gain energy from social interaction-focus attention on outside world) might find this type of environment more stimulating. On the other hand, as an introvert, you may like the idea of a large, exciting student body, but be aware that to share in this excitement, you may be going against your natural way of preferring to retire to your inner world—to recharge your batteries.


Class size and professor/student interaction

Here’s something to think about: As an introvert, would you feel comfortable going up to your professor amidst the large crowd of students already waiting in line?  Would you be okay with not getting personalized feedback from your professor?  Consider that at a large university, your natural introverted need for depth and discussion cannot necessarily be met.  It could mean a year or two going by—before you make it into smaller classes and, by that time, you may have already grown personally frustrated with yourself and the school you have chosen. But keep in mind that you are in very good company. A third to a half of the American population leans toward introversion!

You can and will be successful in college! The world needs you, so go forth bravely and find the college environment that best meets your needs.

Resources and tools for the introvert

–      Here is a very practical look at how introverts can especially survive the beginning of their freshman year.

–      This USA Today article takes a closer look at the perceptions of an introvert in college.

–      Here’s an article about the loneliness and people problems introverts can experience at college.

–      Here is a shortened Meyers-Briggs assessment tool and snapshot of the 8 personality types.

–      A pithy and very helpful article about surviving and thriving in college as an introvert.

Sociology and Anthropology at University of Redlands

The Professor has landed in Redlands, California, a lush, temperate city of about 70,000, nestled between Southern California’s urban areas, ski-mountain destinations, and theme parks, all of which are close enough for a day trip or weekend getaway. In the midst of all this natural and cultural wonder, Redlands is a livable city of historic charm and exurban convenience. No wonder it’s nicknamed the Jewel of the Inland Empire.

With such a multitude of vantage points, Redlands seems a fitting place from which to embark on a course of study that aims to “understand humanity in all its social and cultural diversity.” Those are words from the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Redlands, which confers majors or minors in “SOAN,” a degree combining sociology and anthropology. Students in the program learn to understand and analyze social structures, institutions, and processes. In an effort to encourage SOAN students to be responsible citizens, the department emphasizes developing a solid understanding of inequality and prejudice and urges students to challenge stereotypes.

Many SOAN majors become researchers or work with social scientists and urban planners. Others work in education, government, or business, often with a mission of solving social, economic, or environmental problems. SOAN graduates also typically pursue careers in social work, medicine, urban planning, or museums.

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The Professor found the views on Redlands’ picturesque, 160-acre campus quintessentially Californian. The historic Memorial Chapel, for instance, is framed by snow-capped mountains and fronted with a spacious lawn known at The Quad, shaded by oaks and bordered with palm trees. For more up-close glimpses of campus, visit the online, interactive Bulldog Cam, or watch a very inviting hip-hop campus-tour video.

The University of Redlands is a private school with about 4,500 students. It has an active athletics program and a busy schedule of music, theater, community, and special events. Students practice the university’s “learning by doing” philosophy in over 120 clubs and organizations, where they pursue sports, fine arts, culture, politics, social justice, or religion. Many students find lifelong friendships by joining the school’s active Greek organizations.

Several programs, departments, and projects at Redlands contribute to the university’s environmentalist efforts, characterized by LEED-certified buildings, a comprehensive recycling program, and a campus farm. And, consistent with its Earth-friendly focus, the university offers degree programs in environmental science, policy, and business.

Redlands ranks on US News & World Report Best Colleges and on the Forbes list of top colleges.

To learn more about University of Redlands application requirements and deadlines for Sociology/Anthropology and other programs, please visit www.redlands.edu.

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