What ELSE Can I do with my Major?!

So...you have almost completed a degree, and you won the lucky ticket of graduating during one of the toughest economic times of the past 50 years. (Sorry.) But there ARE a lot of options out there if you are willing to diversify your goals. (Check out other blog postings on this topic.) For example I just found an article in Spotlight Online (a NACE publication), that lists emerging careers. (According to the article, "an emerging occupation is one that has been recognized in small numbers, but continues to grow.") If these "cutting edge" careers aren't your cup of tea, check out the more traditional list of careers related to your major here.

Accent reduction specialists—A growing speech pathology specialty, sometimes people go into this through English as a Second Language training. Applications for accent reduction specialists include helping someone who is unable to make a presentation because of an accent, or training customer service representatives to speak perfect English without a strong accent.

Linguistics—There are many emerging occupations within linguistics. For instance, some companies are looking for employees to name their products and services. Because of globalization, brand naming is important to ensure a name is acceptable in many languages. Globalization requires that products and services be delivered in local languages. It also has applications associated with national security, interpreting, and international business.

Cultural analysts/linguists—One offshoot of this career is accompanying military forces and analyzing media content in a country to report implications of what’s reported and its influences on the local population.

Human terrain analysts—These professionals conduct primary ethnographic and social science research with local leaders in a country and translate conversations and documents to interpret local or regional culture.

Leadership analysts—Professionals in this field are used by the CIA, among others, to produce assessments of foreign leaders and officials and help key U.S. national officials to deal with their foreign counterparts.

Child life specialists—Professionals who are trained to help children and families cope with traumatic situations, such as hospitalization or violence.

Patent analysts—These professionals help local companies determine how new concepts or products are unique and marketable. (These jobs are also available in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.)

Creative perfumers—Creative perfumers evaluate the odors of chemicals for everything from expensive perfumes to deodorants, according to a client’s goal for its scent. Creative perfumers are trained to create fragrances during a rigorous training process that requires them to study hundreds of natural and synthetic materials.

Security engineers (federal job)—Security engineers create analytical and physical security systems that foresee and prevent future security problems.

Transportation geography researchers—These professionals apply geographic information systems to work on existing and new transportation networks. They also interact with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct vulnerability assessments.

Genomics—This group of professions is centered on using DNA in research. For example, clinical genomics analysts can use DNA for personalized medicine, to increase the likelihood that treatment will be effective for an individual.

Nurse anesthetists—These nurses collaborate with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals to administer anesthesia.

Health informatics specialists—Health informatics specialists work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to use electronic medical records and computerized programs to guide their diagnoses and treatment plans.

Another article from Yahoo! Hotjobs, listed what they called "best kept secret careers," that you may also want to consider:

Data Miners use statistics to evaluate and predict future customer behavior. Career Training: A bachelor's degree in information science, computer science, or management information systems (MIS) may be an asset in this field. Training in statistics is a plus for data miners.

Environmental Engineer: Solve coal pollution problems and develop better hybrid cars. Career Training: A bachelor's degree in engineering is often a basic requirement for entry-level positions. A degree program might involve special training in environmental engineering, as well as courses in mathematics, science, and computers.

Increasingly, businesses deal with clients, companies, and contacts all across the globe. This creates new needs for trained professionals with specialization in the global market, whether in business, marketing, or social relations.

Accent-Reduction Specialist: According to U.S. News and World Report, accent-reduction specialist is the number one best-kept-secret career. Many businesses today deal with contacts around the country and the world. Corporations increasingly need accent-reduction specialists to train employees (from phone representatives in India to corporate managers in Alabama) in unaffected speech. Career Training: Speech therapists or ESL teachers are most likely to hold this job. A master's degree and licensure in speech-language pathology or ESL training are common requirements.

Surgical Technologist: Also known as "scrubs" or "operating room technicians," surgical technologists assist in the OR before, during, and after an operation. They play a key role in the functioning of an operating room by preparing equipment, the OR area, and patients for procedures. Career Training: The common path to becoming a surgical technologist is to complete a nine- to 24-month training program resulting in a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree.

Auto Mechanic: Job growth for mechanics is above average, due not only to economic factors, but also because of a growing population (meaning more drivers and more cars on the road) and current mechanics expected to retire. Career Training: Vocational school or community college after high school is often necessary for auto mechanics. Earning a certificate or associate's degree may make job competition easier.

Resources: NACE Spotlight Online 2009, April 1, 2009.

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