Rhode Island Monthly Higher Learning 2015 : Page 14

z REALITY CHECK continued from page 13 military-related career, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport provides paid summer internships for high school students. Unpaid internships also provide valuable experiences in a variety of fields. For teens enamored with animals, reptiles and birds, Roger Williams Park Zoo hosts summer interns. Save the Bay offers internships every summer to aspiring environmentalists and marine biologists. Museums offer opportunities for students to be docents, and local newspapers (online and print) often welcome unpaid contributing writers. If being in a laboratory is more your speed, you can opt for a more formal research program on a college campus. Boston University has a science and engineering research program, and Stony Brook University in New York offers summer research opportunities in math, science and engineering. Some may view this focus on exposing teens to a variety of careers a condemna-ARE LIBERAL ARTS DEGREES DYING? tion of a liberal arts education. On the contrary, liberal arts majors also need the opportunity to try out professions and understand what options exist in the real working world. In fact, studies do not support the idea that liberal arts majors have difficulty finding jobs or earn less than their technical and pre-professional counterparts over an extended period of time. Earnings for liberal arts and humanities majors remain strong, according to a report titled, “How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths,” from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The study found that although humanities and social-science majors have a lower starting salary when just out of college compared to those with pre-professional and professional degrees (business, health sciences, engineering, etc.), the disparity bal-anced out over time. Immediately following graduation, humanities and social science majors made an average of $26,271 in 2010 and 2011. This was more than science and math majors, but less than engineering, pre-professional and professional graduates. At peak earning ages (ages fifty-six to sixty), humanities and social-science majors earned $66,185 — that’s $2,000 more than professional and pre-professional majors of the same age. This may be because liberal arts majors are more inclined to pursue a graduate degree sometime after college. The truth is that there are thousands of careers out there to which students have no exposure. Students often say, ‘I know I am good in math, but what can I do with that?’ The answer is there are dozens of careers involving math, aside from the often mentioned field of accounting. It just takes time and focus to identify students’ strengths, interests and possible majors and careers. Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed., is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC, a Providence-based educational consulting firm that provides strategic, individual counseling for college-bound students. HL On Newsstands Now! EVER Y THING Y OU NEED T O PLAN Y OUR PERFE C T LOC AL WEDDING ! Visit EngagedRI.com for interactive planning forms and blogs and to post your engagement. Connect with us on social media EngagedRIM RIMonthlyEngaged EngagedRI 14 RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I HIGHER LE ARNING I 2015

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