March 13th, 2014 by

We stumbled upon this infographic that illustrates a great reminder that being a person of science and technology does not necessarily mean that you have to ignore any creative side you may have.

Do you find yourself having to choose between a graphic design major OR an engineering major? Do you feel like you can’t be both?


Embrace your left and right sides of your brain to create amazing things!

> To find more info about careers and majors, check out


Major Monday — Advertising

March 3rd, 2014 by

iStock_000017985355MediumAre you someone who notices the different techniques and trends utilized in commercials? Do you appreciate effective design and color schemes? Have you ever wanted to study psychology? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider advertising as your college major! Advertising majors learn how to promote and sell products/services through the production of messages.

According to the College Board, an advertising education usually leads to a bachelor’s degree. Consider taking classes like speech, journalism and AP Psychology in high school in order to prepare for the major. In college, you will be studying different parts of the advertising process including creative strategy, advertising copywriting and design, advertising research and consumer behavior.

What to know before you apply
Before you decide on a college, find out what kinds of internships or job shadows are available. Will you be contributing to market research, copywriting, or art/design? Depending on your personal interests, this can be a crucial part of your education. Also, ask about the professors’ average experience. Are they professionals in the field or experts in theory and academia? Their past careers will influence your future career opportunities. Finally, research the type of software and computer applications required for the program. If you need to buy certain programs, you’ll need to factor that into your financial plans.

Colleges offering related majors
• Five Towns College: Dix Hills, N.Y.
• Full Sail University: Winter Park, Fla.
• Hawai’i Pacific University: Honolulu, Hawai’i
• Monroe Community College: Rochester, N.Y.
• Pennsylvania College of Technology: Williamsport, Pa.

A degree in advertising will prepare you for careers in art direction, graphic design and copywriting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, art directors earned an average salary of $95,000 per year in 2011, while graphic designers earned $48,690. Copywriters earned an annual average of $78,250 in 2011.

For more information about careers visit!


Major Monday — Electrical Engineering Technology

February 17th, 2014 by

electronic engineerAre you interested in hands-on work? Do you want a career in a technical field? Do you have a preternatural understanding of electronics? If so, electrical engineering technology could be the perfect major for you! Electrical engineering technology students learn the design, drafting and technical skills necessary for putting engineering theories into practice.

According to the College Board, this major usually leads to a certificate or an associate’s degree. If you are serious about the major, prepare for it by taking classes like pre-calculus, physics, and computer-assisted drafting in high school. College courses in this field include technical writing, fundamentals of electricity, and electrical technology design.

What to know before you apply
Before you decide on a certain program, decide whether you want to a certificate or an associate’s degree. There will be different requirements and job prospects for each path. It is also beneficial to pick a school that prepares you for a four-year program, so you can easily transfer if you want. Finally, make sure that the school offers you a co-op or internship.  This will give you real-world experience and an advantage during the job search.

Colleges offering this field of study
Alfred State College: Alfred, N.Y.
Everest Colleges, Institutes & Universities: more than 100 campuses
Hampton University: Hampton, Va.
Lawrence Technological University: Southfield, Mich.
Pennsylvania College of Technology: Williamsport, Pa.

An electrical engineering technology education will prepare you for careers in computer hardware engineering, science technology, and electrical engineering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer hardware engineers earned an average of $101,360 in 2011, while science technicians earned a range from $36,150 to $67,520, depending on their specialty. Electrical engineers earned a yearly average of $89,200 in 2011.

For more information about careers visit!


Major Monday — Robotics Technology

September 30th, 2013 by

Touching virtual hexagonsAre you interested in engineering?  Do you enjoy learning about new technologies?  If so, you should consider majoring in robotics technology!  Robotics majors learn basic engineering skills in order to create and test robots.

According to the College Board, a robotics major often leads to an associate’s degree. However, bachelor’s degrees are also offered in some programs. In order to prepare for a robotics program, consider taking algebra, trigonometry and physics in high school.  Typical college courses for the major include electronics, design and development and robotics theory.

What to know before you apply
Before deciding on a certain college or program, you should know whether you will be earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.  This can make a difference in the classes you take and the opportunities after college, so make sure your college offers the education you want.  Also, you should be aware of the labs you will be using on campus.  Are they up to date and open at convenient times?  Finally, you should find out whether your school will help you find internships or jobs after graduation.

A degree in robotics technology will prepare you for careers including electrical engineers, science technicians and mechanical engineers.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers earn an average yearly salary of $89,200.  Science technicians earn between $36,150 and $67,520, depending on their field.  Mechanical engineers earn an average of $83,550.

> For more information about choosing a career check out


Pinterest love

September 26th, 2013 by

I don’t know about you, but I love Pinterest. It isn’t new, but I feel like many times I discover something new on there. If you haven’t started to follow NextStepU on Pinterest yet, hop on over and start to follow all or some of our board. Here are a few of my favorite boards:

Articles: We pin articles from NextStepU and elsewhere. Great reading material on a variety of topics.

Scholarship Information: This board is chock full of scholarships that are available for students of all kinds.

Major & Career Ideas: Not sure what your life after high school or college looks like? Discover some majors or careers you might not have known about.

Accessorize Your Day: This is a fun board! Lots of fun and pretty things to add to your wardrobe or dorm room.

This is just a sampling of all of the fun that we have going on! For now, I’ll leave you with this recent pin:



Great advice, right?!

I’ll be looking for new followers on our Pinterest page. Do you want to be a “NextStepU Recommended Pinner?” Just follow our boards and I’ll scour your pins for great ideas and share them here on our blog.

First up, I have to recommend you all follow, Lauren Lasher. She has a College & Beyond Board (which we love), a fun feminine style, and a Too Funny board. Check her out!

Follow us on Pinterest and we could recommend you next!



Are you in the right place? Top prospects for job hunting

June 19th, 2013 by

iStock_000000310886We know that choosing your college and major has a lot to do with what job you’ll have at the end of your education. Do you plan on living in the right place to get that dream job you’ve been working so hard to be skilled in? Does the company you’ve been eyeing even have job openings available for new graduates?

According to Direct Employers, a nonprofit HR consortium, these are the top 10 lists for job openings by state, city and company.

Top States with Most Job Openings:
1. California (
2. Texas (
3. New York  (
4. Pennsylvania (
5. Florida (
6. Illinois (
7. Ohio (
8. Virginia (
9. Georgia (
10. Minnesota (

Top Cities with Most Job Openings:
1. New York, NY  (
2. Houston, TX (
3. Chicago, IL (
4. Atlanta, GA (
5. San Francisco, CA (
6. Dallas, TX   (
7. Washington, DC (
8. Boston, MA (
9. San Diego, CA (
10. Los Angeles, CA (

Top Companies with the Most Job Openings:
1. Pizza Hut  (
2. CVS Caremark Stores (
3. McDonald’s (
4. CyberCoders (
5. Home Depot (
6. Kforce (
7. IBM (
8. Deloitte (
9. Edward Jones (
10. JPMorgan Chase (

How do your prospects look? Are you setting yourself up for a good job market and excellent chances at landing a job?

Best of luck to you all!

– > For more information and articles on careers, check out


Major Monday — Social Work

June 17th, 2013 by

iStock_000008214004SmallDo you enjoy working with and helping other people? Are you interested in a job that tries to make the world a better place? Do you like learning about societal problems and institutions? If you answered yes to these questions, you might want to consider social work as a possible major! Social work students learn to practice their skills in many settings including hospitals, the criminal justice system and child welfare agencies.

According to the College Board, studying social work often leads to a Bachelor’s Degree. In order to prepare for social work at the college level, consider taking classes like sociology, AP Psychology, English and Spanish during high school. Some typical college classes for social work majors are human behavior in the social environment, social work research, values and ethics and social and economic justice.

What to know before you apply
Before you choose a particular school, you should know whether the social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Also, you should be aware of the types of agencies you will choose from when you need to complete practicums. This might help you decide what you want to do after you graduate. Finally, you should find out whether your college will help you find work after you complete your degree.

While social work will most likely lead you to a career as a social worker, there are differences in specialties and salaries. Medical health social workers earned an average yearly salary of $50,500 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mental health and substance abuse social workers earned $42,650 per year in 2011. Finally, child, family and school social workers earned an average yearly income of $44,410, but those who worked in elementary or secondary schools earned an average of $58,010.

For more information about choosing a career, visit


Your summer job could be a real snoozer

June 5th, 2013 by

Rachel-graphicIs finding a summer job proving to be a bit harder than you thought it would be?

One retailer is actually looking for workers who are willing to sleep on the job.  The mattress retailer Sleepy’s announced an available position called the “Snooze Director.”  According to their representative, this position will require someone who “will be responsible for testing mattresses, blogging about sleep trends, and vlogging various sleep positions.”

What, you may ask, is the necessary experience one needs to be a Snooze Director?  They need to have “at least 18 years of sleeping experience.”  Adam Blank, Sleepy’s Chief Operating Officer, says that the company wants this position to go “to someone passionate about the importance of sleep.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I think this sounds awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself “passionate” about sleep, but I definitely look forward to it and want more of it. Constant classes, studying, homework and, in some cases, actual jobs have a way of wearing you down.

Anyways, this got me thinking about summer jobs and the varying degrees of their difficulty.  After all, this is the time to start thinking about what to do over the summer.  My first real job was working in the offices of an art museum. I look back on that summer fondly.  I had responsibilities and work; mostly errands for my supervisor and updating the museum donors’ information in a new computer.  In short, it was the perfect summer job.  It hit that sweet spot between constant stress and constant boredom.  I had work every day, but not enough to completely overwhelm me. It was a great experience, and might even rival Sleepy’s as the best job ever. Maybe not. That would be really hard.

In contrast, the worst summer job I ever had was after my freshman year, at a department store. This job was not hard, per se. But I did not like it. The customers were often rude, the hours were long and the job was boring. And if a coupon wouldn’t scan correctly, it was a complete nightmare for me. I actually got to the point where I looked forward to restocking clothes and shoes, just because it was work that would not get me yelled at.

Summer jobs, like any job, can be the best or worst experiences. Sleepy’s seems to be on the good side of the spectrum, but there are plenty more jobs out there that can happily pass your time.

What about you? Does anyone have summer job stories (good or bad) they want to share? Is anyone going to go for the Snooze Director position? Leave a comment!

— By Rachel M.


Major Monday: Public Administration

April 8th, 2013 by

iStock_000008214004SmallDo you want to help people and work toward solving issues that society faces today? Are you able to see all sides of an issue and maintain a common ground between people on opposing sides? With a major in Public Administration you could end up changing various communities for the better!

Education: According to The College Board this major is complete with a Bachelor’s degree. To make the transition into this major easier it will be helpful to take high school courses in AP Microeconomics, AP U.S. Government and AP U.S. History. These will carry over well into typical Public Administration college courses, which may include: public policy, economic development and structure of state government.

What to know before you apply: It’s important to be sure that the schools you are looking to apply to have a public administration major. Look to see what the program’s emphasis is on. Does the major focus on government careers or nonprofit administration? If it focuses on one, does it offer any classes for the other? Also find out if there are internship positions available at local organizations that you may be interested in.

Salary: This major allows you to choose a career in various areas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, legislators earned an average salary of $38,860 in 2011, while U.S. senators and representatives earned an average of $174,000. Careers in public advocacy are also an option and pay varies on experience.

Looking for more information about choosing a career? Check out


Highest-paying careers in the U.S.

November 8th, 2012 by

Still on the fence about what you want to major in? Consider one of these high-paying careers. You just might find something you love… and get paid a lot to do it! Check out these average annual salaries:

1. Anesthesiologists: $234,950

2. Psychiatrists: $174,170

3. Surgeons: $231,550

4. Petroleum engineers: $138,980

5. Lawyers: $130,490

6. Orthodontists: $204,670

7. Natural sciences managers: $128,230

Salary information according to