Explore all career options to find the right job

What do you want to be when you grow up?

From their first day of pre-school until the day they graduate from college, many students struggle with finding an answer to this million-dollar question.

But, with the economy being on a constant roller coaster and so many types of jobs out there from which to choose, it can be tough for recent college graduates to find a career that is just right for them.

Recently, Money magazine and Salary.com teamed up to compile a list of the 50 best jobs in America for 2006.

Using data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and salary information, a list of jobs was created that met criteria such as having a projected above-average 10 year growth rate, requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, and having more than 800 annual job openings.

The jobs were then ranked on factors such as stress levels, flexibility in hours, and compensation and percentage growth.

With the list of top jobs spanning over a variety of career fields, recent graduates of every major should have no problem finding a job that suits them.

A countless number of students often find themselves clueless when time comes to decide upon a career because they received an degree in a field that no longer holds as much interest to them.

“I really don’t know what I want to do for a living,” said Sherika Highman, 23, a graduate public health student from St. Augustine.

“I majored in food science for my undergraduate degree, but I decided to pursue a master’s in public health because I wanted to learn more on how to educate the black community on diseases that have affected my family.”

Many careers are not limited solely to individuals who majored in a specific program.

“I majored in psychology, and I hated most of my research classes,” said Michael Roe, senior project manager for Kerr & Downes Research, a market research firm in Tallahassee.

“I got into this career because it kind of fell into my lap, but it sounded like something I could do. It turned out there was a lot more to this job than just the number crunching.”

Due to a lack of media attention, several careers are often overlooked.

According to Joel Salley, real estate appraiser for JD Salley & Association Inc., real estate appraisers play a vital role in communities.

“Real estate appraisal is all a matter of inspecting property and analyzing and estimating market data,” Salley said. “It’s a valuable part of the economy. It keeps lenders from making bad loans.”

Additionally, many job seekers may choose a career that is incompatible to what they are seeking because they fail to thoroughly research what is expected of them in that particular role.

Sheryl Shivers-Blackwell, an associate professor of management for the School of Business and Industry, said being a college professor is not all about teaching. Teachers are also responsible for research and service.

“As a professor, you’re no longer an absorber of knowledge; you’re now a creator of knowledge,” Shivers-Blackwell said. “You have to be committed because it’s not just another nine to five.”

Many students agree that education is a good career choice.

“I think education majors are one step ahead of the game because teachers are in such a high demand whereas students in some other majors may not graduate with such high prospects of getting a job that they studied for the past four-plus years,” said Deanda Ewers, 21, a senior elementary education student from Rammstein, Germany.

For students at Florida A&M who are unsure of what career path to take, career counselors at the FAMU Career Center can help decide what career path is right for each person and what steps to take to reach that goal.

“If a student doesn’t know what they want to do, we have group and one-on-one counseling,” said Delores Dean, director of the career center.

Dean also stressed the importance of attending the career workshops and the FAMU Career Expo Sept. 26-27 at the Leon County Civic Center.