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Colleges: finding the right one for you and your career (major)

Something to remember when looking at the following resources is that NO SOURCE has it all. None of the these are all-inclusive. Probably, you will need to look at multiple sources on this list.

When it comes to finding which colleges offer the particular career / degree / field of study / major that you are seeking, we feel that books might provide some of the most helpful information. We know that it might be hard to believe that you cannot find everything on the Internet. Farther down this screen, we will list sources on the World Wide Web that can help, but we feel that we need to start with these valuable resources, in paper / book form.

One of the best sources for finding which colleges (schools) offer the specific career or major that you want, is six-volume source of books called The College Blue Book. The publisher is MacMillan Reference USA and they have been publishing this set of books for many decades. You will find this resource on the Reference shelf of academic and major public libraries. All six volumes are kind of like "one-stop-shopping" for colleges.

Degrees Offered by College and Subject Volume 3 "includes an alphabetical listing of subject areas for which degrees are granted by one or more institutions of higher education. The key words here are "institutions of higher education." This volume does not include vocational schools. Basically, you look up your career and listed under that career will be a list of colleges that offer that career program.

Occupational Education Volume 4 covers over "5,400 schools in the United States that provide occupational or technical training." The book includes an index that allows you to find your career and then a listing of the vocational schools that offer that particular career. The front section of the book will give information about the individual schools.

Volume 1: Narrative Descriptions describes over 4,000 colleges in the United States and Canada.

Volume 2: Tabular Data lists colleges alphabetically by state and province. Information about costs, accreditation, and much more is included.

Volume 5: Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Loans will list "almost 3,500 different sources of financial aid for students."

Volume 6: Distance Learning Programs is kind of a new addition to the traditional five volumes of information. This sixth volume will feature "comprehensive profiles of more than 800 institutions offering distance learning programs within the United States and Canada."


The College Handbook is another well-known Reference book that has been a regular on the shelves of libraries for years. "This is the only guide available that contains objective information on every accredited college in the United States - 2,200 four-year colleges and universities, and 1,700 two-year community colleges and technical schools. With its clearly laid-out entries and more than 40 indexes, the College Handbook is also the fastest, easiest way for students to narrow a college search and compare the schools that they're interested in. Comprehensive listings of admission requirements, majors, sports, on-campus activities and campus computing."

College Board Book of Majors is published by the same company that publishes The College Handbook. "Revised and refreshed every year, this book is the most comprehensive guide to college majors on the market. In-depth descriptions of 200 of the most popular majors are followed by complete listings of every major offered at more than 3,800 colleges, including four-year and two-year colleges and technical schools. This edition covers every college major identified by the U.S. Department of Education - over 1,200 majors are listed in all. This is also the only guide that shows what degree levels each college offers in a major, whether a certificate, associate, bachelor's, master's or doctorate."


Online Sources for Colleges and Majors (Field of Study)

The College Board, is a not-for-profit membership association that connects students to college success and opportunity through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs is the SAT. The same well-respected association that published The College Handbook and The College Board Book of Majors maintains a very good website about colleges.

The National Center for Education Statistics has put together College Navigator on the Web. This is a good source for general information on specific colleges. This website offers the capability for finding college and trade schools that offer different majors/careers.

SchoolGuides.com offers a search service that searches for schools by major. We will just say that this service is "okay." The search does not allow you to get real specific about a career. Still, though, this website can help.


PLEASE NOTE that all of the sources mentioned above are very good sources of information about colleges. Some are EXCELLENT sources. However, for some information, you may need simply to go to Google and type in your search for a college or a specific type of career in a particular state or province. For example, let's take a look at allied health careers. We cover this, when talking about trade schools on another web page, but there are hospital-based, two-year programs for careers such as Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Respiratory Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, and a few more. Hardly any source, but Google, covers hospital-based programs. On Google, type sonographer "hospital based" and you will see Diagnostic Medical Sonographer programs taught at hospitals. You can narrow the search by adding a state.

The title of this web page is "Colleges: finding the right one for you and your career (major)." We hope that the sources of information DO help you find the right college / school. Please remember that the career center at your local college can be a source of information, too.

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