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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 "6,400 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 "provides an extensive listing of more than 6,000 financial aid sources."

Volume 6: Distance Learning Programs "provides key facts and overviews of nearly 1,000 institutions offering distance learning programs."


The College Handbook is another well-known Reference book that has been a regular on the shelves of libraries for years. Here is an excerpt from the book: "The only guide to all accredited four-year and two-year colleges and technical schools in one volume. This perennial best-seller includes: Comprehensive college descriptions listed alphabetically by state; separate sections for two- and four-year schools; more than 40 indexes to help you find and compare schools by key features, such as size, type, and selectivity; tables of early decision and waitlist outcomes; and more." This book is about information on the college and not the career programs offered at the college. Each listing will provide very general information about the different categories of majors offered, but this book is more about describing the college, than the majors.

College Board Book of Majors is published by the same company that publishes The College Handbook. The publisher says that the College Board Book of Majors "covers all 1200 majors identified by the U.S. Department of Education. In depth descriptions of 201 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 book answers the questions: What's the major for you? Where can you study it? What can you do with it after graduation? 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 site offers a lot of information about college but we want to bring your attention to "College Matchmaker" which, through a series of questions and screens, will provide a list of colleges that offers your major / career. The main home menu is at http://www.collegeboard.com BUT the College Matchmaker page is located at http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/index.jsp. It is kind of tricky to use because there are quite a few questions and a lot of clicks, but it seems to get you to where you have to go in order to get an idea of what is out there for you. Like we said at the top of this page, this source does NOT include all the schools that offer all the career opportunities for careers. However, this online source is a big help.

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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