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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

College First, Jobs Later

Choosing the right path

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Selecting a college has always been one of the most important decisions a person will make, but with today’s one-two punch of rising tuition costs and spiking unemployment, the stakes have rarely seemed higher. For most of the population, a bachelor’s degree is a basic requirement for finding a decent job, but these days it’s far from a guarantee.

At least prospective college students have plenty of options for earning that degree, including more local ones than most probably realize. In Milwaukee and surrounding cities alone, there are more than two dozen institutions offering specialized degrees in almost every field imaginable, and the proliferation of online colleges has made it easier than ever for those with even the most unforgiving of schedules to earn a degree.

To help students make the most informed choice possible, the Shepherd Express has compiled a guide to many of the prominent universities in the area, breaking schools down by size, cost and specialties.

Where the Jobs Are

Of course, what many students are most interested in knowing is which fields will most likely land them a job.

The good news is that some fields are still growing in southeastern Wisconsin, including information technology, health care, the environment and energy.

The bad news is that it won’t do you much good if you’re not interested in any of those fields.

Picking a major based solely on which field is most likely to get you a job “is probably the worst piece of advice I could think of,” says Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., director of the Career Development Center at UW-Milwaukee.

“It sounds simplistic to say you have to follow your heart,” Bachhuber says, “but when picking a major you at least have to have a sense of what’s in your heart. We always talk to students about their interests, skills and values. Those three things have to come together in a way that works for you.”

In short, Bachhuber and other career counselors advise, don’t dwell too much on intimidating unemployment numbers, and focus instead on training yourself for a job you think you would enjoy.

Bachhuber’s other golden rule: Don’t go it alone. Most colleges offer counselors and career service centers that can help you hone a viable career path. It’s never too early to meet with them.

For Returning Adult Students

Unemployment and the shifting jobs market have created a surge in returning adult students. One of the biggest myths for these students is that to find a job they need to make a clean break from their previous careers and start fresh, says Laura Kestner, director of Marquette University’s Career Services Center.

“They don’t,” Kestner says. “They should look at what skills from their last jobs are transferable to other fields. A lot of people don’t even need to go back to school, they just need to update and change the language on their résumé so it’s more relevant to different jobs.”

Kestner says that older job seekers are at a disadvantage, however, if they aren’t using online social networks.

“If you’re not onboard social networking professionally, you’re missing a lot of opportunities,” she says. “People are finding jobs through Twitter right now, and are making connections and getting their foot in the door through LinkedIn.”

Resources are available to make returning to school less intimidating for adult students. Many colleges offer continuing education programs and counselors for returning students, and UW-Milwaukee opens its Career Transitions Center to Milwaukee residents even if they are not enrolled in the university. The center offers career coaches, workshops and courses.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

www.matc.edu

414-297-6282

Milwaukee, Wis., with campuses in Mequon, Oak Creek and West Allis

Institution Type: technical college, two-year associate degrees

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 50,000

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18:1

Cost Per Year: $3,648 - $4,768

Cost Per Credit: $114 - $149

Online Classes: hundreds available

Specialties: business, health, liberal arts and sciences, pre-college, technical and applied sciences, advanced technical certificates

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

www.uwm.edu

414-229-1122

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: public doctoral research university

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 30,455

Student-Faculty Ratio: 21:1

Cost Per Year: $7,988 (tuition and fees for residents)

Cost Per Credit: $287 (residents)

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: architecture and urban planning, fine arts, freshwater sciences, nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, offering specialist and doctoral degrees

Marquette University

www.marquette.edu

414-288-7250

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: Catholic and Jesuit private college, doctoral research university

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 11,700 students

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14.4:1

Cost Per Year: $28,680 (undergraduate) 

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: biomedical engineering, corporate communication, dental, real estate, construction engineering and management, many graduate programs and specialized certificates, doctoral and professional degrees offered

Concordia University Wisconsin

www.cuw.edu

262-243-5700

Mequon, Wis.

Institution Type: four-year private

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 7,178

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1

Cost Per Year: $20,990 (tuition and fees), $7,930 (room and board)

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: master and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and nursing practice

Herzing University

www.herzing.edu

1-888-639-2273

Milwaukee, Wis., with campuses in Brookfield, Kenosha and Madison

Institution Type: private university, offering three-year bachelor degrees

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 7,000

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18:1

Cost Per Year: $14,400 (includes books and fees)

Cost Per Credit: $250-$625 (includes books and fees)

Online Classes: many available

Specialties: technology, business, health care, design, public safety, offering master, bachelor and associate degrees

Cardinal Stritch

www.stritch.edu

414-410-4000

Milwaukee, Wis.


Institution Type: Four-year, private, Catholic Franciscan university

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 6,200

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1

Cost Per Year: $21,280

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: business, education, initial teaching certification, leadership, nursing, sport management, fine arts, offering associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certification programs

Lakeland College

www.lakeland.edu

1-800-569-2166

Sheboygan, Wis., with adult education centers in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Fox Cities, Wisconsin Rapids and Chippewa Falls


Institution Type: private

Accreditation: North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement

Number of Students: 4,000

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

Cost Per Credit: $340 (undergraduate) $410 (graduate)

Online Classes: many available

Specialties: accounting, education, resort management, resort management, criminal justice

Carroll University

www.carrollu.edu

262-547-1211

Waukesha, Wis.

Institution Type: four-year private

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 3,403

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

Cost Per Year: $22,470 (undergraduate)

Cost Per Credit: $270 (undergraduate) $345 (nursing or undergraduate online)

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: health sciences, nursing, education, music education, physical therapy, nonprofit management, e-commerce

Alverno College

www.alverno.edu

414-382-6100

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: private women’s college

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 2,815

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1

Cost Per Year: $18,624 (undergraduate) $20,184 (nursing)

Cost Per Credit: $776 (undergraduate)

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: business, nursing, special education, arts and science, technology, liberal arts, offering bachelor, master and associate degrees

Milwaukee School of Engineering

www.msoe.edu

414-277-7300

Milwaukee, Wis.%u2028

Institution Type: private

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 2,648

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Cost Per Year: $28,665 (full-time undergraduate)

Cost Per Credit: $498 (undergraduate), $603 (graduate)

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: engineering, information technology, management

Carthage College

www.carthage.edu

262-551-6000

Kenosha, Wis.

Institution Type: four-year private liberal arts and sciences

Accreditation: North Central Association

Number of Students: 2,500 (full-time undergraduate)

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Cost Per Year: $29,750

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: business, education, natural sciences, fine arts, paralegal certificates and M.Ed. degrees offered

Bryant & Stratton College

www.bryantstratton.edu

414-276-5200

Locations in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and Bayshore Town Center

Institution Type: private

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Number of Students: 2,000

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

Cost Per Year: $5,800 - $7,300 (full-time student per term)

Cost Per Credit: $489

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: technology, health care, nursing, criminal justice, business, financial services

Mount Mary College

www.mtmary.edu

1-800-321-6265

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: Catholic women's college

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 1,929 (graduate and undergraduate)

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Cost Per Year: $21,668 (undergraduate, full-time)

Cost Per Credit: $648 (undergraduate)

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: fashion, occupational therapy, interior design, art therapy, dietetics

Marian University

www.marianuniversity.edu

920-923-7600

Fond du Lac, Wis.

Institution Type: private

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 1,700

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12:1

Cost Per Year: $21,140 (undergraduate)

Cost Per Credit: $315 (undergraduate), $330-$500 (graduate)

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: nursing, health care administration, sport and recreation management, radiologic technology, forensic science, homeland security, educational leadership

Medical College of Wisconsin

www.mcw.edu

414-456-8296

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: private

Accreditation: Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)

Number of Students: 820  

Student-Faculty Ratio: 1:1.35

Cost Per Year:  $54,711 (total budget)         

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: medical, offering MD and MD/PhD degrees

Wisconsin Lutheran College

www.wlc.edu

414-443-8800

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: four-year private college

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 784

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10:1

Cost Per Year: $21,180 (tuition and fees)

Cost Per Credit: $640

Online Classes: available in 2011

Specialties: urban education, Christian leadership, nursing

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

www.miad.edu

1-888-749-6423

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: four-year private

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design

Number of Students: 680

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1

Cost Per Year: $24,950

Cost Per Credit: $835

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: drawing, communication design, illustration, interior architecture and design, photography, video and animation

DeVry University - Wisconsin

www.devry.edu

414-278-7677

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: four-year private

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 

Number of Students: 333

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

Cost Per Year: $14,160 (tuition and fees)

Cost Per Credit: $550

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: business administration, computer information, management, technology, accounting, offering bachelor and master degrees

Lakeside School of Massage Therapy

www.lakeside.edu

414-372-4345

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: private

Accreditation: Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation

Number of Students: 112

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Cost Per Year: $10,305

Cost Per Credit: $251.34

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: massage therapy, offering diploma and associate degree programs

Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology    

www.wspp.edu

414-464-9777

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: graduate school

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 73

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7:1

Cost Per Year: $18,200

Cost Per Credit: $700

Online Classes: none

Specialties: clinical psychology (adult and child track)

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology

www.aurora.org/radtech

414-747-4330

Milwaukee, Wis.

Institution Type: two-year hospital-based certificate program in radiologic technology

Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

Number of Students: 37

Student-Faculty Ratio: 6.8:1

Cost Per Year: $2,500, plus books

Online Classes: none available

Specialties: certificate program in radiologic science

Neighboring UW System Universities:

University of Wisconsin-Madison

www.wisc.edu

608-263-2400

Madison, Wis.

Institution Type: public doctoral research university

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 42,030

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1

Cost Per Year: $7,568.56 (undergraduate Wisconsin resident)

Cost Per Credit: $293.57 (undergraduate Wisconsin resident)

Online Classes: many available

Specialties: chemistry, physics, sociology, engineering, business, social work, education, political science

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

www.uwosh.edu

920-424-1234

Oshkosh, Wis.

Institution Type: public university

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 13,198

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1

Cost Per Year: $6,450 (resident)

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: 74 degrees offered

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

www.uww.edu

262-472-1234

Whitewater, Wis.

Institution Type: public university

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 10,700

Student-Faculty Ratio: 21:1

Cost Per Year: $5,860 (resident)

Cost Per Credit: variable

Online Classes: some available

Specialties: business and education

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

www.uwp.edu

262-595-2345

Kenosha, Wis.

Institution Type: public university

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, School of Business & Technology and AACSB International

Number of Students: 5,300

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Cost Per Year: $6,275 (resident)

Cost Per Credit: $264 (resident)

Online Classes: very few available

Specialties: pre-health science, community engagement

University of Wisconsin-Washington County     

www.washington.uwc.edu

262-335-5200

West Bend, Wis.

Institution Type: public two-year university

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Number of Students: 1,042

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1

Cost Per Year: $4,593.06 (resident)

Cost Per Credit: $191.38 (resident)

Online Classes: many available

Specialties: freshman and sophomore curriculums for more than 200 majors