B.S. Degree Annotated Rationale Essay
I completed my associate degree three years ago, and as I am getting closer to the completion of my bachelors degree, my outlook now is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The process has been very long, and at times I became frustrated with myself, but I’ve prevailed. Completing college is essential if I want to be successful and competitive in today’s economic environment, but most importantly, I have a 20 and a 15 year old, that I need to continue to set an example for — that is essentially what drives me to complete my degree. [s1]
My goal is to complete a bachelor degree in Business, Management, and Economics with a concentration in Marketing, especially concentrating in markets for the multicultural segments in the United States. [s2] Additionally, I want to focus generally on the cultures of segmented groups and how to market to those specific cultures from a knowledgeable perspective. As such, I have designed a concentration that interweaves those broader elements of culture (how humans understand their worlds and the contexts in which they understand them) with a study of different groups that represent major ethnic groups within the United States — after all this is the direction that this country is headed for. Although I have changed my degree plan several times I seem to always come back to marketing, coupled with a focus on multicultural marketing. This country will continue to develop into a diverse society; it will be essential for companies that want to market their products to the diverse consumer to understand the various multicultural consumers in the U.S.
According to The University of San Francisco School of Business, business leaders need a sophisticated understanding of their target audiences – often multiple audiences with significant differences of race, culture, and, of course, gender. The University of San Francisco Multicultural Marketing curriculum is designed to give the student the skills needed to market successfully to many demanding, though sometimes very subtly different cultural groups. Their multicultural marketing curriculum adds Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Management, and three courses dealing with culture to the standard expectations for a business degree. Blending these with ESC guidelines, I have marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, and multiple courses that provide insight into different cultures (e.g., American Ethnic History, Sex and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Caribbean History and Culture).
I have introductory marketing from Colorado Technical University, and will take the Marketing Communications, Marketing Research, and Consumer Behavior courses at ESC.
The ESC Area of Study Guidelines for a concentration in Marketing also state that students who work in Marketing need to develop skills in “critical reading, interpretation, and writing. Students should have an understanding of ethics, globalization, diversity and cross-cultural differences, and organizations.” Students pursuing upper-level work in Marketing should acquire conceptual vocabularies, knowledge of sources, and critical skills appropriate to their areas of focus or lines of inquiry.” I will gain the critical reading, interpretation, and writing skills in all of my upper-level courses, and especially my upper-level courses in marketing, which require analysis and advanced-level writing skills. I address the ethics guideline in my course in Marketing Communication, which has a strong “focus on ethical issues confronting marketers.” I address the globalization guideline with courses such as E-Business and Marketing and the Virtual Marketplace. I have addressed the organizations guideline through my course in Organizational Behavior Principles. And I have addressed the guideline about diversity through my many courses dealing with culture.
I want to combine the more specific focus on marketing with a more general focus on ethnic groups and culture, or the context in which marketers operate. Although the courses that provide these ethnic and cultural perspectives are not in my concentration, they do provide important background for my concentration, given my goals to focus on marketing to diverse populations. [s5] To provide a broad sociological perspective, I have included a course in American Social Problems, which provides an introduction to sociological concepts. To provide historical, artistic, sociological, philosophical, and cross-cultural perspectives, I have included American Ethnic History, Sex and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Television and Culture, American Ethnic History, Artistic Expression in a Multicultural America, and Cultural Anthropology. All of these courses provide a broad investigation of the concept of “social and cultural norms and belief systems,” and create a good understanding of social, creative, philosophical, and historical contexts in which I am applying the concepts of marketing. These courses will help fulfill my general goals of completing a bachelor degree in marketing, and gaining a focus to better understand ethnic groups within the U.S. The classes in Cultural Studies will give me an in-depth insight into the concept of culture and a better understanding of being in someone else’s shoes — so to speak.
Lastly, I have addressed the ESC General Business guidelines in my degree. These guidelines state that students need to show knowledge in the following: [s6]
- Communication skills – I have courses in Communications for Professionals and Interpersonal and Small Group Communications.
- Information management – I have a course in Information Design and I have extensive knowledge utilizing an information system designed to disseminate information at my workplace.
- Economics – I have a course in Principles of Economics 2.
- Ethical and social responsibility – My course in Marketing Communications has a strong focus on ethics in marketing.
- Quantitative skills – I have courses in Statistics: An Activity Based Approach and Marketing Research.
- Understanding people in an organizational context – I have courses in Organizational Behavior Principles and Managing Human Resources. Additional courses such as Sex and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective provide deeper understanding of people in an organizational context.
- Understanding organizations within broader contexts – I have courses in Marketing and the Virtual Marketplace and E-Business. My extensive experience working in a large non-profit organization, along with my courses dealing with various cultures, creates a good understanding of organizations within a broader context.
I have also addressed the SUNY General Education guidelines in my overall degree plan. [s8] My range of courses includes Television and Culture (humanities), Statistics (math), Human Nutrition (natural science), American Social Problems (social science), College Reading and Composition (basic communication), American Ethnic History (American history), Ballet & Artistic Expression in a Multicultural America (the arts), Cultural Patterns in Western Civilization (western civilization), and Caribbean History and Culture and Cultural Anthropology (other world civilizations). Many of my general education courses helped to create my liberal arts associate degree. I have covered nine of the ten general education areas with over 50 credits of general education. I have addressed the ESC guidelines for a degree in Business, Management & Economics with a concentration in Marketing as well as the SUNY General Education requirements in my degree plan.
These careers will require my expertise in marketing, communication, and knowledge of the world’s cultures and how to interact within diverse communities. Additionally, I have numerous work experiences in the Music & Film Industries, and the nation’s largest non-profit organization that allows me to work with a diverse group of people, coupled with my academic learning which will add to my repertoire of communication, creativity, and inclusion. The ability to effectively communicate with my colleagues through written communication, and to use computer application programs to heighten my presentations, the understanding of the specific demographics that we need to reach, and knowing the proper marketing plan to implement will all collectively aid in my ability to develop a successful professional career in marketing.
The decision to attend SUNY/Empire State College’s Center for Distance Learning may not perhaps be the most traditional method, but was by-far the best decision to complete my education. In certainty, having the knowledge and fortitude to successfully move up the ladder to a career that I will enjoy for many years to come was my motivation. If I decide to pursue a master’s degree it will more than likely be after by 15-year-old son finishes high school and is on his way to college — to begin just what I have successfully completed. Currently, at my job there will be tremendous opportunities for growth in the multi-cultural communities in the California regions; this coupled with an Empire State College Business Degree with a concentration in Marketing will enable me to be more competitive as I strive to climb the ladder of success. [s10]
Comment [s1]: The student provides personal reasons that motivated her to complete a degree.
Comment [s2]: The student clearly states her Area of Study and Concentration. Additionally, she indicates briefly how she has individualized her concentration by focusing on multicultural marketing. The rest of this paragraph deals with her educational goals.
Comment [s3]: The student offers her research, providing evidence that the concentration she designed is academically valid. Because ESC guidelines deal with marketing concentrations in general, and do not specifically include information about multicultural marketing concentrations, the student researched another college that did offer that focus. She used the information she found to help understand and realize her goals; she knew that she did NOT have to mimic the other college’s program exactly. The rest of this section presents her research and conclusions based on that research.
Comment [s4]: The student clearly refers to the ESC Area of Study Guidelines and shows in this section how she has addressed those expectations in her concentration.
Comment [s5]: The student explains her individualized focus here, and talks about how courses in her general learning support and integrate with her concentration courses.
Comment [s6]: The student explains how she has addressed the general business guidelines as well as the specific concentration guidelines. Both general and specific guidelines are important, as each one identifies somewhat different areas of skills and knowledge that are expected in this type of degree.
Comment [s7]: Here the student reflects briefly on the importance of certain liberal arts courses to marketing professionals.
Comment [s8]: The student explains briefly how she is fulfilling the SUNY General Education Requirement.
Comment [s9]: The student briefly explains her research into potential career paths, conducted through interviews with professionals at her current place of employment. She reflects on how she has developed important skills related to these career paths.
Comment [s10]: A nice way to close, as this last paragraph parallels the thoughts in the introduction.
The student provides personal reasons that motivated her to complete a degree.
The student clearly states her Area of Study and Concentration. Additionally, she indicates briefly how she has individualized her concentration by focusing on multicultural marketing. The rest of this paragraph deals with her educational goals.
The student offers her research, providing evidence that the concentration she designed is academically valid. Because ESC guidelines deal with marketing concentrations in general, and do not specifically include information about multicultural marketing concentrations, the student researched another college that did offer that focus. She used the information she found to help understand and realize her goals; she knew that she did NOT have to mimic the other college’s program exactly. The rest of this section presents her research and conclusions based on that research.
The student clearly refers to the ESC Area of Study Guidelines and shows in this section how she has addressed those expectations in her concentration.
The student explains her individualized focus here, and talks about how courses in her general learning support and integrate with her concentration courses.
The student explains how she has addressed the general business guidelines as well as the specific concentration guidelines. Both general and specific guidelines are important, as each one identifies somewhat different areas of skills and knowledge that are expected in this type of degree.
Here the student reflects briefly on the importance of certain liberal arts courses to marketing professionals.
The student explains briefly how she is fulfilling the SUNY General Education Requirement.
The student briefly explains her research into potential career paths, conducted through interviews with professionals at her current place of employment. She reflects on how she has developed important skills related to these career paths.
A nice way to close, as this last paragraph parallels the thoughts in the introduction.
Writing Majors for College Students
College Information for Potential Writers
There are many possible writing majors for those who know they want a college degree and career in writing. Both the variety of available majors and the depth of the degree programs are notable, and this is good news for future writers and students of any genre.
As they begin to pursue their writing degree, potential writing majors should keep in mind the conventional advice about selecting a college and program. Issues like geography and size are indeed important. But the most important characteristic to consider after that is what kind of writing you hope to do in the future. If you're undecided about the area or type of writing you want to do, check out this information on different writing genres.
Once you've got an idea of your preferred genre, you are ready to choose a specific writing major and writing degree program that works for you.
In addition, you may be wondering if you even need a college degree to be a writer. This also depends on the kind of writing you aim to do, but, in general, a major in writing and a college education can greatly increase career opportunities.
Here are the 20 writing majors for college students seeking a writing degree, along with a few example programs and links to colleges and other resources.
There are very general writing degrees available; that is, one can major in just "writing." For example, Grand Valley State University in Michigan offers a writing major which results in either a Bachelor of Science (BS) of Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, depending on your chosen concentration.
A general writing major would likely offer a variety of writing classes in different genres and prepare you for many different specialties within your writing career. GVSU's program seems to allow you to customize your experience a bit by selecting a "module" that lets you concentrate on a specific niche or specialty.
The professional writing major is similar to a general writing degree as above, although likely without the more creative elements available, such as work in poetry or creative writing. This is a career-oriented writing program, and the one most recommend to aspiring freelance writers.
Michigan State University, offers a BA in Professional Writing within their Department of Writing and Rhetoric. Students choose from three different specializations: digital/technical writing (this would be perfect for the aspiring freelance writer), writing for non-profits or editing and publishing.
Many other colleges offer this major, too. For example, Miami University and Purdue tout similar programs.
Technical writing, science writing, and business writing are the "user-friendly" writing careers: they are careers aimed at making complicated information friendly to its users.
Technical writing involves providing simplified text about complicated or specialized topics for users who need it. Your classes may focus on understanding your end user (audience). You will also learn to produce different composition formats, such as white papers, instruction manuals, assembly instructions. and technology supports.
Arizona State University offers a BS in Technical Communications. In addition, you may want to consider a combined major in technical writing and another discipline, such as Michigan Tech's BS or BA in Scientific and Technical Communication.
04Science and Medical Writing
Science and medical writing career opportunities are growing, just like other health and STEM career fields.Science writing, science journalism, science communications and medical writing are all legitimate standalone majors for aspiring writers:
- MIT offers a graduate-level major in science writing, as does Johns Hopkins. Lehigh offers an undergrad degree in science writing.
- BU offers a degree in science journalism.
- UCSC offers a major in science communications.
- Medical writing majors seem to be limited to graduate programs, such as those at the University of Chicago and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Although you can find business writing most often taught within business colleges as part of business administration programs, there are standalone majors available. One is this business writing major within the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Baruch College, a part of the CUNY education system.
This writing major would be ideal for those looking to practice the craft within a corporate environment.
Earning a BA in creative writing will give you the two things you need most as a writer: practice and feedback. Although creative writing may be the domain of aspiring authors, freelance writers can also make a living by writing creatively. This is a writing major that is readily available nationwide, including this BA at Columbia or this one at Emory.
This major seems to be the default when more specialized programs aren't available.
A major in English forces you to write, and then rewrite. That constant practice can hone your writing skills, and expose your writing weaknesses. A requisite editing class was never lost on any freelance writer, either. Finally, a major in English will also teach you to read critically and research thoroughly.
The solid skills that accompany a journalism degree are a great selling point. Of course, if you're looking to write specifically for newspapers and magazines, this is your major. This program is ubiquitous, but students may also consider specialty journalism degrees, such as this Masters in Art Journalism offered at Syracuse University.
There is a stand-alone major in publishing offered at many universities, however, these majors seem to be for those interested in working for publishers, and are not aimed specifically at writers. However, most publishing majors do seem to have a fair amount of editing instruction, so they could prove helpful in launching a freelance writing or freelance editing career.
If you're still interested in this program, check out Emerson, Hofstra, Pace and Portland State University.
An undergrad degree in linguistics will really push a student writer into the minutiae of our language. You'll learn to manipulate words and syntax in a very thorough and specific way, which will undoubtedly buoy your writing.
Linguistics is one of the more commonly available undergrad programs, but for more specialization, check out Georgia Southern University's BA in Writing and Linguistics.
A general degree in the liberal arts or humanities studies covers a wide range of subjects and will bolster research and writing skills, while also giving you some more specific subject matter expertise to work with. Again, this is an easy program to find in many geographic areas.
Since much of the education major deals with pedagogy and curriculum development, along with the development of written materials, I've included it here as a potential choice for writers who want to specialize in writing for school and reference markets.
This is a fertile career area. Education writing is one of the niches where they're always hiring! There are also many editing opportunities available with curriculum development companies and textbook packagers.
You may consider majoring in rhetoric if you're drawn to analyzing words and text, and how composition and speech are used to influence others, further agendas, construct narratives or create policies.
This would be an ideal major for those interested in writing in law, policy, politics, non-profit, social justice or related topics.
Colleges that offer this major include Berkeley and Bates.
If you're specifically interested in script-writing, screenwriting, film criticism or arts journalism, you may want to consider theater or cinema majors that include some coursework in these topics. Cinema studies, specifically, may be housed within a larger media department or media studies program.
BU has a degree program in cinema and media studies and in screenwriting.
General communications degrees are available, as well as more specific degrees like mass communications, media or media communications.
Communications studies are sometimes more general, covering everything from television to politics to technical topics, so be sure to narrow down what you really want in your program, or look for programs that offer concentrations within the major, so that you can focus on writing aspects.
Media or media communications programs (also covered below in more detail) are often euphemisms for or focused on journalism (covered above) or marketing/advertising programs (covered below). That's a lot of topics and genres; choose your major carefully!
As opposed to the more general communications programs described above, digital communications programs often focus on mobile, online or interactive communications.
Many writers out there wish to specialize in web or social media writing and communications. Be sure to check out related majors in "new media" or "emerging media" (which are covered below).
If digital communications is your choice, check out NYU's BS in Digital Communications here.
17Media/New Media/Emerging Media/Social Media
Those who want to write specifically for online, interactive or mobile platforms will want to check out these relatively new programs and degrees.
Although a more general media degree will likely include many aspects of communications or mass communications (described above), it will also cover the emerging media market.
However, if you'd like a program that is more specific and focused solely on social media, emerging media and so on, consider SNHU's BS in Marketing, which has a concentration on social media, or BU's MA in Emerging Media.
Marketing is a fairly safe choice for writers hoping to concentrate on copy generation, copywriting or some types of media/new media. It's also a great choice for writers who prefer to work within a corporate environment. For freelance writers, this major will set you up to nab some lucrative clientele.
Undergrad degrees in marketing are fairly easy to find. But some colleges, such as Webster University, offer a specialization in writing or copywriting.
Writers looking to focus on a copywriting career aren't limited to a marketing degree, though. You can also check out advertising courses, such as this Canadian school's dual advertising-copywriting program.
A public relations degree will teach the writer in you to manage messages and effectively communicate with clientele and the public--both skills that freelancers and other writers use daily.
In addition, PR coursework is heavy in writing instruction. You could additionally support your writing goals by minoring in a writing field while working on a PR degree.