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Fall 2000 Vol. 44, Number 3

Grab Bag

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Grab Bag from past issues 

Scholarships for police officers
Crime does not pay, but fighting it does—in more ways than one. The Police Corps offers money for college and a guaranteed position after graduation to qualified undergraduate and graduate students. Considering that BLS data show police patrol officers to be one of the top 10 occupations for earnings and projected job growth, that’s a good start to a good career. 

The U.S. Department of Justice gives qualified students up to $7,500 a year for tuition, room and board, and related expenses. In return, students agree to serve 4 years as community police officers in a State or local force that needs them. 

To qualify for the program, students must attend a 4-year college or university and meet physical and other requirements of the force in which they plan to serve. Students must also complete a 16- to 24-week training program in community policing. 

For more information about opportunities with the Police Corps, call the Department of Justice Response Center, 1 (800) 421-6770; write the Office of Justice Programs, Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education, U.S. Department of Justice, 810 Seventh St., NW., Washington DC 20531; go to the program’s website,; or call police departments in locations in which you would like to work.

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College choice and financing: COOL and EASI sites can help
Two U.S. Department of Education websites give quick access to college information. College Opportunities On-Line (COOL) lets visitors search for colleges and vocational schools; project EASI (Easy Access for Students and Institutions) guides them through planning, applying, and paying for college and choosing a career. 

Site visitors to COOL can search for schools by type, location, degrees offered, and enrollment; they will also find detailed information about costs and financial aid. Try COOL at 

EASI provides brief discussions of a topic and links to Federal and State government and private websites with more information. In keeping with its educational mission, it grades each site for usefulness. Try EASI at 

Do you prefer paper to the Web? The Department of Education offers free brochures and booklets, too. “Which Is the Right College Path for Me?” suggests issues to consider when choosing a school and six common mistakes to avoid. Other publications include “Funding Your Education” and “Participating in the Direct Loan Program: Tips for Success.” Order these and other publications by calling toll free, 1 (800) 433-3243 or 1 (877) 433-7827.

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From volunteer to career
How can service serve your career? Schools encourage volunteering, in part, because it lets students apply academic learning to the real world and opens their eyes to possible careers.

The option or, in some places, requirement for high school students to serve their community is becoming more popular. In 1999, 83 percent of public high schools offered community service opportunities to their students—more than 3 times the percentage in 1984, according to the Department of Education. Twenty-one percent of schools required students to serve.

To get the most career value out of volunteering, counselors suggest trying different settings and jobs, keeping a journal and a file with the names of the people you work for, and including the work on your résumé.

For a copy of the U.S. Department of Education’s “Statistics in Brief: Service-Learning And Community Service in K-12 Public Schools,” go to or call toll free, 1 (877) 4-ED-PUBS (433-7827).

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Higher salaries for recent grads
Recent college graduates are reaping the rich harvest of this year’s tight labor market. They’re snagging salary offers higher than those for last year’s graduates, according to employer surveys by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Starting salary offers for many graduates were at least 6 percent higher in July than they were at the same time last year. Students with sought-after majors saw even higher increases.

Still, offers varied widely within each college major. Offers depended on industry, job type, and geography, among other factors.

For more information about the Association’s surveys, call 1 (800) 554-5272; write NACE, 62 Highland Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18017; or visit its website,

Selected  bachelor’s degree majors Average   starting salary, July 2000  Increase over  July 1999 (percent)
Accounting  $36,919   7.1
Computer engineering  49,505  9.6
Computer science  48,740  9.9
Economics or finance  37,502  7.5
Electrical engineering  48,492   7.5
English language and literature   29,845 10.5
History   31,359   9.5
Industrial engineering  45,612  5.9
Information systems  43,402 10.6
Marketing or marketing management  33,141   5.1
Mechanical engineering  45,617  5.4
Political science  37,748 11.8
Psychology  28,674  8.9

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Investigating medical lab careers
Before a disease can be treated, doctors have to know it’s there. Medical laboratory workers detect diseases and uncover their causes. If you think you’d like to work in a medical lab, a booklet by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists can help you explore your options.

The booklet describes five medical laboratory careers, including career paths, work settings, and available certifications. Of the five occupations, two—cytologist and medical technologist—require a bachelor’s degree, one—medical laboratory technician—requires an associate degree, and two—histologic technician and phlebotomist—need a high school diploma. (Learn more about phlebotomists in the spring 2000 OOQ “You’re a what?” available online at

For a free copy of the 16-page “Careers in Medical Laboratory Technology,” write the ASCP Board of Registry, Box 12277, Chicago, IL 60612–0277 or call (312) 738-1336. View or download a copy at

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Suggestions welcome
Do you have an item for the Grab Bag? Send it to:

Occupational Outlook Quarterly
PSB 2135
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
Washington, DC 20212.

Phone: (202) 691-5700;
Fax: (202) 691-5745;

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: December 12, 2000