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Summer 2011
Vol. 55, Number 2
Grab bag
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Plan your future with My Next Move

Are you interested in exploring your career options but aren't sure how to go about it? Check out My Next Move, an online tool that offers a variety of user-friendly ways to browse more than 900 occupations.

The website, created by the National Center for O*NET Development for the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, lets you choose one of several search methods. If you have a general idea of what you want to do or have a "dream career," then search by keyword. If you know that you want to work in a particular industry, such as education, then search by industry. And if you aren't sure what you want to do, you can answer questions about your preferences—such as working in a biology lab or managing a clothing store. Your online responses will help you to identify your career interests. You can also browse for careers by choosing among occupations that are projected to grow, are part of the "green" economy, or include a registered apprenticeship.

Whether you search or browse, you'll get a list of occupations to explore. Clicking on an occupation brings up a one-page profile summarizing key information—such as the knowledge, skills, abilities, personality, and education you need to do the job. The occupational profile also includes job outlook and has links to local salary data and job banks to search for available positions. Start your online career search at

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Physics for females

Physics for females

Some girls who read "Medical physicists and health physicists: Radiation occupations," elsewhere in this issue of the Quarterly, might like the idea of a career in physics. Free resources available from the American Physical Society can help set young women's physics careers in motion.

The society's "Physics in Your Future" booklet is designed for girls in middle and high school. It describes the work of 15 women who use physics to solve medical mysteries, discover planets, research new materials, and more. Other resources include a "Women in Physics 2010" slideshow that highlights the work of women in the field of physics; information about physics-related scholarships, fellowships, and internship opportunities; and links to sources that encourage the professional development of women in physics.

To access the resources or to download or order publications, visit the society's Women in Physics website at Or, contact the society by writing Deanna Ratnikova, Women and Education Programs Administrator, Education and Diversity Department, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740; by calling (301) 209-3231; or by emailing

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Encouraging study in critical languages

Encouraging study in critical languages

Proficiency in certain foreign languages is critical to the defense, diplomacy, and security of the United States. Yet relatively few U.S. students study the languages that are spoken in many strategically important areas—such as the Middle East, China, and Russia. To encourage high school and college students to learn the languages of these regions, several federal programs provide scholarships and other funding.

For example, through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, high school students live with host families abroad and learn Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, or Turkish. Students choose a language program for the summer, semester, or full academic year. Most expenses are covered, including travel to and from the host country, room and board, tuition, and health benefits. Participants must be U.S. citizens, 15 to 18 years old, and have a grade-point average of 2.5 or above. For more information, visit the program website,; call toll-free, 1 (866) 790-2086; or email

Undergraduate and graduate students may apply for scholarships for intensive study of critical languages overseas through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Critical Language Scholarship institutes provide intensive language study and structured cultural enrichment opportunities for 13 critical languages. These institutes are for 7 to 10 weeks each summer in 15 countries. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, and currently enrolled in a U.S. undergraduate or graduate degree program. For full eligibility requirements and more information, visit online at, call (202) 633-5005, or email

Another funding source for critical language study is the National Security Education Program of the U.S. Department of Defense. To prepare undergraduate and graduate students for future federal service, this program provides training in less commonly studied languages, including Hindi, Swahili, and Urdu. It offers scholarships and fellowships for overseas study through Boren Awards and intensive language study coupled with overseas language instruction for undergraduates through the Language Flagship program. Award requirements and amounts vary, but recipients must commit to work for the federal government for 1 year. Training initiatives include scholarships, fellowships, and instructional programs. For more information, visit online at; write to the National Security Education Program, P.O. Box 20010, Arlington, VA 22219; call (703) 696-1991; or email

Those are not the only federal scholarships and programs available for critical language study. For example, additional funding is provided for Gilman Scholarship recipients studying in countries where critical languages are spoken; students applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program may also apply for a Critical Language Enhancement Award for up to 6 months of intensive critical language training; and the ROTC Language and Culture program promotes critical language education, study abroad, and intercultural dialogue opportunities for ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) college students. To explore additional opportunities in critical language studies, visit (search "critical language") or

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: August 12, 2011