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These Are the Most and Least Useful Graduate Degrees

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If you’re considering pursuing an advanced degree after college, watch out: Not all graduate degrees are created equal. While it’s important to follow your passions, some degrees are more likely than others to provide you with stable, lucrative career opportunities. 

Fortune commissioned PayScale to crunch the numbers on which graduate degrees (both M.A.s and Ph.D.s) were the least and most useful, based on four factors: long-term potential for job growth, median pay at mid-career or 10 years experience, job satisfaction, and stress levels. Most of the available research about the relative benefits and drawbacks of different degree programs focus on individual details like income potential or job availability. PayScale attempted a more holistic approach, weighing quantitative details like income against qualitative characteristics like overall job satisfaction.

Overall, they found that STEM degrees were the most useful, with graduates by-and-large finding high-paying, low stress jobs. Degrees in fields like biostatistics, computer science, and economics topped Fortune's list, while arts, divinity, and education degrees were on the bottom. While a master’s in biostatistics is associated with a median salary of $105,900, according to PayScale, a master’s in early childhood education will make you a mere $48,700. 

However, it’s important to note that while the degree holders on the bottom of the PayScale list consistently made less and often noted higher stress levels, many also said their jobs offered extremely high levels of satisfaction. For instance, 83 percent of those with master’s degrees in early childhood education were highly satisfied with their jobs, as were 87 percent of those with a master’s in reading and literacy, and a full 95 percent of those with a degree in pastoral ministry.

Additionally, as Fortune notes, graduate school can be an expensive endeavor. So while comparing degree programs, before you send in your application, also consider whether the cost is worth it. Check out the five most and least useful graduate degrees below, and view the full list with all the stats on Fortune.

Most Useful:

M.A., Biostatistics
M.A., Statistics
Ph.D., Computer Science
Ph.D., Economics
M.A., Applied Mathematics

Least Useful:

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
M.A., Early Childhood Education
Master of Divinity (MDiv) tied with M.A., Elementary Education
M.A., Reading and Literacy
M.A., Theology

[h/t Fortune]

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Tulane University Offers Free Semester to Students Affected by Hurricane Maria
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As Puerto Rico continues to assess the damage left by Hurricane Maria last month, one American institution is offering displaced residents some long-term hope. Tulane University in New Orleans is waiving next semester’s tuition fees for students enrolled at Puerto Rican colleges prior to the storm, Forbes reports.

From now until November 1, students whose studies were disrupted by Maria can apply for one of the limited spots still open for Tulane’s spring semester. And while guests won’t be required to pay Tulane's fees, they will still be asked to pay tuition to their home universities as Puerto Rico rebuilds. Students from other islands recovering from this year’s hurricane season, like St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are also welcome to submit applications.

Tulane knows all too well the importance of community support in the wake of disaster. The campus was closed for all of the 2005 fall semester as New Orleans dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. During that time, schools around the world opened their doors to Tulane students who were displaced. The university wrote in a blog post, “It’s now our turn to pay it forward and assist students in need.”

Students looking to study as guests at Tulane this spring can fill out this form to apply.

[h/t Forbes]

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Pablo, a Groundbreaking New BBC Series, Teaches Kids About Autism
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Autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 kids in the U.S., but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the nature of the condition and what it feels like to have it. As BuzzFeed reports, a new British children’s program aims to teach viewers about autism while showing kids on the spectrum characters and stories to which they can relate.

Pablo, which premiered on the BBC’s kids’ network CBeebies earlier this month, follows a 5-year-old boy as he navigates life with autism. The show uses two mediums: At the start of an episode, Pablo is played by a live actor and faces everyday scenarios, like feeling overstimulated by a noisy birthday party. When he’s working out the conflict in his head, Pablo is depicted as an animated doodle accompanied by animal friends like Noa the dinosaur and Llama the llama.

Each character illustrates a different facet of autism spectrum disorder: Noa loves problem-solving but has trouble reading facial expression, while Llama notices small details and likes repeating words she hears. On top of demonstrating the diversity of autism onscreen, the show depends on individuals with autism behind the scenes as well. Writers with autism contribute to the scripts and all of the characters are voiced by people with autism.

“It’s more than television,” the show’s creator Gráinne McGuinness said in a short documentary about the series. “It’s a movement that seeks to build awareness internationally about what it might be like to see the world from the perspective of someone with autism.”

Pablo can be watched in the UK on CBeebies or globally on the network's website.

[h/t BuzzFeed]


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