Use the Academic Programs tab to search for summer programs on topics from astronomy to textile design. Travel Abroad Programs includes every continent, except Antarctica, with community service, language acquisition and more. There are over thirty options for sports camps based on college campuses. Use the Careers Tab to learn about how to prepare for careers from architect to mathematician.

Career Paths:

Area
Science Materials Scientist

Materials Scientists make new stuff, find new uses for stuff, make stuff better and investigate why stuff sometimes fails.. More...

The work of materials scientists is all around – from the Gorilla Glass used for smartphone screens, Kevlar used in bullet-proof vests, synthetic diamonds to nylon. Materials Scientists are developing electronic tattoos to monitor health, engineer tissue of more quickly test cancer-fighting drugs, develop solar batteries and more. Materials Scientists apply their knowledge in chemistry, biology, physics and engineering to investigate the properties and uses of textiles, biological materials, ceramics, conductors, metals, superconductors, semiconductors and alloys.

A Material Scientist will have a bachelor’s degree, or more advanced degree, and will work as a researcher in a university setting or in a large corporation, such as Ford Motors, Corning, BASF, Honeywell or AT&T. Materials Scientists also do research in the government and military. The median wage is approximately $85,000 per year with a steady job outlook.

These sites have fun introductions to materials science: City of MaterialsMaterials Research Society Science Enthusiast 

My Summer Advisor has summer programs specifically in materials science, some of which are free or offer scholarships. Programs in nanotechnology, chemistry, physics and engineering may also address topics in the realm of materials science.


Science Physicist

Physicists study how the world works. They may be focused on the secret lives of subatomic particles, dark matter or predicting how the universe will look in a billion years. More...

Physicists also work on practical problems, such as how to harness solar or wind power or improve the efficiency of batteries. Some physicists work in the public sector advising governments on issues like energy policy and climate change. If you are considering a career in the field, check out this site: So You Want to Become a Physicist by Michio Kaku. He writes about the education needed and job opportunities.

There are a surprising number of celebrity physicists: Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox and others appear on TV regularly and have written popular books. Brian May, lead guitarist of the rock group, Queen, is a astrophysicist. He completed his PhD in 2007 on zodiacal dust. Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory is the world's most famous fictional physicist. Physicists are also internet stars of a huge number of videos, including "Make Plasma with Grapes in the Microwave!"

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of physicists/astronomers is $106,360 per year (2012 data) with average projected job growth over the next ten years. This is for a physicist with a doctorate.

My Summer Advisor offers a wide range of summer programs in physics. Many are free programs offered as part of Governor's Schools programs. The behavior of ultra cold matter, explosives, plasma, astrophysics, the physics of roller coasters are examples of some areas of concentration with opportunities to also be involved in research, including some paid internships. Students interested in physics should also check out programs in astronomy, materials science, nanotechnology, sustainability and engineering, as well.


Science Registered Nurse

Nurses work in hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing or hospice care facilities and the military. Their training is focused on wellness, patient education and treating the whole patient. More...

(The training of doctors is focused on the treatment of diseases.) Nurses interact directly with patients and are important in screening, care of patients in hospitals, coordinating care, followup care and helping patients cope with chronic illnesses. In some states, Nurse Practitioners may work independently from doctors and handle routine conditions or physicals.

There are several types of nursing degrees: A Bachelor’s of Science in nursing (BSN) is generally a four-year degree; an Associate Degree in nursing (ADN) is generally a two-year program; and there are diploma programs for nursing, as well. Many universities offer a separate College of Nursing with specific admission requirements. Registered nurses must pass a national examination (NCLEX-RN). See the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for state-by-state licensing requirements. (https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm

More advanced degrees at the master’s or doctoral level may be needed for certain specialties in nursing and to teach nursing. A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an RN with a master's or doctorate. A NP interacts with patients with an emphasis on health management and disease prevention. A NP will have education in pharmacy, assessment and diseases, receive additional clinical training and pass a national certification exam

A Nurse Anesthetist is a licensed RN with a master's degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program, clinical training, have passed a national exam and be licensed.

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is a R.N. focused on care of a specific group and has earned a master's degree or doctorate in an area such as gerontology.

The median pay for a Registered Nurse is $65,470 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). NP's, Nurse Anesthetists and Clinical Nurse Specialists will earn more.

The employment of Registered Nurses is projected to grow 19% to 2022 (above average outlook).

My Summer Advisor offers a wide range of PreMed programs (see Academic Programs, Science). Many programs address careers in the health sciences - Registered Nurse, Medical Doctor and more. Many offer practical experience in taking a patient history, suturing, CPR, taking vitals and other basic skills with tours of hospitals and the opportunity to shadow health care professionals. Some of these programs are free, especially for students from rural areas, low-income families and/or minorities.

There are also research opportunities in the health sciences. Some may involve issues such as health disparities or clinical trials that relate well to a student considering a career in nursing.


Technology Computer Programmer

Programmers are everywhere. They could be working in a hospital developing systems to provide real-time patient information to doctors; in an investment company maintaining systems that process transactions; in a university developing an online course delivery platform; writing apps to help people monitor their sleep; or creating games. More...

Some of the largest companies in the world: Apple, Google and Microsoft are technology companies.

Researchers in the field are involved improving how people interact with computers; how computers can be used to sequence DNA and other data intensive analysis; enhancing computer processing speed and memory capabilities; in robotics; in improving cybersecurity; and other exciting advancements.

Programmers typically develop expertise in a few languages. Languages are developed because they make certain tasks easier to program. Java, C, C++, C#, Python are a few of the popular all-purpose languages. HTML, CSS, XML and Joomla are examples of languages developed for web development. Unity is a popular game design platform. Programmers tend to specialize in the front-end (how a site interacts with the user) or the back-end (how transactions are processed).

Despite the tendency to lump programming with math at the high school level, programming doesn't require advanced math. It requires logic, problem solving skills, attention to detail and the ability to understand both the "big picture" and the small details. Programmers should to be able to understand the needs of a business and then create programs that meet their goals.

If you want to learn a little programming on your own before you jump into a summer program or class in high school, try Codecademy.  It's free.  HTML is an easy introduction and will give you an idea of what programming is like. code.org introduces programming through fun games for even very young students.

If you get bit by the programming bug, there are a lot of competitions for novices and experts alike: American Computer Science League , TopCoderGoogle CodeJamUSA Computing Olympiad 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of a programmer is $74,280 (2012 data) with average projected job growth over the next ten years. The biggest barrier to job growth and wages is the ease with which jobs can be outsourced abroad. There are still enormous opportunities in programming with the rise of smart appliances, fitness devices, robotics, drones and other new technologies

My Summer Advisor offers a wide range of summer programs in computer science; app design; game design; 3D printing, which uses software; GPS, which is important for technologies such as a driverless cars; robotics; and web design. Alice, Kodu and Scratch are popular languages for beginners. There are also many programs that use Minecraft to introduce game modding. Game design, Minecraft modding and Lego Mindstorms are popular topics because they introduce students to programming in a fun and very engaging way.

If you are interested in cybersecurity, look under "Law and Justice" for "counterintelligence" camps. These focus on the security of networked systems.

Other areas to consider might be architecture, animation, digital art and digital music. These summer programs often use software tools.


Technology Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineers are involved in almost fields of technology. An electrical engineer might be part of a team building the world’s fast supercomputer (currently Titan with a processing speed of 17.59 petaFLOPS) or tiny wearables that track a jog. More...

Electrical engineers are involved in the biomedical field – developing implanted biosensors that monitor glucose or delivery drugs or correct a cardiac arrhythmia.

Electrical engineers work for electrical component, robotics, or computer makers; in the aerospace industry; with industrial machinery; in the development of scientific instruments; for big utilities; in communication and transportation infrastructure; designing smart appliances; improving satellite systems; and elsewhere.

A great resource for a student considering a career in electrical and electronics engineering is IEEE Spark. It has interesting articles on engineering in action and also a guide to accredited engineering programs.  Engineer Girl is designed to encourage girls to consider a career in engineering. It has great information and lots of pictures of happy engineers. Try Engineering is another career-oriented resource.  Try Nano is a site dealing with tiny science (10-9 meters). Electrical engineers are also involved in research in this area.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers have a median pay of $89,630 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012) with a 4% (slower than average) projected job growth.

My Summer Advisor has a wide range of programs in electrical engineering. Many of these are overviews of all the branches of engineering, including electrical engineering. Introductions to electrical engineering often use Arduino (an easy-to-use hardware and software electronics platform), Lego Mindstorms (to build your own robot) or Raspberry Pi (a DIY computer) to teach the basics of circuits and to get students involved in building fun projects. Most programs also include site visits and the opportunity to meet professional engineers.

Even if you aren’t a math superstar, give an engineering program a try. If you enjoy problem solving and creating, you will have a blast!


Math Math

Love math? There are a wide range of jobs that require sophisticated math skills. Math is vital in business. Mathematicians can be found developing trading models, analyzing risk in financial securities and insurance; and using data analytics in business functions from marketing to facilities management. More...

In health care, biostatisticians are involved in developing disease models, helping analyze data from clinical trials of new drugs and more. Math is used in all fields of engineering and in computer science, especially in security and algorithm design. Math is used in industrial design and process development. CareerCast has ranked mathematician as the best job of 2014.   Check out this article: On the Case at Mount Sinai, It's Dr. Data about a math major who went to Wall Street, then Facebook, then to applying data science at a prestigious medical school.

Some inspiring sites for the mathematically inclined are: American Mathematical Society, which includes information about math competitions; American Statistical Society, which offers career path suggestions; Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), for more ideas about careers in applied math.

A very inspiring book for young mathematicians is "In Code - A Mathematical Journey" by Sarah Flannery about a girl who loved math and went on to do research in cryptography and attend Cambridge. For a fun, slightly maniac discussion of unusual math topics, check out Vi Hart's YouTube channel. She explains a lot of concepts with colored markers!

Our site lists summer programs in science, engineering, technology, math, business and actuarial science. If math is your evil nemesis, chief foe and greatest challenge, there also programs to help students engage in math in fun ways through art and music. There are math camps for everyone!


Flight/Space Aviation

If you are fascinated by flight, there are a wide range of careers in the aviation industry. Mechanics and avionics technicians repair and maintain aircraft. More...

Aviation Inspectors are responsible for ensuring aircraft are safe to fly. Pilots work for large airlines or as private pilots. Aerospace Engineers design aircraft to make them more efficient. 

Many jobs in aviation do not require a bachelor’s degree. Mechanics and technicians may train at FAA-approved schools, have an associate’s degree or be trained in the military. The FAA offers certification in bodywork, engine work, aircraft electronics and communications. Inspectors will have certification and several years of experience. The median wage for mechanics and technicians is $55,230. There are opportunities across U.S. at major and regional airports.

Pilots must have a commercial pilot’s license. Airline pilots typically have a bachelor’s degree and more advanced certification. Flight Schools may be part of two and four-year colleges and universities. The median pay is $98,410.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest job outlook in aviation is for below average job growth.

The aviation summer camps included on My Summer Advisor are held at flight schools or colleges and universities with flight programs. Many offer flight simulation, the opportunity to fly an airplane, an appreciation for the history of flight in the United States and opportunities to learn about research in aviation. Aviation camps are also a fun way to teach important concepts in physics, applied math and meteorology. Aeronautics summer programs are more focused on the science of flight. Aerospace Engineering programs are for students interested in delving more deeply into the engineering of efficiently design of aircraft and spacecraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration offers one-day camps across the U.S. For information about these programs, see the link in the article below.


Agricultural/Veterinary Veterinarian

To become a veterinarian, you must first graduate with an undergraduate degree and then apply to a veterinarian school. More...

Most vet schools have very specific requirements for courses that need to be completed as an undergraduate. They also require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores for admission. Because of the requirements, it is helpful to attend a pre-veterinary science program as an undergraduate to make sure you have had the proper courses. You should also have had clinical experience with a veterinarian and letters of recommendation to make yourself a strong candidate. There are a few schools that offer a seven-year bachelor's/vet school option - basically three years of undergraduate study and then another four years of vet school. This saves the expense and time of one year of college. Admission is very competitive, but it is an option to investigate.

There are only thirty accredited schools of veterinary medicine, so admission is very competitive. The site for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has a list of institutions and resources about the application process.

Upon graduation from an accredited school of veterinary medicine, prospective practitioners receive a D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) or V.M.D. (Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris) degree. Candidates must then pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). Each state has licensing procedures and requirements.

Veterinarians may decide to specialize by pursuing board certification in areas such as anesthesia, nutrition, microbiology, ophthalmology, zoological medicine and more. The site for the American Veterinary Medical Association has helpful information about specialties, internships and more.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage of a vet is $84,460 with average job growth projected (2012 – 2022).

Many vets work in their own practice or in animal hospitals. Large animal vets usually travel to meet their patients. Vets are also involved in lab research developing products for animal nutrition or medicines, at zoos or in government advising on farm policy. Vets also play an important role in food safety by helping keep farm animals healthy and by inspecting farms and slaughterhouses.

My Summer Advisor has many programs that allow middle and high school students to learn about careers in veterinary medicine, understand the academic requirements of vet school and gain experience working with animals. There are even research opportunities in animal disease and nutrition. Many 4-H clubs offer programs that include veterinary science as a topic. Students should also consider summer programs in agricultural science, biology and even premed.


Visual Arts Architect

Architects blend the creative with the practical. Architects work with their clients to create functional, efficient and beautiful spaces. More...

Architecture is often what most defines a city. The Transamerica Pyramid, the Empire State Building and the Space Needle are buildings that instantly make their cities recognizable. The discipline of architecture changes as new building materials are introduced, new technologies to increase energy efficiency are developed and styles change. Green architects focus on efficient use of resources in construction and building operation. If you are considering a career in the field, check out this site: Life of An Architect. Landscape architects focus on the design of campuses, gardens, public green spaces and more.

To become an architect, you should receive a degree from an accredited program. The accrediting organization is the National Architectural Accrediting Board. It is generally a five to six year program for an undergraduate degree. Most states also require an internship with a professional architect or architectural firm. Architects must then pass an exam to receive a state license. If architects wish to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified, they must pass an additional exam.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of an architect is $73,090 (2012 data) with faster than average projected job growth over the next ten years.

These are some sites to explore if you are considering a career in architecture:

The American Institute of Architects

American Institute of Architecture Students 

American Society of Landscape Architects

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

Architectural Digest is a widely available magazine with an eye on trends in architecture and beautiful photography.

My Summer Advisor offers a wide range of summer programs in architecture. Many of these are led by faculty of architecture programs and offer an overview of the career and educational requirements, an introduction to computer aided design tools, the opportunity to meet practicing architects, develop drawing and modeling skills, explore urban design and more. There are also programs for younger students created to develop an appreciation for architecture and design.


Business Accountant

Accountants are experts in financial reporting. Many work in auditing - verifying the accuracy of a company's financial statements. More...

An auditor is often away from the office checking a company's inventory, calling vendors to check the legitimacy of accounts payable records or valuing a corporate art collection. Auditors must interact with clients, but also maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. Their job is also to look for fraud or embezzlement on the part of corporate employees.

Other accountants specialize in taxation. They prepare tax returns, but also advise clients on complex issues such as pension planning or the special tax rules for American workers who are assigned abroad. Tax accounts often do research on federal and state tax codes and also legal cases, involving taxation. A very complex area!

Accountants also work for private companies - taking responsibility for financial reporting. Most companies have a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), who is an accountant with this responsibility and also expertise in business financial strategy. Accountants may also be self-employed - advising clients on retirement planning or on proper tax withholding.

The most marketable accreditation for accountants is becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). To become a CPA, you must complete a program of study in accounting at the college level. Then, take the Uniform CPA Examination. It is a 16 -hour exam (taken over several days) with sections on auditing, business concepts, financial accounting and regulation. Each state then determines further requirements. For example, the state of California requires one year of experience working for a licensed CPA and passing the California Professional Ethics Exam to become a licensed CPA.

The best source for information about becoming a CPA is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The AICPA also offers scholarships for students studying accounting.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors have a median pay of $68,150 per year with a faster than average job growth projected.

Accountants are number crunchers, but they don't typically use advanced math. It is a field for people who are detailed oriented, but who are also able to understand sophisticated business and finance concepts. Accountants can further specialize in cybersecurity, financial planning, forensic accounting (investigating financial crimes) and many other areas.


Justice and Law Lawyer

Lawyers help their clients navigate the legal system. Most of us are familiar with criminal law, because of the countless legal TV dramas and movies. More...

Lawyers also represent clients in civil court, which only has the power to award monetary damages. Disagreements over a home sale or a business partnerships, failure to honor a product warranty, divorces, libel, and other disputes between individuals or corporations can be settled in civil court. Law is also a popular profession for politicians. The majority of the U.S. Senate are lawyers and a large percentage of the House are, as well. Lawyers also work for non-profits and corporations. Most large corporations have large legal departments.

To become a lawyer, you must first earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college of university. There is no specific "pre-law" degree. Lawyers often major in English, because a career in law often involve research, close reading of documents such as legal decisions or contracts, and writing. Aspiring lawyers may also major in fields closer to their interests such as political science or even engineering, if a person is interested in patent law. Admission to law school requires good scores on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It is similar to the SAT. You can see sample questions at the Law School Admission Council.

After successful completion of law school, you will receive a J.D. (Juris Doctor). It typically takes three years to complete the requirements for a J.D. Your education will expose you to all aspects of the law, such as tax law or contracts. Each state is responsible for establishing its own procedure for admitting a lawyer to the "bar". In most states, there is a written exam on law and also an ethics exam.

The median pay is $118,160 per year and job growth is estimated at 6%, (about average). Lawyers who are partners in large firms make a lot of money. It is very competitive and lawyers work long hours as they move up in the firm. Sole practitioners have more control over their schedules.

There are many summer programs for students interested in the law. Some of these are free and offered by regional bar associations. They help students learn about careers in law, but also how the court system works. Learning about our legal system is a valuable opportunity, even for someone not interested in become a lawyer. Most of us will interact with the legal system, at some point in our lives, even if it is only to probate a will.