• “Legal Aspects of the Music Industry,” Berklee College of Music. Hit the charts, make mad cash, sue for breach of contract — thank you and good night!
• “Sport Marketing,” Southern New Hampshire University. At SNHU, would-be money-grubbing sports agents or team owners can hit this course for a single (sport-management minor), a double (sport-management bachelor’s), or a home run (sport-administration master’s — the only one in New England).
• “The Analysis of Baseball: Statistics and Sabermetrics,” Tufts University. Relatively new, eminently buzz-worthy, this class has covered such topics as quantification of pitching performance, expected-win probability, and “What in the World Is Joe Morgan Talking About?” If you aim to be the next Theo, these are the books you need to be hitting.
• “Arabic Language Immersion,” Middlebury College. In this nine-week program, students “eat, sleep, study, make friends, interact with professors, watch TV and films, and attend lectures ... exclusively in Arabic.” Doesn’t sound like your cup of shaye? Then consider that there are thousands upon thousands of untranslated tapes and documents in Arabic clogging the US intel pipeline, probably for years to come. That’s job security.
• “Propaganda,” Rhode Island School of Design. Learn the visual art of exhortation, denunciation, advocacy, inducement, and subtle manipulation — ah, the classics.
• “Acting for the Camera,” Emerson College. Biz mag Fast Company recently ranked acting (!) as one of the best jobs around, reasoning that “sometimes — OK, many times — you don’t even have to be particularly good at it to be successful.” Here you can follow in the footsteps of Emerson alums Denis Leary, Jennifer Coolidge, and, er, Natasha Gregson Wagner.
• “Film Industry,” Boston University. When Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of the best US showbiz schools a few years back, only BU made the grade for schools in the area, with its moviemaking program billed as a “nonstop filmorama.” This survey course spans script development; studio structure; agents, attorneys, and contracts; independent filmmaking; and distribution — call it a neophyte director’s survival kit. See you at Sundance.
• “Hip-Hop Writing and Production,” Berklee College of Music. With America’s number-one music genre always jonesing for new talent, would-be Fiddies and Diddies should listen up as instructor Mike Hamilton — who has written and produced for artists including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Method Man — lays it out.
Science and Engineering
• “Introduction to the Design and Construction Profession,” Wentworth Institute of Technology. The first step in Wentworth’s construction-management degree — which boasts 100 percent employment within three months of graduation — could be a smart move if you want a piece of the Even Bigger Dig.
• “Extraterrestrial Life in the Galaxy: A Sure Thing or a Snowball’s Chance?”, Williams College. Okay, so other New England schools have much bigger aero/astro guns. But this astronomy course spoke to our inner Interplanet Janet, as it promised to examine current searches for signs of intelligent life in the universe, and to “contemplate humanity’s reactions to a positive detection.” If you’re feeling inspired to reach for the stars, be warned that aeronautics, astronomy, and astrophysics are marked by fierce job competition — but frequently by fat paychecks, too.