Category: Career Planning
One of these five bachelor’s programs could help prepare you for the workforce.
Want to earn an online degree? Staying career-minded could be the way to go. The most popular online programs prep students “for careers in high-demand areas like business, computer science, health care and criminal justice,” according to a 2011 New York Times article “Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree.”
Eduventures, a Boston-based research firm, found a similar career-minded trend when it tracked enrollment data for 2.14 million online students in 2009. That year’s most popular online degrees included criminal justice, computer and information technology, health care, and business, in that order. Whether you want to change careers or hone skills that will help you get ahead at work, we’ve put the spotlight on five online degrees to consider.
Bachelor’s in Business Administration
Welcome to the 21st century, where an online presence is a must for any successful business, and students can get a bachelor’s in business administration online. All you need is a computer and internet connection to get started.
One of the benefits of the online format is that students can make sure that they are really absorbing the material, according to Jennifer Humber, an academic advisor at the University of Alabama.
“They can look at the assignments over and over again,” Humber told the school newspaper in September 2011. “They can do it on their own time.”
An online business administration degree could help you prepare for careers in multiple industries, all on your own time. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor recommends studying business administration for a wide range of tracks, including human resources specialist (average salary: $57,830), marketing specialist ($66,850), and financial analyst ($86,040).*
Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
Earning a criminal justice degree online is a popular trend. According to Eduventures, enrollment in online criminal justice programs jumped 41 percent in 2009.
At North Georgia College & State University, it’s not unusual for online classes to fill up within seconds during registration, according to Ross Alexander, the school’s criminal justice department head.
“With online, a student can log in anytime and work on classes,” Alexander told the Gainesville Times.
Maybe you’ve got your eye on a career in the private sector – as a security guard ($26,870) or private investigator ($47,830) – or perhaps you’re more interested in pursuing work as a police officer ($55,620).* Studying criminal justice online could help you get ready for these careers – and more – without giving up your current one to do so.
Bachelor’s in Nursing
While it may surprise some to see an online bachelor’s degree in nursing on our list, the simple fact is nursing is an in-demand profession. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 581,500 new registered nursing jobs are expected to be added between 2008 and 2018, and earning your bachelor’s in nursing online can help already working or busy aspiring nurses to prepare for a role as a registered nurse.
Though individual online nursing programs vary, some help working nurses earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) online. With more employers requiring a BSN, online programs everywhere are seeing a bump in enrollment, according to Elizabeth Regan-Butts, director of marketing and recruitment at Rowan University in New Jersey, which offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing that you can earn online.
“Nurses in the past only had to have an [associate’s] degree,” Regan-Butts told SouthJerseyBiz.net, a New Jersey-based website and magazine. “Now, most hospitals want a bachelor’s of science.”
If you want to pursue registered nurse opportunities, you’ll most likely need to get a BSN, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Registered nurses have an average annual salary of $67,720.*
Bachelor’s in Information Technology (IT) & Information Systems
Some people call it the 21st century; others call it the information technology age. Whatever name you prefer, it’s hard to imagine a more current degree you can earn online than IT and information systems. Among other things, you’ll learn how digital technology is changing businesses and the way we live.
Your online coursework may include everything from network and database administration to cybersecurity, the latter of which is a global problem these days, according to a 2011 report by computer security firm Symantec.
“Cybercrime costs the world significantly more than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined,” Symantec concluded.
Want to break into the technology sector? Studying IT online could help you get started. A bachelor’s degree in information technology is one of the recommended courses of study for aspiring database administrators ($75,730), according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department adds that cyber-security specialists often go by more general job titles like database administrator or network and computer system administrator ($72,200).*
Bachelor’s in Health Care Administration
Looking for a career-focused degree? How about health care administration? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 10 of the 20 fastest growing jobs in the country are in health care.
No matter where you live, all you need is a computer and an internet connection and you too can start studying up on an industry that exists in just about every single town and city on the map.
Earning a health care administration degree online could help prep you for a career as a health care administrator ($93,670), according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While a master’s degree may be preferred by some employers, a bachelor’s degree could be enough to get you started, the Department says.*
Creating a wish list can be a first step to exploring employment options while you still have a job.
Is your boss taking you for granted? Is business slowing around the office? You may not be ready to jump ship just yet, but you should start to explore other professional options. You need not engage in an all-out active job search. Rather, you can put out feelers in another way. Follow these five steps to start your passive job search:
Post Your Resume Online
The easiest way to begin exploring your professional possibilities is to post your resume. By doing so, you’re letting thousands of recruiters, human resources professionals and employment experts know what your unique qualifications are and that you’re interested in new opportunities.
Remember that your current employer might see your resume online, which may prompt your boss to give you a raise or a promotion if she’s worried you’re going to jump ship. But you can also post your resume confidentially.
Create an Employer Wish List
Even if you’re not ready to leave your current job yet, there are probably other employers in which you’re interested. Create a comprehensive list of these target employers. Research them and see if they show up on Fortune magazine’s popular “Best Companies to Work For” list. Then, find out if these companies employ people with your skill set.
Enlist Your Network
Now that you have a list of dream employers, make inquiries to people in your network. Lauren Milligan, owner of ResuMAYDAY, a career-management services firm, warns against being too casual when reaching out for assistance. “If you’re too casual, your network may not take your requests seriously,” she says.
Ask if they’ve ever worked for any of the companies, or if they know anyone who does. Request contacts (at any level) for each organization.
Harness the Power of Informational Interviews
Informational interviews are a powerful tool for the passive job seeker. Because you’re not formally in the market for a new job, employers may welcome the opportunity to speak with you, as there is less pressure on both parties.
Milligan says informational interviews are a great way for any job seeker to gauge how attractive a candidate he is. “Near the end of the interview, ask, ‘Do you mind looking at my resume?’ Ask your interviewer to tell you what it’s lacking so you can make yourself more marketable in your industry,” she says. Then, find a way to acquire those skills or experiences while you still have your current job, she says.
Whatever the immediate outcome of your search, continue to follow up with everyone in your network.
“Reach out and keep the people who’ve offered advice in the loop,” Milligan says. “If you’ve heeded it, drop them a note saying, ‘I’ve taken your advice and I just want you to know you’ve been a big part of my success.’ Or better yet, pick up the phone. Thanking someone ensures that they’ll be there for you the next time you need help.”
Conversely, if you know you want (and are now qualified for) a job at an informational interviewer’s company, Milligan says you should ask for one: “Contact the person and say, ‘I’ve done X, Y and Z. I would like to pursue a position at your company. Can I send you a resume?'” Don’t be afraid to be direct, she says. “You have to ask for the sale, so to speak,” she says. “People rely on other folks to reach out, but the person on the other end has her own agenda. It can be a real time-saver to just come out and ask for what you want.”
Some don’t bother to look for work around the holidays and many believe no one reads cover letters. Do you think one of the myths about the job search?
1. Myth: You need connections to get a job.
Reality: The connections are useful, but many people find work by identifying an ad, send a CV and interview. Sometimes it may not feel this way because there are so many job seekers competing for a limited number of jobs, which means most people are less interviews (and job offers, even less). But many jobs are still people with no connection to the company.
2. Myth: No one reads cover letters.
Reality: A letter written well with the personality that you can get an interview when your resume alone can have. Of course, there are some hiring managers out there who do not bother with cover letters, but there are many who do, and you have no way of knowing what type you are dealing. With so many stories of cover letters open doors that otherwise would have remained closed, it would be foolish to miss this incredibly effective way to get noticed.
3. Myth: Employers will respond to you right away if they’re interested.
Reality: Some employers take weeks or months to meet the candidates. Sometimes it is because they wait until the end of the period of application prior to contacting all candidates, and sometimes it is because higher priority work gets in the way. (Of course, sometimes it may be because the company is disorganized.) Whatever the reasons, job seekers should not jump to conclusions if they do not hear back right away.
4. Myth: In a crowded field, job seekers must find creative ways to stand out.
Reality: If you want to stand, to write a great cover letter and build a CV that demonstrates a history of success in the region of the employer is hiring for. Drawings of fantasy, to have your resume delivered by mail during the night, the video resumes, and other gadgets do not compensate for the lack of skills.
5. Myth: Do not bother looking for jobs around the holidays.
Reality: Many recruitment is done in December! In fact, some hiring managers are scrambling to fill positions before the new year. And you can even have less competition, as other job seekers may have slowed down their research at this time of year.
6. Myth: Your resume should be one page.
Reality: At one point in the past, again were supposed to be limited to one page. But times have changed, and two pages shows the Commons today. People with only a few years of experience should always stick to one page, but two pages are fine for everyone.
7. Myth: Lower your salary will make you a more attractive candidate.
Reality: Employers will hire the best person for the job, within the limits of what they can afford. They are not likely to prefer someone else just because he or she is less expensive.
8. Myth: Your partner knows what he or she is doing.
Reality: Although all investigators should be trained in how to interview effectively, the reality is that many are inexperienced, unskilled or otherwise unable to conduct interviews fort. They can be prepared, ask questions wrong, or just be rude.
9. Myth: If you want to stand, you must call to follow up your request.
Reality: Most employers will tell you that these calls do not help and sometimes painful. These days, with hundreds of applicants for every opening, if all candidates to follow up, employers would spend all day fielding calls. Believe me, they do not want.
10. Myth: Employers will only call the references on the list you gave them.
Reality: Employers can call anyone you worked for or could you know, and a good reference ladies are not limited to the official list of the references you provide. They call former managers, listed or not – and sometimes, especially those that are not listed because they know the omission may be intentional and thus remarkable. After all, the list you hand over is, of course, those likely to present in the light most flattering, and they want to see you in brighter lighting. The only thing generally considered off-limits in the reference check is to call your current employer. Everyone is fair game.
It may seem counterintuitive, but going on breaks helps you accomplish more.
While your co-workers start every day enjoying a cup of coffee together in the break room, you’re barely able to find time to call your doctor. While they’re taking lunches, you’re rushing through another meal at your desk. Sound familiar? Here’s the good news: This apparent discrepancy may not mean you’ve got a bigger workload or that you’re a harder worker. Instead, it may mean that they’ve mastered certain time-saving skills and habits that you haven’t-until now. From prioritizing your workload to learning which projects don’t need to be perfect, read on to discover eight workplace habits that’ll boost your productivity and lower your stress levels.
They make it a point to take breaks.
Americans seem to think that constantly working is synonymous with being productive, but unless your brain is functioning at its maximum level, you may not be getting as much work done as you think. “[Taking breaks] is like hitting the reset button. It helps you empty out your ‘brain cache’ so you have room to refill it,” says Christine Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World. First and foremost, she recommends taking lunch every day-and leaving your desk to do it. “When you have a ‘working lunch,’ it’s just not very efficient. At some point you’re going to lose attention,” she says.
Ultimately, eating while you work will cause you to suffer on two fronts: you won’t be able to pay attention to your food-a surefire way to overeat-and you won’t be giving your work the proper attention it deserves. In addition to a “real” lunch break, Hohlbaum suggests allotting time for other breaks as well. She recommends taking five minutes in the morning, before starting work, and at least a 10- to 15-minute break in the afternoon.
Whether you take a short walk, read a book or stare out of the window with a cup of tea, it’ll help you recharge and improve your overall productivity. “It’s really important to take time off because otherwise your brain will reach a saturation point,” Hohlbaum says, explaining that when this happens, it becomes hard to focus on even the simplest task. “At that point, you need to push away from your computer and take a break.”
They start their day off on the right foot.
According to a recent study at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, if an employee is in a bad mood when they arrive at work-whether because of familial problems or a stressful commute-it can decrease their productivity by as much as 10% that day. So unless you come in to the office every day in a great mood (and who does?), start your day with 5 to 10 minutes of time dedicated to decompressing. “Create a ritual. Maybe it’s meeting in the coffee break room or going around the office to greet everyone. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you foster a sense of connection [with your coworkers],”
Says Holhbaum. “Swinging by to say ‘hi’ to your colleagues when you walk in gives you a sense of focus. When you feel you’re part of a bigger effort, you feel more connected to why you’re there and that can make all the difference in the world.” Re-focusing your mind at the beginning of the day will also create a sense of calm, helping you to disregard outside stressors and zero in on your daily tasks. “If we’re actually able to start the day centered, then we’ll have a longer tolerance period before we get off track,” Holhbaum says.
There is no secret how to find a job in the publishing industry like an editor, copywriter or a writer. The truth is landing a job in the publishing industry is like finding a job in any other industry. Preparation and assertiveness are always key ingredients to succeed. There is never a quick fix to a job search so you have spend time, effort and money before you can actually get the job of your dreams.
In order to help you to succeed in landing your publishing industry job, here are some steps that can help you along the way:
Become qualified for the position you desire;
Learn to demonstrate your qualifications;
Research prospective employers;
Call up employers;
Master the interview process;
Follow up after the interview and when things do not work out;
Start over from step 1.
When telling a prospective employer about yourself, avoid the chronological approach and try this.
For many people, job interviews are the most stressful part of the job-search process. And it’s true that an interview is often a make-or-break moment: If you flub the interview in a big way, you probably won’t make the cut–no matter how good your resum is, or how excellent your qualifications are.
You can combat nerves and increase your chances of success by practicing your answers to difficult interview questions. Here are some of the toughest, with suggested answers:
1. Why do you want to work in this industry?
“I love to shop. Even as a kid, I spent hours flipping through catalogs.”
Don’t just say you like it. Anyone can do that. Focus instead on your history with that particular industry, and if you can, tell a success story.
“I’ve always loved shopping, but my interest in retail marketing really started when I worked at a neighborhood boutique. I knew that our clothes were amazing, but that we weren’t marketing them properly. So I worked with management to come up with a marketing strategy that increased our sales by 25 percent in a year. It was great to be able to contribute positively to an industry I feel so passionate about, and to help promote a product I really believed in.”
2. Tell us about yourself.
“I graduated four years ago from the University of Michigan, with a bachelor’s in biology–but I decided that wasn’t the right path for me. So I switched gears and got my first job, working in sales for a startup. Then I went on to work in marketing for a law firm. After that, I took a few months off to travel. Finally, I came back and worked in marketing again. And now, here I am, looking for a more challenging marketing role.”
Instead of giving a chronological work history, focus on your strengths and how they pertain to the role. If possible, illustrate with examples.
“I’m really energetic, and I’m a great communicator. Working in sales for two years helped me build confidence and taught me the importance of customer loyalty. I’ve also got a track record of success. In my last role, I launched a company newsletter, which helped us build on our existing relationships and create new ones. Because of this, we ended up seeing a revenue increase of 10 percent over two years. I’m also very interested in how companies can use web tools to better market themselves, and would be committed to building on your existing platform.”
3. What do you think of your previous boss?
“He was completely incompetent, and a nightmare to work with, which is why I’ve moved on.”
Remember that if you get the job, many of the people interviewing you will someday be your previous bosses. The last thing they want is to hire someone they know will badmouth them. Instead of trashing your former employer, stay positive, and focus on what you learned from him (no matter how awful he really was).
“My last boss taught me the importance of time management, didn’t pull any punches, and was extremely deadline-driven. His no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and to meet deadlines I never even thought were possible.”
If you’re the type that’s usually ahead of the curve, you might be well-suited for these professions.
If you have an eye for new trends, a career as a marketing manager is one option to consider. Whether it’s for developing new items or finding innovative ways to advertise existing products, as a marketing manager you could use your trendsetting skills to monitor new fads for promoting your company’s products or services.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, marketing managers usually work with a team of advertising and promotion managers, product development managers, and market research managers. They might play any number of roles in areas like market research, product development – even pricing and advertising.
Do you have a passion for fashion? Consider a career in fashion design where you could spot trends and predict the styles, colors, and fabrics that people might be drawn to next season.
By researching trends in the economy and society, fashion designers can create designs that appeal better to the public, says the U.S. Department of Labor. After sketching their designs, they generally work with textile designers and manufacturers to select fabrics, draw sketches, and create prototypes.
If you hope to explore the world and learn about different cultures, a career as a foreign correspondent might be right up your alley. In this type of career, you could have the opportunity to bring important world issues and trends into the spotlight by gathering information, creating stories, and delivering international news to viewers or readers back home, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Assigned to a country by a publication or station, foreign correspondents usually work under strict deadlines, says the Department of Labor. You might be asked to report the news from the location of a war zone or at the scene of a natural disaster.
Do you enjoy decorating your home or office? As an interior designer, you could give decorating advice to clients and illustrate the latest interior design trends.
By listening to a client’s needs and wishes, interior designers can create a design that fulfills those requests, says the U.S. Department of Labor. And even though those designs will need to be created with building/safety codes – and budget – in mind, interior designers can still bring their creativity to the table and deliver something that makes the client say, “Wow!”
Do you love food and enjoy testing new recipes? As a chef, you could put your culinary creativity and trendsetting nature to use, finding new ways to suit the public’s palate by staying in touch with culinary trends, such as healthier alternatives or sustainable food sources.
In addition to overseeing the daily duties of a kitchen staff, chefs might play a role in preparing cost estimates for food and supplies, making work schedules, developing recipes, and planning menus, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Avoid confusing staff as substitutes for friends and work on building trust slowly, experts say.
Your human resources team can help you be a better manager, get promoted, and even deal with a lawsuit. But there are a few things that you should never share with HR.
The key is to be mindful: “You need to be sure you are communicating what you want your management to know,” says Clinical Professor of Management John Millikin, Ph.D. of the W.P. Carey School of Business.
If you’re concerned but still think HR should know something, ask for discretion: “It is up to you to communicate what you want to be kept confidential. Like any relationship, you should build trust slowly,” suggests Millikin.
Here are 4 things that experts say HR should never be privy to:
1. Things You Wouldn’t Share with Your Direct Manager
HR is there to help you deal with your manager, but they’re also there to help your manager deal with you, so don’t count on privacy.
“HR works in that difficult space between employees and management, and must act on serious issues they learn about, whether you want them to act or not. Go to HR for help in solving problems, but not as a substitute for a best friend or neighbor,” says Bruce Clarke, president and CEO of CAI, a human resource management firm.
2. Your Medical or Financial Issues
Your HR staff is tasked with keeping your work life well and functioning — your home life isn’t usually their business.
This includes “medical conditions, whether it be personal or family ongoing or past physical or mental issues… or financial issues like foreclosure,” notes Lauren MacArthur, CPC and partner at Winter, Wyman & Co., a northeastern U.S. staffing firm.
The reason? HR wants stable performers and may be concerned if aspects of your home life seem unstable. Of course, if you need their help in order to do your job because of these issues, then you may need to discuss them, but do so cautiously.
3. Your Online Profile (if It’s Not Professional)
At some point during hiring or after, your HR rep may check out your online profile just to make sure you’re not bashing the company online or acting in a way that reflects them poorly.
So it goes without saying to never post inappropriate or potentially offensive photos, videos, wall posts, updates, or other content on Facebook or other social networks.
“Even when your privacy settings are tight, you never know who might see your profile,” says Holly Paul, the U.S. Recruiting Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
4. How Great Your Parental Leave Was
If your company gave you maternity or paternity leave, mention how much you appreciated it to HR — but show them that you’ve integrated back in and are glad to be back. The same goes when discussing a past leave in a job interview.
“You don’t want to dwell on why you took any leave (parental or otherwise) because it’s not relevant, and you want to move on to what’s relevant” — like your current skills and experience, says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, partner in Six-Figure Start and co-author of How the Fierce Handle Fear; Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times.
Use some free time to take online classes and work toward a new degree.
Thinking of switching careers or adding some skills to your resume? Looking for the right time to go back to school and get your degree? Summertime may be the right time to get started.
Summer classes are quickly becoming a popular option for college students of all kinds, according to Kyle Brown, director of online learning at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton.
Summer enrollment at SUNY Canton, for example, has jumped nearly 300 percent over the past four years, says Brown. Much of that growth is due to the fact that 90 percent of its summer classes are available online.
Want to use the summer to get a head start on your education? We’ve spotlighted some of the fastest growing careers through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and separated them into three different career categories. Using this data, we also included the most common degree or preparation needed in each career. Keep reading to see why summertime may be the right time to start these programs…
Head Start Option 1: Health Care Programs
Looking for a red hot degree program to start this summer? Consider pursuing a degree in health care. With health care reform in full swing, it’s an exciting time to dive into this rewarding profession.
Associate’s in Medical Assisting
Medical Assistant – $29,450
Dental Assisting Certificate
Dental Assistant – $34,000
Associate’s in Nursing
Registered Nurse – $66,530
Did You Know? Ten of the 20 fastest growing jobs in the country through 2018 are in health care, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and nursing and medical assisting careers are on the list!
Head Start Option 2: Business Programs
Looking to give your career a boost? Start the process this summer and consider studying business. As a whole, the industry is showing positive signs of heating up. In March 2011, small businesses in the U.S. added 50,000 new jobs, according to the Intuit Small Business Employment Index.
Bachelor’s in Accounting
Accountant – $67,430
Bachelor’s in Business
Personal Financial Advisor – $94,180
Master of Business Administration
Marketing Manager – $120,070
Did You Know? Personal financial advisors are enjoying a 30 percent increase in employment opportunities through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Head Start Option 3: Technology Programs
Summer is a perfect time to start gaining the skills one would need to start a career in technology, which is an industry always in search of the next hot thing. What it will be isn’t clear, but it’s safe to say that professionals with a background in technology will be behind it, just like they were for Twitter, iPads, and the like.
Bachelor’s in Information Systems
Computer Support Specialist – $47,360
Bachelor’s in Network Administration
Network Systems Administrator – $70,930
Bachelor’s in Computer Science
Computer Programmer – $74,690
Did You Know? Network systems analysts are enjoying a whopping 53 percent increase in employment opportunities through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Decide what matters most to you, and then check out these fields for a suitable match.
At the end of the day, a job is just a job. It’s getting what you want out of it that can make the difference between loving it and hating it. So how do you determine what’s most important to you?
Brainstorming a list of things you like to do or don’t like to do can help you find the right path, says Jessica Hernandez, a former HR manager who is now president and CEO of Great Resumes Fast.
“Sometimes, simply making a list will cause you to see a common theme and you can easily identify a career that would best suit your talent, passion and interests,” Hernandez says.
To help you figure out what careers might be the best fit for you, we’ve broken down some popular professions by the following benefits: balance, earning potential, satisfaction, and stability.
Keep reading to find the career you want and deserve…
Careers with Work-Life Balance
Striking the proper work-life balance means different things to different people. Some people want a steady 9-to-5 gig while others want the ability to design their own schedule or even work from home.
Just remember, any successful work-life balancing act depends on your ability to control your career as opposed to it controlling you.
Registered nurses, who usually have a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree in nursing, often enjoy a wide variety of work-life balance perks, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. These can include:
• Flexible work schedules
• Child care benefits
• Educational benefits
Making a comfortable living as a writer is not easy. Technical writing, however, can be a more stable career choice. Employers often prefer grads with degrees in English, communications, or journalism, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which cites the following perks of the profession:
• Most technical writers work steady hours and are employed full-time.
• Freelancing is an option.
• Advances in technology allow you to work from almost anywhere.