Category: Career and Jobs
Choosing the right course of study can lead to secure employment, these HR experts say.
Wondering which degrees can get you hired? Why not ask the people who do the hiring? We polled a half-dozen HR managers and experts throughout the country to see what college degrees they want to see on the resumes hitting their desks.
The HR professionals work with employees in all industries, from private-sector firms and public agencies to non-profits, and the consensus was simple: now more than ever, your degree does matter.
“Get this message out to the guidance counselors of America,” said Coy Renick, a Virginia-based HR professional. “It’s not about getting a degree. It’s about getting the right degree.”
#1 Degree – Health Care & Nursing
In a 2010 poll by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), 84 percent of HR specialists in the health care industry said they were currently hiring, leading all other sectors of the economy. Echoing that optimism, the U.S. Department of Labor says that 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations through 2018 are health-related.
Tip #1: “Anything related to the aging population is hot,” said Roberta Matuson of Massachusetts-based Human Resource Solutions. “Whether it’s a nutritionist, nurse, or nursing assistant, many hospitals can’t afford to staff as many doctors, so they are bringing in people who can do a lot of the same things but at a lower cost.”
Tip #2:”Like it or not, outsourcing is a long-term trend so you have to ask yourself: What jobs can be outsourced and what cannot? Many medical jobs cannot,” said Steve Kane, an HR expert and former VP at a Fortune 50 global medical services company.
Degrees in Demand
Health Care Administration
Careers & Salaries
Home Health Aides: $21,440
Medical Assistants: $28,300
Registered Nurses: $62,450
Health Care Managers: $80,240
#2 Degree – Business
When 100 HR professionals were asked what degree is most likely to get you hired in 2010, a business administration degree finished second, just behind health care, according to a poll by corporate consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Finance and accounting were popular choices too.
Tip #1: “A business degree is always going to have real value,” said Matuson, an HR pro who helps staff nonprofits and small-to large-sized businesses. Her clients include Best Buy and New York Life.
Tip #2: Renick believes specificity is key: “If you have a general business degree, you’re just one of many. But if you specialize in finance, accounting, or HR, it’s easier to find a job.”
Degrees in Demand
Careers & Salaries
Employment Specialists: $45,470
Financial Managers: $99,330
#3 Degree – Information Technology (IT)
According to SHRM’s 2010 poll of HR professionals, 75 percent of high-tech companies are hiring. What makes an IT degree so valuable though is that it’s applicable in other industries too.
Tip #1: “The hottest industry for me is IT,” said Renick, who helps staff companies in western Virginia. “You can make 50 or 60 grand right out of school with a two-year degree and the right certification. If you have a bachelor’s or master’s, we’re talking six figures.”
Tip #2: “What’s almost always true and is still true today is that computer science majors are still in demand,” said Kane, a San Francisco-based HR pro. “It never seems to end.”
Degrees in Demand
IT and Information Systems
Careers & Salaries
Network Administrators: $66,310
Database Administrators: $69,740
Computer Scientists: $97,970
#4 Degree – Education & Teaching
While demand for educators isn’t skyrocketing, employment for teachers and administrators is rising at a steady clip now and into the foreseeable future, according to the Department of Labor, which cites mathematics, science and bilingual education as the most promising fields.
Tip #1: Vivian Leonard, director of HR for the city of Boston, oversees 17,000 employees, including the local school department. “I’ll consider your college degree, internships and any prior work experience,” Leonard said. “You must demonstrate knowledge and a true interest.”
Tip #2: When it comes to jobs, Kane stresses location, location, location: “In cushy suburban locations, there is little demand for teachers. In rural areas, there’s an even supply, while in rough, urban locations they are desperate for teachers. Why? Supply and demand.”
Degrees in Demand
Careers & Salaries
Childcare Administrators: $39,940
Elementary School Teachers: $52,240
Middle School Teachers: $52,570
High School Teachers: $54,390
High school Principals: $97,486
#5 Degree – Culinary & Hospitality
There is a “substantial” demand for new hires in the culinary and hospitality industries that isn’t expected to let up anytime soon, according to the Department of Labor. They cite a predominately young workforce with a high turnover rate as the main reason for optimism.
Tip #1: “There are some real opportunities in hospitality, especially if you have a bright smile and a positive attitude,” Kane said. “You’ll probably start low and your pay will be low, but you can get promoted and move up the chain of command rapidly since turnover is high.”
Tip #2: Job opportunities for meeting and convention planners will grow by 16 percent between 2008 and 2018, reports the Department of Labor.
Degrees in Demand
Baking & Pastry
Careers & Salaries
Travel Agents: $30,570
Chefs & Head Cooks: $38,770
Meeting & Convention Planners: $44,260
Lodging Managers: $45,800
Food Service Managers: $46,320
More than two hundred female Dutch professionals have signed a manifesto demanding a quota for women in top positions.
It was with mixed feelings, Bercan Günel admits, that she and 214 other female professionals decided to sign a manifesto demanding a quota for women in top positions in both private companies and public institutions. “It is after all a desperate measure,” says the director of the headhunting agency Woman Capital.
For years the women’s lobby has opposed legislation to enforce equal opportunities in the top echelons of the private and public sector. Günel: “We thought voluntary initiatives would be enough to bring about the cultural shift.”
But despite all the promises the percentage of women hired for top jobs remained disappointing. According to Woman Capital it is currently at 6 percent, and it is not expected to rise above 12 percent for 25 years.
So it was time for action. On Wednesday Woman Capital delivered the Quota Manifesto to all members of the Dutch parliament. The Manifesto calls for a legal minimum of 40 percent within five years. It would apply to the supervisory and advisory boards of all publicly-listed companies, all government institutions and all (semi-)public organisations.
The proposal is based on existing legislation in Norway, where it has proved effective. Having more women on the supervisory and advisory boards appears to result in more women being appointed to management and directorial positions too. Günel admits she is unfamiliar with research by the consulting firm Bain & Company, which suggests that imposing a quota doesn’t work.
Woman Capital says a better balance between men and women in top positions is also necessary to find a way out of the economic crisis. Günel: “Men are risk-takers, women are more cautious. A combination of the two results in better management.”
So far only women have signed the Quota Manifesto, although Günel says supportive emails from men have started arriving at Woman Capital’s website. The signatories include top female professionals like Pamela Boumeester (Dutch railways) and Trude Maas (ABN Amro).
At the end of October the Dutch parliament will debate an amendment by the Labour party proposing a 30 percent ‘target’ for female directors and supervisors. A similar previous amendment failed to get approval.
You may have more influence than you think, but the key is knowing the source.
People love power. Not because people are evil, but because power means survival. Every human relationship involves power in some way, and we are all hardwired to gravitate to, and want, power. Even you.
In most modern people’s lives, nowhere is power more obvious and more important than in the workplace. You may not believe you have any power at work, but you do. You have more power than you think.
Key to identifying the source of your power is to recognize that there’s more than one kind. Check out these seven different types of workplace power:
1. Power based on who you know.
If you have good interpersonal skills and strong networks, you have power. You are a connector, knowing who to introduce to whom, and you are a resource, knowing where to go for advice and help. This is a power that can grow exponentially, because the more people you know, the more people will want to know you.
2. Power based on what you know.
A very solid way to earn respect and influence at work is to be expert in something. The most knowledgeable and competent person in the workplace–the one who knows how things work and how to fix them when they don’t–is a very powerful person.
First-time jobless claims hit 500K, highest level since November as labor market weakens.
Employers appear to be laying off workers again as the economic recovery weakens. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits reached the half-million mark last week for the first time since November.
It was the third straight week that first-time jobless claims rose. The upward trend suggests the private sector may report a net loss of jobs in August for the first time this year.
Initial claims rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Construction firms are letting go of more workers as the housing sector slumps and federal stimulus spending on public works projects winds down. State and local governments are also cutting jobs to close large budget gaps.
The layoffs add to growing fears that the economic recovery is slowing and the country could slip back into a recession. “The rise in initial jobless claims over the past three weeks makes it difficult to maintain confidence in the recovery and suggests the labor market is backtracking,” Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, wrote in a note to clients.
Stocks tumbled on the fear of more layoffs and weak job growth. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 185 points in midday trading. Broader indexes also declined.
Jobless claims declined steadily last year from a peak of 651,000 in March 2009 as the economy recovered from the worst downturn since the 1930s. They hit a low of 427,000 in July before rising steadily over the past six weeks.
In a healthy economy, jobless claims usually drop below 400,000. “This is obviously a disappointing number that shows ongoing weakness in the job market,” said Robert Dye, senior economist at the PNC Financial Services Group.
Dye said claims showed a similar pattern in the last two recoveries, but eventually began to fall again. The current elevated level of claims is a sign employers are reluctant to hire until the rebound is well under way. That’s what happened in the recoveries following the 1991 and 2001 recessions, which were dubbed “jobless recoveries.”
California reported the largest increase in new claims two weeks ago, the latest data available. The state saw a jump of 4,393 in claims, due to more layoffs in services. Georgia has seen claims rise sharply for two straight weeks because of layoffs in construction and manufacturing.
The nationwide increase suggests the economy is creating even fewer jobs than in the first half of this year, when private employers added an average of about 100,000 jobs per month. That’s barely enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising. The jobless rate has been stuck at 9.5 percent for two months.
Private employers added only 71,000 jobs in July. But that increase was offset by the loss of 202,000 government jobs, including 143,000 temporary census positions.
July marked the third straight month that the private sector hired cautiously. Economists are concerned that the unemployment rate will start rising again because overall economic growth has weakened significantly since the start of the year.
After growing at a 3.7 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the economy’s growth slowed to 2.4 percent in the April-to-June period. Some economists forecast it will drop to as low as 1.5 percent in the second half of this year.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose by 8,000 to 482,500, the highest since December. The number of people continuing to receive benefits fell by 13,000 to 4.5 million, the department said. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by one week.
But that doesn’t include millions of people receiving extended unemployment insurance, paid for by the federal government. About 5.6 million unemployed workers were on the extended unemployment benefit rolls, as of the week ending July 31, the latest data available. That’s an increase of about 300,000 from the previous week.
During the recession, Congress added up to 73 extra weeks of benefits on top of the 26 weeks customarily provided by the states. The number of people on the extended rolls has increased sharply in recent weeks after Congress renewed the extended program last month. It had expired in June.
When we think about leadership, we tend to focus almost entirely on the leader. Yet without followers, there is no leader. Leadership is participatory: leaders and followers exist in a mutually beneficial relationship where each adds to the effectiveness of the other.
Key to this process is listening, because leadership is as much about listening as it is about talking, or perhaps more so. From the beginning, a leader must be informed by the followers’ values, beliefs, and aspirations, the followers’ identity. The commitment gap people frequently experience, the difference between what the leader desires and what the followers actually do, can often be traced back to not aligning the elements of leaders’ and followers’ identities—who they think they are—to find common ground on which to function and grow.
In an article that appeared in the August 2007 issue of Scientific American Mind, titled “The New Psychology of Leadership,” authors Stephen D. Reicher, Michael J. Platow and S. Alexander Haslam present research supporting the idea that effective leaders—those who can move followers from one behavior to another—grasp what their followers believe they are and represent, and then create a shared identity. They write, “The development of a shared identity is the basis of influential and creative leadership. If you control the definition of reality, you can change the world.”
Employers have to mix batteries of resumes, and they want candidates who know their specific needs. You must adjust your CV and cover letter. Skip two hours via the website of the company, the Executive LinkedIn profiles, blogs, articles and industry-before touching your resume or cover letter.
Watch your body language during a job interview.
If you do not have self-awareness and social skills, it shows. Even in the small critical discourse before the interview, make eye contact, smile, if any, and alert us. Above all, do not shake your knee, kick to the office, twirl your hair, check your phone, play with your pen, look into space, or nail biting.
Fill a large white patch CV volunteer work.
Many Americans have gaping holes in their resumes recession through no fault of their own work, but they wanted because they could not find it. One solution: volunteering part time. Volunteering tells potential employers that you are an energetic and compassion, even when faced with problems of your own finds ways to help others.
Do not be careless, watching the little things.
You forgot to set the date of your curriculum vitae. You whiffed on the name of the hiring manager, when you have demonstrated for the interview. Small things is not always a breeze agreement in real life, but it is often in a job search. When you are looking for a job, a small mistake can make a much greater than it would in most contexts.
Your resume should answer this question.
Most employers spend a lot of time looking through resumes, and most of their work experience “read [s] as a series of job descriptions. But this is not information to hiring managers need to make their decisions. Good resumes answer the question: “What have you done in this work that someone else would not?
Make sure you match the job description.
Resume Many candidates are totally unmatched in the advertised position. If you do not have a clear idea of what the job is done, your opinion of how well matched you will be established on a wrong basis.
Put your interlocutor feel comfortable.
Many investigators hatred interview. They know they are not good at it and deal with strangers and ask questions to fill a job that they do not know. “A job seeker to take advantage by remaining friendly, attentive listening, and emphasizing an understanding with his colleagues.
Plan before you proceed.
A recent study has shown that the development of a plan to start your job search can significantly affect the number of job offers you receive. Set goals “process” to stay on track to achieve career goals. Process objectives are. . . “Roll up your sleeves and spend” goals. Maybe you set a goal of making 10 phone calls a day.
Take the job less desirable.
Many job seekers try to enter a new industry. It is a difficult objective at all times and particularly difficult period of recession. Look for work that nobody wants. If a position is difficult to fill, they may be willing to hire you if you’re willing to learn how to do the work, rather than forcing you to already be an expert.
Far too many people quit their jobs in frustration, only to find similar (or worse) conditions in their next positions. If you find yourself tempted to quit your job, you’ll make a far better decision for yourself if you analyze your situation calmly and rationally.
1. Never quit in a moment of emotion. Most people have moments—plenty of them—where they want to quit their jobs. Most of the time, the feeling passes. Give yourself a couple of weeks—if the feeling doesn’t lift, then it’s something you can take seriously. But you don’t want to make a major decision in the heat of emotion that you can’t reverse later. And remember, it’s easy to reverse a decision not to quit. But it’s close to impossible to reverse a resignation once you’ve given it.
2. Think carefully about the advantages of your job that you may not find somewhere else. Perhaps your employer gives you an enormous amount of flex time that you don’t think you’d easily find elsewhere. Maybe you have a fantastically short commute that you really value. Maybe you get to do work that you love in a way that’s hard to find. You need to figure out what’s important to you and weigh that against what’s frustrating you. Maybe quitting would be the right decision—but make sure that you’ve weighed all the pros and cons before you do.
3. If possible, talk to your boss about your frustrations. You may find that things can change.
4. Be realistic about what will happen after you quit. If you don’t have another job lined up, how long will your savings last you? In this market, some people are going unemployed for a year or more, so if you resign without another job offer, you need to have a long-term plan.
5. Never quit just to “show them.” Often a desire to quit in frustration really stems from feeling powerless. The employer-employee relationship has such a slanted power dynamic that when your job or manager is making you unhappy, sometimes it can feel like your only way to regain power is to quit—and then, that’ll show ’em. But this is rarely satisfying. Your employer may be surprised at first, but people leave jobs all the time—they’ll quickly get over it. And you don’t want to be jobless just to make a point.
If you do end up deciding to quit, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you thought it through carefully and deliberately before you took the plunge.