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The Major League of Degrees
Friday, January 27, 2012

When people go to college they are either dead set in what they want to pursue or don't have the slightest idea. Often times, people will change majors halfway through or decide at the last minute under the pressue of having to choose. Whether you go with your passion or follow job market patterns, what you major in will be the top determining factor for your career path. If all goes well, it will be a prosperous choice. But things may not always pan out the way we hope for. You can probably bank on monkey-making industries lacking intense adventure and passion, but they will be ever advancing and in high demand.

Generally, engineering takes the cake for the best college major with a total of seven spots on the top-ten list of college degress leading to highest salaries. Petroleum engineering, specifically, is in the leading position. These majors get the highest paying starting salary with an average of just over $90,000. For mid-career petroleum engineers, they get a salary of around $160,000 which far exceeds any of the other five engineering degrees on the top-ten list.
Aerospace, chemical, electrical and nuclear engineering fill the other four spots on the top-ten list. Potential starting salaries for all four of these college degrees is around $60,000 and the average for those mid-career is aroudn $100,000. These are followed by two additional engineering degrees: computer and biomedical. No matter which specialty of engineering, they are going to be in high demand and coupled with a salary comprised of lots of zeros.
Some people tend to like words more than numbers and art over sciences (think cooking vs. baking). Math and science dont allow much if any at all room for creativity like language and arts but they are what makes businesses tick and in a capitalistic nation that's where the dollar signs are. The reality is that everything is a business--everything. Unless you hone your craft and talents, you can expect not to be raking in the same kind of cash as someone with a B.S. Applied mathematics, physics and economics are some options, with average salaries starting form $48,000 to $56,000 with mid-careers earners to make around the $100,000 mark. Interestingly, accounting is not at the top of this list for earning potential, but it is up there for in-demand degrees int the job market, according to a study done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Government majors make about $40,000 to start off with. While it may not be the highest starting salary amoung college degress, mide-career salaries average around $87,000. This tops the mid-career salaries of degrees in computer information systems, geology, chemisty, and accounting. When you're thinking about college degrees, looking at mid-career salaries is just as important as the average starting salary. Even though you may be able to earn more starting off with another degree you want to take into account whether there will be opportunities for growth over time.
Along with government, there are a few other degrees that are non numbers-oriented college degrees. The ones that can lead you to a mid-career salary above $70,000 include film production, marketing, advertising, history, philosophy and fashion design. Sure, it would be nice to hit that $100,000 a year but usually people who go into these fields do it out of interest and passion rather than for monetary reasons. They can be very fulfilling and satisfying which may be enough to compensate for the money. For many, finding happiness in their careers is priceless.

The Two Surprising Degrees to Pass On
There are mixed viewpoints on this but typically a B.S. in nursing is one of those degrees that looks appealing and has a nice starting salary of $52,700 (putting it in the top 20 of average starting pay). Although this may sound like a good deal, most mid-career nurses cap out at a salary not much higher than what they started out with. Again, this is a degree that many pursue because they are attracted to the field or work more so than for money reasons.

The other surpise is that architecture, commonly perceived as a degree with high earnings potential is actually on the low end both in starting ($42,000 annually) and mid-career average salaries ($78,000). Students loans that go with a five-year bachelor's program, which is the typical amount of time for an architecture degree, is a big investment for not much of a return. Many degrees now take on average five-years, however, architecture is a very demanding degree that requires time committment to challenging projects. If you're thinking about a career iin design and builiding, urban planning and construction management are good alternatives to consider as well in terms of salary potential. A degree in urban planning can lead to a mid-career salary of $82,000 and 487,000 in construction management.

Ideally, college students want to earn degrees that incorporate their interests and skill. In a perfect economy, that will coincide with market demand and higher earning potential. But don't assume that because everyone seems to be aiming for a business degree you should follow suit. Think about things like technology and who's hiring and what start-up companies are making their way up the business ladder. Remember to keep your overall happiness in mind and pursue something that you can picture living out your life doing.

3 Tips To Boost Your Chances of Landing a Job
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Unemployment rates fell in 43 states in December 2011, and dropped the national rate to 8.6%, the lowest since February 2009. With this improvement in unemployement rates and the levels of economic growth, the time is ripe for job seekers to get back in the game and while stepping up their own. These are certain required skills developing in many industries that are making it easier for some to nab those open positions.

Breaking Down the Language Barrier
Free trade is a significant feature of the U.S. economy and exports and international buisness have become significant resources for new jobs. According to Trade and the Economy: A Small Business Report created by the House Committee on Small Business, this sector supports more than 10 million positions of employment.

Taking into account that the total U.S. exports for goods and services also reached $1,800 billion and made up for about 12% of the GDP in 2010, the importance of international interaction should not be overlooked, especially now that the job market is starting to pick up.

Social media has played a major role in creating an increasingly global and closely knitted community of trades and businesses which has made it more necessary to have for multilingual workers. Employees with the ability to converse internationally with clients and consumers has gained an increasing demand as their skills become more and more valuable in the global job market. For job seekers looking for that edge to get them one more step ahead of their competition, learning a new language can make some employers fighting for you.

Working for the Market
Acquiring skills that have practical application in the job market has become a common and necessary practice. One these sectors to consider is outsourcing. This process has become increasingly popular over the last few years and many companies use it as a means to save money. It's especially popular within the information technology industry. With that said, it's apparent that learning the skills of information technology, software development and remote administration will benefit job seekers in their efforts to forward their careers in the digital age.

Not only does this create new opportunities for long-term employment in industries that are doing well, these skills also let people gain financial stability while taking care of other responsibilities. Ultimately, this leads the economy up and improves the workforce into one that can adapt to the ever vulnerable job market.

Becoming a Financial Expert
To be a desirable candidate, you need to have skills that will keep you relevant in prosperous industries, one of which is the financial planning and management sector. The average U.S. household had a hard time with debts of approximately $6,500 at the
end of last year and sought out the help of industry professionals to keep them from going under, according to Business Insider.

With the new year ahead of us, these services will be in even higher demand as consumers work on improving their spending and financial statements for long-term savings. Americans nationwide showed that they were more than ready to dive into the holiday season and as more capital is spent, consumers and small businesses will require extra guidance in their budgeting and spending habits for lasting, positive results. Getting qualifications as financial advisors and accountants is a good stepping stone for job seekers to lead them toward opportunities for growth and secure careers.

10 Tips for Your 2012 Job Search
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

With the 2011 job market ending on a good note, the new year is expected to go up from there. According to the December Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, the U.S. employers are anticipated to slightly increase their hiring in the first quarter by 9 percent--the most promising hiring survey outlook since 2008.

Various career coaches, recruiters, and other experts came together to offer pieces of advice to help your efforts in benefiting from this 2012 hiring spike.

1) Who are you? If you don't know the answer to this question then you better put on your thinking cap. Have a clear understanding of what you want in your career. Consider the kinds of work environments would suit you best, and what brings your passions alive and makes you most happy in the workplace. Knowing this will put you in the right direction for your job search.

2) Assess your skills and abilities. Get an idea for what you can contribute to the employer. What do you have to offer than they can't pass up? Identify your strengths and weaknesses and use that as fuel for your job search. Focus on making self-improvements, upgrading your skills, and becoming a more desirable candidate.

3) Establish a professional online presence. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn--if don't already have a profile set up for each of these sites you need to catch up with the rest of the world. These are only a few of the more well-known social media sites that are being used for professional networking.

4) Evaluate and implement a plan of action. Set goals for yourself that are realistic and achievable. Go over them daily and check them off as you go so that you don't lose momentum on your job search. Be productive and treat your search as a job itself.

5) Get to know people behind the industry. Knowing professionals and colleagues of your desired field will help you develop valuable connections. Get in touch with those who you went to school with, have worked with, or have become acquainted with through other social outlets. Expanding this list will help you in becoming a notable figure within industry circles.

6) Reach out "organically." Building relationships the traditional way by doing activities you enjoy and being yourself can also help you branch out. Discuss career aspirations and plans with friends and family. Even people outside of your personal network like your neighbor or your kid's gymnastics coach. You may be surprised to realize that they might know someone who you should too.

7) Dig deep to discover non-advertised positions. There are three types of job openings: public openings, hidden jobs, and future jobs. Naturally, there's tough competition for the first. But the way to find the last two is by leveraging your network to put yourself in the right place at the right time. Extensive online research will help you find opportunities that are lying beneath the surface. LinkedIn is also a good resource for "warm" referrals and could open up hidden or future jobs.

8) Be flexible. Be open to options that may not be your first choice. The more willing you are to roles like consulting or contract and not just full-time then employers you and the employer will get a chance to feel one another out before making a permanent decision.

9) Make your passion powerful. Many employers are beginning to downsize so they want people on their teams who will bring out their core abilities. Show them the kind of passion and enthusiasm that will allow them to see your capabilties and personality. Embrace the requirements of working on a focused team.

10) Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. It's easy to fall into the trap of demonstrating your worth and value without achieving what you initially set out to do. Whether it be a promotion, raise or flexible schedule, keep that goal in mind and don't be what's stopping you from fulfilling your own happiness.

Find More Satisfaction in 4 Ways
Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Most of people's lives are spent in the workplace and there are a lot of people who do their jobs simply because they have to. These people end up leading a life unfulfilled and at the end of the day wanting more--more money, more benefits, more reward. To satiate this longing many people turn to making the choice of a career change. This can be a scary move as it brings on the risk of forfeiting a familiar sense of financial stability, but in the end a risk that can lead to a happier life. And when people are happier in the workplace, they are more motivated to achieve higher potential and ultimately gain more success.

In a perfect world we would all be doing what we love, the way it should be. But life doesn't always hand us the cards we want to play leaving many to make ends meet whichever way they can. By taking these few steps, that no longer has to be the case. If people have to spend most of their days working for the dollar then they should at least be enjoying the time taken out of their lives doing so. With the new year ahead, there's no better time than now for a fresh start to a better end.

1) Retrace Your Steps
Take a trip down memory lane and think about the days when you were first starting to work and the world was your oyster. Back then, job choices were probably more weighted on preference than wages. At that point, when you're just trying to get experience under your belt, the first places you think of are ones you think you'll enjoy the most. More of your choices were able to reflect on who you were as opposed to now when they may be more guided by necessity. Ask yourself what some of your passions were, what you excelled in, what natural talents you had, what hobbies you enjoyed and even subjects that you were not only good at but peaked your other interests. These things make up the core of your identity and are a good starting place when thinking of career paths that may give you the opportunity to apply personal traits to your living.

2) Eliminate Enmities
Every job has its pros and cons. Of course, we'd all love more paid vacation time, but this isn't the type of reason to not like your job. The real reasons to not like your job lies in the answer of whether what you're doing is right or wrong for you. While you may be good at doing something, it may also be something you find mundane or impassionate about. Everyone should be able to list more pros than cons for their job. Otherwise, recognize what exactly turns you off and think of other positions that you would enjoy more that don't involved those aspects you dislike. It may seem like an obvious task but many people overlook these types of things so long as they can secure a steady income.

3) Be Free from Monetary Clutches
You, just like everyone else trying to get by in life, might find yourself succumbing to terms and conditions set by the economy. But money shouldn't be the driving force for a career choice. We live in a constantly changing world so why adhere ourselves to one set of rules? People can reinvent their careers and find that their reliance on money is actually causing more harm that help. Break out of being a slave to the dollar and reevaluate your outlook on money. What does it mean to you? Is it something that you want to use to boost self-esteem? Are you convinced that earning a certain figure will raise your status in life? Think about how money affects your choices and then consider ways you can turn that around. Instead of letting money determine how you live your life, let your own desires guide your life's paths including your career.

4) See What Fits
You shouldn't expect that you're going to get everything right the first time. Once you've identified potential new directions to explore, go after them. In order to figure out what the right choice is you need to eliminate the wrong ones through trial and error. There are several ways you can go about doing this including, but by no means are limited to:
  • joining a class or course
  • volunteer work
  • internships
  • earning new or additional credentials
  • shadowing or apprenticing professionals in the field
The main thing to focus on is taking an active role in materializing your game plan. Theory can only go so far without practice. As it goes for any desired change, the process is gradual and takes time from months to years. What matters most here is that the goal is eventually reached and by the time you retire you can look back--in satisfaction, of course--at the achievements you made over of the course of your fulfilling career.