Feet on the Street

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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Is College Worth It?

Posted by Lori on February 24, 2010

Is going to college really worth it? Probably so, but it’s not that clear cut, and economics have been arguing the point for 30 years. Most studies tend to show that college-educated people end up making far more money in the course of their lifetimes. (The niggle: Usually, it’s not worth paying for a private university.)

Oh my! This is not what we really want to hear. As parents, we want to know that the financial investment we make in our children will be returned to them ten-fold. Adults returning to college hope for the same return on their investment. It’s good to think the all efforts will be rewarded, but the truth is that some will come up short. In his article, Infographic of the Day: Is College Really Worth It? , Cliff Kuang gives us some amazing factoids.

  • Every year, more than 2 million high school students enroll in college. After the first year, 1 out of 3 will drop out. Collectively wasting $9 billion every year.
  • The most expensive college after room and board is Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. It costs approximately $149/day, $54,410/year. Take that times a 4 year degree and you have invested $217,640. For that much money, you could buy a Ferrari!
  • Compare the tuition, room and board at Yale, an Ivy League College, to an in-state university and you will invest an additional $27,500/year at Yale. With that investment, you could expect to earn approximately $56,000/year. You could expect to earn about $49,600 with your in-state university education. If you chunk out all of the numbers, it will take you 17 years to make up the difference in tuition.

We will re-visit this information from time-to-time and see what other conclusions we can draw from the data. What is your plan for college? Will you go directly from high school to work, or will you go to a technical college, or university? Make sure you compare the data on the cost of the tuition with realistic earning capacity before signing your enrollment form.

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Posted in Career, College, Education | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Could You be Facing a Layoff?

Posted by Lori on February 23, 2010

In these days of uncertainties, you never know when you may lose your job. When faced with the dreaded pink slip, your mind races a million miles an hour. Do you enroll in college or vocational training? Do you just sit back and draw unemployment after the chips fall? Maybe you get hired by another company, but should you enroll in online courses?

According to Joseph Grenny from wetfeet.com, you should have the following conversations:

  1. Ask long-timers about past practices — How have layoffs been handled in the past? Is advance notice given? Are cutbacks across the board or targeted? How are the decisions made?
  2. Clarify compensation surprises with HR — Will the company be paying normal bonuses or annual raises this year?
  3. Assess your general risk levels — How likely is a layoff in your division? Department? Team? Job? If there are open forums with executives or other higher-ups, these are great places to ask these questions.
  4. Assess your specific risk level — Find out where you stand with your supervisor. What skills, job changes, projects or other actions would make you less dispensable?
  5. Have a conversation with yourself — What should you be doing now to prepare yourself to survive a layoff?

I think #5 is the most important conversation of all. You need to put yourself in survivor mode should the layoff actually happen. Perhaps you need to focus on learning some new skills, or pay down some debt. Be sure you address all of the conversations should your number come up and it will lessen the blow.

Posted in Career, College, Education, Job Exiting, Layoff | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

10 Creative Places to Find the Hidden Jobs

Posted by Lori on February 18, 2010

Has your job search turned into a reconnaissance mission? You scoured the newspaper and super-sleuthed the internet and now what do you do? There is no doubt that times are tough in the job market and you must be prepared to switch from the conventional job search method to forage for employment opportunities elsewhere. Our friends at wetfeet.com have some great ideas on places to probe for a career.  Take a look at the list and see if you can find some places that you may have not have considered:

  1. Do an informational interview when you are trying to decide on changing careers.
  2. Get by with a little help from your friends in the form of networking.
  3. Create your own job. If you see an unmet need, fill it!
  4. Go back to the future and embrace your past.
  5. Be true to your school. Go back and explore how to use your talents to add to the campus community. You meet some alums who could help you.
  6. Make like the Matrix and embrace cyberspace. There are thousands of career sites online that can provide advice for you.
  7. Play sleuth and determine which companies are growing.
  8. Contact someone you admire and ask them for advice.
  9. Get physical and enjoy the great outdoors. You will meet new people, and get energized at the same time.
  10. Host a new book club or career action group.

You may be surprised when you tap into the resources mentioned. Good luck in your quest!

Posted in Career, Education, Hiring, Job Searching, Social Network | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scholarships for Teachers

Posted by Lori on February 16, 2010

If you are thinking about entering the teaching field, check out this information from Christopher and Banks. They are offering scholarships for undergrad students, as well as current teachers who are pursuing master’s degrees.

Christopher & Banks Corporation has established a scholarship program to support current undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education and current teachers pursuing a master’s degree in teaching.

The Christopher & Banks Teacher Scholarship Program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. Scholarship Management Services is the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.

Please take a few moments and complete the application. You never know, you may be one of the lucky winners!

Posted in Career, College, Education, Scholarship | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Few More Jobs that are Still Worse Than Yours

Posted by Lori on February 5, 2010

As promised, we are revisiting Justin Racz’ book, 50 Jobs Worse Than Yours. (2004) Take a great big stretch, settle back in your easy chair, and take a look at a few more jobs that are worse than yours. Remember, while you might be tempted to scrap traditional college, or your adult education plan, please take a look at the list of jobs where you could end up working:

  1. Office Plant Watering Dude – Do you really want to be the person sloshing around to 50 companies sprinkling the plants, dusting the leaves, and rearranging the soil? Actually, some days that sounds like a pretty good gig!
  2. Walking Menu – This person wears a life-size menu and walks about the restaurant so customers can see the special of the day. Probably not that bad of a job, especially if you get discounts. Personally, I would get tired of people staring and pointing at me.
  3. Rat Catcher –  According to Racz, the job ranks right below gravedigger. To land this job in Bombay, India all you need to be able to do is swing a baseball bat. Rat-tatouille for two, anyone??
  4. Cheesecake Tin Quality Controller – This job involves a tactile inspection of 8,000 cheese cake tins an hour to make sure they are hermetically sealed. The drawback of the job is a numb thumb, but the benefits include free cake.
  5. New York City Taxi Driver – It’s sort of a mundane job; pick up fares, drive, honk, pick up fares, drive, honk. The job pays about $75.00 day and is considered the most dangerous job in NYC. Not only that, there is no social security, no disability, and no health insurance. They only thing you get is the right-of-way.

Seriously, I think there are times when we do whatever we need to do when the chips are down. We have to make a choice on either working in misery and being able to pay a few bills, or hang it up and wander aimlessly about the streets in search of food scraps for dinner.

Our topic for discussion next Friday will be, 50 Bosses Worse than Yours. I think everyone has a horror story or two about working for a boss-zilla, so we’ll take a look at the book and compare some notes. Have a great weekend!

Posted in A Day in the Life..., Career, Education | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »