Feet on the Street

Career Resources, Information and News

Posts Tagged ‘College’

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 »

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 »

Today’s 20 Fastest Growing Occupations

Posted by Lori on February 15, 2010

It seems like a new Holy Grail of hot jobs appears in my inbox every week. Take a look at this week’s list if you a high school student mapping out your college courses by matching your interests to jobs of the future, or you are an adult seeking vocational training in the form of online courses or career training. According to     CareerBuilder.com,

The economy is recovering but it is slow. If you’re in need of a new job, it’s too slow. You can’t wait several years until things are back to their pre-recession levels. Fortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified 20 jobs that are growing at a rapid rate between now and 2018. These occupations are in high demand now and will continue on this trajectory for the next decade.

Here are 10 of the top 20 occupations:

  1. Biomedical Engineers
  2. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  3. Home Health Aides
  4. Personal and Home Care Aides
  5. Financial Examiners
  6. Medical Scientists, except Epidemiologists
  7. Physicians Assistants
  8. Skin Care Specialists
  9. Biochemists and Biophysicists
  10. Athletic Trainers

As you can see, the list encompasses a wide variety of careers. Some need a college degree, and some require vocational training. It is important to be able to identify your true interests before embarking down  a career path. You will save time and money if you discover what you really want to do, then stick to your plan!

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

Student Loan SOS

Posted by Lori on February 11, 2010

Spring is the time of year when college bound students should be seeking ways to fund their education. Nearly all colleges, universities, and technical schools require students to complete a FAFSA form before being admitted to a program of study. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), is used to verify financial information with regard to the student to determine if he or she is eligible for grants, which do not need to be repaid, or loans which are repaid after graduation.

Many times, you will hear the name Sallie Mae uttered while you are standing in line in the Financial Aid Office awaiting information on your FAFSA. Just who is the elusive Sallie Mae, and what does she have to do with your college education? To answer this question, I consulted the online brain trust, wikipedia and discovered the following information:

SLM Corporation (NYSE: SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is a publicly-traded U.S.[1] corporation whose operations are originating, servicing and collecting on student loans. Managing more than $180.4 billion in debt for more than 10 million borrowers, the company primarily provides federally guaranteed student loans originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).[2] Sallie Mae employs 8,000 individuals at offices nationwide.

Whether you will need a loan from Sallie Mae or not, you should check out their website, http://www.salliemae.com/FAFSA. There are short videos to help you complete your form, as well as a handy tip sheet that you can download. You can also chat with a FAFSA advisor on Thursday, February 11 from 8:00pm – 9:00pm cst. The information is free, as is the completion of the FAFSA form.

There are many companies who claim they will complete the form for you and charge you a pretty penny for the service. Will a little patience, a diet Coke, and last year’s tax return, you can complete the process in the privacy of your own home at not cost.

Posted in College, Student Loan | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »