(BPT) – High school seniors nationwide are preparing to graduate, receiving college acceptance letters and possibly enrolling in a college or university. The challenging economy has made many of these young adults acutely aware of the important role their degree can play when they face commencement once again, this time entering the job market.
Some schools offer degree programs that address the skills required to enter fast-growing fields, such as cyber security, cloud computing, health care and accounting – U.S. News & World Report included accounting in its ranking of 25 Best Jobs in 2012. This strong connection to a promising career path can be attractive to prospective students.
“Knowledge of projected industry growth is extremely helpful as students choose their major or area of study,” says Dr. Chad Kennedy, chair and professor of biomedical engineering technology in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences at DeVry University. “Unlike some career fields where opportunities are shrinking, many technology and engineering fields are expanding at double-digit rates. In fact, many employers can’t find enough qualified applicants to meet their needs.”
Careers in technology are growing up to three times faster than other fields. For students interested in pursuing employment in this thriving industry, ComputerWorld recently outlined the “10 hot IT skills for 2013.” Cloud computing was among the most coveted skills. Though relatively unfamiliar to the average consumer, this data management knowledge drives the services that support many of today’s businesses.
Similarly, cyber security professionals will play an integral role in keeping information safe as the majority of companies’ assets move online. According to Today’s Engineer, the monthly Web publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the cyber security field is growing “in leaps and bounds.”
Employment in health care fields is also on the rise. An aging population of baby boomers and expanded access to health care has placed growing pressure on the health care industry to add workers in fields ranging from health information systems and biomedical engineering technology to nursing and ambulatory care.
“Given the sensitive nature of medical data, my role – ensuring data integrity, availability, and security for every current and former patient – is essential and growing in demand,” explains Adam Franzen, a systems administrator at Presence Health Care who holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University. “As health care evolves, so do the technology and management skills that are central to career success in the field.”
The workforce is rapidly evolving; some of the most desired professional roles of yesterday are shrinking today and will become obsolete tomorrow. The class of 2013 will enter emerging career fields, managing the technologies that drive advanced hospital settings, leading development of the next cloud-based application and protecting companies and consumers from cyber and financial fraud alike.
(BPT) – Often, we don’t think about heroism until we see it in action – when disaster strikes and ordinary people exhibit extraordinary courage and compassion to help victims in their time of need. The truth is, however, that the best of human nature is on display every day in the lives of millions of Americans who work in public service jobs across the country. Sometimes all it takes to tap that inner hero is an opportunity – and the education – to serve others.
“People may not realize how broad the opportunities are in public service fields,” says Connie Bosse, vice president of Kaplan University’s College of Public Service. “From law enforcement and emergency responders to teachers and child advocates and behavioral therapists who help children with developmental disabilities, thousands of career options offer people the chance to make a living and help others in a meaningful way.”
Numerous studies on job satisfaction show that workers in a broad range of fields say job satisfaction is important to them. Public service jobs such as firefighting, teaching and therapy consistently rank among the top most-satisfying careers in the General Social Survey conducted by the National Organization for Research.
Whether you’re a recent high school graduate looking for a direction in higher education or an established professional looking for a meaningful career change, public service holds many opportunities. The Kaplan University College of Public Service created a Network of Good video series which highlights alumni and their path to public service. As with any career, it’s important to receive the right training, education and degree to ensure professional success. Here are some degree paths that can lead to public service careers:
* Human services – A bachelor of science in human services can prepare you to work in a variety of fields, including mental health, social services, education, rehabilitation and even the courts. If you already have an associate or bachelor’s degree, you may be eligible for an accelerated degree path.
* Education – Graduate programs are designed to serve educators and instructors at every level, from colleges and universities to K-12 environments. There is also a bachelor in early childhood- development that encompasses caring for the educational needs of young children and can extend far beyond the elementary school classroom. This degree can open doors to careers in childcare centers, Head Start programs and other before- and after-school care settings.-
* Public administration – Strong leaders are vital to the success of any organization, whether public or private. A master’s in public administration can help you qualify to serve in leadership roles in local, state or federal government agencies, a variety of organizations and nonprofits.
* Homeland security – With natural disasters and terrorist threats making daily headlines, the federal government says demand for professionals qualified to work in homeland security and emergency response roles will increase. A master’s degree in homeland security and emergency management can help you find a career in emergency preparedness and response, border and transportation security, information analysis, homeland defense and more.
For those interested in learning more, there is a wealth of information, inspirational stories and videos about public service professionals at the Center for Public Service, an online information resource center created by Kaplan University. Visit the site at center-public-service.kaplanu.edu.
New generation of American workers seek to combine personal and professional interests
(BPT) – As college students graduate and begin the job search, their career decisions won’t be driven by the same factors that drove their parents’ decisions. While baby boomers tended to focus on the vertical climb to find job happiness, today’s graduates and professionals want meaningful and challenging work that satisfies them personally.
Despite the turbulent economy, 68 percent of working Americans would be willing to take a salary cut to work in a job that allowed them to apply their personal interests to the workplace, a recent survey released by Philips North America found. Almost one quarter of workers would take a pay cut of 25 percent or more.
“Today’s professionals expect more from their careers than just a paycheck,” says Tanveer Naseer, a leadership coach who helps companies guide organizational growth and development. “They’re looking for challenge, impact and an employer who is committed to helping them achieve their goals.”
This new set of demands from employees is driving change in corporations throughout America. Philips, for example, which employs 116,000 people globally, is looking for more ways to help its employees apply their personal interests and ideas to their work.
“We’ve found that employees want a company that supports and rewards what matters to them personally,” says Dana Stocks, Philips North America Chief Human Resources Officer. “Recognizing our employees are people with real passions leads to better product innovation, ultimately improving people’s lives and the communities they live in.”
So how do graduates or professionals entering the job market find employers and roles that are a good fit and will deliver job satisfaction? Here are a few tips:
1. Look for a job that allows you to leverage personal interests in your work. Most Americans, regardless of their career stage, believe that applying personal interests in a career would make them happier. Naseer says people often find jobs that play to their strengths – but an employee’s strengths may not align with his interests. This disconnect can result in employees feeling overworked and underutilized as they’re building skills for which they have no passion.
2. Use your resume as a tool to reflect yourself as a person, not just a potential employee. Social resumes provide the opportunity for job seekers to express themselves beyond educational credentials and a laundry list of responsibilities they’ve taken on in the workplace. Your employer isn’t hiring the resume; they are hiring you as a person. Use your resume to help them feel connected to you as a person. -Include assets such as video interviews on relevant topics, thought leadership presentations, or links to blogs and social media sites that you maintain.
3. Know yourself first, and submit your application second. Many job seekers apply to too many jobs without truly understanding their qualification levels or fit for each. Take the time to understand yourself, your story, the intersection of your personal and professional passions, and formulate a short list of jobs that align. By focusing on the quality versus the quantity of your applications, you have a better chance of making the “right” career choice vs. the “right now” career choice.
When job seekers find the right roles that allow them to pursue their individual aspirations within the context of their professional careers, it’s a win for both the individual and the organization.