Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do You Just Want to Talk?

Are you in career transition or hope to be soon? Recent media reports say that as this recession eases, thousands of people who are unhappy with their careers and/or jobs will be looking.

If you are one of the above, you may decide not to go it alone, but instead to reach out to a career coach/counselor for personalized help, and personalized it should be. Career transition services should not be "one size fits all". Unfortunately, this is how it seems to many clients who are introduced to a very non-personalized process of assessments and inventories all designed for at least quick, and hopefully easy answers.

Would you rather just talk? Would you prefer to discuss your situation with your coach/counselor as well as work through the rest of the process? If you would, you are not alone. Make sure when selecting your coach/counselor, you find someone who will allow you the time to talk and to reflect. Your future depends on it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Missed Connections: The College to Career Gap

Dr. Anthony Caravale of Georgetown University recently released the above titled article on huffingtonpost.com calling for a user friendly system where consumers considering a traditional four year college education can see data on what graduates of programs within these schools are earning compared to what they spent and the debt, if any, that they accrued. He argues that the Dept of Education releases data about for-profit schools based on the above; therefore the same should be true for traditional 4 years institutions as well. The main point of his article, however, is that there is a "missing link" as he terms it in our higher education system and that is its failure to adequately connect college to careers.

There was a storm of reaction to this article, including the traditional argument that 4 year programs should do more than prepare a student for a career. While I agree that 4 four year colleges should "educate" and not necessarily "prepare", I agree with Dr. Caravale that in the past there has been too much emphasis on "education" and not enough on "preparation", and this is one of the many reasons our society is in the economic mess that it is.

Are you about to advise a young person concerning purchasing a college education? Are you a young person about to do so? Are you a mid career professional considering going back to school in an effort to further and better equip yourself for the future? Consider wisely and carefully. Seek counsel and remember that while no education is ever wasted, a graduate degree or a four year degree is no longer the right answer for everyone.

Monday, March 29, 2010

KSA'S Gone!

The federal government recently announced that as of April, 2010, KSA's (knowledge, skills and abilities) will no longer be required for most federal job applications. I say "most" because it will still be up to the hiring manager to decide whether or not to use them in the vetting process. The federal government, it appears, wants to move more toward a private sector style job application.

Keep in mind, All You Federal Job Seekers Out There, that an awareness of your knowledge, skills and abilities, and the ability to write them in "sales" style, is still very important, no matter what type of resume you are writing. KSA's may no longer be necessary on the application, but still should appear in the body of your resume. Read the federal job announcement carefully. No matter whether it asks for a USAJobs style resume or not, understanding what your knowledge, skills and abilities are, and how to write them is still key, and will remain so.

Need help? Contact a career coach. You will be glad that you did.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WSJ Recent Article the Worth of a Degree

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the dollar worth of a college education. Per the article, in recent years the nonprofit College Board estimated that a degreed individual would earn as much as $800,000 more than a non-degreed individual over a lifetime. The article goes on to say that this estimate was based on the 2002 Census Bureau report entitled "The Big Payoff".

Now, a representative of The American Institutes for Research calls all of this into question. The estimates, per this individual do not factor in such things as student loan debt, or breaks in employment. Essentially, no one can predict what someone will earn.

There is no question that every American needs some kind of post secondary education and/or training. However, like with anything else in life, look before you leap. Make sure your student has an idea of what he wants to study, what kind of work his major will lead him to, what kinds of opportunities there will be for this work in the future, and how else future education and/or training might be secured beside the very expensive four (or five or six) year college education route.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting More Out of Your Graduate Education

So, you have decided to return to school and get a graduate degree. You have done your research (you think) and have decided to get a graduate degree not because you do not know what else to do but because you are sure that this degree will assist you in further career development. If you are like many graduate students now, you feel you need further education to insure career success in the future.

Whether or not the above is true is up to you...however, if the above describes you, then I suggest that you pay attention to the following during the course of your education: consider seriously how the knowledge that you are learning can be applied to your present job or to the one you want in the future...do you see a direct match? It is not enough for the admissions department to see the match; you must see it and understand how all you are learning can lead to future success. Then, talk to your professors! Tell them about your career goals...use them as mentoring sources. Many professors work in business too and those are the people who can help you the best. Lastly, volunteer within your field; look for internship and shadowing opportunities so that as you prepare to graduate, your can show both theoretic and practical knowledge to a potential employer.