Education and Careers: The Paths We Choose

We all know that education prices are skyrocketing, and the return on investment (ROI) is not so clear. Degrees, they say, used to guarantee a job, and now jobs that used to only require a bachelor’s degree require a master’s, and so on. This means that the ROI has decreased, and that higher education is undergoing inflation. Technological changes, moreover, are eliminating midlevel service jobs.

According to a May 2011 report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 84 percent more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma. If workers, then, with a bachelor’s degree are now filling jobs that those with only a high school diploma used to have, then living conditions and salaries for them are poor, and salaries for those without a degree are unlivable. In this situation, it is necessary to earn a higher degree, and yet, hard if not impossible to receive a decent ROI for the time and money spent.

In comes online education. Online higher degrees are becoming more credible and more common. And as if on a linear train of thought – in comes free online education, offered from top universities around the country (MOOCs). Moreover, the career opportunities that only a degree-in-hand allow are merging with online ed options: just a few weeks ago Georgia Tech announced that it was merging with Udacity to provide a reasonably-priced computer science program. In the totally unbalanced situation of higher than reasonable brick-and-mortar degree prices versus free online education, hybrid models are emerging as one way of answering to the issue for positive ROI outcomes.

ROI: What Does It Really Mean? OR Is Money What It’s All About?

According to government projections, by 2020, only three of the thirty fields with the largest projected job openings will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position: teachers, college professors, and accountants. Most of the available positions will be midlevel jobs not easily replaced by technology such as retail sales associates, fast food workers and truck drivers.

College graduates who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history and humanities are now among the least likely to find jobs appropriate to their education level, while nursing, teaching, accounting, and computer science graduates are the most likely. Graduates with degrees in marketing, finance, human resources, and advertising are seeing an increase in career opportunities and therefore ROI.

‘While engineering and computer science consistently rate among the top-paying college majors, students should also research employment demand and hot skillsets,’ Andrea Porter, communications director at Georgetown’s CEW, said to USNews for a piece called ‘College Majors With the Best Return on Investment.’ “Research what skills are most valuable in the labor market… and depending on those ‘hot skills’ you can also obtain a certificate that will provide you skills that will set you apart,” she added.

Katie Bardaro, a lead economist at PayScale (an online salary database), contributed to the piece by stating that engineering, physics, computer science, and mathematics boast strong earning potential and low unemployment rates, which can help prospective employees reap the highest return on their education investment.

Many are concerned, because where there are jobs there isn’t enough talent and where there is talent, jobs are limited. And since ROI is usually only calculated by the maximum money one receives for their time spent in college, top-paying careers which are in-demand are listed as the top careers.

If you are cut out for the analytical work, these advisers say, then do it! For the money.

But what about for those who don’t necessary need the maximum paying career – those who see what they want to contribute and what they themselves are talented in as important first, and then wish to identify how to make a living? Is money the most important thing to all of us? When did economical ROI become the most important aspect of continuing one’s education? And the answer of course, is always for some, and for other’s: when this became a concern.

No, money is not the most important factor for all of us. “Teachers aren’t in it for the money,” for example, is a common expression of the profession. But money can help us get places. Money is necessary to survive. A decent paycheck, good working conditions, and fulfilling our dreams is the ideal for many of us.

If money was the only thing that mattered, then perhaps we would all heed the advice of the higher education advisers who say – enter computer science now! Perhaps it is not that we do not have the ability, talent or work ethic, but simply, that our interests lead us somewhere else. Some of us have our own visions to follow. What then?

Fulfilling Our Highest Visions

We have an economy that is based on creating revenue by selling things we don’t need cheap and making a profit vs. filling real world needs for humanity’s benefit. We are conditioned to want more money and certain things – often brands. There is too much competition in fields we don’t really need, and too many shady businesses and practices that take advantage of people. Imagine if we focused on the best and putting capable people into jobs that actually serve people, imagine if money didn’t matter the way it does for people and businesses of today. But it does because money is the most powerful thing in our world. Even knowledge doesn’t come close to the power money allows a person to yield.

Technology should make things easier on all of us, not take away a limited amount of jobs and further the economic gap between the wealthy and the poor, making only the hardest jobs that cannot easily be filled by technology what’s available to uneducated people. All people should be well-educated. All people have potential. Meaningless jobs should be filled by computers, and people should be encouraged and able pursue their dreams. Make the world a better place. Make themselves better. Make others better. And help the community.

Perhaps I am too partial to romanticizing education. I truly believe that it is one of the most powerful forces in the world; that knowledge, not money, should be the most powerful. However, true education, education of this magnitude, is not, I believe, about pushing out “job-ready” graduates with “hot skills” at the right time or moment to enter a certain market. I believe the true graduates are the ones who leave college having faced themselves, and the world around them, and are ready to enter it; that specific skills are as important as life-skills, self-confidence, and general intelligence. That these hot skills don’t in fact add up if graduates are looking at the job market to pick a career, rather than finding their career based on their innate talents and desired life, whether this means that they work in advertising, as a teacher, professor, fisherman, farmer, agriculturist, or politician. We must find our own path and therefore happiness instead of the world demanding, stealing, insisting it away from us.

So while education is a good and now an almost necessary cost in the vision of this country and our place in it, and while many things influence our futures in a numerical and calculated way – our parent’s education, our education, society’s demands, and media influences – we must insist on making our own dreams and happinesses real. ROI is not only about money gains, although it is often discussed in this matter. You are not a determined by the money you make.

Of course, we must have some kind of practical plan. We have to make it work. And following our happiness, indeed can take a lot of work. And many make their visions work by combining them with one of the strong in-demand fields such as in science, technology, education or business. If we love the outcome, then the work in the end means something. This, in my opinion, is what matters.

360 Education Solutions is an advocate in the search for quality online degree programs and professional development for teachers.

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Special Education Teacher Jobs – Careers Explained

Have you ever wondered, “Just what does a special education teacher do?” This is a highly specialized teaching job that requires a special license on top of the necessary bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. Some states also require master’s degrees. There is a huge shortage for special education teachers at the moment, though, so some states are offering alternative licensure programs to those who qualify. These teachers work with learning disabled students in K-12 schools in a variety of settings, and sometimes they also work with 18 to 21-year-old students teaching basic job skills and life skills.

Special education jobs are one of the toughest jobs out there, but it is also one of the jobs that come with the most rewards. In a K-12 setting, the teacher will typically just modify the general education curriculum to meet the individual needs of their learning disabled students. When working with children with more serious disabilities, however, the teacher may have to instruct the students on basic literacy and life skills. Special Ed teachers who work with infants and toddlers are more focused on socialization and basic lessons that will help prepare the children to adjust to elementary, middle and secondary school.

Since there are so many students with learning disabilities, and more entering the school system every day, there are many career options for special educations teachers. Children with autism, traumatic brain injuries, deafness and/or blindness, emotional disturbances, mental retardation, speech and/or language impairments, orthopedic impairments, and multiple disabilities and specific learning disabilities may all need special attention in school. The techniques used range from small group assignments to problem solving to individual instruction. Teaching these students requires more than just fostering academic progress; the children must also progress behaviorally to succeed.

The qualifications and job specifics for special education teachers varies in each state and district. If you are interested in this rewarding job, your local school district should be able to provide more career information. It is a great time to pursue special teaching jobs since there is a great shortage of qualified teachers who have the desire to work with the learning disabled population.

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The Effect of Education – Better Jobs and Better Wages

The direct and indirect effect of education length to employment and job satisfaction. The value of education has traditionally focused on the contribution of formal schooling to increased earning capacity in the labor market.

The benefits of education promote not only higher wages but also expands the workers’ welfare possibilities. The basic idea is that longer schooling promotes a more efficient use of information both on the formation of expectations and on individual choices regarding the labor market.

The highly educated people are thought to pursue their aspirations more efficiently than poorly educated people do, consequently, they are more likely to gain additional education enhanced benefits in terms of personal utility arising from a variety of work related sources.

These may include performing more interesting or challenging tasks, holding a responsibility level matched to one’s qualification, working under healthier or more attractive conditions, developing good relationships with co-workers, taking on a tenured position, or enjoying greater work autonomy or higher social prestige. Education also does increase people’s well being and quality of life.

Studies also show that the well educated employees have a higher risk of becoming unemployed and that unemployed with qualifications have higher probabilities of regaining employment than the unemployed without educational qualifications.

So, education is an investment for your future. You already know that your base salary is largely determined by your education level.

But did you ever wonder exactly how much education matters? If you’ve got enough smarts, it shouldn’t matter whether or not you have formal training. As job scarcity continues to drive more competition to open positions, professionals with strong educational backgrounds are the ones scoring high paying jobs. Depending on the industry, pay increase may go as high as 300%.

Learn how informal education can lead you to a higher paying job. Informal education that you can invest and complete it in a shorter time Become a nurse and get that better job and better pay.

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Special Education Teaching Jobs

Those in special education teaching jobs work with students who have needs that can’t be met in a regular classroom. Some students may have autism or intellectual or emotional challenges, prevent them from reaching their potential without the assistance of a specially trained teacher. In some cases, students may be blind or deaf but still need to learn basic life skills such as cooking, shopping or buying a home. This teachers can adjust classroom lessons to meet the requirements of a wide variety of students who face learning challenges.

Jobs in special education teaching include working one on one with severely handicapped students, being part of a team at a deaf school or hospital, using music therapy. Some spend all their time in administrative positions or helping to educate or mentor other education teaches. Although most of those in jobs in education teaching work with students who only have minor disabilities, others have additional training so they can work with children who have speech or language problems. Still others help prepare IEPs (individualized education plans) which provide other teachers with information about how classrooms need to be modified to help students learn to their maximum potential.

There are even special education teaching opportunities available in hospitals, mental health facilities and doctors’ offices. Candidates may often work with emotionally disturbed children or those with learning challenges. There could be an overlap between medical and emotional issues, making regular communication between teachers and doctors a priority. Some jobs are permanent and others are temporary. Most teachers who work with children who have emotional issues get special certification or a Master’s degree in the field.

Requirements for that education teaching jobs can vary from state to state, as can the types of jobs available. In Washington, DC, for example, those seeking employment could check with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. It oversees Gallaudet Univeristy, a college for deaf students, as well as the American Printing House for the Blind. Special education teachers can contact this office to get leads on possible job opportunities. Teaching jobs can include being teachers’ assistants, working as aides or being a teacher without special certification.

There are a huge variety of careers in education teaching. They include adaptive physical education teachers, individuals who can alter the regular physical education requirement so that blind, deaf or physically handicapped children can take part in the classes. These teachers must make sure that children are still getting plenty of exercise, even if they are in wheelchairs. Other special education teachers include art and dance therapists, teachers who have extra training in working with emotionally disturbed children. Some special education teachers have auditory training to supplement their work with deaf children.

Jobs in special education teaching can be adapted to special settings, making each job slightly different. Some teachers have their own classrooms and work with small groups of students. Others may go to parents’ homes and work with severely mentally or physically challenged children on a one to one basis. The jobs can be so different from one setting to another that it is difficult to list all the different types of special education teaching jobs.

Each job must be tailored to the children’s needs, different skills that need to be developed and the setting where the teacher works. Some educators work with other teachers as part of a team while other may work only in resource rooms. Some will work directly with the children while others may be in administrative positions and oversee other special education teachers.

For more information on Special Education Teaching Jobs

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Common Consumer Product Industry Careers and Jobs

When it comes to the day-to-day operations of the local Walmart or the selling of goods at the perfume counter in a department store, there are many different careers and jobs to consider within the consumer product industry. With varying levels of education and experience, individuals may soon pursue employment within retail, which spans sales, management, and executive positions.

As a Retail Store Manager, one plans and directs the everyday operations associated with a retail store. Managers create strategies that improve customer service, as well as aim to increase the overall sales of a store. Their main goal is to increase productivity and profitability. A manager looks after the needs of the customer and makes sure that complaints are resolved in a timely manner, overseeing speedy and efficient employee service. A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is often required for this position with at least 5 years of experience in the field. It is important for a Retail Store Manager to be able to lead and direct the work of others, which earns them a typical annual salary of between $40,673 and $53,935.

A Retail Sales Person focuses on selling goods and making sure customers are helped as they browse the selling floor. Usually, a high school diploma or its equivalent with no experience is acceptable enough to obtain this type of position. A sales person is expected to follow instructions and pre-set regulations in order to perform the functions of this job. People in sales always work under immediate supervision and receive hourly salaries that are often based upon a work year that fluctuates around 2,080 hours. This position is also offered through part-time, full-time, contract, and seasonal opportunities. Full-time retail sales staff typically earn between $17,866 and $25,183.

A Full Time Retail Cashier is in charge of ringing up sales and placing purchased items into bags. A high school diploma or its equivalent is generally required of this position, although no experience is necessary. A retail cashier typically receives an annual income between $17,542 and $20,668 when working full time.

A District Retail Sales Manager is responsible for watching over a collection of Senior Store Managers within a targeted geographic region. Usually, retail sales managers possess a bachelor’s degree with at least 10 years of experience within the field. An array of duties is expected of them, where they often report to a Regional Retail Store Manager. The typical salary for this type of management position is between $65,201 and $92,827.

As a Retail Store Operations Executive, the overall store operations and profits become the main responsibilities of this position, as they guide a variety of staff tasks. It is important to note that this position does not entail any buying or accounting duties. With a bachelor’s degree and at least 15 years of experience in the field, one may pursue this career path, obtaining an annual salary between $166,001 and $282,480.

To make sure the response to consumer products is beneficial for the growth of a company, the Director of Customer Service is in charge of directing and watching over the concepts implemented in regards to the organization of customer service policies, goals, and directives. Directors develop and establish various procedures and policies that workers are responsible for following when handling customer complaints regarding consumer products. The director is required to possess a bachelor’s degree with at least 10 years of experience in the field. The typical salary for this type of director is seen between $87,976 and $132,879.

Working in the Consumer Products Industry: United States & Canada

When looking for satisfying employment within the consumer product industry in the United States or Canada, a wealth of satisfying job opportunities exists. For example, health care is an important part of landing a job. A few companies actually pay 100% of their employee’s health-care premiums, including Valero Energy and Whole Foods Market.

To locate the positions (according to company) that provide some of the best compensation, consider the following businesses and their average annual pay: Whole Foods Market (Associate Store Team Leader; $72,894), Publix Super Markets (Store Manager; $103,981), REI (Retail Store Manager; $87,519), IKEA North America (Sales Manager; $58,487), Nordstrom (Sales Department Manager; $48,500), Nugget Market (Store Director; $98,833), and Wegmans Food Markets (Store Department Manager; $47,775).

Additional companies that offer reasonable employment within the consumer products industry includes QuikTrip, Starbucks, JM Family Enterprises, CDW Corporation, and Timberland.

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