Recent Economic Changes Caused a Decline in the Movie Industry Employment

movie-industry-employment

On September 4, 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Employment Report for August. While this report has been met with mixed reactions, the report indicates that most industries are still adding jobs. However, some notable and persistent exceptions exist in the movie industry. The BLS report shows that recent economic changes caused a decline in the movie industry employment. Overall, the report indicates that there were 142,000 new non-farm payroll jobs added in August; unemployment stagnated at a rate of 6.1 percent. These changes show an overall slowdown in increasing employment which is still encouraging in the wake of the global economic downturn. However, most analysts agree that this is not yet cause for major concern. On the other hand, the movies continue to be one of the biggest job losers across all job industries. This job loss prompted some alarmed reactions from Hollywood. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Career Counselling, Work Life

State Funding Levels for Higher Education Financial Aid

Acquiring higher education was never a cheap endeavor for anyone involved. This reality is especially true now more than ever. Without financial aid, obtaining a college degree proves to be extremely expensive. More and more graduates question whether the degree itself is actually worth the many years of paying off the student debt. Because of this debt, the topic of state funding levels for higher education financial aid is particularly important for anyone involved with college education. In a nutshell, the government does provide limited funds to help relieve some of the financial strain of higher education. However, this financial aid is pretty limited due to the still ongoing economic recovery. In order to be able to receive this funding, you must educate yourself and become very well-informed in the topic.  Today we examine this topic and attempt to answer the question: How do State Funding Levels Rank for Higher Education? Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education Policy

Does a Racial Disparity Exist Between Education and US Employment?

young-adult-african-american-professional

Does a Racial Disparity Exist Between Education and US Employment? A recent survey conducted by non-partisan NGO Young Invincibles revealed that a racial disparity exists between one’s level of education and the person’s ability to be hired. There exists a disparity between African American people and Caucasian people at each educational level. African American high-school dropouts are less likely than their white counterparts to find a job: the difference in odds stands at 15 percent for males and 12 percent for females. In order to have similar chances of employment as a young, white male adult with only a high school education, an African American man will need at least some college educational experience. However, on a more positive note, a young African American adult with a degree is far more likely than a young Caucasian adult to benefit from an increase in pay following the completion of his or her education. Although this may serve as less comforting, the disparity statistics at the bachelor degree level is far smaller: male African Americans with bachelor’s degree are only 5 percent less likely to find a job than their white peers; this rate stands at a 3 percent difference for females. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Career Counselling, Education Policy

Market Survey Finds Employers Value Integrity and Experience over Education

positive-attitude-at-work

A recent survey conducted by Canadian staffing agency and published in late July bears good news for job hopefuls. This survey essentially downgrades the value of an expensive education in the hiring process. According to the survey, which was conducted by the North American staffing agency, Today Express Employment Professionals, employers don’t care as much about a job candidates’ educational background as they do with other factors. Do you wonder to yourself “What do employers look for in a job candidate”? The short answer is that they look for certain, specific qualities. If you’re here to increase your chances of finding that great new job, you can read on to discover the most employable work traits. Check out how this market survey finds employers value integrity and experience over education.

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Posted in Blog, Work Life

How to Use Military Scholarships to Afford Post Secondary Education

Defense Secretary Gates Travels

Late 2013 ushered in  what first seemed like good news on college expenses. It seems that the costs of post secondary education were slower to increase in 2013 than over the past few years. These costs only rose by 2.9 percent at public four-year colleges. However, this report alone fails to mention that families continue paying more for the cost of a post-secondary education than any other factor in the US. That’s because the growth of financial aid has not matched that of the rise in tuition costs. In fact, once you subtract grants, scholarships, tax credits and everything else, you’ll discover that families still pay far more than they used to. Another interesting fact is that, at the height of the recession, between 2008 and 2011, federal grants nearly doubled in volume. This growth reduced the net cost of college to far lower rates at the time: $1,940 in 2009-2010, compared to $3,120 in 2013-2014.
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Posted in Blog, Education Policy

The Least Competitive Job Markets for 2014 College Grads

young-people-north-dakota

If you’re an alumnus or alumna from the college class of 2014, you’re probably searching diligently for a steady, profitable, and suitable employer. Everyone knows that the job market in 2014 is nothing like the one five years ago. Years ago, job seekers primarily moved to either the east or west coast to find a high quality job. That was the norm. Unfortunately, these states on the two coasts now rank pretty high in the least competitive job market chart for 2014 college grads. Obviously, the job market changed significantly. That’s why we put together this list of the least competitive job markets for 2014 college grads.
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Posted in Career Counselling, Work Life

PayScale.com List of Worst Colleges in the US Is Inaccurate

fayetteville-state-university-football-team

Online salary, benefits, and compensation company Payscale.com set out to determine college ROI (or return of investment) for schools across the country. Payscale conducted this survey to discover where American college students can get the most valuable education for their money. The website produced a report which lists all of the schools in the U.S. The site ranked these schools by the ratio between their total tuition costs and the earnings of the schools’ alumni. They factored in schools which offer financial aid (and those that don’t), schools that provide on-campus/off-campus accommodation, as well as private/public schools. Finally, the interactive report also calculated ROI based on school category and major. Each year, the website pools tuition and earning data. The amount of necessary information amassed must meet certain criteria for inclusion in order to stop short of the service’s 10 percent error threshold.

For prominent schools, the system above might work. This system is particularly problematic for smaller schools. An error threshold as high as 10 percent could make a big difference for these schools. For this article, we will not factor in out-of-state school prices. These prices are naturally higher. We will examine the bottom three worst colleges in the US according to the PayScale.com system. These schools supposedly provide the lowest ROI and have been deemed the least valuable schools in the county. But are they truly that bad? Or, do they simply provide other advantages for graduates which are less tangible than money? We believe the PayScale.com List of Worst Colleges in the US Is Inaccurate.

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Posted in Blog, Education Life, Education News, Education Policy

Spelman College President Announces Retirement Next Year

Spelman College President Announces Retirement Next Year

On July 9, 2014, the president of one of the most important colleges for African American women, Beverly Tatum of Spelman College, announced she would step down next year. Spelman will retire on June 30, 2015. She helmed the school through a fruitful ten year-long fundraising campaign. Dr. Tatum announced this news in conjunction with the announcement on the campaign’s total results. This total amounted to a record-breaking $157.8 million raised and the participation of 71 percent of alumnae (i.e. 12,000 graduates of Spelman College). As I’m sure you can imagine, the academic world was surprised to hear that the Spelman College President announces retirement next year.

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Posted in Education News

Positive June US Employment Growth Rate Spurs Forecasts of Economic Recovery in 2014

Positive June US Employment Growth Rate

The month of June brought some good news from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most recent data on the matter, published under the title THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JUNE 2014, states there were 288,000 new paid jobs last month in the United States. Unemployment declined by .2 percent in June. This figure is down to 6.1 percent which indicates a positive June US employment growth rate. This total decreased to 1.4 percent for 2014, with women and African Americans as the two demographics that have experienced the biggest improvement in these last months. The number of long-term unemployed individuals also decreased in June by 293,000. This figure is now down to 3.1 million. Overall, massive job growth occurred across the U.S. This growth is an indicator of an US economic recovery in 2014 according to the most optimistic of analysts. These positive predictions are based on the fact that 2014 saw the most rapidly accelerating pace of job growth of all the post-recession years. Major global press agency Reuters, for instance, notes that the jobless rate in June 2014 was the lowest recorded in six years. Reuters continued on to declare this as “decisive evidence” that the economy is “growing briskly heading into the second half of the year”.

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Posted in Work Life

Save Money for College and Afford a Quality Education

How to Save Money for College and Afford a Quality Education

When someone asks the generic question, “How much does college tuition cost in the U.S.?” it is usually met with a generic answer. “A lot.” College tuition has been growing at a steady clip. This pace is 2-3 percent faster than the rate of inflation. The big issue for American households started in the 1980s when the increase in college expenses began to regularly pass the increase in median family incomes. According to an often cited report by Cornell University’s Ronald Ehrenberg, today’s high college tuition costs can be explained through the fact that top schools consistently choose to increase the quality of the education they offer by spending more. They routinely fail to focus on cost efficiency and expense cutting measures. These costs leave many wondering about how to save money for college and afford a quality education.
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Posted in Blog, Education Life

Avoid Student Loan Debt Pitfalls: How to Find a Career with a Living Wage

Avoid Student Loan Debt Pitfalls: How to Find a Career with a Living Wage

Expensive college tuition costs have become the norm for prospective U.S. college students and graduates. Collegetuition debt is literally prohibiting young graduates from moving on with their lives. The complex nature of this issue isn’t helping numerous families across the United States. Many people are left wondering how they can avoid student loan debt pitfalls. These people would love to know how to find a career with a living wage. Recent reports of tuition fees being on the decrease may provide a ray of hope for those facing debt. But, many of these reports fail to tell the whole story. The tuition fee ratio increase for 2013 was the smallest one since the mid 70′s, standing at only 2.9 percent. However, grants and other financial aids are not keeping up with the increases in tuition. That leaves most families paying more for the cost of college in 2013 than they did at the peak of the recession. Read more ›

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Posted in Blog, Career Counselling, Education News

Unemployment Rate Compared to Education Level: Higher Education Means Lower Unemployment Rates

Anybody who’s ever gone to school has probably heard this argument time and time again. A good degree will help you land a good job. But, do the statistics actually confirm this thesis? And, what exactly is a good degree, anyway? In early June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a chart that sheds some light into these issues. The chart does a good job at explaining the correlation between employment rates and education level across demographics. In this article, we will examine the Bureau’s findings and how the numbers stack up for the unemployment rate compared to education level. Read more ›

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Posted in Blog, Career Counselling

How Job Seekers Can Avoid Employment Scams in the Job Market

Avoid Employment Scams in the Job MarketIn early June, the media reported on a worrying new trend on the job market: employment scams. As people desperately continue to seek employment, more and more of these fake ‘employers’ try to take advantage of the job-seekers’ situations. According to an article by nwi.com about the job scam phenomenon, money transfer mystery shopping ‘jobs’ and pay per click  jobs that compensate through Western Union are some of the most common attempts at this type of fraud. Perhaps the most common form of employment scam is the one which involves upfront job costs. Such alleged costs would cover credit checks, job application processing, recruitment fees, and office supplies. As the more cautious of you would imagine, securing a job should never involve upfront money. The above mentioned article advises job-seekers to exercise prudence and never send money to someone they don’t know or haven’t met in person. You should follow this advice no matter how professional the employer may seem. We’ll help you avoid employment scams in the job market. Read more ›

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Posted in Blog

What Is The Highest Earning College Degree?

The title of highest earning college degree goes to the College of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. A recent survey conducted by NerdWallet examined schools to find the top 50 College Diplomas with the highest earnings. They came to their conclusions based off of the starting salary of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 class of graduates. NerdWallet then examined the average earnings over that three year period. What they found was not all that surprising. The list is absolutely littered with “hard science” diplomas from the county’s top universities.  One unfortunate caveat of the study is the lack of data from Ivy League schools. These schools rarely release salary info. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education News

The Top 10 Fastest-Growing Careers in America

Let’s face it — times are changing. With the nation’s economic and technological landscapes constantly shifting, it may be in your best interest to expand your career opportunities.

Despite the economic downturn, there are quite a few growing industries that are in especially high demand across the nation. While all these careers will require some formal education or training, if you’re planning out a new career path, why not choose a road that will lead you towards one of the 10 fastest growing occupations in America? If you’re pondering your education and career options, take a look at some of the fascinating statistics below (as featured in our latest infographic!):

top-10-fastest-growing-careers-in-america_infographic
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Posted in Blog, Career Counselling

Is Harvard Summer School Overvalued?

John_Harvard_statue_at_Harvard_UniversityHarvard’s Secondary School Program, or SSP, has earned criticism as of late for taking advantage of high school students’ feverish desire to attend a prestigious Ivy league college. For many, Harvard University is the pinnacle of such a college, and it’s no secret that some high school students attending SSP believe their participation gives them an edge with Harvard admissions.

Critics say, even though no promise of admission is made, the University plays up its Ivy League reputation and admissions expertise to attract new summer students—and thereby generate more revenue. The SSP program guarantees a revenue stream for the University at a time when costly buildings on campus would otherwise remain empty. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education Life

MOOC Setback: San Jose State Cancels For-Profit Udacity Classes

Udacity co-founder Sebastian Thrun

Udacity co-founder Sebastian Thrun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One semester into an innovative new online program at California’s San Jose State University, school administrators have decided to suspend all coursework co-created with education entrepreneur Udacity. The reason: most of the students in the trial run failed their final exams.

A spokesperson for the school noted, “The plan right now is to pause for one semester, there are a couple of different areas we need to work on.”

Udacity, a private company based out of high-tech Silicon Valley, is a MOOC provider. MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are fully-online classes from established schools that are offered for free or at extremely reduced rates. The cancelled classes at San Jose State cost $150 each. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education Technology

Student Loan Interest Rates To Be Tied to Market, Government Borrowing Costs

John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (Wikipedia)

John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (Wikipedia)

Last week Congress moved to overhaul interest rates on federal student loans. Under a new, market-based approach, students will be charged interest based on the going rates for long-term government debt securities. The bill, which the President is expected to sign, results in low-interest loans today—but pricier ones in the future.

After months of debate, politicians had failed to stop student loan interest rates from doubling by July 1. The hike affected approximately one-fourth of federal loans. The new legislation reverses this unpopular rate hike, solving the short-term problem with a long-term fix: tying rates to 10-year U.S. Treasury notes.

The final bill also ties the outcome to the budget deficit, at the urging of the Obama administration and most Republicans. If there are any savings realized from the switch, they will be redirected to reduce the federal deficit. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education Policy

University of Chicago MBA Follows the Market to Hong Kong

13th President of University of Chicago Robert Zimmer (Photo credit: Eric Guo)

13th President of University of Chicago Robert Zimmer (Photo credit: Eric Guo)

Starting in 2014, new students who want to attend the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in Singapore will instead have to go further north to Hong Kong. The school has announced it will relocate its elite executive MBA program much closer to Chinese students.

University president Robert J. Zimmer noted that “Asia is a critical region” and explained the move as a means for growing “engagement” in the area.

Students who already attend the Singapore campus will be able to finish their degrees, but new students will no longer be accepted. The Hong Kong campus will open its doors in July of 2014. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education News

University CIOs Discuss MOOCs at Purdue Extended Campus Panel

coursera logoTop tech leaders from over 40 U.S. universities and colleges recently converged on San Diego to discuss the future of new media in higher education. A key panel featured CIOs from Amherst College, Wesleyan University and Rollins College—schools that have confronted a controversial new movement known as MOOCs, or Massive Online Open Courses.

MOOC platforms, like Coursera and Udacity, have earned praise and scorn alike for sharing college coursework with the public, free of charge. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education Technology

Employees Scared To Take Time Off During Recession

tired at work

Photo credit: Alexander Kolov

Labor experts examining the modern workplace have found that employees today are less likely to take time off than employees before the start of the 2008 recession.

Despite the fact that the recession officially ended back in 2009, the unemployment and the underemployment rate is still high.

A recent survey performed by the Families and Work Institute found that not only are employers cutting back on maternity-leave pay, pension plan contributions, and allotted vacation time, but employees themselves are spending less vacation time and are less likely to negotiate for benefits. They’re also less likely to ask for a raise, and more likely to feel stressed. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Work Life

Is There Really A Staffing Surge In Education?

NEPCIn a recently published report stated that the # of employees employed full-time by the American school system had grown 2.6 times as fast as student growth during the period of 1992-2009.

However, the report by the Friedman Foundation for Education choice also showed that the extra staff didn’t actually improve academic outcomes. The report, entitled “The School Staffing Surge”, argued that the government could have saved a significant amount of money with virtually no effect on education, had staff growth rates remained constant with student growth rates. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Education Policy
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