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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Career Planning


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How to Be a "Professional"

Monday April 14, 2014

The word "professional" gets tossed around a lot. People say, for example, "He is such a professional" or "She handled that problem so professionally." What does it it really mean? When we refer to professionalism we are describing the way a person acts in a work environment. It is a quality that is hard to define but it is quite obvious when it's missing. For example, someone who rarely shows up on time for work, is disrespectful to his co-workers or customers, or trashes her employer demonstrates a lack of professionalism. Does doing the opposite of these things show that you act professionally then? It may take a little more than that, but certainly it's a start.

Read: Professionalism: How to Conduct Yourself at Work

Major Focus: Economics

Friday April 11, 2014

Economics majors learn how to effectively and efficiently allocate scarce resources to a population with unlimited needs and wants. Typically one needs at least a master's degree to work as an economist, but there are other career options that utilize the knowledge acquired as an undergraduate.

Could this major be a good choice for you? See what career paths, both traditional and alternative, you can follow. Find out what classes you should be taking now if you are currently a high school student.

Here's some information to get you started:

  • Economics is a social science but, depending on the university or college, this major may be part of the college of arts and sciences or the school of business.
  • Most people who earn an associate degree in economics transfer to four year schools so they can continue their education.
  • While you need to have taken introductory courses in economics, you don't necessarily need a bachelor's degree in this subject to enter a master's-level program.
  • Some doctoral programs accept only students with a master's degree in economics but others prefer those who have a bachelor's degree.

More: Economics Major: Career Paths

Weekly Career Profile: Camera Operators

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Six Things to Know About Camera Operators:

  • They film movies, television shows, commercials, newscasts, concerts and sporting events.
  • Camera operators may work in studios or on location.
  • Many employers prefer job candidates who have a bachelor's degree in film or broadcasting.
  • Camera operators work full time and freelance.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2022.
  • The median annual salary of a camera operator was $40,300 in 2012 (US, BLS).

How to Get More Information:


It's Equal Pay Day

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Today is National Equal Pay Day. The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), wanting to raise awareness about the gap between women's and men's pay, picked a Tuesday in April to symbolize how far into the year woman have to work to earn what men earned during the prior year. It's hard to believe that, in 2014, women still earn significantly less than men. We've come a long way baby ... but clearly not far enough.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 helps ensure that women and men who do the same work and have the same skills receive the same wages. Sounds like it should be common sense, but sadly, it isn't.

Happy to Embrace the Unknown

Monday April 7, 2014

Regardless of what musical genre you prefer, it's hard not to be taken in by the the current number 1 song, Happy. I knew little about Pharrell Williams, singer, producer and writer of this incredibly catchy tune, (other than his funky taste in hats) until I saw him on Good Morning America today. Among several things he said during the show, one thing in particular that resonated with me was his answer to the question, "What inspires you?" He said "My inspiration is that which does not exist" (I may be paraphrasing slightly).

While I wholeheartedly believe in setting goals, a favorite proverb of mine, ironically, is "People plan, God laughs." That's why I think Williams' answer resonated so strongly with me. I think it's essential to have a plan, but it's equally important to welcome the possibilities inherent in the unknown or "that which does not exist" and be inspired by them.

Self Taught Skills You Need for a Successful Career

Friday April 4, 2014

To have a successful career you must be independent, have the ability to manage your time well and know when to ask for advice (as well as whether to take it). You must be receptive to feedback and assertive as well. Where can you learn these very important skills? Is there a class you can take?

Unfortunately there isn't one but don't despair. You can acquire all these skills on your own. A good time to do that is while you are still in school—whether it's high school or college. Getting good at these things requires a lot of practice but not to worry: you will have several years to do it. And you will keep finessing those skills even after you graduate.

Read: 9 Things You Must Learn to Do Before You Graduate

Weekly Career Profile: Boilermakers

Wednesday April 2, 2014

Six Things to Know About Boilermakers:

  • They make, install and repair boilers, tanks and vats.
  • Most boilermakers work in the construction and manufacturing industries.
  • Preparing for this occupation usually involves doing an apprenticeship that combines classroom and on-the-job training.
  • Those with welding experience or a certificate will fare better in the job market.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2022.
  • The median annual salary of a boilermaker was $56,560 in 2012 (US, BLS).

How to Get More Information:


Careers With an English Degree

Monday March 31, 2014

Some people think that when they go to college they must get a degree in a subject that is geared toward a specific career, for example accounting, finance, computer science and engineering. They would never think of majoring in a subject they love, like English for example. I disagree. I think you should study what interests you. College should be about getting an education, but you should also spend time thinking about, and preparing for, your future career.

Loving a subject will only get you so far, unless you want to share your love with others by teaching it. That's certainly one option. If that's not for you, you should make sure you know what your other choices are. Whatever career you decide on, teaching or another, find out what else you have to do to prepare for it. That might mean continuing your education, so if you see that your options are going to be limited with your bachelor's degree, make sure you are willing to spend an extra two to four years in school after you graduate from college.

More: What to Do With a Degree in English

Careers With a Math Degree

Friday March 28, 2014

My accountant was trying to explain something about IRAs to me the other day. I had to concentrate really hard to understand what she was saying, not because it was all that complicated, but because numbers were involved. Math is not, and has never been, my strong suit. In junior high and high school, I cried over algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Maybe that's why I'm in awe of people who are good at math and also love it. My accountant is one of those people, and she is similarly shocked by my love of words and my writing ability. Why am I telling you about my math phobia and my admiration for people who are actually good at it? It's because the world needs people like you. There are jobs for you that no one else can do.

If you are one of those people who loves working with numbers, you may be thinking about majoring in math in college. You may be a bit concerned—or maybe others are concerned on your behalf—about what you will do after you graduate. You should know there are many choices when it comes to choosing a career. You can become a mathematician, of course, but there are many other options too. Find out what occupations require the skills math majors have. Read What to Do With a Degree in Math.

Weekly Career Profile: Broadcast Technicians

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Six Things to Know About Broadcast Technicians:

  • They set up and use equipment that regulates audio and video broadcast signals.
  • Most broadcast technicians work in the radio and television industry.
  • To work in this field one needs an associate degree in broadcast technology or a related discipline.
  • Broadcast technicians work nights, weekends and holidays in addition to during the day.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2022.
  • The median annual salary of a broadcast technician was $37,880 in 2012 (US, BLS).

How to Get More Information:


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