Trade Jobs: The Wave of the Future?

Are four-year colleges and universities losing their luster when it comes to job preparation?

According to the 2008-09 Occupational Outlook Handbook, eight out of the 20 fastest growing professions require less than a four-year degree. Education experts have widely differing opinions on what kind of education will be needed to compete in the future economy. But most agree that changes must happen to cut wasted time and money in college courses that are either repetitive or not sharpening a student's marketable skill set.

So, is it still worth your time and money to go to a four-year institution, or is choosing a vocational or technical ("votech") school a better option where skills are emphasized over liberal arts? And even if a votech school might prepare you with more specific skills, will you still benefit by sporting the B.A. stamp of approval?

Trade Schools: What They Can Offer

"Everybody going into the workforce today needs some sort of training," says Mary Barry, senior vice president of academic affairs at Kaplan University, "and what a lot of people want now is to get in the workforce as soon as possible."

Kaplan University is unusual because it offers vocational training as well as opportunities to complete a bachelor's degree. However, 80 percent of their campuses are considered votech, where students earn primarily two-year degrees that emphasize technical skills. They also boast an 82 percent workforce placement rate -- and many of that remaining 18 percent decide to go on with school. Few, according to Barry, have trouble finding employment in their field with the degree they earned.


Basic Guidelines to Temporary Employment in South Africa

Since the onset of the economic downturn there has been a drastic change in the employment situation both locally and abroad as there is an increasing trend for hiring people on a temporary basis.

For those who might be new to the world of Temporary Employment (whether you are an Employer, Employment Agency or Employee), here are some basic guidelines to Temporary Employment in South Africa that you should be aware of:

  • The Skills Development Act stipulates that temporary employment agencies must be registered with the Department of Labour. Basic Guide to Private Employment Agencies.
  • Workers whose services are provided to a client by an employment agency are employed by the agency. The agency is the employer of the worker. The employee is then under a Temporary Contract of Employment with the employment agency (who is the temporary employer) and the Client, who is a third party, will typically enter into a ‘Contract of Work' with the agency.
  • The employment agency hires out the services of the temporary employee to the client. The client pays the employment agency and the agency is therefore responsible for paying the temporary employee the agreed upon salary. The employment agency charges a far higher rate (salary) to the client than hat it has to pay the temporary employee, this being how the employment agency makes its money.

Make A Good Impression On Your First Day!

Starting a new job is both exciting and nerve-racking. On the one hand, your future is wide open and filled with new opportunities, while, on the other, you’re in unfamiliar territory fraught with unprecedented dangers. That’s why it’s crucial for you to set your emotions aside and focus on how to make a good impression on your first day. For better or for worse, how your colleagues and supervisors perceive you on your first day can have a lasting impact on the rest of your career within the company.

Follow these six tips to make a good impression on your first day and keep your professional reputation intact.

Come in early

Your new employer should have indicated when your training begins. If you don’t have this information, make sure you call ahead to find out, and try to come into the office about 15 to 30 minutes early, which should give you plenty of extra time to deal with traffic jams and other unforeseen complications. You can’t afford to be late if you’re going to make a good impression on your first day. Keep in mind, however, that your supervisor is not likely to be ready until the scheduled time, so you may have to wait at reception.


Try to remember what employees wore when you went in for your job interview, then dress just a bit more conservatively -- and we do mean a bit. Though you should avoid denim as a general rule if you’re trying to make a good impression on your first day, don’t show up in a three-piece suit if the average worker had on jeans and a T-shirt. If the case is as casual as this example, dress pants and a well-ironed shirt ought to be enough to make a good impression on your first day. If you can’t recollect your new office’s dress code, err on the side of caution and go with the classic suit and tie.

Major jobs announcement expected

A major jobs announcement is expected to be made next week following the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to Northern Ireland.

Details of the US investment are being kept under wraps, but it will be seen as a vote of confidence in NI's political process.

Stormont ministers have been lobbying hard in the US for more investment as part of the peace dividend.

It is understood the deal will mean several hundred new high end jobs.

Northern Ireland's politicians have spent years lobbying American political and business leaders to invest in Northern Ireland.



"The only risk of failure is promotion."
- Scott Adams

Though corporations often use career advancement as an incentive for their staff, a promotion is more than just a reward for years of hard work and dedication. There's a reason why managers screen and interview different candidates before moving an employee up the ranks: They want to make sure the person promoted can handle the position. After all, with a new job title comes new responsibilities. In today's increasingly competitive job market, it's crucial that workers make the most of any promotion in order to solidify their standing within the company.

There exist two types of promotions. The first consists of a change in pay grade to reflect seniority and expertise. The job description remains more or less the same, but the promoted employee is expected to take on a heavier workload and act as a mentor to the junior staff. This sort of advancement is generally reserved for workers with years of experience. The second type of promotion demands more leadership skills. Along with the raise and upgraded job title, the employee is given a higher level of discretion as well as a new set of managerial or administrative responsibilities.

The Promotion That Got Away

Q. You were just passed over for a promotion that you believe you deserved. You are shocked but don’t want to mishandle the situation. What should you do?

A. First, calm down. You may feel as if you’ve just sustained a body blow, but you need time to put this decision into perspective and analyze it.

If you are feeling emotional, try to say very little at first because you could end up doing something counterproductive, said John Beeson, founder of Beeson Consulting in Manhattan.

“Your boss is probably feeling guilty and is not prepared to give you good reasons for the decision,” Mr. Beeson said. “Just say: ‘I am disappointed. I am not challenging the decision, but I would like to come back to you in a few days and get some feedback that would help me manage my career.’ That tells your boss you’re not giving up and you want more information.”

Q. After you’ve calmed down, what’s the best way to find out why you didn’t get the promotion?

A. First, answer some basic questions. Were you aware of the possibility that someone else would get the promotion? How important was this promotion to you? And how is the company doing over all — were you the only person who didn’t get a promotion this year?

The Top 6 Low-Stress Jobs for Career Satisfaction

You already know job stress is bad -- but do you know just how bad? According to a report issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, one quarter of workers viewed their job as the most intense stressor in their lives. Over 40 percent of workers felt their jobs were extremely stressful, while 26 percent of workers said they had reached a point of burnout.

But there's more. Ongoing job stress is associated with physical ailments such as back pain, headaches, muscular aches, exhaustion, depression, and even heart disease and high blood pressure. Companies in the United States lose billions of dollars annually due to absenteeism, high turnover, employee accidents, medical costs, and decreased productivity -- and it's all thanks to stress.

Escape Stress with a New Degree

Are you ready to take control of your stress level? Career training for a new job can put you on the path to a position that you love -- and the change can work wonders on your outlook. While most jobs aren't completely stress-free, doing something you love can make you look at job stress in an entirely new light. If you're looking for less stress on the job, consider these careers:


Does working with food lower your blood pressure while it whets your appetite? Becoming a chef can turn your favorite hobby into a steady paycheck. While busy restaurant kitchens are often fast-paced during peak times, if you love to cook, you'll take it all in stride. If you're the ambitious kind, get your bachelor's degree in culinary arts and become an executive chef. If you prefer a more intimate atmosphere, consider becoming a private chef. Either way, you will unleash your creative side.

Executive chefs make an average of $38,770 per year, while private chefs pull in an annual average of $24,070, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

10 Great Part-Time Jobs with Benefits

Contrary to popular belief, working a part-time job doesn’t mean you have to forego those almighty benefits.

A number of part-time vocations come with subsidized health insurance coverage, paid vacation days, retirement matching, corporate discounts, and more. You just have to know where to look.

Often, part-time employees must work at least 20 to 30 hours a week to be eligible for company benefits. And some companies won’t cough up the healthcare and financial perks until you’ve been an employee for 3, 6, or 12 months. Still, a benefits package is a benefits package, no matter how you get it.

Whether you’re a stay at home parent returning to the workforce and looking for legitimate at home part-time jobs, a college student in need of extra income looking for part-time weekend retail jobs, or an office worker who’s grown weary of the 60-hour-a-week grind, there’s probably a part-time job with benefits out there for you.

1. Package handler. Do you have a strong back and an aversion to offices? Then you might get a lot of mileage out of loading and unloading packages at a UPS warehouse in one of the 90 cities the shipping carrier serves. Part-timers must work a minimum of 15 hours a week and wait 12 months before being eligible for benefits. But the company fully funds your health insurance premiums and offers tuition reimbursement for part-timers who take harder-to-fill shifts. Median wage: $11 to $12 per hour.*

Surviving the office party

Aka - get drunk and tell the boss what you really think of him!

At this time of year, most people will be attending or have been to their office Xmas party. It is supposed to a time where everyone can relax and get to know other people that you don’t have a chance to at work.

But does it work out like that?

Not a chance!

This article is just a wee humorous look at the office party phenomenon and how to avoid that dreaded entrance into work the next Monday morning!

Hmm…Clare from accounts looks good tonight…

How many times have you been to an office party where you or one of your co-workers have hooked up with someone?

Office parties hold that unique appeal of “anything goes”.

It is the one event in your annual calendar that you will see more relationships start and end on the same night, than on any other day of the year.

It usually is leading up to an important event – most usually Christmas, where everyone decides to let their hair down and relax.

Big mistake!

Working in Ireland

Located off the North west coast of Europe, the Republic of Ireland has become a popular location for foreign companies and has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.

The recent rapid industrial development has been achieved by a deliberate policy of promoting export-led and advanced technology businesses, partly by offering attractive packages for foreign investors.

These include a special low rate of Corporation tax and reduced personal taxation for expatriates. Ireland joined the European Union in 1973 and has been a member of the European Monetary System since 1979. It has benefited both from various EU development grants and consistency in the Irish government's policies.

The country is primarily Roman Catholic and has one of the fastest growing youngest populations in Europe and a well-educated workforce, but there is a strong demand for labour in the country. IT workers are particularly in demand - as they are all over the world, but demand exists in most sectors.


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