College Student Loan Industry Put on Hold

April 16th, 2009 by admin

The Obama administration is proposing an overhaul in the way a majority of students finance their college education. This proposal may greatly affect the student loan industry causing them to fight against the proposed plan.

Currently, federal subsidies, known as the Federal Family Education Loan program, are provided to private loan companies. President Obama wants to eliminate these subsidies proposing that all loans given to students will be under the control of the federal government. The administration argues that the revamp would save $94 billion. That savings could be redirected to needy borrowers and give more potential students the opportunity to go to college.

There is opposition to the proposal by some. Lenders are worried about the business they could lose. “The Obama plan would mean that many lenders would lose 100 percent of their business,” said Mark Kantrowitz, an industry analyst and publisher of FinAid.org. “It would be a dramatic shift for the way this industry works.”

Others worry about the inefficiency of the education department. “I don’t see the wisdom in creating a new half-trillion national bank for student loans,” he said. “I know how the bureaucracy at the education department works, and you probably are going to get long lines of dissatisfied customers. Those lines could be very long because there are 12 million students.”

Supporters believe the proposal is the most cost effective, dependable way to provide students with the necessary funding for college. They think that the current system needs to be fixed to provide every student with the opportunity to go to colleges.

Source:
Washington Post

Career College Central
http://www.careercollegecentral.com/news/loan_industry_pushes_back – anchor text contigent on kw research

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Getting By On Going Without – Quick Certifications for Careers to Help Offset the Job Gap

April 8th, 2009 by admin

How do you validate the months or years you’ve put into your job if you no longer have one? Getting laid off can be devastating for some. It may feel like your efforts just lead up to nothing.

Some people have the right attitude about starting over. Some even relish the thought of building new networks and friendships. You can either drown in your own guilt and anger, or you can challenge yourself and your expectations by making a quick roundabout move to more versatile earning potential. The key to remaining marketable for employment is to diversify your skills.

While you search for full-time employment, there are several quick career certifications that you can study for in a relatively short time. You might be surprised to know that many of these quick certification fields feature fairly good earning power. The industries they are for also seem to have an endless supply of new jobs for certified graduates.

The spare time you have now during your job search or as you work part time can easily be filled by going to class for certifications in these types of positions. Have a look at a few.

Paralegal

Some schools offer basic training certifications that you can finish in 6 months. Some schools feature programs that go a bit deeper and award a degree. Either way, the legal industry is always busy, always looking for smart workers and always expanding with new services. Many programs include internships – an excellent way to get experience in a law firm and begin to make connections for your future job search. Why not get started in an industry where it pays to know how things work? One thing to remember – paralegals can’t offer legal advice or argue a case in court. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a paralegal is $44,990.

Find Paralegal programs offered in your area with the US College Search Engine here.

Medical Assisting

There are basically two tracks for medical assistants – clinical and clerical.

Clinical tracks teach students how to perform basic medical procedures like taking blood pressure, taking temperatures, drawing blood, handling medical samples and assisting physicians and nurses in more complex procedures.

Clerical tracks teach students how to assist health care professionals in the office or how to handle insurance forms and claims. Clerical assistants will do more computer and phone work, they will file and act as liaison between doctor or nurse and patient or insurance agent.

Most cities of any size will have training institutes for medical assistants that offer quick 6, 9 and 12 month certifications. Many professionals hoping to earn a little extra for big plans, or who simply need a stable part-time job during a recession are often found in medical assisting jobs. Depending on your plans and what you hope to make, investigating each school’s training track further is a good idea before just jumping right in. One thing you can say for certain about health care – this is an industry with job security. The need for qualified medical assistants grows more every month as the baby boomer population retires and ages. This could be the shot in the arm your career earning plan needs.

Find Medical Assisting certification programs offered in your area with the US College Search Engine here.

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant performs a variety of laboratory, office and patient care duties that assist dentists in their day-to-day operations. A dental assistant often works alongside dentists as they examine and treat patients. BLS reports median salaries in 2007 were between $30,000 and $35,800. But that’s not all there is to love. Many dental hygienists find flexible scheduling to be a real upside of this career. This is especially important if you’re working another part-time or full-time job.

Many times to just get started in a dental office, you’ll only need to finish a quick 9 month certification course. Once you’re done, job prospects and supplemental earning power will help keep a gleaming smile on your face.

Find Dental Assisting certification programs offered in your area with the US College Search Engine here.

This article could go on and on, but you get the idea. There are more and more ways to supplement lost income through jobs that feature flexible scheduling and can be earned through quick training courses. Being ready for change in any capacity makes you a stronger person. Certification training gives you versatility in the marketplace and can help give you a financial boost when conditions turn for the worse. Use the search engine at US College Search to help you step up to new levels of effectiveness and earning.

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Networking After a Lay-off

April 2nd, 2009 by admin

You already know that networking is one of the most important parts of building and maintaining a solid career. But many people fall into the trap of losing their networking potential after being let go from their current position. It is easy to quickly lose touch with associates when they no longer know how to get a hold of you. If you have only kept in touch with business contacts through a company e-mail address, you run the risk of losing touch after a sudden lay-off. Whether because of embarrassment or simple loss of information, you’re suddenly faced with trying to re-build your career through luck and cold calls.

How can you avoid such a fate and keep your business contacts open after being laid off? It’s important to remember to let people know, as soon as possible, how you can be reached during this transition.

At all times during your career, it’s important to keep a professional-sounding personal e-mail account ready and stocked with your business address book. Something as simple as John.Doe@gmail.com will do. Then, if you find yourself suddenly without your business e-mail address, shoot out a ‘change of information’ message to your associates as soon as possible, letting them know your new contact information.

This first message isn’t a time for pleading, personal laments, or bitterness. Keep it short and simple, and save the more detailed, personal communication for later. Send a follow-up message after you’ve had a chance to reevaluate where you’re going and how your network could help you get there.

After all, these are the same people who have helped you get as far as you have in your career. Chances are, they’ll still be there for you and willing to do as much as they can to make your career transition as smooth as possible.

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Good news for students, bad news for banks

March 27th, 2009 by admin

One of the major obstacles for prospective students when it comes to going back to school is money.  Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  President Barack Obama’s budget proposal is about cutting the money given to banks – and instead giving it to students.

President Barack Obama’s budget calls for increased federal aid to students.  Not only would students who already qualify for federal aid potentially receive more funds, but more students would also become eligible!  An estimated $5 billion dollars will be shifted from bank subsidizes to students in 2010-2011 alone, according to The Congressional Budget Office.

And, best of all, these changes don’t just apply to fresh high school graduates – adults without a bachelor’s degree are also eligible.  This is about making college more affordable to everyone – and making America a stronger country.

This is great news for students who have been considering going back to school, but haven’t been sure where to find the money.

Get the education you’re looking for – and let the government help you find the money you need.  You can learn more about the budget changes could affect your state at Campaign for America’s Future.  http://www.ourfuture.org/report/2009031325/obama-s-budget-supporting-students-not-banks

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The 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Land a Job in this Recession

March 5th, 2009 by admin

I know what you want from me.

You want me to be a pocket full of optimism.  You own personal “yes You can” man.  You want me to dance around in frothy verbiage, whispering warm votes of confidence like:  “You can achieve any career goal you are passionate about” or, “Persistence is going to drive your butt at 120mph into the career you’ve always wanted, complete with a Herman Miller Aeron chair and a double-wide corner office sporting a street-side view of a never ending happy-go-lucky parade of co-workers celebrating the overwhelmingly important fact that *You* have finally – arrived.”

Sigh.  I feel so used.

Right about now myriads of job seekers around the country are throwing down their “To-Do” Lists to fire off strongly worded bombs of cynicism of this article and its writer to their Overly-Comforting Social Career Networks and Hug-Happy Job Coaches.

But for those of you’ve who’ve made it this far, I imagine some questions are racing through your splendorous minds.  After all, you don’t just stumble upon an article here without a healthy sprinkling of observational powers and resourceful thinking.  So the point I’m trying to make here, other than trying to find a bit of humor in an otherwise serious situation – is that sometimes taking two steps back and reevaluating your job-finding strategy and mindset are necessary in order to take a step forward.   After all, landing the right job in this tightwad economy isn’t necessarily impossible, but it is going to take more ingenuity then you’ve likely used in the past.  Before diving into your job search, consider tomorrow’s market.  What kind of jobs are subject to consumer trend and economic lapses?  How big of an issue will a college education play in getting a job?  Is going back to school a feasible option right now for you and for your family?

The following is a series of important criticisms that I began pointing out about myself during my last job search that, once accepted and corrected – allowed me to see opportunity where others failed to recognize it.  It was not until I tied my short-term goals (landing a job to pay rent) to a bigger purpose and vision (how my career fits into my life) that I really began to see why I was consistently being passed up by recruiters.  I have a gut feeling that I’m not the only one here, so I’m offering this same list to you (at least, for those of you that are still reading this):

1. You Aren’t Being Realistic.  Expect Obstacles and Disappointments

If there is a principle that never wavers from its intended purpose, it is the idea that doing anything worthwhile in life is always accompanied by unexpected obstacles and hindrances.  Finding a job is not exempt from this rule: You will feel as if the monetary walls around you are closing to suffocate your very being.  You will interview with recruiters who are overly optimistic and promising when it comes to offering you the job, and then disappearing or finding someone else.  You will slip up in an interview.  You will get left off of the recruiter’s call-back list for no reason other than the mere fact that they never made it to scanning your resume because there were simply too many submissions for the job.

In this author’s book – character is not judged when times are good, but when times are bad.  Getting problems and dealing with them are part of being an adult.  Don’t get overly optimistic about any one job (and I know, it’s hard) because the second you do, it always seemingly disappears.  It’s like a universal law or something that always occurs.

2. You Aren’t Being SMART

I know, I know – an acronym.  But don’t run off just yet – this one actually has substance.  So let’s peel back the tin foil and see what’s on offer:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Trackable.  The first thing you need to do when evaluating the current State of Your Job Search is being asking yourself whether your selling yourself too high, or throwing yourself in too many different directions like a freshly-made bowl of Jell-O that’s indecisive about what it wants to do with its life.

Having goals without having direction makes you about as pretty as a meat mallet.  During my last job search, I had one company that I was really trying to get into.  Coincidentally, they were hiring for 3 positions that, although being located in 3 different departments, all seemed to intersect my skill set and experience.  So what did I do?  I jumped the gun and applied to all 3.  I can imagine the HR departments initial reaction at my bombardment of resume gunk on that fateful Thursday morning – they must have likened me to the guy at the bar who hits on every woman there in hopes that one of them will stick and he won’t have to go home alone.

This didn’t make me very attractive to the company, and unsurprisingly I did not get a call back from them even though I was qualified for the positions I applied for.  If I had expressed a little more direction to them about where I wanted to go in their company from the outset – they likely would have dragged my butt into the hot seat faster than I could smile and say “Nice to meet you.”

Staying focused and concentrating your efforts into realistic and specific goals can actually make your life a bit simpler.  Measuring and evaluating your performance in relation to these goals can give you insight into what areas you can improve upon.

3. You’re Not Digging Deep Enough

CareerBuilder.  He’s big, he’s bad.  He’s tougher than jailhouse steak.  But despite having an almost mythical and legendary status as career finders, Monster and CareerBuilder can be surprisingly useless sometimes. 

 “Monster” ? It’s more like 4 pounds of fluffy kitten.  Average job submission on CareerBuilder and Monster is now 260 resumes, in comparison with 70 submissions just a year ago.  Your chances of finding jobs on them are still great; the problem is that competition has almost quadrupled.

If you aren’t checking localized online job boards in addition to the Big National Job dumping websites like Monster and CareerBuilder, start finding them.  If you don’t have a local social network built around finding you a job, build one.  Here – I officially give you permission to do that.

Tons of cities have local non-profit job boards.  Look at the government sites, too.  Go on company websites, check out the’ Careers’ pages.  Scan the multiplexes of the internet for jobs.  You could even hire a typing monkey to do it for you.  I’m of the opinion that the tougher it is to find, the less competition you’ll have when you finally discover it.

Start using Google – a lot.  Google is the center of the known universe – how’s that for finding a job?

4. You’re Haven’t Gotten the Proper Training and Education

Let me fill you in on something – you’re trying to find a job in one of toughest markets America has ever seen.  There are dozens of others job seekers doing what you’re doing for the same job right now – how are you trying to differentiate yourself from the pack?  One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make is assuming their experience will get them in the door.  While this may have been true 10 years ago, today’s job market has displaced the idea that experience alone separates you from other job seekers – typically employers are requiring post-secondary education before they even scan your resume (see the ‘Occupations Guide’ on US College Search for more on that.)

Going back to school or getting new certifications in an economy that is becoming increasingly competitive are two areas that I’m actually a proponent of right now.  You can find legions of bloggers that have not yet joined the “Going Back to School” camp, but really – has there ever been a more opportune time?  Why heck, even our new President has been urging the populous to commit to at least one extra year of higher education or career training

You saw this kind of behavior happening in succession during the early 1980’s and “waiting out” the tough economic times eventually put them ahead of the other job seekers when they did finally make it out of school.  27% of the US population is now attaining a college education of some kind and the numbers continue to rise by the year.  That makes them more of an asset to companies right now than the other ¾ of the population – and being an asset counts in this job market.

5. You Don’t Know Your Worth

Figuring out how to convey the secret talents and hidden abilities that you’ve had in past jobs can sometimes be challenging.  Finding out what exactly they even were to begin with can be next to impossible.  I know that all sounds cliché, and to a certain degree – it is.  But if you can develop ways of matching your previous experiences to the objectives of the job you want – you are going to have a much more engaging interview, and a much better chance of finally landing a job.

My advice is to research the industry you’re looking to get in heavily.  You stand a much better chance of knowing what kind of valuable skills you’re bringing when you are already an expert for the job you’re going to be interviewing for.  Get to know the jargon if you don’t know it, know the industry experts, know what kinds of tasks you’ll be doing (even if the Job Ad doesn’t tell you.)  Be prepared to talk about something with real substance and value at the interview.

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Is the MBA Your Best Bet for Retaining Workplace Versatility?

February 12th, 2009 by admin

Today’s market place is dicey, to put it mildly. That degree you put thousands of dollars into? It might not carry the prestige and weight that it once did when businesses are focusing on their bottom lines. Businesses want effectiveness, not legacy.

Where do you start?

Your paramount concern for professional longevity is to remain skilled and versatile. Businesses are reorganizing and job duties that work partners once performed for you may soon be your responsibility.

Many future career climbers facing this reality are reflexively reaching for the M.B.A. degree programs online and at career colleges. Why? It’s kind of like the Swiss Army knife of master’s degrees. But is that the best degree choice for you? Perhaps it’s time to consider some of these alternatives to the M.B.A.

Master’s in Marketing

Forget the degree concentration; why not pursue a degree that focuses entirely on marketing? You can eliminate general business fare and focus on more interesting areas such as:

  • Psychographics
  • Consumer psychology
  • Demographics
  • Analytics
  • Business metrics

Master of Human Resources

Why waste time and energy memorizing snoozers like general corporate finance. Focus instead on dynamic areas of corporate concerns such as law, policy, and human relations. A higher degree in Human Resources immediately sets you apart, and clears the way for a long journey of upward mobility.

Master of Health-Care Administration

A specialized degree that’s a smart choice for people who plan career advancement within hospitals, physician’s clinics, insurance companies, or an extended-care facility. Health care is just going to keep expanding. So why not invest in some real job security?

These are just a few of the many options you can plan for. All you have to do to get started is use our search for Master’s level degree programs. US College Search can make it easy and quick so you can take your next step to better things!

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“The power of community colleges”

February 6th, 2009 by AbbeyR

 The past few weeks have been a busy time for President Obama, Vice President Biden and all of the other members of the new administration. This has also meant big life changes for these elected officials’ family members. In “Second Lady,” Jill Biden’s case, this means a new job.

Before Barack Obama selected Joe Biden to be his vice presidential candidate, Jill Biden, Joe’s wife, was an English professor at Delaware Technical and Community College. But because her husband’s new job required the family to move to Washington, Jill decided to seek out a job in her new hometown as well. With her impressive career experience and education background, Dr. Biden received several job offers from D.C.-area colleges and universities. But ultimately, she chose to accept a position at Northern Virginia Community College.

Some have publicly wondered why Dr. Biden would choose to teach in a community college when job offers were also extended to her from prestigious Washington universities. The answer is simple: Jill Biden believes firmly in what she calls, “the power of community colleges to endow students with critical life skills.” She even wrote her dissertation on this very subject.

Dr. Jill Biden definitely understands the value of community and junior colleges, and the importance of the students who attend these institutions. So if you’re considering enrolling in a community college near you, get ready for an education that you can feel great about – community colleges can be an excellent way to build a strong, affordable educational foundation. And don’t forget to stay on the lookout for professors who may one day become national political celebrities!

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Job in jeopardy?

February 4th, 2009 by admin

Don’t wait for your company to start laying off people before you start looking for a new job or consider going back to school for additional training. If you have a keen eye, you can start to look for the warning signs of your job being in jeopardy.In today’s economy, having a jump-start on job searching can be the difference in getting the job or being up against your peers in a larger hiring pool.Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions: If your company is merging with another, you can bet that there are other people who can perform the same job as you. That puts your job in jeopardy.
  • Jaguars Become Rabbits: If you see the boss down-grading his nice, new Jaguar for the more reasonable Volkswagen Rabbit, it’s not a great sign. This could mean a drastic cost-cutting measure including layoffs.
  • People No Longer Seek Your Opinion: You used to be the “go to” person when people were seeking advice on critical projects. Now they seem to go to everyone else but you.
  • You Are No Longer on the Invite List: A drop-off of meeting invites could mean that they are seeking others before you. If everyone is still busy with meetings and the only meeting on your calendar is going to get a manicure, your job could be getting cut.
  • Your Competitors Are Slicing Their Workforces: Competitors starting to lay off people in your industry could mean that your company might follow suit.

Watch out for the signs to be more ready to switch careers in the midst of a career recession. This also could be the perfect time to go back to school to earn your degree or continue your education. The more skills you have, the better way to land a new career or simply stay in your current one.

If you’re ready to learn new skills, then USCS can help you find the right school for you. Start your search today!

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Maximize Your Interview by Asking the Right Questions

February 2nd, 2009 by admin

We all know that there are certain tricks that can help you nail a job interview. I’m sure you’re well aware of the obvious ones like researching the company before-hand, looking polished during the interview and sending a thank you note afterwards.You may even be well-rehearsed on the old turn-your-negative-into-a-positive responses. Heck, I was still in high school when my Communications teacher went over how to respond when an interviewer asks where you have the most room for improvement. You simply give them an answer like “I can be too punctual,” or “sometimes I’m too organized” or something else that follows the: I’m too _______ (fill in the blank with an attribute) formula.

But, what about that particularly delicate moment when the tables are turned and the interviewer becomes interviewee – the part when your potential employer invariably asks “do you have any questions for me?” Being well prepared for this precise occasion can make all the difference.

In fact, the questions you ask can say a lot about you. So, remember that this is not your chance to find out about time off, paid holidays or overtime requirements – unless you want to communicate that you’re not interested in working very often.

You can maximize each moment of your interview by asking the right questions. Here are a few examples:

What you ask: What contributions do you think I can make to this company?
What you’re really saying: I actively seek out ways that my skills and abilities can be put to best use.

What you ask: Does the company encourage employees to pursue continuing education?
What you’re really saying: I am enthusiastic about learning, growing and developing. I’m the type of person who enjoys building new skills and I take the initiative in doing so.

What you ask: What kind of opportunities for advancement and growth are there?
What you’re really saying: I have career goals and I’m interested in making a long-term commitment to an employer that can help me achieve them.

What you ask: When will a decision on the job candidate be reached?
What you’re really saying: I am interested in this position and I am eager to hear from you in the future.

What you ask: May I get in touch with you if I think of any other questions?
What you’re really saying: My interest in this position won’t end once this interview is over and I would like to keep the door open for future communication.

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College for almost no cost… It could happen for real.

January 30th, 2009 by admin

It’s no longer unusual for students to take some or all of their college classes online. Technological advancements have helped create convenient new ways to get a college education without ever stepping into a classroom.

Now, Shai Reshef, an entrepreneur from Israel, has decided to take the online education experience to the next level: by making it free.

Reshef has created a new online education institution called the University of the People, scheduled to open in April 2009. His goal is to take advantage of the Internet’s wide availability and ease of use. Reshef believes that students all over the world, at all financial levels should have accessible, affordable education options.

That old adage about a free lunch may be coming to mind right now. But the University of the People truly is tuition-free. Students only pay nominal fees to enroll in the university and to register for examinations, and UoP’s instructors and administrators volunteer their time and expertise. All the required learning materials and tests are accessible online, making a college education available wherever there is an Internet connection to be found.

The university’s enrollment fee will cost between $15 and $50, and exam registration fees would be between $10 and $100. Reshef structured the pricing this way to reach out to poorer students. Therefore, students from poorer countries pay lower fees, while students from wealthier countries pay more.

The UoP is in its most beginning stage of operation, but two programs will be offered when the university opens this April. Students can choose to pursue:

  • A bachelor degree in Business Administration
  • A bachelor degree in Computer Science

Check out the University of the People at http://www.uopeople.com/. The gates of higher education might be opening up for everyone – no matter their income bracket – very soon!

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