Tag Archives: college

College Isn’t for Everyone; So, Consider These Options As Well

College is expensive. According to U.S. News, the average tuition and fees at an in-state public college comes out to $9,716, compared with $35,676 for private colleges per year. Public, out-of-state schools cost about $21,629 on average per year.

Despite these high sticker prices, survey results from Movin’ On Up, the Express Employment Professionals blog for job seekers, and Refresh Leadership Express’ blog for business leaders, found that parents are still pushing their children to attend college.

Interestingly, 33 percent of business leaders and 33 percent of job seekers (coincidentally the same percentage) said that their parent/guardian encouraged them to achieve a four-year college degree or higher.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 66.7 percent of high school graduates ages 16 to 24 were enrolled in colleges or universities in October 2017. These relatively high college attendance rates resulted in soaring student loan debt. As noted in Forbes, according to Make Lemonade, more than 44 million U.S. borrowers collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Global News notes that Canadian students collectively owe over $28 billion in student loans.

Although college can be the perfect choice for many students, it isn’t right for everyone. At the very least, high school graduates should be aware that educational opportunities other than college exist. These include attending career technical or trade schools, and getting into the skilled trades, among other options.

Why opt for Career Technical Education (CTE)?

  1. CTE-trained workers are in demand.
  2. CTE leads to high-paying jobs.
  3. CTE is affordable.
  4. CTE keeps the country competitive.

In a recent article, the BLS outlines several blue-collar jobs and their associated median annual wage, many of which are comparable to those received by some college students. These include:

  • Electricians: $54,110
  • First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers: $64,070
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters: $52,590
  • Secretaries and administrative assistants (except legal, medical, and executive): $35,590
  • First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers: $55,060
  • First-line supervisors of production and operating workers: $58,870
  • Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers: $40,240
  • Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing (except technical and scientific products): $56,970
  • Insurance sales agents: $49,710
  • Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers: $69,620
  • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers: $61,050

Blue collar workers are happy. A recent study conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Express Employment Professionals found that 86 percent of blue collar workers are satisfied with their job, with 85 percent believing their life is heading “in the right direction.”

Encouraging your children to attend college may be the right choice for your child, but it’s more than worth it to let them know about other available opportunities. College isn’t for everyone, and other good-paying options exist.

Staffing Companies Can Help

If you’re a graduating senior trying to figure out if college is right for you, or a parent looking to help their child along their career path, contact Express Employment Professionals. We work with clients every day and know exactly what they’re providing for employees. And we never charge a fee to applicants.

We also provide Job Genius, an educational program designed to teach young adults how to successfully enter the workforce.  Take a look at our video about hot jobs with high school diplomas and apprenticeships.

After that, contact a local Express office, register online or check out our app today to get started.

 

No Degree, No Problem: Top Jobs that Don’t Require a College Degree

The professional job market is competitive, with most positions requiring a college degree just to get in the door. However, college is both expensive and a serious time commitment.

Many of those who can’t afford college are looking for jobs that pay well and can provide a great career. Some of these men and women are skilled at working with their hands and want to apply their craft to something other than an office setting.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great job opportunities available that don’t require college degrees.

Many of these jobs provide stable work situations with great pay. Instead of attending college, would-be students can start earning and investing income.

A recent article by CareerBuilder dove into these in-demand jobs, narrowing down the list of occupations to those “where the number of job postings each month outpace the number of people they actually hire.” Top positions included heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, first-line supervisors of retail sales workers and food service managers, to name a few.

Job Genius
As a staffing company, Express Employment Professionals places more than 500,000 associates into jobs each year. These jobs can often be stable, well-paid positions for workers without college degrees, and several are featured in Job Genius, Express’ job-focused educational program.

CNC Operator
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers (also known as CNC Operators), create and oversee the machine tools or equipment that are used to cut or process  plastic, metal, or other materials. This is in addition to installing new parts to the CNC machine and checking the results to make sure they meet the requirements. Workers get to work with their hands and have the instant benefit of seeing the results of their hard work.

Key Skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills

Electrical Contractor
Electrical Contractors install everything that uses electricity. From lighting and air conditioning to manufacturing machinery and more. It’s important to enjoy the thrill of problem-solving, as there are no shortcuts. You must understand the theory and know how to put it into action. Electricity isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so a great electrical contractor usually enjoys steady employment.

Key Skills:

  • Good problem solver
  • Analytical mind
  • Flexibility

Welder
Have you ever purchased an iron gate or marveled at the metal skeleton of an upcoming skyscraper? Odds are that the structure was a welder’s work. Welders join two pieces of metal together to make the product as strong as one piece. Welders can even end up traveling around the world, working on underwater structures or cruise ships. Metal is everywhere, so the sky is the limit for a talented welder.

Key Skills:

  • Team-player
  • Attention to detail
  • Patience and willingness to learn

Further Reading
If you are still unsure of whether the traditional college experience is for you, or are worried about the job search in general, these resources should prove useful:

  • ExploreTheTrades.org provides more information regarding trade jobs.
  • Job Genius, as we mentioned previously, is useful for information on résumés, interviews, great jobs for those without college degrees, and stellar positions for those with college degrees.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.
Contact a local Express office or register online today!

 

Kick-start Your Career After College

You’ve finally graduated; now what?

college_major_webAfter graduation, it’s a whole new ballgame. You’ve landed your first job, and it’s time to put everything you learned in college to the test. Now instead of your grade, your career is on the line. And let’s face it — launching into a career can be daunting.

But try not to forget that you’re still learning and figuring out this thing called life. Here are some tips for all you fresh grads on how to take what you learned in college and apply it to your career.

1. Set career goals

Your career dreams probably won’t happen right away. Your first job out of college doesn’t have to be your dream job — take a few years to gain experience, meet those milestones, and learn what it takes to achieve your dream career.

You don’t have to play the interview game and ask yourself where you see yourself in five years, but you should be aware of the goal you’re working toward. What career are you working toward now that college is over, and is what you’re doing now progressing toward that goal? Review courses you took towards your major and apply what you learned toward your new career.

2. Keep learning

In order to learn more about your career path, take as many opportunities to expand your knowledge as you can. Just because you aren’t being graded doesn’t mean you can stop learning. Jump on new projects, volunteer for events, and really get a feel for your company. Constantly brush up on the best ways to present yourself, and make sure you’re always prepared for the next job opportunity.

3. Avoid locking yourself into ‘traditional’ career options

You may have learned things studying for your major that are applicable to an entirely different subject matter. So don’t worry if your job after graduation isn’t in your major’s career field immediately.

You can learn a ton from your first job, and then apply that to a job you really want later.

4. Don’t compare your career path progress to to that of your friends

Everyone is different, and everyone’s path is different. Your professional network, experience, and even hopes and dreams are different from those of your friends. Especially your work friends. As a result, they’re probably going to have a different career than you. And that’s okay. Congratulate them on their success and be supportive! That’s what friends are for.

5. Get out of a job you hate

If you truly hate your job, odds are you’re not learning from it. And if you can’t learn to at least tolerate what you’re doing, you’re better off in a different position. When you hated a new class, you dropped it immediately right? Time spent hating your boss or coworkers would be better spent learning new skills. So get out there and find a job you love.

If you’re still looking for that first (or second) job, you might want to consider checking out a staffing agency. Recruiters can connect you with job opportunities tailored to your skillset. Here at Express Employment Professional, we have more than 34 years of experience placing job seekers in a variety of short- and long-term positions. Feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Are you a new grad getting started with your career? Let us know about it in the comments below!

 

 

 

How to Determine the Right Education Path

how_important_is_your_education_webAre you considering going back to school? Maybe you’re thinking about a career change or looking for a way to get ahead in your current career. Whatever the reason, furthering your education is rarely a bad idea.  Determining your educational path is a lot like mapping out a road trip. If you have a destination in mind, you can figure out a route, estimate how long your trip will take, and the gather resources you need to get from Point A to Point B. So before you rush out and enroll at a four year university or sign up for a trade school certification course, tap the brakes for a moment and consider your career destination before you set off down a particular education path.

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The First Job: Do Recent Graduates Stay or Go?

recent_grads_first_jobs_webA recent survey from Express Employment Professionals revealed that more than two-thirds of recent college graduates stay in their first career jobs for one year or less.

The Results Are In
Of those who gradated within the last 18 months, 58% said they stayed in their first job for “seven months to a year.” The full results include:

  • Less than three months – 3%
  • Three to six months – 10%
  • Seven months to one year – 58%
  • More than one year – 29%

According to Bob Funk, the CEO of Express, “Younger workers would be advised to stay in their first job longer in order to gain experience. In addition, employers are looking for loyal people. If a business owner or manager spends months training a person, it’s only right for that employee to put their new skills to work for that organization.”

Longevity in the Workplace
These results suggest that longevity isn’t as important to recent graduates as networking, gaining experience, or enhancing their skills. If you want to stand out from the job search competition, consider learning more about the importance of longevity and avoiding gaps in your resume.

How long did you stay in your first job after graduation? Or, how long do you plan to stay in your first job? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

5 College Majors Employers Love

degrees_employers_love_webThe decision to get a higher education is an important one. Often, a lot of money and time goes into earning a college degree, so it’s vital that you choose a career path that works best for you. If you’re thinking about getting a higher education, you may be wondering which college majors are currently in demand.

According to the National Recruiting Center of Express Employment Professionals, there are a handful of college majors that businesses are continually looking to hire. Are they in your career path? To find out, take a look at these five college majors employers love.

Finance
A bachelor’s degree in finance may lead to a career in banking, financial planning, money management, insurance, or tax preparation. Often, graduates with a degree in finance will qualify for a wide range of jobs in public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Examples of core courses in the financial degree path include accounting, economics, business law, and personal finance. According to Payscale.com, financial analysts make between $40,000-$70,000 a year, with monetary increases as you work up the ladder to management. In fact, according to Forbes, finance is one of the college degrees with the highest starting salaries.

Accounting
While finance is generally described as the study of how to manage money, accounting is the study of obtaining, collecting, and dealing with financial information. If you’re interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a degree in accounting is the right choice. Careers for those with accounting degrees include bookkeepers, CPAs, auditors, tax specialists, and personal accountants, and courses in an accounting program typically include statistics, business law, cost accounting, and auditing. Payscale reports that the salary for accountants ranges from $35,000-$66,000, and CPAs range from $42-$106,000 annually.

Business Administration
The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is a study that focuses on all aspects of business. Business administration programs are designed to teach a wide range of topics, including marketing, management, finance, human resources, and economics. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) requires additional schooling and is a professional degree. Business graduates may seek careers in human resources, marketing, or management, and many even land roles in high-level leadership. According to Payscale, office management jobs pay around $40,000 a year, while career paths requiring an MBA may pay anywhere from $53-$156,000.

Mechanical Engineering
If you’ve always been a builder, inventor, or designer, you may be interested in a mechanical engineering degree. Mechanical engineering graduates are sought by employers in many industries, including aerospace, automotive, chemical, construction, electronics, utilities, and energy. Typical courses in a mechanical engineering program may include calculus, chemistry, physics, and programming. The average salary for mechanical engineers, according to Payscale, ranges from $50,000-$93,000 a year.

Computer Science
A diverse field with many opportunities, computer science careers are in high demand. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for this career path are expected to grow by more than 20% through 2022. Courses include computer programming, web programing, information technology, programming languages, digital design, and more. There are many career paths for computer science graduates, including software developers, computer programmers, network administrators, web developers, database administrators, and software testers. Payscale reports that computer science degrees bring an average annual salary of $53,000-$150,000.

Vocational/Technical Education
College isn’t the only path to higher education. For many, there’s a better option: Career Technical Education (CTE). For those who don’t think college is the best option or want to enter the workforce sooner, a CTE can provide the skills and training they need for other in-demand jobs. According to Express, those sought-after jobs include medical assistants, welders, machinists, dental assistants, hygienists, CNC operators, and licensed nurses.

Non College Grads
If higher education isn’t for you, you’re not out of the race. A recent survey from Express revealed the hottest fields that are hiring the most non-college grads include office services, industrial, health care, marketing, and more. Take a look at the full list to help you build your career path.

Do you have a college degree? What does your educational path look like? Share your story with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

What’s the Difference Between an Apprenticeship and Internship?

apprenticeship_vs_internship_webIf you want to gain work experience while you’re still in school or right after graduation, you’ve probably looked into an internship or apprenticeship.

Both internships and apprenticeships can offer entry-level experience in your field of choice, but they operate in different ways. If you’re looking for one of these opportunities, you may be wondering what the difference is between an internship and an apprenticeship.

In short, internships allow you to learn in a work environment without pay or with minimal pay in order to gain experience. An apprenticeship is formal employment that trains you on a specific skill set while on the job.

So, how do you know which one is right for you? Take a look at each option in greater detail below.

Internships
Internships are usually a type of temporary work that last from a few weeks to several months. Internships are available in both public and private companies and nonprofits. Most people who choose to take an internship are seeking experience in a particular role or industry.

This type of employment is great for people who want to see a specific career in action before committing to it and those who want to gain experience that can benefit their future career. At its heart, an internship is an educational tool, not a training program.

Apprenticeships
What sets apprenticeships apart from internships is that an apprenticeship is an actual training program inside of a job. Apprenticeships usually employ people and teach them a specific set of skills needed in a particular career field.

Often, you will sign a contract with an employer to learn these skills, which can be a mix of formal experience, on-the-job training, and classroom work. You’ll also work toward requirements or a certification program, and if you pass, you then have the skills and formal qualifications to work a specific job.

These types of programs are common for careers like electricians, manufacturing, construction, and more.

Another difference between apprenticeships and internships are the salaries. Many internships are unpaid, while apprenticeships usually pay a salary. For an apprenticeship, the pay generally increases as you move through the training.

Choosing Your Career Path
Ultimately, choosing between an apprenticeship or an internship depends on the career path you want to pursue and what you are trying to gain.

If you want to stay in a specific industry and you are confident with your career path, an apprenticeship may be your best bet. However, if you are looking to boost your resume and experience or are trying out different positions, internships may offer what you need most.

Have you had an internship or apprenticeship? Did it work well for you? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.