March 28, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) is a great accomplishment, and there are many good paying, traditional nursing career paths that both LPN’s and RN’s can pursue upon completion of their degree.
But there are even more opportunities for career advancement – along with increased salary, for registered nurses who pursue advanced nursing degrees. In fact – be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this article to see a comprehensive list detailing advanced nursing career paths – as well as a cool infographic detailing nursing careers by degree and pay.
The article 15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs said: “To really thrive however, many RNs earn additional certifications, go for an advanced degree, and specialize in one particular area of nursing. This increases their earning potential by helping them qualify for positions at more prestigious hospitals. Some advanced practice RNs can even open their own clinics.”
Obtaining advanced nursing degrees is a challenge, but worth it for the nurse who aspires to continue to advance in their professional career.
“Advancing your nursing career from one level to the next can be an intimidating and time consuming endeavor, but in the end it’s worth it,” says Diann DeWitt, PhD, RN, CNE, chair of the Nursing program at Argosy University, Phoenix. “Highly educated and highly skilled nurses are able to exercise a higher level of autonomy, offer a greater degree of care to patients, and enjoy higher nursing salaries and a greater demand and satisfaction for their work.”
Once a nurse becomes an RN they can then focus on advanced degrees or specializing in an area of patient care, such as labor and delivery, pediatrics, or trauma (ER), points out Kerri Hines, MSN/Ed., RN, Department Chair for nursing at San Jacinto North Campus. San Jacinto College offers various nursing programs, including a Vocational Nursing (VN) Program, Registered Nursing (RN), and LVN – RN Transition Program. These programs provide an opportunity for students to have multiple pathways into a nursing career. The Vocational Nursing Program is a one-year program that prepares a graduate to work as a Vocational Nurse. Licensed Vocational Nurses work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, home health, schools, and other health care facilities to provide basic care to patients.
“These specialty areas usually require a RN degree and keen assessment and clinical reasoning skills,” says Hines.
Registered nurses also work in clinic settings, where they must have the ability to multitask and oversee medical assistance, as well assist the nurse practitioner or physician. “The nurse must take on a leadership role,” adds Hines. “All of the above career opportunities require excellent communication skills and teamwork. Some settings require the nurse to work more independently than others. However, all nurses are part of a team.”
Nurses can also pursue nursing certifications, which allow nurses to demonstrate one’s knowledge and experience in a particular area, says DeWitt. Nursing certifications are available for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses depending on the program. In addition, current LPNs may be able to waive a portion of the RN program depending on their previous experience and the College or University admission requirements. Generally, transitioning from LPN to RN will involve taking general education courses, admission to and completing an accredited RN program and then registering for, and passing the NCLEX-RN examination.
No matter what area of study a registered nurse purses, compassion, professionalism and a caring attitude are trademark skills of nurses who find success and satisfaction in their work. “These skills also help inspire the motivation to pursue life-long learning, which is becoming increasingly important to the nursing profession,” says Dr. Michele Dickens, the online nursing program director for RN and RN to BSN degrees at Campbellsville University in Kentucky. “Learning new technologies and the ability to adapt to change is essential for long-term career success in the healthcare field.”
It’s a great time for nurses passionate about education, patient care and career advancement. Those who have some real world experience may be able to better understand the path they want to choose, and once they find that niche, the possibilities and opportunities are endless.
“Nursing, in my opinion, is the greatest profession to go into,” says Dr. Janet Mahoney, PhD., RN, APN-C, NEA-BC, Dean of the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies at Monmouth University. “Once a nurse has a firm foundation in nursing experiences and feels confident in his/her role as a nurse, the sky is the limit as far as career options go.”
For example, Forensic nurses are critical resources for anti-violence efforts. Forensic nurses collect evidence and give testimony that can be used in a court of law to apprehend or prosecute perpetrators who commit violent and abusive acts. If a nurse is interested in clinical practice, the Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees will give them the skills to be experts in the field. Monmouth offers Forensic Nursing, Nurse Practitioner and DNP programs, but not all colleges and universities do; so any nurse looking to specialize, needs to thoroughly research their educational options. Advanced degrees prepare nurses to apply evidence-based findings to their clinical practice. DNP nurses practice at the highest educational level and have an equal place at the table with other doctoral level professionals.
Below, we highlight a variety of nursing career paths one can pursue with advanced nursing degrees:
Health Informatics Technology: With the ever-growing integration of information technology in hospitals and other patient care facilities (including the advent of the Affordable Care Act requirement for electronic health records), this field continues to expand, says Dr. Kim Hudson-Gallogly, head of the University of North Georgia’s Department of Nursing. UNG has developed courses and degree options that can augment the traditional nursing degree and provide skills to meet the demands of the technology boom. Besides the nursing education needed for this pathway, it is essential that the nurse have extensive information technology course work to help the nurse manage data and processes associated with health informatics. To that end, nurses or students interested in this career path would do well to gain a good deal of experience in computer science. To market yourself effectively, hospitals and other care facilities will want to know how your skills can help them manage and process patient data. “Employers will be especially interested if you can showcase innovative software or programming talents that will make their other departments and employees more efficient at their own work,” says Hudson-Gallogly.
Clinical Trials Research: This field has become even more important as the push for research has increased across all patient care facilities, says Hudson-Gallogly. In this position, nurses study medical strategies, treatments and devices, and ascertain whether they are safe and effective for humans. A successful clinical trial typically reveals that the strategy or device in question either improves patient outcomes, offers no benefit, or causes harm. Registered professional nurses meet part of the requirements for this role with their extensive patient care experience, decision-making skills, and organizational skills, which are all essential abilities for the research nurse. However, nurses in this field will study more extensively in the hard sciences than their practice-based counterparts, as they will need to be exceedingly proficient in the scientific processes behind testing new treatments and devices. UNG is currently in the process of developing a clinical trials research degree for health care professionals that will launch in 2018.
Operating Room Nurses (or perioperative nurses): These nurses require a specialized skill set that includes being extremely organized, possessing a strong problem-solving ability, and being technologically savvy. While this pathway requires licensing as a registered professional nurse, it is so highly specialized that it is difficult to recruit and retain qualified applicants. As a result, there is a shortage of these nurses, says Hudson-Gallogly. Operating room nurses have the serious responsibility of planning for and supporting successful operations and surgeries, which includes a great deal — accurate and thorough patient assessment, detailed diagnoses, operating room suite planning, timely intervention when a an issue is identified, and vigilant evaluation once the patient has undergone a procedure are all critical functions of this nursing role. UNG has developed an introductory course to generate interest in this field in an effort to meet the needs and demands of the hospitals and ambulatory surgical sites. In 2018, UNG will launch a certificate that will prepare the nurse to be better prepared and more successful in this field, said Hudson-Gallogly.
Home Care Nursing: A home care nurse can provide intermittent care to home bound patients (visiting nurse) or provide around the clock care to patients requiring skilled nursing care. “Registered nurses need the skills to assess not just the patient, but the home care environment to ensure that the patient is receiving adequate care,” says Dr. Patricia Burke of Touro College School of Health Sciences Department of Nursing. The home care nurse needs to work independently and make clinical decisions coordinating care with other health care professionals (social worker, occupational and physical therapy) and providing comprehensive reports to the physician and insurance companies. One of the benefits of home care nursing is the flexibility and the ability to arrange visits to meet the nurses’ preferences. For instance, the nurse can arrange to conduct visits while their children are in school. Weekends and holidays are usually covered by per diem or on-call nurse, another added bonus.
A baccalaureate nursing degree is preferred but not required to become a home care nurse, however, at least one years’ experience as a nurse is required. For a specialty home care nurse, such as pediatrics, two years’ experience may be required. With home care nursing experience and a baccalaureate degree nurses can progress to coordinators of care, supervising home care nurses and ensuring that documentation of care meets regulatory standards.
Occupational Health Nurse: The occupational health nurse (OHN) needs basic assessment and education skills. The focus of the OHN is on the identification of workplace hazards, education regarding prevention and safety of employees, and preventive care. OHN’s also conducting employee risk assessment with management, compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and training for industry specific safety issues. “A benefit of being an OHN is that the hours are regular with no weekend or holiday requirement,” says Burke.
Research Nurse: A research nurse can function at all levels of research from obtaining consent, collecting the data through analysis and dissemination. “Attention to detail is one of the most important skills needed for a research nurse,” says Burke. Research nurses can work in pharmaceutical, medical, or nursing intervention trials. This job requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, a knowledge of the research process and clinical expertise in the area studied. Most research nurses will work Monday through Friday, 9-5, with weekends and holidays off. If the research nurse is working for a pharmaceutical company their position may involve travel and evening seminars to disseminate findings. The minimum requirement for a research nurse is a baccalaureate degree, however a Masters is preferred.
As nurses further their education and gain experience, more formal leadership opportunities arise.
“New graduates must understand that healthcare and nursing is a dynamic area that is constantly changing,” says Hines. “The key to success is to be open-minded to new heath care trends and adopt a lifelong learning mindset. Additionally, the nurse must understand flexibility, as things are always constantly moving and changing to best meet the health care needs of the patients, their families, and the community.”
For a greater break down of nursing careers by degree and pay, check out this cool INFOGRAPHIC from Ashworth College:
To learn more about nursing careers and other health care opportunities, stay connected to College Recruiter. Start by registering with College Recruiter to have job alerts emailed to you. Then visit our blog, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
March 23, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Recent college grads seeking entry-level jobs in the banking industry are heading into the field at the right time. That’s because many baby boomers who hold senior-level positions are expected to retire in the next five to ten years, and community and regional banks are looking for recent college grads and entry-level job seekers to emerge as industry leaders.
“America’s banks employ more than two million people with various backgrounds, skill sets and job functions,” said Mike Townsend, a spokesman for the American Bankers Association. “Thousands of baby-boomer bankers are likely to retire within the next decade, and opportunities for advancement will be abundant for the next generation entering the workforce.”
The need for emerging talent is a real issue across the country, including in the state of Ohio, where many banking jobs are going unfilled because there aren’t any workers to fill the openings, according to Bob Palmer, president of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio.
“There is a talent drain occurring very quickly in our industry,” Palmer said in the article Clark State adds banking program to meet demand for workers.
“The majority of those involved are older and in the later stages of their careers and we are experiencing a large amount of retirement,” said Palmer, who added, “quite frankly if we don’t have the talent to take care of our local community here, there will not be a place for community banks.”
The leaders at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) are aware of the shortage, and working to fill the skills and talent gap. CSBS is a nationwide organization of financial regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The vision of CSBS is to be the recognized leader advancing the quality and effectiveness of regulation and supervision of state banking and financial services.
The CSBS has created the Community Bank Case Study Competition, partnering with representatives from 33 Universities across the county for an engaging and experiential learning opportunity for undergraduate students as they interact with local businesses by partnering with community banks to conduct case studies. Students who participate in the CSBS gain valuable, first-hand knowledge of the banking industry through interactions with bank executives and networking opportunities. The competition is also an opportunity for students to sharpen research and analytical skills, practice problem solving, and enhance communications skills.
“The competition gives students an opportunity to learn in a tangible way about community banking,” said Mike Stevens, Senior Executive Vice President of CSBS. “They also get direct engagement with bankers and other business leaders, expanding their network.”
The case study competition energizes both students/participants and experienced professionals already working in the industry.
“The (students) bring much needed energy to banking,” said Stevens. “When the winning team presents at the CSBS-Federal Reserve research conference, the bankers are happy to see students interested in what they do. The energy and attitude in the room changes dramatically. One thing that surprised me is that everyone who participates in this project – faculty, students, bankers, and judges, all say how inspiring it is to see the work product and engage with the students.”
Stevens says entry-level jobs in community banking are a great career path for recent college grads truly looking to learn a wide variety of skills.
“Community and regional banks provide a lot of opportunities for an entry level banker,” said Stevens. “Community bankers really have to do it all. A recent college grad coming into a community bank has the opportunity to learn about nearly every area of a bank in a relatively short time period.”
What many recent college grads overlook is the fact that they don’t always have to have a background or education in finance to start an entry-level banking career.
“Banks need people with a variety of skills – marketing, information technology, security, legal,” says Stevens. “I hear many hiring managers say, ‘give me someone who can write, speak, and think through issues, and I can teach them about banking.'”
Below, we look at the education, soft skills, and keys to success for recent college grads seeking entry-level banking career opportunities:
March 16, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Fake email addresses. Copycat web sites. Requests for personal information before a job is offered. Interviews conducted only via instant messaging. Promises of salary that are too good to be true. Requests to submit payment to move to the next step of the job search.
These are just a few of the dirty tactics scumbags use to try and scam job seekers, including inexperienced job seekers like recent college grads and entry-level job seekers. The threat is real, and like any online or cyber threat, the people conducting the fraudulent activity are often trying to gather information to steal one’s identity or money.
The team at College Recruiter takes the threat of job search scams and fake job postings seriously, and has implemented a multi-step process that identifies and blocks the vast majority of identity thieves and other scammers from ever posting a job to College Recruiter. In fact, every single job advertisement placed on College Recruiter goes through an in-depth verification process to prove the job posting is legitimate, and all ads are verified through actual contact with a human with the employer posting the job ad – something not every job board can claim.
“Here at College Recruiter, we take these fraudulent attempts very seriously and work daily to ensure all the jobs that are posted on our web site are from verified employers to protect our job seekers from applying, interviewing, and becoming victims of identity theft,” says Dani Bennett, Sales and Client Services Manager at College Recruiter.
In the article Rise of Recruitment Scams Hurt Both Job Seekers and Employers Alike, the team at global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas identified some recent and unfortunately, popular job search scams. What may be surprising to many is that these scams don’t just target small companies. Here are some examples:
- Scammers created a false ad for Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporations. When a job seeker responded, the person who received the email asked for additional personal information, such as tax files, driver’s license, and birth certificate. Scammers then used this information to open credit cards and bank accounts. The messages from these so-called recruiters sound legitimate. In the Rio Tinto case, the recruitment email included an application with the company’s name and logo.
Remember, anyone can set up a fake web site or email account, for example through free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. College Recruiter, however, will not accept any job postings that use a free email provider to receive job applications.
- In another incident in Houston, scammers set up an actual interview, via Google hangout, using the name of a reputable company, and then offered a position. The scammers then asked the job seeker to move around large sums of money, in this scenario, up to $3,000. To carry this out, they sent fraudulent checks made out to the job seeker to start a home office, then asked the job seeker to forward that money to a third party vendor.
“Any time a company asks you to pay or hold money for them, you should immediately see red flags,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “A credible employer would never ask their employees to move money through their personal accounts. That’s why companies have accounting departments.”
- In July, Shell Oil, one of America’s largest oil and natural gas producers with over 22,000 employees, posted a notice on its careers site warning job seekers that scammers were using the Shell name and logo to recruit for positions.
Besides the obvious problem for job seekers, the toll these scams can take on a company’s reputation is huge, says Challenger. Most employers don’t know these fraudulent job postings are out there until they are contacted by job seekers who have figured out it’s a scam and contacted the legit company directly. By then, the company reputation is already damaged with those job seekers.
“From a recruitment perspective, once a company’s brand has been associated with these fraudulent ads, it may be difficult to attract the talent needed when a position becomes available,” says Challenger.
College Recruiter Founder Steven Rothberg added, “Some job boards, like College Recruiter, have formalized, proactive, anti-fraud measures in place, but many job boards are more reactive and rely upon their users to complain about fraudulent postings before the job board takes any action.”
Not only do cyber criminals post fake job ads, unethical recruiters also post fake job ads, often on sites where they can post free job ads. Why would they do that? To act like they are “well-connected” and have a long list of candidates to choose from. A recruiter may submit these resumes to the employer for which they are hiring for, to show activity – which employers value when working with recruiters – and that they have an active pipeline of candidates, when they have no intentions of responding to, interviewing, or hiring these employees.
How can a job seeker spot a fraudulent job posting, or job search scam? Follow these tips from the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota:
March 09, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Dear Matt: I’m a recent college graduate who is struggling to get interviews. I have sent in over 30 resumes and applications but haven’t received one call for an interview. What am I doing wrong?
Matt: I still remember the very first resume I ever sent after graduating from college. I applied for a research position with a local business publication. I never got a call. And I know exactly why. In fact, I am 100 percent certain the person never read past the first sentence of my resume. Why?
Because my opening statement included this language: “Seeking entry-level opportunity that will help me advance my career.”
What’s wrong with that?
First, it made it about me. I get it. You are excited. You worked hard to graduate from college and are now eager to start your career. But if you learn one thing from this article learn this:
A resume is never about you!
How so? Isn’t a resume my career biography? The document that tells employers why they should hire me?
A resume is not about you. It’s also not a career biography. It’s a marketing document that quickly tells the employer that you may have the skills and background that fit their needs. For that research position, a more appropriate summary statement should have been:
Recent college graduate with 3 years of award-winning college newspaper leadership experience seeking opportunity as research coordinator for business publication.
In that summary I would have showed them:
- I had college newspaper experience.
- I had leadership experience (resume would show I worked as an assistant editor)
- I was part of a team that won a few college newspaper awards.
- And that I am directing this resume exactly to this position.
The reality is this:
A resume should show that you have skills, experiences and a background that would fit a specific job opening – their job opening! It’s about how you can help the next employer fill their needs and solve their problems. Their problem is they have a job opening. They need someone to fill it. That person, whether it’s you, or someone else, should use the resume to show the employer that you have the skills, achievements and combination of soft and hard skills that would entice them to bring you in for an interview. Then in the interview, the employer can learn more about you, see if you truly are who you say you are, and most of all, find out if you are the right fit for the position, with the team you would be working with, and within the company culture.
The second thing to remember is this: The resume doesn’t get you hired. It does though, help you get you an interview.
March 07, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Compassion, patience. A willingness to help. A desire to continually learn. Those are all important traits of a successful nurse, say Dr. Kim Hudson-Gallogly, head of the University of North Georgia’s Department of Nursing.
“The medical field is constantly growing and changing,” says Hudson-Gallogly. And recent college grads pursuing a career in nursing or nursing jobs must be prepared to adapt now, and in their future. Especially when it comes to landing that entry-level nursing job.
Those pursuing entry-level nursing careers should “try and expose yourself to many different areas of nursing so that you can know where your interests truly lie,” says Hudson-Gallogly. “That way, you can have at least a couple of areas you would like to work in, in case your first choice is not available.”
According to the American Nursing Association “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.”
To succeed in a nursing career, college students and recent college grads pursuing nursing careers need excellent people skills with the ability to listen, observe, and communicate with others, says Rhonda Bell, Dean of Health Sciences at San Jacinto College North.
“A nurse is a team member in an ever changing dynamic health care system,” says Bell. “He or she must have the ability to work as a part of a multi-disciplinary team in order to achieve the best outcomes for the patient and family receiving care.”
Nursing can be a stressful career, says Bell. But also rewarding. A nurse must be able to manage stress and deal with emotional situations, as well be flexible and adaptable on short notice. What it comes down to is, a nurse must have a passion for caring for others, says Bell.
Nurses are taught to be unbiased and non-judgmental when caring for all cultures, ethnicities, socio-economic groups, genders and age groups, says Dr. Janet Mahoney, Dean of the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies at Monmouth University.
“The profession is guided by the code of ethics,” says Mahoney. “Nursing is a highly respected profession and one that the public highly regards as one of the most trustworthy.”
Nurses portray calmness in a sea of chaos, adds Mahoney. As new nurses join the field, they quickly learn how to multitask and delegate appropriately. Each patient’s care experience brings nurses to a new level of knowledge, competency, and confidence. Each experience builds on the other to form a firm foundation.
What are some other skills and traits of a successful nurse? What does it take for current college students and recent college grads to succeed in a nursing career? Nursing industry educators and leaders provide these 10 secrets to success for recent college grads pursuing nursing careers:
March 02, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Robin Rectenwald graduated from Duquesne University in 2012 with 20 different student loans and $100,000 in loan debt. But through working a full-time job, two part-time jobs, working with a financial planner, and creating strategies to successfully pay off her student loan debt, she is setting herself up for financial freedom from her student loan debt.
Now, in 2017, she only has five loans left, and is quickly whittling down the amount she owes.
Learn about Robin’s story, her strategies for success and how to reduce and eliminate student debt below in this College Recruiter Spotlight on Success:
Name: Robin Rectenwald
City/state: Pittsburgh, PA
Current profession: PR Professional for WordWrite Communications
College/University attended: Allegheny College (1 year) and Duquesne University (3 years) – both private schools
Annual tuition: $42,000 and $25,000
Student loan debt at graduation: $101,527.38
College Recruiter: What do you know now that you wish you knew in college?
Rectenwald: I wish I would’ve saved every penny when I was in college and living with my parents. And…
- I wish I would’ve known that you can start paying the interest on your loans while you’re still in school.
- I wish I would’ve known more about the difference between private and federal loans and subsidized and unsubsidized loans. I also wish I would’ve researched student loan options ever year.
- I wish I would’ve learned more about the cost of living after college (more info on this below).
- I wish I would’ve applied for more private scholarships.
College Recruiter: In addition to working full-time, you also work two part-time jobs, with all money from those part-time jobs going towards paying off student loans. How has that helped?
Rectenwald: My balances would be through the roof! When I graduated from college, I had 20 loans with balances ranging from $1,000 to $12,000 and interest rates as high as 10%. If I would not have really investigated these loans after graduation and made an action plan to pay them off, my payments today probably would only be going to the principal. In other words, my balances would be getting bigger because my payments would only be going towards the interest and because of that the interest would just keep growing and growing, I’d be paying my student loans forever. Recent college grads need to know that yes, you may be sending payments, but is it actually paying down the principal balance or is it just going to the interest? Don’t get caught in this trap!
College Recruiter: How have you handled the mental stress of having student loan debt? What tips do you have for others who have stress from student loan debt? Continue Reading
February 28, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Looking for truck driving jobs? There’s plenty of opportunity.
The American Trucking Association reports a shortage of 48,000 drivers.
“The trucking industry is similar to other skilled trades that have difficulty attracting young men and women,” says Ellen Voie, President/CEO of The Women in Trucking Association, a non-profit organization with the mission to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry. “From electrician to welder to diesel technician, these jobs do not seem to be attractive to the next generation.”
Women in trucking
Truck driving jobs were attractive to Abby Langan, however. Langan made a successful career change and is now thriving as an over-the-road truck driver for Schneider, a transportation and logistics company that has a fleet of 10,000 trucks and delivers almost 19,400 loads of merchandise and materials per day. Its customers include two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. Langan’s story is unique – and inspirational for both men and women seeking truck driving jobs – or a career change in general.
Langan has two associates degrees and was about to attend a four-year college when she landed a job as an internet marketing manager for an automotive dealership. She was highly successful – speaking at conferences, publishing articles and eventually landing a senior-level job that she thought was her dream job. But that life wasn’t for her.
“The fancy office, leather chair and large desk didn’t matter anymore,” said Langan. “I knew there had to be more to life than spending it inside the same four walls and talking to the same people every day.”
Langan has logged over 31,000 miles on the road in 14 months with Schneider.
“Being a truck driver allows you enjoy the freedom of the open road and the ability to see the country – and get paid for it,” said Mike Norder, Director of Marketing at Schneider. “The transportation industry plays a critical role in the economy. Truck drivers are in demand nationwide.”
In addition to a wide variety of truck driving jobs, women are also working in the industry in roles as dispatchers, managers and safety directors.
Truck driving salaries
February 23, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
College is expensive. And student loan debt is on the rise. While many believe the only way to graduate from college debt free is by receiving an academic or athletic scholarship, there are actually several strategies one can implement to graduate from college debt free – or with much less debt than the average college student graduates with – which is just over $30,000.
It’s not easy and it could make the path to graduation more challenging, but it can be done. It starts by planning in advance and digging deep to find ways to accomplish this goal.
“The days of going to college without any real pre-planning or self-evaluation are over,” says Bob LaBombard, retired CEO of GradStaff, a company that helps college students and recent college grads identify where there skills fit in the job force “It’s just too costly and risky.”
Consider these facts: More than half of college students change their major at least once. Further, recent data shows that only about 56 percent of students entering college graduate within six years; almost half drop out.
“Clearly, lack of a clear-cut plan often causes students to waste time, precious tuition dollars and, ultimately, interest in completing a degree,” says LaBombard.
There are many strategies that can help college students cover the high costs of obtaining a college degree, and if done correctly, graduating debt free. We highlight those strategies here:
February 21, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
It’s no secret that college tuition is expensive. And it’s no secret that student loan debt is an issue because of this. In fact, nearly seven in 10 seniors who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt, with an average of $30,100 per borrower, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.
But there are surefire ways to lessen student debt load, while gaining valuable job skills and experience at the same time.
By finding a part-time job that offers tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance. As defined by Salary.com, “tuition reimbursement is a contractual arrangement between employer and employee that outlines specific terms under which the employer may pay for the employee’s continuing education.”
Numerous employers (we list 10 below) offer tuition reimbursement programs for part-time employees. This is an attractive recruiting and retention tool for employers – they help support employee education goals, pay for part of it, and get a educated employee in the process. The employee/college student gets help paying for the cost of college, and is loyal to the company because they invested in their future. It can be a win-win for both.
But forward-thinking college students should take it a step further. The right part-time job could provide not only tuition reimbursement opportunities, reducing the costs of college, but also a chance to secure an internship with that company, or perhaps, participate in a training program, or learn additional skills beyond what is required in the part-time job. In other words: Take advantage of both the opportunity to earn tuition reimbursement, but also seek ways to learn and add a combination of soft skills, and real-life work experiences that employers will covet, while working this part-time job. Take on new challenges and opportunities. Learn about operations, management, marketing, distribution, merchandising, sales, e-commerce, technology, how the company uses data and analytics, and much more.
“Students should seek a variety of experiences during their college career-including part-time jobs and internships,” said Mike Caldwell, Director, Business Careers and Employer Development at the Cohen Career Center at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. “These opportunities help build skills, networking contacts, and professional experience. Part-time jobs that offer additional benefits, such as tuition assistance, also offer an opportunity for employers to identify and develop prospective talent while helping employee’s complete academic requirements along the way.”
Ask yourself: What else does this company do that I could learn about, that would add additional skill sets needed for me to succeed in securing an internship or full time job after graduation?
Below are 10 companies that offer tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance for part-time employees:
February 16, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Robin Rectenwald has a full-time job working for WordWrite Communications a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania public relations firm, that she absolutely loves. But that hasn’t stopped her from finding unique side jobs to help pay off her student loan debt. Rectenwald graduated from Duquesne University in 2012 with 20 different student loans and $100,000 in loan debt. Now, in 2017, she only has five loans left, and is quickly whittling down the amount she owes.
Before landing her first full-time job in 2012, Rectenwald worked part-time as a customer service representative at Gateway Clipper Fleet, a Pittsburgh sightseeing organization. She worked in the ticket and sales office, where she learned about marketing, sales and customer service – all valuable skills in her current role – and for any future opportunities. She worked for Gateway Clipper Fleet for four years, using that money to make extra payments towards her school loans. Rectenwald recently switched to a new part-time job as a customer care representative at ShowClix, a ticketing software company. For this job, she works from the comforts of her own home answering phones and responding to emails from customers looking to buy tickets to international events.
“Even though I’ve grown as a professional in the PR field and have had a number of promotions that increased my salary since starting out as an entry-level professional, I continue to work a part-time job because I’m trying to save as much money as possible,” says Rectenwald. “With this part-time income, I’ve been able to pay off several student loans and I’m currently using this extra money to pay tuition out-of-pocket for grad school.”
Rectenwald takes these part-time jobs seriously, and puts in maximum effort – something her managers have noticed. She was offered a full-time job in the marketing department at Gateway Clipper Fleet, and is writing a crisis communication plan for ShowClix as part of her grad school program.
“These part-time jobs have not only expanded my network and presented additional career opportunities, it has also given me a unique perspective on marketing and communication strategies.”
And it’s also helped her greatly reduce her student loan debt, and time it would take to pay the loans back.
That’s what Eric Hian-Cheong is also trying to accomplish. He works full-time for a public relations firm in McLean, Virginia, but also has two, unique part-time jobs. He makes $11 an hour as a part-time rock climbing instructor at a local fitness center, and also works as a second shooter/assistant to a local wedding photographer.
“Why limit yourself to just one other part-time job?” said Hian-Cheong.
He works up to 8 hours a weekend, and nets up to $400 a month as a rock climbing instructor – which is right around what he pays each month for his student loans. That job also provides a free gym membership – saving him another $95 a month in gym membership fees.
These jobs have helped Hian-Cheong improve his self-confidence, he says, and also provides an incredible social life outside of the 9-to-5 job.
“I have several friends whose social lives revolve around their 9-to-5, which can get a little unhealthy at times,” says Hian-Cheong.
It’s also helped him network and communicate with a wide variety, and diverse group of people, helping him develop communication, interpersonal, critical thinking, and speaking skills, as he must provide instructions, detail, and clarity, when instructing individuals and a class.
Rectenwald and Hian-Cheong are among the many recent college grads supplementing their income, and paying off student debt with the help of a unique side job. What are some other unique part-time job opportunities one can pursue to help make extra cash to pay off student loans? Consider some of these options: