Tracking trends to help your students

December 22, 2011 at 11:54 am | Posted in Job market | 3 Comments
Tags: , ,
Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

The U.S. is experiencing three jobs crises at once, according to Harvard labor economist Lawrence Katz. The first jobs crisis is the one driven by the steep drop in aggregate demand of goods and services. The second one—long-term unemployment—grows out of the first. The third crisis flows from the merger of globalization and the I.T. revolution. As a career services professional, you can help advise your students on how to navigate these trends and maximize their education to compete in the changing employment picture.

Here are several trends to track:

  • Consulting:  Consulting is among the most popular career choices. Pulin Sanghvi, a former McKinsey consultant who runs the career office at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, says, “It’s especially useful if you don’t know exactly what you want to do.”  The top consulting firms hire people from nearly every type of graduate school, ranging from law schools to medical school, public-policy schools or other non-business schools. After they are hired, consultants parachute into big companies, often meeting with top executives who are decades older. Companies also tend to outsource corporate strategy issues to bright young consultants.
  • Externships:  Many schools are developing these programs. At MIT the Externship Program, started in 1997, matches students with MIT alums for a one-month work experience over Independent Activities Period in January. Students apply through the Alumni Association website, and externship sponsors review the applicants for compatibility with the position. The sponsors then send back a list of qualified students to generate matches.  This year, a record number of 294 MIT students will be participating in the Externship Program. Last year, a student who took an Externship at Bank of America in January received a summer internship and now has a full-time job offer.
  • Partnerships:  Robert W. Goldfarb, a New York management consultant, interviewed 85 recent college graduates about their success in finding jobs, according to a NYT’s article. Only 5 had found jobs in their career fields. Managers who used to favor new graduates with fresh ideas now choose older employees who make fewer missteps than recent grads. Goldfarb’s solution is to encourage partnerships between recent grads and the companies they hope will employ them. He suggests that corporations invest in training and developing young professionals even if there isn’t an immediate opening. They could be hired as salaried trainees and given 3-6 months to prove their value in various assignments.
  • Global opportunities:  Europe’s leading multi-material packaging manufacturer, LINPAC Packaging, is offering two new internships to undergraduates or recent graduates looking to kick start their career with an innovative manufacturing company. The food packaging company, which has sites across the world, is offering the paid placements during 2012 with flexible start dates and working periods. The successful applicants will work with the central innovation team on two key projects, gaining a greater understanding of today’s manufacturing industry and developing new skills. For more international internship opportunities, browse through the thousands listed on

Helping students who are vets get internships and jobs

November 1, 2011 at 8:52 am | Posted in Finding internships | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,
Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

A growing number of college students have military service backgrounds and need career advice. Among vets ages 18-24, unemployment is at a staggering 26.8%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s about three times the general unemployment rate, which is still hovering at 9.1%. To help combat the problem, the Labor Department has just issued 22 grants, totaling $9 million to various states to help with workforce development. The fall issue of USAA magazine suggests several ways that you as a career services professional can help the vets on your campus:

  • Educate employers:  Remind your employers about the benefits of taking interns or hiring employees with service backgrounds. These men and women offer discipline and commitment and a willingness to accept training and follow direction. They bring value to the work place and are good role models for other interns or employees. Many of their  skills are transferable to the civilian lifestyle. Most of the employers that you work with are simply unable to relate to the experiences of service members, so it’s up to you to help bridge the communication gap, making them feel more comfortable around vets.
  • Educate vets:  Students who are vets need additional training and guidance before they write their resumes and apply for internships or jobs. First, they have to translate their military experiences into civilian language. For example, instead of using the word “reconnaissance” on a resume, select “survey, analysis, or data collection.” Instead of saying “reassemble a rifle in a minute,” try “expertise in mechanics.” Advise your students not to talk about battles or shooting or wartime experiences, but to offer stamina or ability to work long hours. Since vets turned students often lack confidence, you might name some former vets who have found great success, such as Bob McDonald, CEO, Procter & Gamble.

Identify most veteran-friendly employers:  Visit for the best list of potential employers. For example, ManTech International, national security, hired over 4,000 employees in 2010, and 50% were military. Also, Amazon, online retailer, has built a military talent program, including a team of dedicated military recruiters. Follow them on Twitter at USAA, financial services, reports that 20% of its 22,000+ employees are former military. Other companies range from DaVita with healthcare to Chesapeake Energy Corp. with energy. And emphasize the power of social networking. Suggest that your former vets tap into groups on LinkedIn that are military specific. Many vets take special pride in helping other vets.

Guiding your students to fastest growing jobs

May 6, 2011 at 10:26 am | Posted in Job market | 1 Comment
Tags: , ,

Susan Sandberg

CNNMoney reports a pickup of 216,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.8%, an entire percentage point lower than it was four months ago. Your students may want to know what are the hottest job growth areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Top 10 Fastest Growing Jobs with Bachelor’s Degree

1. Biomedical EngineersBiomedical engineers design, develop and evaluate devices, for example artificial organs, prostheses and instrumentation, and procedures, such as medical information systems and health management and care delivery systems.

2. Network Systems and Data Communications AnalystsNetwork systems and data communications analysts design and evaluate network systems, for example, local area networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and Internet systems.

3. Financial ExaminersFinancial examiners ensure that banks and financial institutions comply with the laws and regulations that govern them. They also make certain financial and real estate transactions are in compliance with laws and regulations.

4. Athletic TrainersAthletic trainers treat injured athletes and other individuals. They also teach people how to prevent injuries. Employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow by 37% through 2018.

5. Computer Applications Software EngineersComputer applications software engineers use different programming languages to design, construct and maintain software and specialized utility programs. They analyze users’ needs in order to do this.

6. Environmental EngineersEnvironmental engineers use engineering principles to solve environmental problems such as pollution. Employment of environmental engineers is projected to grow by 31% through 2018.

7. Computer Systems Software EngineersComputer systems software engineers build and maintain companies’ computer systems and plan their future growth. We can expect to see a 30% increase in the employment in this field through 2018.

8. Survey ResearchersSurvey researchers design or conduct surveys about people and their opinions. Employment in this field is expected to increase by 30% through 2018.

9. Personal Financial AdvisorsPersonal financial advisors help people make investment decisions. There is expected to be a 30% increase in employment in this field through 2018.

10. Market Research AnalystsMarket research analysts conduct research and analyze data in order to help companies determine what products and services to sell, how much to charge for them and where and how to sell them.


Top 10 Fastest Growing Jobs with Post-Secondary Training or Associate’s Degree

1. Skin Care SpecialistsSkin care specialists treat their clients’ skin by giving facials, full body treatments and head and neck massages.

2. Dental HygienistsDental hygienists provide preventative dental care and teach patients how to maintain good oral health.

3. Veterinary Technologists and TechniciansVeterinary technologists and technicians assist veterinarians by conducting clinical and laboratory procedures in private clinics and animal hospitals.

4. Physical Therapist AssistantsPhysical therapist assistants (PTAs) perform a variety of tasks under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. These tasks include helping patients perform exercises, giving massages and administering electric stimulation.

5. Environmental Engineering TechniciansEnvironmental engineering technicians assist environmental engineers in solving environmental problems, including pollution.

6. Occupational Therapist AssistantsOccupational therapist assistants help clients with activities and exercises specified in a treatment plan developed with occupational therapists.

7. Fitness Trainers and Aerobics InstructorsFitness trainers lead, motivate and instruct people in exercise activities. There is expected to be a 29% increase in the employment of fitness trainers through 2018.

8. Environmental Science and Protection TechniciansEnvironmental science and protection technicians, working under the direction of environmental scientists, monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution by performing laboratory and field tests.

9. Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and InstallersHeating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers, commonly called HVAC technicians, install, maintain and repair heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

10. Paralegals and Legal AssistantsParalegals, sometimes called legal assistants, help lawyers with a variety of tasks, including preparing for trials, hearings and closings, doing research, and drafting legal documents.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.