Monday, May 31, 2010

5 comeback Careers For People with Bachelors Degrees

The U.S. Department of Labor is starting to give us some good news: Employment projections for the next several years show double-digit growth in many career paths available to people with bachelor's degrees. The post-recession economy holds promise for job seekers in high-demand industries such as technology, health care, and business services.

The following five careers offer chart-topping opportunity for college grads, with employment projected to grow by more than 30 percent in the coming decade.

1. Technology: software engineers and network analysts

Technology is the engine of economic recovery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the engine of job growth in technology will be centered in networks and software development. Computer software engineers face rosy job stats, with 34 percent growth for applications engineers and 30 percent for systems developers.

Meanwhile, the success story in the IT department is network systems analysts, who can expect 53 percent growth in the same period.

A four-year bachelor's degree offers entry into both of these high-growth professions. Software engineers and network analysts may launch a career with a general degree in computer science, or a more career-focused degree in computer engineering, software development, or management information systems (MIS).

Average salary: software engineers: $87,900 (applications) and $94,520 (systems software); network systems analysts: $73,830

2. Finance: financial examiners and personal financial advisors

Key careers in the financial sector will make a dramatic comeback in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis, predicts the BLS. Opportunities reflect an era of increased financial scrutiny and regulation: financial examiners lead the list of fastest-growing financial careers, at 41 percent growth. Personal financial advisors will tap into an aging population in need of assistance with investment, retirement, and estate planning.

A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business, or economics will get you started in one of these high-growth finance careers. Financial examiners also receive on-the-job career training in financial regulations and enforcement protocol.

Average salary: personal financial advisors: $92,970

3. Health care: biomedical engineers

The runaway winner in the ranking of employment growth is biomedical engineers, who should see their ranks grow by an estimated 72 percent between 2008 and 2018. Exciting technological advances and demand for medical services are driving investment in health care innovation. Biomedical scientists develop medical devices and procedures such as prostheses, medical information systems, diagnostic instruments, and care-delivery systems.

A diverse background in mechanical and electrical engineering, medicine, biology, and mathematics prepares you for a career in biomedical research. Access this career training by pursuing a specialized bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, or a general mechanical or electrical engineering degree with an interdisciplinary science curriculum.

Average salary: biomedical engineers: $81,120

4. Environmental science: environmental engineers

Meanwhile, the "green" economy will also fuel demand for engineering ingenuity. Environmental engineering is expected to grow by about 30 percent in the coming decade. Environmental engineers hold the promise of a solution to our most pressing environmental problems: climate change, greenhouse gases, dwindling energy supplies, and pollution. Specifically, engineers are working to control water and air pollution, dispose of waste safely, develop alternative energy technologies, conserve natural resources, and protect public health.

Environmental engineering is an interdisciplinary field drawing on biology, chemistry, and engineering knowledge. Find the right career training by combining a bachelor's degree in environmental science with engineering courses, or a chemical or mechanical engineering degree with science courses.

Average salary: environmental engineers: $77,970

5. Business administration: marketing survey researchers

Business administration is a mainstay of employment opportunity. Support services such as sales and marketing are a key revenue center for businesses. The U.S. Department of Labor sees expanding roles for college graduates in marketing survey research, with an anticipated 30 percent change in employment through 2018. Marketing survey researchers develop surveys on consumer behavior and preferences. They gather and analyze survey data to help companies develop and position products.

A bachelor's degree in marketing or business administration gets you started in a market research analysis career. To expand your job prospects or advance your marketing career further, consider continuing on to a master's degree in business administration. The MBA is the gold standard of business education, and is widely available as an online degree.

Average salary: survey researchers: $42,060

Grow your career with a college degree

Create your own career comeback with a bachelor's degree. Four years in a college classroom (online study is also an option) can set you up for a career in one of the Department of Labor's top-performing industries. With job growth topping thirty percent in a decade, these career paths are bound to lead you to success.

Source: 2008 mean salary figures reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to remember numbers and codes.

I once lost a blog due to not able to memorise my password, so this article is more for me but I post it just to share in case it can help others who are in my situation.

7 Easy Tricks to Remember Numbers, Codes, Passwords
by Michelle Crouch

Friday, May 28, 2010
Everyone today wants you to memorize something. Here's how.

In today's digital society, we're constantly being inundated with new numbers: telephone numbers, credit and debit card numbers, ZIP codes, PINs, passcodes and more. Even if you program everything into your iPhone or Blackberry, it's still going to be easier -- and more secure -- to keep some frequently used numbers in your head.

That's easier said than done. Unlike words, numbers can be particularly difficult to memorize because they're abstract. Case in point: Five years after my parents moved to their new home in Florida, I still can't remember their ZIP code. I have to look up the darn thing every time I send a card or package.

"Anything that has no meaning to you is tough to remember," says neurosurgeon Larry McCleary, author of "The Brain Trust Program." "If I say the word 'cat' and you've had a cat, or even if you've seen a cat, it will bring up all these memories of that cat and you'll remember the word, no problem. But most of us don't have any emotional attachment to particular numbers."

So if you want to remember numbers, you've got to find the meaning in them. We've talked to McCleary and other memory experts about how to memorize numbers, from four-digit PINs to your 16-digit credit card number. Here are their top tips:

Create Associations

We all have numbers that mean something to us: birthdays, anniversaries, a favorite NASCAR driver's number or the number of 10-cent wings you can devour on all-you-can-eat wings night. The secret to remembering new numbers is to find connections between the number you want to remember and the numeric memories that are already firmly lodged in your brain, says Scott Hagwood, who had to memorize 800 numbers in perfect sequence, among other tasks, to become the first American "Grandmaster of Memory." If you're having trouble coming up with an association for a number, try moving on to the next number, Hagwood says, since that may trigger a memory that you can use to link to the first number. For example, he says, "If I'm trying to remember 5817, but can't think of anything to associate with 58, I'll move to the number 17. As soon as I do, the song 'At 17' by Janis Ian comes to mind. As the music plays in my head, I imagine a now 58-year-old Janis Ian singing the song."

Break Long Numbers into Smaller Parts

The average person can hold only about seven arbitrary units of information at a time in working memory. But by "chunking" or organizing the items in some way, you can greatly increase your recall capacity, says Thomas Crook, author of "The Memory Advantage." (This is why phone numbers are broken into groups of three digits.) Want to see how it works? Try memorizing this sequence: 7814921945. If you interpret it just as a string of 10 separate numbers, you'll have a hard time remembering it. But if you recognize two meaningful dates in the sequence, you have only three chunks to recall -- and remembering it is no problem.

Look for Patterns

For longer numbers, look for relationships in the numbers. Do the first two add up to the third one? Do you see a sequence of odd or even numbers? Then use those patterns to create a story with the more arbitrary numbers. For example, if the number is 6700 0123, note the pattern "0123" and figure out how it can be remembered using 6700, Hagwood says. You could say something like, "Well, once I spend my credit limit of $6,700, I'll have to start over at zero and build it back up again one dollar at a time -- 1, 2, 3."

Learn Actively

Our muscles have better memories than our brains, so don't just think the number, McCleary says. Say it out loud at least three times. "When you say it, your brain has to tell the muscles of your mouth how to say it and your ear has to hear the words and pass them along," McCleary says. "It forces you to use a lot more of your brain." And don't stop there. Try writing the number down a couple of times, or even singing it to a memorable tune.

Repeat It

Once you've memorized a number, set a timer and think of it (and the associations you've made with it) again one hour after you've learned it. Research shows that one hour after learning something is the time when the memory is most vulnerable to forgetting, misinterpreting or degrading the event in some way, Hagwood says. Repeat the number again after 24 hours, then again after one week and finally after a month. "The idea is to repeat the information just as you are about to forget it, in expanding increments of time, so it sticks in your long-term memory," Hagwood says. "Whatever is left after 30 days you'll probably be able to hold onto.

Visualize the Shape the Numbers Make on a Keypad

A lot of people use this technique for phone numbers, but it's also useful for credit card numbers, PINs, ZIP codes and more, especially if you're a visual person, Dr. Crook says. It's particularly useful for numbers that form obvious patterns, like a straight line, an "X" or an "L."

Convert Numbers to Words or Images

If you're ready for more advanced techniques, consider assigning the numbers 1 through 9 a letter equivalent: A=1, B=2, etc. So if your new PIN number is 2737, say, you'd convert it to the letters BGCG. Once you think of a sentence with those letters, such as "Bad Guys Can't Get," as in "bad guys can't get this number," you'll be able to recall it more easily.

Competitors in memory competitions, such as Hagwood, take it one step further. Hagwood has created an image or an action for each number from 0 through 99. So 23, for instance, makes him think of Michael Jordan and 43 represents the UNC Chapel Hill mascot, a ram. "To remember a long number, I just tell a story with those images in head," Hagwood says. "It may seem like a lot to remember, but the more you practice, the better you get."

OK, so now that I've got the tips, I decide to give them a try with my parents' ZIP code: 34201. I don't see any patterns in the numbers, and they don't form a memorable design on a keypad. I try creating chunks: 34, 342, 01, but none of those numbers have any meaning for me. I ask Hagwood for advice. "Type the numbers into Google and see what comes up," he says.

I do it. "34" brings up with nothing. I type "342" -- another dead-end. Then "201." Bingo. All sorts of websites referencing "2010" come up. That's easy enough to remember. Now I've got to figure out how to tie it to the first number, 34. Hmmm, my brother is 34 this year. That's it! To remember the ZIP code, all I have to do is recall this sentence: "My brother is 34 in 2010." Piece of cake.

But will I still be able to remember it an hour from now, and next week? The odds, experts say, are on my side.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What will be the hot job of 2018?

by Sue Shellenbarger

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kelley McDonald has always loved exploring new terrain. In home videos as early as age 3, "I'm always off by myself, looking under rocks or catching and studying bees," she says. Today, at 18, the Apple Valley, Minn., college student is studying for a science career in the fast-growing field of nanotechnology—working with materials at the molecular or atomic level.

That makes her one of the lucky ones—a young adult whose career passion is in sync with one of the hot jobs of the near future.

Predicting the jobs or skills that will be in demand years from now is a tricky task for many teens, young adults and their parents. Luckily, there are rich sources of information on the Web, in books, and in most people's communities; the challenge is to sift through them all.

Ms. McDonald found her passion through a community-college nanotechnology program funded by the National Science Foundation, where one official foresees hundreds of thousands of job openings in the field in the next five years. Other sources include government forecasts, school or college career counselors, and neighbors and friends employed in growing fields.

The richest vein of job-growth information is the Labor Department's 10-year forecast for demand, pay and competition for more than 300 jobs in 45 categories. The department's latest biannual compilation, published last month as the "Occupational Outlook Handbook," is great for sizing up the long-term outlook for most fields. The forecasts have often been prescient—accurately predicting this decade's fast growth in special-education teaching jobs and the widening range of hot health-care careers, for example.

In the coming decade, engineering—already known for paying college graduates some of the highest starting salaries—is expected to offer the fastest-growing area: biomedical engineering. Jobs in this field, which centers on developing and testing health-care innovations such as artificial organs or imaging systems, are expected to grow by 72%, the Labor Department says.

Among other professions, job opportunities for physicians should be "very good," the guide says; health care dominates the list of the fastest-growing jobs, capturing 11 of the top 20 slots. While more attorneys and architects will be needed, competition for these jobs will be intense. Psychologists will be in demand, but growth will be fastest in industrial and organizational psychology.

The forecasts have limitations. The Labor Department's macroeconomic model works on two noteworthy assumptions—that the economy will rebound to long-term growth and that there won't be any more big shocks like the 2007-2008 recession. Thus its forecasts don't predict the big job-market swings or sudden changes in the supply of workers that can easily happen in a volatile economy.

That means you could pick a job from the Labor Department's "fastest-growing" list when you enter college, only to find the field in a slump by the time you graduate. For example, a 2006 high-school graduate eyeing the government's 2004-2014 forecast for nursing at that time would have read about excellent job prospects, with "thousands of job openings" predicted because experienced nurses were expected to retire.

While that forecast is likely to hold for the long term, the job market for students graduating from college this year is headed in the opposite direction: Thousands of experienced nurses who had been inactive or retired have been re-entering the work force because of the recession.

Similarly, a high-school grad in 2000 might have picked computer programming—No. 8 at the time on a government list of fast-growing, high-paying jobs—only to graduate to the aftermath of the dot-com collapse.

And finally, no economic model can forecast growth in jobs that are still evolving. While the government's latest handbook contains a supplement on "green occupations" in emerging industries such as biofuels and wind energy, it has no data on many of the jobs these industries are creating, such as fuel-cell technologists.

The Jobs of the Future

Occupations with the largest percentage growth expected through 2018:

• Biomedical Engineers 72%

• Network Systems Analysts 53%

• Home Health Aides 50%

• Personal, Home-Care Aides 46%

• Financial Examiners 41%

• Medical Scientists 40%

• Physician Assistants 39%

• Skin-Care Specialists 38%

• Biochemists, Biophysicists 37%

• Athletic Trainers 37%

Source: Labor Department 'Occupational Outlook Handbook'

"Right now, all the projections we have are about a world that existed" in the past, says David Passmore, director of The Pennsylvania State University's Institute for Research in Training & Development. "We are sitting on the precipice of the next big transformation" in energy production, "and no one in the occupational-projections area knows how to handle that."

All that leaves much to the resourcefulness, imagination and research skills of young people weighing a career choice. The first step is to explore and try out various fields in order to figure out what kind of work you love and can do well. The next is to learn about broad career fields that are likely to grow; the government's handbook lists job-by-job career-information contacts, such as professional associations or industry groups. Then, pick a field with this attitude: "I think I'll jump in and learn what I can learn," says Bob Templin, president of Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va.

Networking with people in your target industries can help. Russell Wagner, a 20-year-old from Prior Lake, Minn., likes electronics and science, but when he tried robotics in high school, he found it boring. His mother contacted friends in industry and learned nanoscientists are in demand in many industries, developing a wide range of products, from electronic memory devices and coatings for stents to mold-resistant shingle coatings.

At Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, Minn., where Mr. Wagner and Ms. McDonald are enrolled, program head Deb Newberry says employers contact her trying to fill more job openings than she has students.

All job markets are local, so it is important to check out job demand in the locale where you want to live. Community colleges tune into regional work-force needs and are often set up to provide counseling and work-force advice to the public.

Also, ACT Inc. compiles state-by-state data comparing the career interests of students who have taken its college-entrance exams with the job outlook in each state.

In Virginia, for example, student interest in computer-related jobs is falling far short of likely demand; only 3% of Virginia students are interested in the field, which has projected growth of 23%. To see the data, go to, click on "2009 College Readiness Report" and scroll down to the state list; work-force data is on page 10 of each "Readiness Report."

Of course, many people fare best by holding out for a job doing what they love. Careers in filmmaking are expected to grow very slowly in the coming decade, and competition for jobs will be keen.

But that isn't stopping Kiel Greenfield. He has loved movies for so long—watching them, talking about them and working with them as a video-rental store employee—that he has decided, at age 28, that filmmaking is the only career for him. He signed on for a film-making program at a respected school, the Zaki Gordon Institute, Sedona, Ariz., and plans to do whatever it takes to land a job in film photography.

"It's going to be hard," he says, "but it's totally worth it."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Star Online - Communication starts from infancy

ParenThots - Features

I just watched MHI with the same topic and when I read the Star Online.....I couldn't resist this topic as I kept reminiscing the time when my children were still toddlers.

My second child used to say 'tolong' infront of every whims that he wished to get but nowadays the word had gotten lost from his tongue somehow.Practicing communication at an early age with your children is very important and so thus keeping up the communication.

Seminar Sinergi Keluarga Bahagia di Pulau Pinang untuk keterangan lanjut log ke:

The Star Online - EPF tightens rules

EPF tightens rules

10-ways you are getting ripped off

Thursday, May 13, 2010