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The best and worst jobs for 2011 CareerCast.com ranks the top careers of the year BY eLiZABetH BrOMstein
hink you have the worst job in the world? Unless you’re a roustabout, you don’t. This according to CareerCast.com, which has released its annual “Jobs Rated” list, ranking jobs from best to worst. Each year, CareerCast researchers survey jobs – from accountant to zoologist – scoring them according to five key criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, outlook and stress. Some factors remain relatively constant from year to year, but others ﬂuctuate greatly due to changes in the job market, technological innovations or current events. Using data from government sources, trade groups and private organizations, every job receives a score and rank in each category. This year, the best job on the list is … drumroll please … software
engineer. This is followed by mathematician, actuary, statistician and computer systems analyst. Rounding out the top are: meteorologist, biologist, historian, audiologist and dental hygienist. Not surprisingly, most of the top jobs require skills in math and/or computing, as well as education and specialized training. There’s a reason to go to school, people. Software engineers are needed these days to design everything from operating systems to iPhone apps to video games. CareerCast explains that they only rank rd in terms of salary, but two emerging industries – web applications and cloud computing – helped to push the job into the No. spot, bumping actuary (someone who solves problems in the business world by analyzing and managing risk) down to No. (sorry, actuary). The demand for development of mobile applications and cloud
software has diversified the software engineering field and, apparently, “a diverse job market brings improvements in stress factors such as growth potential and competitiveness as workers become less beholden to employers or vulnerable to outsourcing.”
Each year, CareerCast researchers survey 200 jobs – from accountant to zoologist – scoring them according to five key criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, outlook and stress Right in the middle of the list, at numbers , and , are broadcast technician, teacher and surgeon, respectively. So, teaching ranks high-
er than operating, because a surgeon may make , and a teacher only ,, but the surgeon’s job is far more stressful. You get the idea. Wild-card placements one might find interesting are: philosopher at No. and parole oﬃcer at No. . Who would have thought those two would be neck and neck? For the second year in a row, the worst job on the list is roustabout (a temporary employee who performs heavy outdoor labour), thanks to “-hour shifts, exposure to the elements in hostile environments, low pay, high risk of injury and isolation from loved ones for weeks at a time – just some of the factors that combine to make roustabout the worst job of .” Case in point: an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon facility in the Gulf of Mexico last year killed roustabout workers. Also, a sevenyear suspension of offshore drilling in America’s Eastern Gulf and Atlan-
tic coastlines has worsened the hiring prospects for oil-rig roustabouts. Not everyone is hip to CareerCast’s methodology; the comments section below the list is full of angry rants calling the list a load of bull. Some of the less-offensive posts include: “So software engineer is a low-stress job with almost no physical demands? I’ll remember that the next time I pull a buddy out from sleeping under his desk in the middle of a scrum.” And: “taxi driver more stressful than an emergency medical technician? Ha ha ha, that’s the dumbest thing I have ever read.” Maybe the list is flawed, but it does, at certain points, make sense. If you’re thinking of a career change, you might want to have a look at www.careercast.com/jobs-rated before making any move. • Originally published on the Workopolis Blog at www.blog.workopolis. com.
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The benefits of becoming a successful consultant Being your own boss is just one of many reasons to become self-employed BY rutH reYnOLds
s you review your career options, is consulting or contracting one of them? Would you like to be your own boss? That’s just one of the benefits of being self-employed. Whatever field you work in now, there are lots of opportunities for consultants. The fastest-growing group in the small-business sector is self-employed, according to a February report from the B.C. Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development. That group grew at a rate of .%, far outstripping any other group in the smallbusiness sector. We are in the middle of a revolution for entrepreneurs. There’s good reason: with fewer traditional jobs available now, British Columbians have responded by ﬂocking to selfemployment. The overall numbers of selfemployed workers surged in by .%. Over the last years, Go Consult has helped literally hundreds of people take
control of their future. If you have expertise you can use to find contract work, here are the top reasons to do it now: ■ Money in your pocket. Your drive and experience will put money in your pocket – not someone else’s. ■ Job satisfaction. Beat the average; enjoy your job!
With fewer traditional jobs available now, British Columbians have responded by flocking to self-employment ■ Choose your own salary. Make as little or as much as you want. ■ Flexibility in working hours. Family responsibilities? You can schedule your work around them.
No matter what field you currently work in, there is an abundance of consulting opportunities
■ Little capital outlay. Consulting often requires a desk, phone, computer and business cards. ■ Security. Your success depends on your efforts; knowing you don’t have to worry about the pink slip makes it worthwhile. ■ Variety is the spice of life. No two days are ever the same. ■ Indulge your desire to travel. It’s a global market and you can work internationally, not just in British Columbia or Canada. ■ Outsourcing is a strong trend. Corporations need to fill gaps left by retiring senior employees; take advantage of this trend. ■ No need to commit. You can try out a po-
tential employer without having to commit permanently. ■ Suit yourself. Work on projects that appeal to you most, and for which you are best suited. No matter what field you currently work in, there is an abundance of consulting opportunities. Go for it and Go Consult! • Ruth Reynolds is the president of Go Consult Inc., a leader in training for aspiring consultants and contractors. She has been working with clients to help their organizations grow for over 20 years. You can reach her at ruth@ goconsult.ca.
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Property management is an educated career No longer just the rent collector institute OF reAL estAte MAnAGeMent, BritisH COLuMBiA, CHApter 50
career in real estate management is one of respect and prestige.What was once a one-man job to collect rent and not much more has evolved into a vocation requiring diverse skills and higher education. A certified property manager is now highly respected for his or her professional skills and ethical standards, and is in demand by many employers from the private and government sectors. Professional real estate management is the administrative operation and maintenance of properties to meet the objective of their owner. It also involves planning for the future of the properties by proposing physical and fiscal programs that will enhance the value of the real estate. The primary responsibilities of a real estate manager are: ■ management of the physical site; ■ management of on-site and off site personnel; ■ management of funds and accounts; and ■ management of leasing activities and tenant services. Increasingly, real estate managers are be-
ing called upon to take on asset-management functions, shouldering an ever-growing degree of responsibility for the financial and strategic decisions required to achieve the highest and best use for the asset (the building) and to maximize returns to the owner. Real estate management as a function within the real estate industry resulted from a number of factors, but a major trigger occurred in the s, after lenders foreclosed on thousands of mortgages and discovered that real estate management required specialized skills. Today, the profession is growing stead-
Professional real estate management involves planning for the future of the properties by proposing physical and fiscal programs that will enhance the value of the real estate
A professionally accredited property manger is the first step toward a rewarding career in the real estate industry. Today, opportunities are good for a successful career in this sector. There is a growing demand for certified property managers, and career choices within the industry are ample and diverse. You can be as successful as you want – there is no limit in what you can achieve if you put your mind and effort into it. A prominent industry leader – William McCarthy, who is the past-president of both the Institute of Real Estate Management BC, chapter No. , and the Real Estate Institute of Canada – offers his perspective on the sig-
There is a growing demand for certified property managers, and career choices within the industry are ample and diverse ily because of these three concurrent trends: simultaneous growth of the population and its requirements for space has increased the total number of all types of buildings; a larger percentage of real estate is considered investment property; and increasing acceptance that real estate management requires special training and education.
nificance of property management. “For those who are committed to a rewarding career in real estate, the words of the realtor’s code ring true. Real estate is the backbone of our economy, and property management is the integral profession that ensures success in this industry.” • For over years, the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has been the source for real estate management professionals to build, connect and grow. With nearly 8,000 members, IREM provides education, resources, information and opportunities to real estate management professionals. Visit www.irem.org.
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In addition to its campus-based classes, University Canada West, a British Columbia-based university, offers online education programs tailored to the needs of busy professionals. The online option features a web-based format that is flexible and easy to use. Professors instruct the classes by using online lecture notes, discussion forums, web readings, assignments, and other resources. “University Canada West is at the forefront of education for working learners,” said Dr. Verna Magee-Shepherd, President and Vice-Chancellor, University Canada West. “Our innovations in higher learning are making a real difference for many students who may otherwise not have had a chance to pursue a post-graduate degree.” Students who are enrolled in an online program get the same personalized experience campus-based students do. Online class discussions and chat rooms encourage interaction and messages and email are available for students to contact the professors. However, online learners can schedule these communications around work or family commitments. Established in 2004 as a fully-accredited, private Canadian university, University Canada West offers an exciting new approach for students to obtain a university degree. Accelerated programs, based on market-driven curriculum and a flexible model of delivery give students the ability to pursue an education that suits their needs. University Canada West prides itself on accommodating students’ needs through a variety of methods. Students with a Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business Administration degree can earn an MBA in as little as one year thanks to an intensive 12-month program. University Canada West may also grant a student credit for training taken outside of the academic environment through its Prior Learning Assessment. Any training a student has taken through his or her employer, as long as it is relevant to their program, is eligible for review under the Prior Learning Assessment Recognition process. In addition to its MBA program, University Canada West offers undergraduate and post-graduate degrees, including a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications. Degree programs are available on campus in Vancouver as well as online. Source: University Canada West
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This program is part of WelcomeBC, a suite of programs This program is part of WelcomeBC, a suite of programs funded by the Government of Canada and the Province funded by the Government of Canada and the Province This program is partWelcomeBC of WelcomeBC, suite of programs of British Columbia. helpsanewcomers settle, of British Columbia. WelcomeBC helps newcomers settle, funded by Government of in Canada and the Province integrate andthe find employment their new communities. integrate and find employment in their new communities. of British Columbia. WelcomeBC helps newcomers settle, Funded in whole or part through the Canada- British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement
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Outsourcing and the Internet have changed how companies hire – and how candidates look – for jobs BY nOrMA WAtt
hen it comes to hiring, one trend that’s becoming more common among employers is to outsource the process to specialists. Tasks like advertising available jobs, interviewing applicants and even approving candidates for employment can be handed over entirely to a professional headhunter. Why would a company choose to go about hiring this way? For one, eliminating the need for an entire human resources department where it may not be necessary can be cost-effective. Small businesses can also benefit from the service provided by a headhunter, which has the energy and expertise of human resources and recruiting specialists on board to manage the process. Outsourcing, however, poses some unique challenges for job seekers. Rather than dealing directly with the company that you want to work for, you may find that you have to engage with that company’s headhunter instead. For example, an employer that outsources its hiring may not post job openings directly on its own website. As a job seeker, you will likely have to visit the headhunter’s website to view available jobs, instead. This means
familiarizing yourself with the headhunting and recruitment firms in your area and checking their sites on a regular basis. In the Lower Mainland, ER Expert Recruiters specializes in oﬃce positions, while Goldbeck Recruiting and JRoss Recruiters find suitable candidates for retail and hospitality jobs. To find active headhunters in your area, do a Google search for “job headhunters”; if you’re looking for a recruiter that specializes in a certain sector or field, add words like “technology,” “trades” or “executive management” to your search. You should also start visiting job-posting websites that specialize in specific careers. For example, gohr.ca, Hcareers.ca
Don’t be caught off guard; be sure to let your references know beforehand that you’ve listed them on your CV and RaisinJobs.com all specialize in hospitality and tourism-related jobs. Other recruitment specialists, like BackCheck, help companies that are hiring by
ONE STOP CAREER SHOP
Employment evolution: expect further changes to the job-seeking process as technology and economics further impact how we do business
performing resumé and reference checks on potential candidates. Don’t be caught off guard; let your references know beforehand that you’ve listed them on your CV. In fact, screening applicants ahead of a physical interview has never been easier than it is today. All that employers and headhunters have to do is type your name into a search engine, check your Facebook account, peruse your Twitter posts and read your blog. As a job seeker, it’s up to you to use ex-
treme discretion in what you post about yourself online. This rule even extends to your choice of email address. For example, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com give off a very unprofessional vibe. In evaluating your virtual persona, consider the impression that you want to give to a potential employer or headhunting firm. Perform a self-screening by typing your own see Online, 10
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Opportunities Spring 2011
Immigrant Trades Training Initiativ Initiative Assisting immigrants towards their trade certification in B.C.
Find your Trade Route to a Better Future
Are you: • Permanent Resident of Canada? • Unemployed and ineligible for Employment Insurance? • Currently employed but lacking • Local credentials, or • Full-time hours, or • Essential skills? If your answer is “YES” to any one of these questions, this project might be for you!
Contact: Bruce Ratcliffe Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 604.218.5162 Office: 604.517.0884 Fax: 604.517.517.1918 Website: www.success.bc.ca/itti
Funding provided by the Industry Training Authority, through the Labour Market Agreement between the Governments of British Columbia and Canada
Trades & Construction ing an employer who is willing to sponsor you and then registering (along with your sponsor) with the ITA in one of the or so provincially
“We’re looking at significant growth in trades employment
in a skilled trade” – Kevin Evans, CEO, Industry Training Authority
Trades employment outlook in B.C. strong BY nOA GLOuBerMAn
y there will be approximately , people employed in trades occupations throughout British Columbia, representing an annual average growth of .%. That’s a lot of jobs. “We are looking at significant growth in trades employment every year, so it’s a great time to get trained in a skilled trade,” says Kevin Evans, CEO, Industry Training Authority (ITA). “Trades occupations run the gamut from … carpenters, plumbers and electricians to … cooks, hairstylists and funeral directors.” Major areas of trades occupations, according to the ITA, include construction, automotive and mechanical work, aerospace, metal work, graphic arts, horticulture, hospitality, motion picture and theatre. All of these jobs require specialized skills; involve working with your hands and your head; are quite well paid; and are or will soon be in high demand due to a shortage of qualified workers. According to BC Stats the fastest-growing trades occupations will be masonry and plastering trades (.%), other construction trades (.%) and carpenters and cabinetmakers (%). Growth will also occur among technical occupations in personal service (.%), butchers and bakers (%) and automotive service technicians (%). Evans says that a generation of baby boomers that is getting set to retire makes now a good time to consider getting apprenticeship training or a college education in a trades occupation. “As we look at projected labour shortages in skilled trades in B.C. we’re seeing , estimated job openings by , many of which are due to attrition, people retiring,” he explains. “Those jobs will need to be filled and the best way to do that is start focusing on developing a strong training culture in our province.” Trades training begins with asking yourself some basic questions, like, do you have a natural ability with wood? An
see Demand, 10
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great time to get trained
Tricks of the trades
sponsor’s business establishment, so you’re earning while you’re learning,” he explains.
Courses you Need to Work today
every year, so it’s a
BC Stats says that the fastest-growing trades occupations will be in the construction sector
recognized trades occupation programs. “Most of your apprenticeship training, about % or so, is done on the job at your
eye for ﬂoral arrangements? Are you mechanically inclined? Do you love the outdoors? Once you have pinpointed your area of interest, Evans encourages you to consider an apprenticeship by find-
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OppOrtunities Spring 2011
The Career Coaching Centre
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5 Week Job Search Workshop No cost to eligible participants
Prepare for an exciting career in Tourism!
• Career Assessments • Guest Speakers from the Tourism Industry • Development of a Career Path • Job Shadow • Tourism & Hospitality Certificates – WorldHost, WHMIS, FOODSAFE - Serving It Right training
Demand for skilled trades up from Tricks, 9
“The other component of apprenticeship training is the technical training, which consists of four to eight weeks of specialized courses per year in a classroom or a shop setting, for a period of between one and five years.” At the end of your apprenticeship you will achieve a provincially or nationally recognized trade credential.
“As a certified tradesperson you’ll benefit from an above-average income, wide-ranging job opportunities and the ability to choose an occupation and lifestyle that suits your interests and talents,” Evans says. “You’ll also be playing a very important role in terms of contributing to B.C.’s economy, now and into the future.” • email@example.com
Call for more information
604-588-6864 This project is fully funded by the Ministry of Housing & Social Development
Online image is everything from Employment, 5
name into Google and seeing what comes up. Do the results reﬂect you as a top-notch job candidate or not? Remember: no one is going to maintain a good online image for you. It’s up to you to keep your rants, raves and over-the-top behaviour off the net. There have been cases where employees have lost their jobs due to comments they made – for instance, negative statements about a supervisor – online. You’ll be hard-pressed to deny criticizing your boss when it’s posted on Facebook for all to see –
so don’t do it. As for the employment evolution: expect further changes to the job-seeking process as technology and economics further impact how we do business. It’s a rapidly changing world; to be successful, you have to keep up with the times. • Norma Watt is a career expert who provides business seminars and workshops through True Words Training. Email truewords@shaw. ca or visit www.truewordstraining.com.
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Hospitality & tourism
Tourism careers: Myths and facts T
here are many myths about careers in tourism. Here, we provide the facts on the top . MYTH: All tourism jobs pay minimum wage. FACT: Like many industries, entry-level positions in tourism may pay minimum wages; however, there are opportunities to supplement your income with commissions, gratuities or other benefits, such as free or discounted accommodations. Tourism positions above entry level often pay well in comparison to other industries. Many factors determine what you’ll earn, such as job, location, type of operation and your education and training. MYTH: All people who work in tourism travel the world for free. FACT: Most people in tourism do not usually receive free travel as an employment benefit. While some careers may involve travel (for example, flight attendants and travel counsellors), employees usually travel on business and work hard during these trips. Although some employers offer discounts on airfare or accommodation, this is not the norm. MYTH: Tourism jobs only offer parttime employment and shift work. FACT: Work is changing in all sectors of the economy. More people are working
non-traditional hours because of job sharing, ﬂexible hours and lifestyle choices. Some people may have one or more part-time jobs. Depending on the tourism job, work may be part time or full time. Individuals who cross-train for several occupations increase their chances of finding full-time employment year-round. Tourism jobs offer ﬂexibility and opportunity for those who want to work part-time only. Individuals in supervisory positions often work more traditional schedules. People who have a job in the tour-
Entry-level positions in tourism may pay minimum wages; however, there are opportunities to supplement your income
ism industry may work weekends, holidays or nights – just as community doctors, nurses, lawyers, bankers, engineers and graphic designers do! MYTH: Tourism jobs are only available in the summer months. FACT: While there are many employ-
The tourism sector offers something for everyone in terms of employment, with varying levels of responsibility
ment opportunities available in the summer, there are opportunities during other seasons, as well. Ski resorts, snowmobilingtour operators and ice-fishing guides enjoy tourism-related employment in the winter. In addition, golf courses need people to develop business plans for the coming summer season. By diversifying their skills, most tourism professionals can be employed throughout the year. MYTH: All tourism jobs involve working
face-to-face with the public. FACT: Many tourism occupations involve working with the public, particularly in frontline positions. There are, however, numerous jobs behind the scenes in tourism where employees have little direct contact with tourists. People in research, marketing, technology or cooking positions may deal with outside clients but not necessarily tourists. see Myth, 14
Escape from the 9 to 5... AT CANADIAN TOURISM COLLEGE! Turn your passion for travelling into a long-lasting and exciting career. Travel, Tourism and Hospitality career training at Canadian Tourism College prepares students for work in airlines, hotels, travel companies and cruise lines around the world. Explore the world with a career in travel and tourism!
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Healthy job options
Number of health occupations in B.C. to increase By Noa Glouberman
C Stats says the number of sciencerelated jobs in B.C. will increase % by . While every industry employs at least some workers in scientific capacities, the latest () census shows six out of jobs in these occupations are in just two industries: health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services. In fact, the health care and social assistance industry is the largest employer
of workers in science-related occupations in B.C., providing % of all jobs. It includes positions in hospitals and nursing homes; offices of doctors, dentists, veterinarians and other health professionals; medical and dental labs; and other, similar establishments. “A career in health care is always a positive option to consider,” says Alon Hendel, director, Community Care First Aid. “It’s not a big secret that an increase in projected life span and improvement in medical treatments will greatly increase the demand for health care professionals in all levels.”
Even the recent economic downturn couldn’t shake the stability of employment in health professions; in , when B.C.’s unemployment rate averaged .%, the jobless rate remained low in health occupations. “Health care is generally countercyclical in challenging economic times; people continue to require care,” confirms Randall Bannister, director, admissions, Vancouver Central College. “Employment demand in this industry is affected more by demographics, rather than the economy.” “[An] aging population means more medical care, which translates to higher demand for health care personnel,” echoes Hendel, who adds that B.C.’s aging population – baby boomers approaching retirement – will likely impact the health industry. “The long-term projection is that senior employees will finally retire, which will mean an ever greater demand to fill up these positions in the coming years.” While occupations in health include everything from doctors to dentists to dieticians, Bannister predicts “health care jobs outside of hospital environments will have the highest growth rates.” “Hospital jobs will decline as administrators attempt to achieve greater eﬃciencies and seek alternative, off-site care options. Occupations such as medical assistants and home health care assistants are likely to have the highest employment growth in this industry.” Public and private institutions around the province offer a variety of health-related training programs. “Intensive, full-time programs are available for those who are starting or changing their careers. These will usually be about six
or seven months in duration, with job-site practical experience as part of the program,” says Bannister. “Accelerated part-time programs are also available to existing workers in this field who require recognized training to upgrade their careers. They can study evenings and weekends so that their current job is not impacted.” He adds that, besides making sure you possess the patience, people skills, physic-
“An increase in projected life span and improvement in medical treatments will greatly increase the demand for health care professionals” – Alon Hendel, director, Community Care First Aid
al involvement and ﬂexibility the field demands, it may be useful to speak with an admissions adviser or even gain some experience in various care settings before making your final decision on a permanent training or professional situation. Hendel agrees: “Talk to people that already work in this profession; go to their workplaces, ask yourself if you like this kind of work environment. Research the profession you are considering and really know what it involves. Bottom line: make sure that whatever you choose to be will make you happy.” • firstname.lastname@example.org
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OppOrtunities Spring 2011
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Opportunities Spring 2011
Myth: Minimum wage
Become a HEALTH CARE ASSISTANT Study at CHSSA, a Real Health Care Agency
from Tourism, 11
MYTH: Tourism provides only temporary jobs for students until they start their careers. FACT: The tourism industry offers the first work experience for many people. Although employment in tourism exists for students, challenging careers with more chances for promotion also exist. MYTH: Tourism jobs are found only in hotels, airlines and travel agencies. FACT: The variety of occupations found within each sector is as diverse as the sectors themselves. The nature of the work varies from working on a ski slope to developing marketing strategies for an international organization to preparing gourmet meals. Tourism offers something for everyone, with varying levels of responsibility. MYTH: Post-secondary education and training are not needed for employment in the tourism industry. FACT: Most entry-level positions in the tourism industry do not require a university degree, although other forms of education and training are usually necessary. Many occupations require skills that must be learned and practised. There are many routes to learning and, depending on the occupation you choose, you may achieve a management position through on-the-job training, a college or university diploma and/or through an apprenticeship program. Once employed, tourism professionals have the opportunity to achieve nationally recognized professional certification for many tourism occupations. MYTH: A university education in tourism will secure you a management position in the industry. FACT: In today’s economy, few people,
even those who have a university degree, step into a management or executive position. Most industry leaders want their employees to gain practical experience on the job first. A university degree indicates your background and demonstrates your ability to learn, think and organize yourself to complete tasks. A degree can help you move more quickly into supervisory and management positions. MYTH: Changes and advances in technology do not have an impact on tourism careers. FACT: Changes and advances in technology have had a major impact on the world. The tourism industry is no exception. For example, travel writers use various software programs and front-desk agents use computerized reservation systems. As well, the industry needs people who can use technology to develop websites and conduct research on the Internet. This knowledge also assists in meeting global needs of the tourism industry. •
CHW/RCA Diploma Program 98% of our Graduates are working.
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Copyright © 2008 go2 Tourism HR Society. All Rights Reserved. Republished under license.
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You want a better life. Job satisfaction. Financial security. Respect. You want to help others.
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OppOrtunities Spring 2011
OppOrtunities Spring 2011
VCC 140 programs. One night. Everything you need to know.
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Published on Mar 29, 2011