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How to Survive in Today’s Job Market Not that many years ago, the career path for individuals was clearly defined. Get your high school diploma. Go to college. Get a bachelor’s degree. Find a good job at a corporation where you will be provided various benefits and a retirement plan. Not anymore. The rules have changed. What happened? Two major events occurred. •

The dot-com bust: March 11, 2000 to October 9, 2002. The NASDAQ Composite lost 78% of its value as it fell from 5046.86 to 1114.11.

The housing crash: 2007-2009. Housing values fell in the United States and Britain; the related credit crisis occurred around the world. The S&P 500 declined 57% from its high in October 2007 of 1576 to its low in March 2009 of 676.

Although these two relatively recent events are separated by about five years, they both contributed to an enormous loss of jobs across the nation. With the recoveries from these economic disasters, corporate leaders were forced to improvise in order to satisfy their stockholders. As the economy began to turn around, these same corporate leaders realized that they can show significant profits by piling up the duties of existing employees and declining to hire additional employees. Corporate employee benefits were reduced and the practice of offering company retirement plans became all but obsolete. As a result, today’s college graduates are faced with an unprecedented paradox. First, there are fewer entry-level jobs available in corporate America. Why should companies hire if they can show good profits with the overworked employees that they have? And second, the entrylevel corporate jobs that are available do not pay well and the benefits packages are weak compared to just five years ago. Today a college degree is not what it once was and certainly is no guarantee of a job. More and more young people who wish to take control of their careers are turning to specific trades.

Real estate agents and brokers, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers, insurance agents and adjusters, electricians and AC installation & repair, beauty shop operators and cosmetologists—all of these vocations allow individuals to begin a career and grow within their industry. These are professional trades that require a specific outline of education as mandated by most states, followed by a state exam, the passing of which results in a license to practice the trade. In most cases the courses required are called pre-licensing courses or exam preparation courses. Although these pre-licensing courses are available in an online format, most of them are offered across the nation by qualified and licensed trade schools where the courses are taught by certified and experienced instructors in a live classroom setting. It is worth mentioning that in order to renew these trade licenses, practically all states require continuing education courses every one, two, or three years. These can be online continuing education courses or live classroom continuing education courses.

Once an individual

completes these courses they are issued a certificate of completion. The licensee then submits their completion certificates to the state along with their renewal application, and their license is then renewed.

How to survive in today's job market  

The job market has changed. Do you have the necessary education and licensing to stay relevant in your industry?

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