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COLLEGE & CAREERS

INSIDE

• College grads earn larger salaries • Choosing a major and career • Advice for job-seekers

Feb. 26, 2014 A supplement of Suburban Newspapers Inc.


Universities doing more to track graduates and their jobs By Meagan Pant the Dayton Daily News

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College degrees have rewards, but how’s the bill going to get paid? For many, the goal of earning a college degree provides the opportunity for impactful, long-lasting change and a more fulfilling life and career. New data show college graduates receive benefits in addition to a higher salary potential and lower chance of unemployment. For example, in 2011, 14 percent more bachelor’s degree holders were covered by employer-provided health insurance when compared to individuals holding a high school diploma. That same year, 65 percent of bachelor’s degree holders working full time, year-round were offered retirement plans by their employers, compared to only 52 percent of high school graduates. Career growth, job stability and employee benefits have increased the pursuit of a college education, and with it, the cost of earning a degree. This time of year, many students and their families are exploring diverse financial planning options to help make college education affordable, and the aforementioned benefits a reality. Financial aid experts such as Michelle Stipp, director of student finance operations for DeVry University, suggest students explore all opportunities to decrease supplemental student loans that might be needed to cover remaining tuition costs. “Financial aid that the student

does not have to pay back should be the first priority,” Stipp said. “This category consists of scholarships and grants offered by institutions and third parties, such as the federal government, state government or private or nonprofit organizations. These opportunities should be maximized to keep student loan levels as low as possible.” The U.S. Department of Education provides an online financial aid resource at studentaid.ed.gov to help students plan accordingly. Stipp suggests also exploring the following options:

Online scholarship search tools The sheer volume of options can make finding the right scholarship a challenge for prospective students. Scholarship search websites help students sift through the options. For example, scholarships.com or fastweb.com can aid in finding the right scholarship for each individual. These websites allow you to sort scholarship options by institution and relevancy.

Scholarship opportunities at your college or university Beyond financial aid, many colleges or universities provide a variety of scholarship opportunities. Students and families often factor this in

during the college search process. Scholarships can be awarded for many reasons, including academic excellence, extracurricular participation and financial need.

Employer reimbursement programs Many employed adults also seek financial assistance when they choose to continue their education while working. In some cases, their employers provide tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement programs, through which employers offer to pay a portion of the employee’s tuition while they are enrolled. Employer reimbursement programs are a great way to access affordable education options that can increase career potential. College-educated adults today are experiencing lower unemployment rates and other valuable benefits. As these advantages of college degree holders become more apparent, data shows the cost to pursue a degree is rising. From graduating high school seniors to working adults looking to continue their education, advance research and evaluation of financial aid and scholarship opportunities can help any student tackle the cost of education. — Brandpoint

DAYTON, Ohio — College students invest years and potentially thousands of dollars into their education, so more of them are asking an important question: Will this degree lead to a job? Amid horror stories of unemployed or underemployed recent college graduates and crushing student loan debt, colleges and universities have turned more attention to answering that question with hard data to prove their alumni are finding work. “What’s most important is that we can answer the questions — with documented data — that are always top of mind for parents and students, and increasingly government,” said Mike Goldman, director of career services at Miami University in Ohio. “When I graduate, will I get a job? Will I get into graduate school or professional school? Will I be able to pay off my student loans, if I have any?” Miami went further this year than ever to track down their recent graduates, and found 91 percent of them were employed or in graduate school, and nearly one-third had a starting salary between $50,000 and $60,000. The University of Dayton and Wittenberg University, in Ohio, are even more candid: They share graduates’ job titles and employers — whether a student used their political science major to become a campaign manager or ended up a barista with an international studies degree. “We believe in transparency,” said Jason Eckert, director of career services at the University of Dayton. For now, colleges are not required to report the types of jobs or salaries of new alumni, but the federal government is asking for more information. See Tracking: Page 7

T H E d ay t o n d a i ly n e w s

Miami University students, including freshman engineering student Chloe Gessner, center, learn about creating resumes and cover letters during a workshop with Jennifer McLaughlin, Career Services senior assistant director & liaison.

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income gap widening

College grads make more than those who forgo a bachelor’s degree “In today’s knowledge-based economy, the only thing more expensive than getting a college education is not getting one.” Paul Taylor, co-author of report on salaries

ASHINGTON (AP) — The earnings gap between young adults with and without bachelor’s degrees has stretched to its widest level in nearly half a century. It’s a sign of the growing value of a college education despite rising tuition costs, according to an analysis of census data released this month. Young adults with just a high-school diploma earned 62 percent of the typical

salary of college graduates. That’s down from 81 percent in 1965, the earliest year for which comparable data are available. The analysis by the Pew Research Center shows the increasing economic difficulties for young adults who lack a bachelor’s degree in today’s economy that’s polarized between high- and low-wage work. As a whole, high-school graduates were more likely to live in poverty and be dissatisfied

with their jobs, if not unemployed. In contrast, roughly nine in 10 college graduates ages 25 to 32 said their bachelor’s degree had paid off or will pay off in the future, according to Pew’s separate polling conducted last year. Even among the twothirds of young adults who borrowed money for college, about 86 percent said their degrees have been, or will be, worth it. “In today’s knowledge-based economy,

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the only thing more expensive than getting a college education is not getting one,” said Paul Taylor, Pew’s executive vice president and co-author of the report. “Young adults see significant economic gains from getting a college degree regardless of the level of student debt they have taken on.” The latest findings come amid rising college tuition costs, which have saddled See Income: Page 5


Income: The gap between college grads, non-grads is getting wider Continued from Page 4 young adults in the so-called Millennial generation with heavy debt amid high unemployment. Noting the increasing importance of a college education, President Barack Obama and Republicans such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida have pushed proposals to make higher education more affordable as a way to promote upward mobility and bolster America’s shrinking middle class. The report found that not only does a college degree typically yield much more inflation-adjusted earnings than before, but a high-school diploma also is now worth less. That adds to a widening earnings gap that Pew researchers found mirrors the U.S. gap between rich and poor. For instance, college graduates ages 25 to 32 who were working full time now typically earn about $17,500 more annually than employed young adults with just a high school diploma ($45,500 vs. $28,000); those with a two-year degree or some college training earned $30,000. In 1965, before globalization and automation wiped out many middle-class jobs in areas such as manufacturing, the inflation-adjusted gap was just $7,449. Meanwhile, median earnings for high-school graduates have fallen more than $3,000, from $31,384 in 1965 to $28,000 last year. Young adults with just high-school diplomas now are also much more likely to live in poverty, at 22 percent compared to 7 percent for their counterparts in 1979. “Despite their higher levels of college completion, today’s young adults overall are doing no better — and on many key indicators of economic well-being, they’re doing worse — than older generations were doing when they were the same age that Millennials are now,” Taylor said. “This

College graduates ages 25 to 32 who were working full time now typically earn about $17,500 more annually than employed young adults with just a high school diploma. is mainly because the economic penalties for not getting a college degree are so much stiffer now than in the past.” Other findings: •Young employed college graduates are more likely than those with just a high school diploma or less to say their job is a career or stepping stone to a career. In contrast, those with just a high school diploma or less were three times more likely than college graduates to say their work is “just a job” to help them get by — 42 percent vs. 14 percent. •The field of study in college does seem to matter. Those who studied science or engineering were most likely to say that their current job is “very closely” related to their college or graduate field of study, at 60 percent, compared to 43 percent for both liberal arts and business majors. •About three-fourths of all college graduates say they regretted not doing more during school to better prepare themselves to find a job, such as getting more work experience, studying harder or looking for work sooner. Pew based its findings on the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey as of March 2013, as well as its own survey of 2,002 adults interviewed by cellphone or landline from Oct. 7 to 27, 2013. The Pew poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Top-Paying Industries for Class of 2013 Bachelor’s Degree Graduates Industry............................................................................ Average Starting Salary Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.............................................. $85,733 Management of companies and enterprises............................................... $57,462 Construction............................................................................................. $57,153 Manufacturing.......................................................................................... $55,558 Finance and insurance.............................................................................. $53,964 Source: September 2013 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges & Employers Top-Paid Majors for Class of 2013 Bachelor’s Degree Graduates Major................................................................................ Average Starting Salary Petroleum Engineering.............................................................................. $97,000 Computer Engineering............................................................................... $70,900 Chemical Engineering................................................................................ $67,500 Computer Science.................................................................................... $64,700 Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering..................................... $64,500 Mechanical Engineering............................................................................ $64,500 Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering.............................. $63,000 Engineering Technology............................................................................. $61,500 Management Information Systems/Business............................................. $60,700 Logistics/Materials Management.............................................................. $59,800 Source: January 2014 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. All data are for bachelor’s degree graduates.


Advice for job-seekers Job-seekers can be pessimistic about their ability to gain employment. Nearly two in five job-seekers (37 percent) lack confidence that the job market will improve in 2014, according to a recent study conducted by the Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University. Hiring managers, however, disagree. Eighty-seven percent of hiring managers think the job market will improve in 2014, according to findings from the 2013 Job Preparedness Indicator. While hiring managers may be optimistic about the job market, they also have a very clear message for job-seekers: “Help us help you.” Only 15 percent of hiring managers said that nearly all or most job-seekers have the skills and traits their organization is looking for in a candidate. Yet, job-seekers remain sure of themselves. Seven in 10 job-seekers (72 percent) are confident they know how to present their skills and experience to an interviewer, and more than half (56 percent) are confident they know what employers are looking for in candidates today. “Our research shows that two out of three hiring managers won’t settle for a candidate without the perfect qualifications for the job,” said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. “The good news is that there are steps candidates can take to give employers what they need and want.” Career Advisory Board members

recommend the following strategies to help job-seekers shift their mindsets and improve their marketability:

Recognize the value of mentorship Three out of four hiring managers say job-seekers should have a mentor or career coach; yet only 40 percent of job-seekers report having a similar professional resource. Cultivating relationships with-experienced and trusted advisers can help job-seekers uncover job opportunities. Working with mentors can help you move your career forward and build your network. Mentors also can help you navigate potentially precarious business situations, according to Krista Canfield, corporate communications, LinkedIn.

Learn how to tell your story Fifty-six percent of job-seekers use keywords from the job description when applying to a position, but hiring managers care more about a candidate’s skill set and experience. Job-seekers have the opportunity to stand out from the pack by telling stories that reinforce their personal brands during interviews. They should focus less on listing out past positions and more on saying, “this is what I’ve learned in my career, and here’s what it enables me to do today,” said Jason Seiden, CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing.

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Constantly refresh your skills

Demonstrate that you can adapt

Approximately two-thirds of hiring managers believe employees should be mostly responsible for developing the skills needed to be successful in their jobs. Candidates need to take responsibility for enhancing their skillsets through onthe-job experiencing, networking, attending trainings and workshops, and pursuing professional certifications of value in their fields, said Kristin Machacek Leary, vice president of global talent at Quintiles.

Ninety-three percent of hiring managers say job-seekers need to demonstrate flexibility to prove they can cope with the ever-changing workplace. Job-seekers should be prepared to share how they have dealt with challenging situations on the fly or rethought an approach to an assignment when something was not working well, said J.T. O’Donnell, career strategist and workplace consultant. — Brandpoint

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choosing a career

SELECTING A MAJOR

Explore careers before you select a college will help you find the school that best fits your career interests and goals. Follow these steps to get started:

What are you going to major in? It’s a simple question, but the answer might be tough. The fact is, you don’t need to start college with your major already decided. Chances are you’ll change your mind over the next four years.

1. Learn more about your interests and skills. Complete at least two interest or skill assessments to learn about careers that might be a good match.

1. Evaluate your skills and interests. Personal strengths: What adjectives describe you? Talents: What do you do well? Interests: What do you enjoy? Values: What’s important to you?

•Ask your counselor about assessments at your school. •Use free online tools including: H3.ne.gov (high wage, high skill, high-demand jobs), NebraskaCareerConnections.org, MyNextMove.org

2. Gather facts about several majors that interest you. Talk to your guidance counselor about your selections and look at advanced classes in each major. Some students change majors because they become disillusioned with upper-level courses.

• Use free assessment tools at educationquest.org such as the Choices Interest Profiler and Career Cruising Profiler 2. Do some research.

3. Job shadow. By observing different careers, you might find some that suit you while you cross others off your list.

Review the Career Diagram on educationquest.org to learn: •essential skills you need for any type of job

Follow these steps when you get to college:

•the six broad “career fields”

1. Join student organizations that relate to potential careers. You’ll meet other students with similar interests and discover if the fit is right.

•the 16 “career clusters” that group careers with similar skills and themes Review career options in the diagram to understand the education, training and unique set of skills and abilities each job requires.

2. Make good use of your electives. Along with core requirements during your freshman and sophomore year, take electives that are in your potential major.

3. Develop a career plan. Map out the education and training you’ll need for your future career. •Use Reality Check to determine whether your potential career choices will provide you with the lifestyle you desire. •Talk to your school counselor about college majors that will help you reach your career goal. •Use College Profiles to find schools that offer your potential major(s).

3. Declare your major before your fourth semester of college. This should allow you to finish in four years if you enroll full time each semester and remain in good academic standing. Talk to your academic adviser about majors, such as education, that might require you to declare when you enter college.

•Participate in activities that match your career interests such as school clubs, community service, job shadowing, internships and part-time jobs.

Don’t just settle on a major. Take your time, explore your options and make a good decision — then you can avoid making college a “major” disappointment.

Source: Education Quest Foundation

Source: Education Quest Foundation

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Continued from Page 2

The average earning of graduates who borrowed federal student loans will soon be added to the College Scorecard. “There is a push nationally for colleges to become more and more accountable for the outcomes of graduates,” Eckert said. “Part of that has to do with the really sincere problem of college student debt. Students are increasingly asking. ‘What is the return on investment?’” Samantha Luebbers, who will graduate from Miami in May with a double major in biomedical and mechanical engineering, already accepted a job offer from a company she met during a campus career fair. She said Miami’s 91 percent success rate is reassuring to students. “It’s really important because you go to school to get a job,” the Cincinnati native said. “A lot of undergraduates are worried about the market right now, so when you see something like that, it’s really comforting because you think you have a shot.” Miami found 3.4 percent of recent graduates were unemployed by fall 2013 if they graduated between August 2012 and May 2013. About 75 percent were employed or had received a job offer, and nearly 19 percent were enrolled in graduate school. At the time of graduation, about 21 percent of students said they did not intend to seek immediate employment, according to Miami.

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College & Careers - Spring 2014