Monthly Archives: December 2009

Comparing Multiple Job Offers


So, you worked really hard on all aspects of job searching, landed interviews and now have a couple of job offers on your hand as well. Now you are in a stage where you need to decide which job offer is the best for your career. The salary and employee benefits package may vary from one company to another. While deciding which the best job offer is, you need to take into account a number of things and job benefits. It is never wise to suddenly jump to a conclusion. The benefits not only vary from one company to another, but also from one job to another. So, you need to check out all the aspects and then evaluate about the best offer.

While making a decision about the best job, you need to consider the following essential aspects. However, there are more points that you need to do the evaluation.

Base salary
Sign-on bonus
Cost of living adjustment
Life insurance and disability insurance
Company conveyance
Medical, dental and optical
Pension plan
Total compensation package

You need to compare multiple job offers on the basis of the above mentioned aspects and employee benefits. These are only the basic aspects and you may need to consider some more important factor for selecting the best company. Have a look.

Reputation/ Ranking of the company
Work culture
Work challenges
Career improvement opportunities
Relocation expenses
Country club/ professional memberships
Appraisal/ bonus policies
Vacation time and paid holidays
Profit sharing
Employee assistance program
Parking expenses
Commuting expenses
Etc

If you take into consideration all of the above mentioned points, you can definitely find it easy to decide which can be the best job for you. Only getting a job is not enough. The job should match your skills and interests and more importantly it should lead you towards achieving your career goals. So, be well informed and well prepared while you make the best job selection.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist


A greater job satisfaction and a strong job market make the job of a physical therapist one of the best career options. Unlike a physician, a physical therapist can spend a longer period with their patients. The therapist can actually track the health improvements of people. And it is always a joy to be a one-on-one fitness coach to people and see them improve their health. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings – they can work in hospitals, nursing homes, physical therapist clinics, and physician’s office or in a patient’s home. Therapists usually work standard hours. Instead of the fact that lower-cost physical therapy assistants are available, physical therapists have a strong job market and good employment opportunities awaiting them.

Though the physical therapist’s can be a quite profitable one, it also happens to be challenging. First of all it is not a desk and you will be on your toes most of the time. Sometimes, slow progress in patients can make you face some burnout situations. Patients also may get very frustrated when they see little or no improvement in their health conditions. Responsibilities lie with the physical therapist as to how well they handle the situations.

Educational Requirement/ Training in Physical Therapy
A bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in physical therapy is required to function as physical therapists. However, a three-year doctor of physical degree has now become the standard requirement to have a successful career. A doctorate degree helps candidates in the advancement of their careers. Before candidates (in United States) get enrolled in physical therapy degree programs, they should remember to ensure that the training program has the accreditations of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Popular Physical Therapy Schools in United States
The United States has a number of physical therapy schools and universities that offer American Physical Therapy Association accredited master’s and doctoral degree programs. Some of these schools are as follows –

Albama State University
University of South Albama
Northern Arizona University
Arkansas State University
University of Central Arkansas
California State University
Chapman University
University of Connecticut
University of Hartford
Florida International University
University of Miami
Georgia State University

Job Outlook & Physical Therapist’s Salary
There is no dearth of jobs and employment opportunities for physical therapists. The employment growth rate for professionals is expected to grow faster, as more and more people need therapist’s services. More job positions will be available over the next decade. Physical therapists will be providing their services in different field of activities where people suffer receive injuries. Physical therapists may also choose to specialize in areas like cardiovascular, orthopedic, geriatric, pulmonary rehabilitation etc. The annual salary of these professionals varies between the range of $66,000 and $84,800.

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Physical & Health Education Degree Programs


If you really wish to make a difference in the lives of students and general public and would like to see their health improve, you can consider obtaining degrees in physical and health education. Whether you are a K-12 teacher, an instructor, a private coach or a personal trainer, physical health and education degrees offer comprehensive training to all these professionals. These degree programs can provide training to just anyone who find themselves committed to promoting healthy lifestyle for people.

Candidates and professionals can decide to obtain a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in physical and health education. You can either attend a college or a university locally or can earn your degrees online. Equipped with a degree in this field, you can acquire physical education jobs. The degree programs train candidates in a variety of sports and exercise techniques.

Bachelor of Science in Physical Education
It takes four years to complete the degree program. A bachelor’s of science degree in physical education prepares students to take up teaching and coaching jobs. The degree program includes training in subjects like general education, liberal arts and science and physical and health education. The coursework for this bachelor’s degree includes –

Health and physical education theory
Intercollegiate sports coaching
Exercise physiology training
First aid and CPR training
Kinesiology
Training in physical and health education for teaching in elementary schools
Measurement/ evaluation in physical education programs

Courses that specialize in sports include –

Racquet sports
Physical fitness
Gymnastics
Aquatic fitness
Aerobic fitness
Team sports

To obtain teaching positions at K-12 level, a bachelor’s degree in P.E. and health education is the standard requirement. Besides having the degree, teachers also need to acquire state licensure. For this, you will need to go for a teacher training and pass an examination.

Master’s Degree in Physical & Health Education
A master’s degree or a doctoral degree in physical health education is required to obtain senior level coaching and teaching positions. The master degree program gives students the opportunity to specialize in their chosen area of interest. While going for this advanced degree, students can pursue specialization in child health education, psychology and stress management, exercise physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics, physical activity epidemiology etc.

Ph.D. in Physical Health & Education
If you aspire to become an athletic program director, health education professor or a researcher, a doctoral degree in physical and health education is required. The degree prepares candidates to take higher level administrative positions in physical and health education. The coursework for the degree emphasizes on research methodology and quantitative analysis.

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Choosing Colleges & Playing it Safe


How do you see yourself – as a go-getter or as a realist? The answer that you give you to this question could define your college choosing strategy. To be successful with your career, you need to select the right college. So, what are the things that you need to consider while deciding which college you should attend?

When you are ready to attend a college, you have three options available – ‘reach’, ‘safety’ and ‘target’. Applying to a ‘reach’ school means applying at a college you might get enrolled in. Applying to a ‘safety’ school refers to a school where you should easily get in. The third option or the ‘target’ school means you give yourself a 50-50 chance of getting admission.

Now, as you have the three options obvious, you need to prepare a list of colleges which should include a few ‘reach’ colleges, a greater number of ‘target’ colleges and some ‘safety’ colleges. However, looking at the tough college admission environment, it is not wise to use the word ‘safety’ or ‘safety’ colleges.

Reaching for College Admissions
When you are applying to a ‘reach’ college you should be able to figure out the difference between a college which is a bit of a stretch and a college where there is just no possible way of getting in. Students should be well informed of the college admission standards, as they may vary from year to year. Be prepared with the up-to-date GPA and know the course requirement and test score average for the ‘reach’ school you are applying to.

Playing it Safe
When it comes to applying to a ‘safety’ school, it is not recommended to select a school only because you can easily get in. The rule of the thumb is to make sure that you like the ‘safety’ school or college you have selected. Students are advised to use their personalities to make a personal choice about the ‘safety’ school they want to attend.

Making no Mistakes
Do not get yourself in a situation where you will need to make a snap decision about ‘target’ colleges when the ‘reach’ college option does not work out. So, never try to put all your energies and efforts into only one category. Wise applicants submit applications to all the three categories – ‘reach’ colleges, ‘safety’ colleges and ‘target’ colleges. If you apply to all the three category colleges, you will always have options and will not need to make a snap decision if one options fails or does not work out.

If you keep these tips in mind while choosing colleges, you can always play it safe and have multiple options.

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Make Up Artists : Occupational Career Profile


How do actors and program presenters look so natural on the screen? Well, all the credit goes to make up artists for their great artistic capabilities and efforts. Whether it is a movie production, a television production or a theatre production, make up artists has an important role to play. If you really like to be artistic with air brushes, foundations, eye shadow, sculpting wax, concealer and mascara, you can decide to pursue a career in make up artistry.

Educational Requirements
There are hundreds of professional schools and colleges across the United States offering associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and undergraduate certifications in subjects like make up artistry, cosmetology, theatre, stagecraft etc. While you get enrolled in a degree program or a certificate program, you get training in special effects, master make up artistry, studio makeup etc. Equipped with a degree in make up artistry, cosmetology or stagecraft, candidates can land jobs in film and television productions and the fashion and glamour industry.

Make Up Artistry Courses
There are many specialties in this field. While you decide to pursue a career as make up artists, you can choose an area according to your interest. Courses or degrees can be obtained both online and via campus mode.

Some specialties in the field of makeup artistry are as follows –

Glamour Makeup
Performance Makeup
Prosthetics
Film Makeup
Television Makeup

Interested candidates can decide to choose any of these specialties. Before you start attending a makeup school or a college offering make up artistry and cosmetology degrees, always remember to check out the accreditations of the academic institution.

Getting Paid
To work with prospective clients, you should possess a good portfolio. Remember, this is one of those industries where you need to market yourself and know how to get on with people. Earning or pay rates of make up artists vary depending on the field they work in and the portfolio they have built. A maximum number of these artists work on a freelance basis. On an average, a junior make up artist can earn £184 per day whereas a makeup designer prosthetic can make £279 per day. Commercials pay the highest wage. Top level make up artists who regularly work for fashion shows earn around £3,000 per day. Read about make up artistry courses and degree programs.

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Computer Information Systems Manager


The employment growth rate for computer and information systems manager is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average of all occupations. With an evolvement and advancement in technologies, companies have a great demand for managers who play a pivotal role in the future success of business organizations and maintaining the security and the internet support. To stay ahead of others, companies are implementing new technologies and network. Organizations face the risk of potential attacks more than ever. Therefore, there is requirement for strong network security. This demand for smooth function of network creates more and more employment opportunities for computer information systems managers.

Job Description/ Responsibilities
Functioning as computer and information systems managers, these professionals will hold the responsibility of performing tasks as follows –

Supervising the programming and support departments
Planning and development of various computer activities
Consulting with executive managers for planning
Overseeing the network security areas in the organization
Keeping abreast of the latest technology updates and informing the concerned department
Providing suggestions regarding software and hardware development
Security enhancement
Working in close contact with technology specialists, consultants and sales representatives
Etc

Job Qualifications
Though candidates can kick start their management career with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree (emphasizing technology and business administration) is what employers always look for and prefer while hiring computer and information system managers. Prior real world experience in fields like information technology and systems analysis will enhance the chances of getting management jobs in computer information systems.

Salary of Information Technology Managers
Upper level management positions fetch an annual salary ranging between $82,000 and $151,000. For entry level positions, the annual salary offered is around $55,000. Salaries of managers also vary depending on the skill sets, years of experience and the specialty area they join.

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Four Building Blocks of Career Planning


Whether you are starting a new career or about to change your career midway, it is always advisable to do some career planning in advance. If you have an action plan ready in advance, you can avoid any setbacks in your career. Career planning needs time, research and effort. Jobseekers, students and other candidates need to plan their career with careful thought and consideration. Successful career planning is based on four building blocks –

1. Self Assessment
While making a self-assessment, candidates need to be quite honest and bold to themselves. To start with, you can prepare a inventory which includes your skill sets (basic, social, technical etc), interests, value in workplace and style of learning. Now, you need to review all of these. Do not overlook your weaknesses. To help yourself with the process of assessment, you can also use various free career assessment tests and diagnosis tools available on the internet.

2. Research
The next most important building block of successful career planning is research. Yes, it requires both time and effort. But the result you get will be worth the effort or more. First, try to prepare a list of career options that you are interested in. Now when you know of careers you are interested in, you can start researching and gathering as much information about these careers as possible. Get in touch with employment organizations, professional people and participate in volunteering work to accumulate more and more career information.

3. Make a Fit
Now it is time to compare your careers of interest with your personal inventory (self assessment). Figure out which careers match the most with your skill sets, strengths, interests, values, personality etc. Have a look at the career options you conducted a research on. Try to find out the career option that is the best match for your skills and interests.

4. Create a Plan
So, you have selected your best career option and have a career goal. It is now time to prepare an action plan on how to go about achieving your career goal. Know about the education, degree or training that you need to obtain for pursuing the career of your interest. Find out about the schools and colleges that offer degrees or training you are looking for. Know the cost of education that you are going to pursue. Figure out if you will need some financial aid. Apply for college students scholarships available in your chosen field. And finally, have a realistic time frame required to reach your career goal.

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