6 ways college grads can find their first job faster

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Young student holding books and carrying a backpack, smiling to camera

Millennials and Gen Zers receive plenty of advice on how to ace a job interview. But before you can wow an interviewer, you have to actually land an interview.

Applying for jobs may feel like it’s mostly a waiting game, but there’s more to do than just submitting applications online, and taking those extra steps will get you better job search results. CNBC Make It spoke to Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, who offers new grads these tips:

1. Prioritize your connections
Identify who in your already-established network currently works or previously worked in the field you are most interested in. Augustine also suggests keeping any highly-social friends in mind. “These natural connectors from your personal network can often introduce you to relevant people outside your social circle that could be valuable during your search,” says Augustine.

2. Don’t underestimate your alma mater

Alumnifire, an alumni networking platform, found that 90 percent of hiring managers would prefer to hire a fellow alumnus if possible. In order to find alums who work in your target field, attend alumni events in your area and use LinkedIn to sift through search results. If you find an alum connected to a particular company or industry you’re interested in, approach them with confidence. Briefly mentioning that you went to the same college is a great way to spark a conversation.

3. Join organizations
In college, social groups and clubs are often built into campus life, but to continue to make new friends and expand your network after graduation, Augustine suggests using websites such as Directory of Associations, VolunteerMatch and Meetup to find people with common interests. “The bigger your network, the easier it will become to find and connect with others who can help you achieve your job-search goals,” she says.

4. Invest in your professional development
Begin by taking advantage of informational interviews. These differ from traditional job interviews in that the goal is to gain insight into your desired field or a specific company, allowing you to take steps to become a more marketable candidate. You may also want to work on developing a new skill to better your chances of being hired for a position. Search for industry conferences or start a free or low-cost online course through platforms such as Courseera, edX, Skillshare or Lynda.

5. Consider taking side gigs
Whether it’s helping out at a non-profit or picking up some extra freelance work, there are plenty of experiences that might not be full-time but could be great resume-boosters. In addition, they can lead to new connections that can open doors to job opportunities. When looking for freelance listings, check out websites like UpWork, Freelancer, Guru and College Recruiter.

6. Take another look at your resume
“Think of your resume as a marketing document whose content has been carefully curated based on your job goals,” says Augustine, “rather than a record of your work history and education.” This will help get through the applicant tracking systems that some employers use. These systems sort through resumes and highlight top candidates by searching for keywords related to the position being applied for.

Continue on to CNBC News to read the complete article.

I have two liberal arts degrees. Here’s how I got a job in tech

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Every software engineer can name college dropouts who went on to do incredible things in the tech world: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey. These individuals have become emblematic of the idea that a degree doesn’t define you, and they’re often touted by aspiring tech dudes as their inspiration for diving into the fray.

The problem is the obvious lack of diversity on that list.

Growing up in the Bay Area, I found that there were far fewer high-profile examples of women who had diverged from their academic path to find success in tech. I was only a year and a half away from earning two liberal arts degrees, in economics and psychology, at Barnard College of Columbia University when I took the introductory computer science course that ultimately altered my career path.

This course sparked my curiosity in computer science and led me to explore a subject I’d never previously been encouraged to pursue. While it was too late to change majors, I’d finally found a technically complex, creative, and mentally stimulating job–in an entirely different industry than the ones for which I was trained. Despite having no clear path forward, I decided to pursue my new passion. Looking back, I’m so glad I did.

Today, I’m a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and I love the work I do every day. Getting here wasn’t easy, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. If you find yourself in a similar position and want to take the plunge into tech without a computer science-related degree, this is how I did it.

TAKE A CODING BOOT CAMP
After discovering my passion for coding during an introductory class, I knew it was too late to pivot my collegiate efforts away from my dual major in economics and psychology. Instead, I applied to an immersive summer boot camp at Fullstack Academy of Code, which helped me develop the necessary skills to become a full-stack software engineer outside of my university’s academic term.

These boot-camp-style programs are incredibly useful for honing functional skills, building a portfolio, and connecting with other aspiring tech professionals. During my time at Fullstack Academy, I got tons of hands-on experience building apps and writing code. Rolling up my sleeves and diving into this work further solidified my interest in pursuing software engineering as my full-time career.

There are countless options out there for these types of programs. Some traditional universities such as the University of California at Berkeley offer coding boot camps both in-person and online, and there are plenty of other options that are suitable for a range of budgets.

DO YOUR RESEARCH
As soon as I set my mind on software engineering as a career, I began using platforms such as Handshake to research what recruiters were looking for in an entry-level software engineer. Because Handshake is specifically designed for college students and new grads, the listings on the platform helped keep me informed about which desirable skills and characteristics would make me a competitive candidate when I was applying for a first job. I used these learnings to tailor my résumé and help it stand out from the crowd.

SEEK OUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE
During my senior year at Barnard, I participated in JPMorgan Chase’s Code for Good Hackathon event. This 24-hour hackathon presented an opportunity to use my new skills for a worthy cause: developing innovative technology for deserving nonprofit organizations.

The team-based format of the event also allowed me to work alongside technology experts, as well as college students who studied computer science. These professional connections are extremely valuable when one is navigating the hiring process; in my case, they led to my being invited to join JPMorgan Chase’s full-time Software Engineer Program after graduation.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR “UNRELATED” SKILLS
Though applying for software engineering jobs with a non-CS-related degree on your résumé can be difficult in some ways, it’s actually an asset in others. Due to my diverse choice in majors, my studies outside the realm of tech helped me develop a well-rounded skill set. In addition to hard skills such as the ability to code in JavaScript and Python, I was also able to tout some of the soft skills that go hand in hand with my liberal arts degrees, most notably, communication and interpersonal skills.

STUDY
I’m not going to lie—applying for software engineering roles without a related degree certainly isn’t easy. I spent countless hours sitting in the library studying for technical interviews by teaching myself advanced CS concepts from a textbook. Although I enjoy coding, practicing for hours on end every day for months can be tiring, to say the least. But persistence and commitment to continuous learning is the key to reaching your goals, so don’t give up.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

The No. 1 job of 2019 pays $140,000 — and its hiring growth has exploded 74%

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Career and job site LinkedIn released its annual “Emerging Jobs” list, which identifies the roles that have seen the largest rate of hiring growth from 2015 through 2019. No. 1 on the list: Artificial Intelligence Specialist — typically an engineer, researcher or other specialty that focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, figuring out things like where it makes sense to implement AI or building AI systems. Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone.

Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone. “AI has infiltrated every industry, and right now the demand for people skilled in AI is outpacing the supply for it,” Guy Berger, the principal economist at LinkedIn, tells MarketWatch. “This is the third year in a row a role related to machine learning or artificial intelligence has topped the list, and we can only expect demand to increase.”

The pay is impressive too, with AI roles often commanding six figures. Jobs site Indeed notes that artificial intelligence engineers in San Francisco, for example, rake in $120,000 to upwards of $160,000. Sometimes AI roles can garner pay of $250,000 or more.

LinkedIn isn’t the only company to highlight an AI specialty role as a job to watch. Indeed’s annual list of the “25 best jobs of 2019” named machine learning engineer as No. 1, citing a 344% increase in job postings in the past few years and an annual base salaries of $146,000, among other perks.

So what’s behind this rapid growth in AI jobs? Berger says that “almost everyone” is hiring for these roles from the obvious (tech and automotive) to the more surprising (higher education and sports).

And these offer a real opportunity even for people who aren’t currently in AI: “We’re in an extremely tight labor market so companies are really looking to hire whoever can get the job done,” says Berger — who notes that learning skills like TensorFlow and Python, as well as diving into machine learning and natural language processing, could help you land the role. You can often take these kinds of classes as certificate programs from local universities, coding schools and more.

Rounding out the top 5 jobs on LinkedIn’s emerging jobs report are robotics engineers (40% annual hiring growth), data scientist (37%), full stack engineer (35%) and site reliability engineer (34%). “While many of these jobs are tech roles, they’re not necessarily in the tech industry. Every company has had to embrace tech at some level and we’re seeing that reflected in these high-growth jobs,” adds Berger.

But interestingly, there are also a number of client-facing roles that are experiencing rapid hiring growth, such as customer success specialist and sales development representative. Many roles like this “are heavily reliant on relationships, so being skilled in things like communication, problem-solving and collaboration are key,” Berger notes, adding that for these kinds of gigs companies “will rely on people skills that can’t be automated, successfully complementing new technologies.”

LinkedIn’s Top 10 Emerging Jobs
1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
2. Robotics Engineer
3. Data Scientist
4. Full Stack Engineer
5. Site Reliability Engineer
6. Customer Success Specialist
7. Sales Development Representative
8. Data Engineer
9. Behavioral Health Technician
10. Cyber Security Specialist

Continue on to MarketWatch to read the complete article.

Use these words if you want to advance in your career, win praise, and get noticed

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You know how men dominate science, with more professorships, higher salaries, more research grants, and more citations? A BMJ study of 6.2 million science articles between 2002 and 2017 shows that male authors tout their work much more than female authors—and that their studies are then cited more frequently, particularly in prestigious journals. Though you could swallow this as yet more downer gender-inequity news, it’s also confirmation that self-praise leads to career advancement. And you can do it too!

When in doubt, go with the word “novel,” which male scientists are quite fond of, using it nearly three times more often than their other favorite words, “unique,” “promising,” and “favorable.” Note that these words express positivity, newness, and specialness, but are not over-the-top direct praise: Words such as “phenomenal,” “groundbreaking,” “spectacular,” and “astonishing” were rarely used, indicating that overflaunting is not necessary.

Women overuse the word “supportive,” as in my research is supportive of prior findings, which is the equivalent of wrapping one’s career in a wet blanket. The researchers write that “the data suggest that women and men use positive words in a similar fashion, but that women use them less often.”

So there you have it. Your mouth’s new favorite words for your work are:

novel
unique
promising
favorable
robust
excellent
prominent
encouraging
remarkable
innovative

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Announces the Julio Iglesias Scholarship

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Julio Iglesias in tuxedo smiling clapping hands with joy

A Music Student with Financial Hardship Will Receive a Four-Year Scholarship, Worth up to $200,000 USD Toward a Bachelor’s Degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston

Deadline to Apply is April 10, 2020

MIAMI (DEC. 16, 2019)— The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® announced today that it is accepting applications for the Julio Iglesias Scholarship from music students admitted to Berklee College of Music who are interested in Latin music. The four-year Prodigy Scholarship, which holds a maximum value of $200,000 USD, was created five years ago in an effort to support music education and Latin music genres, and will be awarded to a student who is exceptionally gifted and needs financial assistance to complete a bachelor’s degree in music starting in the Fall 2020 semester.

Julio Iglesias is considered an enduring star on the world stage and the best-selling Latin artist of all time. Recipient of a GRAMMY®, 2001 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year™ honor, and the Recording Academy® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, the singer/songwriter has recorded in multiple languages and sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

“I’m proud to offer a promising student the opportunity of a formal music education at one of the best schools in the world through the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation,” said Iglesias. “Through this scholarship, I hope to expand my legacy helping to build the next generation of Latin music ambassadors.”

“We are pleased to announce our sixth annual Prodigy Scholarship in association with music legend Julio Iglesias,” said Manolo Díaz, Senior Vice President, Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. “We are grateful for Julio’s support and commitment to inspire future generations of Latin artists to achieve greatness.”

Every year, the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee carefully evaluates applications from a highly competitive pool of aspiring musicians on a variety of skills and under rigorous policies. As of today, the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation has allocated a remarkable $5 million USD in scholarships, grants, musical instrument donations, and educational events worldwide. Previous artists who have co-sponsored Prodigy Scholarships include Enrique Iglesias (2015), Juan Luis Guerra (2016), Miguel Bosé (2017), Carlos Vives (2018), and Emilio and Gloria Estefan (2019).

For application, guidelines, and for the latest news, please visit the official website of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation at www.latingrammyculturalfoundation.com. As part of the process, students must complete two audition videos, submit two letters of recommendation and answer two essay questions. The materials can be submitted in English, Spanish or Portuguese. The deadline to apply is April 10, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. EDT. After reviewing the guidelines that can be found on our website, submit any questions to LGCF@grammy.com.

ABOUT THE LATIN GRAMMY CULTURAL FOUNDATION:
The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation was established by The Latin Recording Academy® to promote international awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin music and its makers to the world’s culture, and to protect its rich musical legacy and heritage. The Foundation’s primary charitable focus is to provide scholarships to students interested in Latin music, as well as grants to scholars and organizations worldwide for research and preservation of diverse Latin music genres. Take action in supporting our mission by donating today via our Facebook page. For additional information, please visit us at www.latingrammyculturalfoundation.com. For the latest news and exclusive content, follow us at @latingrammyfdn on Twitter and Instagram, and Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation on Facebook.

ABOUT BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC:
Berklee was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For 70 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. In June 2016, the Boston Conservatory merged with Berklee, creating the world’s most comprehensive and dynamic training ground for music, dance, theater, and related professions. With a focus on global learning, the Berklee campus in Valencia, Spain, offers graduate programs and study abroad opportunity, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in more than 40 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing more than 100 countries, abundant international undergraduate and graduate student populations (33 and 53 percent respectively), and alumni and faculty who have won more than 360 GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Awards, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. Learn more at berklee.edu.

ABOUT JULIO IGLESIAS:
Julio Iglesias is the most celebrated artist in Spanish and Latin music history. Recipient of a GRAMMY, The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year in 2001, and the Recording Academy™ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, Iglesias is the best-selling Latin artist of all time with more than 300 million records sold in 14 languages. Photo Credit: Jesús Carrero

Apple’s Siri Disagrees With A Weatherman – On Live TV…And Other Small Business Tech News

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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Siri disagreed with a weatherman during a live forecast.

This past week, Tomasz Schafernaker—a meteorologist with BBC—was wearing his Apple Watch and delivering a live forecast when suddenly Siri spoke up. While Schafernaker shared information about a snowstorm that occurred recently in Minneapolis, Siri gave an opposing forecast, discrediting his delivery immediately. Although the meteorologist attempted to continue after the comedic snafu, Schafermaker found himself as the punchline of his co-host’s jokes for the remainder of the broadcast. It is unclear what prompted Siri but—regardless—BBC and viewers laughed the moment off while having some fun at the meteorologist’s expense. (Source: PCMag)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s a funny, yet ominous story. Siri and other voice enabled applications are already starting to insert themselves into our conversations. Soon enough they will be interacting with our customers in the same way – and it’s possible with the wrong information. Embrace this technology, but make sure to keep it in check.

2 — Facebook built a chatbot to help employees deflect criticism over the holidays

The New York Times reported this past week that Facebook has rolled out a new tool named “Liam Bot” which has been designed to help employees through difficult discussions regarding the many controversies the social media giant has been facing. The artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot was built by Facebook’s public relations team—although the company has not specifically disclosed why—and provides answers that coincide with public statements dealing with areas such as election meddling and free speech, to name a few. Liam Bot was first tested this past spring and was given to Facebook employees just before the Thanksgiving holiday. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

This is another great example of how AI technology can deliver conversational bots that will help solve problems and answer customer questions. Coming soon: easy to use tools that will help small businesses configure similar chatbots.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Gives Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on a stage dressed in a suit smiling

By Brady Rhoades

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — NBA Hall of Famer, best-selling author, renowned columnist, historian, philanthropist— is laser-focused on underprivileged kids.

The key to empowering them?

Education.

Through his Skyhook Foundation and Camp Skyhook, he’s on a mission to give inner city kids a “shot that can’t be blocked” at careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math; many educators have added arts to the concept and use the acronym STEAM).

“The feedback from the kids is always a highlight for me,” he said, in an interview with STEAM Magazine. “They are enthusiastic, grateful, and excited about the experience. Horace Mann once said that ‘a house without books is like a room without windows.’ Before attending Camp Skyhook, many of our students couldn’t see themselves pursuing a STEM-related career. We’re building windows so they can see more possibilities for their future.

“Our students often come from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Abdul-Jabbar continued. “They’re used to running the race of life with weights attached to them. Their shot at equal opportunities — whether in education, jobs, health care, etc. — is blocked by systemic social inequalities. We try to create a path where their shot at life can’t be blocked because of those disadvantages. We’re trying to even the playing field.”

Abdul-Jabbar is so committed to this venture that he’s sold personal memorabilia, such as championship rings and MVP plaques, in order to raise $2.8 million – a portion of which was donated to Camp Skyhook.

“Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future,” he said. “That’s a history that has no price.”

Kareem out in community visiting with a young boy in the library
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out in community visiting with a young boy in the library

So what exactly are the Skyhook Foundation and Camp Skyhook?

The Los Angeles non-profit helps public school students in the city access a free, fun, weeklong STEM education camp in the Angeles National Forest. Every week throughout the year, in cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District, groups of fourth and fifth graders attend Camp Skyhook at the Clear Creek Outdoor Education Center. The hands-on science curriculum encourages students to study nature up close. They also get to hike, swim and sing songs around campfires.

Currently, there’s a six-year waiting list for students to get into the camp.

“I’m happy we’re doing what we are, but I’m frustrated because we want to do even more,” said the six-time NBA champion and six-time MVP. “This program gives students STEM-based activities in an environment they rarely experience: the natural world. It also inspires their curiosity and sense of wonder.”

Abdul-Jabbar said it’s paramount to increase opportunities in STEM, especially for minorities.

“African-American men make up only 3 percent of science and engineering occupations versus 49 percent white men,” he said. “Black women have only 2 percent versus 18 percent for white women. Part of the reason is that a STEM education doesn’t seem like a real possibility to many minority children educated in inferior schools. We can turn that around. We have to turn it around.”

One of the iconic photos in UCLA basketball history taken by Norm Levin: Lew Alcindor, the 7-foot-2 big man who would one day wind up as NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, getting all of the ball for a blocked shot against the University of Minnesota on Dec. 27, 1967
One of the iconic photos in UCLA basketball history taken by Norm Levin: Lew Alcindor, the 7-foot-2 big man who would one day wind up as NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, getting all of the ball for a blocked shot against the University of Minnesota on Dec. 27, 1967.

A native of Harlem, Abdul-Jabbar was a three-time NCAA champion and three-time Player of the Year at UCLA, where he played under legendary coach John Wooden.

He played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record 19-time NBA All-Star.

For Lakers fans, he is, perhaps, most beloved for his dominating performance in the 1985 finals against the Boston Celtics. The Lakers broke a decades-long losing streak to the Celtics and Abdul-Jabbar was named finals MVP.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995 and named one of the 50 greatest players in league history in 1996. A statue showing him wielding the greatest weapon in basketball annals – the skyhook – was unveiled outside of Staples Center in 2012.

Since his stellar professional career, he has gone on to become a celebrated New York Times-bestselling author, a filmmaker, and a columnist for The Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter. He writes insightful and in-depth columns about pop culture and social justice.

His curiosity is nothing less than feral.

Did you know he’s huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and his latest writing project — co-authored by Anna Waterhouse — is a mystery novel? It’s called Mycroft and Sherlock, The Empty Birdcage.

On top of all that, President Barack Obama awarded him the Medal

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama.

of Freedom in 2016.

“I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop,” he said. “My mind is my greatest asset.”

The same can be said of the children he’s helping, even if they don’t know it yet.

The Skyhook Foundation — the website for information and donations at https://skyhookfoundation.org/ — is demonstrably effective. Did you think for a second Abdul-Jabbar wouldn’t track the results?

“We know it’s effective because our follow-up research shows that students have increased interest in science, engineering and the environment,” he said. “In practical terms, it means they take more science classes and feel more confident in the classroom asking and answering questions. Former participants who are now adults tell us this was their most memorable elementary school experience.”

It’s widely agreed-upon that Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook was unstoppable—virtually unblockable. He shot thousands upon thousands of them, and tallied 38,387 points in his career. He is the greatest scorer in the history of professional basketball. Nobody’s ever re-created that magnificent hook shot.

Abdul-Jabbar’s message to kids: Develop a shot that can’t be blocked.

The game of life is played on a surface supremely larger than the 94-x-50-foot chunk of wood hoops players play on.

The winning play? Give yourself a shot to be an all-star in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Job seekers: These are the 10 best companies to work for in 2020, and they’re not who you think

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Employees have spoken (or written reviews, as it were) and have played a part in determining the best large companies to work for in the coming year. Glassdoor’s annual exhaustive analysis revealed some surprises at the top of the ranks this time around.

Among the 10 best, the top four all scored a 4.6 out of 5 rating, while the remaining six were also tied at the same score.

Technology firms dominated the list of 50 best with a total of 31 companies represented. Some of the other industries included healthcare (9 companies), retail (8 companies), manufacturing (8 companies), real estate (6 companies), consulting (5 companies), and travel and tourism (5 companies).

  1. HubSpot (4.6 rating)
  2. Bain & Company (4.6 rating)
  3. DocuSign (4.6 rating)
  4. In-N-Out Burger (4.6 rating)
  5. Sammons Financial Group (4.5 rating)
  6. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (4.5 rating)
  7. Intuitive Surgical (4.5 rating)
  8. Ultimate Software (4.5 rating)
  9. VIPKid (4.5 rating)
  10. Southwest Airlines (4.5 rating)

Common themes among employees’ reviews of their employers included an emphasis on company culture, challenging work, and collaborative environments. HubSpot, for example, got high marks for inclusiveness and “autonomy to innovate, to create and shape your role while ensuring you create a schedule and work-life fit that works best for you,” according to one reviewer. Fair practices, transparency, and opportunity to advance were other important factors that employees at Docusign (No. 3) cited in their reviews.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Take Your Career to New Heights

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Aerospace Engineer working at his desk

Is your new job in aerospace engineering? Aerospace engineers apply their creativity and logic to creating and testing civil and military aircrafts, space crafts, satellites, and other weapons systems. They must consider numerous factors in their designs, including fuel efficiency, flight safety, speed and weight, environmental impact, and budget. Many aerospace engineers specialize in a particular aerospace field, such as aerodynamics, avionics, systems integration or propulsion.

What Can You Expect?

As an aerospace engineer, you are responsible for a range of tasks related to the design, development, and testing of new and existing aircraft and aerospace products. While activities vary depending on an aerospace engineer’s area of expertise, some common duties include:

  • Applying science and technology principles to create new components and support equipment
  • Evaluating aerospace project proposals to determine whether they are practical
  • Researching and developing design specifications
  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create project plans
  • Establishing design procedures, quality standards, sustainment after delivery processes, and completion dates
  • Overseeing the assembly of airframes and installation of engines and other components
  • Problem-solving to find solutions for issues during project design, development, and testing phases
  • Inspecting completed projects to ensure they adhere to quality standards
  • Inspecting damaged and malfunctioning projects to identify how to fix them
  • Participating in flight-test programs to measure take-off distances, maneuverability, rate of climb, stall speeds, and landing capacities
  • Devising strategies to improve the performance or safety credentials of aircraft systems
  • Inspecting aircraft regularly, performing maintenance tasks and repairing detected faults
  • Investigating aircraft accidents to determine why they occurred

What Qualifications are Required?

Education—Aerospace engineers require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some degree fields commonly associated with qualified candidates include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Computer science
  • Software engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Physics or applied physics

These courses of study should be recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

After four years working as an aerospace engineer, motivated individuals may decide to get a Professional Engineering license. To gain licensure, candidates must also obtain passing grades on the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams. Once licensed, an aerospace engineer can manage other engineers and sign off on projects.

A master’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related field will give aerospace engineers an edge when applying for jobs. Some roles, including teaching aerospace engineering at the university level, require a graduate degree.

Experience—While an aerospace engineer’s education is important, most of these professionals feel they learn more through experience on the job. Internship programs are a component of many aerospace engineering degrees. These programs can help aspiring aerospace engineers gain experience before entering the workforce. Students who do not have access to these programs are advised to contact aerospace companies to gain vacation work before graduating. Once an aerospace engineer is established in the field, there are ample opportunities to continue working in related roles for many years to come.

Skills—Aerospace engineers call on a variety of skills to excel in their roles. These are just some of the talents and qualities that employers look for when hiring new aerospace engineers:

  • Technical knowledge – Aerospace engineers need to know about aerospace systems, manufacturing procedures, federal government standards, and more.
  • Creativity – Innovation is crucial to the aerospace industry and the work of aerospace engineers.
  • Analytical skills – These skills help aerospace engineers identify flawed or mediocre design elements and formulate alternative solutions.
  • Mathematics – Calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced mathematics principles help aerospace engineers assess, develop, and troubleshoot projects.
  • Critical thinking – These skills help aerospace engineers translate a brief or set of requirements into a tangible aerospace solution and determine why failed projects do not work.
  • Problem-solving skills – When aerospace engineers must reduce fuel consumption, improve safety credentials, and reduce production costs, these skills help them meet the demands.
  • Attention to detail – This helps aerospace engineers spot design flaws and complete work to the highest standard.
  • Written and oral communication skills – Aerospace engineers draw on these skills when collaborating with others and compiling project reports and documentation.
  • Organization and time management – Aerospace engineers rely on these skills to work productively and meet deadlines.
  • Leadership – Some aerospace engineers work in a supervisory role and rely on leadership skills to motivate and effectively manage their teams.
  • Flexibility – Aerospace engineers often need to cope with new demands and new problems as they present themselves.
  • Passion – A love of aircraft, aviation, and flight technology will help aerospace engineers excel.
  • Good character – This is necessary to receive the security clearance required to work on national defense projects.

Salary Expectations

How much do aerospace engineers make? According to PayScale, entry-level aerospace engineers make an average of $71K a year, well above the average for entry-level jobs around the nation. In fact, aerospace product and parts manufacturing are one of the highest-paying industries. Salaries rise sharply as aerospace engineers gain more experience. While the average national salary stands at around $78,500, the typical salary for aerospace engineers with 20 or more years of experience is $128K.

Projected Growth

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that aerospace engineer positions will fall by 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, amounting to a loss of 1,600 engineers within the nation during this period. The Bureau suggests there will be sustained demand in the field of aerospace research and development though, as aerospace firms look to reduce noise pollution and make their crafts more fuel efficient.

Career Trajectory

Entry-level aerospace engineers may progress to supervisory roles after earning their Professional Engineering license. While these roles are still technically aerospace engineering positions, these professionals may also be known as aviation and aerospace project engineers. As aerospace engineering is a challenging career, many people are happy to continue this work until they retire.

However, aerospace engineers eying career advancement may move into a design engineering manager role. This can result in a significant pay increase, with average salaries sitting at around $102K per year, according to PayScale.

Working as an aerospace engineer is rewarding for anyone passionate about aerospace, national defense, and cutting-edge technology. Start the search for your ideal aerospace engineer job today.

Source: CareerBuilder

Early Bird Gets the Worm

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early to work employee is smiling and conversing with other employees

Sunday nights can be scary before the work week begins, but Monday and Tuesday, especially in the morning, are when employees are most productive, suggests new research from staffing firm Accountemps. More than half of workers surveyed said their productivity peaks at the beginning of the week, with Monday (29 percent) edging out Tuesday (27 percent) by two points. After Hump Day (20 percent), worker productivity dips: 13 percent of employees do their best work on Thursdays, followed by 11 percent on Fridays.

Many professionals said they accomplish more work at the start of the day: 44 percent are most productive in the early morning and 31 percent in late morning, compared to 2 percent, who like to burn the midnight oil. It’s probably best to avoid scheduling meetings at noon: only 2 percent of workers surveyed said they get the most work done at lunchtime.

For peak productivity, where is as important as when to work, but employees are divided:

  • Those ages 55 and older have the strongest preference for working in an office, with nearly half (45 percent) reporting they work best in a private office with a closed door, according to the survey.
  • Meanwhile, working in an open office (38 percent) was the top response among 18- to 34-year-olds.
  • Telecommuting was a close second choice for younger workers, at 36 percent, compared to 26 percent of professionals ages 35-54 and 17 percent of employees 55 and up.

Employees were also asked about the single biggest distraction that impacts their productivity during the workday. Coworkers who are too chatty and social topped the list (32 percent), followed by office noise (22 percent), unnecessary conference calls and meetings (20 percent), cell phone use (15 percent), and unnecessary emails (11 percent).

Steinitz added that workers should hold themselves accountable for their own productivity and offered suggestions for minimizing disruptions: “Employees should focus on important assignments when they’re most alert and energized, and if necessary, consider posting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign at their desk or switching team chat status to ‘Busy.’ Finding ways to shut out distractions can help maximize productivity, no matter the day, time or place.”

Additional Findings

The survey revealed the following differences by market:

  • While workers, on average, ranked Monday as their most productive workday, Tuesday came in first across 13 markets and tied for the top spot in Denver and Houston.
  • Nashvillians are the most likely to have productive Fridays, at 21 percent.
  • In Miami (35 percent) and Chicago (26 percent), office noise is the top productivity disruptor.
  • Workers in San Francisco are almost equally distracted by their cell phones (25 percent) as they are by chatty colleagues (26 percent).
  • Los Angeles professionals report a near-even split for preferred workspaces: 24 percent for open office, 31 percent for private office, 22 percent for working from home and 22 percent for working from an offsite location.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in the United States.

Productivity at work can hinge on what you do off the job. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and get adequate sleep. Being out of balance in any of those three areas can throw off your ability to concentrate.

Boost Your Career Through Confidence

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young woman with confidence seated at desk with a keyboard and mouse in the background

By Dr. Travis Bradberry

True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. One thing is certain: truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because they inspire others and they make things happen.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed is seen in the results of a recent study at the University of Melbourne that showed that confident people earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than anyone else. Indeed, confident people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves.

We see only their outside. We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things. And, yet, we’re missing the best part. We don’t see the habits they develop to become so confident. It’s a labor of love that they pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of truly confident people remain constant. Their focused pursuit is driven by these habits that you can emulate and absorb:

They speak with certainty.
It’s rare to hear the truly confident utter phrases such as, “Um,” “I’m not sure” and “I think.” Confident people speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

They seek out small victories.
Confident people like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

They exercise.
A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

They don’t seek attention.
People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Confident people always seem to bring the right attitude. Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

They don’t pass judgment.
Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

They get their happiness from within.
Happiness is a critical element of confidence, because to be confident in what you do, you have to be happy with who you are. People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments, as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments.

They listen more than they speak.
People with confidence listen more than they speak because they don’t feel as though they have anything to prove. Confident people know that by actively listening and paying attention to others, they are much more likely to learn and grow. Instead of seeing interactions as opportunities to prove themselves to others, they focus on the interaction itself, because they know that this is a far more enjoyable and productive approach to people.

They take risks.
When confident people see an opportunity, they take it. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, they ask themselves, “What’s stopping me? Why can’t I do that?” and they go for it. Fear doesn’t hold them back because they know that if they never try, they will never succeed.

They aren’t afraid to be wrong.
Confident people aren’t afraid to be proven wrong. They like putting their opinions out there to see if they hold up because they learn a lot from the times they are wrong and other people learn from them when they’re right. Self-assured people know what they are capable of and don’t treat being wrong as a personal slight.

They celebrate other people’s successes.
Insecure people constantly doubt their relevance, and because of this, they try to steal the spotlight and criticize others to prove their worth. Confident people, on the other hand, aren’t worried about their relevance because they draw their self-worth from within. Instead of insecurely focusing inward, confident people focus outward, which allows them to see all the wonderful things that other people bring to the table. Praising people for their contributions is a natural result of this.

Building confidence is a journey, not a destination. To become more confident, you must be passionate in your pursuit of a greater future.