Improving Your Job Search

Whether you have just enrolled in community college or you’re ready to graduate and enter the job market, our articles can help improve your opportunities of landing the perfect job. Internships and apprenticeships offer lots of benefits, find out how participation in these programs can move your resume to the top of the pile. Analyze employment data for community college graduates and determine who is getting hired. Get valuable tips on polishing your candidacy and making the most of job fairs.
View the most popular articles in Improving Your Job Search:
Historically, a four-year degree was the recommendation for those who wanted to find gainful employment directly after graduation. However, that tide appears to be changing, as more employers are looking to community colleges to provide the qualified workforce they require. With less time to earn a degree and less debt once the college experience is over, many students have been turning to community college as a means of gaining a higher education that leads to a lucrative career. Now, statistics from the Labor Department appear to support that choice, showing that jobs after graduation from community college also appear to be on the rise.
 
What the Numbers Show
 
According to USA Today, the latest numbers from the Labor Department show a rise in employment for those with an associate degree – up 578,000 over the past six months. This brings the grand total of employed Americans with an associate degree to around 35.2 million. During the same time period, employment growth for those with a bachelor degree increased 314,000, bringing the grand total of employed Americans with a four-year degree to 46.5 million. Although more four-year graduates are still found in the workforce, the significant increase in workers with an associate degree suggests a distinct trend toward a two-year degree to increase competitiveness in today’s workforce.
 
These numbers are particularly interesting in light of the recent recession, which saw employment for those with a high school diploma plummet, while workers with a minimum of a four-year degree remained . . . read more

Once thought of as traditional and old-fashioned, dress codes and school uniforms have become a center of focus for many schools once again. Some school administrators assert that maintaining a standard of dress is essential to level the playing field for students of all income levels and backgrounds, as well as to promote a clean, safe campus. The movement to stricter dress codes is no longer stopping at the secondary level. Today, some community colleges are even hopping aboard the dress code bandwagon too!  

Why Enforce Dress Codes?
 
The Clearinghouse on Educational Policy and Management from the University of Oregon states that the implementation of dress codes or school uniforms has been linked to a variety of benefits, including:
 
       ·        Safer schools overall
 
       ·        Enhanced learning environment
 
       ·        Higher student self esteem
 
       ·        Less pressure on parents

A strict dress code has been found to minimize violence in schools, particularly when it comes to gang-style clothing.  In addition, by eliminating expensive trendy clothing, the number of students robbed of shoes, hats, and jackets can be reduced.  Of course, when students feel safer on their school campus, learning is also enhanced.
 
Community College Dress Codes
 
In addition to many of the benefits listed above, community college students who must adhere to a relatively strict dress code receive training in how to dress for the professional world and beyond. Many community college administrators take their job of vocational training very seriously, and they believe appearance is an important component in that training if their graduates are . . . read more

Many who have found themselves out of work thanks to the recent recession have headed back to school for retraining in a more lucrative profession – or so they thought. It turns out that many of those so-called hot industries highly touted during the slowdown are only lukewarm at best for many of the college grads trying to hunt down the openings.

We have the report on the real state of the job market, as well as some tips that could put you at the forefront during your own job search.
 
The Hot Market Illusion
 
Check out any news publication today, and you will find at least one article about the hottest markets that are currently hiring. Case in point: A piece on the New Year's Day edition of Good Morning America this year listed four hot markets for college graduates to consider. The industries included health care, law enforcement, business services and sales.
 
A recent article on CareerBuilder.com lists companies that will be hiring college graduates this summer. Some of those companies do fall into the industries listed by Good Morning America earlier this year. However, finding a company or industry that is hiring, and landing a good job right out of college are too different things, thanks to the many complexities of a dragging economy that hasn't pulled itself out of the unemployment slump just yet.
 
Factors Affecting Hiring
 
The truth is that it is simply hard to predict where the jobs will arise because there are many factors . . . read more

Students all understand the benefits of internships, but have you explored the advantages of an apprenticeship?

In today’s competitive job market, apprenticeships are becoming more popular than ever. For example, at Guam Community College, the number of participants in their apprenticeship program has currently reached a historical high. 
 
Similar to internships, apprenticeships provide excellent opportunities for students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining hands-on experience, mentorship, and real-life guidance. Most apprenticeships focus on vocational trades and crafts, and they provide an excellent way to strengthen your resume and skills before you enter into the workforce.  
 
Apprenticeship Opportunities
 
Apprenticeships are generally reserved for skill-based careers and services, and community college students pursuing studies in the following categories may benefit most from apprenticeship experiences:
 
       ·        Boilermakers
 
       ·        Bricklayer masons
 
       ·        Building maintenance personnel
 
       ·        Carpenters
 
       ·        Drywall hangers
 
       ·        Ceramic tile setters
 
       ·        Cement finishers
 
       ·        HVAC technicians
 
       ·        Maintenance electricians
 
       ·        Fire sprinkler installers
 
       ·        Elevator constructors
 
       ·        Floor layers
 
       ·        Manufacturing plant electricians
 
       ·        Insulators
 
       ·        Ironworkers
 
       ·        Plumbers
 
       ·        Painters
 
       ·        Roofers
 
       ·        Sheet metal workers
 
       ·        Sheet metal workers
 
       ·        Telecommunication technicians  

Offering apprenticeship opportunities in all of the aforementioned categories are schools such as Lane Community College, located in Eugene Oregon, wherein students are encouraged to “Learn the aspects of a highly skilled occupation through on-the-job training and related instruction.” Better yet, students can simultaneously earn an income during their apprenticeship. 
 
Additionally, with apprenticeship experiences, students can effectively apply information learned in the classroom to experiences in the “real world.” From an employer’s perspective, apprenticeships help the student bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. 
 
Indeed, there are many benefits associated with . . . read more

With the scandals of Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom in the not-too-distant past, today's corporate world demands a mixture of business acumen and ethics. To combat corruption, many employers are specifically looking to hire candidates that have business ethics qualifications. If you are looking for ways to enhance your resume and candidacy, consider enrolling in an ethics business class at your community college.
 
What are Ethics Business Courses?
 
Courses in business ethics are relatively new options, but they are certainly growing in relevance. As the Business Network explains, "Business ethics consists of a set of moral principles and values that govern the behavior of the organization with respect to what is right and what is wrong."
 
Specifically, business ethics courses outline the moral philosophies and obligations of any company. Business ethics classes often explore topics such as:
  • Evaluation of prohibited actions in the workplace
  • Legal frameworks on which an organization may be governed
  • Evaluation of the most common pillars of ethics. For example, evaluation of ethical philosophies such as deontologism, relativism, egoism, and utilitarianism (although these pillars of focus may vary for each course)
  • Examination of ethical violations in various business organizations (often based on hypothetical cases, historical occurrences, etc.)
Benefits of a Ethics Business Course
 
While many community colleges offer business ethics courses, North Seattle Community College (NSCC), located in Washington, has been pioneering its curriculum with practical, hands-on applications of business ethics.
 
NSCC has developed an innovative ethics course that is designed to "Explore the fundamental questions of ethical and moral behavior . . . read more
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IMPROVING YOUR JOB SEARCH