Category Archives: Job and Career News

Get a Job, or a Tuition Refund…Really!

tuition refund

Can you imagine any college or university making the outrageous claim of guaranteeing you a job or your tuition is completely refunded? Never happen.

But now online education startup Udacity is offering a variety of online software development courses for smartphone apps that at the end of 9 months with an investment of $299 and 10 hours of study a week AND a guarantee that students will get a job within 6 months or their money back. Students also get access to a “career concierge” to help them apply for technology jobs.

I’m skeptical that such an ambitious experiment will prove profitable for Udacity for a couple of reasons. First of all, MIT created a tool called App Inventor a few years ago that allows a user to createAndroid apps via a web browser: no coding required.  There are other no-coding options as well that don’t require the 9 months, 10 hours a week, and $299, such as Appyet and Apps Machine.

Second, if you want to try your hand at being an independent apps programmer, you don’t need a degree or certification – or have to dazzle hiring managers with your stellar personality.

Third, I still think there are variables beyond Udacity’s control and your own to make this guarantee rock solid without some type of fine print.

If you want to publish your app on any appstore/market you’ll also have to obtain developer licenses for Android($23), IOS($99), Windows Phone($99), Bada(free).

You can read more about Udacity’s plan at Wired.com.

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Want to receive a free copy of my Career Strategy Tip Sheets? You get 5 bundled tip sheets (PDF) for career strategy, cover letters, résumés, job interview, and salary negotiation. Just let me know your thoughts on this or any blog post–or let me know of a career topic you’d like me to discuss from the hiring manager’s perspective.

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Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies:  Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers). He leads career strategy seminars at conferences, business/trade schools, colleges and universities, and U.S. military veterans organizations.

Does your conference need a keynote speaker or a career strategies seminar for conference attendees? Donn’s 2016-2017 engagement calendar is starting to fill up…contact him directly at donnlevie@austin.rr.com.

Don’t miss out on Donn’s blog posts…follow him now on Twitter @donnlevie.

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Looking for a Job? Why You Need to Come to Austin, TX

Austin_MuralI moved to Austin from Houston back in 1988 when the Texas capital city was still more of a sleepy college town with high-tech companies moving in quickly. And since then, I’ve been associated with technology companies in different capacities for truly rewarding opportunities.

A new study (“2016’s Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job” at www.wallethub.com) places Austin in the top 3 cities for looking for a new job. The same website ranked Austin at the No. 3 spot in its 2015 study of “The Best and Worst Cities to Start a Career.”

When considering other cities for job opportunities, look at key indicators such as business expansion and job growth. These would include total office spaced leased in relation to supply (Austin ranked 2nd in the country) and total new square footage of office space (Austin ranked 3rd in the country). Professional and business services have seen the largest job increase for the Texas economy followed by lesisure and hospitality.

The Austin economy isn’t as dependent on the oil economy like Houston or banking/commerce-heavy Dallas.  Tech is still the strongest employer in Austin (lots of financing options for startups) along with traditionally stable areas of government and education.

The Austin downtown skyline has changed quite a lot…the construction crame being the state bird. And traffic is, well, ….that’s for another post.

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Want to receive a free copy of my Career Strategy Tip Sheets? You get 5 bundled tip sheets (PDF) for career strategy, cover letters, résumés, job interview, and salary negotiation. Just let me know your thoughts on this or any blog post–or let me know of a career topic you’d like me to discuss from the hiring manager’s perspective.

ALL TIP SHEET COVERS TOGETHER







Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies:  Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers). He leads career strategy seminars at conferences, business/trade schools, colleges and universities, and U.S. Military Veterans organizations.

Does your conference need a keynote speaker or a career strategies seminar for conference attendees? Donn’s 2016 engagement calendar is starting to fill up…contact him directly at donnlevie@austin.rr.com.

Don’t miss out on Donn’s blog posts…follow him now on Twitter @donnlevie.

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One Item on your Résumé that Cuts Your Job Prospects by Nearly 25% (and other job news)

I’m always cautioning candidates to mention only those things on a résumé that highlight their complete and total brand as a professional. Leave the personal stuff, the hobbies, the social causes, the kids, etc. to the coffee pot conversations after you’re hired because some information can be detrimental to your career or job aspirations no matter how socially conscious you think they may be.

A study from the Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work found that job candidates who listed LGBT-related interests, such as gay rights activism, on their résumés were 23 percent less likely to get a callback from potential employers than their non-LGBT counterparts, even when the LGBT applicants had a better skill set. (Jezebal.com)
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While 58 percent of employers offer pay for maternity leave, one in four mothers who work during pregnancy either quit their jobs or are let go soon after a new child arrives. (Los Angeles Times)

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In its annual time use survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that on average Americans spend 8.74 hours per day sleeping, 5.26 hours per day engaging in leisure activities, and just 3.46 hours per day doing “work and work-related activities.” (USAToday.com)

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In a recent Gallup poll, more than half of Americans said the economy, particularly unemployment, is the country’s top challenge today. (Forbes.com)

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The price of a college education keeps climbing, but it still may be worth the cost for most people. According to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the average U.S. college graduate can expect to earn some $800,000 more over a lifetime than the average high school graduate. (Slate.com)

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In 2013, Americans with four-year college degrees earned 98 percent more per hour than workers without degrees. That figure has been climbing sharply since the 1980s, when college graduates earned an average of 64 percent more per hour than non-college workers. (The New York Times)

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According to numbers released by Uber, full-time drivers of the smartphone-summoned UberX taxis in New York City earn a median annual income of $90,766. That’s three times the estimated yearly wage of a traditional cabbie. (WashingtonPost.com)

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Job and Career News

Almost half of small business owners surveyed said they don’t support raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, while 44 percent said they endorse the idea. More than a quarter said hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 would force them to cut back on employees or hours, but 95 percent agreed that the current rate is not a living wage (CNN.com)

Nearly three-fourths of job seekers say they would relocate for new work, according to data from Monster.com. But managers are still less likely to hire out-of-towners whom they’ve never met in person. (CSMonitor.com)

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students who worked as unpaid interns last year received full-time job offers at almost the same rate as those who had no internships at all–about 37 percent, compared with 62 percent for students with paid internships. (The Wall Street Journal)

When adjusted for inflation, the average graduate student’s debt load rose 43 percent between 2004 and 2012 to a median of $57,600. Debt for students pursuing advanced degrees in the humanities and social sciences grew more sharply compared with professional degrees–in, say, business or medicine–which also yield greater long-term returns. (The Wall Street Journal)

U.S. employers are giving workers more flexibility, with two thirds now allowing staffers to occasionally work from home, up from 50 percent in 2008 and 38 percent allowing employees to work from home regularly, up from 23 percent just six years ago. (WSJ.com)

According to a new Gallup poll, workers who remain unemployed for a year or longer suffer from higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and excessive cholesterol. While workers who have been unemployed for two weeks or less have an obesity rate around 23 percent, some 33 percent of long-term unemployed people are considered obese. (MarketWatch.com)

Job and Career News of Note

Your High School GPA May be an Indicator of Earnings Potential

Your high school GPA is strongly correlated with how much you’ll earn as a worker, a new study found. For a one-point increase in a person’s high school GPA, average annual earnings in adulthood increased by about 12 percent for men and about 14 percent for women. Men who were born between 1960 and 1964 and graduated from college earned a median of $802,000 in cumulative earnings by the time they were in their mid 40s. Meanwhile, median earnings for high school graduates fell from $435,000 to $243,000 over that same time period.  (WashingtonPost.com)

Best Apps for Job Hunting

Jobr: is trying to be the Tinder for job hunting. Fill out a résumé and job openings that match your profile will pop up one by one. You swipe to the right to register interest, and if the hiring party likes you too, Jobr sets up a phone chat (Free, iOS only).

Job Interview Q&A: offers just what the name says. It poses common interview questions to which you respond. It also explains in each case what managers are hoping to learn (Free, Android only).

Job Compass: lists jobs by ZIP code and covers dozens of countries–in case your up for a big change (Free, iOS only).

Job Search: from JobandTalent, improves on the average job-search engine with a beautifully designed interface that helps you sort through and stay up on the openings that interest you. (Free, Android or iOS)

Best Companies to Work For

When it comes to attracting workers, tech companies are tops. A new report from Glassdoor used employee feedback to rank the top 25 employers, with firms like Google, Facebook, and Adobe leading the way thanks to pay and perks (FastCompany.com).

Why College Degrees Are Losing Value

Congratulations, graduates–your diploma may be worthless, said Richard K. Vedder in BloombergView.com. “American institutions will confer about 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees this year,” and while many of those grads will land solid, well-paying jobs, many more “face an uncertain future.”  In fact, “many will end up taking jobs historically done by those with high school diplomas or even less.” Surely, the financial crisis, enduring recession, and sluggish recovery are partly to blame. But there is a longer-term problem at work: “There are simply more college graduates than jobs requiring college degrees.” And it’s getting worse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a gain of more than 15 million jobs by 2022, but less than a third of them will require a college education. Of course, “as word spreads that college degrees do not guarantee vocational success,” many students may choose to skip college–and student debt–altogether. But “solving the problem will be very difficult so long as politicians find it expedient to dole out aid and cheap loans” to students who won’t benefit from college at all. The bottom line is that unless we overhaul how we finance higher education, we will continue to have “a lot of graduates with low paying jobs, big debts, and unfulfilled expectations.”

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