Posts Tagged ‘business’

Dead-End Degrees

If you want a good shot at a job after graduation, don’t follow these degree paths.

Dead ends suck. They usually result in a lot of frustration, extra time, and back-tracking to get on the proper path. Education can be like that. Choose the wrong degree and finding a job after employment can seem more difficult than navigating the streets of a foreign city without a map.

This is especially true if you’re an “older” student (25 and up) who’s going back to school to improve or change your career. Sure, your heart may be saying, “Finish that 19th century literature degree,” but your head – and a lot of research – is saying, “Find a practical degree that will pay the mortgage.”

With that in mind, we checked out a 2012 study on the unemployment rates for recent (ages 22 to 26) college graduates in various majors by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. The report is appropriately named “Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal.”

The report offers many encouraging words for prospective students: “A bachelor’s degree is one of the best weapons a job seeker can wield in the fight for employment and earnings.”

Sounds great, but a little further comes the real kernel of wisdom: “The risk of unemployment among recent college graduates depends on their major.” In other words, not all educational streets lead to Employment City. And yes, that’s their bolding, not ours.

So if you’re thinking of going back to school but are unsure about what to study, read on for some degrees that are a dark alley to nowhere and a few more that look like a well-lighted expressway to the career world.

Dead-End Degree #1: Architecture

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 13.9 percent

Here’s a degree that probably was the equivalent of a superhighway – right up until the entire housing and commercial real estate markets crashed.

In fact, the Hard Times report blames the high unemployment rate of architecture degree holders squarely on the recession: “Unemployment rates for recent college graduates who majored in architecture start high at 13.9 percent and, due to its strong alignment with the collapse in construction and housing, unemployment remains high even for experienced college graduates at 9.2 percent.”

Let’s hope that turns around soon. Until then, architecture grads may not be seeing a lot of their dreams become reality.

Of course, if you’re set on pursuing that dream, a few typical courses offered in an architecture program are architectural design, building methods and materials, architectural history, and structural design, according to the College Board, a nonprofit research organization that promotes higher education.

Expressway Degree #1: Engineering

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 7.5 percent

If you’re the type who loves to figure out how things work or devise ways to make them work better, engineering could be a good direction.

The Hard Times report found that not only did engineering grads have a good shot at employment, but “[e]ngineering majors lead both in earnings for recent and experienced college graduates followed by computer and mathematics majors, and business majors.”

Curious how experienced engineering grads fare with jobs? The report found an unemployment rate of just 4.9 percent. Not bad.

Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.

Before you rush into engineering classes, know that there are many different areas of engineering. Civil engineering programs, as one example, offer courses like engineering economics, strength of materials, dynamics, and fluid mechanics, says the College Board.

Dead-End Degree #2: Fine Arts

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 12.6 percent

No one expects you to be dining out regularly on filet mignon right after graduation, but this major’s high unemployment rate suggests that you may not be dining out at all.

In fact, the Hard Times study found that unemployment rates are generally higher in non-technical majors, such as the arts, humanities and liberal arts, and social sciences. It should be noted that fine arts majors with experience or a graduate degree in the subject did better, both with an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.

Expressway Degree #2: Elementary Education

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 4.8 percent

If you want to help mentor the next generation, and enjoy being around kids, a bachelor’s in elementary education could be the first step toward a smart career choice.

According to the Hard Times report, education majors had a low unemployment rate because the degree was tied to a stable or growing industry sector.

The U.S. Department of Labor also has some ideas as to why the field might be growing: “A significant number of older teachers is expected to reach retirement age from 2010 to 2020. Their retirement will create job openings for new teachers.” Just keep in mind that, per the Department of Labor,  this growth will vary by region, as some areas of the country have a surplus of teachers.

Click to Find the Right Education Program.

If this route sounds good to you, here’s what the College Board says your class list might look like in a general education program: educational psychology, instructional technology, teaching methods, and philosophy of education.

Dead-End Degree #3: Information Systems

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 11.7 percent

This major was the anomaly among the computers and mathematics field, being the only one in double digits. Why? The report didn’t say.

But the report did offer these hopeful words: “Computer majors are likely to bounce back strongly as the recovery proceeds. For example, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates who major in information systems is a hefty 11.7 percent, but only 5.4 percent for experienced workers who major in information systems.”

Here’s an assortment of classes the College Board says you might take for a management information systems major: database design, ecommerce, managing information systems, systems analysis and design.

Expressway Degree #3: Computer Science

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 7.8 percent

In this tech-crazed world there’s a lot for employers to like right in the title of this bachelor’s degree.

Maybe that’s why the Hard Times report found a pretty low unemployment rate for these grads. How low? How does 7.8 percent sound for odds?

Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.

If those numbers compute for you, here’s a printout of some typical classes the College Board lists for this major: artificial intelligence, digital system design, software engineering, or computer system organization.

Dead-End Degree #4: Anthropology and Archaeology

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 10.5 percent

Important? Yes. Interesting? Definitely. Practical? Um, two out of three ain’t bad?

The relatively high unemployment rate for this major definitely caught our eye. At a 10.5 percent unemployment rate, the job prospects for recent anthropology and archeology grads just don’t look that good. The one silver lining is that graduate degree holders in this field experience a much less daunting unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, according to the report.

Still, if you must go down this dirt road, here’s the lineup of possible classes for anthropology majors, according to the College Board: forensic anthropology, human origins and evolution, language and culture, and primate behavior.

Expressway Degree #4: Nursing

Recent College Graduate Unemployment Rate: 4.0 percent

We have a winner, folks. At least, according to the Hard Times study, which found the group with the lowest unemployment rate among recent college graduates to be those holding a bachelor’s in nursing.

And assuming that most nursing students who are employed are indeed nurses, this makes sense. Consider the fact that registered nurses also top the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of “Occupations with the largest numeric growth,” with 711,900 jobs projected to be added between 2010 and 2020. All that and you get to help people, too.

Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.

Study this degree and the College Board says typical coursework could include anatomy and physiology, adult nursing, health assessment, nutrition, or pharmacology.


The nation’s top business and labor groups have reached an agreement on a guest worker program for low-skilled immigrants, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Saturday. The deal clears the path for broad immigration legislation to be introduced when Congress returns from its two-week recess in mid-April.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., one of eight senators from both parties who have been negotiating an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, convened a conference call Friday night with Thomas J. Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Richard L. Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s main federation of labor unions, in which they agreed in principle on a guest worker program for low-skilled, year-round temporary workers.

Pay for guest workers was one of the final sticking points on a broad immigration deal, and one that had stalled the Senate negotiations just before the break.

The eight Senate negotiators still need to formally sign off on the deal between the business and labor groups, but they are expected to do so by the end of the weekend, the person with knowledge of the talks said.

MIAMI – President Obama plans to visit a tunnel project at the Port of Miami on Friday to promote a series of proposals that White House officials think could appeal to Republicans.

President Obama Holds Meeting With The Sultan of Brunei

Among them: $4 billion to invest in rebuilding roads and bridges that businesses depend on. Seed money to encourage companies to invest in ports and other points of commerce. Even tax cuts designed to attract investors – at home and abroad – to such projects.

“There is no reason this should be  a Democratic tunnel or a Republican tunnel,” Josh Earnest, White House principal deputy press secretary, said aboard Air Force One. “These are projects that are helpful to the economy and shouldn’t break down on partisan lines.”

Yet Republicans welcomed Obama to Miami with an attack on his economic philosophy and lampooned his proposals.

Writing in the Miami Herald, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) said Obama needs to listen to people in Florida “to get a true sense of the effect more tax increases and spending hikes will have on our nation’s middle class.”

He wrote, “He would learn that many aspects of policies like Obamacare have ended up hurting many middle-class families instead of helping them. He would find that the expanding role of our government has created uncertainty by establishing rules that many small businesses can’t afford to follow.”

And Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said, “Have they said yet how they’re going to pay for all of this? That matters, of course. Last time, I think he wanted to tax the same people that were supposed to create the jobs.”

The White House says the proposals won’t add a dime to the deficit, meaning they will have to be offset by either spending cuts or tax increases. The details are expected on April 10, when the president will release his fiscal 2014 budget. Obama also has a much larger infrastructure plan on the table: a $40 billion  “Fix it First” plan to spur the hiring of construction workers and the building of roads and bridges across the country.

A complicating factor is sequestration – the deep spending cuts now spreading through the federal government. Rather than invest in infrastructure, the cuts are reducing investment. Aboard Air Force One, Alan Kruger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, warned that the country had spent less on infrastructure compared to global competitors.

But not all hope for bipartisan compromise is loss. Last month, after the unveiling of the “Fix it First” plan, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) agreed that the nation needs to spend more in this area.

“The president talked about infrastructure, but he didn’t talk about how to pay for it,” he said. “And it’s easy to go out there and be Santa Claus and talk about all the things you want to give away, but at some point somebody has to pay the bill.”

He added, “I’m committed to working to find a funding source so that we can begin to repair America’s aging infrastructure.”

The president’s proposal on Friday has several parts. It would spend $4 billion on local and state projects. It would invest $10 billion in an “infrastructure bank” that would then make loans to private companies looking to invest in building projects. It would finance new tax-free bonds that make it easier for states and localities to raise money and offer other tax subsidies totaling $7 billion.


Collected from-

Anger as Amazon introduces punishing fee hikes for the third-party traders who generate millions for the online giant
  • Small traders selling DVDs and tyres through Amazon among those affected
  • UK sellers offering electronic accessories will see fees rise from 7% to 12%
  • Hikes imposed amid concern over growing dominance of internet giant
  • Two million third-party traders across the globe use Amazon
  • Pre-Christmas 2012 two in five items bought on site were sold by third party

Small traders who sell their products through Amazon are facing potentially crippling fee hikes set to be imposed by the internet giant.

Third-party traders selling items like electronic accessories, automotive parts and tyres through the website will see fees soar – rising as high as 15% in some cases.

Sellers who use the world’s biggest online retailer to reach customers – and collectively generate huge amounts of business for Amazon – have reacted with dismay to the increases, with some traders suggesting the added financial burden could see their businesses fold completely.

Dominance: The world's biggest internet retailer is imposing punishing fee increases on small traders who sell their goods through the websiteDominance: The world’s biggest internet retailer is imposing punishing fee increases on small traders who sell their goods through the website

‘We don’t know if this will push us under,’ one anonymous UK trader has said of the hikes.

Vendor fees on electronic goods such as headphones and memory cards will go up from seven per cent to 12 per cent for the busiest UK-based traders from 4 April, according to a report in the Guardian.

Amazon is introducing fee increases for third-party vendors

Fees for UK traders using Amazon to sell automotive parts will go up from 12 per cent to 15 per cent.

For German sellers offering tyres through the site, fees will rise from seven per cent to 10 per cent after the Easter weekend, while seller fees for French traders offering DVDs, music and video games on Amazon will go up from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

Small traders in the UK using the site to sell automotive parts will see fees go from 12 per cent to 15 per cent.

Traders have reacted with fury to the hikes, becoming the latest group to rail against the seemingly unstoppable rise of the online giant, which has already been accused of placing the future of the high street book shop in jeopardy. As independent bookshops continue to close at an alarming rate, Amazon credited e-book sales for Christmas sales of £13.5billion in 2012.

At the end of 2012 the ‘tax scrimping’ retailer was branded ‘immoral’ after it emerged its UK arm had recorded a pre-tax profit of £74million the previous year – but paid just £1.8million in tax.

Third-party traders play a significant role in the online business, with two million globally selling through Amazon. In the pre-Christmas period in 2012, two in five items bought on Amazon were sold by third-party traders.

Growing: Traders are the latest group to express concern at the seemingly unstoppable rise of the online giant, which has already been accused of jeopardising the future of the high street book shopGrowing: Traders are the latest group to express concern at the seemingly unstoppable rise of the online giant, which has already been accused of jeopardising the future of the high street book shop

Another British trader – who generates in excess of £1million in sales through Amazon – said the increases had prompted him to switch his attention to eBay, which he said offered a less costly means of doing business.

The seller said eBay also passed on payments to traders quickly, while Amazon holds on to payments for two to three weeks.

‘It’s a huge strain on a small business not being able to access cash we’re owed from Amazon. And they’re making an absolute fortune in interest.’

The traders who spoke out against Amazon did so on condition of anonymity amid concern over how the retailer would respond.

Similar increases came into effect in the U.S. in January.

Amazon has not commented on the reaction to the fee increases.


In less than 20 years Amazon has gone from an online bookstore run from founder Jeff Bezos’s garage, to the world’s biggest online retailer.

One of the first big firms to start selling goods over the internet, Amazon rapidly diversified adding DVDs, CDs and video games to its online offering, along with clothes, furniture and toys.

Today the Seattle-based firm generates billions in profits and has separate websites in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan and China.

The popularity of ebooks is key to the success of the online giant, and Amazon reported record revenues at the start of the year in a clear indication of the continued mass migration of shoppers from the high street to the web.

It racked up sales of £13.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from £10bn in the same period of the previous year. Kindle e-book sales -up a whopping 70 per cent – were credited for the surge in profits.

Overall sales were up by 22 per cent, driven by the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet.