General Outlook for NursesThe outlook for individuals considering entering the nursing field is excellent. Registered nurses, or RN's, make up the largest number of health care workers in the country. In addition, registered nurses will make up one of the fasted growing population of workers in all occupations over the next ten years.Many registered nurses begin their career in the hospital setting. This allows the nurse to become familiar with various branches of medicine. While there is a demand for hospital nurses, this area of nursing will remain relatively level over the next ten years.Many healthcare experts predict a surge in demand for registered nurses in the home health care setting. As Americans live longer, have more disposable income, and desire to remain home, nurses that can oversee care and treatment in the home setting will become increasingly valuable.Another area of nursing that will see a surge in growth is with nurses who continue their education with Master's level work. With the rising cost of healthcare many families are using nurse practitioners and nurse midwives as a replacement for their primary care physician.Hospitals, also, are realizing the cost saving benefit of highly trained nurses, and many employ nurse anesthetists, clinical nursing specialists, and nurse practitioners to keep their costs under control.Not a Registered Nurse?Job prospects for licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, while positive, are not as strong as those of registered nurses. Licensed practical nurses will continue to be in demand, particular in hospital and long term care facilities.Many licensed practical nurses continue their schooling to become RNs while employed. The responsibilities of an RN are greater, but they also include more opportunities. RNs typically supervise LPN in a clinical setting, and the greater skill level allows the RN more job options.RN or BSN?The schooling necessary to become a registered nurse can be completed in anywhere from two to four years. The coursework is very intensive and involves many clinical hours. A program completed in less that four years, however, will leave you with an RN, not a BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. An RN is fully qualified to do all the duties required of a registered nurse, depending on the state. Obviously, the addition of a bachelor degree has many benefits.An RN with a bachelor's degree in nursing is at an advantage when administrative positions open up in a hospital or clinical setting. In fact, due to the degree of federal and state oversight on healthcare facilities, many require a BSN for administrative, case management, and supervisory positions.If you are considering working on your Master's degree, either as a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or to teach, you are required to have a bachelor's degree. While not all programs will mandate that your bachelor's must be in nursing, it is certainly helpful.Considering a Career Switch?Nursing is an excellent opportunity for individuals looking to move into a different career. With the high demand for nurses, many potential employees, particularly hospitals, will pay for most or all of your schooling. Even if you must foot the bills for your education initially, signing bonuses, combined with the near guarantee of a job upon graduation, takes much of the risk out of a career switch.Another attractive fact concerning the nursing profession is the attractive tuition reimbursement plans offered by many employers. These offers, combined with the flexible shift scheduling available at many hospitals and care facilities make it possible to go from a LPN, to RN, to RN with BSN and on to acquiring a master's in your desired specialty without hefty student loans or a disruption of your income.The Future of NursingClearly all nursing professions will continue to grow over the next ten years. Nursing is an excellent career choice for those who wish to make a good income, have a flexible schedule, and continue their education. While the hours can be long, and the work physical, a quality nurse should never find themselves without their choice of jobs. While long hours and the physical demands of the job may scare some people off, many others are attracted to the flexibility, the fast paced environment, and the ability to help others. For those concerned about the rigors of a nursing career, there are many positions available in private doctor's offices, public schools, and other lower stress environments. Nursing, whether in a clinical setting or administrative is a job in great demand.
So, you want to work in the IT industry? Great, good choice, salaries can become very high as you work your way up through the ranks. When you have 5 or more years in the industry you will be much sought after for your sage-like knowledge and razor-sharp skills. But, right now you need to concentrate on some of the crucial questions about which sector of the IT industry to target, what type of training to undertake, and what else you could be doing to make yourself a desirable package to a potential employer.Let's run through a few bullet points that are the main ingredients of the answer to my first question:Be honest, is IT really what you want to do, what inspires you and what you feel is your natural 'home', or is it a fad you picked up from someone else?Are you excited about the challenges of working through complex, repetitive, problems with few reference points and little support?Do you feel 'at home' sat in front of a computer using applications, or are you more comfortable connecting computers and peripherals together, and configuring operating systems and applications?Are you inspired by the thought of managing an IT project from beginning to end, documenting every stage and reviewing and reporting each twist and turn?Does the idea of working in a highly structured environment, with daily scrums and endless meetings turn you on?Do you get all shivery when you contemplate sitting for hours and hours writing JAVA, VB or C++ code?Does the idea of working for days in a freezing cold, and very noisy, server room press your buttons?Do you get all girlie when you see the latest report from Gartner and view the Magic Quadrant for the new Hypervisor system?If you said yes to all of the above, you are in urgent need of psychiatric help! No-one gets turned on by any of the above. It's just part of the everyday routine for those of us working in the different sectors of our industry. And that is the point I am making. IT is an industry, not a way of life. Make sure that you leave your rose-tinted specs at home when you start to contemplate a career in my industry. Keep them on, and you will be sorely disappointed.Working in IT is like any other job. It can be exciting and energising, but most of the time is just plain boring and tedious. Just like your current job in fact. What can make it fun for more of the time is your early choices about what you intend to do and which sector you intend to make your initial home. I say initial, as you will probably move about a bit as time passes and you find your niche and the things that appeal to you.What not to do:Don't take any notice of IT training company claims. They're in 'selling' mode guys! They want your bum on their seats. How do I know this? I ran an IT training company for four years. They will tell you how incredibly important an MCSE is, or how useful an A+ or Server+ is. Sorry people, none of this is particularly important. Any kind of certification that is relevant is useful, but only to a very minor extent. Most recruitment companies are looking for enthusiasm and passion for IT, some experience in the technologies pertinent to the vacancy, and a CV that catches their eye. Doesn't hurt to be able to put a couple of MCPs on the CV. But if the job is working with UNIX or open-source, an MCP is hardly likely to get you noticed. Not everyone uses Microsoft products, surprisingly. Most Internet network systems are Open-Source, most heavy-weight database systems are UNIX, and most video editing and desk-top publishing is done on the Macintosh and SGI systems. Microsoft Windows may dominate the desktop, but in the big wide world of IT it has only a small percentage of the back-end server-side installations, and a very small piece of the Internet market. You need to address this issue and NOT concentrate your energies only on Windows based technologies. You may be a hot number working on your PC at home, with Windows XP Pro installed, but that is not what is required in the IT industry. No-one will be looking for a PC expert with XP experience. There are millions of them, so you are not going to make a living working with PCs or Windows at that level.Don't take too seriously anyone who spouts techno-babble. They have probably just read an IT magazine, been to their favourite IT web site, or it's their first month working as a help-desk operator for a local call-centre, or treading the boards in PCWorld. The fact is they know 'squat' and that is exactly what you will learn from them. You don't need techno-babble, you need to listen to someone who can relay anecdotal experience and information to you. That's the best way to learn about the industry. You have to make the effort to find the information you need, as it is unlikely to suddenly appear.Don't bother getting a part-time job shifting boxes of computers around, or humping crates for a computer auction company, or working in a retail computer shop. You'll learn nothing and probably end up with a strained back or a headache. You have to go 'industrial strength' if you want to have a well paid IT based career. If you can get a job working as an assistant to a networks engineer, or network administrator in a company with more than 5 servers, you may learn something useful.What you can start to do:Talk to people who are actually working in the industry and have been for more than three years. Less than three years and they are still juniors themselves and will not have been around enough to have any well formulated opinions based on fact and experience. They only 'think' they know. That's not good enough for your purposes. Someone who has worked in a few different areas and has a global view of the IT industry is much more valuable as a resource.It's not always useful to talk to someone who has been in the same company for many years. They may be loyal workers, but their knowledge of the IT industry and technologies will be blinkered. In IT today you are expected to move on after two to three years. If you don't you will be out of touch with developments. Moores Law states that our industry goes through a technology change every eighteen months. My 'Law' says it's more likely to be nine months. Some Gartner and IDC analysts will tell you it's now down to six months.Read the 'serious' IT magazines, not the PC Plus, or Active PC type of 'user-end' mag'. I would advise that you subscribe to Computer Weekly. It's quite clued up and the people who write articles for that magazine, tend to be the more experienced person rather than the more excited, if you see what I mean. There are some very useful web sites that you can join as a member. IT Toolbox is very good and informative, so is TechRepublic. You have to move away from the PC world of gadgets and gizmos, and into the world of serious industrial strength technologies. IT subjects, articles, and discussions can be very 'dry'. It helps you if you make an effort to research the issues that are being discussed. Get involved, some of this stuff is really quite interesting!Get used to learning and doing in-depth research. I spend 30% of my time learning about new systems and technologies. I research them even though I may not use them. Being informed means you have something to say and you can take part in discussions with some idea of what is being discussed. Be 'wordly' about IT. You might find that there is more to IT than just machines connected with wires. IT is very, very deep and very, very wide. So, getting used to the jargon and the topics of the day are both important assets for someone wanting to be taken seriously by their industry peers.Realise that the industry is divided into sectors: Hardware, software, design, support, administration, security, storage, Internet, object orientated and service orientated architectures. There are many sub-divisions. You will have to investigate and determine which interest you enough to want to work in that sector for years. Be sure you understand how each one works and how it interrelates to others.Training:Is training useful? That is difficult to say. It would depend on what you want to do in relation to the training you are or have undertaken.I advise strongly AGAINST boot-camps. You need a very high level of knowledge to get anything useful from a 12 hour-a-day cram session. Boot-camps can be productive for people in the industry who want a quick hyperdermic-full of hot knowledge. But for the beginner, not a useful experience. Getting any kind of certification from such places is like collecting waste paper. No substance, all rubbish. You won't actually learn anything useful, you will just get crammed full of disjointed facts and figures. Making sense of them, or trying to apply them is pointless. If you get a certificate, well done. Now bin it, as you have nothing to back it up with. Any astute interviewer is going to know that within 5 minutes of technical questioning.Don't waste your time and money embarking on a long and expensive training binge. It's true, some folk become training junkies. They don't feel fulfilled unless they have signed up for another obscure course that promises a job and a certificate.If you decide to do a training course make sure that:it is relevant to your target sectorhas a practical and hands-on approachis an accredited company (accredited to whichever vendor technology you are addressing)the training company has been in business for at least three yearsyou can talk to someone who has completed a course with your chosen training companyyou can visit, look around, sit in on a class and talk to the trainer/sthe course doesn't last for more than three weeks each sessionthe course is over in less than six weeks (courses that last for 5 years are not serious)the course is not run by your local college of FE (they don't have the industry expertise)course is NOT correspondence based (these courses are useless take too long no industry expertise available support is intermittent)there is after-care and a possible job placement (make sure the job placement is relevant) the certification is internationally recognised by the IT industry (not just the training company's own certificate)you have the basic technologies under your belt before you start the courseQuite a lot to think about isn't there? But it is crucial that you do the thinking as an informed choice is, usually, a logical and productive choice.What about University IT degrees? Teaching is usually academic, rather than hands-on. Most Universities and colleges do not have the cash to install racks of expensive servers, Fibre Channel, other technology boxes and so forth. Neither do they have the skilled and experienced teachers. University IT courses are more suited to those who are aiming for a career in Project Management, Business Impact Analyses or some such managerial practice. If you want to go the University route, make sure that the course is relevant to your needs, has appropriate funding, has the ability to interface with the IT industry and that the tutors have a solid IT systems engineering background, or at least ten years as a Project Manager in a FTSE 100 or Fortune 500 IT company. IT is not algebra. If the tutor rides a bike and has a pony-tail, think seriously about your position.What can you do before you start your course, or apply for your first IT job?Get as much hands-on experience as you can, with servers. Workstations are not really important. Everyone uses one and most companies are only interested in data storage, transmission, security and so forth. The PC/Workstation is considered to be a mere terminal that is easily replaced and a not very important part of the infrastructure. Rolling out desktop operating systems is usually automated and centralised. It's unlikely that you will ever use the experience you gained at home installing and configuring your PC. If you can build a small network at home, which includes at least one server, then you have the opportunity to simulate a corporate network. The principles and protocols you will use to build this network are exactly the same as those you will use to build a corporate network. The differences will lie in methodology and costs. By designing and building your own network you will gain very useful experience and skills that will supplement any certification training course you might attend. It's these skills and knowledge that matter. Always remember that certification is a means to an end, not the end in itself. There is NO replacement for experience. If you would like to ask a question, get further help and advice, ask about industry and technical matters, please visit my web site www.1techguy.com. It contains much that will be of use to you during the early stages of your career. Everything is free, so it will provide you with a useful resource.Robb Kimmer is a network systems engineer, infrastructure technical architect, senior technical consultant and technical writer. Feel free to contact him via his web site.
In the not-too-distant past, ascending the corporate ladder assured management professionals of a bigger office, a stronger compensation package and a more secure future. But today, executives are being told: Dont get too comfortable in that corner office, and dont buy that fancy new car or boat youve always dreamed of because your job is just as vulnerable as everyone elses. Evidence suggests that the higher up the ladder you go, the more precarious your position may become! The attitude toward executives and the roles they play within companies have drastically changed in recent years. Ive seen executives who have been with the same company for 20 or more years. Theyve worked their way up the corporate ladder and felt that they had proven their value then they were unceremoniously dismissed from their positions as if they had just been hired as an entry-level worker. As a Career Consultant, its my job to re-instill the clients confidence, identify his or her strengths, and re-package that individual for the current job market. But, to navigate effectively through the career transition process and ultimately make your career bulletproof, you must first be informed about whats really going on in the work-world. I see several important trends taking place with regard to executive-level job stability and security, including:TODAYS CHALLENGING EMPLOYMENT TRENDSJob Market Trend 1:More and more positions, even at senior levels, are now being offered on a contract or temporary basis. The position, in these cases, lasts only as long as is needed to fulfill the employer's contract with their client. This requires job seekers to think differently more like an independent consultant who works on assignment rather than as a permanent employee. In many business sectors and industries, it could be said that the permanent, full-time job no longer exists as we knew it. This trend also puts the responsibility on the part of the executive to consistently promote and market himself or herself for the next opportunity and the one after that!Job Market Trend 2:Companies are still very cautious and careful about making any hiring decisions of high-paying, senior management positions. Executives seeking such jobs must now sell themselves more than in the past. They need to demonstrate just how they will enhance the companys productivity, efficiency and profitability or they probably won't get the offer. This means that the job seeker really needs to learn how to effectively present and market himself or herself. Just having the right job titles on one's rsum, or having the appropriate technical skills for the job, are no longer enough.Job Market Trend 3:Executives are receiving smaller career transition programs than ever before from the large outplacement firms and many displaced professionals are getting no career transition programs at all. This means that greater numbers of executives are seeking-out help from smaller, more personal career consulting firms and career support groups. STRATEGIES TO BULLETPROOF YOUR CAREERAlthough the transition programs mentioned above do offer important career management techniques, let me share with you the most important activities you should always be doing to overcome the challenges outlined above, and bulletproof your career for the future:1. Keep all your success documents up to date2. Put time aside every week for active networking3. Join and take leadership roles in appropriate associations4. Write articles or do presentations in your area of expertise5. Continue your career education, including new credentials6. Research and be aware of the competition7. Offer to help people in your network on a regular basis8. Look at new jobs and investigate other opportunities9. Always ask yourself, How can I contribute more?10. Practice your networking, interviewing and negotiating skills If you want your career to be truly bulletproof, youll need to educate yourself on topics you probably thought youd never have to worry about again like self-marketing, networking, interviewing and negotiating. To master these skills, many management professionals are also discovering helpful online resources and free audio seminars.And heres the GOOD NEWS: If you seek-out the right support and leverage vital resources like those mentioned above, you may actually be thankful for the experience of going through transition ultimately finding a career or landing a job that will be a much better fit than those youve previously had.-----------------------------------------------------Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright 2006, Ford R. Myers and Career Potential, LLC.-----------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines engineers as those who apply the theories and principles of science and mathematics to research and develop economical solutions to technical problems. In other words, engineers are the ones who solve complex problems for the rest of us.There are approximately 1.5 million engineers in the U.S. today. Engineering is a challenging job with decent pay (an engineers pay is higher than most with just a bachelors degree). In fact, the average salary for an engineer was reported at just slightly over $65,000 in 2002. The top 10% of all engineers earned more than $90,000. Of course, an engineers salary ultimately depends on their location and specialty. Engineers find employment virtually anywhere innovation takes place. Engineers design and manufacture machines, processes, systems and even economical structures. They commonly work in the government, research, industry, military, teaching, management or consulting sectors. There are more than 25 recognized career tracks for the engineer. And you can rest assured that as technology advances, engineering specialties will only grow in number. A few of the major engineering specialties include; aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical industrial, materials, mechanical, and software engineering.You will at least need a bachelors degree from a university engineering program to qualify for an engineering position. The degree must be from a college or university accredited by the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). To get into most college engineering programs, a student is expected to have completed two years of high school algebra and one year of trigonometry. They should have also completed one year of both chemistry and physics.As youve probably heard, engineers are typically very good at math and science. So if the thought of algebra makes you squirm, this career may not be the right one for you. The best engineers enjoy complex problem solving, and are true inventors at heart. If you choose engineering as a career, you can expect to be right on the cutting edge of technology. You will turn ideas into reality and solve problems that better society.
A steeplejack is a specialist builder who is prepared to work at heights on factory chimneys, church steeples and other similarly high buildings. Fred Dibner is a famous steeplejack in England, who has his own television show, about blowing up old factory chimneys.The main skill perceived to be necessary is the ability to work at great heights. This is not really a skill at all. The steeplejack must be competent in the main building areas like carpentry, brick laying and tiling, but that is all. Really he is a Jack of all Trades who works while hanging from a sling.Like other rope access jobs, it is seen as dangerous by those not employed in it, but with modern safety regulations it carries lower risks than ordinary building site jobs do. Most people just imagine themselves up there and think the person at the top of the tower must be very brave. Bravery does not come into it, though. There is no risk if harnesses and safety lines are in good condition and safety procedures followed.A steeplejack will never climb up without a safety harness and safety equipment, so he or she can not fall. Roofing workers on building sites rarely bother with safety ropes, harnesses and equipment, so have many more accidents than steeplejacks.A steeplejack will erect ladders and working platforms from which masonry repairs (brick, stone or concrete), general carpentry, painting or roof repair can be carried out. The steeplejack is also commonly asked to remove, clean and repair windows, as well as sandblasting and other masonry cleaning tasks.Steeplejacks are difficult to find and any climber or any builder with a good head for heights should consider becoming a specialist steeplejack. Rates of pay are higher than normal building sector pay because of the high perceived risk that the job carries.A steeplejack will never work on his own, for safety reasons, but contractors are usually small business operations. If you are struggling to find one then just search online, or in the Yellow Pages.