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10 Most Useful College Degrees In 2013

10 Most Useful College Degrees In 2013

Here are ten college degrees that will either get you a very safe job, a very highly paid job, or a job wherever you please. Those are the three selling points of a useful degree. The ability to pick a company, work for it and build a career is a very handy talent to have, as is finding a job where your department will be the last one to be shut down. Furthermore, the qualifications that get you a highly paid job may set you up very nicely in the future, so that you don’t have to pinch pennies into your old age.

1. An accounting degree

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    Accountants are people who senior managers and business leaders trust because they have to. Most business leaders and managers do not have the time to go through all of their accounts themselves, so must trust the work and expertise of a person with an accounting degree. That is why many accountants are paid highly, and why managers and business owners are often very aggressive in their retention of them.

    2. A marketing degree

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      This is something that will put you one step ahead of most modern business executives. Many people enter a large corporate business with some form of business education, but if you have a degree in marketing then you get to work in the most interesting department in the whole company. As the senior executives worry about the falling stock price, you are getting paid for the jingles you wrote whilst in the bath!

      3. A business administration degree

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        This is not the most glamorous degree and it will not get you a job working with the famous or the beautiful, but it will get you a very safe job in many, many companies. You can basically pick the company you want to work for, and choose the field that you feel suits you the best. The business administration staff are the unsung and forgotten heroes that make up the backbone of any business.

        4. An information science degree

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          This is a degree that is going to make you the shining star of whichever business concern you join. The ability to build a website, or build and maintain a computer system is a skill that is in high demand.

          5. A computer engineering degree

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            Almost any qualification that has something to do with computers is a good thing in this day and age. But, a computer engineering degree is going to place you above your competitors because most middle to larger companies need to have at least one computer engineer on staff. They do things such as building or maintaining networks, computer systems and computer software. Many companies are also looking for computer engineers to help design new software, so your degree will be in high demand.

            6. An education degree

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              This is usually made up of a degree in one subject, and then a further qualification so that you can be a teacher. The job is not the most glamorous in the country, but it is certainly a job that is in high demand. British sociologists have also proven that people with education qualifications are also more likely to be placed in a higher management position within ten years of getting their qualification.

              7. A criminal justice degree

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                This may not buy you a very good position in the business world, but it will certainly get you a very high-paying job in the legal world. There are even big companies that set up their own legal department, where a criminal justice degree is going to buy you a lucrative—and very safe—job. This is a degree that allows you to both find a high-paying job and gain the respect of your peers.

                8. A computer science degree

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                  Computer science education is highly oriented towards the world of business, so you can easily meet the labor market’s requirements with this type of degree. In this profession, you will adjust old software to modified requirements and develop new software that will improve the work of the company that has hired you. This is a challenging job description that will inspire you to do the best you can in order to contribute to the success of your company’s projects. Needless to say, computer science graduates are always needed in the job market, and many business owners are willing to pay good money for their work. As you increase your professional experience, you will be able to advance your career and start co-ordinating these types of projects.

                  9. A journalism degree

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                    This is probably not going to land you a job in very many big business corporations, but it is certainly going to get you a lot of work from both large and small information dissemination companies (and there are more than you think). A journalism degree is useful because it has a funny knack of allowing you to get both contract and freelance work whenever you want it. Many journalists work beyond their retirement age simply because they can.

                    10. A finance degree

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                      Ironically, since the global economic downturn, a finance degree has become more valuable. Even though people (rightly) blame the financial institutions for the global financial crisis, a finance degree is now more valuable because people are more careful with their money and their lending. Companies are making sure they employ educated professionals in their finance department because they cannot afford to play fast and loose with their (or other people’s) money any more. So, this is a very valuable degree—for the near future at least.

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                      Published on September 16, 2020

                      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

                      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

                      Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

                      Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

                      Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

                      Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

                      Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

                      Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

                      1. Organization

                      When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

                      When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

                      Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

                      To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

                      To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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                      2. Flexibility

                      You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

                      Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

                      For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

                      To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

                      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

                      3. Collaboration

                      As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

                      Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

                      To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

                      To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

                      4. Poise

                      Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

                      When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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                      What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

                      To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

                      To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

                      5. Communication

                      Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

                      When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

                      To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

                      To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

                      6. Good Computer Hygiene

                      Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

                      Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

                      To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

                      To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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                      7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

                      Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

                      Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

                      To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

                      To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

                      8. Respecting Feedback

                      In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

                      Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

                      To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

                      To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

                      9. Project Management

                      Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

                      To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

                      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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                      10. Staying up to Speed

                      Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

                      To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

                      To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

                      11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

                      “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

                      To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

                      To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

                      12. Teamwork

                      Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

                      Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

                      To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

                      To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

                      More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

                      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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