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The best career advice from this year’s graduation speeches

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This year's headline-grabbing commencement speeches have been high on thinly veiled critiques of the Trump administration and big on dire warnings about the state of American democracy.

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson cautioned graduates at Virginia Military Institute about the end of American democracy if Americans don't “confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders.” Michael Bloomberg talked at Rice University of the threat from “our own willingness to tolerate dishonesty in service of party and in pursuit of power.” And 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, raising a Russian ushanka hat as part of a Yale University tradition, said Sunday that “we're living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” telling students “to stay vigilant, to neither close our eyes, nor numb our hearts or throw up our hands.”

But not all of this year's graduation speeches are quite so political or cautionary. A few — though not many — seemed to remember that they were speaking before a group of people who were about to embark upon life as adults who will have to navigate the politics of the workplace, the complexities of new relationships and the decisions of adult life. (Oprah Winfrey to USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism graduates: “Invest in a quality mattress. Your back will thank you later.")

Here, some of the best advice offered by this year's commencement speakers so far that graduates — or anyone — can apply to their work and careers:

Oprah Winfrey, chair and CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism at the University of Southern California

Winfrey, whose past speeches have drawn speculation that she might be planning a run for president — a rumor she has squashed — got plenty of attention for her calls for graduates to vote in her speech at USC on May 11. But after offering a litany of practical wisdom (“Eat a good breakfast,” she said. “Pay your bills on time. Recycle.") she also added some clear advice for graduates' time in the workplace.

“The number one lesson I can offer you where your work is concerned,” said the media titan, “is this: Become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do, that your talent cannot be dismissed.”

She also countered the typical “do what you love” advice that fill so many graduation speeches with something else. “You need to know this: Your job is not always going to fulfill you,” she said. “There will be some days that you just might be bored. Other days you may not feel like going to work at all. Go anyway, and remember that your job is not who you are. It’s just what you are doing on the way to who you will become. With every remedial chore, every boss who takes credit for your ideas — that is going to happen — look for the lessons, because the lessons are always there.” (Read More...)

Preparing For Life After Graduation

 Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

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As college graduation season is nearly upon us, students and parents alike are beginning to focus more intensively than ever before on what’s required to land a great role in an exciting field – one with good compensation and room for growth – in today’s ever-changing job market.

In my career coaching work, and as a parent myself of grown children who are forging their way to creating professional lives they’ll enjoy and find rewarding, I know there are hundreds of questions that new graduates needs answered, in terms of how to best position themselves for success in the working world.

To help answer those pivotal questions, I was thrilled to catch up this week with Austin Belcak. Belcak is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people leverage unconventional strategies to land jobs they love without connections, without experience, and without applying online. His strategies have helped people get hired at Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and more

I recently interviewed Belcak in my Finding Bravepodcast on How To Land a Dream Job at the Salary You Deserve, and was riveted by his personal story of how he turned his failure (to land ANY employment at all after graduation), to creating phenomenal success, along with his tips for graduates who feel they don't have the experience and connections that others have. (Read More...)

 

Why we need to know more, not less, about what students get from college

By Mark Schneider of Hechinger Report

The federal government, in concert with the states and institutions, could do more to increase transparency and enhance market accountability in higher education.

More effectively reporting data that it already collects and collecting better data on cost, quality and value would provide a number of benefits.

Students could use the information to avoid investing in schools or programs that do not provide a positive return on investment and to discover options that they may have eliminated on the basis of incomplete or faulty information.

Researchers and policymakers could more readily judge where investments in federal aid are paying off and where reforms could improve efficiency and reduce waste. Private firms could use data to come up with rankings and ratings to reflect the unique preferences of different students.

Private lenders and funders could use labor-market outcome data to improve underwriting and extend credit on the basis of a student’s potential rather than the student’s past experience with credit products. 

Perhaps the most visible attempt to rewrite the federal role was the Obama administration’s failed attempt to build a Postsecondary Institutional Rating System (PIRS).  In 2013, the White House decided that the nation needed a rating system that would evaluate the approximately 7,000 post-secondary institutions that participate in federal student-aid programs. (Read More...)

The Top Skills Employers Need in 2016, According to LinkedIn

 Image Credit: LinkedIn

Image Credit: LinkedIn

Authored by Marguerite McNeal

EdSurge News

Recent college grads seeking employment and professionals looking for a new gig would do well to include Hadoop and Hive on their resumes, according to research from LinkedIn. Today the network unveiled the top 10 skills employers need in 2016. Cloud and distributed computing topped the list for the second year in a row.

LinkedIn monitored hiring and recruiting activity that happened on its platform between Jan. 1 and Sept. 1 in 2016—several billion data points, according to the company. The data show the skills that are most sought after by employers in the U.S. and 17 other countries. More than 400 million people have profiles on LinkedIn. 

The new list reads like a career page for any tech company—“web architecture and development framework” and “network and information security” make an appearance. But these skills are increasingly important in industries beyond the technology sector, LinkedIn says.

To surface the most in-demand skills in the labor market, LinkedIn analyzed the thousands of skills that members include on their profiles. The company grouped these competencies into several dozen categories—Android and iOS would fit into “mobile development,” for example. Then researchers identified the skill categories that belonged to members who were more likely to start new jobs and receive interest from recruiters this year. (Read More...)

 

 

Things I Wish I Knew Senior Year of College

  PAUL BRADBURY VIA GETTY IMAGES

PAUL BRADBURY VIA GETTY IMAGES

Authored by Samantha Matt

I was so naive and entitled during senior year of college. I thought I was on top of the world. All of my friends lived within walking distance of me, so I had someone to hang out with at all times. I could finally legally go to bars, so go out an average of four times a week I did. I was taking classes I was actually interested in, so my grades were pretty decent without having to try. And I already had completed four internships, so I figured my resume was basically set to score me a job after graduation no matter what. I was walking on air. I thought I was great. I thought I was awesome. I thought I was special. Little did I know I was in for a wake up call that was going to rock my little universe. That wake up call being the real world.

My conceited attitude about myself quickly changed when I moved back home, far away from all my friends, and started to get rejected by job after job. Eight months after graduation, I was finally offered my first job. It took eight months. At that very moment, I realized that I wasn’t special. The life I was living then was not the life I had pictured for myself post-college eight months prior. I knew I was going to have to put myself out there and gain a hell of a lot more experience (which I honestly thought I had at age 22) to be successful in the future.

Now, I probably could have sped up this thought process a bit if my senior year self was aware of a few things. Here are 11 things I wish I knew in college:

1. Network, network, network. Networking is like life. It might be awkward, but you have to deal with it... and it never gets any easier. The more out of college you are, the less of a chance you’ll have to talk to prominent people in your industry. Read More...

 

Importance of Mentors in College

Authored by Brandon Busteed

A few months after Gallup released findings from the largest representative study of U.S. college graduates, there is much to ponder. The Gallup-Purdue Index surveyed more than 30,000 graduates to find out whether they are engaged in their work and thriving in their overall well-being. In simple terms, did they end up with great jobs and great lives?

We learned some stunning things. But one of the most important is that where you went to college matters less to your work life and well-being after graduation than how you went to college. Feeling supported and having deep learning experiences during college means everything when it comes to long-term outcomes after college. Unfortunately, not many graduates receive a key element of that support while in college: having a mentor. And this is perhaps the biggest blown opportunity in the history of higher ed.

Six critical elements during college jumped off the pages of our research as being strongly linked to long-term success in work and life after graduation. Three of these elements relate to experiential and deep learning: having an internship or job where students were able to apply what they were learning in the classroom, being actively involved in extracurricular activities and organizations, and working on projects that took a semester or more to complete.

But the three most potent elements linked to long-term success for college grads relate to emotional support: feeling that they had a professor who made them excited about learning, that the professors at their alma mater cared about them as a person, and that they had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams. If graduates strongly agree with these three things, it doubles the odds they are engaged in their work and thriving in their overall well-being. Read More...

Social Network Effects in Hiring

 Photograph by Nancy Rothstein

Photograph by Nancy Rothstein

  Authored by Laura Geller

Authored by Laura Geller

Job seekers are keenly aware that who they know matters. A contact at a prospective employer can push a resume to the top of the pile, put in a good word, or arrange an introductory lunch. Companies, for their part, are happy to oblige. Employee referrals help them cut through the noise, target searches, and save money.

Social networks play a positive role in the hiring process. But what can these useful connections tell us about performance on the job? Does the advantage of knowing someone carry over once an individual joins a firm? Adina Sterling has been asking these questions since transitioning from engineer to academic nearly a decade ago. Sterling had spent five years with Procter & Gamble’s global baby care and beauty care R&D teams before leaving to pursue a Ph.D. in organization and management. She joined the faculty of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business as an assistant professor in the fall of 2015. Read More...

The Business of Healthcare: Preparing Students to Tackle a Challenging Industry

  Authored

Authored

Shaan Patel’s path to business school was a little different than most. With three years of medical school under his belt, the Las Vegas native traded the University of Southern California (USC) for Yale School of Management (SOM), where he’ll complete his MBA before returning to USC for his final year of med school.

“As a medical student, I wanted to learn more about healthcare management,” he says. Yale SOM has been great, he continues, offering plenty of healthcare electives as well as opportunities to collaborate with the Yale School of Medicine. “One of the problems with medical school is that you become so focused on the pathophysiology of disease and clinical medicine that there’s not much exposure to the business side of medicine, healthcare administration, insurance,” he says. One Yale SOM class in particular—“Healthcare, Economics, Finance and Policy”—helped him learn about things like Medicare, Medicaid and the roles played by pharmaceutical and insurance companies. “Most medical students have to learn those things on the job after they are in practice,” Patel notes. Read More...

Five Ways That Mayors Can Promote Better College and Workforce Results

Authored by Carol D’Amico, Executive Vice President, National Engagement and Philanthropy, USA Funds

 

The common perception is that the nation’s mayors don’t hold much sway over the higher education system or the quality of the workforce in their communities. I beg to differ with that perception, however.

I believe that city leaders have both strong motivation for improving the so-called talent pipeline through college and into the workplace, and the authority to spur meaningful change. Every mayor is concerned about the economic vitality of his or her community. Ensuring that both existing employers and potential new employers have access to the talent they need to run their businesses is critical to a community’s prosperity.

Likewise, in my experience, mayors are all about getting things done. For example, in the early ’90s, mayors got involved in the reform of K-12 education after they decided they no longer could tolerate very poor high school graduation rates. Their involvement made a huge difference.

Today, communities face another education challenge: Too few students who enroll in postsecondary programs complete them, and too many graduate with skills that don’t mesh with the needs of employers. The result is a high level of unemployment and underemployment among recent college graduates. Read More...

The Best Business Schools for Careers in Technology

  Authored

Authored

Here’s a fact you may not have known: Several of today’s leading technology innovators share one thing in common—a Montessori education. Yep, Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and SimCity creator Will Wright were all educated as children using the self-directed, hands-on, collaborative teaching model developed by Italian doctor and educator Maria Montessori. Alas, though, not a single one has an MBA—so perhaps not a very useful factoid when you’re trying to determine the best business schools for a career in technology.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Biz Stone of Twitter—none of them has an MBA either. And Facebook second-in-command Sheryl Sandberg, who does have an MBA from Harvard Business School, is famously on record recently saying the degree isn’t necessary for success in tech. Nevertheless, a growing tide of students are looking to use business school as their launch pad to successful careers in tech—and the top tech firms, including those founded by non-MBAs, are snapping them up.

Why, you ask? Read More...