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Sizzling careers for a satisfying future

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  • 1. Sizzling Careers For A Satisfying Future By Chelse Benham “The recipe for personal success: Find a need that beats your drum. Create a plan, then make a dent. Trust that your rewards will come. And credit them as heaven sent.” – Unknown How fabulous would it be to choose a career that you love, that is in high demand and that makes you a lot of money? Trends in different professions change with the times. What was hot 20 years ago may not be now. There are still the basic professions that consistently reap high dollar incomes such as a doctor, a lawyer and an engineer, however, they require a great deal of education and training. Some professions require far less education to immediately access the benefits of the job. One such profession that requires a high school diploma or its equivalent that is in high demand in the Rio Grande Valley is the telephone service representative. Call centers, where telephone service representatives work, handle a variety of services in areas of collections, customer service, customer care, technical support and telemarketing. “We have nine call centers in the area, and they are all relatively new. Collectively, the call centers are trying to fill close to 1,000 jobs in the Valley. There is a real need to fill these positions,” said Predro Salazar, associate director for One Stop Capital Shop at The University of Texas-Pan American. “The key point we are trying to get across is that call centers do different things. Yes, some do telemarketing, but others do collections, customer service, reservations, etc. It is true that call centers have a demanding work environment, but the compensation can be very good and they are a great training ground.” Cited in the San Antonio Express, Dr. Rosemary Batt, professor at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School and the author of “Low-wage America: How Employers Are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace,” says call centers have grown 20 percent during the 1990s and currently employ three percent of the U.S. work force. There are many reasons why call centers attract workers, but employee satisfaction may be number one on the list. Batt lists in her article several reasons why call centers attract so much of the U.S. workforce. The following are: • good working environment, • supportive management, • opportunities for advancement, • and great pay.
  • 2. Call centers also offer a lot of benefits to keep their employees happy. Some standard benefits among these centers include discounts on products and services, medical, dental and vision insurance, flexible work schedules, retirement plans, tuition reimbursement and opportunities for advancement. Some centers are equipped with on-site gyms, childcare facilities and cafeterias. Wages are individually driven and can be increased through bonuses, incentives and prizes for such things as good attendance, exceeding quotas and performance. For more information about employment in call centers in the Valley visit www.coserve.org/ taskforce The telephone service representative is just one of many growing professions that are in demand. In an April 2004Reader’s Digest article titled “Who’s Hiring?,” the magazine list some of the most sought after and lucrative professions in the country. According to the article, most of these jobs will value brains above all else in what’s being called the “knowledge sector.” “Who’s Hiring?” identifies some reasons why the following professions will offer long term prospects. Many of these careers have some things in common. • The jobs demand complex skills that get paid well for mastering them. • Many of the jobs can’t be shipped abroad, therefore they offer long-term prospects. • The jobs are in high demand. The article lists the jobs by varying degrees of education levels. It uses the following acronyms to indicate the different levels of education needed for each profession. High school graduates of any age (HSG), experienced white-collar managers (WCM) and recent college graduates (RCG) are used to identify the levels of experience needed to enter the specific fields. Surgical technologist: (HSG) Average salary is $35,000. Need to pursue a professional certification from the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist. For more information about certification and the profession visit www.lcc-st.org or the Web site of the Association of Surgical Technologists at www.AST.org Health care administrator: (WCM) Average salary is $70,000. Management skills and experience are required for this job. In the profession you are expected to coordinate medical services, group practices and supervise personnel within a hospital or medical facility. For more information visit the Medical Group Management Association Web site at www.MGMA.com
  • 3. Registered nurse: (RCG) Average salary is $49,000. (Nurse anesthetists can earn more than $125,000) This profession is in extreme demand. According to the Bureau of Labor, 1999 Occupational Employment Statistics Data almost 13 percent of the U.S. nursing positions are currently vacant and the is expected to grow. For more information visit the American Nurses Association Web site at www.nursingworld.org Computer troubleshooter: (HSG) Average salary is $30,000. In this profession you will fix and maintain computers, but the appropriate certification from a trade school is required. The fastest growth in this field is in computer system security. For more information visit CompTIA, at www.comptia.org, the largest information technology trade association group. Security-equipment installer: (HSG) Average salary range is $23,000 to $52,000. This job requires you to install, monitor and maintain security systems. A certification by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies may increase your salary. For more information visit www.nicet.org Claims adjuster: (HSG) Average salary is $43,000. Property casualty insurers need people to work with policyholders in evaluating losses and settling claims. For more information visit the Web site for the Insurance Institute of America at www.AICPCU.org Medical records technician: (HSG) Average salary is $40,000. Certification from the American Health Information Management Association is preferred because the job requires workers to assign codes to hospital procedures . For more information visit www.AHIMA.org Technical writer: (RCG) Average salary is $43,000. A writer must create clear, well organized instructions to help corporate users and consumers manage technology and operate equipment. For information visit the Society for Technical Communication at their Web site www.STC.org The professions listed above are hot today, but what about the future? Is it possible to speculate what will be the next wave of hot jobs? Time magazine did just that on their web site www.time.com in an article called “Visions of the 21st Century.” They list 10 hot jobs of the future; just a few are provided here. Tissue Engineers: With man-made skin already on the market and artificial cartilage not far behind, 25 years from now scientists expect to be pulling a pancreas out of a Petri dish. Researchers have successfully grown new intestines and bladders inside animals' abdominal cavities, and work has begun on building liver, heart and kidney tissue.
  • 4. Gene Programmers: Digital genome maps will allow lab technicians to create customized prescriptions, altering individual genes by rewriting lines of computer code. After scanning your DNA for defects, doctors will use gene therapy and "smart" molecules to prevent a variety of diseases, including certain cancers. Hot-line Handymen: Still daunted by the thought of reprogramming your VCR, let alone your newfangled DVD? Remote diagnostics will take care of most of your home electronics, but a few repairmen will still make house calls ... via video phone. Narrowcasters: Today's broadcasting industry will become increasingly personalized, working with advertisers to create content just for you. Ambient commercials will also hijack your attention by using tastes and smells, with the ultimate goal of beaming buy-me messages directly into your brain. The article also speculates a number of jobs that may decrease or become completely obsolete in the future they include: Stockbrokers, Auto Dealers, Mail Carriers, Insurance and Real Estate Agents: The Internet will eradicate middlemen by the millions, with a hardy few remaining to service the non-Internet user. Teachers: Distance learning is becoming more popular, and through the miracle of online classes and electronic grading, today's faculty lounge could become tomorrow's virtual help desk. Though a complete conversion is unlikely, outsourcing our education system might cost less than installing all those metal detectors. Printers: Newspapers and magazines will make the switch to digital paper. Xerox and other visionaries are racing to produce a material that's as flexible as regular paper and as versatile as a computer screen. Prison Guards: Microscopic implants will restrain convicts from engaging in criminal activity. Want the bottom-line on the best careers in the country? Here are the strongest marketplace trends: technology and healthcare. One-third of 30 jobs projected to grow in the next decade are in these two fields according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As much as half of all those jobs are in human health care. Given these numbers, it may be prudent to go into these fields when considering your future, but then again, it may be best to follow your heart and hope it takes you where the action and money are.
  • 5. “Every era has a currency that buys souls. In some the currency is pride, in others it is hope, in still others it is a holy cause. There are of course times when hard cash will buy souls, and the remarkable thing is that such times are marked by civility, tolerance, and the smooth working of everyday life.” - Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American social philosopher

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