The value of a college education continues to be reexamined in the real world. In addition to being saddled with student loans, graduates and even experienced workers face a lackluster labor market. While a degree is still considered an advantage, the right major can make all the difference between happily employed and woefully underemployed.
Some majors are clearly failing in today’s job market. As many as 22 million Americans are underemployed, according to a new report from PayScale. The information firm polled 68,000 workers and found that 43 percent of total respondents across all age groups believe they are underemployed. The meaning of underemployment can vary by person, but generally includes holding a job that leaves you overeducated, underpaid, or not able to make ends meet.
Being underpaid was the primary reason respondents considered themselves underemployed. In the survey, 48 percent of women said they are underemployed, compared to 39 percent of men. The difference is not surprising, given that nine of the 10 most underemployed college majors are dominated by women. Overall, millennials are most likely to say they are underemployed.
“Our economy is still recovering from The Great Recession, and while some industries are booming, demand for work still outpaces supply for many job types and industries,” explains the report. “People who can’t find full time work in the field they went to school for often end up taking part time work, or working in jobs unrelated to their field of study. Yet at the same time, many employers report that they can’t find people to fill the jobs they do have available.”
Let’s take a look at the 10 worst college majors for today’s job market, based on underemployed findings from PayScale.
Ranking Degree Median Annual Pay Underemployment Level
10 Psychology $38,200 50%
9 Education $40,500 50%
8 Liberal Arts $34,200 50%
7 Graphic Design $37,300 52%
6 English & Literature $39,700 52%
5 Sociology $38,900 53%
4 General Studies $32,100 56%
3 Health Care Admin $32,100 58%
2 Business Mgmt & Admin $44,300 60%
1 Criminal Justice $34,500 62%
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“Our Internet presence was absolutely crucial for us, coming out of the recession”
Doug Barry, Owner
25% annual growth since 2009
Founded as a family-owned staffing franchise in 1980, BARRYSTAFF became an independent company with a new name in 2000. Today they specialize in industrial, clerical and permanent placements. “Most of the staffing we do is in manufacturing,” says Doug Barry, owner of the Dayton-based company founded by his parents. As one of the few local staffing companies left in the area following the recent recession, “we picked up a lot of the work from our competitors who went out of business,” he notes. Doug credits their current growth in large part to the Internet and digital tools from Google.
Doug rebranded BARRYSTAFF in 2010. “We have had to change our total strategy on how we go out and sell, based on social media and the Internet—which has been good,” he explains. Google is part of that strategy. The company uses Google Maps for “getting people from point A to point B, not only to our office but also from their house to the job site.” Employees use Gmail and Google Calendar to keep up-to-date, and Google Search to stay current with both clients and prospects. The staff is also mobile, equipped with smartphones and tablets for complete access to all of their digital tools from anywhere. The company plans to create training videos on YouTube, and to use social media to attract new workers as well as new clients.
Manufacturing is on the rebound in Ohio, Doug says. With fewer local staffing resources available, “companies were looking around for someone who could pick up the slack. We had an Internet presence, and that is where a lot of them found us. It was absolutely crucial for us coming out of the recession, and it has helped us with our growth going forward.” BARRYSTAFF now has four locations—another good economic sign for the Buckeye State.
“The skills we apply on stage — things like working as a team, building on ideas, thinking on our feet, communication — those apply to more than just comedy. We can also apply them to the business world,” says Lillian Frances, owner of Chicago Comedy Company, where she runs corporate training and development workshops for businesses based on the rules of improvisational comedy.
For those unfamiliar with it (or who’ve never seen “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), improvisational comedy — or improv, for short — involves a group of people creating comedy on the spot, getting suggestions from the audience and immediately creating a scene. Because it is unscripted, improv teaches those who practice it how to think on their feet, listen to others and be team players — skills that come in handy in the business world as well.
It’s no wonder so many companies rely on improv as a way to train their employees with crucial business skills and build stronger teams. Chicago Comedy Company is just one of many companies that offer corporate improv workshops for companies of every size and industry. (Second City, iO and UCB are also known for their corporate training programs.)
Saying “Yes, and…”
Perhaps one of the most valuable skills improv teaches is the ability to say “yes,” a concept that has become foreign to many of us today. “In the real world, people tend to say ‘no’ a lot, so when we talk about “yes, and…” [one of the basic tenets of improv] and embracing a new idea, it’s pretty mind-blowing for people,” Frances says.
To help people understand the “yes, and…” concept, Frances pairs people up and asks them to start a conversation where every time someone speaks, they must start by saying, “No.” Then they start a second conversation, where every sentence must start with “Yes, but…” Finally, a third conversation starts, wherein every sentence begins with “Yes, and…” The point of the exercise is to help people see what it feels like to hear “no” all the time — and how powerful saying “yes” can be in opening up the lines of communication and generating ideas.
At Chicago Comedy Company, the customizable workshops can last anywhere from a few days to one hour. No matter the length, however, the results are pretty powerful. Frances says the transformation she sees in people from the beginning of the workshop to the end is “amazing.”
Not your ordinary training program
One thing that makes improv so effective as a business training tool, Frances says, is the fun, interactive approach. “With these workshops, employees aren’t just listening to a lecture — they’re actively doing these exercises, so they remember it more.”
Still, these trainings are most successful when they reach all parts of the organization. “You can teach all of HR about ‘yes, and…,’ but if it’s not ingrained in the entire corporate culture, it’s not going to be as effective,” Frances says. And that includes leadership as well.
BY THOMAS GNAU – DAYTON DAILY STAFF WRITER
By all accounts, Aaron Maddox is the kind of young worker manufacturers need.
Maddox, 28, a CNC (computer numeric control) machine operator for Lewark Metal Spinning Inc., was one of several area workers singled out for the inaugural Ohio treasurer’s “Ohio Strong” award Tuesday.
Six workers at Springfield’s Ohio Stamping & Machine — Akil Ragland, Craig Cattell, Dale Wells, Lenny Holbrook, Randy Littler and Tod Hines — also received the award.
The idea behind the honor is to highlight the need for young, skilled workers in manufacturing or any hands-on field that doesn’t require a four-year college degree.
“With a company like Lewark, there is opportunity,” said Maddox, a veteran of Delphi and other area manufacturers. He has seen one layoff and a tough economy for the past few years, but the Huber Heights resident said he feels like he could retire from Lewark, where he has worked for just four months.
Pete Hagenbuch, Lewark president, held Maddox up as an example for his co-workers. “He is of the utmost integrity.”
Josh Mandel, Ohio treasurer, lamented the shortage of skilled young workers seeking manufacturing job openings. He pointed to “liberal arts” graduates who are “serving coffee at Starbucks or working retail at the mall.”
“This is for the workers who have the tools in their toolbelt,” Mandel said.
Deb Norris, Sinclair Community College vice president, workforce development and corporate services, doesn’t agree that there are necessarily too many liberal arts students and graduates. But she agreed that manufacturers should do their best to attract future workers. For years, manufacturers have wrestled with ways to replace aging workers who are nearing retirement.
And Norris likes the idea of anyone in any field, including liberal arts, updating skills and credentials and embracing lifelong education.
“It’s about where the jobs are,” she said.
“They (manufacturers) have struggled for some time to show that industry is alive and well,” Norris said. “And also they have struggled to say, ‘It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.’”
The unemployment rate for college graduates in 2013 was four percent, compared to 7.5 percent for those with a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those who haven’t graduated from high school, the jobless rate was 11 percent.
Mandel said his staff “cold-called” Ohio manufacturers to invite them to nominate good young workers for the new award. The effort began Monday, with a stop at Toledo Metal Spinning Co.
Lewark, founded in 1993, offers metal spinning, producing and shaping metal products for automotive, aerospace, bakeware and other industries. About 40 workers are employed at the company’s Keenan Avenue plant.
By Ekaterina Walter – Forbes
There are very few great managers. And even fewer great leaders. Making your team happy by displaying behaviors that are expected from you as a manager is hard. But it is even harder to inspire people to follow you, especially if you don’t have direct authority over them.
Leaders are not always perfect. And, sometimes, they are downright quirky. But they display a set of behaviors that make them admired and loved. Let’s look at some of the rare ones.
Play Devil’s Advocate
Have you ever seen a leader who continuously pushes you to look deeper and challenges status quo by regularly and passionately taking the other side of the argument, even if s(he) agrees with your point of view? My guess is your answer is no. Playing devil’s advocate and ferociously challenging your assumptions works well in scientific experiments, but we rarely see it in business.
Great leaders play the game of 10 “why?”s, asking the question over and over again to test their understanding of the underlying strategy. They defend the opposite point of view just to explore what else their teams forgot to uncover that may be critical to their mission or a project.
It is easy to think that we are right, it soothes our egos. But it takes courage to stand up to and challenge your own experiences, knowledge, ideas.
Take the blame
If there is a blame to be had, great leaders take it on. If there is a credit to be given, they give it away to others. Granted, it’s a very rare behavior, but the one that truly creates a following. Exceptional leaders protect their teams and they are humble when it comes to owning up to the accomplishments.
Couldn’t care less about conventional wisdom
The more you say “it’s never been done” before, the more excited they get about changing that fact. And they build the teams around them that never take no for an answer. It’s hard to manage a team of rebels, but that’s exactly what’s needed to change the norm, to challenge the old, and invent the new.
And they don’t care about the failures, because they know that the only thing that matters is their response to those failures. Failures teach. Circumstances change. Pioneers stumble while shaping the path for others. And that’s okay.
Have you ever been in a meeting when the most senior executive in the room have not spoken a word during the whole meeting? And I don’t mean because (s)he would be on a laptop or a mobile phone doing email. No, rather sitting in the room intently listening to the very important strategic discussion. No? Well, I have. And I have to tell you – it is both a little creepy and awe-inspiring at the same time.
Malcom Forbes once said: “The art of conversation lies in listening.” Some of the best leaders make it a point to not have their opinions heard right off the bat, but rather sit back and truly listen to what their teams have to say, maybe occasionally asking a question or two. You can get some amazing insights and inspire some great ideas just by sitting there and not contradicting (or agreeing, for that matter) with the opinions of others. Those leaders tell me that it is very hard to do, but tremendously rewarding to exercise this every now and then.
Intentionally seek diversity
We’ve all seen managers surround themselves with “yes” people. We’ve all seen favoritism in our careers – after all, it is human nature to like those that look/speak/dress like us. But exceptional leaders go outside of their comfort zones in recruiting their teams, they intentionally seek diversity of opinions/ages/genders/perspectives/experiences. They don’t want to build an army of “yes” men and women, they want to innovate and evolve. And one can’t do that without the benefits of diversity.
George S. Patton said, “If everyone is thinking the same, then someone isn’t thinking.” That’s something true leaders try to avoid by building and developing diverse teams.
Great leaders are also great innovators. And they know that curiosity and naiveté are critical conditions of innovation. They are humble enough to accept if they don’t know something and smart enough to constantly learn throughout their career.
But they are also sharp enough to know that times change and that no one person can know everything. They ask “why?” and “why not?” constantly, and are always open to reverse mentorship with younger generations realizing that there are some things younger professionals are just smarter about.
Understanding how critical it is to sometimes disconnect and reflect, extraordinary leaders will disappear for a while. They will do something else, change their routine, and learn something absolutely new outside of their professional interests. They are masters of creating white space in which creativity thrives. Not only that, they are masters of knowing their limits and when their energy levels need recharging to continue to operate successfully long-term.
What are the rare behaviors you see remarkable leaders display?
After many years of declines, manufacturing is again driving economic expansion, benefiting more than half of Ohio’s counties that are heavily dependent on the industry, according to a Dayton Daily News data analysis.
The state’s reliance on manufacturing was detrimental during the Great Recession and its aftermath, when more than one-third of Ohio’s job losses were in that sector. But manufacturing jobs are returning, and industry payrolls are growing after many years of declines.
Manufacturing is an important source of high-wage jobs, and it also helps commercial innovation. Some manufacturing jobs — such as those in large automotive plants — are gone forever, and others will eventually disappear, but manufacturing productivity and capability remain the state’s best competitive advantages, industry experts said.
“We are (very) good at it, and you can’t build an economy on something you are bad at,” said Edward Hill, dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. “We are within 600 miles of 60 percent of the nation’s market, which means we have a natural advantage for manufacturing and logistics.”
In 2011, Ohio had about 52 out of 88 counties whose economies were heavily dependent on manufacturing, according to the newspaper’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Counties are dependent on the manufacturing industry if 20 percent or more of average annual earnings come from the manufacturing sector.
Indiana had the most counties nationally that met this criteria, with 53 out of 92 counties, followed by Ohio.
Manufacturing accounted for about 31 percent of earnings in Preble County, 30 percent in Miami County and 28 percent in Champaign County. Ohio counties that were the most dependent on manufacturing were Shelby County with 48 percent of earnings and Union County with 44 percent. The sector also accounted for 18 percent of earnings in Butler County, 17 percent in Clark County, 16 percent in Warren County, 12 percent in Montgomery County and 5 percent in Greene County.
Ohio also had more workers, 638,400, in manufacturing in 2011 than all but two other states: California with 1,245,800 and Texas with 835,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s economic reliance on manufacturing meant it suffered large job losses during the Great Recession. The downturn decimated the sector.
The average durable-goods industry lost about 11 percent of its workforce between December 2007 and June 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ohio’s economy and the auto industry are intertwined, and many auto-parts companies suffered huge losses or shuttered when total U.S. vehicle sales plummeted 34 percent during the recession.
Among the casualties was the General Motors plant in Moraine, which closed in December 2008, displacing 1,080 workers.
Ohio lost about 341,370 jobs between 2007 and 2011, and about 117,121 of those jobs — or 34.3 percent — were in manufacturing, said George Zeller, an economic research analyst in Cleveland.
U.S. manufacturing employment has trended downward since peaking in 1979, and Ohio even lost jobs in the mid-2000s while the country gained them.
But the recession ended in December 2009, and as the economy reversed course, manufacturing finally made a comeback. Between 2010 and 2011, Ohio gained 49,616 net jobs, and 17,388 (35 percent) were in manufacturing, Zeller said.
“Manufacturing is driving the Ohio recovery, particularly since we have such an intense concentration” of jobs in the sector, he said. “Manufacturing is not only important for its high-wage jobs for Ohio workers, but it is also extremely important because of its large ripple effect on the rest of the economy.”
U.S. manufacturing is in the midst of a revival because fewer companies are outsourcing jobs to Asia because of rising labor costs in China and other countries, experts said. Some companies are bringing jobs back to the states because of cheaper production costs. Auto sales have rebounded, and the dollar’s weakness means American-made goods are cheaper in international markets, so exports have risen.
“With the lower value of the dollar compared to Asia, we aren’t seeing the labor-intensive part of manufacturing return to the state, but the higher-skilled stuff has come back,” said Hill, with Cleveland State University.
Dayton region among best
The revitalization benefits Ohio because manufacturing accounts for about 17 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. The state’s strengths are in manufacturing, and they include large and developed supply chains related to the automotive, air craft, and polymer and chemicals industries, Hill said.
Ohio’s manufacturing industry has outperformed the nation in the recovery. The state’s manufacturing employment has grown 7.6 percent since June 2009, compared to only 2.2 percent growth nationwide, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Ohio has a competitive advantage in manufacturing because of its tax environment, cost of living, central location, skilled workforce and industrial history, said Greg Knox, board chairman of the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association.
“Just look at Dayton, where we have some of the best manufacturing-capable companies in the world,” said Knox, who owns Knox Machinery, a Franklin-based company that sells computerized metal-cutting equipment. “And traditionally, every one manufacturing job has a trickle down effect of providing three to five other jobs.”
CareerBliss also compiled a less gloomy list: The Happiest Cities To Work In.
If you’re hoping to smile more at work, think about moving to Knoxville, Virginia Beach or St. Louis. Those are three of the happiest places to work.
But the most content workers of all are in Dayton, Ohio. With an index score of 4.02, employees in Dayton said they are more than satisfied with the people they work with and their daily tasks.
“The people you work with has a great impact on happiness,” Miller says. “In the cities that ranked highest, co-workers and one’s direct manager had a great influence on how that city fared compared to others.”
Knoxville holds the No. 2 spot, closely followed by Honolulu, Hawaii. These cities earned a 4.02 index score, and 4.00, respectively.
Memphis (3.99) and Pittsburgh (3.96) round out the top five.
“Bigger is not always better when it comes to finding happiness,” says Heidi Golledge, chief executive and co-founder of CareerBliss. “As you can see, cities such as Dayton, Honolulu and Memphis reveal that even mid-size cities can provide rewarding and positive work environments for people.”
She says everyone should be able to find a job that truly makes them happy. “Through our unique tools, three million jobs, company reviews and salary information, we want every person who is looking for a job in 2013 to be equipped with the resources they need to find true career bliss,” Golledge concludes.
Geoffrey James of Inc. recently published this list of Motivational Quotes that he liked as a way to start off 2013 “galvanized into action.” We recognized some of these quotes from motivational speakers and writers from the 1970’s. And one of them is from The Bible! My favorite is the one by Zig Ziglar. This shows that a good quote can stand the test of time.
12 Great Motivational Quotes for 2013
1. “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”
2. “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”
3. “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
4. “Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.”
5. “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
6. “If you can’t control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls waiting to be attacked.”
The Book of Proverbs
7. A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.”
8. “Freedom, privileges, options, must constantly be exercised, even at the risk of inconvenience.”
9. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
10. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
11. “The number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying.”
12. “You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.”