Friday, September 30, 2011

NPR: Finding A Job Is Hard For Even The Most Educated

While this story is over a year old, it still resonates for some people who have advanced degrees and are unable to seek full-time employment in their field. The Great Recession has even affected the most educated, putting them in a disadvantage with salary potential for a decade.
"A lot of people who are qualified for more higher level jobs are settling for more entry positions, and so that's a roadblock for new graduates," Coward says.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

7 Mistakes First Time Job Seekers Make

Whether you're a college or graduate student, you cannot wait to accomplish your first job out of school. Nevertheless, it is important to avoid these seven common mistakes on the job search. Too often, they can derail your chances before the interview process has even begun.
Some first time job seekers may be making mistakes that they are not even aware of. If you have found yourself committing any of the below offenses, stop, and change course immediately.

1. Unprofessional initial contact
2. Missing the interview without calling to cancel
3. Dressing unprofessionally
4. Bringing friends or family to an interview
5. Being unprepared for the interview
6. No thank you letter
7. Using social media in a negative way

If you avoid making these mistakes, you will be well on your way to landing that first job.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CHE: An Open Letter to Graduate Students

Although this advice is over a year old, I find it highly relevant to new graduate students entering school this fall. These are very useful tips!
Today, I would like to address a new group: those students just beginning graduate school, specifically those full-time students enrolled in a PhD program.

As is the case with much of what we do at ProfHacker, the purpose of this post is to make explicit the unwritten rules, norms, and quirks of academia. Not that people will be intentionally keeping information from you; rather, it’s very easy to forget what it was like to be in your position and that what we take as self-evident is actually the product of specific departmental-, institutional-, or field-specific contexts. This letter cannot be a complete manual to finishing your degree in exactly four years (if it was, we wouldn’t be giving it away, that’s for sure!). Rather, it’s a distillation of what we, our colleagues on Twitter, and the commenters here at ProfHacker—a gracious lot, all—learned in our own graduate school experience.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It forever changed our memories. Please attend one of your local remembrance events. Too many people died on that tragic day. Don't let their memories fade in vain. People need to work together, set aside our differences, and make this a better nation. More than ever, I feel proud to be an American.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review: From Poor Law to Welfare State (1999)

From Poor Law to Welfare State: A History of Social Welfare in America (1999), by Walter Trattner, covers nearly 300 years of social welfare history with 17 chapters from the colonial period to the Clinton presidency. This is a review of the sixth edition, focusing on the sweeping welfare reform changes in 1996 (PROWA, also known as Personal Responsibility and Opportunity to Work Act) that would further encourage privatization ("work and starve mentality") and create economic disparities between the rich and the poor. The book's strengths is the changes in social welfare between the Civil War (1860s) and Great Society (1960s) periods. Sample chapters include the history of the public health movement, mental health movement, and divisions between charity and settlement house movements in the field of social work.

Trattner highlights the expansion and retrenchment of institutional social welfare policies in the United States. In the past three decades, social welfare has gone through a downward transition, which has alarmed social reformers and progressive leaders. The last two chapters ends on a rather gloomy note for the future: conservative social policy measures prevailed in the federal government by 2000. The Obama administration is attempting to change that by pushing an agenda that would help the working poor. However he faces major opposition from the right and big business. Although the book is geared for urban history and social work classes, faculty and students in mental health, public health, and public policy would also find this a very useful reference.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Michigan's Supreme Court to hear pension tax arguments

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear whether it is constitutional to tax public pensions. Honestly, I hope the Court rules against the GOP because it is shameful to tax pensioners who EARNED their money by working and putting their time into the system. Please contact your legislator to urge the Michigan Supreme Court to struck down this anti-poor and anti-elderly legislation. Don't let the court determine your retirement!
Lansing — Michigan's Supreme Court is to hear arguments today on whether Gov. Rick Snyder's new tax on public and private pension income violates the state constitution.

The stakes are high for Snyder and the GOP-controlled Legislature, which could see a massive hole knocked in not just the 2012 budget but all future state budgets. It's also a big case for pensioners — especially those who get public pensions — who collectively stand to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in additional income taxes if the law stands up.

Justices nominated by the Republican Party have a 4-3 majority on the court. They stress they interpret laws based on their plain language.

In this case, there is sharp disagreement over the plain meaning of a few lines in the Michigan Constitution of 1963, which say the "accrued financial benefits" of each public pension plan and retirement system "shall not be diminished or impaired."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CHE: Five Reasons the First Week Is Not Like the Rest

It's that time of year again. It is Labor Day weekend. A new school year has begun. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted five reasons why the first week of school (or a new term) is special in higher education. I never thought much about it, but I always looked forward to a new term, new courses, and new perspectives on life. That's what makes college so unique. Welcome back students and enjoy the fall term!