Monthly Archives: September 2011

Jobs in social media

Wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for something that you already do in your free time?

For many, this dream job is quickly becoming a reality. Businesses across the nation have gone on a hiring spree for social media jobs, and the trend is likely to continue.

There are hundreds of new social media jobs posted every week on job boards everywhere. Monster.com reported that the number of these positions increased 75 percent from last year.

As companies are beginning to realize how important the use of social media can be in promoting and growing a business, they are investing more into the technology and employees to work it.

Job titles, descriptions, requirements and compensation are quite varied as this is a relatively new field and has only seen major growth in the past few years. Some of the different titles for these positions include social media specialist, social media expert, social media manager and online communities manager.

Unlike many other jobs out there, social media positions are actually geared toward a much younger applicant base. Companies typically prefer to hire fresh college grads that have a strong knowledge of the Internet and sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Job candidates at this age have grown up with the Internet and can be much more tech savvy than older applicants. Social networking sites have become an integral part of this generation and for many companies, they value social media experience over an impressive employment history.

One of the most important qualifications that one can possess when going for a career in social media is to already have a solid following online. Businesses use these sites to promote their company and bring in more clients. If they hire someone who already has 1,000 followers on Twitter and 2,000 friends on Facebook, that pans out to 3,000 potential new customers for them just by hiring one new employee.

Most social media positions usually require a bachelor’s in marketing, communications, journalism or other related fields. Marketing experience is also helpful, along with a working knowledge of social networking sites and tools. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and basic computer proficiency are also common requirements for this field.

Job duties do include more than just updating a Facebook status here and composing a random tweet there. Maintaining and developing content on web pages and blogs, monitoring fan and follower growth and editing are also common responsibilities of a social media specialist.

All qualifications and requirements aside, what’s most important for a social media worker is how well they can interact with an Internet audience on various platforms. The main objective in utilizing different sites is to build relationships and interact with potential customers via social media. This includes paying attention to customer feedback and responding to negative web attention before it becomes a major issue.

Since these types of jobs are pretty new and responsibilities are varied, salaries can range anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year. This can also depend upon how large a company is and the size of their client base and Internet audience.

For many, this growing trend may be the ideal job. For others, spending all day online surfing various social networking sites might sound like a headache. But, with 800 million people on Facebook and 200 million on Twitter, the social media market is so vast that companies would be hurting themselves by not tapping into it.

 

WORKS CITED:

Li, Shan. “Employers are liking – and hiring – social media workers” Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-social-media-jobs-20110929,0,6158114.story Accessed 9/29/11

Waugh, Danielle. “Social Media Jobs: Are They For You?” abcNEWS http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/jobs-social-media-strategists/story?id=13246140 Accessed 9/29/11

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Community college programs prepare students for the workforce

As the United States approaches its fourth year of economic confusion, economists are still undecided as to whether or not the nation will slip back into recession. With the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, feelings of uncertainty are saturated within the American public.

Even with the current air of insecurity about America’s future, there are signs of hope in the persistent job openings for highly-skilled workers. As technology develops, the skill level needed for specialized positions can prop up many industries.

To prepare the American population for in-demand jobs, community colleges are a vital factor in economic development. Two-year programs can prepare students for specialized jobs and partner with employers that are hiring to create programs designed to train specifically for new openings.

Community colleges can be flexible to the needs of employers by focusing on preparing students and teaching them the skills that are relevant to certain specialized and highly-skilled positions. During the slow economic recovery, two-year institutions have seen increased enrollment as people are studying in programs that will retrain them to meet the demands of employers.

A 2010 Federal Reserve report indicated that about one-third of students enrolled in post-secondary institutions were attending two-year colleges. Not only do community colleges prove to be important in retraining the workforce, but they also contribute significantly to the education industry in the US.

The importance of community colleges in the US economic recovery isn’t lost on the government. In October 2010, President Obama announced the Skills for America’s Future initiative, which encouraged public-private partnerships to create new retraining programs at two-year colleges.

The initiative aimed to increase the number of employers that partner with community colleges and create a stronger curriculum in order to match the skills needed for specialized jobs.

In the American Jobs Act proposal, delivered to Congress in September 2011, President Obama called for $5 billion to be spent on modernizing community colleges across the nation. If passed, the legislation would allow for upgrades to education facilities in order to better meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.

Sectors of the workforce that continue to be in demand for skilled workers include health care and manufacturing. Both of these areas continue to grow and require highly-trained workers to perform the new jobs.

According to the National Skills Coalition, middle-skill jobs make up the largest segment of the US workforce. Middle-skill positions are defined as those that require more than a high-school education but less than a four-year degree.

As the demand for skilled workers increases as the US emerges from the Great Recession, there may be a transformation in the ideals of the education system. No longer will high school students be pressured to enroll in a four-year university so they can figure out what they want to do with their lives.

There are plenty of highly-educated individuals out there with bachelor’s degrees working part-time or collecting unemployment. The future of the American workforce may be in the two-year programs designed to train students specifically for jobs in demand. Lower cost of education, higher return of employment; this may be the deciding factor in pulling America out of its economic slump once and for all.

 

WORKS CITED:

Evercloud, Debbie. “Community colleges assist in economic recovery” ourColoradonews.com http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/business/growth/community-colleges-assist-in-economic-recovery/article_ae4b39a4-de80-11e0-9d0c-001cc4c002e0.html

Smith, Diane. “Jobs plan would modernize community colleges” Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/09/21/3386717/jobs-plan-would-modernize-community.html

Spencer, Katie. “Community colleges work to fill huge demand for ‘middle-skill’ workers” MEDILL REPORTS CHICAGO http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=181511

Obama’s American Jobs Act

On Sep. 8, President Obama unveiled his $447 billion American Jobs Act before a joint session of Congress. Obama spoke for more than thirty minutes, discussing his ideas for payroll tax cuts, long-term unemployment benefits, and infrastructure spending.

This week, economists have been analyzing the President’s proposal and how it will ultimately affect the economy.

Theoretically, the plans would put hundreds of thousands back in the workforce by next year, reduce unemployment rates and boost economic growth. One of the main initiatives discussed was a substantial Social Security tax cut aimed at providing an increase in direct income.

An extension of a tax cut implemented this year that reduced Social Security taxes from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent would be extended to a new version that would drop the rate to 3.1 percent. This savings will theoretically result in more spending, temporarily spurring the economy.

The potential hurdle is that a Social Security cut would expire by the end of 2012, providing only a temporary boost in spending. In addition, there are few guarantees that Americans would use the extra money from their paychecks for goods and services, and even if they did, the US economy is largely dependent on foreign products.

The Buy American provision of Obama’s plan attempts to compensate for the potential consumer spending on foreign goods. The directive states that none of the money created by the American Jobs Act can be used for spending on infrastructure improvements unless all of the goods used in the project were produced in the US.

With at least $80 billion of the American Jobs Act proposed for spending on infrastructure improvements and the modernization of schools, the Buy American provision may keep the money spent on goods within the US. The White House also hopes that the increase in construction employment will further spur the economy.

In resolving the long-term unemployment dilemma (which includes 43 percent of out-of-work Americans), the act calls for a $4,000 tax break for businesses that hire applicants who have been unemployed for six months or more.

Additional provisions of the act include extending emergency unemployment benefits and providing aid to keep state and local governments from laying off teachers.

Political pundits predict that President Obama’s new plan will not likely be met with open arms in Congress. Republicans have criticized the act of basically re-hashing the old ideas that failed with Obama’s $825 billion economic stimulus plan in February of 2009.

Failing to provide substantial economic growth or tame the unemployment rate, that act was mainly successful in keeping the US out of a full-blown depression. Although the previous plan did manage to save or create millions of jobs, it could not compete with the rising unemployment rates across the country.

A common sentiment among those who oppose President Obama’s new ideas is that the top priority of the president is to preserve his own position. With the 2012 elections just 14 months away, holding his position in office may be on the top of Obama’s list, and some believe that his new plan is merely an attempt to gain the support of voters.

As temporary as the American Jobs Act will ultimately be, it’s a stepping stone in the right direction. It proposes ideas that both parties can hopefully agree on, but it still doesn’t address the larger concern: Spending doesn’t save an economy, so what will save America’s?

That question, at least for now, has gone unanswered by most politicians and economists.

WORKS CITED:

“Many economists say Obama jobs plan will help” Associated Press http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2011-09-09/obama-jobs-plan-economists/50336434/1

“Obama unveils $447B jobs package” USAToday http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2011-09-08/Obama-unveils-447B-jobs-package/50327464/1

“House Passes $819B Stimulus Package” FOXNEWS.com http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/28/house-passes-b-stimulus-package/

Part-Time Rock Star

In trying to get ahead in this world, one thing that you can do is take on extra work. During the trying times of a recession and its lasting effects, you have to use every opportunity to its full advantage and never shun a chance to make some extra cash.

Harder, better, faster, stronger; these are not just novelty ideas taken from the title of a Daft Punk song. To make it in today’s economic climate, one has to do just that; work harder, do better, make it faster and perform it stronger.

One easy way to perform all the aforementioned tasks and stay ahead of the competition is to get a part-time gig. A full-time job may leave you spent and confused at times. After a hard day’s work, the last thing on your mind is probably doing more work. But sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and do it up.

A part-time job might not always seem like the ideal solution, but sometimes you have just got to do what you got to do. Extra income is almost always a welcomed idea. Although taking on a part-time may just cut into your personal time, at least you will have more money coming in.

Part-time jobs can come in many different forms. Restaurant gigs are easy to come by, as are convenience store cashier jobs or even bank teller posts. Whatever the position may be, an additional influx of cash flow is always a good thing, so take it as it comes.

Whatever the case may be, one should always keep doors open. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, you what I’m saying?

If you have a job plus a side gig to fall back on, you are automatically ahead of the game.

The job market is still tough, and if you have one, I am happy for you. In fact not only I, but my leagues of followers are also happy for you. Go ahead and feel privileged; I do.