Tag Archives: United States

Go Green or Go Home

Image representing Al Gore as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

It’s nothing new that green is the way of the future. This is not something that just sounds like a good idea or some harebrained scheme by some tree-huggers that love the Earth. It’s something that we must do in order to preserve our world and reduce our nation’s dependence on oil.

With the cost of gas prices teetering around $4.00 a gallon around the country, we need to figure a healthy alternative. In addition to hurting our pockets, the fact that we use so much oil on a daily basis is greatly impacting the environment. Global warming is not just some theory from Al Gore. It is a harsh truth, and we need to do something about it.

People are catching on to this sentiment, and one of those people is pretty much the most important person in the US; President Obama. A recent article by USA Today reported that the Obama administration is buying up 116 electric cars, mostly Chevrolet Volts and also some Nissan Leafs.

This is the first step in a long term plan to have the government buy only fuel-efficient cars by the year 2015. It’s also aimed at inspiring consumers around the nation to do the same in hopes to have 1 million electric cars on the road by that year.

The facts are staggering. This small fleet of cars purchased by the US government is expected to benefit the nation in a number of ways. It will cut gas usage by 29,000 gallons a year and save taxpayers over $100,000 in fuel costs. As an organization that has over 650,000 vehicles in its repertoire, the US government can easily make a huge and beneficial impact by purchasing only fuel-efficient and electric cars. Think of what the benefits would be if all of those cars were electric.

In addition to this purchase, the Obama administration will install charging stations for electric cars in five different cities; Washington DC, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

So what does all this have to do with the job market? Well it basically just shows the shift in our economy to becoming a green nation. And this affects the workforce by providing plenty of new opportunities in that sector.

The possibilities for environmentally-friendly jobs are endless. To be considered green, a job really just has to benefit the environment in some way. Obviously, this can entail positions in the production of fuel-efficient vehicles, but also other jobs such as those in solar panel production and installation, at wind farms and really anything you can imagine that might have a positive effect on our Mother Earth.

So when you are out there looking for jobs, pay attention to the green ones. They will hold our world together for the future, they will be stable and they will be bountiful.

Green is indeed the way of the future. President Obama has got the right idea. Do you?

A New Breed of Lawyer

Lawyer

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We are finally starting to pull out of the recession, but we are not totally out just yet. The tough times have had lasting effects on the job market and on the general attitude of Americans as well. Some people have adapted to the tough times by switching careers, taking second jobs or even moving down the ladder in the workforce.

One sector of the workforce in which the effects of the recession have had some impact is the law business. The fact that clients are not spending nearly as much as they were ten years ago has prompted big law firms to spawn a new breed of lawyers to compensate. Known as career associates or permanent associates, these legal workers make almost half as much as legal associates.

Some see it as a sign of the times. There are lawyers out there who regret having to take a step back into one of these positions, but it’s not all bad. According to the a recent article from the New York Times, these career associates generally earn about $60,000 a year, but they do not have to put in the long and strenuous hours of legal associates.

Career associates typically perform a lot of the same tasks that legal associates do, including writing briefs, visiting clients and prepping witnesses before court hearings. So they are lawyers. They do a lot of the same work. But the good news is they don’t have to work as hard.

The career associate path is becoming a popular option for those that like to spend more time at home and do not desire to live at their job. This is definitely a more family-friendly position than that of a legal associate, enabling one to work from home and travel less.

Law firms have essentially operated on the same structure for the past fifty years or so. Clients pay big fees for legal services, and legal associates can earn up to $160,000 a year fresh out of law school. But the legal business has transformed to cope with the fact that people are spending a lot less in all aspects of the economy.

This also helps to keep jobs within the US. A lot of the legal work that career associates are doing can be out-sourced to workers in other countries, but this is not necessary. This job title also helps to bring this sort of legal work to cities that do not exist within the realm of massive law epicenters like New York or Los Angeles.

Since career associates make less, a lot of them live in towns with lower costs of living. There’s no reason to uproot the family and move to some big city with all the smog and traffic when you don’t have to.

The career associate offers a lot of the same services as legal associates, and they do get paid a whole lot less. But this is good for clients and for people that do not want to dedicate every second of their day to the legal practice.

So in terms of adapting to the circumstances of the economy and providing opportunities that did not exist before, the career associate is a beneficial addition to the world of law.

How Does Your Degree Measure Up?

Degree

Image by ~ Phil Moore via Flickr

A recent study has shown that personal income depends greatly on one’s choice of college studies. This might be bad news for all you art majors out there, so take into consideration which path you are traversing at the university. It may determine your future and how much you end up making in a lifetime.

According to an article by the Associated Press this week, college graduates earn an average of 84% more than high school graduates. This is like the difference between steak dinners and a can of beans. But it’s not all so easy. Taking college courses can be costly and time-consuming. Student loans will haunt you for years and years after graduation day.

Graduating from college does not necessarily guarantee gainful employment either. Even grads suffer from job loss and the woes of a lagging economy. Some areas of study fare better than others though. The degrees who suffer most from unemployment after graduation include social psychology, nuclear engineering, education administration and supervision. And those who are graced with better employment opportunities are geological and geophysical engineering, military technology, pharmacology and school student counseling.

We all want to follow our hearts and do the things we love in life, but unfortunately those things don’t always pay off. Some have realized this fact and taken to the areas of study that are proven to provide better opportunities. The most popular major in college right now is business, accounting for almost 25% of all undergrads. The least popular areas of study are industrial arts and agriculture.

Business is definitely a good path to choose for college, but will that major always ensure a brighter future? Not necessarily… A lot of job market earnings also depend upon gender as well. Men and women are interested in different things, and this rings true in college studies. The highest-paying areas of study such as engineering and pharmaceutical sciences are dominated by men. The lower earning majors include education, art and social work; fields that are dominated by women.

It would be good to know that your studies will pay off and end up paying for themselves in the long run, but it takes more than brandishing a piece of paper to land the dream job. It takes ingenuity, perseverance and determination to make it in this world. Applying for jobs can sure be a hassle, and you have to tap into all resources available to make it happen.

But the basics are clear; college grads end up making more money than those who avoid the university. Sure it’s tough to push through those four years and to keep typing out cover letters and resumes, but if you keep at it, you can in fact make things happen.

So listen to your mother. Do your homework. Go to college, and don’t settle for less. The ones who keep at it are the ones who end up making the most money.

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