Category Archives: Career

Comfort, Counseling and Care: Are You Considering a Career in Psychology?

A career in Psychology has more to it than running your own street booth, but the rewards of this path is well worth the effort ... photo by CC user Allen Timothy Chang on wikimedia

The subject of psychology is relatively young. People have likely pondered thought processes and behavior for centuries, yet it did not begin to become a course of study until the turn of the 20th century. Today, plenty of people enlist in courses of psychology, which lead to a number of potential careers. However, not many know their options.

If you’re considering a career in psychology, read the following to realize the diversity of career choices.

Vocational Counselor

The US economy is in the wake of the Great Recession. A lot of people have switched careers, been laid off, or released from previous positions, which makes them anxious and in need of suggestions. Vocational counselors help others find jobs and successfully pursue careers. Aside from a person’s wants and intuitions, vocational counselors survey skills and help align clients with a realistic and rewarding career path.

School Psychologist

School psychologists work with children to alleviate social, academic, and emotional problems. School psychology is a fast growing field due to increased interest in the mental health and academic progress of kids and teenagers. At the moment, the demand for school psychologists outgrows the number of those qualified.

Counselor

Counselors help those with a range of immediate and long-term issues, whether it be associated to family, marriage, education, or substance abuse. A significant amount of counselors work in the health care and social welfare industries. A smaller percentage work for state and local governments and usually need a master’s degree and state license.

Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors provide data regarding genetic disorders, helping couples and families make educated decisions. Such professionals have advanced degrees in psychology and genetics, with undergraduate degrees in biology, psychology, nursing, and public health. Genetic counselors work with medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and geneticists to provide counseling to people who are dealing with a family member’s disorder or who have the potential of passing down a genetic disorder to offspring.

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists assist detectives and police officers with crime scenes and evidence. Aside from adventurous roles depicted in movies and television, forensic psychologists work with experts to resolve child custody issues, question insurance claims, evaluate child custody cases, and investigate those suspected of child abuse.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists are professionals most conjure when thinking of psychology workers. Such professionals assess, diagnose, and treat clients who host disorders. Clinical psychologists work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. It’s not simple to become a clinical psychologist; you must attain a doctorate-level degree in clinical psychology, and many states require an internship period. Moreover, graduate schools are tough to get into and very competitive once there. Most states host advanced degree programs; find an online college in Texas, seek out traditional universities in your area, or do an online search for programs in your area and beyond.

Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists work with athletes, coaches, and entire teams, focusing on motivation, performance, and injuries. A sports psychologist does not necessarily need to work within an organization; alternatively, some use athletics to help people overcome emotional and physical ailments. Sports psychologists can work in hospitals, athletic centers, or have their own private practices.

If wondering about thoughts and behavior has always been an interest, and you like the idea of helping others both mentally and physically, a career in psychology is right for you. Once you attain a Bachelor’s degree, you can then focus on proceeding with your education, specializing in school, sports, clinical, genetic psychology, and beyond.

Albert Rodriguez has spent many years in the frontline of psychological services. He always appreciates the chance to share his insights online. You can find other articles written by him on several different relevant websites.

Computer Forensics: A Cyber Career Roadmap

Computer Forensics professionals get to use a lot of cool tools ... photo by CC user ErrantX on Flickr

Maybe you don’t like the idea of mopping up after a crime scene – the blood, the bullets etc. At the same time, you love piecing together mysteries. Thankfully, there’s still a job for you in computer forensics. Here’s what it’s all about and how plug yourself into this little-known, but exciting career.

Educational Requirements

To get into digital forensics, you need a good education. The requirements can be fairly minimal, however, in terms of the actual content, quality counts more than quantity. Many computer forensics professionals learn their skills “on the job,” with a strong basic foundation in computer programming or computer forensics.

Because many of the strategies and tactics change over time, it’s difficult to set hard and fast requirements for applicants. A working knowledge of computers is necessary, but beyond that, an investigator will have to be comfortable learning new hardware and software, some of which is custom and proprietary. They may also need special security clearance if they are working on government projects.

Degrees

For those without experience in law enforcement, military, or government, there are degrees. The most common one is an Associate Degree in computer forensics. This is a two-year course of study where the student completes general education courses that are specific to a career in computer forensics.

Various courses in cybercrime, intrusion detection systems, and basic legal protocols are covered. There is also some focus on technical writing, public speaking, and algebra.

Finally, with an Associate’s degree, the individual usually has to complete an internship before graduation. This internship gives the student work experience that will help in finding a job with a forensics specialist.

If a degree isn’t something you want to pursue, there’s also a professional certificate training course in computer forensics. This is a common method of learning the basics of computer forensics. Law enforcement or computer securities professionals usually go this route. Students enrolled in these types of programs usually have a computer or legal background, eliminating the need for additional schooling.

Certificate programs require less study – just 10 courses. However, it may be more challenging for those without prior education in computers.

And, while doctoral degrees in computer forensics aren’t common, they may be in the future as the need for forensics evolves and we become more and more dependent on electronics for daily living. More and more information is being stored in the cloud, on devices locally, and in increasingly complex systems.

Experience

A lot of computer forensics experts have experience in law enforcement, as a private investigator, or in the military. The most successful will also have extensive computer programming or some other related field experience. This digital forensics expert, for example, hires those with experience in law enforcement and intelligence organizations.

As with most jobs, the more experience, the better. Many of the best forensics experts and investigators are former FBI special agents, former CIA agents, former U.S. State Department officials, and professionals from international crime and anti-terrorism units.

Experience in behavioral science, latent fingerprinting, polygraph examinations, and traditional forensics doesn’t hurt either.

Jared Stern, a certified digital forensic examiner, is a federal and state court-admitted computer and cell phone forensics expert. Mr. Stern is also the President of Prudential Associates, an investigative agency that uses a powerfully-equipped forensics lab which goes above and beyond the capacity and capability of over 90 percent of U.S. law enforcement labs. His articles appear mainly on criminal science education and industry websites.

Turning the Tables: Interview Questions Job Applicants Should Ask

What interview questions should you ask an employer? ... photo by CC user nuggety247 on pixabay

We’ve all been there: you’ve found the perfect job for your skills, but the boss is too bossy, the co-workers are childish and malevolent, or the attitudes are just a bad match. It makes you miserable. While interviewers are usually the ones who ask questions, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask interview questions to the interviewer. Reverse the roles – here’s how.

What Principles Does Your Company Value?

This question can tell you about what it might be like to work with the employer. If they embrace customer service, for example, and put a lot of focus on that, it might be a great place to work if you’re being hired in that department. It can also clue you in to the long-term viability of the company.

If their values are fuzzy or you can’t quite tell what the company stands for, it indicates problems at the middle and upper management level, mostly upper management. Not good.

Does Your Organisation Embrace Ideas From Employees? How?

If you’re the creative type, you want to know that your prospective employer values ideas. Do they have an employee suggestion box? If so, how many employee ideas get implemented within the company in a year? If there is no formal process, it means that the employer either doesn’t value employee ideas or the management isn’t thinking about growth in this way. It could be bad if you like to engage management and affect the company’s growth.

Do You Help Employees Down On Their Luck?

It happens to the best of us. What happens when an employee is down on his luck? Does the company offer a community disaster fund or financial help for families in need within the organisation?

If not, does the company help connect you to financial firms? For example, Ferratum offers cash loans for people on Centrelink – an important way for low income people to dig themselves out of financial trouble. If employees are at or near the poverty line, this could mean that the employer isn’t paying them enough. If there’s no financial assistance for low income employees, run.

What Are Your Plans For Growth?

This is a great question to know the answer to, and it gives you an idea of the long-term potential of your job.

Who Previously Held This Position?

This seems like a pretty straightforward question, but the implications embedded in the answer will tell you a lot. Ask the person interviewing you, what happened to the previous employee.

If the person was promoted, for example, it could tell you about potential possibilities for advancement in the company. If they were fired, you might not be able to get details as to why, but it tells you that there are rules which are taken seriously, which you can then ask about. If a person quit, this can be (but isn’t always) a bad sign.

What’s The Next Step?

This question is almost never asked, but should be the last question you ask before walking out the door. Get specifics from the interviewer. If he or she seems wishy washy or unwilling to give you details about the hiring process, or if the interviewer doesn’t seem like he or she wants to answer your question, it might be best to move on. Either the employer isn’t serious, or there are serious hiring and HR problems developing within the organisation.

Jamie Holden is a personnel director. He likes to write about what works for him on the web. His posts appear on many finance and employment blog sites. 

Investment management: is it a career for you?

Goldman Sachs are one of the leading employers of graduates educated in investment management... photo by CC user Quantumquark on wikimedia

Careers in investment management may be an excellent option for those who are good with numbers and research, and that are looking to utilize and develop these talents.

An investment manager’s job is to make money for clients. A successful manager turns a portfolio into a vehicle for growth using the risk level and desired returns specified by the individual needs of each client.

Successful portfolio managers are those who are self-motivated and possess good analytical, research, and communication skills.

College students interested in a financial management career are advised to study economics, accounting and mathematics, written and verbal communication, and general business courses. Many portfolio managers hold an MBA. Once work experience is gained, professional certification, CFA, may be applied for. A Chartered Financial Analyst shows proficiency in quantitative analysis, practical experience, and use of terms and techniques necessary for professional status.

There are several different paths within the investment management career. The size of the firm will help to determine what specific job each new hire will perform. A large firm that manages mutual funds, for example, may wish to hire entry-level research analysts straight out of college, whereas a smaller firm might offer more diverse tasks. Job outlook will depend on the firm’s growth rate and how often an analyst recommends winning investments to the fund manager.

Advantages of this career path are many. The earnings of an investment manager are not dependent on how many hours are spent at the office. Instead, compensation and promotions are usually determined by how much money is made for clients. It is a competitive industry with room for the successful to grow.

The career path of Wesley Edens of Fortress Investment Group provides one example of such success. Currently co-founder and principal, Mr Edens held several positions with other firms, including partner and managing director, before founding Fortress in 1998. Fortress has grown rapidly under his direction, separating the business into four branches totaling more than $55 billion in assets under their management.

A self-motivated individual who desires a career in financial investment management can begin by researching firms and what each requires of its new employees, keeping in mind that a position as a manager is usually attained over time. A penchant for learning is a good beginning, with graduated steps along the way. Once reached, the portfolio management position provides an exciting and lucrative opportunity filled with daily challenges.

Why a Graduate Certificate Might Be a Better Be Than a Master’s Degree

Today’s highly competitive job market has left many college students wondering whether the extra time and money to get a master’s degree will pay off in the form of improved career prospects. But what many don’t realize is that a master’s degree isn’t the only option for post-baccalaureate education. There’s another, less expensive, faster way to gain industry-specific skills at the post-graduate level — the graduate certificate.

A graduate certificate takes about half as long to earn as a master’s degree, and is a fraction of the cost. In most fields, including project monitoring and evaluation, a graduate certificate can improve your job prospects and raise your salary just as much as a master’s degree. Even if you already have a master’s degree, a graduate certificate is a fast and economical way to upgrade your skills and stay competitive in the jobs market.

Advance Your Education in Less Time

If you want to enhance your skill set and pad your resume, but also want to hit the job market as soon as possible, a graduate certificate is the way to go. Online programs are a popular choice for students who want to earn graduate certificates; you could go to school online for a graduate certificate in project monitoring and evaluation, for example, while still holding down a full-time job.

The typical graduate certificate program consists of four to seven credits, although some programs can comprise as many as 15 credits. That’s about half as many as a master’s degree, so the degree takes a lot less time to earn — usually a year or less, compared to two or more years for a master’s. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a qualification that could help you get that big promotion you’ve got your eye on, if you want to earn more money, or even if you want to change careers.

Boost Your Earning Power

You already know that people with master’s degrees tend to earn more than people who have only a bachelor’s degree, but you don’t have to commit to a master’s program to bring home bigger paychecks. Graduate certificates are especially valuable for people working in technical fields, such as heating and air conditioning, or in emerging fields, such as cybersecurity, social media marketing, or homeland security. Thirty-nine percent of men with a graduate certificate earn more than their counterparts with a bachelor’s, and 34 percent of women with graduate certificates make more than their baccalaureate-educated peers.

Save Money

If you’re not sure whether you want a master’s degree or you’re in a field where a graduate degree doesn’t necessarily equal a higher salary, a graduate certificate can get you the education you need to advance at a much lower price tag.

A graduate certificate runs about $5,000, compared to the tens of thousands of dollars a master’s degree costs. And if you’ve already got a master’s degree, it just doesn’t make sense to go back to school for another one when a graduate certificate could give you the extra specialization you need at a lower price and with a shorter time commitment.

Improve Your Job Prospects

While it’s true that there are certain fields where a master’s degree is a must — think law, medicine, or business — in most fields, a job candidate with a graduate certificate will always win out over one with only a bachelor’s degree. Employers are impressed by the extra credential, as most graduate certificate programs are tailored to meet industry demands.

Since the programs are so short, there’s no risk of your skills becoming outdated by the time you hit the job market. They’re also a good way to update skills later in your career, especially if you want to break into or advance in an emerging field that didn’t even exist when you were a traditional college student; one-third of people who earn graduate certificates are over age 30.

If you’re reluctant to commit to a lengthy, expensive master’s degree program, why not consider a graduate certificate instead? You can earn a specialized post-baccalaureate qualification in half the time and at a fraction of the cost of a master’s degree, and hit the job market faster and harder with the kinds of skills that make employers stand up and take notice.

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