Posts tagged ‘Career Interests’

Higher Education is “Hot in Cleveland”!

by Dr. Mark Giuliano

Why Cleveland Rocks

Looking for a job with great pay and future security? Don’t want to miss out on America’s economic recovery? Then a post-high school education should be a part of your plan. Take a look at what is happening in Cleveland, Ohio right now.

It’s no coincidence that today Cleveland is considered America’s comeback city.  Huge investments and developments in higher education, and students willing to capitalize on them,  have helped Cleveland garner such accolades as the Nation’s Medical Capital, Top 10 Metro Region for Economic Recovery in the U.S. (49th internationally) and Number Two for Growth in Manufacturing jobs.

The Nation’s Medical Capital

Cleveland’s growing prominence as the nation’s hub for medical research and treatment has driven-up the demand for high-tech workers throughout North East Ohio.  And it’s not just physicians who are needed but skilled medical professionals. The demand for technicians and medical assistants to billing specialist and health care managers are energizing schools like Cleveland State University (CSU) and Cuyahoga Community College (TRI-C) to offer a bevy of world class health care and medical technology courses and programs, as well as offer grants and other funding opportunities to motivated students.

The renowned Cleveland Clinic, Metro-Health, and University Hospitals and the health care industry in general account for the second largest gross regional product (GDR) in North East Ohio, and one of the highest industries for employment.  Whether it’s a specialty certification, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree, post-high school training is the key to unlocking a career in health care today.

High-Tech Manufacturing Jobs in the City that Rock and Roll Built

Not to be outdone by the medical industry, however, manufacturing is still the largest contributor to the GDR and it is partially responsible for the recent rise in employment levels in North East Ohio.  In 2010, Cleveland added another 4900 manufacturing jobs to the region.  A GED or high school diploma isn’t going to put you into one of these high-paying professions, however.  New manufacturing jobs in Cleveland tend to be to be of the high-tech variety.  In fact, the term “job” may not even fit anymore. The needs in manufacturing are for professionals who hold “occupations” – high-tech machine and computer operators, for example, or bio-medical designers, engineers and manufacturers.

In part, post-high school education is driving Cleveland’s economic success and growing standard of living.   It should be driving yours, too!

Mark Giuliano is the Senior Pastor of the Old Stone Church on Public Square and is a member of the Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corporation. He blogs at

The Need to Know

by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

When I was barely underway pursuing my Associate’s Degree, the television series “Cosmos,” hosted and co-written by the late Dr. Carl Sagan, aired on PBS.  In this series, Dr. Sagan introduced science to the viewers with a flair and romance that was his signature teaching style.  Difficult concepts were presented in a manner that made them easy to digest (e.g. “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe” was one of his famous opening lines).  It was through “Cosmos” that I first learned about the great Library at Alexandria that existed there for 700 years.

Recently released on DVD is the film “Agora” which tells the story of the last days of the great Library.  Throughout the film, the scientist Hypatia was driven to understand the nature of the solar system and the relationship between the Earth and the sun.  She was compelled to find answers.  This compulsion can be traced back from today’s scientists through to Hypatia and before the existence of the Library.  It is a fundamental characteristic of being human.  We need to know.

If you are returning to college – no matter what level – you may be pragmatic in your reengaging with higher learning, e.g. you want to change careers, you want a raise.  However, there will be those courses that tug at you; courses you cannot wait to take.  In the meantime, you may be researching topics of interest on your own.  You need to know.

Today, information is readily available.  I can be uncertain about a specific fact during a classroom lecture, and within seconds, a student has looked it up and given me the answer.  There is a glut of information at our fingertips and we are the gluttons seeking that information.  Any immediate question can have an immediate answer.  The students need to know.

This is our innately human quality – that drive to understand, to learn, to delve more deeply into the subjects that fascinate us.  Whether it is Hypatia’s mathematics and astronomy or your Civil War fixation or the best soils for gardening or the practical nature of double entry accounting … keep on striving for the answers.

Perhaps it is a “new” idea that has suddenly begun to dominate your thinking.  For me, 30 years ago, it was the Library at Alexandria and the people who taught there.  For you, it could be the environmental message in the film “Avatar,” or the complexities of running for political office, or the phenomenon of “social networking.”

Whatever your passion or curiosity, pursue it with eyes wide, like a child’s.  Embrace your need to know!

“I’m creative. I don’t need college for that.”

by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a discussion about nurturing creativity through the physical expression of yoga.  As the conversation progressed, it became more and more centered on the creative process as personalized by each participant in the group.  For many of them, college was a factor – either as a focus, or a hindrance, or as a challenge.  As a matter of fact, there was a nice mix of students, educators and independent artists.  In no case did they regret the college experience.

Those group members who were in college for their art said that they were challenged by the assignments, the standards required, and the inevitable critique.  Being able to focus on the project at hand was a commonly shared experience, too. For students, the deadline of the assignment created a necessary focus.  For others, focus came as a product of both their college experiences and self-discipline.  Those who found that college was a hindrance to their natural artistic expression (because of all of the academic requirements) also acknowledged that this was part of the challenge – which brings us full circle back to the beginning of this paragraph.

Does this mean that you HAVE to have college in order to be successful creatively?  Of course not.  What college does, though, is give you both training and knowledge that will support you in your future artistic endeavors.  Another, even more practical benefit is the connections you can make through your college for purposes of job placement and networking.

In the previous blog, I spoke about a family member who has always wanted to be a professional photographer.  She lives in a major college town and has researched the idea of attending college.  She is a Non-Traditional Student (NTS) because she has been out of school for at least 10 years.  In her case, she knew college would help her, but was intimidated by the courses.  As a matter of fact, she said that she did not want to attend college because they “wouldn’t let me take courses in my major.”  She was referring to those pesky math and English courses – which, from her perspective, has nothing to do with photography.   (See previous blog entries under “Overcoming Obstacles” for more detail on psychological barriers to pursuing college.)  Yet, in pursuit of this dream of photography, she has started to look through college catalogues and discovered all of the courses that will develop her talent.  She is, as she said, “stoked” about taking these courses – fully realizing that math and English are also on the list of the college’s “must-take” courses.  It seems that as she reviewed the photography courses over and over, read their descriptions, learned about local galleries sponsored by the school, she was beginning to see how the two – college and creativity – were linked.

So, is college absolutely necessary to have a career that expresses your creativity?  No.  One thing is certain, though:  you will artistically grow from the college experience.

When It Comes to Income, What Difference Does College Make?

Written July 19th, 2010
Categories: Career Interests, Income
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau answered that question based upon data obtained in 2008. If you go to the link below and scroll all the way to the bottom, you will discover that the “Mean Income,” or the average income, of nearly 200,000 Americans, is directly related to their level of education. The highest average income falls under the “Professional Degree” (e.g. attorneys). The second highest average is listed under “Doctorate Degree,” (e.g. a Ph.D. who teaches at a private university). The difference in income between those with a high school education and those having an Associate’s Degree is nearly $10,000 a year, and their income continually increases as the level of education increases.

Please review the chart and determine how taking your education to the next level may increase your income. Click here to pull up the chart.

Where to start finding your niche …

Missouri Western State University has a “Career Interest Game” on their site. This “game” helps a prospective student get an idea about what s/he might be interested in for a major and, possibly, a career. It is a simplified adaptation of “The Party Exercise” from the best-selling book on career choices, “What Color is Your Parachute?”

If you are not sure where to start, the “Career Interest Game” is a good place to begin brain-storming with yourself! Click here to go to Missouri Western’s site.

See also for the companion web site to the book “What Color is Your Parachute?”