Job Strategies for Professionals

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Are you fearful about your career future? Good people can’t find jobs. College graduates are losing Hope. Our world is filled with uncertainty. My co-author William Bailey and I wrote our latest book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence.  Through our research, we found that there is a huge disconnect between what organizations are looking for in potential employees, and what today’s job seeker are providing. I will share some of the key insights from our undertaking. Continue reading

An Educated Society

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran to Kroger to pick up some grocery items.  I went to the cashier and talked to him during my purchased.  I wished him a happy holiday season and stated at least he was making double overtime and leaving early.  The cashier pointed out that he was not making anything extra.  It was just a normal day for the store.  I thought this was sad for him. 

Many employees live paycheck to paycheck.  Some employees in low paying jobs like retail are college and high school students attempting to put some money into their pocket as they move on to something else.  However, there are many people for the next several years these jobs are their endpoint due to the lack of advanced education.    

The economic crisis has wreaked havoc on America’s prosperity and its future. According to a 2010 Pew Research survey, one in four adults between the ages of 18 and 24 moved back in with their parents during the recession.  Furthermore, the cost of a college degree keeps rising like gasoline for my car. 

From 1999-2000 academic year through 2009-2010, the price increase of a four year degree from a public institution was 42% with the average annual cost for four-year undergraduate tuition, room and board being $15,014 (private: $32,790).

For many students, an education is an investment. According to U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 19 million students enrolled in college in 2010 which represented an 11.5% increase from 2007.  In fact, graduate school enrollment jumped over 19% during this time.  Horace Mann, an American education reformer, noted “A human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated.” Another education reformer John Dewey added, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  

However, an education is not a silver bullet or the solution for an individual’s well-being.  In an economic crisis, even highly educated or seasoned professionals can be a casualty.  Yet, an education provides unique opportunities. 

Doors can open with the right preparation. With a bachelor’s degree, the median income for individuals in 2010 was $47,422 which was 80% higher than those individuals with only a high school diploma. 

For individuals with a graduate or professional degree, this figure jumped to a median income of $62,618.  Therefore, it becomes more important for students to be strategic in their education. 

There should be a component of selecting the appropriate college degree or technical training, obtaining  practical experience in the specific industry, and developing a robust professional network to seize on career opportunities.

Discuss your personal experiences on this topic.

 © 2011 by Daryl D. Green

Guest Blogger – Career Opportunities in Operations Management

Prof. Green had asked me if I could write something for the upcoming MBA graduates. I am happy to oblige because, in my opinion, a career in operations management is very exciting and full of opportunities.

There are a few important things to keep in mind as you start searching for a job in the field of operations management. Don’t be hasty Aim to find a job that will give you most responsibility. While the position will come with a learning curve, it will also make you a more valuable employee in the long run.

Let’s examine the following charts from Career Builder to give you a further look into the career of operations management:

Please take a look at the charts, before you read any further. Try to absorb the meaning behind the numbers.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Does education plays a large role in compensation? 

Does experience plays a large role in salary?

What is notable about the industry and compensation graph? 

Take a few minutes to think about these questions and see what hidden information those numbers hold. The ability to read between the lines is one of the most important things that an operations manager can do. This is something you will need to do on a daily basis.

Now that you’ve done the exercise. Let’s delve into it.

First, let’s notice how education gives you a large edge in salary compared to experience in this field. If you are getting MBA or Masters in operations management, you can pat yourself on the back. It would take you 20 years of experience to get a slightly lower salary just by working. This is of course a rough, aggregated date, but what it really says is: education will get you a higher position that will give you a higher salary compared to just getting experience in the field.

Under the ‘Compensation based on Industry’ chart, you can see that between the #1 industry (Health care) and the #6 industry (Aerospace and Defense), the salary gap is $30,000 a year (or  approximately 36% less), just based on one factor: field. All fields are not equal. Making a proper selection of what you want to do in the ops career and focusing your job search on one or two specific fields, is not only smart thing to do, but mandatory.  

I have good news for all of the aspiring operations managers. There’s a very high demand for your services. It is one major in business schools that a lot of people and even students don’t think about or even know about and yet almost every business has a need for it.

 This results in a high demand for operations managers. Unlike finance majors who continue struggling after the crash, demand for operations managers is still growing due to the increasing complexities of supply chain, online logistics, international trade and a number of other factors. The higher the complexity, the more there is a need for a person to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

According to Career Builder’s current statistics, for every 87 job seekers, there are 100 openings in operations management field.  This is a huge discrepancy in supply and demand; especially in the economy we are in, where in some fields there are hundreds of candidates for one position.

As operations managers entering the workforce, you have one of the best job opportunities available to you. This is why you should focus on the field that can get you further, give you the most experience, and will give you the most room to grow. Be aware of what’s happening in the job market.

Follow where the new trends are moving, keep your fingers on a pulse and you will not be disappointed with a payoff in terms of great job and bright career path.

Please comment on this topic and provide the guest blogger with meaningful feedback. 


Artyom Malkov is the author of “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management.” He is one of the founders and the current CEO of OperationsManager.com.

 Artyom has an MBA in Operations Management from New York’s Zicklin School of Business.  When he is not handling the day-to-day business at OperationsManager.com, he consults companies on the best practices and trends in operations management.