Monday, April 23, 2018

Career of the Day: Computer Systems Analyst

While computer programmers are the professionals writing code, computer systems analysts are the detail-oriented Information Technology experts who manage the project to ensure that it makes sense for the user and meets the client's needs. These are professionals who are not just fluent in computer science, but also extremely skilled with customer service. In order to pursue this career, you will find college majors with many different names, from computer science information systems to management science to information technology. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Career of the Day: Optometrist

Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the body related to vision. They also diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed. Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry program and get a state license. Doctor of Optometry programs take 4 years to complete after earning a four-year undergraduate degree.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Career of the Day: Security Guard

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and inspect property against fire, theft, vandalism, terrorism, and illegal activity. They monitor people and buildings in an effort to prevent crime. Guards must remain alert, looking for anything out of the ordinary throughout their shift. In an emergency, guards may call for assistance from police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards may be armed. Unarmed guards generally need to have a high school diploma. For armed guards, employers usually prefer people who have some coursework in criminal justice. Some employers prefer to hire security guards with some higher education, such as a police science or criminal justice degree. Programs and courses that focus specifically on security guards also are available at some postsecondary schools.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Career of the Day: Probations Officer

Recidivism is a person breaking a law after having consequences for breaking the law a first time. In order to keep individuals from violating laws and getting into more trouble, corrections departments have probation officers or correctional treatment specialists to conduct follow-up meetings with such individuals. Becoming a probation officer requires at least a bachelors degree in criminal justice, psychology, and/or social work. This career can be frustrating at times and immensely gratifying at others. Successful probation officers are firm yet gentle, have strong social skills, and are very organized.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Career of the Day: Real Estate Agent

Real estate sales agents must be knowledgeable about the real estate market in their area. To match properties to clients’ needs, they should be familiar with local communities, including knowledge of the crime rate and the proximity to schools and shopping. Brokers and agents also must stay current on financing options; government programs; types of available mortgages; and real estate, zoning, and fair housing laws. Real estate sales agents need at least a high school diploma. Sales agents must be licensed. To become licensed, candidates complete a particular number of hours of real estate courses.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Career of the Day: Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers are licensed to manage their own businesses. Brokers, as independent businesspeople, often sell real estate owned by others. In addition to helping clients buy and sell properties, they may help rent or manage properties for a fee. Many operate a real estate office, handling business details and overseeing the work of sales agents. To obtain a broker’s license, individuals need a specific amount of experience as a licensed sales agent, usually 1 to 3 years. They must also take additional formal classroom training. In some states, a bachelor’s degree may be substituted in place of some experience or training requirements.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Career of the Day: Postsecondary Educator

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books. Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In technical and trade schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Career of the Day: Meteorologist

Meterologists use highly developed instruments and computer programs to do their jobs. For example, they use weather balloons, radar systems, satellites, and sensors to monitor the weather and collect data. The data they collect and analyze are critical to understanding air pollution, drought, loss of the ozone layer, and other problems. Some atmospheric scientists work on teams with other scientists and engineers to find the best locations for new wind farms, which are groups of wind turbines used to generate electricity. Others work closely with hydrologists to monitor the impact climate change has on water supplies and to manage water resources. Atmospheric scientists need a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a closely related field for most positions.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Career of the Day: Medical Equipment Repairer

Medical equipment repairers, also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMET), repair a wide variety of electronic, electromechanical, and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and health practitioners’ offices. They may work on patient monitors, defibrillators, medical imaging equipment (X rays, CAT scanners, and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs, as well as on sophisticated medical equipment that dentists and eye doctors use. The most common education is an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Those who repair less-complicated equipment, such as hospital beds and electric wheelchairs, may learn entirely through on-the-job training. Others, particularly those who work on more sophisticated equipment, such as CAT scanners and defibrillators, may need a bachelor's degree.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Career of the Day: Physical Therapist

Physical therapists, sometimes referred to as PTs, help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries. Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; stroke; birth conditions, such as cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports; and other conditions.Physical therapy programs usually award a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, although a small number award a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree. Doctoral programs typically last 3 years; MPT programs require 2 to 3 years of study. Most programs, either DPT or MPT, require a bachelor’s degree for admission, and many require specific prerequisites, such as anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Career of the Day: Physicist

Physicists and astronomers study the fundamental nature of the universe, ranging from the vastness of space to the smallest of subatomic particles. They develop new technologies, methods, and theories based on the results of their research to deepen our understanding of how things work and contribute to innovative, real-world applications. Most physics and astronomy graduate students have bachelor’s degrees in physics or a related field. Because astronomers need a strong background in physics, a bachelor’s degree in physics is often considered the best preparation for Ph.D. programs in astronomy. Undergraduate physics programs provide a broad background in the natural sciences and mathematics. Typical courses are classical and quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, and electromagnetism.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Career of the Day: Plumber

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases to and in businesses, homes, and factories. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install, maintain, and repair many different types of pipe systems. The median annual wage of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $46,660 in May 2010. A 4- or 5-year apprenticeship is how most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade. Each year, apprentices must have at least 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 246 hours of related technical education. Apprentices learn safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and how to read blueprints. They also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry. They become familiar with different types of piping systems and plumbing tasks.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Career of the Day: Park Ranger

Park rangers protect natural resources and historical and cultural monuments. They work in places across the country, from Alcatraz and the Grand Canyon to the Everglades and the Statue of Liberty. Most do everything from supervising park staff to teaching the public to value the site’s resources. After getting experience in the field, a ranger might specialize. With a focus on conserving natural resources, for example, a ranger might replant native grasses on a prairie or test water samples to find the source of pollution. Whatever their duties, rangers need to be able to communicate well with the public. You'll need a bachelor's degree in an environmental field to get this job.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Career of the Day: Legal Assistant

Paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. However, their specific duties may vary depending on the size of the firm or organization. In smaller firms, paralegals duties tend to vary more. In addition to reviewing and organizing information, paralegals may prepare written reports that help lawyers determine how to handle their cases. If lawyers decide to file lawsuits on behalf of clients, paralegals may help prepare the legal arguments and draft documents to be filed with the court. In larger organizations, paralegals work mostly on a particular phase of a case, rather than handling a case from beginning to end. For example, a litigation paralegal might only review legal material for internal use, maintain reference files, conduct research for lawyers, and collect and organize evidence for hearings. Litigation paralegals often do not attend trials, but might prepare trial documents or draft settlement agreements. There are several paths to become a paralegal. Candidates can enroll in a community college paralegal program to earn an associate’s degree. A small number of schools also offer bachelor’s and master's degrees in paralegal studies. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject can earn a certificate in paralegal studies. Finally, some employers hire entry-level paralegals without any experience or education in paralegal studies and train them on the job, though these jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Career of the Day: Software Developer

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They begin by understanding how the customer plans to use the software. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it. If the program does not work as expected or people find it to difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance. Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer-programming skills.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Career of the Day: Loan Officer

Loan officers use a process called underwriting to assess whether applicants qualify for loans. After collecting and verifying all the required financial documents, the loan officer evaluates this information to determine the applicant’s loan needs and ability to pay back the loan. Some firms underwrite loans manually, calculating the applicant’s financial status by following a certain formula or set of guidelines. Other firms use underwriting software, which analyze applications almost instantly. More often, firms use underwriting software to produce a recommendation, while relying on loan officers to consider any additional information to make a final decision. The work of loan officers has sizeable customer service and sales components. Loan officers often answer questions and guide customers through the application process. In addition, many loan officers must market the products and services of their lending institution and actively solicit new business. Commercial loan officers generally need a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, economics, or a related field. Mortgage loan officers must be licensed.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Career of the Day: Lighting Designer


Lighting designers are tremendous resource for innovative, practical and economically viable lighting solutions. They understand the role of lighting in architecture and interior design and rely on their extensive experience and knowledge of lighting equipment and systems to enhance and strengthen design. In plays and concerts, the lighting designer begins by reading the script to be produced noting the type of light it calls for in each scene. Designer and director share their ideas about how light could be used to enhance the production concept at their first meeting. Early meetings with the set designer are also important because the set and lighting designers must collaborate on how to achieve the desired "look" for the play. The plan for the set may influence the placement and direction of the necessary lighting instruments, so flagging any potential problems in this area as early as possible makes sense.
Lighting designers attend rehearsals to get a feel for the lighting cues and to plan how to light the actors as they move from place to place on stage. When the blocking is set, the lighting designer can start to work out which lighting instruments will be used and where each one will be located. Many lighting designers have degrees in production design.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Career of the Day: Pharmacist

Simply put, pharmacists fill prescriptions. They are responsible for ensuring that patients get the exact potency and type of medication prescribed by the physician, and they consult the patients on proper dosage and possible side effects. They maintain accurate records in order to bill insurance companies and limit liability and negligence. Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited school, which is typically two or three years beyond a 3- or 4-year bachelor's degree.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Career of the Day: Medical Assistant

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Their duties may include taking patient history and measure vital signs, helping the physician with patient examinations, giving patient injections as directed by the physician, schedule patient appointments, and preparing blood for laboratory tests. Programs are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, or universities and take about 1 year to complete. These programs usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community and junior colleges offer 2-year programs that lead to an associate’s degree. All programs have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Career of the Day: Photographer

Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images that visually tell a story or record an event. Most photographers use digital cameras instead of the traditional silver-halide film cameras. Digital cameras capture images electronically, so the photographer can edit the image on a computer. Images can be stored on portable memory devices, such as compact disks, memory cards, and flash drives. Once the raw image has been transferred to a computer, photographers can use processing software to crop or modify the image and enhance it through color correction and other specialized effects. Photographers who edit their own pictures use computers, high-quality printers, and editing software. Although formal education is not required for most photographers, many take classes or earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, which can improve their skills and employment prospects.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Career of the Day: Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed practical nurses (known as LPNs) provide basic medical care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors. Duties of LPNs vary, depending on their work setting, For example, they may teach family members how to care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed infants; collect samples for testing and do routine laboratory tests; or feed patients who need help eating. Because medical care is regulated, LPNs may be limited to doing certain tasks, depending on their state. In some states, for example, LPNs with proper training can give medication or start intravenous (IV) drips, while in other states they cannot. State regulations govern the extent to which LPNs must be directly supervised; for example, an LPN may provide certain forms of care only with instructions from a registered nurse. LPNs must complete an accredited program, which takes about 1 year. These programs are commonly in technical schools and community colleges. They may occasionally be in high schools and hospitals as well. Practical nursing programs combine classroom learning in subjects such as nursing, biology, and pharmacology, with supervised clinical experience.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Career of the Day: Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts perform research and gather data to help a company market its products or services. They gather data on consumer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits. They collect data and information using a variety of methods, such as interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, and literature reviews. Analysts help determine a company’s position in the marketplace by researching their competitors and analyzing their prices, sales, and marketing methods. Using this information, they may determine potential markets, product demand, and pricing. Their knowledge of the targeted consumer enables them to develop advertising brochures and commercials, sales plans, and product promotions. Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field. Many have degrees in fields such as statistics, math, or computer science. Others have a background in business administration, one of the social sciences, or communications. Courses in statistics, research methods, and marketing are essential for these workers; courses in communications and social sciences—such as economics, psychology, and sociology—are also important.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Career of the Day: Zookeeper

Many people like animals, but taking care of them is hard work. Zookeepers take care of wild animals in zoos and animal parks. They feed the animals, clean their living spaces, and work to keep them healthy. Zookeepers watch the animals to see if they are sick or hurt. Keepers need to watch and listen carefully to notice any changes in behavior. Keepers write detailed notes about each animal and tell a veterinarian if there is a problem. Many keepers go to college for 2 or 4 years. They often study biology, animal science, or some other science. Keepers also need to understand math so that they can measure food properly. Keepers need good writing and speaking skills so that they can take notes and talk to the public.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Career of the Day: Occupational Therapist

Patients with permanent disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, often need help performing daily tasks. Therapists show patients how to use appropriate adaptive equipment, such as leg or knee braces, wheelchairs, and eating aids. Patients can function independently and control their living environment by using these devices. Some occupational therapists work in educational settings with children one on one or in small groups. They evaluate disabled children’s abilities, modify classroom equipment to accommodate certain disabilities, and help children participate in school activities. Occupational therapists need a master’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy program.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Career of the Day: Restaurateur

Owning a restaurant is a labor of love, and most restaurateurs work long hours. The owner keeps tabs on things like items to be ordered, customer complaints, and staff scheduling conflicts, all of which are recorded in the book. She studies the accounting records daily and stays on top of the restaurant’s financial situation. She may also take on duties like confirming reservations. Restaurateurs come from many walks of life, but mostly they have experience within the industry. A restaurant owner can be either a “backer” or an active owner. Backers provide funding to the active owners and entrust them to run the place.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Career of the Day: School Counselor

School Counselors are responsible for the planning and implementation of a comprehensive program that meets the academic, career, personal, and social developmental needs of their specific school population. School Counselors are in elementary, middle, and high schools. They conduct individual and group counseling sessions, classroom lessons, and plan school-wide programs like the #PHSfit Career of the Day. They also consult with teachers and administrators to help them meet the students' needs more effectively and efficiently. School Counselors must show patience, skill, and wisdom with their population, and should also be able to accurately interpret data in order to put their resources to best use when meeting the needs of all students. Becoming a school counselor requires a master's degree, beyond a four-year bachelor's degree in a human services major.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Career of the Day: Management Analyst

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization's efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues. Although some management analysts work for the organization that they are analyzing, most work as consultants on a contractual basis. Whether they are self-employed or part of a large consulting company, the work of a management analyst may vary from project to project. Some projects require a team of consultants, each specializing in one area. In other projects, consultants work independently with the client organization's managers. A bachelor’s degree is the typical entry-level requirement for management analysts. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). In 2010, 28 percent of management analysts had a master’s degree.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Career of the Day: Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines. Nearly all entry-level mechanical engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering degree programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. The programs typically last 4 years, but many students take between 4 and 5 years to earn a degree. A mechanical engineering degree program may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Career of the Day: Film Director or Producer

Producers and directors are in charge of creating motion pictures, television shows, live theater, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience. Producers make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, or stage production. They raise money for the project and hire the director and crew. The crew may include set and costume designers, a musical director, a choreographer, and other workers. Some producers may assist in the selection of cast members. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the film or show is completed on time, and they are responsible for the way the finished project turns out. Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production. They select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of the cast and crew. During rehearsal, they work with the actors to help them portray their characters better. There are no formal training programs for producers or film directors, but some major in writing, acting, journalism, or communication while in college. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Career of the Day: Waste Management Engineer

Many people are involved in the management of America’s trash, from the local garbage collector to the analytical chemist, but no aspect of waste management poses the challenges faced by hazardous waste professionals. Management of hazardous waste is perhaps the weakest link in America’s dynamic industrial economy, because of the dangers posed by toxic chemicals, nuclear by-products and organic garbage. A career in hazardous waste disposal and management may lead you to a lab, to a landfill, or to Washington, D.C. Several federal agencies deal with hazardous waste, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. A bachelor’s degree is necessary for this profession and, in today’s competitive job market, a master’s degree or even a doctorate is preferred. Highly sought-after hazardous waste professionals usually specialize in one or more sciences. Major in geology, chemistry, physics, ecology, or any combination of sciences. If you want to specialize, look into soil, air, or water ecology.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Career of the Day: Farmer

Our food doesn't just come from a store. Even the most processed foods start as crops or livestock, on a farm somewhere. Farmers and agricultural managers have an obligation to maintain responsible methods of growing fruits, vegetables, grain, and/or livestock for the purpose of eventual cultivating to be consumed in some capacity. The size and diversity of a particular farm or ranch's operation is usually dictated by its mission and values. To be an effective farmer, once must have knowledge and experience in agriculture and/or animal husbandry.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Career of the Day: Materials Engineer

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, semiconductors, plastics, composites, and other substances to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also develop new ways to use materials. Materials engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in materials science or engineering or a related field. Employers also value practical experience. Therefore, cooperative engineering programs, which provide college credit for structured job experience, are valuable as well. Look for programs accredited by ABET.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Career of the Day: Army Soldier

Perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol of our national defense is that of an army soldier fighting for our liberty on the front lines of a war. It is no surprise that while physical combat is necessary at times, most of our army involves many more nuanced techniques than what we saw from GI Joe. To serve in the army, you need to be physically fit, conscious of your role as part of a greater plan and as a member of a team, and of course, be committed to your country. The Army provides many valuable training and college scholarship opportunities, and is an admirable way to spend one's career.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Career of the Day: Air Force

Our country needs to be protected from enemies who use many different approaches to attack our way of life. One of the ways that our national defense is maintained is through the United States Air Force. Service in the Air Force can be achieved by tasks that go way past the obvious role of pilot. A successful Air Force requires servicemen and women who are insightful, technical, adaptable, and committed. The advanced training that comes with preparing for a career in the Air Force is easily relatable to many fields in the civilian world, and many training programs are transferable to college degrees, as well. Naturally, you would need to be physically fit in order to be successful in the United States Air Force.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Career of the Day: Curator

Every time you visit a museum or library or read historical research, you can bet that a curator was responsible for organizing, compiling, and indexing the artifacts that you find. Curators usually have bachelor's degree in something broad like anthropology or history, and also masters' degrees in fields like library science. Curators are passionate about advancing knowledge and believe in the merit of preserving the integrity of artifacts and documents.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Career of the Day: Administrative Assistant

In every conventional working environment, the organization requires at least one administrative assistant to keep the operations running smoothly. Depending on the type of organization, administrative assistants must have anywhere from a high school diploma to a college degree, and are responsible for tasks from greeting customers and answering phones to coordinating a delicately balanced schedule, being ever mindful of many corporate and political pressures. Administrative assistants are the backbone of their workplace, and must be reliable, responsible, efficient, and honest in order to be successful in their positions.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Career of the Day: Elementary Educator

How have your opinions about school been shaped by an experience - either positive or negative - that you had with a teacher in elementary school? In either case, our future is largely dependent upon how teachers prepare and inspire children in the primary school years for the road ahead. Elementary educators need to be very patient and organized, and have a passion for their career. Like all fields, education undergoes changes from time to time, and effective teachers need to be prepared to grow with the industry. You will be required to obtain a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and renewing your license will also require professional development.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Career of the Day: Cost Estimator

Every business venture requires planning and budgeting. In order to give a client or organization and accurate estimate of the costs involved in a particular project, cost estimators use their knowledge of industrial details and economics to help with that planning. The college majors that apply to being a cost estimator are usually detail-oriented majors like engineering or accounting, but industrial understanding is critical, so it helps to establish expertise in your chosen field with a solid foundation in business, as well.