small-business

Small businesses are responsible for more than half of all jobs in America and generate over half of our GDP. The criticality of small business to the U.S. economy is significant. The common stereotype of a small business is a local retail shop or contractor; however, the official definition of a small business is a firm with up to $40 million in revenue and a maximum cap of 1,500 employees. Small business growth since 2012 has been growing and during the pandemic, growth exploded.

Chart by Visualizer

Source: Census.gov

Notable business analysts on Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business News attribute labor shortages to retiring baby boomers, the “Great Resignation” by Millennials, and the prevalence of stimulus checks that provided a disincentive for employees to return to work. Absent from any analysis is the prevalence of small businesses, especially new small businesses. As the chart above reveals, from 2019 to 2021, new small business applications increased by 54%. Let that sink in for a moment. 54%. Further examination reveals that the number of employees in small businesses has remained flat as compared to the annual growth in the total number of businesses.

Chart by Visualizer

Source: advocacy.sba.gov

Our assessment is that most of the new small businesses are single owner/sole proprietors that have opted out of larger organizations to become their own boss. This increase in supply of business units has a three – fold effect on the labor market:

  1. Seasoned employees that opt out of corporate settings place an undue strain on corporate employers as skilled and seasoned employees, typically in the management layers, have higher replacement costs and cannot be easily substituted through automation or temporary hiring.
  2. New small businesses seeking to expand must compete for the same pool of employees with their corporate competitors and with other new small businesses. This places upward pressure on wages, (good for employees), and…
  3. The given shortage of employees causes current employees and/or businesses owners to work more hours to meet demand, raise prices and raise salaries. While working more hours may be seen as efficiency/productivity gains, price increases and wage increases are inflationary.

The Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, explained that inflation was transitory. We believe that inflation is more structural as there is clearly more competition for a shrinking pool of workers.

More than 30 million small businesses account for over 50% of all jobs in the U.S.

business-analysis

There are more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S., which account for over 50% of all jobs in the country and generate over half of the country’s GDP.

If you’re a small business owner, there’s no doubt that your concerns about labor shortages are valid. But is this really just a problem for you? Or is it one that affects everyone? The truth is that the health and stability of our economy depends on small businesses. According to data from the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses account for over 50% of all jobs in the United States. So when they can’t find employees to fill open positions, it has an impact on everyone—including large businesses with many employees and individuals looking for work outside large companies. In addition to offering employment opportunities, small businesses also drive job creation: they’re responsible for around two-thirds of net new jobs created each year according to SBA research conducted by economists at Pepperdine University and Brigham Young University; these economists found evidence showing how important this link between entrepreneurship and employment growth is when looking at historical U.S., European Union countries as well as other developed nations’ economies

Small businesses generate over half of the country’s GDP.

small-business03

Small businesses in the United States make up 65% of all businesses according to the SBA. As such, they are a critical driver of economic growth and productivity. In addition to being the backbone of our economy, it’s important to note that smaller businesses are more reliant on local labor than larger companies. This can be due to their proximity to their customers (which increases reliance on local workers), small companies’ inability to offer large salaries and benefits as other industries do, or a combination of both factors. In fact, recent studies have shown that in areas where unemployment rates have increased significantly during this recessionary period (i.e., areas hardest hit by “recovery”), small firms experienced more difficulty recruiting employees at higher rates than did large businesses with more hiring power across the board; however these findings may also be explained by an increase in automation technology at large firms which has reduced hiring needs while simultaneously increasing productivity levels among existing employees!

Small business revenues have increased by nearly 20% since 2012.

Small business revenues have increased by nearly 20% since 2012, while the average worker’s salary has fallen. The reason for this discrepancy? Small businesses are unable to find enough employees to fill their positions, so they’re being forced to work longer hours. In fact, small business owners are working an average of 40 hours per week—six hours more than the national average in 2018. This statistic is especially alarming given that small businesses often consist of only one employee or a handful of workers at most; with no employees available to help out and share duties with another person on staff, it becomes impossible for business owners not only to meet all their own responsibilities but also those expected from them by clients or customers as well.

Chart by Visualizer

Source: NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (2021)

Nearly 300,000 new small businesses started each month in 2020, caused by the pandemic

The number of small businesses that started each month in 2020 increased by nearly 300,000 compared to the previous year. This is an increase of nearly 70%, and over the last decade it’s been a steady increase as well.

The number of new small businesses created per month has increased over 200 percent since 2010, from around 100K to more than 300K per month now. In 2020, when the pandemic hit, many people were temporarily furloughed, had reduced hours or lost their jobs outright. These individuals reacted by starting their own businesses. The pandemic caused many businesses to close down, which further contributed to the labor shortage of small businesses.

  • 80% of new small businesses started in 2020 named “pandemic” as a reason for starting their business
  • 7% of new small businesses started in 2020 named “job loss/unemployment” as a reason for starting their business

Small businesses started by state

small-business 02

When you think of small business owners, you might picture an entrepreneur building a big company from the ground up. Most entrepreneurs start small. In fact, there are twice as many small businesses (1 to 99 employees) in the U.S. as there are large ones (100 or more employees).

The number of small businesses varies by state: for example, Texas, Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky led the nation respectively in new small business applications. The industries in each of these respective states also vary as the second chart identifies the areas of expansion.

Table by Visualizer
Table by Visualizer

Source: SBA.gov

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics defines the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector as occupations that encompass the following activities:

  • Legal Services: NAICS 5411
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services: NAICS 5412
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services: NAICS 5413
  • Specialized Design Services: NAICS 5414
  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services: NAICS 5415
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services: NAICS 5416
  • Scientific Research and Development Services: NAICS 5417
  • Advertising and Related Services: NAICS 5418
  • Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: NAICS 5419

Small business productivity gains

So why are small businesses so productive? The answer is two-fold, and it’s all about how small business owners manage their companies. First off, they’re more innovative than their larger counterparts. Small businesses have the advantage of being able to pivot faster and change direction at a moment’s notice—they can make decisions without going through layers of bureaucracy or waiting for consensus from top management down. And when you’re working with fewer resources, you’ve got to find ways to get more out of them: that means coming up with new ideas for how your business operates on an ongoing basis.

Second, because these companies tend to be led by one person or a handful of people who make all the decisions themselves (rather than having dozens of managers weighing in), they don’t waste time debating whether something should happen or not; they just do it. This makes them more agile than bigger operations—which means they can respond quickly when opportunities arise—and also leads directly into another benefit: speed.

Conclusion

The key takeaway from this article is that there are more small businesses starting in the U.S. than ever before, and this could lead to a shortage of labor for these new small businesses. This means that employers will need to find ways to attract workers or pay more for existing staff members as they struggle with high turnover rates due to lack of work/life balance issues like stress levels, salary expectations and lack of job security. On the flipside, if you are entering the job market, you should weigh the pros and cons of working for a large firm or having the flexibility and autonomy of working for a smaller firm. Finally, our next article will look at entrepreneurial opportunities in the health care and social services sectors.

While the United States economy may be headed toward a recession, that doesn’t necessarily mean job insecurity. The United States currently has a labor shortage, and many individuals are taking the time to learn the skills they need to enter higher-paying roles. If you are having trouble choosing your new career path or want to learn how to survive in this recession, here are some occupations that will continue to be in demand for the next 8 years.

Umbrella Rationale for Hiring Needs

There are several factors that impact hiring needs. As technology continues to grow, automation continues to shape and improve our jobs. While our current automation capabilities tend to replace low-income workers, automation has created new opportunities in the job market. According to Labor 2030: The Collision of Demographics, Automation, and Inequality, automation could eliminate up to 25% of current jobs but could spark economic expansion by the start of the 2030’s.

Another factor to consider is the changing demographics of the United States. Baby Boomers make up a large portion of the current workforce. While many people will be working past their 60s, their changing needs impact the types of jobs that are available. According to the U.S. Census, older adults will outnumber children by 2030. The declining birth rates will lead to fewer people entering the workforce.

These strong shifts in the labor force and growing technology will impact the job market in several ways. If you are looking for fast growing jobs that will be in demand long after the recession, explore these occupation sectors.

Business

While we are entering a recession, that doesn’t mean business isn’t booming. There are several types of businesses that thrive during and after economic challenges. If you are looking for a recession-proof career, then pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business could be the solution. Even if the most profitable industries change over time, there will still be a strong need for individuals with business knowledge.

General and operational managers are currently in-demand and there are 226,300 new job openings projected for 2021 to 2029, making it the second most-needed position. A general management degree will provide you with the business skills you need to be successful in a wide range of industries. With a bachelor’s degree, the median income of a general or operational manager was $97,970 (1).

Financial managers benefit a lot from new technology and automation efforts. While pursuing your bachelor’s degree in financial management, you will learn several software programs and automated tools to help you track and budget money. While independent financial managers are in-demand, there are several companies seeking people to help them better oversee their finances. In fact, financial managers are the fourth in-demand job, with a projected 118,200 openings. The median annual salary for a financial manager is $131,710 (2).

Management and business analysts will also play a large role in our future economy. An analyst leverages data to assess business practices and make recommendations to executives. With automated tools, the data analysts can utilize becomes clearer and accessible. Companies frequently hire analysts to help them navigate through uncertain times and there are an estimated 124,400 open positions available. The median salary for a management analyst is $93,000 (3).

Market research and marketing specialists always play a critical role in raising awareness for products and services. As technology continues to grow, businesses in every industry need to leverage out-of-the-box thinking to develop the strategies needed to reach their target audience. While some forms of marketing can be learned without a degree, earning a Bachelor’s in Marketing can help expose you to a wide range of modern strategies and research techniques. With 163,600 projected openings and a median salary of $63,920 (4), it is easy to see why people of all ages are choosing this career path.

Accountants and auditors are also a necessity of every business. Accountants help track and manage daily finances. Auditors help to ensure regulations and

guidelines are followed in the workplace. Both positions can be learned through a bachelor’s or associate degree, making them a great choice for people who want to shift careers later in life. Accountants and auditors both have a median wage of $77,250 (5) and there are a projected 96,000 open positions.

Engineering

Innovation is an important part of any growing society. Engineers work to develop, build, and maintain structures; however, they also help to advance technology. For example, there is a growing demand for green technology. This has led to several businesses, organizations, and individuals to seek innovative building solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and curve ongoing maintenance expenses.

Most types of engineering are considered recession-proof because of the role they play in society. Chemical engineering, for example, is a highly specialized field that impacts most manufacturing. During turbulent economic times, there are a few engineering career paths that tend to be utilized more than others.

Industrial engineers often focus on reducing production waste and boosting the efficiency of machines and materials. Businesses, like consumers, always want to reduce costs, so there is a consistent need for industrial engineers regardless of issues impacting the economy. There is a projected 40,000 openings for this specialized field and the average starting wage with a degree is $95,300 (6). While pursuing your degree, you can also explore industrial machinery mechanics positions, another fast-growing career.

Construction managers lead civil engineering projects. Regardless of the economy, people need well-built and maintained buildings, roadways, bridges, and infrastructure. As a construction manager, you’ll utilize strong leadership and communication skills to coordinate daily activities. With a bachelor’s degree, construction managers earn a median annual salary of $98,890 (7).

Health Care

There are several factors impacting the demand for healthcare workers. Since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there have been shortages in nearly every healthcare position. There is an immediate need for nurses, physicians, and educators. Entry-level positions aren’t the only ones affected by this shortage; it is becoming increasingly harder to fill leadership roles with qualified candidates.

In addition to the unique challenges within the industry, there has been an increase in demand for care by an aging population. Baby Boomers, for example, are prone to several health issues such as hypertension and diabetes. This means there needs to be more professionals available to help treat these conditions.

Automation can also play an important role in modern medical treatment. In addition to helping collect patient data, automated machines are frequently used to monitor patients and conduct analysis. This has created a stronger need for healthcare workers to learn technical skills, such as troubleshooting and data analysis.

While there are several advancements in medical technology, there will always be a need for medical professionals. Here are some examples of in-demand jobs within the healthcare industry.

Registered nurses are the third-most in-demand career, with 276,800 projected job openings. This is due largely in part to the pandemic; however, it is important to consider that a large portion of the workforce will be retiring within the next few years. The median pay for a registered nurse is $77,600 (8) and a bachelor’s degree is required for the position. If you would like to expand your nursing skills, there is also a heavy demand for nurse practitioners, with 114,900 estimated openings. To become a nurse practitioner, you will need to earn a Master’s degree, but the median pay is $120,680 (9).

Medical and health services managers combine business expertise with their knowledge of the healthcare industry. Medical managers coordinate services in hospitals, clinics, and facilities. They also establish policies, manage budgets, and provide administrative support to the organization. Median wages are $101,340 (10) for this in-demand role.

Postsecondary health specialties teachers have a critical impact on the industry, especially as technology continues to grow. With new automated services and advanced tools being developed every day, it is important for healthcare professionals to have access to the latest information available. While there is a country-wide shortage of educators, there is a continued increase in demand for teachers with a background in healthcare. There are an estimated 58,900 new jobs available for postsecondary health specialties teachers, many of which require a doctoral degree and field experience. This specialized field in education has a median pay of $102,720 (11).

Physical therapists are always in demand, even during uncertain economic times. As we age, our bodies can become frailer and can be easily injured. While people of all ages see physical therapists, there is an increasing demand as Baby Boomers continue to grow older. With a doctoral degree, physical therapists earn a median salary of $95,620 (12).

Physician assistants are in demand for all areas of healthcare, including surgeons, family care physicians, psychiatrists, and emergency care providers. An assistant frequently examines patients and administers treatment. Their role is to help doctors treat a larger number of patients. There is an estimated 40,100 new jobs available for physician assistants holding a master’s degree, and that number isn’t expected to decline. The average median pay for a physician assistant is $121,530 (13).

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are increasing in demand as the recession looms closer and other factors can make the daily lives of people more stressful. While this job places at #30 on the list of in-demand occupations with an estimated 75,100 new jobs and a median wage of $48,520 (14), counselors will continue to play an important role in society for years to come.

IT

Technology is growing at an incredibly rapid pace and every industry struggles to try to keep up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects computer and information technology occupations to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030. This makes it among the fastest-growing industries. As technology continues to expand and make our everyday lives easier, there will be a larger emphasis on data storage, information security, and cloud computing.

Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers are the most in-demand profession and the need for qualified individuals in that field will continue to grow regardless of the economy. There are an estimated 409,500 job openings and the more we utilize technology, the greater the need for quality control and testing. While there are several positions within this category, bachelor degree holders earn a median income of $120,730 (15).

Computer and information systems managers will continue to play an important role as automation continues to grow. A systems manager will strategically plan, install, and monitor all of the software and hardware an organization needs to function. They will leverage their expertise to identify new tools, processes, and systems to boost security and efficiency. Because they are utilized by almost every industry, there is an estimated 52,700 new job openings. Because many systems managers are difficult to replace, they earn a median income of $159,010 (16).

Computer systems analysts learn an organization’s computer system inside and out. Their goal is to consistently identify and implements ways to improve. Working alongside systems managers, analysts often work long hours to troubleshoot issues. While many companies seek computer systems analysts with only a bachelor’s degree, you may want to consider investing in several technical certificates as well. There are an estimated 42,800 new job openings with a median pay of $99,270 (17), but each role will have different technical requirements.

Information security analysts are also a crucial part of any organization that utilizes a large computer system or network. Information security analysts also identify ways to improve digital security systems. Because many organizations also have a strong social media or web presence, analysts often investigate security breaches and mitigate risks. This highly specialized field is also considered recession proof with 47,100 expected job openings. Like other specialized technical roles, this position typically requires a bachelor’s degree and has an average median pay of $102,600 (18).

All other computer occupations are expected to grow throughout the recession. As more automated tools and services are being implemented, there will be a growing need for specialists to program, maintain, and implement technology. There are a very broad range of recession proof jobs with a median wage of $95,270 (19).

Government

Many people consider government jobs to be recession-proof; however, there are several other factors that impact the types of jobs that are in demand. While there is a major shift in demographics across the United States, there is still a steady need for some professionals regardless of location.

Elementary school teachers (except special education) and secondary school teachers (except special and career education) are both seeing heavy shortages. While elementary school teachers are in greater need than secondary school teachers, both have similar median pays of just over $61,000 (20, 21). There are several reasons for this increase in demand. For example, there is an increase in overall student enrollment. Like nursing, there are also a large number of Baby Boomers retiring or leaving the profession. After the recession, there will also be a strong need for teachers as classes that were cut begin to be reinstated.

Keep in mind that the government also employs IT specialists, engineers, financial experts, marketing and public relations specialists, project managers, and more. These positions will also become more available as cities continue to grow. According to The United States Census Bureau, the populations of southern and western cities are rapidly increasing. San Antonio, TX, for example, is one of the largest growing cities between 2020 and 2021. This means that there could be more job openings in states like Idaho, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas in the near future.

Do I need a Bachelors Degree to Get a Recession Proof Job?

While many of the fastest growing jobs in the United States require a bachelor degree, there are still several opportunities for workers with associate degrees or technical certificates. Some examples include sales representatives, truck drivers, and electricians.

Having a bachelor’s or master’s degree can help you gain a more specialized position with long-term growth potential. Exploring your education options can be a great way to find a career that interests you. You’ll also learn more about the economic factors and technical advancements affecting your industry.

How to Get Recession Proof Jobs

Degree Solutions helps students by connecting them with colleges and universities that meet their needs. Whether you are interested in a specialized technical degree or want to explore opportunities in the healthcare industry, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about the fastest growing jobs in the United States and explore your options.

1) https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm

2) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm

3) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm

4) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm

5) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm

6) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineers.htm

7) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/construction-managers.htm

8) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

9) https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm

10) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

11) https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251071.htm

12) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm

13) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm

14) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm?view_full

15) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

16) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm

17) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm

18) https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm

19) https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151299.htm

20) https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm

21) https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm

There are a lot of reasons you might transfer from a traditional campus to an online college. Maybe you need to get a job and online college works better with your changing schedule. Maybe you’re not in love with campus culture and you realize you can complete your education online both more efficiently and more affordably. Maybe, like many students, you are probably in the position of being unable to return to campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused respiratory illness in almost every country, overrun hospitals, and made physical distancing (“social distancing”) the new normal.

With a growing number of states, provinces and even entire countries closing learning institutions as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 70 percent of students around the world are not attending school. This is why online schools have assumed the most important role in our society, increasingly admitting students who are vulnerable to the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic.

Transferring to an online school or college can seem overwhelming, but if you do your homework ahead of time, it’s pretty straightforward. This guide discusses why a student may want to transfer to an online school, important aspects to consider when selecting a school, and the typical steps needed to transfer. If you are considering an online college, read more about what you would need to do to find the right school, and ensure the smooth transfer of all your credits.

When an Online School Might Be the Better Option

Going to school is a social milestone that many people fondly remember. But mainstream schools do not always reflect the diversity of individual students ‘ academic and social needs. Various types of students could benefit more from online education. They include students in the following categories:

Students stuck home due to COVID – 19 Measures

As a result of the pandemic and the need to practice ‘social distancing,’ 186 countries have closed down all schools and universities. According to UNESCO, over 1.2 billion students are affected by nationwide and localized school closures, representing around 73% of the total of enrolled students worldwide. Schools have hence shut down and classes moved online.

In this uncertain environment, it’s important that learning continues, even if it can’t happen in person. That’s why students require access to expert faculty, best practices, and other online learning resources for people who are studying, teaching, or working remotely.

Students with unique learning styles

The learning patterns of certain students actually don’t mesh with typical classrooms. Such students can gain more from online classes offering alternative ways to interact with course materials, teachers as well as other students. Some special needs students fall into this category.

Motivated learners

My personal opinion is that if a student wants to learn and is inspired and has a facilitator to support them, they will be a perfect candidate for online learning. Students need to be motivated because the asynchronous style of instruction (in which students do not have a set timeframe for accessing and finishing the coursework) puts them in full control of what and when they learn.

Students who want to graduate faster

A traditional school day ends around 4 pm. In contrast, many online schools operate 24/7. That means students can learn and graduate early at a faster pace. (Nevertheless, some districts allow traditional students to complement online classes with campus-based courses, meaning that students don’t automatically have to select one model over the other.)

Working students

Some college students have to work to help support their families, and most of the time, these hours conflict with traditional school hours. Online schools let students continue to work without sacrificing their education.

Students with health problems

Students are having difficulty staying on track if they are constantly being derailed by medical problems. Studying online in such cases has two potential benefits – it allows students to complete work when they can (as long deadlines are met), and students with weakened immune systems or severe allergies can avoid exposure to health risks.

How to Transfer to an Online School

The process of transferring to an online school from a traditional college campus is easy, provided you’re coming from an accredited school. While the process differs from one school to the next, the necessary steps a student can take are as follows:

Research your Options

The students may have multiple online high school options depending on where they live. Some may be free, but others may not. When investigating options, ask questions such as: How does the curriculum look like? Are there courses on Advanced Placement? What kind of credentials do the teachers have, and what experience? One of the most important items to consider; When the college is not accredited, look elsewhere. Accreditation means vetting the school for meeting basic educational standards.

Communicate with the school

The next step is to communicate with a potential school and when you do so, I recommend that you have an unofficial transcript in hand to expedite the transfer process. Most online schools usually ask for an unofficial transcript so that they can determine relevant classes that are relevant to the applicant.

Find Out which Credits/Classes will transfer

Each school has its own system to determine which credits to accept and what courses students need to take to graduate. The online college may not accept all previously received credit, but if you come from an accredited school, credits should transfer more easily.

Assemble and Submit the required Paperwork

Necessary documentation can vary from school to school, so talking to an administrator is helpful to find out what needs to be submitted. An official transcript is usually the most significant piece of paperwork. As you might be enrolling and still taking classes at your old school, make sure that your latest grades are submitted for review at the online school. Apart from official transcripts, students are likely to be required a government-issued ID or proof of residence. Also, don’t forget to complete and submit the application form itself.

As the novel coronavirus infects and kills more people in the United States, several schools and campuses have chosen to forgo in-person classes in favor of remote learning.  In response to the pandemic and isolation measures put in place in most countries, course providers are offering learning content for free or at a heavily discounted price. This could be the perfect time to enroll in an online course and take your career in a new direction by learning to code, improve your communication skills at work, or even enrich evening hours with a cooking course.

After you’ve determined that online college is the best choice for you, there’s another significant decision you’ll have to make: which school to attend. Despite hundreds of colleges throughout the United States offering online degree programs, the number of options is daunting. Students have a range of options to narrow their school choices. Take a look at this handy guide that offers some key points to consider before you make your decision.

What to Look for in an Online College

Not all online schools and colleges are equal. How do you ensure you choose a quality institution? Below are checklist points to keep an eye out for:

Accreditation

The majority of students are opting for a college degree for at least two reasons: to grow their knowledge and skills and to improve their curriculum vitae. In order to achieve these objectives, students must attend schools with accredited programs that are respected by prospective employers. The first step in determining the quality of the program is to decide if the program is accredited by the appropriate accreditation bodies. Accreditation of online college degree programs is important because it ensures that you get a quality education. Unaccredited programs may not cover the full curriculum that you will need to know to be successful in your chosen field, and employers are unlikely to give much weight to a degree earned from an unaccredited college when considering you as a job candidate.

Check Out the Credit Transfer Requirements

Many students, especially those seeking a graduate degree, start their online education career with credits from a previous institution that they may wish to use to earn their online degree. However, every institution has different credit transfer criteria. Therefore, requesting an official transfer estimate from your prospective schools will help in your school selection process. As a rule, most schools typically accept between 30 to 50 percent of all credits transferred.

Full-time certified teachers

Accreditation typically goes hand in hand with the teacher certification. Yet finding out how many teachers are available full-time employees versus semester-long contractors can also be helpful. Do a little sleuthing to find out the educational history of your professors. Make sure they are certified and licensed teachers. Besides, having professors that have real-world experience in the field means that they can provide insider information and advice.

Is There A Dedicated Administrative Team?

This is quite crucial to your online experience. You want to attend an online college that cares about your educational experience and will do everything that they can to ensure your success. You need an administrative team that will promptly respond to your calls or Emails and sends out needed forms and applications in a timely manner.

Students wouldn’t want a faulty website or course management program to disrupt them. Even because the curriculum is online does not mean that when they need it, the students will not be able to contact a real person for support.

Read Online Course Descriptions

The course catalog may be available online, but then you can contact the school to ask for a more detailed digital copy. The course catalog will describe the goals and objectives of the course, the required materials, the time specifications, and the difficulty level. Understanding how the course works will help you determine if you are interested in it and have the ability to complete it in the semester allotted to it.

Take A Demo Online Course

Completing a demo online course, if available, allows you to familiarize yourself with the technology used. Some schools boast the state-of-the-art technology, but technology is not a substitute for education. Ensuring that you will be receiving quality, helpful information in your courses will help you choose a suitable online college.

Consider Tuition costs

Just as with any other college, tuition costs vary by online school and degree program. If funding for your education is going to be an issue, plan ahead to research and compare tuition prices for a variety of schools. Also, be sure to find out any additional expenses you may be expected to pay. Whether you evaluate a school-based solely on accreditation, reputation, and research or you use a new Internet tool to decide; you should always prioritize what factors matter most to you personally. Education isn’t one-size-fits-all, and different college choices are right for different students.

U.S. employers laid-off more than 45 million workers since March – a deep economic hole that was created by the closure of thousands of offices, restaurants, stores, and schools during the pandemic. Job cuts by U.S. state and local governments whose budgets have been crushed fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and more second-wave layoffs in the private sector likely contributed to an 11th straight week of more than 1.5 million laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits.

Whether you’re recently dealing with unemployment, have quit a job that wasn’t a good fit, or you’ve been sending out resumes for a while, embarking on some self-improvement while stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak can be a great way to update your skills (making yourself more marketable in the job market), network with others, and start feeling productive again. Taking time for personal development could also help you once the pandemic has ended. However, be careful because you can also accumulate debt, waste your time on unnecessary courses, and even lose your unemployment benefits in the process. As people across the country struggle to cope with layoffs in a dwindling economy, many workers find that their once-desired resumes in the fiercely competitive labor market are no longer up to par. This is why an increasing number of laid-off workers are opting for online colleges in order to update their skills.

Online schools are convenient, versatile, and will provide you with an education that will drive you into a new profession or help you make progress in your current career. As online degrees continue to grow in popularity, it may be difficult to sift through the many online colleges and program options that have popped up over the past several years.

How is an online school different from a traditional school?

Online schools offer flexible schedules, which often means the classes are asynchronous or self-paced. Asynchronous means that students don’t have to be online at a specific time, but instead have a set amount of time (for example, a week) to access lectures and complete assignments. Self-paced learning offers maximum flexibility, with students completing tasks in their own time over an entire term; this means they could finish in a week if they worked diligently enough or they could take the entire year, if needed.

How is an online school similar to a traditional school?

Just like traditional school, online school is all about learning. Students still participate in classes and are assessed via exams, essays and homework. They’ll use textbooks and may form study groups with other online students, who they can interact with via their school’s online platform.

What employers think of online degrees

There used to be a lot of skepticism about the degrees online, and it used to be for good reason. Online schools cropped up right and left handing out fake degrees which made it difficult for employers to take them seriously. But many prestigious universities and colleges presently offer online degrees, and they have the accreditation to back it up.

Depending on your field, it is likely that employers are more interested in what you know than where you learned. A vital concern with online school graduates is that they may not have as many social skills as their counterparts attending campus.

The reality is that today’s online education is fairly comparable to what you’d get on campus. As long as you know the signs of a good online program and watch out for red flags (like a school without accreditation), you can take the next bold steps  towards your dream job right from home.

Accreditation and Approval

Before submitting your application (as well as application fee), check out the accreditation status of the school. If your aim is to get an academic degree (i.e. a bachelor’s, associate’s, master’s, or doctoral degree), don’t bother attending a school that isn’t accredited regionally. Some licensing boards and employers will not recognize a diploma from an online school that isn’t regionally accredited. Moreover, your credits may not transfer should you decide to switch schools or apply for an advanced degree.

When you intend to join a trade or occupation requiring professional licensing, make sure the school has approval from the applicable licensing board. For example, you can contact the real estate board of your state for a list of approved schools if you want to receive your real estate license. A diploma from an unauthorized school may look mighty nice on your wall, but next to it there will be no real estate license. Also, you might want to consider online accredited colleges and degree programs.

Consider Tuition Costs and Financial Aid

Some online colleges are more affordable than others. Ask about financial aid or college scholarship opportunities before committing to a school. State universities and community colleges generally offer low in-state tuition, while some private schools do a great job of subsidizing student costs through grants and scholarships.

Final Word

When you’re unemployed, going back to school is a tempting step and very often it’s a move in the right direction. But it’s not as simple as it sounds-or as affordable. While unemployment comes with plenty of pressures and obstacles, rushing your decision will make things worse. Whether it’s a return for an advanced degree or your first college course, don’t just hide out in higher education. Do your research, make an informed decision, and then get those top grades if the classes are right for you.

Online schooling, or eLearning, has been on the rise in recent years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has seen a dramatic increase in popularity, and it’s not hard to understand why. We’ve seen a global shutdown of schools, and this has prompted many of them to make the shift to digital learning because it allows students to adhere to safety precautions advised by the World Health Organization (WHO), while conveniently continuing with their education. As a result, many are left to wonder, what will be the impact of online schooling, and will they replace traditional learning? If you’re considering attending an online school, below are five reasons to make the switch.

It’s flexible and career-enhancing

Unlike traditional in-class schooling, eLearning allows both you and your teacher to choose a personalized schedule, which means you’ll be learning at your own pace; this makes digital lessons more convenient than traditional learning in a physical classroom setting. Your teacher can keep track of your progress by assigning homework, sometimes custom-made tasks, after each topic. The International Business Management (IBM) has found out that students learn five times more in eLearning courses than in the traditional classroom sessions, and this improves their chances of gaining employment or increasing their salary. The flexibility presented by online classes means you’ll be able to maintain a healthy balance between school, work, and your personal life.

It’s cost-effective

The price of courses varies from one program to the next and your fees are determined by what you choose to study. With that said, the average tuition fee for online platforms tends to be very affordable. There are payment options that will allow you to pay in installments per course, and similar to traditional campus-based schooling, there are scholarships issued to students that cover the entire or partial tuition cost of your classes. Also, studying online reduces, if not eliminates, the cost of commuting and classroom materials. Online educators will often offer you endless free referral resources and that translates to less debt and more cash in your wallet to spend on your essential needs.

It’s green!

Online learning is environmentally friendly. Because you won’t need to drive to school to attend your classes, you’ll conserve energy and reduce your CO2 emission. Promoting this form of learning will also significantly reduce the number of trees that are cut down for the sake of book production as all the referral material will be online. And this will assist both you and educational institutions to do your parts in terms of environmental conservation and protection, making digital lessons the greener option.

It’s engaging

Another benefit of online learning is that it’s proven to improve content retention, triple note-taking, and reduce distractions. The Research Institute of America has discovered that eLearning has increased the student retention rate from 25% to 60% since content from online lessons can be more engaging, and the more engaged you are, the less distracted you’ll be. A great and effective way that online educators address distractions and lack of engagement is by providing you with pre-recorded videos, which will allow you to pause and rewind when you need to. And this will improve your ability to retain information and take notes more efficiently.

It’s easily accessible

Online classes are available anywhere there is an internet connection, which means that you can travel or accept job opportunities abroad and continue with your studies; you’ll no longer have to choose between once in a lifetime job offers and school. Also, during online open forums and class discussions, you’ll meet students from all over the country, or world, who share the same career objective. So, not only will you make new friends but professional connections, as well. Online schools grant you access to a pool of the best academic staff and industry experts from all over the globe.

Will eLearning replace traditional learning?

No. Although technology is advancing and eLearning presents many benefits, it’s not expected to replace the classroom any time soon. The measures taken by educational institutions due to this pandemic has allowed many to see that online education can be just as effective and credible as the traditional method, which has gone a long way in reducing the stigma of possessing an online degree. Once it’s safe, online and traditional schooling can work side by side, compensating where the other falls short, to create the best environment for students to learn.

The final take

During this period, where the coronavirus outbreak has paralyzed almost all industries, in the education sector, online learning has come out as a better option over traditional classroom learning. eLearning platforms enable anybody to learn from anywhere in the world, and this is due to its convenience; it’s easily accessible, engaging, and flexible enough to fit into any schedule. It’s just as effective as traditional learning, and it’s cheaper, allowing you to save money, as well as the environment and time due to the zero commute required. Although it will not replace traditional learning, online schooling has proven to be an effective and convenient option with endless opportunities.

Want to join the emerging “work from home professional” class? Yes, there is a professional “work from home” class.  Often, these individuals are the best in their industry, or they have one of the following skills that are perfect for working from home:

Sales

Technology

Analytical/Mathematical

Creative Acumen (Illustration, Song Writing, Video Production)

Language Translation

Writing

Work-From-Home-Jobs

This man’s kids are upset and horrified that their dad can check Tik-Tok at work.

Work from home jobs are very diverse and some require specialization, licensure, a bachelor’s degree, or certification while others are more flexible in their entry level requirements. All successful home-based professionals have a strong work-ethic, self-motivation, and cherish independence. 

Believe it or not, earning an online degree from an accredited online college provides students with a unique perspective on connections and interactions using technology.

Another hidden benefit, according to some employment experts, is online schools are viewed as unofficial “work from home prep schools”.  Students that attend 100% online programs are far more disciplined and motivated than their campus-based peers.

As working from home becomes mainstream, we have listed 15 home-based careers based upon a combination of salary, satisfaction and flexibility.  Income data is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LinkedIn.com, and Payscale.com.

1. Software Programmer
Average Annual Salary: $104,4081

Software programmers write, test, and revise instructions in computer code to allow computer programs, including software and apps, to operate. They are experts at reviewing computer code in various specialized languages and revising it to remove operating bugs when needed. Often, software programmers translate designs by developers and engineers, expand on the code of existing programs, or update older codes into new languages. Software programmers are in great demand and are employed in a wide range of industries ranging from e-commerce to education and from communications to entertainment. Many software programmers also work in related fields, such as database development and program design.

Free courses online
https://www.coursera.org/learn/open-source-software-development-methods

2. Internet Security Analyst
Average Annual Salary: $102,4702

Internet security analysts (sometimes called cyber security or information security analysts) plan, carry out, and modify the security protocols used by companies, organizations, and government agencies to protect their computer networks, systems, and equipment. Their work requires evaluating existing systems and programs by attempting to hack or disrupt them, and then providing clients with the best solutions for resolving the flaws that their research uncovers. Internet security analysts are employed across many different industries and because so much commerce now occurs online, the field is one that has tremendous growth opportunities. Working as an internet security analyst can also lead to careers in law enforcement at the local, state, or federal level.

Find Internet Security Programs

3. Accountant
Average Annual Salary: $78,8203

Accounts prepare, examine, and maintain financial records for companies, organizations, and individuals. They ensure that those records are accurate and complete, that taxes are paid on time and in full, and that all expenses and revenues are fully and accurately reconciled. Often accountants are tasked with auditing the financial records of an entity in order to help it run more efficiently and effectively, identify problems, and develop strategies for future needs. Because their talents are so important to the success of businesses and maintaining compliance with law, accountants can find employment across a wide range of industries and in commercial establishments of all sizes, as well as with nonprofit organizations or individuals in need of financial management assistance.

Learn More About Financial Management Degrees

4. Animator
Average Annual Salary: $78,2301

Animators are visual artists who use graphic illustrating skills and often computer-based animation tools to make sequences of images that, when played in rapid sequence, create the illusion of movement. Animators must not only have expertise in particular kinds of illustrating software and a talent for visual arts, they must be able to collaborate with writers, sound artists, and other members of a production team in order to interpret scripts and storyboards into a final product. They must understand how to tell a story through visual means, and how to appeal to their client’s target audience and its tastes. Animators are often employed film companies, video game makers, and publishers of online content. Many have a background in manual drawing, painting, or other forms of the material visual arts, but some enter the field entirely with a background in computer drawing only.

Free Animation Courses
https://www.udemy.com/course/basic-animation-in-adobe-after-effects/

5. Editor
Average Annual Salary: $69,4801

Editors are responsible for planning, revising, and coordinating text for publication in books, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, websites, and other media. Some editors focus on proposing, reviewing, and evaluating stories and story ideas. Others work on text that has already been written by an author, proposing revisions, proofreading, copy-editing, or otherwise helping to make the work more suitable for the particular publication and its readers. Editors must have a strong command of written language—both its technical aspects and its aesthetics—as well as an understanding of the needs of writers, publishers, and diverse groups of readers. They should also have familiarity with the business-side of publishing and how the industry works in general.

Free Editor Courses
https://www.udemy.com/course/write-publish-market-and-make-money-with-your-own-book/

6. Public Relations Specialist
Average Annual Salary: $68,4402

A public relations specialist devises, creates, and curates a positive public image for a person, organization, agency, or company. Their work involves crafting and distributing press releases, cultivating social media presence, and developing and articulating brand identity in order to shape the public’s perception of their client and their client’s value. Some public relations specialists focus on one particular medium—such as print media, broadcast, or digital presences—but others are more holistic and represent their client’s interests across a wide range of venues. Being a public relations specialist means staying on top of the latest trends and news, understanding how different forms of media can be drawn upon for cross-platform messaging, and being able to read and effectively analyze the needs and wants of a client’s target audience.

7. Real Estate Agent
Average Annual Salary: $61,7203

A real estate agent helps people buy, sell, rent, or manage properties. Some specialize in residential property and others in commercial property, while many have portfolios that include both. Real estate agents are experts in networking, marketing, and negotiating, but they must also have a strong grasp of other kinds of specialized knowledge as well, including zoning laws, real estate law and financing, property maintenance and assessment, and local market conditions. Their work involves listing and showing properties, meeting with clients, and managing paperwork and documentation. Because most real estate agents are paid based on a commission of their sales, the income earned by a real estate agent can vary and fluctuate depending on the nature of the stock on the market and the relationship between supply and demand at any given time.

Free Real Estate Training Courses
https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-become-a-real-estate-agent/

8. Grant Writer
Average Annual Salary: $61,6103

Grant writers research, write, revise, submit, and manage funding requests for nonprofit organizations and charities, such as social service providers, healthcare operators, universities, and arts producers. To be effective, grant writers must understand exactly what their client does and why it is important, as well as the many different potential underwriters, grantors, and other funders whose priorities are potentially aligned with the mission and programming of their client. Being a grant writer is a rewarding way to help sustain and contribute to the development of groups doing important work for society. Grant writers are often paid as a percentage of the grant amount that they secure, so the actual pay for grant writers can vary considerably.

Find Grant Writing Jobs

9. Product Reviewer
Average Annual Salary: $57,5001

Product reviewers are hired by marketing firms and corporations to test new products or updated versions of existing products before they launch to the general public. This allows the manufacturers or sellers to obtain important feedback on what works and what does not work in a product’s design before it becomes widely available. Product reviewers must be knowledgeable in the particular field or industry in which they work, be familiar with its safety regulations and requirements, and understand its typical consumers and what they want. Also, because many product reviewers are asked to analyze and evaluate products or services before they become generally available, they also must possess a sense of discretion and confidentiality necessary to keep a company’s proprietary information from being public knowledge. One of the ancillary benefits of being a product reviewer is that they often get to keep the products that they test.

10. Translator or Interpreter

Average Annual Salary: $55,2302

A translator or interpreter is someone who converts the written, spoken, or gestural words of one language into the signs of another language. They are often employed by government agencies, courts and law enforcement, universities, schools, corporations, and non-governmental organizations that work with global or immigrant populations. Their work requires both fluency with more than one language and an understanding of how the art of translation works, as well as a fair amount of communication skills, empathy, and critical, active listening. Some translators specialize in just one language or one particular professional context (for example, family law courts, immigration courts, live theater performances, etc.), but others are multi-lingual or flexible enough to work in a wide range of settings.

11. Graphic Designer

Average Annual Salary: $54,6803

A graphic designer creates the visual concepts for any number of publications or products. Their role is to use the principles of visual artistry, aesthetics, design, and technology to communicate through imagery and layout ideas that inform, engage, and activate consumers, readers, and others. Graphic designers understand how the appearance of a word or image can shape the way consumers respond to it, and thus they understand the relationship between form and content. They are often employed by publishers, media companies, public relations firms, and others whose work involves effective communication. To be a graphic designer, one must have both an eye and mind for visual design and a firm understanding of the tools used in the trade, including specialized computer software programs.

Free Graphic Design Courses

https://www.udemy.com/course/graphic-design-fundamentals-must-watch-in-2019


12. Event Planner
Average Annual Salary: $53,7302

An event planner organizes and manages large gatherings of people for meetings, celebrations, and other functions. They handle venue booking, supply and furniture rentals, decorations and design, entertainment, catering, logistics, budgeting, and scheduling. The job requires a precise sense of organization, thorough knowledge of the industry and its regulations, familiarity with local vendors, artists, contractors, and service providers, and a sense of the aesthetics of performance and presentation. Some event planners specialize in particular kinds of gatherings—such as business meetings, weddings, and so forth—while others generalize and provide their services to any kind of function.

If you can plan a great event in age of social distancing, the sky is the limit.

13. Social Media Manager

Average Annual Salary: $50,0001

A social media manager plans, directs, and carries out the marketing strategy for a company, organization, or agency across online social media networks. They are responsible for developing their client’s social media presence and branding, cultivating and building its following online, creating original content that is consistent with the client’s needs, market, and identity, and compiling and evaluating social media campaigns. Being a social media manager requires an understanding of the arts of digital communication, the ways in which certain content becomes viral online, how many different kinds of social media sites and apps work, and a thorough familiarity with the client, its customers or followers, and its target audience.


Free Social Media Management Courses
https://www.udemy.com/course/free-digital-marketing-seo-social-media-marketing-course/


14. Tax Preparer
Average Annual Salary: $46,8601

A tax preparer is a specially trained accountancy professional who is qualified and certified to calculate, file, and notarize income tax returns on behalf an individual, business, or organization. They are legally permitted to represent their client in the event of a tax authority audit or examination, and they have a fiduciary responsibility to always put the interests of their client before their own. Being a tax preparer involves expertise in tax law, a good sense of ethics, skill with complicated mathematics, the ability to explain complex ideas to laypeople, and, because many people find taxes frustrating and emotionally exhausting, a capacity for empathy.

DJ Khaled found taxes exhausting too..

15. Transcriptionist
Average Annual Salary: $36,3501

A transcriptionist is a professional typist whose converts live or recorded audio into a written text format for publication, distribution, or record-keeping purposes. They are often employed by corporations, doctors and healthcare facilities, and courts, lawyers, and law enforcement. Being a transcriptionist requires the ability to type quickly, accurately, and with high efficiency. Transcriptionists must adhere to strict deadlines and have expert knowledge of grammar, syntax, punctuation, and other aspects of the mechanics of written language.

Find Transcription Training Courses

We understand that the living in today’s COVID economy is stressful, frustrating and quite frankly annoying. With that said, a sense of humor, positive attitude and genuine care for fellow human beings are absolute musts if you want to join the Professional Work From Home class.

Sources
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics
https://www.bls.gov/
2. LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com
3. Payscale.com
https://www.payscale.com

With schools competing as hard as they can for students and with the price of college at record levels, it is nice to see some colleges go above and beyond to make the student experience memorable while lightening the financial burdens for most students.  Here at Degree Solutions, we have recognized a handful colleges and computer makers that are committed to making a difference for students.  Listed below are our colleges that offer real laptop deals to students.

Real Laptop Deals From Colleges & Universities For College Students

1. Full Sail University

Full Sail offers the LaunchBox Initiative from Apple to current enrolled students which provides every student with an Apple MacBook Pro laptop.

Exceptions to this are students pursuing Game Development, Software Development, and Simulation and Visualization Degrees. Students in those programs will receive an HP Laptop.

Specific software and hardware information are available on the degree programs pages. More information about the program is available by calling the admissions department.

2. Bethel University

All incoming full-time, first semester and transfer students to Bethel University receive a laptop. Students must claim their laptop during their first semester enrolled or they forfeit any rights to the laptop.

Bethel University has technical support and IT resources team that is open almost around the clock to assist students with their IT and computing needs.

3. Widener University

Widener University awards eligible engineering students brand new laptops. Due to Widener University’s commitment to STEM, all eligible engineering students can obtain a brand-new laptop.  Students must meet the following academic requirements:

1. Full time enrollment in an engineering or certified STEM program

2. A combined SAT score of 1310 or higher (or)

3. An ACT score of 28 or higher

and

4. a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

4. Seton Hill University

Seton Hill University offers all traditional full-time undergraduate students MacBooks through the Mobile Learning @ The Hill Program. This award-winning laptop program was awarded an Apple Distinguished School by The Apple Computer Company. In addition to complimentary laptops, all students are eligible for AppleCare support, which provides world-class technical support and loaner programs as well.

5. Chatham University

New first year Chatham University students are eligible to receive a complimentary Macbook Air package. The package entails a laptop, a backpack, a laptop case, various protection plans, and repair services.

For graduate students, Chatham offers financial assistance to graduate students needing a laptop to meet the graduate laptop requirement.

6. St. John’s University

St. John’s has joined the gig economy by providing every eligible student the ability to take possession of laptop for a small administrative fee.  The program, called the Academic Computing Initiative allows students to keep the machine if they remain enrolled full time at the University and abide by the program’s terms and conditions.

7. Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University can save an estimated $7300 through its laptop and textbook rental program.  As part of NMSU tuition, students receive a laptop with ongoing technical support and a discounted textbook program.  This is by far one of the most innovative laptop programs in the country.

8. Wentworth Institute of Technology

The laptop program — for full-time matriculating undergraduate and Master of Architecture Students at Wentworth Institute of Technology —
provides laptop options tailored to each major. Faculty select the laptop for each program based on the specific needs of their students.

9. Amazon Student

For college students. Amazon offers students a free six-month trial of Amazon Student to those with a valid .edu e-mail address (or you can provide proof of your student status).

It includes free two-day shipping, deals and promotions exclusively for students, and a $10 credit when you refer a friend.

After six months, you get a discount on Amazon Prime ($49 instead of $99 a year), which adds unlimited video streaming and the ability to borrow books on a Kindle.

10. Apple Store for Education

For college students and their parents. Buy a Mac for school and get a $100 App Store Gift Card, plus additional education discounts up to $200.

Buy an iPad for school and get a $50 App Store gift card. And for a limited time, you can apply (along with a co-applicant with good credit) to pay no interest and make no payments for 90 days on your school supplies, via RBS Citizens bank.

11. BestBuy.com College Student Deals

For college students. Best Buy has discounts on computers and lots of other accessories; currently, you can get $100 off MacBooks, and $120 off certain all-in-one computers.

Lots of deals include free shipping. Sign up with your .edu student e-mail address, and the store then sends coupon codes that you enter online at checkout.

Right now, when you sign up for College Student Deals, you could win cash and product prizes, up to $100,000.

12. Dell University

For college students. The normal student discount is 2 percent off the regular price of a computer. Currently, Dell University is offering a free tablet with the purchase of a PC for $700 or more, or certain TVs and monitors.

13. HP Academy

For K-12 and college students and their parents. Students save up to 20 percent on HP products and get free shipping.

HP offers an online tool called PC MatchLab to help you choose the best computer for your needs.

14. Lenovo Academic Purchase Program

For K-12 and college students and their parents. Lenovo asks you to select a school and then agree that you meet its student criteria; but we were able to click through to the deals page without selecting a school.

It offers discounts on a variety of computers and electronics devices. Through July, you can get up to 25 percent off on select laptops and desktops.

15. Microsoft Store for Education

For K-12 and college students and their parents. Discounts start at 10 percent for all Windows PCs and accessories. Right now, you can save $80 on a Surface Pro 3 tablet.

16. Sony Education Store

For college students and their parents. You can save up to 10 percent on computers and accessories, and Sony offers special student deals as well.

You’re required to log in to verify schools and agree to terms and conditions. You can also bring your student ID to a Sony Store to get discounts.

Is a Recession Coming?

While retail sales and production are up, and unemployment rates are down it may be hard to imagine that the U.S. economy could be on the brink of a recession. However, it is a fact that such levels often peak just before falling just a few months later. Economic forecasters are typically blindsided by recessions because of economy’s ability to change so swiftly.

 

One indicator of an upcoming recession is the ratio between household wealth and income. In the latest release from the Federal Reserve shows it to be at record levels, just like it was before the last two recessions.

 

Stock market performance has also been a strong indicator of upcoming recessions. Historically the stock market will peak approximately seven to eight months before an economic downturn. The Dow Jones hit its highest closing record for the 15th time in 2018 on October 3. What followed was the worst December since the great depression.

 

Another prelude to major recessions that you wouldn’t expect seems to be an initial low unemployment rate. This low level is indicative of a strong job market which is the end of an economic cycle. Unemployment rates below 4 percent have often immediately preceded recessions; recently the rates dropped to 3.7 percent.

 

While recessions are hard to pin down and no one think can indicate when one will happen, there are several signs pointing to one in the near future.

 

What does it mean for you?

The biggest impact on individuals during a recession is unemployment. During the recession of 2007-2009, the unemployment rate peaked at 10%. Especially notable about the unemployment rate during that recession is that it included a higher proportion of long term unemployment than previous recessions.

 

The second biggest factor is spending. Even those individuals who are able to keep their jobs are less likely to spend on big-ticket items, be it TVs, cars, and services, including dining out as a general feeling of uneasiness accompanies downturns in the economy.

Education

It seems that the best insurance policy you can have for a recession is education. Regardless of industry one of the biggest factors determining unemployment was education attainment. Those with less than a high school diploma were most affected while those with a bachelor’s degree or higher were buffered from much of the recession’s unemployment impact. Even individuals with an associate degree or some college education fared better than those with no high school diploma or no college.

 

The chart below shows that even during times of economic recovery that the unemployment rates are always higher for those with the least amount of education and lower for those with a college degree.

 

Industry Impact

The industry in which you work is a major indicator of how a recession will affect you. Generally speaking, construction, manufacturing, and retail experience the largest declines; as well as travel accommodations and services. Though some industries suffer, the same isn’t true across the board.  Education and Health services both saw an increase in employment during the recent recession, and it has been increasing for more than 30 years.

 

Here are some careers that are expecting growth in the upcoming years, irrespective of a recession or not.

 

Education- An ever-expanding population guarantees growth in the education sector, both in primary and secondary education.

 

Healthcare- Even when times are tough people need healthcare. Not only are older people living longer, often with chronic illnesses, but major overhauls to the insurance industry will address issues of cost, coverage, and quality of healthcare services. This doesn’t just mean doctors; nurses, administrative staff, medical billing and coding, physical and occupational therapists, dental hygienists and all other health-related professions are expected to continue to grow.

 

Finance– Recessions trigger a movement of money. Acquisition and liquidation of assets, retirement planners, investment bankers, auditors, financial advisors, and accountants will all be sought after to steady the boat.

 

Law Enforcement- As reasoning would have it, crime does not decrease in a recession. Communities will be in need of police officers, probation officers, court reporters, paralegals, and attorneys.

 

Technology- Computers are a safe bet as technology isn’t going anywhere. With nearly every field becoming more technological the field continues to grow.  Web developers, software programmers, network systems analysts, and computer repairmen are all stable careers for those worried about a recession.

 

Aside from these specific industries, think about basic human needs. During bad financial times, we will still need funeral directors, clean water, and safe roads. Although the face of agriculture is changing, we will still need food. People will still be caring for their pets, so veterinarians will be in demand. Any job that provides an essential service will be about as recession-proof as you can get.

These days, many individuals have decided to go back to school so that they can obtain a well-paying job or work in a field they find exciting, philanthropic, or personally fulfilling. Irrespective of your reason for going back to school, you may be interested in attaining information regarding which degree programs would be most advantageous for you to pursue. At this historical moment, research indicates that the fields of personal care, social assistance, health care, and construction are particularly promising. Read on to learn about various degree programs within these sectors:

 

1. Nursing

 

Research studies indicate that registered nurses are currently in great demand. In fact, jobs within the nursing sector are growing at a rate of 30% each year. In addition to carrying the weight of job security, the average annual salary within this sector is $72,000 to $79,700. To work as a nurse, individuals will need to obtain a bachelor’s of science in nursing. Other options include the completion of an approved nursing program or an associate’s degree in the field. Individuals who find themselves juggling a wide range of social, domestic, or vocational responsibilities will like the fact that nursing programs tend to afford individuals scheduling flexibility.

 

2. Computer Programming

 

Another degree program that you may want to consider completing is that of computer programming. The field provides individuals with a wide range of job types, including but not limited to web development, computer programming, and computer systems analysis. Note that computer systems analysts are currently in high demand. In fact, the growth rate for the field is currently 11%. The average annual salary is equally promising. Specifically, individuals who work as computer systems analysts generally make from $83,200 to $100,000. Typically, those who work as programmers obtain undergraduate degrees in computer science. However, some individuals have attained and maintained great jobs after completing their associate degree. Individuals who are wary of the traditional, in-house manner of working may be excited about the fact that some computer programmers are able to work from home.

 

3. Dental Hygienist

 

Another degree program you might be interested in is that of a dental hygienist. Hygienists teach individuals how to care for their teeth. They also clean teeth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for individuals who work in this sector is $68,250 a year. The salary is particularly impressive given that the majority of hygienists enjoy both flexible scheduling and part-time work. Also, note that the field is growing at a rate of 38% each year. To work in the field, you should earn your associate’s degree.

 

4. Pharmacology

 

If you’re serious about pursuing a degree that will give you a great economic future while also providing you with opportunities to grow vocationally, consider pharmacology. Because the need for pharmacists is currently growing at a rate of 25% annually, working in this field can increase your likelihood of maintaining your job stability. The salary is promising, too. In fact, the average yearly earnings for a pharmacist are $111,570. Note that if you choose this career path, you will be in school for a while. Specifically, pharmacists must complete both several years of undergraduate study and a three or four-year doctorate program.

 

Online Education

 

If you’re ready to pursue your degree now, remember to consider the value of earning your education online. Choosing this path means that you’ll be able to review the material when it is convenient for you rather than being required to show up in a physical classroom at specific times. Another great benefit of online education is that it can increase your proficiency with various forms of technology and the internet. These are transferable skills that future employers will likely smile at.

 

Find The Right Degree Program Immediately!

 

People who are serious about earning their degrees should know that now is the time to start taking steps in the right direction. Review the information outlined above to get on track to finding a degree program that will help you lead the productive, progressive life you deserve to have.

Get started down the path to your degree! Click here to search for schools