Thursday, December 20, 2012

Understand the Variable Value of a Masters Degree


As the economy slowly recovers from a recession that has crippled the job market for the last four years, American employers are preparing to hire more college graduates. While job growth is being reported across employment sectors, some fields stand to increase their hiring more than others – and as a result, academic experts are urging students to choose their majors wisely.

According to
Job Outlook 2013, a report compiled by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), companies and organizations plan to hire 13 percent more graduates from the Class of 2013 than students who earned their degrees one year earlier. According to Marilyn Mackes, the executive director of NACE, industries projected to increase their hiring most substantially include STEM-related fields like chemical/pharmaceutical manufacturing and computer and electronics manufacturing, and business-oriented fields like retail trade, finance and management consulting. “While employers are seeking graduates from a broad range of disciplines, this fall they expressed particular interest in hiring new graduates with business, computer science, and engineering-related degrees and are looking to college campuses to supply their hiring needs,” she said.

In addition, Christopher Matthews of TIME recently wrote about several
burgeoning fields that show strong projected growth over the next five years. One of these fields is 3D printing, which grew less than 9 percent between 2002 and 2012, but is now expected to increase employment opportunities by 17 percent over the next five years. Another burgeoning sector is sustainable construction; fueled by the recent “green movement,” green homebuilding is expected to grow 22.8 percent by 2017, while solar panel manufacturing projects a five-year growth rate of 8.2 percent. Another recent trend, online technology, indicates strong growth over the next five years – particularly the field of social network game development, which expanded by 128 percent over the last decade and is expected to grow 22 percent by 2017.

In order to capitalize on the hiring boom in these sectors, Forbes contributor Jacquelyn Smith urges graduate students to
select a master’s degree program that will make them attractive to prospective employers. Computer science, for instance, boasts a median mid-level salary of $109,000 and a projected growth rate of 22.9 percent. Other science - and
technology - related fields of study dominate her “best majors” list, such as electrical engineering, mathematics, information systems and physics.

However, she notes that a master’s degree is not necessary to thrive in other STEM-oriented sectors. Graduate-level degrees in biology and chemistry are not always sound investments, she argues, because the cost of tuition often outweighs the potential income gains students stand to earn. Another problematic major for grad students is business; while MBA
earners stand to make a six-figure income after just a few years in the field, the corporate sector does not exhibit strong levels of projected job growth. There are usually more qualified candidates than there are available jobs, which leads to frustration and, often, debt.

Despite the expected hiring boom, one long-standing problem still lingers: minority groups are underrepresented at the post-undergraduate studies level. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), roughly 611,700 Americans earned a master’s degree (or its equivalent) during the 2009-10 academic year. Of these recipients, approximately 73 percent were white, 12.5 percent were black, 7 percent were Hispanic, 6.9 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander and less than 1 percent were Native American. An even stronger disparity could be seen at the doctoral studies level. Of the 140,505 American students who earned a Ph.D. in 2009-10, 74 percent were white, 7 percent were black, 5.8
percent were Hispanic, 11.8 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander and less than 1 percent were Native American. While these most recent figures reflect a gradual shift toward on-campus diversity over the last decade, experts argue that minority groups still comprise an insufficient percentage of today’s collegiate population.

Josh Oppenheimer of The Daily Princetonian recently noted some of the
reasons behind the graduate-level racial imbalance. Many students belonging to underrepresented minority groups (such as African-Americans or Hispanics) grow up in low-income neighborhoods with inadequate schools, and deficient education hinders their academic progress. These individuals are also less likely to have relatives or close friends who have earned master’s or doctoral degrees, and lack of information about these programs may cause many to forego graduate studies. Eddie Glaude, a professor of African-American Studies at Princeton, told Oppenheimer that graduate schools should emphasize their diverse campus communities and programs in order to attract multi-racial applicants. “If the department is committed to diversity, then the graduate students will come,” he said.
As hiring increases across the national job market, college recruiters now face the task of improving diversity in American graduate programs. In order for the economy to fully recover, U.S. students belonging to all minority groups must receive an advanced education in equal number and positively contribute to the country’s workforce.

Unemployment continues to be a major national problem, as this blog and others have covered extensively in recent months. In the article below, writer Sophia Foster looks at how modern college and graduate school students may be able to beat the odds by being strategic in their choice of major and degree program. Ms. Foster has published extensively on how masters education can help students in hard economic times, and her advice should be beneficial to a range of readers.  Ms. Foster is a writer and researcher for Feel free to check more of her writing!

Monday, September 03, 2012

The Republicans should have vetted Artur Davis and his new identity!!!

We have to not only point out the obvious flaws of the Republican Party that goes against "OUR" interest but we must also have the intelligence and foresight to check the party that 99.9% of our people support without any repercussion. Our "paralysis of analysis" has to cease and we are going to have to start to think about what we do and do what we think is right...Liberals and Conservatives sometimes are hard to identify when it comes to policies that affect the community of people that I most resemble. ~ A. McBride

I did a previous post on Artur Davis after he got his tail kicked in the Democratic Primary for Governor of Alabama.  Artur ran the weirdest campaign in the history of politics.  He ran away from black folks and black media. Thus causing him to lose in his own home district (that's like not even being liked in your own house). Davis has a new bag and is now running with the Republicans.  Davis is 64 years late in joining the Dixiecrats so I guess he did what he thought was best.  But before all Republican’s I know (which are 2 in number) get too excited, let’s see what Davis “The Man” is about. 
In 2008, Davis backed Barack Obama for President.    
In 2009, Davis co-sponsored Bill H.R.3590 also known as The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. 
In 2010, Davis ran for Governor of Alabama….as a Democrat.
He actually voted with Democrats 95% of the time. STOP!!!  Did I say 95%??  And now he magically found the light and is more Conservative?  I think he only gets cheers because he is downgrading Obama in public.  The Puppet Master always likes when his Puppet dances.  The faster the Puppet dances the more the Puppet Master likes it.  Let me tell you what the Republican’s got when they let this clown come through the doors.  They have a man that can’t even show his face in his own state.  He was so shamed that he had to run to Virginia.  Now he is acting like “I left the party not because I changed but because they changed.”  Um did this happen before or after the 95%?  As an Independent voter, I don’t care which party black folks join.  I believe they should join them for the right reasons i.e. they speak to their beliefs.  Davis is just mad that he lost his chance to be the Obama of Alabama.  Like they were really going to vote for him anyway!!  They weren’t lying when they said the Deep South had strange fruit in the trees.  He would have had a better chance running for Governor of Atlanta.  He lost because of his strategy to pander to White Folks (either they know fake when they see it or they just didn’t want a Black Governor).  I’m pretty sure his 95% didn’t help him when conservatives entered the voting booth.  They had already witnessed Obama being sworn in and now this!!!  Another light skinned Ivy League Politician spreading the message of Radical Socialistic Communism.  It was a suicide mission from the beginning!!!  And now he has the nerve to tell his fellow Republican’s to pick their audiences when talking to black folks.   Yeah, for sure, the Republican’s got a dud on their hands. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kings pass on and Regime's change. The D.C. Story

I was in Washington D.C. the week that Chuck Brown died.  One of America’s beloved cities had lost its King and the city was in mourning. The city once dubbed “Chocolate City” was once a Mecca for Black Folks.  Before Atlanta became the flavor of the month, D.C. was the spot for black folks.  A prime example of that blackness was U Street. U Street was once the stomping ground for black legends Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey.  But times have changed for the city.  I could tell standing on U Street that a shift in demographics has happened.  I saw more white faces for the first time than I could remember.  And I don’t mean more but MORE!!!  Every after hour spot I would attend had white folks in attendance.  They were even in a club that was predominately white.  Just 2 years ago when I visited, the only white folks I saw were driving through on their way to Adams Morgan.  Now some white dude was walking down the street in pajamas.

This appears to be an event that is not lost on the black residence of D.C.  They know that their city is changing and some don’t like the change.  White Flight has been replaced by Urban Gentrification.  White folks are coming back to the cities and don’t mind paying a pretty price to do so.  You have Million Dollar Condo’s popping up in neighborhoods that back in the day people wouldn’t even drive through.  But this isn’t just a D.C. issue. Most cities are dealing with this new revival.  I remember when I first arrived to Charlotte N.C. for college I was warned about going Uptown.  During the day it was cool but after dark it was not.  A couple of years later, white women are jogging down the streets with their dogs.  I don’t think black folks that lived in these neighborhoods ever saw this coming.  Especially when they were sitting on their porch during the drug infested and low property value days. They couldn’t have known that their property would be worth so much in the future? 

The angst that some black folks have with these changes is understandable.  Will chain storesreplace mom and pop stores?  Will the increase in taxes drive out residents that don’t want to leave?   With their core audience leaving, will white folks continue to shop at black businesses?  Then again, I’m 100% sure that black folks who sold their homes knew they could get paid. They weren’t concerned with the loss of heritage but with the bottom line.  Only time will tell if all of this will be a good or bad thing.  If you look at the surrounding areas of D.C. i.e. Southern Maryland, you see neighborhoods full of black folks.  Black Folks are populating the suburbs to where the demographics have changed dramatically.  How interesting to see this reverse in population and color.  D.C. will probably never be the same again.  Gentrification isn’t perfect but it’s not going anywhere.  Every inner city area that has redeemable value will receive a makeover (if it hasn’t happened yet in your town it will). 

I started off talking about the death of a legend.  Chuck Brown’s death has meaning in the revitalization of Washington D.C.  Brown was a consummate professional that kept the beat going all night long.  The community around him might have been changing but that never stopped him from representing his city.  There is something that is still majestic about our nation’s capital.  I think the black residents of the district should take a page from Brown’s book.  Although the music might change the beat never stops.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fox News viewers turn on Juan Williams and you thought NPR was bad!!!

“How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?”
~ Samuel Johnson

The folks on the left already thought Juan Williams was suspect and now they are clowning him on the right.  Williams fancied himself as a black man that couldn’t be pegged into a neat little circle.  He wasn’t too far right and he wasn’t too far left.  But when NPR gave him the boot, Fox News scooped him up with the quickness.  NPR known by the far right as a “Bastion of Liberalism” and Fox News known by the left (notice I just said the “Left”) as the “Epicenter of “Conservative Thought.”  Williams worked for both organizations at the same time before NPR ditched him.  And I think he thought that it gave him “Street Cred” in the “I can’t be pigeonholed” category.  But it was an act that he was ill prepared to pull off.  His views angered black folks and liberals alike.  That made him sort of like a “Black Best Friend” to the Right.  Or at least that was until he moderated the Republican Primary Debate in South Carolina. 

After the Debate, a Newt Gingrich supporter thanked him for “putting Williams in his place.”  Uh Oh!!  Where have we heard that before?  In just about every movie that ever featured a racist person or old video footage of racist southerners talking about the Civil Rights Movement.  But by today’s standards she wouldn’t be a racist….she would be called a “Concerned American Citizen.”  In this “New” America, racism doesn’t exist and there are only “Those that work” and “Those that beg”!!!  Or as those crazy hippie kids camping outside say: the 1% and the 99%. 

So what was it that Williams said to upset the good folks of South Carolina?  What were the questions that he asked that made Republican voters want to break off a piece of leather in Williams John Brown hind parts?? 

So instead of Juan Williams playing his role, he wanted to show that “he couldn’t be pigeonholed.” Too bad it didn’t work out for him that way.  Although he may think he can’t be labeled, a Gingrich supporter let him know exactly who he was.  And based on the cheers that she received when making the statement, a lot of people feel the same way.