Tag: jobs (page 2 of 2)
You may not have heard of instructional coordinators, but if you’re in school, they’re helping to determine what you learn every day.
One reason you may not have heard of this career is that instructional coordinators are also known as curriculum specialists, staff development specialists, directors of instructional material or other variations of those names.
While the job title varies, the main focus of this position does not. An instructional coordinator focuses on making sure that educational programs comply with school board and federal, state and local government regulations.
Instructional coordinators engage in a wide variety of duties at all levels of education. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, instructional coordinators “develop curricula, select textbooks and other materials, train teachers and assess educational programs in terms of quality and adherence to regulations and standards. They also assist in implementing new technology in the classroom.”
Most instructional coordinators are employed by the educational services industry, which includes elementary, secondary and technical schools, and colleges and universities. Some also work for state and local departments of education, as well for private companies that develop educational materials for schools.
Trends boosting job growth
The employment of instructional coordinators is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2014. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many factors are influencing this job growth. Deborah Hardy is the chairperson of school counseling at a high school. She explains the demand for this career. “As schools redevelop curriculum based on state regulations, educators are finding the need to have instructional leaders assist them with professional development, feedback on lessons, creative methods of instruction, identifying new programs and practices based on school and student needs, and developing delivery methods that benefit all students.”
During the next decade and beyond, instructional coordinators will be needed to develop new curricula to meet the changing demands of society and to train the teaching workforce. In order to stay up to date on new developments, more teachers will find themselves going back to the classroom.
An increasing number of schools are providing professional development programs for teachers, says Jeanette McDonald. She’s the manager of educational development at a university.
Teaching centers often include part-time or full-time faculty members, or professional staff members who work with instructors on curriculum initiatives, course development efforts, tenure and promotion, and teaching feedback, just to name a few, McDonald says.
It’s increasingly important that universities and colleges retain faculty and attract new faculty, McDonald adds. Those working in teaching centers help support those efforts.
“Institutional accountability to students, parents, government and other public and private stakeholders necessitates greater attention on teaching and learning,” McDonald says. “A growing literature base on teaching and learning also legitimates a focus on quality education and innovation in the classroom.”
The rise in distance learning at universities is another factor contributing to the growth of the field, says Peggy Brown. She’s the director of instructional design for a university. Her school offers the same graduate programs and certificates of advanced study through distance learning as they offer on campus.
It’s Brown’s responsibility to make sure the design for all distance learning and main campus courses flows together within the university’s learning management system. “I wear many hats, which include administration of our learning management system, course development, course design, faculty development/training, instructional resources and multimedia,” Brown says. “Being in this career allows me to be creative and have fun, while working hard.”
A promising job outlook
In the U.S., opportunities are expected to be best for those who specialize in areas that have been targeted for improvement by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) — reading, math and science. That’s according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The accountability dial has been ratcheted up a few notches since NCLB,” says Fran Finco. He’s the director of instructional services a school district in Wisconsin. “Increasing student achievement has always been the goal of schools. NCLB brought into the forefront the need to meet the needs of all children. Instructional services people are needed to be the ‘go to’ people in the districts to lead the improvement movement.”
Hardy echoes those comments. “With the use of data warehousing systems that track assessments and student achievement in the content area, schools are looking for experts such as instructional leaders to work with teachers in innovative ways to deliver classroom instruction or update their library resources,” she says.
Hardy also sees a demand for instructional leaders and staff developers. “Instructional leaders look at the entire needs of students and curriculum, assess what is in place and revisit alternate possibilities related to programs,” she says. “Staff developers assist in training educators in their classroom environments, students and delivery of programs.”
Preparing for work
Those in the field say a career as an instructional coordinator can be rewarding.
“It is a ‘big picture’ position where the needs of the entire district are planned through this office,” Finco says. “You are in on the latest research-based instructional methods, you get to work with teacher and principal leaders in schools, you get to help plan staff development in areas of best practice, you get to facilitate data analysis and school improvement planning, and you get to participate in school improvement.”
The minimum educational requirement for instructional coordinators is a bachelor’s degree, and that’s usually in education. Many in this career begin their careers in teaching or similar positions. They prepare for a job as an instructional coordinator by completing a master’s degree in such areas as curriculum and instruction or educational or instructional technology.
Finco recommends students work on their organizational, technology, public speaking and multi-tasking skills. He suggests first earning a teaching degree and working in the classroom. A solid path of preparation, he says, would be to then earn an administrative degree and work as a school administrator before landing a job as an instructional coordinator.
A well-prepared instructional coordinator will be ready to meet the various challenges of this work, including keeping up on the latest educational initiatives and policies. Those in these positions often work long hours, attend many meetings and give presentations.
“Students need to have an ongoing desire to learn since there is always something new in the field,” Hardy says.
Students interested in working as an instructional coordinator also must be able to work effectively with people, have good communication skills and be a good observer and listener.
The American Association of School Administrators
Information on training programs and lists of colleges and universities offering degree programs in curriculum and instruction
The International Society for Technology in Education
Society for those advocating for technology in education
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Working to improve education at every level
People have long been visiting the country to pick their own fruit. But these days, there are many more activities enticing tourists to the farm.
Farmers are finding unique and innovative ways to attract city slickers, not only to bolster income but also to promote agriculture and rural living.
According to Purdue University research, nature- or agricultural-based tourism is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. tourism industry, averaging a 30 percent increase since 1997.
From farmhouse bed-and-breakfast operations to winery tours, specialized product sales and Halloween attractions, farmers are taking a chance on tourism.
At nine years of age, Jerry Howell, living on a pig and chicken farm, decided to sell a few pumpkins from a wheelbarrow. Decades later, he’s running the Howell Family Pumpkin Farm, relying completely on revenue from visitors.
“I realized, heck at nine I’d made 28 bucks. So, the next year I asked my dad to plant more pumpkins and that year I sold a wagon load,” says Howell. “It just kept getting bigger.”
A jack-o-lantern display in the 1980s was so successful that the family started school tours and wagon rides. They also added a 3,000-square-foot haunted barn and a 25-foot robotic pumpkin dinosaur called Pumkinosaurous Rex.
There are pony rides, hay romps, a pumpkin catapult, animal petting areas, pumpkin carving demonstrations, scarecrow displays, puppet shows and a corn maze adventure.
“This [agritourism] is now our only source of income. There are no more chickens or pigs and we make all of our money in one month [October],” he says.
While the Howells rely entirely on agritourism, Mike Bose has successfully added a corn maze component to his existing turkey and vegetable farm operation.
“My family has been farming for over 100 years and been fighting for market share. This is a way for us to ensure viability of the farm and to bring people back out to the farm — to connect between urban and rural communities.”
Picking unique themes for the corn maze has garnered media attention, which Bose considers the best marketing tool.
“Ending up on the news does more good than anything and giving to charity is another way to get attention,” says Bose. His corn maze logos have included golf, football and hockey themes, as well as a bucking bronco.
Visitors come from around the world. The maze also attracts youth and church groups, birthday parties and other special events. “We do really big numbers in September and October. It’s big business,” says Bose.
Steve and Dorothy Enger open their 1,600-acre North Dakota farm to the public annually through the fall months. The couple expanded into agritourism as a means of additional income.
Known as Fall Family Fun on the Farm, attractions include a haunted house, indoor games, face painting, miniature golf and cow milking — all to supplement the growing of carrots and pumpkins. “It is treated as any other enterprise on the farm,” says Dorothy Enger.
And it began quite by accident.
“We were working with our church youth group and decided to have a Halloween party at our farm to raise money for [a charity]. It seemed like a lot of work to do for just our church for one night, so we opened it up to the public. People came and said they liked it and asked us to do it again. It has grown each year since,” says Enger.
Adding “agri-entertainment” makes for a very busy fall at the Enger farm. “It gets very hectic at times because the crops we raise and the fall activities in our yard are all taking place at the same time as harvest. It makes for very short nights of sleep and sometimes not even going to bed,” she says.
Each year, something new is added and is always home-made and self-financed.
“We find it virtually impossible to get finances for this. Lenders frown on it and so do insurance companies. One better be prepared to have the means to start themselves,” says Enger.
The U.S. government may provide funding through agencies such as USDA Rural Development, the Rural Community Empowerment Program, and the National Council of State Agriculture Finance Programs.
And while branching into agritourism has proven successful, Howell says he sees the need to further diversify. “We’ve been realizing that all our eggs are in one basket and we’ve had a couple of rainy Octobers, so we’re developing singing chickens as a side business.”
Howell is building animatronic chickens that pop out of crates. Chick-n-motion products will be marketed to other entrepreneurial farmers who have expressed interest in this type of attraction.
However, he says agritourism isn’t for everyone.
“It’s for people who like people…because at times the large crowds can be very stressful. It’s not for all farms.”
Enger agrees. “People who get into agritourism are a different thinking kind of people than the norm. They are energetic, creative, jack-of-all-trades kind of people. One can’t afford to hire all that is to be done.
“They need to work with and understand marketing, construction, be people-oriented and be willing to start from the ground up and build the business just like they did with their traditional farm,” she says.
While diversification is important for added income, farmers feel strongly that there should also be an educational component to agritourism operations.
“Seventy percent of the population used to have ties to the farm, which was huge, but now it’s just two percent,” says Howell.
“We are teaching what farms are all about, how plants grow, and that we need bees for pollination, etc. A lot of people don’t get exposed to it all.”
Loans for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Find out about an assistance program for beginning farmers
United States Department of Agriculture
Get extensive information on a range of government programs
The world’s largest cornfield maze company
Source: Career Pro News
When Larry Ponemon first got into the field of business ethics more than 20 years ago, many corporations didn’t understand the importance of ethical behavior.
“Most companies didn’t see the connection between good business and good ethics,” says Ponemon. He is the founder of a couple business consulting practices.
Today, in the wake of scandals at companies like Enron and Tyco, more businesses appreciate the importance of having someone on hand to make executives more accountable.
The Ethics Officer Association had 19 members when it was incorporated in 1992. Today, it has almost 1,000 members.
“The career is growing with the exponential growth of concern with ethical issues in every part of our society,” says Cornelius Von Baeyer. He is an independent consultant on workplace ethics.
“It used to be that there was a story or two per week on ethics that appeared in the media. Now such stories are daily, and, in fact, many stories have an explicit ethics issue embedded in them.”
Von Baeyer says an ethics officer usually provides advice to employees faced with ethical dilemmas. Officers also accept complaints or allegations about misbehavior and attempt to resolve them.
He says many of those charged with handling a company’s ethics also have other responsibilities. “Often, managers responsible for human resources, legal services or even operations are asked to take on ethics-related duties as part of their normal work.”
But some companies employ full-time ethics officers. And many experts expect that the demand for these professionals will grow.
Ponemon says the career can be rewarding.
“A career in the business ethics field has a major advantage over other jobs,” he says.
“Not to sound too smug, but helping people and companies out of a serious jam or helping senior management solve complex problems can be very rewarding.”
Von Baeyer and Ponemon say that public and stock market sensitivity to scandals at Enron and the like play a big role in the increased recognition of corporate ethics officers.
But there are a number of other factors, including stricter laws. Plus, a number of business schools have included ethics education as part of their programs.
Still, only about a third of accredited business schools require business ethics coursework, says Diane Swanson. She is the founding chair of the Ethics Education Initiative at Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration.
She first got interested in the field while completing a PhD in business administration. At that time, she realized that ethics education was a major part of many business programs.
“When I realized that I got more ethics education while taking my MA in economics than most MBAs get, I began to be concerned about the lack of ethics education in most business schools,” she says.
“The eruption of corporate scandals is no surprise to me, given the amoral philosophy of business promoted in a lot of business degree programs.”
She says ethics officers can help fill that gap by providing training and advice that some business schools don’t offer. For instance, ethics officers at many corporations have created help lines that employees can call to report and clarify ethical concerns.
However, the role of the ethics officer in a company also depends greatly on how much a corporate CEO or board of directors values ethical integrity.
“Ethics officers can only make a difference if CEOs want them to make a difference,” Von Baeyer says.
“The support of the CEO is crucial. No doubt, in some organizations, the ethics program is primarily window dress. That’s a pity, given the real benefits that can be drawn from it, including increased customer loyalty, product reputation, investor confidence, employee productivity and risk reduction.”
Ponemon agrees that some companies hire ethics officers just to reassure the public, and then bury them in the chain of command.
“Unfortunately, many ethics officers are too low in the corporate hierarchy,” he says. “They don’t have the visibility or power to resolve serious problems.”
The experts agree that, to be effective, the ethics officer should answer directly to the CEO or board of directors.
“The signals sent from the top are those that really matter,” says Swanson. “If the CEO is committed to improving ethics, he or she can elevate the role of ethics officer meaningfully.”
You’ll need training in a number of areas. That includes not just business ethics, but also business law, human resource management and business and society.
Von Baeyer also recommends getting involved in professional activities as soon as possible.
“There are numerous round tables and workshops and conferences on various aspects of ethics in cities across Canada,” he says.
“Such events and the organizations sponsoring them are generally happy to accepts students and beginners and those who simply have an interest in the field.”
Ponemon says a good ethics officer also must have a number of personal qualities that can’t be learned. Obviously, that includes a strong personal moral code. “You must be principled, with the backbone to stand up for what is right, true and fair,” he says.
However, other qualities also are important, including good people skills and a strong commitment to your work. “This is a tough field,” Ponemon says. “To survive, you must be dedicated.”
But even in ideal situations, Von Baeyer stresses that the ethics officer isn’t a cure-all. “It’s obviously impossible for all decisions with an ethical component to be sent off to an ethics officer for resolution,” he says.
“The ethics official can only help employees to think through the ethical issues, remind them of basic corporate values and help defend them if their careful ethical decisions come under fire.”
Ethics Officer Association
A professional association that also provides training
Ethics Resource Center
Lots of resources here
Read the latest articles
Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. Since that time, the number of women in the scientific workforce has improved, but it hasn’t exactly skyrocketed. Aerospace engineering students are hoping to change that.
Aerospace engineering can be very exciting — it is rocket science! And women’s careers are taking off fast with opportunities that can be out of this world.
Women at Work in Aerospace Engineering
The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show women accounted for just 13.3 percent of the aerospace workforce in the U.S.. There is no question that engineering is a male-dominated field. But women interested in math and science should take a look at the rewards offered by this field of study.
“There are wonderful opportunities for women in engineering, and it can be a rewarding and interesting field of study,” says Amy Lang. She is an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama.
“I myself have found at times both challenging and supportive environments as a female engineer, but by far usually supportive rather than inhibitive throughout my career. The biggest challenge has been in balancing family life with work, but that is the case, I think, in any high-paying career,” says Lang. She has two children.
Women do face unique problems which can be difficult to share with male co-workers.
“You do feel lonely sometimes. It is important to keep contact with other female engineers, both from aerospace engineering and other engineering disciplines,” says Bo Tan. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Ryerson University.
Being a Woman Can Pay Off
The lack of women in engineering can work to women’s advantage in many cases.
“Federal agencies offering scholarship and job opportunities recognize the lack of women representation in engineering, and aerospace engineering has some of the lowest percentages of female participation,” says Lang. She notes that this lack of female participation becomes more significant at graduate levels and beyond.
Female Students Outnumbered But Not Outperformed
Classrooms are also dominated by male students. Tan says that female students account for five to 10 percent of undergraduates and even fewer post-graduates at her university.
“Although they are outnumbered by their male peers, they usually do pretty well academically and are usually ranked high the class,” says Tan. “Young women who are interested in aerospace engineering should not be discouraged by the male-dominated work environment.”
Female participation numbers are a bit higher at the University of Cincinnati. “Of our aerospace engineering graduating class, 25 percent were women in 2005 and 2007,” says Professor Awatef Hamed. She is the head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at University of Cincinnati.
“I am sure they would agree with me that being female did not present a challenge.”
Professor Keiko Nomura works at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Although she is seeing more women in her mechanical and aerospace engineering classes, she recognizes that women may have difficulties.
“I do know and understand that it is very challenging for women students to be in a male-dominated environment,” says Nomura. She adds that is especially true when it involves dealing with subjects like airplanes and cars. There is a generalization that boys are more familiar and knowledgeable in these areas. “However, there are in fact many male students who are just as unfamiliar and inexperienced with these things,” she points out.
UCSD Girls Get their Motors Running
Building a formula race car may not be a stereotypical hobby for girls, but it revved up some young women engineering students in San Diego. A group of female mechanical and aerospace engineering students at UCSD entered the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) competition. They were the first SAE all-women’s team in the nation.
The competition involves designing, building and racing an open-wheeled, formula-style race car. “The UCSD student team has in the past been active but consisted of all-male students,” says Nomura. “This group of women decided to form their own team and together, learn how to design and build a race car. … They organized a workshop where they had a community advisor come in and give tutorials on automotive engineering.”
It took a lot of time and hard work to learn about race car design and how to work and use equipment in the machine shop. The team succeded in designing and building a car which then competed against over a hundred other colleges and universities in the annual FSAE event.
Female Students Speak Out
Don’t be intimidated by the guys, says Marina Selezneva. She is a fourth-year student of aerospace engineering. “All the girls that I know in engineering are doing great and get better grades than guys in general,” she says. “Plus it wouldn’t be too long until they get full respect from the guys; all it takes is a couple of good marks on midterms or projects.”
Irene Chan is a senior aerospace engineering student at UCSD. She is also president of the UCSD student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
“As a female engineering student, it is difficult to be taken seriously by your male peers. Some may refuse to work in a group with you because you are female, some may not want to study with you,” warns Chan.
Although there are some challenges to overcome, Chan is confident that she’ll be able to make a difference when she gets to work. “Female engineers bring a different perspective and skill sets that are beneficial to a male-dominated field: females are better multitaskers and can provide effective organization; their different, nurturing outlooks of the world provides insight on topics males may not think about regarding safety in their designs or facilitating communication in a group,” she says.
Women in Aerospace
A great support network
Society of Women Engineers
A great place to look for scholarships, support, career guidance and more
Women in Engineering Organization
This is a special page just for girls
Sally Ride Science
The first American woman in space has a special page with resources for students
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Check out their Kid’s Place page for some fun
The medical devices industry has seen much growth in recent years. It offers many job opportunities to those hoping to venture into this field.
The aging of our society appears to have an impact on this field. As people get older, they generally need more medical care.
In the U.S., there are 76 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). And the number of Americans age 65 and older will double over the next 30 years. That’s according to figures released by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
“The aging baby boomer population should be a big bonanza for the health device and supply industry,” says a report by U.S. Business Reporter. “Medical devices have a tendency to be used more by the elderly in disproportionate amounts.”
The report also points out that longer life expectancies are having an impact. “Women have an average life expectancy of 78 years, while men have a life expectancy of approximately 69 years. This bodes well for medical device [and] equipment companies because they can generate more usage for their products with the longer life expectancy.”
Frost and Sullivan is an international market consulting and training company. One of its reports links the recent growth of the industry with an aging society.
“Demand in the medical device industry continues to increase due to the aging baby boom population and the ailments associated with getting older,” says the report.
“In addition to the population getting older, people are becoming more aware of the importance of remaining physically fit. As an increasing number of people are participating in sports and fitness programs, the number of injuries resulting from this has risen as well. This will sustain the growth of the market for medical devices.”
Kevin Murray is the vice-president of regulatory affairs for a medical devices trade association. He agrees. “As people age, they obviously become more susceptible to disease, injury and that type of thing,” he says.
“So there is a demand for medical treatments. And with that comes the demand for more use of medical equipment and devices. So it certainly has provided an opportunity for the industry. And it has also provided an opportunity in the development of new types of devices to treat disease and other types of medical problems that we are seeing an increase in because of our aging society.”
Roy Wallen is the marketing director for a medical device manufacturer. He says the aging boomers will impact the medical device industry in several ways.
“The bulk of experience in the field is with people that are starting to work their way out of the workplace, so having qualified workers is a challenge,” he says. “In addition, as people are aging, it provides more opportunity, a bigger market, for health care related systems.”
Wallen stresses that the number of older people in our society is increasing and there are more medical device systems available. But there are fewer workers. That means a greater reliance on technology. “There are more patients with fewer people to take care of them,” he says.
“In the medical device area, technology is evolving pretty rapidly now,” Murray says.
“We are seeing tremendous developments in products that we hadn’t seen before. And we are seeing some really interesting treatments being developed. I think it potentially could be a pretty exciting area to be involved in. And certainly on a global level, there is a growth opportunity.”
He says growth is limited by cost constraints in Canada, the United States and Europe. “[But] there are also emerging countries that are expanding the market, like China, a lot of the Asian Pacific countries, South America and Latin America,” Murray says.
“Those countries will probably outpace Canada, the United States and Europe in terms of growth and market opportunities. The future is going to be in a lot of these emerging countries, like China, whose population is over one billion.”
There are a number of job opportunities within the medical device industry field. Bob Stiefel is a director of clinical engineering services. He oversees the technicians and engineers who work with the medical devices in that facility.
“The technicians inspect, calibrate and repair medical equipment in the hospital and help users in the safe and proper use of some of the more sophisticated equipment,” he says.
“Engineers evaluate equipment, design changes or new equipment and help in planning for new types of technology to be introduced in the hospital.”
Stiefel says these two fields of work exist within the whole medical device industry. “The same types of folks [technicians and engineers] find jobs in teaching, in manufacturing and in regulatory agencies, all dealing with medical equipment. So there are many aspects to how technical people are employed in the medical device field.”
Those looking to enter this field should major in some form of engineering. “Electrical engineering is very popular, although biomedical is probably the most appropriate…. Mechanical engineering is also very important,” Stiefel says. He adds that pre-med is also an option.
There are also opportunities in marketing. In that case, business classes would be needed, along with a scientific background, according to Murray. “Also, more devices will depend on computer technology. So there may be more positions in software design or writing original code,” he says.
For high school students, strong mathematics skills, the ability to work with computer systems and strength in the life sciences areas are all important, Wallen says.
There are other things high school students can do now to begin to prepare for a job in this field. “The thing that immediately comes to mind is to volunteer for a few weeks or a couple of months in a hospital and, in particular, in an area of the hospital where medical technology is being used or serviced,” says Stiefel.
For those who do decide to pursue this field of study, Stiefel says, there will be jobs waiting for them. “The field is wide open. There is a demand for all types of people in technical fields,” he says.
“These days, we are almost constantly looking for more people for the department. The same is true in other departments, literally around the world.”
The higher-level jobs in this field require extensive education. “But there are a lot of opportunities in laboratory medicine or in entry-level positions that don’t require a high level of education,” Wallen says. “So there really is a range of opportunity for people, depending on what their skills or desires are.”
The rewards of working in the field are an added bonus. “I think that applying one’s interest in technology to medical technology provides a double reward,” Stiefel says.
“For me, it satisfies my interest in technology and it satisfies my desire to contribute to society. It is hard to find an area where you can contribute to society better than in health care.”
Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
A resource for those in the industry
Medical Device Manufacturers Association
Encourages the development of new medical technology
Medical Equipment & Technology Association
A wealth of useful resources and information
A great silver lining about today’s job market and the current economic recession…
An article posted yesterday on Fistful of Talent titled: Where are all the Qualified Candidates? Aren’t We in a Recession?, states that HR and recruiters have a significantly harder time finding key talent in markets like today’s. There is a great explanation why, which basically revolves around the tendency for people to “stay put” in times of uncertainty.
This just solidifies why 2 great techniques for tapping into today’s unadvertised job market (growth opportunities and direct mail campaigns) can be more powerful than ever for the job seeker.
Equally compelling is the fact that in a recession where its more difficult to compel talented professionals to make a move, job seekers have more negotiation power for key positions.