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Colleges Are Now Preparing Students to Major in Marijuana + Other Hot Jobs That Students Can Get After Graduation

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As the cannabis industry’s growth explodes, colleges are increasingly preparing students to work in a world where the green leaf is legal. The University of Denver offers a business course where students pitch ideas for marijuana startups, while at SUNY Morrisville, undergraduates will be able to enroll in a new cannabis industry minor this fall. Course offerings will likely only continue to expand, covering broader areas of the business as stigma around the substance fades, says The Chicago Tribune.

But if the natural green stuff doesn’t get you excited, you’ll be happy to know that the job market is heating up. A recent study by Michigan State University found that the job market is the hottest it’s been in a while, and projected a 16% increase for hiring 2015 college graduates. 74% of the employers surveyed rated the current job market as good to excellent, and 97% were ready to hire at least one new college graduate. In addition, The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that over 50% of employers are offering signing bonuses for new grad hires, the highest percentage it’s been in five years.

Hottest Career Area – Healthcare

So what’s the hottest career area? Healthcare! It makes sense because the Baby Boomers are in need of more healthcare as they age, and there’s been a boost in people who are newly insured as a result of the federal Affordable Care Act.The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts that the healthcare field will add the newest jobs between 2012 and 2022, which is nearly 1/3 of the total projected increase in jobs. Here’s a snapshot of the hot jobs within the healthcare industry.

Hot Job #1: Physician’s Assistant

Glassdoor lists a physician’s assistant as the top job on its list of 25 Best Jobs in America for 2015. They are 45,484 job openings for physician’s assistants on their site, and they list this role as making an average base salary of $111,376.

Hot Job #2: Nurse Practitioner

The next hot job is a nurse practitioner, who is listed on Glassdoor as earning an average base salary of $95,171. On CareerBuilder, the median annual salary is listed at $67,620.

Hot Job #3: Physical Therapist

If you’re looking to become a physical therapist, you can expect to start at an average salary of $64,806 according to Glassdoor. CareerBuilder says that the median annual salary is $80,350.

Many of these fast-growing jobs in the healthcare field including physician’s assistants, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, occupational therapy assistants, diagnostic medical sonographers and speech-language pathologists all require an advanced degree, which will typically take an additional 2-3 years of school. You may not want to add more classes to your agenda after you’ve finally graduated, but if you look at the return on your investment, it may be worth your while. If getting a graduate degree isn’t in your plan, there are other options in the healthcare that don’t require a graduate degree which includes dental assistants, personal care aides, and home health care aids. Here’s what you can expect from those careers.

Hot Job #4: Dental Assistant

Payscale.com lists the average salary for dental assistants at about $15/hour. Like every job they list, they mention that how much you make hinges on where you live. You can expect to make anywhere from $22,000 – $44,000 per year when you include bonuses and profit sharing.

Hot Job #5 & #6: Personal/Home Care Aide

The average pay for a personal or home care aide is about $10/hour, with an annual income of anywhere from $16,000 – $33,000 according to Payscale. They report a high level of job satisfaction in this field.

Runner-Up for Hottest Industry – Technology

If you’re almost ready to graduate or are a recent grad, you’ll be happy to know that the job market is heating up.

Nine out of 13 jobs listed in the U.S. News & World Report of the 25 Best Jobs of 2015 are in the healthcare industry, and the remaining four careers come from a field near and dear to our hearts – technology. Here’s a snapshot of much you can expect to earn in some of the top careers in the tech field according to Payscale.com.

Hot Job #7: Computer Systems Analyst

To get a job in this field, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering and will want to put an emphasis on programming and design. The range of pay for a computer systems analyst is from $39,672 to $92,992 per year.

Hot Job #8: Software Developer

Like to code? As a software developer, you can make anywhere from $44,396 – $104,599.

Hot Job #9: Information Security Analyst

Another hot job on the rise is an information security analyst, which has a pay range from $47,770 – $105,558 a year.

Hot Job #10: Web Developer

If you’re looking into becoming a web developer, expect to make between 33,332 – $84,720 per year. The average annual salary of a web developer is listed at $55,000.

Hot Job #11: Network and Computer System Administrator

As a computer/network system administrator you can make anywhere from $36,397 – $80,925 per year.

Hot Job #15: Mobile App Developer

As a mobile app developer, you can expect to earn about $44,129 – $115,224 per year.

When you’re a new college graduate, the world is your oyster. You can pick from a wide range of careers to pursue your passions in life. We all wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

T-Mobile’s Dream of Telecommunications Domination Is Almost Complete + How to Create Mental Toughness While Pursuing Your Dreams

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T-Mobile received verbal approval from the Federal Communications Commission for its $26 billion deal to buy Sprint but still awaits the blessing of the Justice Department. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he’ll back the merger based on concessions by the third- and fourth-largest U.S. telecommunications companies, which include pledges to invest in new wireless broadband service in rural areas and to sell Sprint’s prepaid cellphone brand. While the FCC is expected to make a formal announcement within weeks, the Justice Dept. has yet to weigh out antitrust concerns.

Dream chasing isn’t for the faint at heart. It can take years before one sees the financial payoff of what was once an idea. T-Mobile is probably patient on the outside, but internal it is jumping for joy. It took them a few years to get to this point, but I’m sure they will be relieved at the fruits of their patients.

When building a business, your goal has to be more than money, or you will ultimately fail. Your drive has to be based on principle, change, and something greater than yourself. Here is how to stay mentally tough while pursuing your dreams.

Personal Development. The road to success is paved with character and growth. Personal development is one of the key drivers that sustain you on the path of your dreams. Trustworthiness, keeping your word, and dependability are imperative to any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician or painter, lawyer or doctor, these traits and non-negotiable and forever transferable to success.

Take Breaks. To get there, you must rest one mile at a time. The grind is overrated. Reflecting on how far you’ve come energizes you for the road ahead. Burnout is a danger to your accomplishments and leads to a failure by default.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Steve Jobs popularized this quote from an ad in The Whole Earth Catalog. It read Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. We come to a point when we are happy with a level of progress and think we’ve learned everything. Accepting the truth that we never stop growing, and there is no limit to our success gives us the ability to keep going. To continue, you must never settle. You must always seek new ways of fixing things and solving problems. Discover new opportunities and be open to learning more.

Faith. Steve Jobs also mentioned faith throughout his journey. Believing so deeply in an idea that you make it come to life. Belief takes ideas and materializes them; and when you realize you can actually make something come to life, the sky becomes your launching pad, not the limit.

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The Daily Digm (News)

Retail Wars Are Getting Real Competitive + How to Stay Competitive in the Marketplace

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Walmart has announced plans to offer next-day delivery on about 220,000 of its “most frequently purchased” online items, after rival Amazon promised free one-day delivery for Prime members. The retail giant says the offering, which applies to orders over $35, will reach about 75% of the U.S. by the end of the year. The more limited inventory makes Walmart’s offer more of a competitor to Target’s Restock than Amazon, says TechCrunch. But retailers need to get a better handle on their inventory and demand for fast delivery before making such moves, execs and analysts told The Wall Street Journal.

Competition is fierce no matter what the genre is and as it relates to these entrepreneurial streets, you have to make sure that you are staying ahead of the competition so you won’t get Walmart’d by your Amazon… So what can you do? Luckily, Marketing Donut has come up with Ten ways to keep ahead of the competition:

  1. Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they are offering, and what their unique selling point (USP) is. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.
  2. Know your customers. Customer expectations can change dramatically when economic conditions are unstable. Find out what matters to your customers now – is it lower prices, more flexible or premium service, the latest products? Revise your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.
  3. Differentiate. It’s essential to give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than a rival. Your USP should tap into what customers want, and it should be clear and obvious – no-one should have to ask what makes you different.
  4. Step up your marketing. Improve your market positioning statement. Make more effort to tell people who you are, what you sell, and why they should buy from you. It doesn’t have to be expensive; marketing can range from posters in your window and leaflet drops through to viral campaigns on social media.
  5. Update your image. Simple steps such as painting the front of your premises can make your business look more modern and inviting. But also look at business cards, social media presences, your website, branded packaging, clothing and so on. Does your image reflect your USP?
  6. Look after your existing customers. They will be your competitors’ target market. Provide better customer service by being more responsive to their needs and expectations. If feasible, consider offering low-cost extras such as improved credit terms, discounts or loyalty schemes – remember, it’s cheaper and easier to keep customers than to find new ones.
  7. Target new markets. Selling into a greater number of markets can increase your customer base and spread your risk. Consider whether you can sell online or overseas, for example. Are there groups you’ve never targeted before who might be interested in your offer? Remember the benefits of market segmentation and don’t waste time marketing to people who won’t be interested.
  8. Expand your offer. What related products or services might your customers be interested in? You might even consider diversifying into another area – many bars and restaurants have successfully offered business networking events, for example.
  9. Be the best employer. Skilled, motivated staff underpin vibrant, growing businesses. But attracting them means more than paying a competitive wage – people are often more impressed by a good working atmosphere and benefits such as flexible working and structured career development.
  10. Look to the future. Businesses that plan for growth are more successful than those that are happy to stay still. Keep up with developments in your sector, follow consumer trends, invest in new technology and – crucially – have a clear idea of where you want to be in one, three and five years’ time.
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The Daily Digm (News)

Negotiating Better Pay May Be Getting Easier + How to Easily Stay Ahead of the Game

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Salaries were once a taboo thing to discuss. Yet, with unemployment at a five-decade low and the gig economy requiring people to compare salaries, attitudes are shifting in the conversation, according to The New York Times. Keeping salary information secret favors managers who want to pay people less, say experts. More information about salaries may benefit workers, giving them wider room to negotiate better pay.

This is great news for those who in the past have been cheated out of a fair wage because they didn’t understand how to play the negotiation game. But it doesn’t only take negotiation to get top dollar; there are other tricks to the trade. Here are four ways anyone could use to get ahead of the career game:

  1. Know Your Strengths and Capitalize off of Them. Don’t try to be something you’re not or learn new tricks overnight. Stay in your lane and become stronger. The stronger you become, the more value you will have in the workforce.
  2. It’s Never Too Late to Intern or Volunteer. As adults, these can be such humbling terms, but it can still get your foot in the door. Just look at Chris Gardner. Not only did he become wealthy, but his rise to riches also led to a movie based starring Will Smith & Jayden Smith
  3. Building Your Connections. Who you know is just as if not more important than what you learn. Being authentically connected to others in your field of interest can open up a world of opportunities. One rule of thumb is never settled or compromise for relationships but do, however, seek to build solid ones.
  4. Create Your Own Platform. Don’t underestimate your ability to build an empire. Many successful entrepreneurs and professionals created their own jobs. Combine all of the above and consider investing them in your own enterprise.
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