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Pandemic-Inspired Job Openings Are on the Rise

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What will college classes be like this coming year? What will pre-college classes be like, for that matter? I was shocked when I encountered a likely scenario for college students attending classes during the Fall 2020 semester. If you want a glimpse into the future, check out The Physically Distanced Classroom: A Day in the Life. Here’s a brief excerpt:


You try to listen to your instructor give directions for the day. It’s a little challenging, since the mask muffles her voice. Then it comes time to work with your partner at the table. Sitting six feet apart and wearing a mask means you have to raise your voice to be heard — but so does everyone else in the room. After doing this for two earlier classes, your throat is pretty sore. This doesn’t help your anxiety, since you can’t help wondering if this might be a COVID symptom.

Your partner tries to show you something on their computer, but you can’t see it from six feet away. Plus, the Plexiglas shield down the middle of the table distorts your vision (you wonder when it was last wiped down). So instead you work together on a shared Google Doc

I can see this being the reality in more than a few colleges. I’m also trying to project these safeguards into a high school, middle-school or even an elementary-level setting, with all the overcrowding that exists in public schools today. One has to wonder where on the priority list actual education rates. Is it ahead or behind COVID-19 safety protocols?

Study Indicates Certain Careers Are Eager to Hire

Getting back to college, and in particular this year’s college graduates, the facts show that the national employment situation isn’t good. Millions of workers have lost their jobs because of pandemic-related cutbacks. Many collegians have had their summer jobs and internships canceled, as you can see from the in-the-trenches reports in this thread on the College Confidential discussion forum. But even within a pandemic, there is opportunity.

Why do I say that? Well, a new study reports that college graduates will now have an advantage for first-year jobs in the field of education, all related to COVID-19. Citing one example, due to the downturn of individual attention previously enjoyed through in-person schooling, parents and students are turning to tutor services to make up the difference. Tutoring not only creates jobs, but can also afford opportunities for grads to give back and be exposed to a possible career in education.

Leveraging data from sources like Johns Hopkins University and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the study also found that since 2014, growth in the online tutoring industry has soared $197 million, according to IBISWorld. A recent Wall Street Journal report reveals that on-demand tutoring site Varsity Tutors is still looking to fill over 9,000 more positions and Zion Market Research predicts that the tutoring industry will eclipse $178 billion in projected growth by 2026. An old adage says that success happens when preparation meets opportunity.

All this leads to some information that rising college seniors — and even recent college graduates — should consider: FitSmallBusiness.com’s Top 10 Entry-Level Jobs for College Grads in the COVID-19 Era. The introduction of this report notes:

For new college graduates, entering the workforce now is daunting, to say the least. According to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the US economy lost an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs in April, with an almost 15 percent unemployment rate.

However, the current crisis has hit specific industries harder than others, and demand has soared for some types of jobs. Let’s take a look at 10 great entry-level positions that the class of 2020 can apply for right now, complete with average starting salaries and number of job listings

To give you a taste of what those Top 10 are, here descriptions of the two top-rated jobs. The number-one job opportunity is Contact Tracer. This makes sense because of the ongoing effort to track down those who may have been exposed to a COVID-19-infected individual, in order to limit wider-spread infections. Here’s an overview:

1. Contact Tracer

Average Starting Salary: $55,000/yr. (Because of the relative newness of this position, this has been based on an average of media-reported estimates.)

Average # of Online Job Listings: 100 (Because of the relative newness of this position, this average based on several online job sites may not reflect what is available. Check local/state websites for opportunities directly available from the government and other organizations.)

Educational Requirements: HS Diploma; training courses available

Popular Industries: Hospitals and Health Care, Federal/State Government

Remote Work Available? Yes

If you’re looking for a career in public health, you may want to start here. “Contact tracer” is one of the most talked-about jobs of the moment, but if you haven’t heard of the job title, you are probably not alone. While contact tracing — the identification of who may have come into contact with an infected person — has been around for decades, it has gained prominence in the era of the coronavirus. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) provides a detailed contact tracing guide and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a free six-hour course on the subject. Remote contact tracing jobs are common, some of the positions offer benefits, and reported salaries range from $35,000 to $65,000 a year.

As of this writing, over 10,000 Americans have applied to become contact tracers, and job listings are available from local governments as well as large healthcare companies. Experts estimate that anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 contact tracers will be needed across the country. As former CDC Director Tom Frieden told the medical news website Stat, “We need an army.” With immediate national demand for such a key position in the fight against the coronavirus, contact tracing is a field with a lot of potential. With so much immediate and future opportunity, this role is a perfect jumping off point for a long career.

The projections for Contact Tracer job growth are impressive. As of the end of April, 11,000 CTs worked in 44 states. New York is currently seeking 17,000 tracers and California needs 20,000. Across America, 100,000 to 300,000 tracers are needed. This would be an excellent first job that could provide a wide range of experience and qualifications that could lead to other, more degree-specific employment for new and recent graduates. Elements of writing, science, statistics, client interaction and other on-the-job skills could be easily transferable to other disciplines.

Here’s a look at the job ranking second:

2. Health Informatics Specialist

Average Starting Salary: $62,000/yr.

Average # Of Online Job Listings: 1,100

Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer or information science; or business/liberal arts degree with information technology or programming experience

Popular Industries: Information Technology, Hospital & Health Care, Research

Remote Work Available? Yes

If you’re a recent college graduate desiring to enter a lucrative field with growth potential in the COVID-19 era, health informatics is the area to pursue. A perfect position for those with either a computer science degree or a liberal arts background with programming experience, the health informatics specialist develops methods to collect and distribute health data via information systems. It is projected to have 11% job growth between 2018-2028, classified as “much faster than average,” and senior staff in the health informatics field can make upward of $100,000/yr. There are health informatics jobs available in industries as varied as telemedicine, insurance, biotech, and public health, and these listings for entry level positions at BlueShield and Advocate Healthcare can be applied for right now.

Please note while job searching that the “health informatics specialist” position concentrates largely on computer/IT work, and the more traditional “health information specialist” role deals more with medical records. To reflect this overlap between the two, we considered both roles for our job listing metric for the position.

In a time when gathering information on issues such as infection rates and other sensitive health data is so crucial in tracking and controlling the spread of COVID-19, jobs like this and contact tracing are increasingly in demand. The CDC lists health informatics as one of their most common jobs and offers a good deal of online training and information on the topic. According to the Brookings Institution, the US currently lacks the extent of information technologies in place to adequately fight the coronavirus epidemic. Brookings also points out that having robust health informatics systems in place will also help tremendously with managing telehealth, which is another burgeoning industry due to the current pandemic. One thing about this pandemic is certain: The healthcare industry will face unprecedented changes long after it’s over. Taking all of this into consideration, this position is a great opportunity in an exploding industry for a new grad.

Thus, many times there may be opportunity within adversity if you know where to look. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned things upside down this year, but, as the adversity-opportunity principle dictates — and as you can see from the above job needs — even when inverted, things can definitely be looking up. Check the full study for even more insights.

——————

By: Dave Berry
Title: Pandemic-Inspired Job Openings Are on the Rise
Sourced From: insights.collegeconfidential.com/pandemic-inspired-job-openings
Published Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2020 13:15:02 +0000

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Apply Online For Student Loans

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Apply Online For Student Loans

Applying online for student loans is a convenient and efficient way to secure funding for your education. Whether you are facing financial difficulties or simply want to keep your debts to a minimum, student loans can help alleviate the financial burden while you focus on your studies.

One of the main advantages of student loans is that they typically offer lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. Additionally, repayment is often deferred until after you graduate, giving you time to establish your career and increase your income potential.

By applying online, you have access to a wider range of lenders, allowing you to compare different loan offers and choose the one that best suits your needs. Look for lenders offering competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and any additional incentives that may be available.

Student loans can be used to cover various expenses related to your education, including tuition fees, housing, course materials, and living expenses. While your personal bank may be willing to provide a student loan, applying online gives you more options and potentially better terms.

However, it’s important to remember that student loans are still loans, and you should borrow responsibly. It’s advisable to budget regularly and avoid unnecessary purchases or luxuries to ensure you can manage your loan repayments in the future.

Before applying for student loans, explore other options such as scholarships, grants, or parental funding. These resources can help reduce the amount you need to borrow and minimize your financial obligations.

Lastly, it’s crucial to have confidence in your ability to secure a salary that will enable you to meet your loan repayments after graduation. Work hard to achieve the grades and qualifications necessary for your desired career, as this will increase your chances of finding a well-paying job.

In conclusion, applying online for student loans can provide you with the financial support needed to pursue your education. However, it’s important to borrow responsibly, explore other funding options, and plan for a successful career to ensure you can manage your loan repayments effectively.

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Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid

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Many families are facing new financial challenges in light of the coronavirus emergency, and College Confidential has fielded dozens of questions on this topic recently. To address those queries, we hosted a webinar on April 9 entitled “Paying for College Amid Changes Due to the Impact of COVID-19.”


During the event, moderated by Aaron Murphy, manager of learning and development with Inside Track, the following panelists offered their perspectives on the issue:

  • Denise Trusty, director of financial aid with Morehead State University
  • Laura Reisert Kalinkewicz, associate vice president of college partnerships with RaiseMe
  • Amy Nelson, director of sales at International Scholarship and Tuition Services
  • Charlie Javice, founder and CEO of Frank.

Check out the following topics that the panelists discussed, along with their views of how things may unfold amid the financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Family Finances Changed? Contact Your Schools

If you plan to start college in the fall as a freshman — or return to school as an existing student — and your financial situation has changed since you applied for financial aid, you should contact the colleges on your list immediately. Financial aid departments can consider appeals for more money, but must base these decisions on each individual student’s situation, Trusty said.

“I know with Morehead State, where I work, we will be doing professional judgement calls on all students who say they’ve been affected,” she noted. “We will reach out to those students to see what we can do to help them maybe obtain additional funding, additional grants, scholarships, whatever they would be eligible for. We do professional judgment all the time for our students, because things happen all the time. This year will be an especially large amount of those, I’m sure, but those are up to individual schools to make that call for their students.”

In addition, she added, the Department of Education has set aside over $6 billion for additional grants and scholarships that the universities will be able to use. “Currently, I don’t know how that’s all going to play into this,” Trusty said. “So that will be up to each individual university on how they lay those out. I know it will be beneficial, I just don’t know how available that will be to each student.”

Keep in mind that schools are accustomed to reviewing financial aid appeals, and they all have processes in place for to do so. “It is really, really important to know that schools typically leave a budget from 10 percent to 20 percent or so of their financial aid dollars for what would be called a professional judgment bucket,”Javice said. “Therefore, there is additional money to be had, and it’s up to you to request it. You should approach your school as soon as you know you might need more money, and be prepared to show supporting documentation demonstrating how your finances are different from when you filed your FAFSA initially. This might require proof of a job loss, medical bills, a cut in pay or another such issue, Javice said.

In addition, if another school gave you a better financial offer, you can petition the school that gave you the lower offer for more money, Javice noted. “This typically works better for private institutions versus public state schools, given the fact that they have a little bit more discrepancy and more dollars to put to work in terms of a tuition discount,” she added. “This is solely up to the school on a case by case basis.” In some cases, the money is distributed on a first come, first serve timeline, so don’t wait if you know you need more aid.

Although financial aid can be a stressful topic, try not to be emotional when you request more money, Javice added. You’ll get a lot further by having organized documentation to present than you would by getting angry or upset, she noted.

Consider Outside Scholarships

The coronavirus situation has changed plans not only for incoming freshmen, but also for current college students, Nelson said. “Organizations are stepping up and trying to find ways to provide additional scholarship opportunities this year,” she noted. Students should be proactive in seeking those options.

Raise Me is offering new micro-scholarships for students who are seeking additional funding sources, Kalinkewicz said. In addition, she encourages students to ask colleges for more time to make decisions, even if the school hasn’t extended its deposit process. You can always try and request additional time to get your financial aid package right, she noted.

Finding more money is not relegated to younger students, Javice added. “Adult learners comprise the biggest group of people actually going to college today,” she noted. It’s very common for people to be seeking new types of skills and going back to college to gain additional degrees. Financial aid is available to adult learners, and they may even get aid to pay such costs as rent, she added. In addition, they can seek outside scholarships or employer-matching funds to pay for their educations.

Not Necessarily Too Late to File FAFSA

Students who didn’t file a FAFSA already should do that as soon as possible so you can get access to financial aid funds, Javice said. Federal FAFSA deadlines are usually in June, but states make their own deadlines for state aid. Some states, such as New Jersey, have moved their deadlines back for this year, so check to make sure you stay on top of your deadlines.

And if you file for financial aid and you decide you don’t want it, you can always decline the financial offer or portions of that offer, Nelson said. Your best bet is to apply so you can take what you need and decline any amounts you don’t need. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, you should apply anyway because you could be surprised at what you’re offered. “You really need to complete that [FAFSA] process every year,” Nelson said. “The process is very easy, and jobs can come and go. It’s your safety net and you want to make sure you’ve completed it. It makes it a whole lot easier when situations like this arise.”

Some colleges also have supplemental applications to fill out for particular types of aid, so always reach out to your financial aid office for information on which documentation you should be completing, Kalinkewicz said.

Could Families — Not Schools — Be in the Driver’s Seat?

Because many merit scholarships are based on test scores and GPAs, some high school juniors are concerned that they won’t have access to those in the coming year. With test dates being canceled and grades moving to pass/fail, they fear they won’t meet the criteria to earn such scholarships.

“It’s clear to me that colleges and universities know the extraordinary circumstances we’re under,” Nelson said. “All schools are leaning forward and considering all options as the situation develops. I would continue to encourage juniors to stay engaged and stay informed.” You should also watch to see what happens with test dates, she said. The ACT and SAT dates could change, and some schools may forego the need for a test score altogether, she added.

In addition, some merit scholarships that have traditionally been based on test scores may become test optional, Kalinkewicz noted.

Keep in mind that in many cases, families are in the driver’s seat rather than having the colleges be in charge, Javice said. Some schools have lost revenue and are very eager for students right now, “so if you are scared because you thought you could never get into a specific school from an admission criteria standpoint, this is your year to stretch, this is your year to think about the schools that are your reach category and go for it, because schools need the money and need the students. So the power that used to be in an admissions office is in you, the student or the family’s hands,” she said.

She also advises juniors to request application waivers from schools to save the $50 to $100 or so per application that they would normally pay. The schools may say no, but it won’t hurt to ask, she advised. “Persistence is key when dealing with schools,” Javice noted.

Federal Student Loans Payment Suspended

As many families are aware, payments on federal student loans are automatically suspended from March 13 through September 30, 2020 thanks to the government’s CARES Act. This is essential to keep in mind, particularly for families that have multiple children in various stages of the college process.

“You will stop paying your loans and you will have zero interest from now until September 30, and that’s important for parents to know,” Nelson said regarding existing federal student loans. “If you had an auto draft, the auto draft has been shut off and will not continue. You can, however, continue to make those payments if you’d like, and any interest you had before March 13, once that interest is paid up, all your payments will go directly toward your principal.” She advises families with federally-backed loans to check with their loan servicing agents, because they have a lot of information for both parent and student borrowers on how the CARES Act will impact payments for the next six months.

Student Job Gone? Colleges Might Help

For students who expect to earn money via part-time or full-time work to pay for college, but can’t do so due to the coronavirus, colleges may have resources to help. “There are many colleges and universities that have put together emergency grants for students to cover expenses that they were maybe not expecting because of COVID-19,” Nelson said. “They are making accommodations to try and make up for that lost income for students.”

Trusty said Morehead State is continuing to pay students who were on federal work-study. “If they had a job, we are still paying them right now as if they were working, although they are not. In the summer, those funds will be flipped over to emergency grant funds. So we will make sure that our students are covered and can live as if they were employed with the work-study position.”

Some colleges have even made remote work available to students, Kalinkewicz added. Therefore, contact your financial aid office to determine if any accommodations are available to make up for lost student income whenever possible.

Consider Other Options to Save

If you are seeking ways to save money on college, you should also consider other resources, whether that means less expensive colleges, in-state options or potentially transferring down the road, Janice said. You can also save money by taking classes at a community college to pay a lower cost for your credits that can be transferred to a four-year college later.

“If you have that target institution in mind — maybe you’ve already been admitted there but your family has determined a year of community college will really help stretch things further — work on articulation agreements or a plan so you are taking the right classes that actually have the ability to transfer toward the degree you want at your target institution, not necessarily just as credit,” Kalinkewicz said.

In addition, many colleges offer merit aid for transfer students, she added. So always look for every potential financial aid and scholarship resource to best maximize your package and allow your dollars to stretch as far as possible.

Resource: To review the entire hour-long webinar, you can watch the replay here.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Check out our forum to contribute to the conversation!

By: Torrey Kim
Title: Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid
Sourced From: insights.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-amid-covid-19
Published Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2020 15:22:20 +0000

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