Thursday, June 30, 2011

Four potential-holding degrees


A lot can change in ten years. One career can explode in popularity while another can go cold.

Your degree, however, lasts forever, which is all the more reason to earn the right one.

Yahoo! Education pored over employment projections through 2020 to determine what graduates with different degrees and educational backgrounds can expect from the job market over the next decade.

Keep reading for the degrees that rank highest in terms of employment opportunities through 2020.

#1 - Health Care Degrees

Love it or hate it, health care reform is creating many new, exciting positions in what is already the fastest growing sector of our economy. Factor in the aging population and demand for health care graduates has never been higher.

Top Degree Picks:
Medical Assistant
Nursing
Medical Technician

"We're moving not only toward a white-collar economy, but toward a white-coat economy," Derek Thompson wrote in "America 2020: Healthcare Nation", an article in The Atlantic magazine.

With hospitals looking to control costs, most of the white coats will be worn by people who assist doctors and not the doctors themselves. This means many new opportunities for nurses, medical assistants, and medical technicians.

As Thompson points out, the White House and U.S. Department of Labor expect health care jobs to grow almost twice as fast as any other industry, with health care boasting three of the top five fastest growing jobs in the country.

Average Earnings:*
Medical Assistant: $28,300
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: $30,610
Registered Nurse: $62,450

#2 - Business Degrees

New technology has forever changed the way people live their lives - and how companies do business. It seems the only constant in the business world is change. Today's business school students will help define the way business gets done in the next decade - and beyond.

Top Degree Picks:
Accounting/Finance
Business Administration
MBA

Looking forward, the business sector's biggest gains will be in management, scientific, and technical consulting services...and that may be a big understatement! The Department of Labor forecasts a "staggering" 83 percent rise in employment opportunities in this area.

Average Earnings:
Accountant: $59,430
Management Analyst: $73,570
Financial Manager: $99,330

#3 - Education Degrees

According to the Department of Labor, educational services is the second largest industry in the U.S. In fact, in 2008 there were about 13.5 million jobs in this industry. Population growth will fuel demand for jobs in this field through 2018.

Top Degree Picks:
Curriculum & Instruction
Education Leadership
Special Education
Teaching Certification

Education administrator might sound like an unlikely career to get showcased in a 2010 Kiplinger column about careers for the next decade, but the numbers back it up. After all, a rapidly growing population means more students, and that means more opportunities for educators.

A 2010 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce puts education behind only health care as a field facing the biggest shortage of qualified workers with degrees in 2018.

Average Earnings:
Public School Teacher: $47,100-$51,180
Dean of Students: $88,280
High School Principal: $97,486

#4 - Technology Degrees

Those with technology-related degrees, like network administration, will benefit from their grasp of cutting-edge technologies that will fuel future advances in all sectors of the economy.

From tech hot spots like Silicon Valley and Seattle to regional centers of innovation in Texas, North Carolina, and around the country...companies will be looking for qualified technology professionals to develop new technology products and to service the computers and networks up and running now.

Top Degree Picks:
Information Technology and Systems
Network Administration
Programming and Applications
Technology Support

According to the Georgetown report, computer specialists alone stand to see a gain of 700,000 new jobs over the next eight years.

Meanwhile, employment in computer systems design and related services is expected grow a robust 45 percent through 2018, according to the Department of Labor.

Average Earnings:
Network Administrator: $66,310
Computer Scientist: $97,970
Information Systems Manager: $112,210

*All average earnings information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor and indicates median 2008 wages.


From Yahoo! Education: Best Degrees for the Next Decade

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The "Do Life" Movement


Can a blog by an overweight, depressed American introvert who reinvented himself as an Ironman and public speaker start a grassroots ampaign that leads to lasting lifestyle changes in a country known for excess?

The latest test, on June 22, gathered nearly 75 strangers in Washington, D.C. who finished an unofficial 5K (five-kilometer) race around the US capital's National Mall park.

And this was no ordinary congregation -- among the participants, they have lost a collective 1,350 pounds, quit smoking, changed careers, removed themselves from debt and ended drug and alcohol addictions.

It's only the early days of a 31-city summer tour to create a support network for people trying to reclaim their lives in a nation with well-documented weight and addiction problems.

After four hours, 3.1 miles and a bonding dinner, the D.C. runners left as friends.

They are members of the "Do Life" movement, an idea founder Ben Davis says is about using health and fitness to find happiness, connect with family and friends and start lifelong relationships.

Davis, 25, began the Tumblr blog "Ben Does Life" in December 2008 to document his weight loss.

Soon, he found that his ongoing transformation from 358-pound (162-kilogram) depressed introvert to 230-pound (104-kilogram) marathon runner, Ironman and public speaker had inspired thousands worldwide to change their lives.

Davis and other participants in the D.C. 5K event stressed, however, that "doing life" is a universal concept.

"Not everybody needs to lose 150 pounds," Davis said. "Some people have other addictions, other things in life that they're struggling with, and we found that in a lot of ways, you have to find a way to replace those areas of your life with something positive."


Read more: 'Do Life' urges Americans to turn things around

Deal Delivers Gas-Tax Break to Georgia Drivers

In an effort to keep gas prices from inching back up to pre-Memorial Day levels, Gov. Nathan Deal decided to freeze the gas tax that was scheduled to take effect July 1. Right now drivers in Georgia pay about 20 cents a gallon in tax. July 1 the tax was scheduled to rise to 22 cents a gallon.

The freeze will be in effect until the end of the year. Motorists just experienced an increase in the state gas tax on May 1.

According to the AJC, the part of the gas tax affected by Deal's decision is adjusted twice a year to match inflation. But in the meantime if gas prices soar 25 percent or more before the next scheduled increase, the state institutes an extra gas tax hike. That's what happened May 1.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue did the same thing in 2008, and in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, Perdue suspended the state gas tax entirely for about a month.

Another factor helping push down gas prices lately is that the U.S. and other countries decided Thursday to release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves, to help fill the gap in supply left by disruption in Libya.

Provided by Yahoo! News: Governor Deal cuts Georgia drivers gas-tax break

UWG Gains Key STEM Grant




A group of faculty members from the University of West Georgia's College of Science and Mathematics and College of Education received a major grant entitled “University of West Georgia Institutional STEM Excellence (UWise)” from the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents. The award is for more than $344,000 and takes effect for a year, beginning July 1, with a potential to renew multiple years.

The grant focuses on increasing the success of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors and advancing the production of science and mathematics teachers. Grant activities include a summer bridge program for incoming freshman focused on teaching how to succeed as a STEM major, a team-taught service learning course, a mini-grant program for faculty to develop innovative approaches to STEM education and teacher preparation and student-peer mentoring. The university has recruited about 100 incoming freshman interested in STEM disciplines for a two-week Summer Bridge program (July 31- Aug. 12).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Job-Juggling Lifestyle


When someone asks Roger Fierro "What do you do?" -- which he knows is shorthand for "Where do you work?" -- he laughs. Then he says, "I do everything."

Mr. Fierro, who is 26, has four jobs: working as a bilingual-curriculum specialist for the textbook publisher Pearson; handling estate sales and online marketing for a store that sells vintage items; setting up an online store for a custom piñata maker; and developing reality-show ideas for a production company. So far this month, he's made about $1,800.

Whereas most 9-to-5ers have some kind of structure in their lives, each workday can be wildly different for him. On a recent day, he worked on and off from 7 a.m. to midnight, making business calls, working on the piñata store's Web site and visiting the vintage store, among other things. (To maintain his sanity, he made sure to schedule some "me" time from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8.)

"I have eight million things going on," said Mr. Fierro, who lives in the West Town area of Chicago. "It's exhausting. Sometimes I just want to take a nap."

Some portions of the population -- especially young, creative types like actors, artists and musicians -- have always held multiple jobs to pay the bills. But people from all kinds of fields are now drawing income from several streams. Mr. Fierro, for one, has a degree in international studies and Latin American studies at the University of Chicago.

Some of these workers are patching together jobs out of choice. They may find full-time office work unfulfilling and are testing to see whether they can be their own boss. Certainly, the Internet has made working from home and trying out new businesses easier than ever.

But in many cases, necessity is driving the trend. "Young college graduates working multiple jobs is a natural consequence of a bad labor market and having, on average, $20,000 worth of student loans to pay off," said Carl E. Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers.

"There are two types of people in this position: the graduate who can't get a full-time job, and the person whose income isn't sufficient to meet their expenses," he said. "The only cure for young people in this position is an economic recovery of robust proportions."


Read more: Yahoo! Finance: Job Jugglers, on the Tightrope

Finalists Competing for AJC Peachtree Road Race Shirt Design



If you're one of the 60,000 expected runners at the 42nd annual AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4, you probably already have your race-day packet. What you don't have is the T-shirt.


In fact, it's one of the most talked about traditions for a race that has plenty. Organizers not only give out the T-shirts after the race, they don't even let runners see the design beforehand. Some will note however, that every year there's the Peachtree equivalent of a "spoiler", the runner who finishes early and decides to do a warm-down run in the direction of the rest of the finishers, holding up the new T-shirt for all to reluctantly see. (Don't be that guy--or girl).


The Atlanta Track Club and the AJC selected five designs, but voting is over, and by now the lucky design is destined for cotton. Below are the five finalists. Let us know which you like best as well by commenting below.




Race bib. Design by Barbie Klimaszewski. Klimaszewski said in the AJC Peachtree Road Race Magazine that she's been running the race for nearly a decade and wanted to design a shirt that hit close to home for the dedicated Peachtree crowd. She said she used last year's number and a little Photoshop for the design. Kilmaszewski is also a UWG student.







Flowing flag. Design by Alissa Chitwood. Chitwood is a senior at the University of West Georgia majoring in art education. She told the race magazine she didn't want "very straight, literal flag stripes, but to be flowing and in motion."








Painted Peachtree. Design by Jessica Ferguson. Ferguson said she has a background in painting. She designed the letters with a palette knife and then scanned them into Photoshop. Ferguson also attends UWG.





Check out the other finalists at Yahoo! News: 5 finalists vie for coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design

Millionaire Women Lead in their Industries


One sells interactive software to turn kids on to learning in school. The other cleans up and disposes of hazardous waste.

I’m talking about two women entrepreneurs who are making it in widely different businesses with similar approaches.

Cynthia Kaye, founder and CEO of Logical Choice Technologies in Lawrenceville, and Danielle Waske, founder and president of DNT Environmental Services in Atlanta, own two of the fastest-growing women-led firms in America, according to a new list from the small business unit of American Express and the nonprofit Women’s Presidents Organization.

I sat down with them together to see if their shared experiences could help others.

First, a little background. Kaye, 46, started Logical Choice in 1994 after she got tired of her 2-year-old “drooling and throwing Cheerios at me.” With a background selling PCs and Macs to schools, Kaye set up an educational tech firm.

“I set up in the basement with two folding tables and my Mac computer,” she said. From $1 million in revenue the first year, Kaye’s business now does $97 million in annual sales with 230 employees.

Waske, 39, had worked for another environmental cleanup firm before it grew too large to compete as a small business for military contracts.

“The military has lots of contaminated sites,” Waske said. “I heard opportunity knocking.”

She started DNT in 2005 and has built it to $10 million in revenue with 20 to 30 employees, depending on the workload.

Before starting up, both Waske and Kaye had a strong working knowledge of their respective industries – something they viewed as indispensable.

Where did they get the initial capital – a key problem for many would-be entrepreneurs, whether female or male? FIND OUT....


RELATED STORIES:

Female Entrepreneurs in Atlanta

Womens Studies at UWG

How to Save on Groceries, Without Coupons

In May, a “thrifty” family of four spent an average of $612.70 on food prepared at home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s an increase of 4.6 percent over last year.

But the thrifty family’s monthly grocery bill pales compared to the $1,209.20 spent last month by families on a “liberal” budget, the USDA says. That’s an increase of 4.4 percent from 2010.

And you’ll continue to pay more for groceries this year — mostly, the USDA says, because of rising energy and agricultural prices and increased demand for food around the world.

Even couponers are feeling the pinch. Michelle Atwood, who runs the shopping website IheartPublix.com, says big coupons, like 50 cents off one product (which could double to $1) are becoming more scarce.

“Now we’re looking at 45 cents off three,” Atwood says. “I used to be able to get a box of fruit snacks after coupon for definitely under $1. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

Larry Peterson, who created MyGrocerySpy.com, says he’s noticed shoppers changing their habits to cope with rising prices.

“We’re seeing that people are tending to buy less than they have in the past,” Peterson says. “But they tend to shop a little more often.”

Instead of stocking up in heavy quantities on meat and produce, shoppers are buying them at more regular intervals, he says. He suspects the more frequent shopping is to hit sales at one or more stores.

Whether you’re using coupons or not, buying in bulk or shopping multiple times a week, Atwood and Peterson have tips on how to save even more at the grocery store:

Atwood: Make a menu based on what’s on sale. “You can easily save 50 percent by just shopping the sales.” She says people run up their grocery bills quickly by deciding to cook whatever they have a hankering for — say, a rib-eye steak for dinner — when it’s not on special.

Peterson: Shop on Thursdays — the day by which most metro Atlanta grocers have released sales in their circulars. That way you can compare sales across stores. “It’s the first day that most stores have their meat department sales. It’s also the best time for freshest produce because it’s usually stocked on Wednesday night. So you get the optimum pricing as well as the freshest produce.”

Atwood: Use what you’ve already purchased. “Plan your meals on what you have in your pantry and your refrigerator and supplement with what’s on sale that week.” She says many people ignore the rice, pasta or other staples stocked up in their cabinets. “You bought it for a reason — make good use of it.”

Peterson: Get your nose out of your list and keep your eyes peeled while shopping. Or you can use a site like MyGrocerySpy.com to get the scoop on sales that weren’t made public. “We find that a lot of the advertised deals aren’t as big as the unadvertised deals.”

Atwood: Eat first. “It sounds like common sense, but a lot of people just don’t realize [how much they’d save] if they would stop going to the store when they’re hungry. Impulse makes those cakes look really good in the bakery at the time.”

READ MORE...

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Little Religion in Future Georgia Car Tags?

Georgia car tags may be about to get a dose of religion. The state Department of Revenue on Friday posted images of the eight semi-finalist entries in its competition to design a new look for your back bumper.

Three of those eight incorporate “In God We Trust” – the same motto found on U.S. currency:

Online voting concludes July 8. The three license plates garnering the most votes will be presented to Gov. Nathan Deal. There the selection process gets foggy – the press release merely says the winner will be announced July 15.

But if a car tag bearing the word “God” makes it to the finals, it’s hard to imagine a Republican politician who would want to be seen rejecting it.

Still, if a declaration of faith is inevitable, we would at least suggest adding an asterisk, followed in small print with this:

“*All others must provide proof of legal U.S. residency.”

Read more: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution- Your morning jolt: Georgia car tag nominees and 'In God We Trust'

20 Million More College-Educated Workers Needed by 2025


Anthony P. Carnevale and his Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce have released another report aimed at making the case that the United States needs 20 million more college-educated workers by 2025.

The work of Carnevale and other economists reinforces -- and in many ways has influenced -- the Obama administration's push to have the United States return to the top of international rankings of countries with the largest proportions of citizens with college credentials.

That campaign has been threatened by the country's economic woes, which have forced the federal and state governments to impose or consider cuts in spending on higher education and student aid, and by ever-rising tuitions that have pushed college out of reach for more students and families. The administration's policy approach has also been challenged increasingly by skeptical commentators and policy analysts (many on the right, but some on the left), who cite the large numbers of unemployed bachelor's degree recipients now to question the historical assertion that education is the key to economic success, for individuals and nations.

In their new report, "The Undereducated American," Carnevale and his co-author, Stephen J. Rose, acknowledge that "with many college graduates unsuccessful in finding work in the current economic climate, the temptation to reject postsecondary education as a viable economic option grows stronger, especially among working families for whom college costs are always a stretch." But they aim to use historical data to show that the analysts (and parents of recent graduates who may feel that way) are engaged in short-term thinking.

Sethna Honored at USA India Business Summit




Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of the University of West Georgia, was recently honored at the USA India Business Summit in Atlanta. Sethna was given the Community Builder award in recognition of his service to his community. As UWG's president since 1994, Sethna has led significant enrollment growth and helped create new opportunities for study at the university.
Sethna is pictured above, in the center, at the summit.

Local Summer Camps Teaching Children to Give Back


While the children at the Bridge Learning Centers in the region are experiencing the normal summer camp activities, they are also learning about local non-profit organizations.

About 450 campers from the five area facilities — Bridge Learning Center in Carrollton, Bay Springs Academy in Villa Rica, Stonebridge Academy in Bremen, Mirror Lake Academy Villa Rica, and Luella Academy in McDonough — are joining with non-profits, one a week throughout the summer program as representatives from the organizations speak to the students.

“We were a little worried with five locations it would be difficult to get people to come out on their own time, but they’ve been great,” said Brandy Barker, director of marketing and program specialist. “We’ve had directors, employees from the different organizations talk to the kids about what the program does and how what (the children) are doing helps.”

So far this summer, the students, ages 5 to 12, have collected books for the Salvation Army, teddy bears for the local police departments, and collected items for the Carroll County Women’s Shelter.

“The guest speakers come in to talk about what they do and how the work they do will affect their direct community,” Barker said.

Carrollopoly in Works to Raise Scholarship Funds


Carroll County is about to become the basis for Carrollopoly, a fund-raising board game that allows players to buy different businesses on the board.

The game is a fund-raising effort by the Carroll County Constitutional Officers to raise money for scholarships.

“We’re trying to give scholarships to GED students,” said Carroll County Tax Commissioner Vickie Bearden. “They’re going to raise the fee and people who don’t have a job are having trouble coming up with the fee now.”

The state had planned to increase the cost of taking a GED test from $95 to $250 effective July 1, but objections from throughout Georgia have prevented the increase for now.

Local businesses and organizations can purchase squares on the board, a pack of cards, money or the game box cover, putting the company name on them. Costs of the miniature advertisements will range from $100 to $750. The front of the game box is up for bid. Funds will also be raised by the purchase of the game.

Kim Jones, president of Community Foundation of West Georgia, will be in charge of the fund once it is created. The raised money will be placed in an investment fund to generate more income.

“Everyone I’ve talked to thinks it’s a great idea,” Bearden said. “Hopefully, we’ll sell all the spaces. Hopefully, we’ll be turning people away.”

Online Master’s in Computer Science to Start in the Fall

Starting in the fall, people interested in pursuing an online master’s degree in computer science will be able to do so through the University of West Georgia.

The program, Master of Science in Applied Computer Science, is designed for students from varied backgrounds who want to develop the skills they need to get into the information technology field, said Dr. Adel M. Abunawass, chairman of the department.

The current, classroom-based program started in 2002. Four dozen students have graduated from the program. All have found jobs in IT, Abunawass said. The on-campus classes will be phased out.

Evening classes at UWG meant that professionals could continue their education while they worked. But the change to online “will open it up to a larger audience,” Abunawass said.

Students will be admitted to the program during the fall semester only. Prospective students are encouraged to apply by August 5.

The program requires 36 hours of study and focuses on computer science fundamentals and the craft and practice of software design and development.

Students will need a computer with a web camera and a fast and reliable Internet connection. They will obtain the necessary software through UWG.

For more information go to:

http://www.cs.westga.edu/Graduate/

On Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Online-Masters-in-Applied-Computer-Science-at-University-of-West-Georgia/227472353936606?sk=wall


Friday, June 24, 2011

Carroll schools improve scores

by Rachel Lane/Times-Georgian

Preliminary data is still being analyzed, but it appears as though many Carroll County Schools showed improvement on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test for the 2010-2011 school year.

All students third to eighth grade take the CRCT, but third, fifth and eighth grade are the years students have to pass the math and reading portion or risk being retained in their grade to learn the material, said Kathy Rogers, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning.

Overall, the scores show improvement in all areas, particularly math. Another encouraging sign is that virtually every county school performed better than the state averages in both reading and math.

“In our math curriculum, they’re laying the foundation at the elementary school,” she said.

Read more:Times-Georgian - Carroll schools improve scores

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Professor Emeritus of History to Discuss His Latest Book


UWG Professor Emeritus of History John Ferling will discuss his latest book, “Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free," on Monday, June 27, at the Neva Lomason Memorial Library, 710 Rome Street, in Carrollton.

The talk is the first event of the League of Women Voters of Carrollton & Carroll County Summer Writers Series. It begins at 7 p.m. Dr. Ferling will sign books at 6:30 p.m. and after he speaks. The talk is sponsored by the library, the league and Horton's Books & Gifts.

His latest book is about the crisis between the American colonies and the British after the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 up to the Declaration of Independence three years later.

“There was a struggle to declare independence. There was a considerable opposition in [the Continental] Congress,” Dr. Ferling said. “The objective of the war during that fifteen-month period was to be reconciled with the British…. But on America’s terms.”

Dr. Ferling is a leading expert on the American Revolution. He taught at UWG for 33 years and retired in 2004. He lives in Carrollton. His other books include: “The Ascent of George Washington” and “Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence.”

To learn more about Dr. Ferling go to: http://www.johnferling.com/.

To hear Dr. Ferling discuss the book go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovHy31_vPfE.

Metro Atlanta Unemployment Rate Rises


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Atlanta increased to 9.7 percent in May, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.6 percent in April.

The April rate was first reported at a preliminary 9.7 percent. The jobless rate in metro Atlanta in May a year ago was 9.8 percent.

Butler said the rate rose primarily because more than 21,000 new job seekers entered the labor force looking for work, and while about 15,000 of them found a job, about 6,000 did not. Also, Atlanta had a net loss of 900 jobs, as an increase of 1,100 jobs in manufacturing and construction, was offset by a loss of 2,000 service-related jobs.

The lowest area rate, at 7.2 percent, was recorded in metro Athens, while the highest, at 12 percent, was in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region in the Dublin area.

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.8 percent from April to May. The April rate was first reported at a preliminary 9.9 percent, but was revised. The state's jobless rate was 10 percent in May a year ago.

May marked the 46th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, up from 9.0 percent in April.

From 11Alive - Atlanta - WXIA TV

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UWG Auxiliary Services Video

Check out this video sponsored by UWG Auxiliary Services:


The video was directed by Terence Rushin and coordinated by Chelsea Hood, both UWG alumni.

Congress Suggests Act to Give Relief to Student Loan Borrowers


As college costs continue to rise, and in an economic climate where family incomes are suffering, more and more students must borrow in order to gain access to higher education. The result is that an increasing number of graduates find themselves saddled with high educational debt. As we previously reported, the Project on Student Debt estimates the average debt for 2009 bachelor’s degree recipients at $24,000. Students with advanced degrees may carry an even heavier burden.

According to a recent study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, only 56 percent of 2010 graduates were able to find work. The New York Times and others have reported that the amount owed in student loans last year was greater than credit card debt and is expected to exceed $1 trillion this year. The result is many student loan borrowers are unable to repay their loans.

In an effort to tackle this growing issue, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have introduced the
Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2011 in the U.S. Senate. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), and George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced the related Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011 in the House of Representatives. Both bills would restore the ability to discharge commercial student loans in bankruptcy proceedings, reversing a 2005 change to the law for borrowers who find themselves unable to make payments on their loans.


Read more: U.S. News and World Report: Congress Proposes Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

Unemployment Causes Lasting Anxiety

On Monday the AJC featured an article about how anxiety of the unemployed follow them even after their return to the workplace. It went into detail saying after being unemployed, most have great fear once they are back in an office. For those who have been out for six months or more the worries can be "much worse."

There is a constant fear that they will not fit in or that this new job will be eliminated just as the old one. This can be even more stressful for those who have college degrees and feel as though they should have a job.

We spoke to Re'Nate Lopez, a recent graduate of West Georgia, about her unemployment experience after graduation. She left college with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminology, with the hopes of becoming a counselor or mentor for troubled youth. Unfortunately, she found it more difficult than expected to find a job. She explained how stressful it was to be unemployed.


"I didn't have two dimes to rub together. Luckily, my income taxes came in and helped, but it still wasn't enough. I was used to hardship, but not like this."

After five months, she found a position working at the local Walmart.

"It's frustrating to have a college degree and yet still have to monitor your hours at your job to make sure you are on the schedule enough to pay your bills."
This month she finally received a position as a Cadet Advisor at Fort Gordon. Lopez says the feeling is "bittersweet."

"It is great to
be working in my field, but I still have to keep my hourly job because it is not a secure position. I feel like my foot is in the door and now I have to get in the rest of my body. Everyday I still fear loosing my job, but I'm not going to give up."

Karen Lingrell, assistant director of career employment at UWG also validates the AJC article. She explains that not only are people frustrated and stressed, but they have a hard time explaining their situation and how they feel. Lingrell offers ways to ease the stress. The first step is to realize that cutbacks are happening everywhere and if you have been in your position less than 18 months, you have to make them need you.

"Make yourself irreplaceable. Be the very best employee, go to all the offered trainings and be a sponge. Then ask how you can best fulfill this job and finally don't just be status quo!"

Both Lopez and Lingrell agree that patience is key to getting you through this difficult time. It makes sense to feel helpless, but you have to remain "diligent, tenacious and proactive" says Lingrell. Please also remember to use your resources such as Career Services, Department of Labor, and social networking sites such as LinkedIn.

If you are constantly updating your resume and putting yourself out there "something will come along, but you have to keep that hopeful mentality" said Lopez.