Monthly Archives: November 2011

Generation Jobless

The Wall Street Journal has been focusing on youth unemployment and other economic issues pertaining to 20-somethings.

This video segment, called “Generation Jobless: Major or Money?” does a good job of breaking down some of the increasingly important decisions students have to make when choosing their major.

It seems like there are, of course, a lot of reasons for getting a major in the hard sciences like math and engineering. However, the lack of a good primary school education and competition makes a degree in the hard sciences difficult for many American students.

Take a look at the video.





Unemployment creeps down, but barely

The Labor Department released unemployment and job growth numbers Friday morning.

The unemployment rate crept down to 9 percent in October, after staying at 9.1 percent for the past three consecutive months. However, despite that small bit of good news,  the country added a less-than-expected 80,000 jobs last moth, according to the Labor Department on Friday.

The unemployment rate hasn’t been below 9 percent since March 2011.
How do you guys feel about this latest news? Is it a good sign of things to come or further proof of our stagnant economy?

Staying Put

One of the results of a down economy is that people are often reluctant to pull up stakes and move, the Associated Press reported this trend to be true in the current economy.


The report confirmed that young Americans that are staying close to home, unwilling or unable to bear the cost.


That Americans aren’t moving just ads to the evidence that the country is stagnating. Businesses aren’t hiring, banks aren’t lending, young adults can’t find career building work, and people aren’t leaving their hometown.


What was also interesting from the AP report is that young college graduates are staying in those college towns that they got a degree in. To a certain extent this makes sense because they stay in a place more comfortable and familiar with many close contacts. At the same time, being stuck in an environment that is already highly competitive and oversaturated with talent may be holding many graduates back.


What do you think? Do you find it easier right now to stay in your home town to find employment, or would you branch out if you could?

Starbucks works to create jobs, small business loans

So I walked into Starbucks this morning to discover a ton of signs and bracelets filling the store. Everything read, “This Country Needs Jobs.”

Starting today, Starbucks has teamed up with a network of community-based financial institutions to help create jobs. Anyone can make a tax-deductable contribution at a Starbucks store or online to the Create Jobs for USA Fund. The money will go to companies so they can hire or retain American workers.

The Starbucks Foundation is putting up $5 million for the campaign and is encouraging others to chip in. All the funds collected are slated for the Community Development Financial Institution, firms that can add jobs or help stem job losses.

People were so pleased by the idea that a group has mentioned nominating Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as a third party candidate for president.

“I have no interest in politics, Matt,” Schultz told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “I run a coffee business and I’m trying to recognize that our business can help small businesses raise money to create jobs that unfortunately Washington and the banks are not doing.”
You can watch the clip here.

I don’t know how much good it will do, but I’m excited about the initiative. And to think, before these job creation flyers, I was most excited about the return of the red holiday cups!

New Books Highlight the Value of Education Outside of School

It may seem counterintuitive to think that the most successful people are the ones that chose to forgo a formal education, but this has often been proved to be the case. Clearly after Steve Jobs died there was an increased interest in how he lived his life and became one of the most successful and innovative people in the world.


The new Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson has clearly gained a lot of attention. People just want to know the secret to this innovator’s success.


How is it that a man who dropped out of college after only one semester could achieve such spectacular success? The answer wasn’t that he ditched educating himself, he just ditched the institution.


What many students who enter institutions of higher learning often fail to do is understand that the education received in school is incomplete. To take advantage of an education one must go above and beyond what is learned in a classroom.


That is what makes the college dropouts turned billionaires successful. It’s not dropping out of school to have more leisure time and less work, but to work harder and pursue a passion beyond what can be taught in any school. You also can’t be afraid to fail.


A new book by Michael Ellsberg called, “The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late,” talks about how current college students are not getting enough out of their degrees and shoveling out money for an education that won’t serve their interests down the line.


The book talks about how schools train students for middle management jobs that are simply disappearing. The skills that are most important for a highly successful career in the future are in creating a small business, but how many people learn about that as an undergraduate in college?


While clearly colleges provide many opportunities for success, they rarely push students to take risks or be truly innovative. This task falls mostly on the individual. In a time of great economic stress and stagnation, it’s the risk-takers and the innovative that are most likely to pull the country out of it.