June 2009

Are you thinking of going to college? Are you already in college but still not sure what you want to do? Are you worried about paying your tuition? No doubt as a student you have so many questions and worries. Knowhowtogo.org can help you.

knowhowtogoIt offers great advice, resources, and links to other resource that can help highschool students think about and plan for college as well as help student already in college. The site even tailors its information and assistance based on what year you are in at school (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior).

I found this page, Four Steps to College, to be quite interesting.  Step One is called “Being a Pain” but in a good way! It’s about letting everyone know about your ambition to go to school and networking with family, teachers, friends, and so forth in order to find people who can help you plan your college future.

Step Two is called “Pushing Yourself” and as you might imagine that step is all about doing it what it takes to excel at your studies. Take courses that are challenging, not just the easy ones, and make sure the courses you take are aligned with your interests and aspirations. One piece of advice they offer is that no matter what your major is, make sure you take some computer science courses. No matter what career you choose to pursue, you will be using computers and the better skilled you are with them, the better able you are to do the work that will be assigned to you!

“Find the Right Fit” is Step Three. When searching for a college your search should be based on finding the right fit between what interests you and your goals AND what the college offers to meet those interests and goals. As you know, not all colleges are the same. They emphasize different programs and have different strengths. Match yours to their. Even if you are currently in college, it pays to ensure where you are offers the best fit with you. I know it is is hassle, but you can change schools and should if you need a better fit.

By the way, Knowhowtogo.org links to another site that can help you understand your interests. It looked pretty cool to me. That site is offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Check it out by clicking HERE.

Step Four is probably the one you think about a lot. It’s called “Put Your Hands on Some Cash.”  There is alot of financial support out there, but it does take a bit of work to get your hands on it. There are grants, loans, scholarships, workstudy programs, and more. You can link to some great financial resource sites from Knowhowtogo.org.

NonameTake some time to look around this site. It’s at www.knowhowtogo.org . The specific page where all the details about the above steps are is right HERE.

By the way, we also link to scholarship programs on our website and here on our blog, so visit those pages too!

Hope this helps. Take their tour too. Click the image to the right.

Mark Holmgren,CEO
Doyon Foundation

All of us know that an education is important. The more you have of it the better your chances are of finding a good, rewarding job. While I would not suggest that education should be all about a job, I imagine that those of you entering or currently in university, college or a vocational school do want your education to lead to career opportunities and success.

Figuring out just what kind of profession you want is not always easy. Some of us know early on in life what our passion is; others find it through exploring their interests; and for some of us, our passion finds us!

As you think about your future it doesn’t hurt to be aware of what the “hot jobs” are now and will be in the future. I was visiting the forbes.com web site recently and came across a piece on what the hottest jobs are in the United States. Here are some of them.

HotJobsEngineers are in high demand and will be for some time to come. Because of the aging of our population (all those “Boomers” are retiring), there are currently not enough young engineers to replace those leaving the marketplace. And as the Forbes article points out, “…the Obama administration’s plege to rebuild America’s infrastructure is increasing the need for talented engineers.”

There is a serious shortage of Nurses too – again because of America’s aging population, but for two reasons. First, we need more young people to replace retiring nurses; and second, there are more people living longer and requiring medical care as they get older. Forbes.com points out an additional problem. It appears that while more nurses are needed, there is not a sufficient number of nursing teachers to train them fast enough. So becoming a teacher of nurses is also another hot job!

Technicians are needed too who can provide support to professionals in the fields of engineering, medicine, operations, maintenance and more. These kind of technicians get their training at vocational schools primarily and are in demand because so many young people are choosing to go to university.

Most if not all of us remember a teacher who inspired us and helped us grow as individuals. There is a high demand for qualified Teachers, especially in the areas of math, science, and physics. Many teaching positions these days call for graduate degrees and offer you the opportunity to change lives and have job security.

If you like business and meeting people, you might consider going into sales because there is a growing need for Salespeople. It’s harder than you might think to be a good salesperson. In addition to your education, you will need training and support to become knowledgeable about the products or services you are selling as well as the market place your business operates in. Some sales jobs also require some technical skills as well. So, while it take you some time to become a stellar salesperson, if you stick to it you can make a very good living.

Young people were brought up with computers and the Internet being a part of their lives. Truth is, however, that technology as we know it today hasn’t been around all that long. The Internet, for example is only about 25 years old. Today, there is a big need for IT Professionals because nearly everything we do – whether at work or at play – involves networks, computers, not to mention cell phones and wireless technologies. The job prospects have been there and will be there for quite some time. And if you are the type of person who enjoys continuous learning, this is a great field for you because technology is constantly changing.

These are just some of the “hot jobs” that you might want to investigate. If you want to research more into what job trends are, search Google or other search engines using such phrases as “hot jobs,” “job trends,” future jobs,” and so forth. You can also investigate what different jobs pay at websites like salary.com.

What I am about to say isn’t necessarily required for the hottest jobs in the marketplace, but it is true that if you acquire strong math and science knowledge and skills, you will have a lot of choice in careers when you graduate.

For those of you still in highschool, I encourage you to seek out more courses in math and the science and even look for additional learning opportunities in those fields.

-Mark Holmgren

GoogleSites – Create your own  website, Intranet or collaborative site for free. This is also called a wiki site. You can invite others to co-author your GoogleSite, create a library of documents and links, host videos from You Tube and elsewhere, include a shared calendar, and much more. All free. 

Free Malicious Software Removal Tool – from Microsoft. If you think your computer may be infected with malicious software, this tool might help.

CutePDF – this is a free alternative to Adobe’s version. If you need to send PDFs to others, this is the way to go. No cost to you whatsoever.

Photoshop Lite – If you need to use a photo editor but just can’t justify expense of buying Photoshop, use this free online version. It doesn’t have all the features of the purchased version but it seems to have enough and you can store your images online too.

GOOG-411 – This is Google’s free 411 service. Why pay up to $1.95 or more for this service when you don’t have to?

BlogSpot and WordPress – These are the two premier free blogging platforms. The content manager and the hosting is free. Express yourself – for free. Our blog is hosted by WordPress.

Flickr (by Yahoo) and Box.net are two more storage sites for photos, but these are onlinelogo_home_png applications. You can link your photos to your websites or blogs rather easily. You can also control who sees your photos: everybody, just your family, maybe friends too, or just you.

Google Docs – this is a free online competitor to Microsoft Office. You can do word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets – and all are compatible wtih Microsoft Office. Also you can build forms and automatically store the data in a spreadsheet. What is even better is you can collaborate with others in preparing or presenting. Great alternative for people on a budget.

avglogoAVG Anti-Virus – If you want good virus protection for your personal computer but can’t afford to buy software, this program will do the trick for you.

Open Office – Want a robust alternative to Microsoft Office and know your files can be opened by Microsoft users? This is a longstanding free productivity suite. More powerful that Google Docs ( see above). You download it to your computer.

FreeMind – free mind mapping software. Helps you organize your ideas and the relationships between them

Picassa – also by Google is a free photo organizer, which automatically organizes your image files into its own library of images. All this is stored on your computer. You can edit photos too and create web albums.

skype_logoIf you want to stay in touch family or friends who live far away from you, you don’t have to pay long distance charges. You can talk through the Internet on Yahoo Chat, MSN Chat, or services like Skype. All you need is a microphone.

Advice from Rita Pierce

Doyon Foundation student Rita Pierce understands first-hand that returning to school, starting a second career, or attending school while raising a family is challenging – but it can also be very rewarding. Here is some of her advice for success:

  • Talk to a financial adviser about opportunities such as student loans or part-time work.
  • Don’t go it alone. Look into sharing housing expenses with friends or family. If you have a roommate, make sure they understand your need for study and rest.
  • Set aside certain days and times for nothing but studying.
  • Set firm boundaries about your study time. Let your family and friends know you are in school, and that you may not be available for errands or other activities.
  • Make sure your children understand your study needs, and that you expect them to keep up with their studies, as well.
  • Even when you’re busy, make time to talk with your children. Meet with their teachers, check their grades periodically, and make sure they are involved in positive activities.
  • Network with others in your field.
  • Get physical activity at least every other day.
  • Get a crock pot. It cooks while you study, and you can make easy, nutritious meals!

Thanks to Rita for these tips. If you have learned from experience ways of learning, studying, coping with being away from home, managing your time or anything else that could help others, please consider sharing them us and we will post them on the blog. Send your tips to foundation@doyon.com