By Margo Bartsch, Contributor
The pandemic has brought two new phrases to the economy: The Great Resignation and The Big Quit. In both cases, people are redefining what they want in a job and how to pursue their dreams. Building a résumé is the first step to organize your current achievements and point them in a future direction. This January, The Wall Street Journal featured the cartoon in Pepper…And Salt of an employer interviewing a job prospect: “Did you work on this résumé in a coffee shop? You wrote ‘Americano’ under nationality.” Finding the ideal job is not a hurried task. The New Year can be a fresh start to build your résumé and develop skills to make your dream job a reality.
This January, 60 Minutes profiled Karin Kimbraugh, the chief economist of LinkedIn, who summarized the U.S. labor market: “…We can see across millions of members and what they share with us, and we can see from employers, millions of them that are posting jobs on our platform. There is one person hired every 15 seconds now on LinkedIn.” However, not all jobs and profiles are a match. College courses, internships and work experiences are analyzed in algorithms to highlight potential candidates that could be a fit for job opportunities.
In some cases, there are not enough qualified or available applicants for certain industries or positions. For example, this January, Barron’s magazine reported the headline, “The ‘Best Job in America’ Pays up to $125,000 a Year—and Has 10,000 Job Openings.” The article highlighted the computer science field as being in high demand, with Java developers as the top listing on Glassdoor’s “50 Best Jobs in America” in 2021. Data scientists are listed second on the list that includes software developers. The data scientists interact with product managers to develop product strategy. Thus, being familiar with technology across a range of professional fields can help to ensure a positive and productive group dynamic.
Many colleges are requiring computer science classes across a variety of majors. For example, The George Washington University (GW) requires quantitative reasoning courses whether one is majoring in engineering, business, or arts and sciences. This background ensures that students have a well-rounded education to be prepared for career opportunities at companies, non-profits, government, or as entrepreneurs.
GW explains, “The General Education Curriculum (GPAC) engages students in active intellectual inquiry by developing analytical skills, communication skills and diverse perspectives. Across a range of disciplines, students acquire enhanced analytical skills in quantitative and scientific reasoning and critical and creative thinking, along with a global and cross-cultural perspective, local/civic engagement and effective communication skills.” Thus, when updating your résumé, it is helpful to look at the job requirements and consider taking academic classes to build relevant knowledge and experiences.
In addition, The University of Vermont (UVM) Professional and Continuing Education has a Computer Software Certification. This program appeals to those who have a degree in a field other than information technology (IT). Computer courses can enhance skills and help one take steps toward becoming a software developer. The certificate is flexible in following a pre-set track or self-designated learning. Students must complete five approved computer software courses (15 credits) and earn at least a 2.0 GPA in each class.
The UVM program has five areas of study: web development, cyber security, software development, computer science master’s preparation, or self-designated. Overall, the courses could help develop skills toward becoming a valuable employee or continuing toward an advanced degree.
In planning for future careers, high school students and recent college graduates should consider taking summer classes to help become a more qualified job candidate. With the stock market gains across various industries that incorporate technology, having the right technical expertise could make their application a better fit.
The Big Quit does not always have a perfect new opportunity waiting in the wings. The “We’re Hiring and Help Wanted” jobs with better pay are great starting points. The goal is to build a résumé while gaining real-world skills and working as a team.
The saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” reminds us of the importance of being prepared for the job opportunities ahead. Updating your résumé to reflect your past experiences and incorporate current trends could make you a more viable candidate. Your résumé reflects the work in progress toward achieving a dream job.
Margo Bartsch founded College Essay Coach, a full-service college admission business, and has been an adjunct professor in business at Champlain College and at Middlebury College.