• NFL Players vs. Owners: Are NFL Player Salaries Really Outrageous?

    A few years ago, the NFL instituted a salary cap that gives each team the same budget for NFL player salaries. But yesterday, National Football League team owners voted unanimously to terminate their labor contract with the players union early, in a move to cut salary costs. [Reuters] Apparently, team owners feel players are overpaid--though the players disagree.

  • NFL Player Salaries: Is the NFL Salary Cap a Sham?
  • IT Business Analyst Career Summary

    Name: Connie Wirtanen
    Job Title: IT Business Analyst
    Where: St. Paul, MN
    Employer: US Bank
    Years of Experience: 16
    Education: Cardinal Stritch University, Minnesota State - Mankato
    Relevant Work Experience: Business Analyst, Functional Analyst, Software Support, Accounting Manager, Accountant
    Annual Salary: Use PayScale's Resource Center to find the median salary of business analyst, to review IT salary survey data, and to find salaries for accounting/auditing careers

    Have you ever been referred to as a god at work? IT Business Analyst Connie Wirtananen has. While this is probably an exaggeration, it does convey the impact an IT Business Analyst can have in creating overall business efficiency. Similar to an auditing career or accounting job, an IT Business Analyst closely examines company details. But rather than looking for financial faux pas, an IT Business Analyst investigates problems that occur within business systems. Once these problem areas have been identified, a Business Analyst recommends IT solutions to help the company achieve its goals.

    The following business analyst career summary is only one example of many job options available to those interested in information technology. Check out IT salaries by industry to explore IT salaries within business or health care fields. Also, if you're wondering how international IT positions compare, check out PayScale's India IT salary report.

    IT Business Analyst Job Description:
    Connie: I serve as am expert for assigned functional applications, support development of business impact analysis categories and perform ongoing IT maintenance. I provide project and release support, including research, business analysis, test plan construction, test case construction, test execution, issue resolution and status reporting related to application changes. I also interface with internal and external resources to ensure successful completion of testing in accordance with the needs of project sponsors and stakeholders.

    PayScale: How did you get started as an IT Business Analyst?
    Connie: A friend thought I should leave the accounting world and join the IT world. It was the best career move I ever made. Being an IT Business Analyst, I get to apply my interest in technology to create visible results within my company.

  • Employee Job Satisfaction Statistics

    Are you satisfied with your job?  Do you ever wonder who is?  According to employee job satisfaction statistics reported on LiveScience.com, those in the clergy, firefighters and other folks in helping professions are the most satisfied. These were the results of national job satisfaction studies conducted by the General Social Survey (GSS) at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

    This report of employee job satisfaction statistics was based on interviews with 27,000 Americans. In the study, researchers asked about job satisfaction and general happiness. According to Tom Smith, director of the GSS, “Work occupies a large part of each worker’s day, is one’s main source of social standing, helps to define who a person is and affects one’s health both physically and mentally.”

    Does your salary reflect your happiness?  Find out with our full salary survey.

  • When Your Boss Wants to Friend You on Facebook

    Has your boss ever asked to be "friends" with you on Facebook? As social media become more prevalent, more workers are facing this question. A Boston Globe story reports the fastest-growing segment of Facebook is people 25 years or older, and more than half of all users are beyond college.

    Accepting a boss's Facebook request can be awkward, but rejecting it can be a slight -- and potentially detrimental to your career. Should employers make such inquiries? If they do -- and no doubt some will -- what's an employee to do?

  • Average Teacher Salaries - Middle School Teacher

    Name: Ann King
    Job Title: Middle School Teacher
    Where: Covington, WA
    Employer: Kent School District
    Years of Experience: 12
    Education: University of North Texas - Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
    Annual Salary: Use the PayScale Resource Center to explore average teacher salaries, including the average income for an elementary teacher.

  • IT Careers: Too ‘Geeky’ for Women

    Some important people think IT careers need a makeover.

    Microsoft is touting them to young women, as is the European Union, which earlier this year announced plans to make IT careers more appealing to women. According to eWeek.com:

    The second annual DigiGirlz event, held on March 26 in Islandia, N.Y., was attended by more than 150 11th grade girls from seven schools on Long Island. Presenters from all walks of IT gave presentations on career planning and job roles in areas from law to health care, the public sector and security companies. Women at the top of the field doled out unconventional career advice to girls in the hopes of dispelling the notion that one must be a geek to work with technology.

    By squashing IT's 'geeky' image and giving it a sexier sheen, the logic goes, more women will be drawn to it, helping stave off a shortage of workers.

    According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, 1 million computer and information-related jobs are expected to be added to the U.S. workforce by 2014, but U.S. universities will only graduate enough candidates with computer science bachelor’s degrees to fill 50 percent of those jobs.

    Where are the rest of the qualified candidates going to come from? Since women only account for 26 percent of tech workers, according to NCWIT, could the untapped female population help meet the projected shortfall of workers?

  • American Workers Too Fat?

    The cost of obesity is going up.

    According to a Conference Board report , obese workers cost private employers as much as $45 billion every year in medical expenses and lost work. That’s a heavy financial burden to bear. Does it justify employers hiring thinner job candidates, rather than those who are obese?

    Workplace discrimination such as this—or in any other form—is uncalled for. But the growing costs of obesity increase the odds of it happening, along with other problems for employees and employers.

  • Sales Engineer Salaries

    Name: Dan Holmes
    Job Title: Sales Engineer
    Where: Seattle, WA
    Employer: Siemens
    Education: University of Idaho, Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering
    Annual Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for median sales engineer salaries, including sales engineering starting salaries and post-graduate salaries in engineering sales.

    Engineering is one of those fields that has enormous growth potential within various specialty areas. "Engineer" can mean anything from petroleum engineer to computer engineer. While all engineering jobs focus to some degree on solving technical problems, most of us probably don't associate engineering with customer relations and sales. However, Dan Holmes, a Sales Engineer, fills a key area within his company, combining his technical knowledge with his outgoing personality to serve and build customer relationships. He gave us a few tips on the benefits of working as a Sales Engineer, plus advice on how to succeed in this type of engineering career.

    Sales Engineer Job Description:
    Dan: I manage strategic customer relationships and provide a strategic plan for customer equipment migrations and maintenance.

    PayScale: How did you get started as a Sales Engineer?
    Dan: I went to college with a plan to get this type of job. I have never enjoyed working in one place, and I have always wanted to be out working with customers. My engineering degree opened the door for a technical sales role, which was ideal for me.

  • Document Management Administrator - Premera Blue Cross

    Name: Tami Bevan
    Job Title: Document Management Administrator
    Where: Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Employer: Premera Blue Cross
    Years of Experience: 16
    Education: BS in Visual Communications from Western Washington University, Certified Forms Consultant certification from DMIA (Document Management Industries Association), Certified Form Systems Consultant certification from BFMA (Business Forms Management Association), and ongoing training through BFMA's annual symposium, web seminars, and chapter programs.
    Annual Salary: Use PayScale's Resource Center to research salary information for the Document Management industry, and find related career information, including Medical Coder salary and Information Technology Specialist salary.

    Do you have a knack for organization? Are you constantly looking to improve efficiency in business processes and information storage? If so, check out our interview with Tami Bevan, a Document Administrator for Premera Blue Cross. Tami's job is to help maintain Premera's vast network of information using specialized methods of document management. Simplifying the retrieval of information from such a huge library is no easy task, but if you're looking for a challenging job that plays a key role in business operations, don't miss Tami's advice on how to enter the forms management field. To find out more, see PayScale's salary data for the Document Management industry.

    Document Administrator Job Description:
    Tami: Document Administration is the Premera department that maintains information on all forms, sales collateral, business papers (letterheads, envelopes, and mailing labels) and communications for the company. Document Administration involves managing the life cycle of documents. The Document Administration department centrally manages print procurement, but we track and report on printed and posted documents for the company as well.

    PayScale: How did you get started in Document Management?
    Tami: I grew up with parents in the printing industry who pushed me towards my college degree. After college I got involved with the BFMA (Business Forms Management Association) that taught me about the disciplines of document management, also known as forms management.

  • College Football Coaches' Pay, Top Secret?

    By Dr.Al Lee - Payscale.com

    Does the public have a right to know how much state employees earn, including college football coaches' pay?  That issue has been tied up in litigation for years in Pennsylvania. Back in 2002, a reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot-News asked the State Employees Retirement System for the annual salaries of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and three other Penn State officials.

    The State Employees Retirement System okayed the request, but Penn State tried to block it... all the way up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which recently ruled 4-2 in favor of the newspaper. According to a report on philly.com, the ruling applied not only to college football coaches' pay, but also to the salary of any Penn State worker enrolled in the retirement system. This is similar to the case in California concerning public worker pay, and the result is the same.

    So how much has Joe Paterno been earning? Keep reading!

  • 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Income
    Have you ever been knee-deep in financial duress, perhaps losing all of your savings and retirement funds as your employer went belly up? No one wants to get stuck in such dire straits, but it's a valid concern, especially when news mounts about indicators of a recession.
  • Airline Pilots & Wages: Salary or Safety?

    The friendly skies are not so friendly these days when it comes to airline pilots & wages, reports Fortune magazine. This story actually began back on 9/11.  After the 2001 terrorist attack, the airline industry began to nose dive; people were scared to fly, tourism dropped, the airlines were in trouble.  As the slump continued, some airlines were on the verge of bankruptcy.

    In 2003, airline pilots and other employees agreed to give up 23% of their pay (plus other concessions) to help keep the airlines afloat. Today, the airline industry is making money, especially American Airlines whose top executives (including parent AMR Corp.) have received nearly a quarter-billion dollars in stock.  Now, the pilots want their pay back. Will this fight over airline pilots & wages result in a strike?  Keep reading!

    How does your salary compare to an airline pilot's wages? Find out by taking PayScale's full salary survey.

  • This Isn't Your Grandpa's Job Market

    Job hopping used to be a red flag. Frequent jumps around the job market signaled a worker's lack of commitment. These days it's more of a green light, especially for younger workers. Job mobility can help speed them along a career path--or rescue them from a rut--and keep them interested in their work.

    In a recent Boston Globe piece Penelope Trunk writes:

    The best thing you can do early in your career is move around a lot so you can figure out what you're good at and what you like. If you compare people who job hop with people who don't, people who job hop build their network faster, build their skill set faster, and are more engaged in their work.

    She's right.

  • Behind the Walls with an Occupational Therapist

    Name: Dave King
    Job Title: Job Development Specialist - Occupational Therapist
    Where: Wichita, Kansas
    Employer: Kansas State Department of Corrections, Sedgwick County Re-Entry Program
    Education: Offender Workforce Development Specialist training program from the National Institute of Corrections, and a B. S. in Human Services/Psychology from Friends University.
    Annual Salary: See PayScale's Research Center for the median Job Development Specialist salary, Occupational Therapist salary, and related career info on Correctional Officers' salaries and Recruiter income.

    What's it like to work in a prison? For some people, just the thought of working in a prison would make them nervous. But for Job Development Specialist Dave King, life behind the walls is simply another day at work. As a Job Development Specialist trained in offender workforce development, King trains and prepares inmates for a life and career once they exit the prison gates. If you're up for a challenge, and enjoy psychology, read on. Also, find out more about an Occupational Therapist's salary and the roles of Correctional Officers to see if this is the right career for you.

    Job Development Specialist Duties:
    Plan, facilitate and teach job skills to maximum-security inmates inside a correctional facility. Assist with the release planning of inmates through a re-entry program that assures success in living and working in a community after being incarcerated. Also, teach classes on money management, release and reintegration, and intensive employment classes.

    PayScale: How did you get started as a Job Development Specialist?
    Dave: I have been an employment specialist since 1989 and began working with the disabled. I then taught a program/class called “Welfare to Work” for 16 years. I now use those same skills to teach inside a prison environment. Many of those skills can be transfered from one type of group to another. However, each group or person has their own unique set of issues to deal with to find success.

  • How to Manage Your Boss

    You've probably heard the phrase "bad manager" before. Perhaps you're in the throes of a job you loathe--mostly because of a problematic superior who doesn't do a good job managing you and others.

    But what about the way you manage your boss? It's just as critical, according to John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter, authors of "Managing Your Boss," a Harvard Business Review “Classics” article. Workers must manage their bosses if they want to do their best and benefit themselves, their supervisors and their companies, the authors say.

  • TV Star Salaries: 'The Office' vs. 'Grey’s Anatomy'
    What do your favorite TV stars earn? Compare TV star salaries to the salaries of the characters they play on TV. This round: The Office vs. Grey's Anatomy.
  • Looking for a Crystal Ball on the Jobs Front, and Turning Up Short

    If the job market seemed soft a month ago, these days it appears softer still.

    Late last week the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate rose from 4.8 to 5.1 percent in March, and nonfarm payroll employment was down 80,000 jobs. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release:

    In March, employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and employment services, while health care, food services, and mining added jobs.

    The Wall Street Journal notes the job losses are the largest in five years and the third consecutive monthly decline:

    Also, revised data showed that employers cut 76,000 jobs in both January and February, more than previously thought. Together, the numbers offer the most persuasive evidence yet that the economy has slipped into a recession.

    Even former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the recession has arrived.

    Is there any good news?

  • High-School Dropouts: A Workforce

    High-school graduation rates in the largest U.S. cities are abysmal.

    A report released this week by America’s Promise Alliance says in the 50 largest cities, about half of all students in the main school systems graduate from high school. These rates, the report says, are "considerably lower" than graduation rates in suburban areas:

    ... extreme disparities emerge in a number of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, where students served by suburban systems may be twice as likely as their urban peers to graduate from high school.

    Nationwide, nearly one in three U.S. high-school students drops out before graduating, according to an APA release, and approximately 1.2 million students drop out every year. The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that 2006-2007 high-school dropouts will in their lifetimes cost the United States more than $329 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity.

    These numbers, alarming in their own right, spell major trouble for our workforce. But just how big is the problem--and what's the solution?

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