• Hate Your Customer Service Job? 3 Steps to Escape!

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    Hate Your Customer Service Job? 3 Steps to Escape!

    Ever worked in the customer service industry? If so, you’ve probably collected a few not-so-fun stories about your customer interactions.

    recent Buzzfeed article went viral when one writer shared her workplace horror story. The response was overwhelming—prompting others to pitch in with their own sordid tales of dealing with annoying and abusive customers.

    For example, one dissatisfied customer spit out his chewed food into a service worker’s hand. Another customer was upset that they couldn’t return an article of blood-soaked clothing. Or how about the poor gas station attendant who described the awful mess a customer left him in the bathroom?

    While some of these stories may be entertaining… let’s be realWorking in customer service can be a painful experience. It’s a tough job that usually needs to be performed under stressful, understaffed, underpaid, underappreciated and overworked conditions. Many who do the work are there strictly out of necessity—just paying the bills—not enjoyment.

    What can be even more infuriating is society telling you, “If you don’t like it, then quit,” or “Just figure out what you love to do and then do it.” *Cringe* That type of sentiment may seem well-intentioned, but it’s usually completely detached from the financial reality most service workers face.

    So, how can you quit your hated job?

    Hey, we’re not here to tell you it’ll be easy to just throw in the towel and start a better career. However, we would like to help you take realistic steps to get there.

    1. Sign up for just one or two online college classes


    Sign up for just one or two online college courses that you can complete around your shifts at work. This will automatically move your life in a better direction. And since you won’t be living on campus or paying high tuition fees, you won’t need to apply for hefty student loans. You can just pay for your courses as you go.

    In addition, many service industry employers offer their employees tuition assistance. We can help you figure out how to qualify for it and take advantage of your employee benefits to earn a low- to no-cost degree.

    But what if I never finished high school? That’s okay! We can help you earn your GED first.

    2. Get an internship where you want to work


    Whether you’re interested in working in marketing, accounting, environmental justice, IT, engineering or any other area, internships are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door. Know of a specific place you’d like to work? Sometimes it’s just a matter of reaching out to them, telling them you’re a student and asking for an internship.

    While you may have to put in a few unpaid hours of work, internships can help you earn college credit, make great connections and gain hands-on experience. Not only that, if you make a good impression and show your value, they may end up hiring you!

    3. Develop a great student resume


    You know the battle. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. It’s a conundrum many students face when trying to start their careers. Luckily, even without prior job experience, you can still create an impactful student resume that gets employers’ attention.

    For example, adding a section for “Relevant Experience” instead of “Work Experience” on a resume allows you to highlight your internship, volunteer work, leadership experience, extracurricular activities or any other related training you can think of to compensate for your lack of workplace experience.

    Check out these handy tips and examples to create an eye-catching resume while you’re still a student.

    Need help getting started? At Accelerated Pathways, we’re experts at getting busy, working adults where they want to go. It’s absolutely free to chat with our supportive academic advisors, so why not learn about your options today? Get started here.

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  • What Jobs Will the Inflation Reduction Act Create?

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    What Jobs Will the Inflation Reduction Act Create?

    Longer droughts, stronger heatwaves, more destructive storms—these are just some of the devastating impacts climate change is already having on our environmental, economic and social systems.

    To address the crisis, the US Senate recently passed a landmark climate bill (Inflation Reduction Act) that will boost the green energy industry and remake parts of the US economy. An analysis commissioned by the BlueGreen Alliance found that clean energy investments resulting from the bill will create more than 9 million new jobs over the next decade.

    What jobs will the new climate bill create?

    Research shows that the new climate bill will create five million new green jobs from investments in clean energy, 900,000 in clean manufacturing, 900,000 in efficient buildings, 600,000 in natural infrastructure, 400,000 in clean transportation and 150,000 in environmental justice.

    Based on each of these job growth categories, we’ve outlined several green jobs that are likely to see higher demand by 2030.

    Clean Energy

    More solar and wind energy engineers will be needed to support the increase in clean energy demand. Solar engineers work on solar panels, solar-powered devices, telecommunications and heating/air conditioning systems, whereas wind energy engineers work to develop aviation, mechanics or wind turbines and collector structures for wind farms.

    A bachelor’s degree or higher is required for these roles, usually in majors such as energy engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemistry or civil engineering. While these can be demanding subjects of study, the compensation is typically worth it—with an average annual salary for solar and wind engineers at around $95,000. 

    Manufacturing and Construction

    Manufacturing positions like operating technicians, warehouse operators, line supervisors and machine operators will be needed to process new manufacturing for green technology like solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles, plus the parts, labels and packaging involved. Construction workers will also be needed to install these new clean energy buildings, grids and infrastructure.

    While many manufacturing and construction jobs do not require a college degree, some training and certifications may be necessary to obtain certain roles. However, there are frequently entry-level positions with good benefits and union membership for those who want to start from the ground up.

    Natural Infrastructure

    Sustainability landscape designers, infrastructure engineers, green architects and other green workers will be needed to design, construct and administer new landscape, building and infrastructure designs compatible with the natural environment. Careers in this industry focus on creating sustainable systems that can withstand stronger storms, flooding, heat and other impacts from changing climate.

    Bachelor’s degrees are required for many of these roles, and some organizations also prefer applicants to have certifications in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS) or accreditation from the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP). Targeted skills such as proficiency with GIS, AutoCAD, knowledge of 3-D modeling programs as well as construction documentation and detailing are also a plus.

    Clean Transportation

    Transportation management will be key to redesigning new modes of transportation that have less harmful impacts on the environment and lower carbon emissions. Transport planners, transportation managers and transport engineers will all be needed to handle the logistics, design, management and cooperation of transportation upgrades. Not only do these roles actively work toward sustainability in the transport industry, but they also help to reduce transport costs through planning optimization

    Good technical and problem-solving skills are needed for these roles, as well as the ability to communicate and collaborate on large-scale projects involving many moving people and parts. Transportation managers and planners tend to gain an education in supply chain management, logistics or other related fields. A passion for sustainability and pro-activity is a plus.

    Environmental Justice

    Environmental justice is a complex field that requires a specialized understanding of environmental issues, laws, regulations, institutions and organizations. Environmental lawyers, paralegals, compliance officers, policy administrators and other roles will need to be filled to ensure compliance with changing environmental laws, especially in the areas of water, gas, oil and energy.

    While many of these careers require law degrees, there are roles for individuals interested in entry-level positions, such as organizing, activism, advocating and more. If you’re passionate about enforcing environmental policies or enacting new legislation that benefits future generations, then environmental justice might be a good career fit for you.

    Interested in entering or transitioning to the green economy? At Pearson Accelerated Pathways, we can help! Reach out to one of our world-class academic advisors to get started on the right career path today.

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  • Is College Worth the Cost?

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    Is College Worth the Cost?

    Getting a bachelor’s degree is a great idea… but it’s an expensive one. It’s hard to know how much debt you might incur in the process or how long it could take to pay back.

    Bottom line… is it worth it? Does the cost of college pay off in the end?

    We decided to look at three possible options:

    1. Going to college on loans

    2. Skipping college altogether

    3. Working while taking online courses

    How much would each of these choices actually cost you? And how can each decision impact your finances, career and life?

    Check out what we found!

    1. Going to college on loans

    Let’s say you go off to college, graduate and find a decent job. You're making good money and doing pretty well for yourself. That's the dream, right?

    But what did college actually cost you? And how will it affect your finances after graduation?

    By the time you graduate and get a job, you'll have roughly $41,000 in student loans. That's assuming you pay the average tuition costs, get an amazing federal loan package with interest rates at 3.76%, get $30,000 in grants and scholarships and you've saved $16,000 before even starting college.

    But what about not getting a degree?

    2. Skipping college altogether

    What if you decided to get a job right out of high school—maybe as a server? Let's assume you're one of the 25% of servers in Houston, Texas who makes $39,000 a year.

    After taxes and cost of living, you would have made roughly $81,000 as a server instead of racking up $41,000 in student loan debt. That means you missed out on a whopping $123,000 in opportunity cost.

    So, how long will it take for your degree to recover $123,000 in opportunity cost?

    Let's go back to the first scenario to compare.

    Let’s say you graduate college on loans and get a great entry level marketing job making $51,000 a year. Your degree is already starting to pay off. Except, all other things being equal, you'd be over 40 years old before you recover the full $123,000 opportunity cost from not working as a server.

    So, 20 years of debt just to get a better job, and you actually paid $60,000 for the original $41,000 loan. That's over $18,000 just in interest! And don’t forget you already paid the $16,000 dollars you had in savings.

    The stark reality is that student loans are way more expensive than lenders and colleges want you to believe.

    But what if you could go to college without loans?

    3. Working while taking online courses

    Let's go back to the example of working as a server. You're making $39,000 a year, but then you also decide to make a lot of sacrifices. Maybe you live with your parents and take online college courses around your shifts at work.

    Now, it would still cost money to get your degree. But since you wouldn't be living on campus or paying high tuition fees, you wouldn't have to take out any student loans. You'd just be paying for your courses as you go.

    All your hard work would pay off because, after graduation, you get that same great entry-level marketing job making $51,000 a year. The difference is, now you don't have to pay off student loans or spend decades recovering your opportunity cost.

    So compared to where you’d end up in scenario 1 or 2, you’d have $135,000 extra! That's a lot of additional money by the time you’re 40 years old. Almost enough for a house in some parts of the country.

    Which option should you choose?

    Here's the thing: education is important. But, 20 years is a long time for it to pay off and missing out on thousands in earnings because you’re paying off debt is ridiculous!

    So, before taking out a ton of student loans, you should evaluate your options and look for ways to attend college without going into debt.

    That’s why we started Accelerated Pathways.

    We believe college shouldn’t be a debt sentence. Our goal is to help students stuck in the debt zone graduate from college—and graduate debt-free.

    If you’re willing to use the power of online education to avoid the student loan trap, we’re here for you.

    Check out our easy degree pricing!

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