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Employers expect to hire more new college
graduates this year but don’t plan to offer more perks.
Fewer employers will be offering signing bonuses, for
example. These findings are from two different 2004
surveys published by the National Association of Colleges
Sixty-one percent of employers surveyed in August 2004
reported that, compared with the 2003-04 academic year,
they expected to hire more new college graduates in
2004-05. In a December 2004 followup survey, about 63
percent of employers responding confirmed their original
projections; another 25 percent revised their hiring
The positive hiring outlook doesn’t
translate into added incentives for jobseekers, however.
Nearly 87 percent of respondent employers said they weren’t
planning to offer more perks to their new college hires,
according to the December survey. About 42 percent of
employers expected to offer signing bonuses in 2004-05.
And 70 percent of the employers who plan to use bonuses
will offer them only to selected candidates, not to all.
For more information about the association’s
surveys, write to the National Association of Colleges and
Employers, 62 Highland Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18017; call
toll-free, 1 (800) 554-5272; or visit online, www.naceweb.org.
Jobseekers who want to work for the
U.S. Department of Labor now have another way to find
and apply for vacancies. The Department’s Online
Opportunities Recruitment System (DOORS) works in
conjunction with USAJOBS—the Federal Government’s
official jobsite—to streamline the job search and
Jobseekers can search for vacancies
online through DOORS (www.doors.dol.gov) or
USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov). But jobseekers
cannot apply for a vacancy until they create a profile
on USAJOBS. The information in the profile is stored
electronically and can be used to apply for other
positions. When applying for U.S. Department of Labor
vacancies, information from the USAJOBS profile is
transferred directly to DOORS; applicants then answer
vacancy-specific questions to complete the process.
The U.S. Department of Labor comprises
many agencies, including the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS), the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, and the Employment and Training
Administration. Many other Federal agencies have
online application systems, but the Department of
Labor is the first to fully implement a system that
works seamlessly with USAJOBS. As more Federal
agencies launch similar systems, the Federal job hunt—and
the application process—will become a little easier.
Learn more about applying for Federal Government jobs
in "How to get a job in the Federal
Government," in the summer 2004 Occupational
Outlook Quarterly; the article is available
online at www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2004/summer/art01.pdf.
For more information about DOORS, write to the U.S.
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20210; call toll-free, 1 (866)
4-USA-DOL (487-2365); or visit either DOORS or USAJOBS
Ophthalmic assistants, also called ophthalmic
medical personnel, are allied health workers who help eyecare
patients. These workers’ responsibilities include taking
medical histories and educating patients about the use of
contact lenses. Some ophthalmic assistants help eye doctors
(ophthalmologists) with surgical procedures.
Ophthalmic assistants work in clinics, medical
centers, and hospitals. Positions may require a high school
diploma, and certification is preferred but not required. Most
ophthalmic assistants learn through on-the-job training and gain
certification while working; others begin in a training program
and seek employment after completing the program. Certification
consists of three progressive levels of training; an additional
specialty option is available for surgical assisting.
For more information, write to the Joint
Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, 2025
Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 55125-2998; call JCAHPO toll-free,
1 (800) 284-3937; or visit online, www.jcahpo.org/assist.html.
Scholarships in medical assisting are available from the
commission’s foundation. For more information, write to the
foundation office at the commission’s address, or visit online
www.jcahpo.org/foundation.htm. To contact the
Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the
professional organization for ophthalmic
assistants, visit online at www.atpo.org.
Do you think that the bottom line should be
about more than making money? Think about looking for work in
the nonprofit sector, where making a difference is a top
Nonprofits are neither businesses nor part of
governments. These organizations include charities, foundations,
private schools, churches, professional and trade associations,
many scientific institutions, and more than half of the Nation’s
hospitals. Nonprofits’ causes range from astronomy education
to zydeco celebrations.
Your employer doesn’t have to earn a profit
for you to earn a living. Although BLS does not collect data
specifically on nonprofits, industry sources suggest that
salaries in the nonprofit sector vary widely. Some people
consider the satisfaction of working for a worthy cause to be
more rewarding than income.
An online resource, www.idealist.org, can
help you start turning your noble visions into reality. Find out
about upcoming nonprofit career fairs; browse programs, events,
campaigns, and more; and check out the Career Center for
jobseeker tips and resources. A searchable database lists job
openings, internship postings, and volunteer opportunities
available both domestically and abroad. Some of the information
available online may also be obtained by writing to Action
Without Borders, Inc., 79 Fifth Avenue, 17th floor, New York, NY
10003, or by calling (212) 843-3973.
To learn more about working in a nonprofit job,
also see "Helping charity work: Paid jobs in charitable
nonprofits," in the summer 2001 Quarterly. The
article is also available online at