Hot Jobs For 2018-2025

As the nation’s roughly 2 million college freshmen take the first steps on their career paths, the employment experts at global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., offered some advice on which areas could offer the most fertile employment landscape over the next decade. 

“Many freshmen have no idea what career path they want to pursue, relying on a mix of courses in the first year to help point them in the right direction.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is a good idea to at least be armed with information about where job growth is expected to remain strong in order to make the best decisions about one’s course selections going forward,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Those who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering and technology, will probably have the widest array of options upon graduation.  However, it is vital not to overlook critical coursework in writing, public speaking, and courses that sharpen your critical thinking skills.  While technical skills are in high demand, employers across the country consistently lament the lack of writing and communication skills that are essential in any profession one might pursue,” said Challenger.

Indeed, when human resources executives were asked by the Society of Human Resource Management to identify the skills that 2013 graduates were lacking the most, the largest percentage by far pointed to basic writing skills.  Nearly half of the HR professionals said last spring’s graduates lacked grammar, spelling and other writing skills.  Math, which ranked second in the list of skill deficiencies, was selected by 18 percent of respondents.

Read the full list here.

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Happy Labor Day! Challenger Offers This Year’s Workplace Trends

Monday marks the fifth Labor Day since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009.  While the number of Americans employed is still trying to get back to pre-recession levels, the way people work, where they work and how they work or otherwise earn a living has changed significantly over the last five years and will continue to evolve moving forward, according to one employment expert. 

In its annual Labor Day outlook, global outplacement and coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. provided some insight into some of the employment trends that have taken shape since the end of the recession along with some that could emerge over the next five to ten years.   Continue reading

Andrew Mason Out At Groupon; Tweets Firing

This afternoon, Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, tweeted a letter to his employees that he was fired as the head of the company, according to Crain’s Chicago. Groupon has been under scrutiny lately due to falling stock prices and meager results, and just yesterday released a quarterly statement outlining its poor performance. Mason has publically discussed the possibility of his removal, and his letter indicates that he was not surprised about the development. He will be replaced by chairman Eric Lefkofsky and board member Ted Leonsis. “This is likely the first Twitter response from a CEO regarding his removal,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “Most CEOs leave their posts quietly without revealing the true nature of the departure. However, Mason was known for being outspoken leader and not one to shy away from the spotlight.” Thirty-two year old Mason led Groupon for four and a half years. Through January, 113 CEOs have left their posts, one due to differences with board, and 13 of whom led computer companies. Last year, 45 CEOs were removed/ousted. Will other CEOs turn to social media to discuss succession changes? How might the public acknowledgement impact the company?

Monday Bulletin: Telecommuting Turnaround at Yahoo; Sequestration Cuts To Come

Telecommuting Trend Turnaround at Yahoo!

At a time when many Silicon Valley tech firms are battling each other to attract and retain the best talent, the decision by Yahoo! Inc. to end its telecommuting program may prove to be shortsighted. The move, which was widely reported this morning after a leaked memo made its way to the press, stems from the belief that “speed and quality are sacrificed when people work from home.” Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer is determined to shake things up in an effort to turn the struggling company’s fortunes around. “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together,” the memo reads. According to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., there is some wisdom behind the memo’s sentiment. “Yahoo is definitely in a fourth-and-long situation, so it needs to try new tactics. There is a collaborative advantage to having all of your employees in the office. However, there is also an advantage in having the best and brightest tech workers on your payroll. The question is whether this move will result in an exodus among the company’s top talent,” he said. Could the move to end telecommuting backfire for Yahoo? What are the pros and cons of telecommuting programs? Will other companies follow Yahoo’s lead and end or rein in telecommuting options?

Sequester Could Send Government Job Cuts Soaring

Will failure to reach a budget deal by March 1 ignite another round of government job cuts? Automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion are scheduled to take effect Friday and will impact federal agencies, including transportation and defense, as well as cut aid to states. Instead of finding a solution, Democrats and Republicans are arguing the overall impact of the cutbacks, with Democrats taking a “sky-is-falling” stance while Republicans argue that the cuts, which amount to less than 3% of the $3.5 trillion budget, will barely be felt by most Americans. The truth, as usual, probably lies somewhere in the middle. “The thousands of federal workers forced to take unpaid furloughs will certainly feel the pinch in their annual budgets. Meanwhile, state governments will have to pass along the cuts by eliminating jobs. In Missouri, for example, the automatic budget cuts will slash about $12 million in school funding and will put about 160 teaching jobs at risk. That may not seem like a lot of jobs in the big scheme of things, but it’s everything to the 160 teachers who could ultimately find themselves unemployed due to political gamesmanship,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Last year, announced job cuts by government agencies fell to 19,128 after reaching 142,503 in 2011 and 183,064 in 2010. What will be the overall economic impact of automatic budget cuts that kick in March 1? Will automatic budget cuts send government job cuts to 2010-2011 levels? Are consumers and businesses spending enough now to hold up the economy if government spending declines?

May Job Cuts Surge To 61,887 On Computer, Transportation Cuts

In May, the nation’s employers announced plans to cut 61,887 workers from their payrolls, the most since last September when layoffs totaled 115,730, according to the latest job-cut report released Thursday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The May job-cut total was up 53 percent from the 40,559 planned layoffs announced in April.  It was 67 percent higher than May 2011, when employers announced job cuts totaling 37,135.  This marks the fourth year-over-year increase in monthly job cuts in 2012.

Overall, employers have announced 245,540 job cuts since January 1.  That is up 20 percent from the 204,374 planned cuts announced from January through May 2011.  The year-to-date total is five percent lower than the 258,319 job cuts announced in the first five months of 2010 and significantly (70 percent) lower than the 822,282 job cuts during the same period in 2009.

Read the full report here.