Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is the percentage of degrees conferred by sex and race?

From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate's degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor's degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master's and doctor's degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10 (from 58 to 60 percent and from 45 to 52 percent, respectively). Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10. For example, among U.S. residents, Black females earned 68 percent of associate's degrees, 66 percent of bachelor's degrees, 71 percent of master's degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor's degrees awarded to Black students. Hispanic females earned 62 percent of associate's degrees, 61 percent of bachelor's degrees, 64 percent of master's degrees, and 55 percent of all doctor's degrees awarded to Hispanic students.

From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the number of degrees earned among U.S. residents increased for students of all racial/ethnic groups for each level of degree, but at varying rates. For associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees, the change in percentage distribution of degree recipients was characterized by an increase in the numbers of degrees conferred to Black and Hispanic students. For doctor's degrees, the change in percentage distribution of degree recipients was characterized by an increase in the numbers of degrees conferred to Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students.

Among U.S. residents, the number of associate's degrees earned by Hispanic students more than doubled from academic years 1999–2000 to 2009–10 (increasing by 118 percent), and the number earned by Black students increased by 89 percent. As a result, Blacks earned 14 percent and Hispanics earned 13 percent of all associate's degrees awarded in 2009–10, up from 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively, in 1999–2000. During the same time period, the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students increased by 53 percent, and the number awarded to Hispanic students increased by 87 percent. In 2009–10, Black students earned 10 percent and Hispanics earned 9 percent of all bachelor's degrees conferred, versus the 9 and 6 percent, respectively, earned in 1999–2000. Similarly, the numbers of master's degrees earned by Black and Hispanic students more than doubled from 1999–2000 to 2009–10 (increasing by 109 percent and 125 percent, respectively). As a result, among U.S. residents in 2009–10, Black students earned 12 percent and Hispanics earned 7 percent of all master's degrees conferred, up from 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in 1999–2000. In addition, the number of doctor's degrees awarded increased by 60 percent for Hispanic students and by 47 percent for Black students.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The Condition of Education 2012 (NCES 2012-045),
Indicator 47.

Number of degrees conferred to U.S. residents by degree-granting institutions, percentage distribution of degrees conferred, and percentage of degrees conferred to females, by level of degree and race/ethnicity: Academic years 1999–2000 and 2009–10
Level of degree and race/ethnicity Number Percentage distribution Percent conferred to females
1999–2000 2009–10 1999–2000 2009–10 1999–2000 2009–10
Associate's 554,845 833,337 100.0 100.0 60.3 62.0
White 408,772 552,863 73.7 66.3 59.8 60.9
Black 60,221 113,905 10.9 13.7 65.2 68.3
Hispanic 51,573 112,211 9.3 13.5 59.4 62.4
Asian/Pacific Islander 27,782 44,021 5.0 5.3 56.8 58.5
American Indian/Alaska Native 6,497 10,337 1.2 1.2 65.8 64.9
Bachelor's 1,198,809 1,602,480 100.0 100.0 57.5 57.4
White 929,106 1,167,499 77.5 72.9 56.6 56.0
Black 108,013 164,844 9.010.3 65.7 65.9
Hispanic 75,059 140,316 6.3 8.8 59.6 60.7
Asian/Pacific Islander 77,912 117,422 6.5 7.3 54.0 54.5
American Indian/Alaska Native 8,719 12,399 0.7 0.8 60.3 60.7
Master's 406,761 611,693 100.0 100.0 60.0 62.6
White 324,981 445,038 79.9 72.8 59.6 61.8
Black 36,595 76,458 9.0 12.5 68.2 71.1
Hispanic 19,384 43,535 4.8 7.1 60.1 64.3
Asian/Pacific Islander 23,538 42,072 5.8 7.0 52.0 54.3
American Indian/Alaska Native 2,263 3,960 0.6 0.6 62.7 64.3
Doctor's1 106,494 140,505 100.0 100.0 47.0 53.3
White 82,984 104,426 77.9 74.3 45.4 51.4
Black 7,080 10,417 6.6 7.4 61.0 65.2
Hispanic 5,039 8,085 4.7 5.8 48.4 55.0
Asian/Pacific Islander 10,684 16,625 10.0 11.8 48.8 56.5
American Indian/Alaska Native 707 952 0.7 0.7 52.9 54.8

1 Includes Ph.D., Ed.D., and comparable degrees at the doctoral level. Includes most degrees formerly classified as first-professional, such as M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees.

NOTE: NOTE: Degree-granting institutions grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Reported racial/ethnic distributions of students by type of degree, field of degree, and sex were used to estimate race/ethnicity for students whose race/ethnicity was not reported. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Nonresident aliens are excluded because information about their race/ethnicity is not available. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012).

Monday, April 15, 2013

What is Sequestration?

Sequestration, sometimes called the sequester, is a process that automatically cuts the federal budget across most departments and agencies.

Congress included the threat of sequestration in the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a way to encourage compromise on deficit reduction efforts.

Congress couldn’t agree on a budget by the deadline set in the Budget Control Act, so mandatory budget cuts were scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013.

Congress stopped the cuts from happening by passing the American Taxpayer Relief Act on January 2. This law pushed the budget cuts back until March 1, 2013.

If Congress cannot agree on a budget to reduce the deficit by March 1, then sequestration would happen and $85 billion in spending cuts would go into effect.

These reports give detailed information about the amount that programs may be cut and which programs are exempt from sequestration:

Friday, April 5, 2013

How to Stage an Occupational Comeback

Raising a family, recovering from an injury or illness, taking time to travel abroad -- there are many reasons to take a month-long or even a year-long absence from the workforce. Just as many are the reasons for wanting to get back in. You could be a stay-at-home parent eager for a change of pace or in want of a new direction in life. Perhaps you need the money or you're just bored.   

Regardless of the reasons behind it, the prospect of going back to work can be intimidating or downright scary. At the speed with which the world moves these days, you might think yourself unable to keep up with the latest technological skills needed in today’s workforce. If you've been traveling a lot you might be worried about having to integrate back into a sedentary work life. Or maybe you're anxious about having to explain those long gaps in your resume to potential employers.

Before you even start, the most important thing to keep in mind is that returning to work is hardly impossible. There is no shortage of people who've resumed careers or started entirely new ones after lengthy periods away from the workplace. As with most things in life, a little self-confidence is the greatest asset you can have when undergoing the process of getting back to work. The following these tips should help out, too.

Assess your skills

Without recent work experience to back you up, it's your skills that are really going to end up selling you. If you're wondering how you're going to parlay two years of backpacking around the world into an office-applicable context, remember that skills are built on experience, and you earn experience whether you're on the clock or not.

Employers look for two different types of skills: 'hard' skills are job specific and entail more technical abilities, such as programming or mechanical knowledge, while 'soft' skills are personal attributes that relate to your ability to interact in social and professional scenarios, like leadership and effective communication.

While you've been away from work you've most likely developed skills that any employer would find attractive. Raising kids shows that you're adept in the ways of organization, negotiation, and time management. And that you possess no small amount of patience as well. Learning a different language makes traveling overseas easier, but it also looks irresistible on a resume. Remember: there is no difference between life skills and work skills. Ask your family and friends what they think you've got to offer.

Explaining the gaps in your resume

If you're worried about how gaps in your work history look on you CV, consider a functional resume instead of the more traditional reverse chronological format. A functional resume focuses on your skills and calls attention to your accomplishments rather than a continuous work history. If you don't have your heart set on resuming a previous career, functional resumes are ideal as they can be made applicable to multiple job fields. Many job search websites have functional resume templates available for free. (Microsoft Word even has one in their template selection.)

As these gaps will inevitably be brought up during the interview process, be ready to summarize your time off. Be calm and concise. Provide the highlights of your experiences while listing the skills you picked up as a result. Don't accentuate the negative; focus instead on why you're ready to get back to work.     

Networking and support systems

The value of networking can never be overstated. If you know someone in a sector you're interested in, let them know. They can offer indispensable advice, and if you show what you're capable of they might just put in a good word somewhere it counts. Take advantage of the internet and find online communities of other people in your situation. And learn from what they’re doing.

Don't forget that reentering the workforce will not just affect you, but your family as well, especially if you're returning from being an at-home parent. It's important to share your job search with those you're close to. It secures support and prepares everyone, particularly the kids, for drastic and sudden changes should an opportunity present itself.

Be proactive
You might recall from your first time around that finding work is not a quick task -- you could be waiting another year before you land that ideal gig. Spend that time wisely. Start with what kind of career you want, and go from there. A basic IT class can open up a host of new job opportunities – skills like programming, data analysis, and digital marketing are in high-demand because of the role computers now play in our daily lives. Make sure that, if your field involves the use of computers, you’re up-to-speed with core functionalities (like social media and job-specific applications). 

Volunteering, as well, can ease you into old work habits without the pressure of paid employment, but can introduce you to new contacts and improve any resume. Attend your university’s alumni events, or join a business-oriented social group. Sites like Meetup.com are perfect for networking in a fun, friendly fashion. 

It's too easy to lose confidence when you stumble into those first few blocks. As long as you stay positive, you'll have no trouble bearing in mind that every contact made, every resume sent, and every job posting investigated is a step in the right direction. 

Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy, and save some money with Crate and Barrel coupons.