Monthly Archives: May 2016

First Salary Will be Pleasure

1.Target industries with vacancies

The first thing you can do to assure yourself a good salary is to target industries that are hiring, especially those that have many openings. If you stick with narrow fields of expertise, you’ll have a lot more competition and a lot less room to negotiate. Of course, some degree fields will already limit your job market, but many industries offer entry-level and graduate positions to applicants with all sorts of university degrees. So if salary is more important than sector, target jobs in accounting, energy, banking, and IT which all have a lot of vacancies and relatively high starting salaries. And do some research. Certain industries or companies may have higher graduate salaries than others, or you might find that salaries are higher and jobs are more prevalent in certain regions or cities.

  2. Have work experience

We all know that the job market is competitive and that you need to stand out from the other applicants. But one of the most important things you can do to improve your chances of finding a job and landing a big salary is to gain some experience before you enter the job market. Volunteer work, work-placement programs, and internships will all give you valuable experience that could boost your earning potential. Even when employers are targeting graduates, they’re looking for applicants with relevant and applicable experiences and skills and are more likely to offer, or be open to negotiating, higher salaries to job-seekers with work experience. Plus, work experience is a great way to make connections and, possibly, find a job.

  3. Don’t name the first number

Remember that interviewers and hiring agents are skilled negotiators and the dreaded salary question is a useful tool for weeding out candidates. If you can, avoid naming a salary number – too high and you may be discounted because you won’t be satisfied with what the employer is offering, too low and you may seem to lack confidence. Of course, if pressed, you may have to answer but try to name a range instead of a hard and fast number. Use industry averages if you must provide a figure, but present your answer in a way that indicates you’re flexible and open to negotiation.

  4. Know when you must negotiate…

Speaking of negotiation, once you have that all-important job offer, don’t be afraid to negotiate on salary and contract terms. In nearly every situation, negotiation is welcomed, and in some areas, it’s pretty much mandatory. This should go without saying if you’re applying for jobs in sales or marketing – the abilities to assess value and negotiate are essential qualities for such positions. And regardless of the sector, negotiating your initial offer can demonstrate that you’re confident and astute.

5. But start with something easier

Still, money is always a tough subject to broach, so don’t feel that you have to slam down a figure and start a bidding war. Approach the subject carefully and start by asking about (and negotiating) benefits, pension plans, holiday time, and other aspects of ‘total compensation.’ These can be a good way into the conversation about salary, but they will also be an important part of negotiating your final terms. For instance, the employer may be unable to offer a higher salary, but could compensate you with a better pension plan, more frequent reviews, bonus schemes, or the option of flex-time or extra paid holidays. And these benefits could be far more valuable than a 2% raise. It’s up to you to weight the options. Maybe you’ll be happier with a smaller paycheck but more paid holiday time, or a smaller initial salary but more reviews equaling more opportunity for advancement. In the end, it’s all up to you because you can always reject a job offer if you feel that the compensation is not worth the work required.

Change Student Lives With Big Data

While people have long lamented the high cost of a college education, the challenging economy and rising student debt have brought the issue to the forefront more than ever before. While it’s easy to talk about the ROI on college in general terms, it’s always been difficult to quantify in a meaningful way.

According to “Answering the Call,” a report on measuring postsecondary performance from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, while we don’t yet have the data and framework to comprehensively evaluate student and institutional performance, key measures have been identified which can eventually be used to more conclusively determine ROI.

Earlier research into this area based on the data we do have is promising.  According to a 2014 study published in the academic journal, Science, the net cost of college is actually a mind-boggling negative $500,000 with the earnings gap factored into the equation.

  2. It Will Help Teachers Do Their Jobs Better

While teachers have always used data to inform and influence their methods and practices, Big Data offers more powerful ways for students and teachers to connect. As personalized learning becomes the imperative, teachers will not only have access to even more data, but also the ability to visualize it in the most effective ways.

Imagine a world in which every click is monitored and used toward supporting more targeted teaching. Or one in which facial recognition is used to track student expressions during lessons. Big Data holds this promise for educators and along with it the improved capacity to understand student needs, adapt lessons quickly and with more efficacy, and ultimately make data-driven decisions aimed at enhancing student learning.

  3. Data Scientists Are in Demand

There’s a reason why Harvard Business Review declared data science to be “the sexiest job of the 21st century.”

With the world just starting to comprehend the power of Big Data, people who truly understand it will be an increasing commodity. Data scientists have the sought-after ability to “mine” data in order to help businesses, the government, and academia make the most out of data.

According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the U..S. alone faces a shortage of up to 190,000 skilled workers with deep analytical skills by the year 2018. The takeaway for data-minded students? The opportunities are many. In fact, many programs exists aimed at helping students transition into careers in Big Data, including the U.S.’s Insight Data Science Fellows Program and Europe’s Science to Data Science.

High salaries, flexible work arrangements, and the chance to make a profound impact are just a few additional reasons to consider a career in Big Data. Viewed through this lens, Wired.com’s advice to, “Tell your kids to be data scientists, not doctors,” sounds pretty good to us.

It’s true that in addition to presenting unprecedented opportunities, Big Data is also accompanied by its fair share of challenges, such as the growing imperative to protect student privacy. However rigorous efforts are underway to improve how student data is secured toward the goal of safeguarding private information.

Ultimately, while “Big Data” may sound like a mystery to many people, most agree that is the future — both for those who indirectly benefit from its impact, as well as for those who jump right into the action by pursuing data studies and eventual careers in this complex and vital field.

The Smart City of the Future

Last autumn, Paris hosted the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21). The conference, held annually since 1994, marked a united effort by the members to halt climate change. The Paris Agreement will reinforce our commitment to limiting global warming to a maximum of 2°C.  COP 22 will take place in Marrakech in 2016.

France has also recently hosted at Versailles in 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition, hosting 20 teams from 16 countries and 3 continents. France hosts this event again in 2016.

Again in 2014, the 21st Century Club invited over 100 industrial leaders from France and China to Bordeaux to collaborate on Smart Cities. The host countries of 2014, 2015 and 2016 are significant because France and Morocco, French-speaking countries, are particularly committed to creating a carbon-neutral economy, leading the way worldwide, in particular in Europe and North Africa.

France, since 2012 has produced over 90% of all electricity from zero-carbon sources hydroelectricity and wind power, and Morocco pledges to do the same by 2030.  Carbon-neutral and green energy are priority in France. Leading the charge are Engineering Schools such as HEI (Hautes Etudes D’Ingénieur). HEI focuses on innovation and specialization based on a core of research and development. HEI graduates have relevant, marketable skills that set them on the path to career success in both traditional and emerging industries.

Read more about studying in HEI.

Smart Cities

HEI offers programs at the cutting edge of developing industrial sectors, like Smart Cities and Sustainable Urban Development. A Master’s of Science and Engineering Smart Cities from HEI gives students the necessary skills and experience for careers today and in the future. But what are Smart Cities, and what sorts of professionals will build them?

Smart Cities are interesting to define because they are by nature, unique to the needs and personalities of individual urban spaces. All Smart Cities have a foundation in their citizens, the city’s processes, infrastructures and technology. Many cities around the world are adopting Smart-City initiatives. Urbanization has become so prevalent that it has elevated many cities, like Brussels, Seoul, Bogota, and many more, to be even more important than the countries themselves accounting for over 40 percent of the National GDP. Frost & Sullivan identifies a market potential of $1.5 trillion globally for smart cities in Energy, Transportation, Healthcare, Building, Infrastructure, and Governance.

European Smart Cities like Barcelona, Paris, London, Nice, Amsterdam and Stockholm are Smart City precursors using technology and communications for safer, cleaner, and more intuitive urban spaces. Other cities around the world, in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and in: Korea: Songdo, Seoul, are using Smart City technologies to do everything from monitoring pollution to producing crowd-sourced data models. The Smart Cities Master’s program offered by HEI introduces students to the role of engineering in Smart-City development and gives them the professional skills needed to compete.

Experts predict that major cities like Chicago, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, and San Francisco will be Smart Cities within the next five years, and France is already a leader in Smart-City development.

France is partner with India to transform cities like Nagpur, Chandigarh, and Puducherry, into Smart Cities. The Smart Cities Mission in India has brought Smart City status to 25 different municipalities, the need is so urgent.  Cities like Wuhan and Tianjin in China have joined a massive U.K.-China initiative, pairing with Manchester, Bristol and others.  The 21st Century Club initiated a similar program with leaders from France and China in 2014. Engineers with Smart-City expertise are in high demand everywhere around the world, as more and more cities adopt policies aimed at integrating technology and sustainability.

Smart Studies

Students who enrol in HEI’s Smart City program gain first-hand experience in fields like energy efficiency, sustainable building construction, environmental conservation and restoration, and waste management. The two-year Master’s program includes two paid internships, and HEI’s connections to Smart City industries around the world means that students have the chance to work with some of the leaders in innovation. HEI has 300 Academic partners and over 2500 Industrial partners all around the world. Students leave the program with worldwide connections across the sector and the proficiency to work in exciting and emerging fields like Life Cycle Assessment, Smart Energy Grid production, Sustainable Habitat Construction, and Automation.

HEI’s Smart City program builds on France’s commitment to sustainable growth, as well as the country’s reputation as a leader and innovator in industrial development. HEI has been educating and training industrial leaders for France and the world since 1885. Student skills are relevant to today and tomorrow, a variety of fields to prepare and adapt their knowledge to change. This makes HEI graduates the perfect choice for Smart-City development projects, because while no Smart City is the same as another, they all require creative problem-solving, progressive vision, and a drive to innovate.

Get Involved With Alumni Associations

We’ll start with the obvious reason. One of the main purposes of alumni associations is to support a network of former graduates who will, in turn, help to raise the profile of the university. Just like most other university student organizations, alumni associations aim to bring together like-minded individuals. But unlike sororities, fraternities, and other student organizations, alumni programs are open to all graduates and offer a broader networking scope. If you’re heading to graduation in a couple of months or have just finished your degree, joining your school’s alumni association is a good way to get a foot (or three) in the door. Contact your alumni association to see what sort of networking opportunities they offer. Some school’s host job fairs. Others have mentor programs for graduates that pair outgoing students with alumni in similar career fields. And remember that with alumni associations, quality can definitely trump quantity. In fact, many small, private liberal arts colleges have some of the most active and effective alumni associations.

1. Career building tools

One of the things to remember about alumni associations is that they want you to succeed. Of course, they’re hoping that you’ll use your success to help the association and university, but successful graduates are a university’s best asset. It’s no surprise then that most alumni associations offer a variety of career services. These can be anything from the aforementioned job fairs to things like resume workshops, job postings, and online resources for job-seekers. And most of these services are offered free of charge to alumni members. Remember the mentor programs we mentioned? These can be great tools for building your career or finding ways to maximize your earning potential.

2. Benefits

But alumni associations aren’t just about jobs and recruiting new students. When you were a student at your university, you were part of a community that offered all sorts of exciting perks – free concerts, student discounts, poetry readings, art exhibits, library access, sporting events, and numerous other things that made your university unique and dynamic. And university alumni associations understand that even after graduation, many students continue to feel connected to their university, or associate a part of their identity with the institution. That’s why many alumni associations continue to offer former students ways to keep their connection with the university. Many associations host special alumni social events, and others give members free tickets to university sporting events, life-time email services, insurance and banking services, and, of course, discounts. You might expect that alumni would get discounted university merchandise, but alumni associations often offer discounts on other things like hotels, rental cars, restaurants, and other services around the world.

3. Give back

But remember that your university provided you with numerous educational opportunities and that your alumni association isn’t just about discounts and job offers. Whether you know it or not, your school’s alumni association was probably instrumental in your success, and while most universities hope that their students’ successes post-graduation will promote the school’s reputation and encourage others to consider matriculation, one of the main purposes of alumni associations is to recruit new students. Plus, alumni associations are great resources for incoming students – many award scholarships (funded by donations from alumni) and the strength of a school’s alumni association can be a deciding factor for incoming students. And alumni associations aren’t just for domestic students. Many universities with aspiring international programs depend on their alumni to spread the word, and alumni recommendations carry a lot of weight with prospective students. So whether you sign up for membership, send a generous donation, or offer to serve as a mentor, there are many ways that your alumni association will help you help your school.