Archive for January, 2011

Saving the “Academic Core”

Big Picture Thoughts, The Economy 1 Comment »

Last month, I wrote “Why Academics Need a Career Plan B (And Maybe Plan C)” for Job-Hunt, and unfortunately, it’s already time to update it. The University of California-Berkeley emailed everyone on campus this week that 280 more jobs have been eliminated, beyond the 500 already cut from the system. (It should be noted that nearly half are retirements and “voluntary” separations, but the salient point is that those jobs no longer exist.)

Apparently these cuts had been planned even before Governor Jerry Brown proposed another $500 million in cuts to the UC system. (Newspaper articles have stated that no jobs being cut came from faculty or campus police positions, nor were undergrad student jobs eliminated.)

But these cuts are merely part of a longer series – with more to come. Late in September last year, five sports programs were also cut at UCBerkeley: baseball, men’s rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse – with an expectation of saving $4 million a year. In November, tuition was raised to $50,649 (including fees and room/board) for out-of-state students – and this is after Berkeley had raised tuition 30% for 2009.

So far, most of the cuts have affected staff positions, rather than faculty, police and mental health counselors, and I assume that most colleges and universities are trying to “save the academic core” of the institution (a phrase I first heard in a university email from the then-President of the University of Washington, yet another institution affected by cuts by the local state legislature – and anticipating more.)

But at some point, in some states, at some institutions, the cuts will go into the bone and faculty will find themselves on the block, too. Best to start checking out the alternatives….

(If you’re looking for more depressing news on this dismal topic, search the Internet for UC Berkeley job cuts 2011, or university layoffs 2011, or …you get the picture, right?)

Non-Academic Employment Trending Up

The Economy No Comments »

A survey by CareerBuilder, one of the larger career/recruiting companies, reveals “stronger employment trends” in 2011, and it is echoed by a number of positive employment reports in various local Business Journals (see below).

While the figures are not extraordinary, with only 24% of employers surveyed saying they plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2011, they are at least on the up side for a change. Only 13% anticipate hiring part-time employees, but 34% plan to hire temporary and/or contract workers.

The top 10 “functional” areas (across all industries) for hiring are, in order:  sales, information technology, customer service, engineering, technology, administrative, business development, marketing, research/development and accounting/finance.

More employers in the West plan to hire in 2011 than those in the Northeast, followed by those in the central US and South.

Here are some of the positive articles I’ve seen recently, thanks to the Business Journal regional editions.

Be of good cheer in the New Year!