You May Soon Be Able to Find a Mentor on Facebook

You May Soon Be Able to Find a Mentor on Facebook

Since launching its new job listings feature earlier this year, Facebook has made a series of moves to position itself as a direct competitor to LinkedIn. Even if it has little chance of overtaking the Microsoft-owned professional networking site in the job search market anytime soon, the social media giant clearly sees growth potential in this field. Just in the past month, Facebook has integrated job listings into its Marketplace platform and revealed that it is testing location targeting for advertising, including potentially job ads.

Facebook’s latest move in the professional networking space entails testing a way to connect users who are looking for mentors or mentees, TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden reports:

Our first look at the mentoring service came from a source, who had found a couple of references to mentoring in Facebook’s code. They appear to be fragments from a set of guidelines for mentors, introducing them to the program[.] Later, we found that another person spotted an internal run of how the feature would look on the mobile app. It appears that the app matches a mentee’s interests up with those of the mentor’s, and by way of introduction, gives them a list of points they have in common, including friends, education, geographic location and — most importantly — profession[.]

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ReimagineHR: How Mazars Got Creative About Becoming More Inclusive

ReimagineHR: How Mazars Got Creative About Becoming More Inclusive

According to recent research from CEB (now Gartner), in order to create an inclusive climate for teams, organizations need to focus not only on climate quality (the average level of inclusion that employees feel) but also on climate strength (the variation between how different employees perceive the inclusivity of their team). In a session on building inclusive leaders at our ReimagineHR conference in London on Thursday, we heard from Tyra Malzy, Chief Learning Officer at Mazars, about her experience integrating inclusion into her company’s business practices and engaging its younger workforce in decision-making. Here are some of the strategies she shared:

Normalize Inclusion in Leadership

As Malzy explained, Mazars needed to reach out to its millennial employees and help senior leadership see the business value of including these employees in its decisions. To meet these goals, the company made several key choices.

  • Start with saying “yes”: Mazars found that when leaders were concerned with the impact of change, they often responded in a risk-averse manner, usually resulting in saying “no” to ideas that deviated from the organization’s typical decision-making process. By making a habit of saying “yes” more often, this helped generate a more open environment for co-developing solutions.
  • Crowdsource ideas from employees: An important component of making leadership more inclusive is empowering employees to lead from the ground up. Mazars created an app for individuals to share their ideas with others within the company, vote on those which they like the best, and then have the top five presented to senior leaders. Finally, the executive team picks which business ideas to implement. Mazars also surveyed employees to understand their thoughts on management preferences and organizational culture. They then used this information to create specific projects associated with the interests of the employees.
  • Bring visibility to functions and individuals that are doing this well: By sharing examples of diverse groups that are outperforming other teams or functions, Mazars challenges teams with limited diversity to step up their diversity of thought and improve their outcomes.

Create a Culture of Inclusivity in Decision-Making

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Most Interns Engaged in Menial Tasks, Not Career-Building, UK Survey Finds

Most Interns Engaged in Menial Tasks, Not Career-Building, UK Survey Finds

Whether paid or unpaid, internships are meant to be mutually beneficial to the employers who offer them and the young people who pursue them, offering interns a leg up in the job market and valuable experiences that enhance their skills and employability. Unfortunately, a recent survey of interns in the UK finds the vast majority of them feel their internship was more of a one-sided deal, Emily Burt reports at People Management:

More than half (53 per cent) of the 18 to 30-year-olds surveyed by Lloyds Banking Group said they spent the majority of their internship completing menial tasks such as printing or photocopying documents, while more than a third (33 per cent) said the majority of their day was spent making tea or picking up lunch for colleagues. Overall, 83 per cent felt their employer was the main beneficiary.

The study also suggested that poor experiences of internships could be hurting the confidence of young people at the start of their careers. A quarter (25 per cent) of respondents said their internships had either no impact or a negative impact on their future career prospects, while only three in 10 (32 per cent) felt their internship had boosted their employability.

Internships have gotten a bad rap lately in the UK, particularly as the country has grown increasingly aware of how its entrenched, historical class divides are affecting social mobility and competition in the labor market. A bombshell report earlier this year claimed that the actual number of internships is six times the number advertised to the public, with the vast majority offered only to those with the family or school connections to know about them.

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Massachusetts Becomes First State Where Over Half of Workforce Holds a Bachelor’s Degree

Massachusetts Becomes First State Where Over Half of Workforce Holds a Bachelor’s Degree

By at least one measure, Massachusetts has the most educated workforce of any state in the US, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. Citing an analysis of Current Population Survey data by the Economic Policy Institute, the report reveals that 50.2 percent of Massachusetts workers hold at least a bachelor’s degree. New Jersey is the second most educated state, with 45.2 percent of workers holding BAs, followed by New York, Maryland, and Connecticut. Nationwide, 35.5 percent of the workforce has a bachelor’s degree.

The report, titled “Education and State Economic Strength: A Snapshot of Current Data,” also notes that these high levels of education correlate with high median hourly wages: $21.35 in New Jersey and $21.22 in Massachusetts compared to a national average of $17.80.

“While it might seem obvious in 2017 that higher levels of college education would be associated with higher earnings at the state level,” the report adds, “this relationship is actually a fairly recent feature of the US economy. In 1979, the correlation between the educational attainment of a state’s workforce and its median hourly wage was weak.”

Indeed, the EPI’s latest research has found that the college wage premium is at an all-time high since economists began measuring it over 40 years ago. Other studies have shown that the class of 2017 stood to earn higher starting salaries than their peers who graduated in other recent years, while holders of two-year associate degrees are also finding more decent-paying jobs than they were a generation ago.

Wages in Massachusetts have also been growing faster for more educated than less educated workers, and a key challenge for the state today is ensuring that young people can afford the advanced educations they need to remain competitive in a highly educated job market, the Boston Globe’s Katie Johnson points out:

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NYU’s New Doctoral Program Caters to Wall Street’s Demand for Data Scientists

NYU’s New Doctoral Program Caters to Wall Street’s Demand for Data Scientists

Among the critical skills in today’s job market, data science expertise is perhaps the most coveted in terms of high demand and short supply. As businesses in a wide variety of industries find new applications for data analytics, the limited pool of specialized data scientists can work pretty much anywhere they want and command a highly competitive salary. This September, New York University is launching a new PhD program in data science both to address this skills shortage, particularly in New York’s financial sector, and shape the field of data science as an independent academic discipline, Ivan Levingston and Taylor Hall report at SF Gate:

It’s one of the first such programs in the nation and builds on master’s degrees at NYU and other schools. MIT is gearing up a doctoral degree that includes data science, and Harvard plans to jump into the field with a master’s program in 2018. In the near absence of degree programs, investment firms must sort through the wannabes and find skilled data scientists from fields like physics and math.

“The term is a fairly loose term, and it can mean anything from somebody who’s an extreme expert in machine learning all the way down to someone who’s really more of a data analyst, preparing and cleaning data and producing charts, and it can mean everything in between,” said Matthew Granade, who oversees Point72 Asset Management’s data science unit, Aperio.

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Students at Less Selective US Colleges Tend to Pick Career-Focused Majors

Students at Less Selective US Colleges Tend to Pick Career-Focused Majors

At FiveThirtyEight, Michelle Cheng peruses some data from the US Department of Education and finds that while Americans who attend elite universities often major in more “academic” fields such as the arts, humanities, and social sciences, students at less prestigious institutions are much more likely to pursue career-focused courses of study that qualify them directly for particular jobs:

The most popular fields of study among students at the most selective schools are the social sciences, with 19 percent of degrees awarded in majors such as political science, economics and sociology. The next two most popular groups of majors are the biological and biomedical sciences and engineering. At less selective schools, the most common fields of study are related to business (the Education Department calls this category “business, management, marketing and related support services”), with 19 percent of degrees awarded in those majors. The next most popular group is “health professions and related programs.”

Career-focused majors — such as business, education and journalism — are more prevalent at less selective schools than at top-tier schools. Education ranks as the fifth most popular major at less selective schools but is the 21st most popular major at the most selective schools. Other vocation-specific majors such as law enforcement are also more popular at less selective schools. In total, more than half of students at less selective schools major in career-focused subjects; at elite schools, less than a quarter of students do so.

This career focus among attendees of less selective schools, Cheng explains, reflects the fact that their students tend to come from lower-income backgrounds: These students are highly motivated to see a financial payoff quickly after finishing their degrees, because they and their families have made bigger financial sacrifices to obtain them. At elite colleges, where students tend to be wealthier, the pressure to land a good job right out of college is less intense. Also, graduates of top-tier schools are much more likely to go on to graduate school, a choice that plays a greater role than their undergraduate major in defining their career:

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Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s Serve Up Transferable Education Opportunities

Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s Serve Up Transferable Education Opportunities

McDonald’s and Ben & Jerry’s may not have a lot in common in their corporate philosophies, but both companies have recently begun offering their low-skilled employees significant educational opportunities that will help them wherever their career paths may take them.

Eighty percent of employees at Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shops are in their first-ever job. The Vermont-based company is now offering them skills training through an online program called Core Academy, where employees can take one of four courses: Beyond the Job parts 1 and 2, Activism Academy, and Social Equity & Inclusion. These topics jibe with the company’s stated commitment to social responsibility.

“We started thinking about what are our responsibilities to this entry-level workforce,” Collette Hittinger, the ice cream company’s global operations and training manager, told SHRM’s Kathy Gurchiek earlier this month, “and we decided we had plenty of programs about how to run an ice cream store,” but nothing to develop skills that would enhance workplace and customer interactions, such as emotional intelligence. The training opportunity also prepares their workforce, 75 percent of which is aged 18-24, for leadership down the road.

Ben & Jerry’s developed the program in partnership with the local Champlain College and California-based Story of Stuff Project. The coursework draws from Champlain’s MBA programs for its content and project-based structure. Participation in Core Academy is voluntary, but the program has been very well-attended and received. It also allows Ben & Jerry’s to stand out in attracting workers for their minimum-wage service industry jobs.

McDonald’s is offering a more traditional education credential, as participants in its “Archways to Opportunity” program can earn a high school diploma through the fast food titan’s partnership with Cengage Learning. Since the 18-month program launched in 2015, roughly 100 employees have completed it and over 800 are currently enrolled. Amanda Eisenberg at Employee Benefit News has the details on the program, which is designed for adult learners:

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