With pleasure. It's doubtful that most high school students know about the interesting and well-paying careers in the STEM category, such as remote sensing technologist, software engineer, forensic science technician, biomedical engineer, climate change analyst, epidemiologist, genetic counselor and many more. Among exploratory resources, take a look at these two:
-- STEMconnector.org is an ambitious new nationwide collaboration of companies, nonprofit associations and professional societies. The new site is essentially a big database of who's doing what in STEM education and careers. The database expands with each passing month.
DEAR JOYCE: I participated in a parents panel last evening where I said that more women are rising to the top in the corporate world today and that our daughters should think big. Another parent challenged my remarks. Who's right? -- S.U.
I'm turning to Catalyst to settle your question. Catalyst is the dominant nonprofit membership organization devoted to women and business. Catalyst charges that women have made no significant gains in the last year, and are no further along the corporate ladder than they were six years ago. Among Catalyst stats: Women held 14.1 percent of executive officer positions in 2011, compared to 14.4 percent in 2010. Study more stats by visiting Catalyst.org. Click on "What's New."
DEAR JOYCE: I really want to work from home several days a week, but my boss won't allow it. At first I thought she didn't trust me but I've come to think she just wants an office buddy she can unload on for feedback. Her "visits" are starting to last so long I have to work overtime (without pay). Ideas? -- N.B.
Bruce Tulgan, best known for his expertise in generational differences in the workplace, posted a video with a very good brief answer to your question in his recent blog, "What About the Boss Who Has Too Much Time for You?" See it free on rainmakerthinking.com. Click on the "Bruce Tulgan's Blog" tab, and scroll down until you find the video.
DEAR JOYCE: Last year I got a $100 Christmas bonus, but this year I got zip. Was this typical for other companies? -- G.K.
If you don't count Wall Street jingle-bell payouts, then yes, it's typical, according to a new survey by well-known outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The tradition of the year-end rewards may be fading.
The survey reports that roughly 43 percent of human resources executives said their companies do not award year-end bonuses, perks or gifts to employees. That figure is up from 2007, when a similar survey found that 28 percent of companies never award year-end bonuses.
Among the 53 percent of companies that do award bonuses, half give employees either a non-monetary gift or a check for less than $100. The results of the non-scientific survey were based on approximately 100 responses to an email poll distributed in November.
Why so modest? Tighter cost controls under the current economic conditions is certainly one factor. "In addition, some companies may have found that year-end bonuses are not the morale booster they once were, and that there are more effective ways to reward high performers, while increasing the morale and loyalty of all employees. In many companies, year-round efforts may have replaced the end-of-the-year gesture," explains John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
You're not the Lone Ranger. Even Wall Street bonuses are expected to take a hit by 20 to 30 percent this year, according to consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc. That means the average Wall Street managing director will take home about $900,000 in year-end bonus money, down from $1.2 million a year ago.
(E-mail career questions for possible use in this column to Joyce Lain Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org; use "Reader Question" for subject line. Or mail her at Box 368, Cardiff, CA 92007.)