Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Choose a Career That Is In Demand For Your Future

I personally would have loved to have a compendium like this whenever I was choosing my career. Rather than research careers that were in demand at the time, I chose to go to college for what I love: art. Since I am not preparing french fries or flipping burgers (jobs are at a premium now, so I am not devaluing people in the food industry) I consider my Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design well spent as it gave me a job as a webmaster. My student loans are paid off (thank God I won't be paying them until I'm retiring) and I can focus on paying for my daughter to live well and be taken care of.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a career that will give you job security in this shaky and volatile job market. Layoffs are happening all the time. Making a choice for not only the present, but the future as technology becomes more advanced, is a daunting task. In order to aid you through your own career-building process, I have researched several websites and found the college degrees that are in highest demand, the fastest growing industries in our society, this years most in demand careers, and ten skills that are in highest demand in computer and technology-based fields of study.

The Top 5 College Degrees In Highest Demand
  1. Business Administration:
    starting salary: Associate's: Human Resources $49,821
    Bachelor's: Project manager, Construction $76,908
    Master's: Health Care $111,477
    PhD: Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management $150,000
  2. Engineering:
    starting salary: Electrical Engineering: $103,350
    Chemical Engineer: $106,670
    Aerospace Engineer: $108,750
    Oil and Gas Engineer: $157,480
  3. Computer and Information Sciences:
    starting salary: Associate's: $30,000
    Bachelor's: $50,000
    Master's: $60,354
    PhD: $98,179
  4. Accounting:
    starting salary: 0-1 years experience: $45,500
    1-3 years: $54,750
    Senior: $68,250
    Manager: $82,500
  5. Economics:
    starting salary: Associate's: $48,483
    Bachelor's: $57,000
    Master's: $80,000
    PhD: $96,000
Top 5 Fastest Growing Industries
  1. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
    Growth: 83%
    Degree Examples: Management Program Human, Resources Degree, Environmental Science Degree
  2. Source
    Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities
    Growth: 74%
    Degree Examples: Human Services Degree, Social Work Degree
  3. Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists and audiologists
    Growth: 56%
    Degree Examples: Physical Therapy Degree, Occupational Therapy Degree
  4. Data processing, hosting, and related services
    Growth: 53%
    Degree Examples: Computer Science Degree, Networking Degree, Systems Administration Degree
  5. Home health care services
    Growth: 46%
    Degree Examples: Nursing Degree, Adult Health Nursing Degree, Nurse Midwife Program
Top 5 In Demand Careers In 2012
  1. Office Careers
    All businesses need administrators, and it's your job to keep the office working at maximum efficiency. Choose your office carefully, and gain as much professional work experience as you can to improve your earnings.
    Example Degrees: Business Administration, Medical/Clinical Assistant, Administrative/Executive Assistant
  2. Healthcare Careers
    There is not enough healthcare, so there will always be a demand for healthcare careers. If you want to skip medical school enroll in the nursing program. There are also more technological positions, and a degree in ultrasound tech, medical billing, and radiologist technology are all needed in our hospitals.
  3. Technology Careers
    With our dependance on technology being so prevalent across all forms of business, this career is almost guaranteed to be around for a long time. You can be introduced to this career even earlier than a 4-year degree by applying at a trade school or technical college.
  4. Creative Careers
    Over the years art and technical jobs have been merging. Graphic designers(like me) are in more fields of work than ever before. We don't just do graphics work now, we also do websites and information technology. In order to stay more in the artist and conception parts of graphic design, outsourcing and freelancing has become the staple of graphic designers' income.
  5. Sales Careers
    If you're a people-person and have a knack for public speaking, a career in sales may be right up your alley. There will always be a demand for people with, “the gift of gab” to sell a company's merchandise or services. A marketing or merchandising degree will be a great way to get some reputation, but most salespeople will tell you, “you either have it or you don't.”
Top Ten Skills In Demand For Technology Jobs
  1. Java/J2EE Developers
  2. Software Developers/Engineers
  3. Mobile Developers
  4. Net Developers
  5. Project Managers
  6. Web Developers
  7. System Engineers/Administrators
  8. Network Engineers/Administrators
  9. SAP Professionals
  10. Business Analysts

Use this knowledge wisely, and make sure when you make a decision about your career you're serious about it. Confucious once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Make sure you choose something you're prepared to do for the rest of your life, and always do your best at whatever you do. Most things in life don't have do-overs.

If you liked this article, here's another about work and jobs:

Payrollbuilder is an online payroll service, which makes it simple to use and easy to access. To employers who have workers out on work sites, with a single purchase you can have your employees clock in from their phones and you will be alerted to where exactly they where when they clocked in. We protect your wages and follow all the tax laws to the fullest extent. We want to serve the Natural State, and are ready to serve you in Fort Smith, Little Rock, Russellville, Fayetteville, and everywhere else in Arkansas and the U.S. Visit our website for more information!

Please leave a comment if you have any other information on these careers or general career advice to our youth and those that are looking for a new career!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10 Types of Payroll Fraud

Unfortunately there are many types of fraud your employees(and supervisors) have been discovered using over the years through the daily punch of the time clock. The scariest part is this list is by no means comprehensive, as there could be other forms of fraud that employers may have not even discovered yet. Don't let your business fall victim to these crimes, and make sure anyone you find using these questionable business practices are disciplined or replaced to prevent further fraudulent actions. The good news is most of these can be prevented with accurate record keeping and proper employee and managerial rotations.

Not Paying Back Payroll Advances
Even if you legitimately forget about your payroll advance, it's considered stealing and fraud to not pay it back. No one on your payroll can get away with this if you keep proper records whenever an employee is granted an advance. Repayment must always be closely monitored as well to make sure the debt is paid in full. With proper staffing practices and recording methods, this form of fraud is easy to find and rectify.

Buddy Punching
Worry about this employee too, though!

This is one of the methods of fraud that require a buddy(This isn't Fight Club buddy punching though, so don't look for your employees coming in with cuts and bruises.). The practice involves sharing personal information in order to clock each other in at times they wouldn't normally be able to log in themselves. A review of the time sheets and getting an actual head count on days you may suspect an employee isn't where they should be is an easy way for your manager or supervisor to find culprits and accomplices in this type of fraud. If you choose to keep them on, threat of termination is usually enough to quell further attempts at buddy punching. Make sure you identify all who are involved as well, to make sure no one else is pulled into the fraud scheme.

Ghost Employees
Need Afterlife Insurance? Source
No, Patrick Swayze hasn't joined your company, but if you don't keep up with how many employees you have or audit your payroll records, he might as well be. This form of fraud is masterminded by the payroll staff. Either they continue to log hours for an employee who has left the company, or they make a fake person all together then collect the accrued “work” said ghost employee has “logged.” Larger companies with more staff and a reduced manager-to-employee ratio have a harder time discovering a ghost employee. Always keep good records of your payroll, and watch even more closely when a supervisor has yet to be replaced in the event of a sudden leave or firing, as a greedy payroll staff member will use this as a prime window to reap extra funds from your business.

Pay Check Diversion
This form of payroll fraud takes place when one employee takes a paycheck from one of his co-workers when they are on sick leave or other forms of absence. Make sure you keep paper checks in one area, preferably locked in a safe with only trusted members of payroll and yourself allowed access. Presenting identification to receive a check and a proper sign-in sheet are also affordable ways to prevent pay check diversion.

Pay Rate Alteration
Your payroll staff are the gatekeepers to your funds, and this is another form of fraud they can subject you to. It involves an employee persuading the payroll clerk to increase their hourly wages to inflate their check. Often times your more savvy payroll manager will return the pay rate to normal after the fraud is committed. An after-payday payroll audit is a great way to find these types of fraud, as most payroll systems log such changes for further review in the future. The specific register and thus, the payroll staff member who authorized the pay increase, will be revealed for proper prosecution or discipline.

Unauthorized Claiming of Hours
This is one of the more common types of payroll fraud, rightly so because it is one of the harder ones to detect. This happens when employees fluff their time sheets by several means, including but not limited to, reducing lunch break times, increasing time before or after work, or sneaking breaks without clocking out. Make sure your supervisors are thorough in their review of employee time sheets, and this “siphoning” of your funds can be reduced greatly.

Exaggerating Sales Commissions or Figures
Make sure that your employees that have the highest commissions are becoming that way legitimately. If the commissions are logged by employees, do follow-ups on what they sold and how much they claimed. The frequency and size of the commission may also be tampered with, so make sure what your employee logs is accurate to what they actually acquired for your company.

Workers' Compensation Fraud
Busted! Source
No industry is safe from this type of fraud. Employees will attempt to fake an injury, such as a neck, back, or joint problem to falsely claim money from you and your insurance company. This can cause you to lose thousands quickly, and can cause unwanted raises in your premiums if left unchecked. Make sure your employees claiming these injuries were truly injured at work, either through camera surveillance or by supervisor witness. Sometimes employees will work together to perpetrate these “injuries,” so be cautious and thorough.

False Expenses or Exaggerated Expenditures
Don't let this go on the company card!
This is for your employees who may go out on the road a lot or any other time they are given a company credit card for expenditures. They may use the funds for false expenses or exaggerate how much an item actually cost. Make sure your employees keep track of all receipts, and watch for counterfeit or fake receipts. This can be discovered by talking to your credit card company, or calling the establishment that the transaction was said to have occurred at.

Employee and Supervisor Time Sharing
Whenever an employee and supervisor form an alliance in order to commit fraud, it may be hard to discover. The most common type of this sharing is when an employee records extra time to get overtime pay, and splits it with his superior who approved of the overtime. This is why proper employee and supervisor rotations are necessary, as is a strict system for overtime approval.

Keep in mind as technology increases, it doesn't always help identify fraud. Sometimes it gives employees new avenues for which to prey on your business. Setting an example to anyone who is found committing fraud is critical in prevention, as is keeping proper records and regularly checking them yourself. Only you care as much about your business as you do, so make sure your employees know they will not be allowed to cheat you. There are a lot of people our there who want a job and will do a good job for you, so don't keep an employee who is stealing from you.

Payrollbuilder is an online payroll service, which makes it simple to use and easy to access. To employers who have workers out on work sites, with a single purchase you can have your employees clock in from their phones and you will be alerted to where exactly they where when they clocked in. We protect your wages and follow all the tax laws to the fullest extent. We want to serve the Natural State, and are ready to serve you in Fort Smith, Little Rock, Russellville, Fayetteville, and everywhere else in Arkansas and the U.S. Visit our website for more information!

Leave a comment if you know another way that employees have found to commit fraud, or tell us about a better way to prevent these types of fraud from happening!

Be sure to check out my other articles on fraud and theft: