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Old 02-21-2008, 02:07 AM
 
28,343 posts, read 24,191,337 times
Reputation: 15482
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
It's not a "mean" question at all. This is a very pertinent one. My true passion in life is urban and regional planning, but I know the odds of me securing a position in our region as an urban planner are probably about as slim as prying Louie Andersen away from the Old Country Buffet. This is why I left my calling to become a CPA. I know accounting positions are available in NEPA, and I am confident that even during our upcoming recession I'll be able to secure employment in this field here. I also know that most who were in the class prior to my own who have just landed positions are earning $40,000 in our area, so I'll ask for a starting salary of $42,000 when I graduate in the middle of next year, adjusting for inflation.

A lot of my friends are majoring in the I/T field and are likewise griping about the job market locally. Employment is a case of supply and demand. In certain areas of the nation (especially the Sunbelt/border states), techers are in VERY high demand. In our area there is an oversaturation of educators due to our stagnant, aging population. In our area there is a dearth of skilled manual laborers (contractors, electricians, roofers, etc.), which is why I'm a huge proponent of vo-tech programs in high schools to give students their "leg in the door" to well-paying (albeit physically-demanding) careers. I myself wouldn't mind bartering in the future to prepare someone's taxes and/or offer them financial expertise in exchange for them to install a toilet for me or to change my oil. When you specialize in something, people are willing to pay you a premium for your services. I wouldn't want someone with an eighth-grade education operating on my heart, hence why I'm willing to shell out several thousand to a well-trained surgeon to perform an operation on me.

The problem with NEPA is far too many people think they're worth more than they truly are. There are a lot of "Joe Nobodys" here (many of whom work for Luzerne County may I add), who think that they are "entitled" to $50k positions due to their surname, attitude, and very little else. That wouldn't cut it in the adjacent BosWash area (NYC, NJ, Lehigh Valley, Philly), so why would it cut it here? A home is only worth as much as a prospective buyer is willing to pay for it. Similarly, an employee is only worthy of as much compensation as an employer deems to be appropriate (adhering to Federal regulations, of course). I never saw an area (besides perhaps Michigan) where blue-collars DEMAND so much from their employers and have such a "gimme" attitude towards local government; I suppose you almost can't blame Hershey, IBM, etc. for leaving Pennsylvania when workers create such a hostile environment.

my daughter inlaw is an accountant here in new york. right out of school ernst & young hired her at over 70k plus. the 42k is way below what that degree earns elsewhere. she has since gone to work for a client of theirs in greenich ct and earns double that. thats the point, you may never see that in nepa. while 42k sounds like alot its way way below what you could get elsewhere


my son graduated lawschool 1-1/2 years ago and also got picked up by a firm in white plains new york at over 6 figures to start. for someone raising a family even after factoring cost of living differences in nepa the amounts earned are staggering. it takes lots of money to raise a famly and even more to secure a nice retirement. while the lifestyle of living in an area like nepa is sooooo much better it usually comes back to bite you later on as you approach retirement and find you havent been able to save much.

take it from me paul, its pretty much about earning as much as you can , while you can and getting this biggest bang for your buck which is your marketable skills. the years go by so fast that unless you start saving bigtime while your young your retirement plan ends up being work until you can't.

with pensions being a thing of the past you can't imagine how much you need to save while raising a family.

Last edited by mathjak107; 02-21-2008 at 03:19 AM..

 
Old 02-21-2008, 05:51 AM
 
3,756 posts, read 5,640,718 times
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with pensions being a thing of the past you can't imagine how much you need to save while raising a family.

Pensions are not a thing of the past if you work for civil service. Every year there is a nice cost of living raise and they can never freeze a pension like they are doing with these other companies.
 
Old 02-21-2008, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Scranton
2,938 posts, read 878,253 times
Reputation: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
It's not a "mean" question at all. This is a very pertinent one. My true passion in life is urban and regional planning, but I know the odds of me securing a position in our region as an urban planner are probably about as slim as prying Louie Andersen away from the Old Country Buffet. This is why I left my calling to become a CPA. I know accounting positions are available in NEPA, and I am confident that even during our upcoming recession I'll be able to secure employment in this field here. I also know that most who were in the class prior to my own who have just landed positions are earning $40,000 in our area, so I'll ask for a starting salary of $42,000 when I graduate in the middle of next year, adjusting for inflation.
Couldn't you minor in urban planning in college along with your accounting major, should you ever get the opportunity for a job in that field?
 
Old 02-21-2008, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Scranton
2,938 posts, read 878,253 times
Reputation: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
my daughter inlaw is an accountant here in new york. right out of school ernst & young hired her at over 70k plus. the 42k is way below what that degree earns elsewhere. she has since gone to work for a client of theirs in greenich ct and earns double that. thats the point, you may never see that in nepa. while 42k sounds like alot its way way below what you could get elsewhere

42k in NE PA will get you a much more comfortable living than 70k in New York. A 70k salary in NY would be equivalent to living on 20k in NE PA. The cost of living between Scranton/W-B and NYC is worlds apart.

Check real estate listings. I remember reading the NY papers and the real estate ads considered anything under a million dollars to be a bargain. You can get very nice houses for less than $200k in NE PA. It is still possible to buy nice homes for under $100k in NEPA, while small 1 bedroom apartments sell for near a million in NYC.
 
Old 02-21-2008, 10:40 AM
 
28,343 posts, read 24,191,337 times
Reputation: 15482
well it all depends on your lifestyle. i can tell you i can make due in nepa on about 1/3 less then we earn now. certainly not 60% less. we have homes in both places so a comparison of costs is easy.

pensions are a dying breed except civil service. we are seeing more local townships declaring themselves insolvent to get out of pension and health payments
 
Old 02-21-2008, 10:43 AM
 
1,007 posts, read 86,609 times
Reputation: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
It doesn't necessarily take much (if any) family wealth to pursue specializations that will make yourselves more marketable to employers.
Ah, gee, not all families, regardless of wealth, support their children while they're going to school or while they forgo the education route to persue their own start-ups. Not all individuals, regardless of age, have a family to fall back on. Many individuals need to make it solely on their own, from the moment they graduate HS, in which case their personal "wealth" is of vast import. As someone returning to school, I can attest that scholarships, grants & loans are not readily available to all individuals. "Family" isn't a benefit at all in many situations.

Gratitude for one's blessings & advantages indicates real growth & maturity. We don't all have the same blessings & advantages.

Quote:
I have a friend who went to Allied for massage therapy training and now earns a modest, comfortable living as a massage therapist.
Modest living gained by trade school? Doesn't this contradict your points before that one doesn't need an education for financial reward? In your estimation, shouldn't this modest-incomed person be going on to persue advanced sports nutrition/physical therapy/personal training licenses/certifications/degrees? What if their living is modest in 10-yrs? Lazy? Unmotivated? Unambitious? Not entrepreneurial enough? Unlucky?

Quote:
My one friend is going through nursing school to be an LPN.
Same questions as above apply... I come from a family of predominantly medical workers - from doctors to RN's to nurse's aides. LPN's earn a modest income.

Quote:
There are places like ITT Tech in Dunmore that permit even middle-aged people to attend night classes to learn a new skill that will permit them to move up socioeconomically.
They even permit middle-agers to attend? Wow. Yep, sometimes even without our walkers & canes if we can spring up the front stairs in time for class with our bulky, yellow sweaters & tri-focals. We fossils often meet before class, in coffee klatches, to discuss our oncoming demise & the puzzling styles of the wipper-snappers in our classes. Dagnabit.

You're either careless with your words or an ageist, something you often accuse others of being when they point out that you've little life experience & are naive. Ahhh... seems to be. Intelligence has no boundaries. Neither does prejudice. A middle-aged dollar spent towards education is the same as an education dollar from a youngster who lives at home & has expenses paid by middle-aged parents... except the middle-agers seem to be footing the majority if not all of the bill in either scenario.

Quote:
The reason why wages locally lag so far behind the rest of the state and nation is because we have an ABYSMALLY low percentage of those with an education. High-paying firms are reluctant to relocate into areas where the workforce isn't adequately trained or skilled to fit their qualifications, hence why we have such a dearth locally of I/T, financial services, pharmaceutical, etc. types of industries...
True & not entirely true. It's not that simple... too many other variables come into play. I've worked for 3 companies which bought-out or were bought-out by other companies, fired all the local employees & brought their own with them, across state lines. I've also worked for 2 companies which closed their doors & relocated to small towns in the south because they could receive clients in a more hospitable climate (so the story was told, since clients routinely flew in anyway & they could benefit by wining, dining & golfing with them) & workers accepted less salary because the local COL was significantly lower. These were companies in huge cities such as Seattle, San Diego, L.A. (& even London), not small towns. Had nothing to do with uneducated/inexperienced local employees. Many companies don't do business in a particular locale due to taxes, laws, licensing requirements, land restrictions, building costs.

It's easy to hire good people, or people with much less experience/training who will take a job for a particular wage. I know someone who's currently interviewing in Boston for entry-level jobs & is being told there are hundreds of applicants for receptionist jobs. Many are over-qualified but their jobs were outsourced & they need to eat. I've gotten hired for out of state jobs several times & then relocated cross country for the jobs. Particularly in this day & age... many are not strictly loyal to the area in which they were born. Many have scattered families or none & will move elsewhere, if financially necessary or should they not be able to secure employment in their fields where they live now.

Quote:
Every once in a while you'll hear of someone who is doing great right out of high school without any sort of training, apprenticing, etc. due to their own entrepreneurial spirits (Louis DeNaples comes to mind), but by and large the more education you receive, the more money you'll typically earn over the course of your lifetime.
Yes, that's what stats say. At least in my experience, those without education who are making a bundle either began their own biz's or work for a family biz. Only if one is going to be a company employee does education seem to make a difference in the amount one is compensated. Interestingly enough, those I know who make the most money as entrepreneurs have degrees, but, are earning their money in fields other than that which their advanced Masters/Ph.D.'s have trained them to do.

Something that keeps getting skimmed over... when we go out to eat, purchase products or secure vairous services, we are often served by lower paid individuals. Some are only capable of this kind of "clerk" work. Not everyone can do something else. And, while I agree that one perhaps isn't best served by increasing family size in these economic situations... well, life experiences teaches that these things do happen, either by choice or unintentially. I know of 2 situations where someone suddenly had multiple children... a sibling died & in each case, the individual decided to raise them rather than give them up for adoption. Were they choosing poverty? Although some may differ in opinion, these people did the best they could at that time.

One must take all situations into account. There are always exceptions. Remember this the next time you go through a drive-thru or pay for your gas. These attendants are earning an honest wage, many doing the best they can, many doing all they can do & yes, some who don't wish to do anything else. Please have some compassion & understanding & don't judge them based on what you think they should do.

Quote:
As such I don't know why people attacked the messenger here.
I didn't read that anyone attacked you here. Some folks may disagree with your fingerpointing assertions, but it doesn't mean it's a personal attack. Seems quite the opposite, in fact.

Quote:
You know it's a bad sign when our local colleges (including my own) exclusively recruit for out-of-area firms. That tells you something when our own colleges don't believe in the future of our region, doesn't it?
Sorry, but I've seen this to be common. I went to school in Boston & the first job I was offered was out of state. There were no shortage of jobs here at that time in my field. Entry level? Ah, well that's a different story. Perhaps, entry level jobs in one's chosen field are always more difficult to come by, in which case one can leave to build up experience & return to their former area, if they desire.

Your college doesn't believe in your region? They're not the employers, unless one is working for them. They can only offer leads that come in from employers who wish to offer entry-level jobs.
 
Old 02-21-2008, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Scranton
2,938 posts, read 878,253 times
Reputation: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittensPurr View Post



They even permit middle-agers to attend? Wow. Yep, sometimes even without our walkers & canes if we can spring up the front stairs in time for class with our bulky, yellow sweaters & tri-focals. We fossils often meet before class, in coffee klatches, to discuss our oncoming demise & the puzzling styles of the wipper-snappers in our classes. Dagnabit.
My college classes had plenty of "middle-aged" and older students. I was older than the "traditional" student (I graduated at 25....took time away from school to work) and was still among the younger students in a lot of my major classes.
 
Old 02-21-2008, 11:13 AM
 
3,756 posts, read 5,640,718 times
Reputation: 1040
[quote=KittensPurr;2898269]Ah, gee, not all families, regardless of wealth, support their children while they're going to school or while they forgo the education route to persue their own start-ups. Not all individuals, regardless of age, have a family to fall back on. Many individuals need to make it solely on their own, from the moment they graduate HS, in which case their personal "wealth" is of vast import. As someone returning to school, I can attest that scholarships, grants & loans are not readily available to all individuals. "Family" isn't a benefit at all in many situations.

Gratitude for one's blessings & advantages indicates real growth & maturity. We don't all have the same blessings & advantages.

Thank you KittensPurr, the first person to tell it like it is. Put myself through school and still putting myself through graduate school. Grants/schloarships?? only graduated with a 4.0 GPA and got nothing. However, you do not even want me to attempt to go there and tell you why.Absolutely, not everyone has great family benefits. Some people have parents as built in baby sitters, etc. Up here in NEPA and doing everything with just my husband and I. Your last sentence says it best!! Great thinking.

The Hat
 
Old 02-21-2008, 11:34 AM
 
2,322 posts, read 3,384,215 times
Reputation: 1209
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveinbloom View Post
I believe you feel that the NY'ers (and former Philly folks) are the core of the problem because usually ONLY bad news is reported and printed. This is a sad aspect for OUR entire country. You will not hear about the positives of new residents because like most we are simply living our lives and tend not to make headlines for that. As I have stated before if there wasn't a local market for drugs...drug dealers would set up "businesses" elsewhere.

I must at admit I am offended with the constant generalizatons/sterotypes of myself and former statesmen. While there is usually A GRAIN OF TRUTH to the above...that purely is all that it is.

I moved here for extended family, natural beauty and the affordaiblity.Folks from this area that feel the above are/can be missing out on some wonderful new neighbors and potential friends.

I am stepping of the soap box now~
well said! I'm tired of the generalization of all NY,NJ and philly people.
 
Old 02-21-2008, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Bridgeville,Pa
4,177 posts, read 6,918,515 times
Reputation: 1973
Highhat

we are the same here in NY ; no family, nobody to fall back on at all.
My dh put himself thru a 4 year degree in 3 1/2 years with our two small kids watching him and a 3.9gpa. I just paid off his loan ; it was the usual 20 year loan and I did it in 18months.

there is something to be said for doing it on your own. It makes you stronger and reinforces your idea that it can be done.

well done
dorothy
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